Ideal for photographers who need a high-performance long-telephoto zoom in a lightweight package, the 100-400mm is perfect for fast-action subjects such as sports, wildlife and motorsport. But owing to its portable body that weighs in at less than 1.2kg, it’s also well-suited to a range of other genres, including telephoto landscapes and pet photography. It’s even capable of macro-style close ups thanks to its maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.8.
Optically the 100-400mm delivers outstanding sharpness right across the zoom range, with four SLD elements and cutting-edge Super Multi-Layer Coating to keep chromatic aberration and flare to an absolute minimum. Available for Canon and Nikon DSLRs, the lens has Sigma’s intelligent two-mode Optical Stabilizer built in to help reduce camera shake when hand-holding in lower light. A range of other features including a focus limiter switch, custom modes, manual focus override and a dust- and splash-proof mount make the 100-400mm an extremely versatile long telephoto option that can be used in a wide range of shooting conditions.
The exterior barrel of the 100-400mm is constructed using a polymer called Thermally Stable Composite (TSC). This has a similar thermal expansion rate to aluminium, meaning that the metal interior of the lens and the TSC exterior behave in the same way as temperatures change. TSC is also light and strong, and has a sleek finish for a premium look and feel.
The lens has an internal focus mechanism as well as Dual Action Zoom, meaning it’s possible to zoom in and out accurately using the zoom ring, or very quickly simply by pushing or pulling the end of the barrel. The zoom ring is rubberised for easier operation, and it can be locked at various positions using the Lock switch.
The durable brass mount is surrounded by a rubber seal to help keep out dust and moisture.
Precision brass mount with seal
Protects against dust and moisture.
For accurate manual focusing.
For changing between auto and manual focus. Includes Manual Focus Override function.
Focus Limiter switch
For limiting the lens' focusing range.
Two-mode Optical Stabiliser
For shake-free hand-held shots.
Custom Mode switch
To suit different shooting styles.
A range of controls on the lens include an AF/MF switch with manual focus override, an AFL button that can be customised (depending on the camera body) to a range of different functions, and a Custom Mode switch.
The lens also has a focus limiter so that the focusing range can be reduced for faster and more accurate operation. This is particularly useful when there are objects in the frame between the camera and the subject that the lens might attempt to focus on.
The in-built Optical Stabilizer has a mode for general shooting and one for panning – ideal for fast-moving birds and vehicles.
The lens has an HSM focus motor that delivers smooth, fast and accurate AF for both stills and video. It is fully compatible with all the latest AF camera technology.
Despite weighing only 1,160g, the 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C delivers outstanding optical quality even on very high-resolution sensors. Optical performance is maintained across the whole frame, meaning fine detail is rendered perfectly right into the corners.
The lens has an advanced optical design made up of 21 elements in 15 groups, including 4 SLD elements. These ensure razor-sharp results and help to eliminate chromatic aberration, flare, distortion and vignetting.
The lens has advanced optical coatings which reduce flare and ghosting when working in bright direct sunlight, creating high contrast images with rich colours and deep blacks.
Owing to its portability and exceptional image quality the 100-400mm is a favourite with landscape photographers, allowing them to pick out small vignettes within the landscape and compress the perspective of a scene.
The lens has an HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) focusing system that ensures fast, accurate and quiet AF. The updated algorithm enables smoother AF operation. This makes the lens ideal for fast-moving objects such as cars, planes and wildlife.
As long telephoto lenses go, the 100-400mm is very light and compact at less than 19cm in length. This makes it ideal for anyone carry their kit over long distances, or anyone shooting hand-held for long periods. The lens is 770g lighter than SIGMA’s 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C, although it doesn’t have as much reach or as many features, such as an included tripod foot.
All Sigma cameras and lenses are designed, manufactured and assembled at our sole factory at Aizu in Japan. This domestic production model is unusual in today’s industry, with most imaging companies opting to outsource to other countries to reduce costs. But SIGMA believes that keeping virtually all manufacturing, processing and assembly in Aizu is essential for creating innovative, carefully thought-out and impeccably constructed products that meet the high standards demanded by professional photographers and film-makers around the world.
Sigma chose Aizu as its main production base in the early 1970s. Situated at the base of Mount Bandai in the Fukushima Prefecture, about four hours’ drive north of Tokyo, Aizu has an abundance of very clean water from mountain streams, which is essential for grinding and polishing lenses. Sigma’s founder, Michihiro Yamaki, was also drawn to this area for its workforce, who have a reputation for their craftsmanship, work ethic and attention to detail. Mr Yamaki’s son, Kazuto Yamaki, now the owner and CEO of SIGMA Corporation, has the same unwavering commitment to keeping production in Japan.
Today Sigma’s factory is more than 50,000 square feet in size, and packed full of some of the most advanced optical manufacturing technology in existence. So when you buy a Sigma camera or lens you can be sure that virtually every single component part has been manufactured and assembled by SIGMA, in Japan, with the greatest level of care and attention. We hope you enjoy using our products.
If you want to see how a particular SIGMA lens or camera performs, why not test drive it with our SIGMA Select hire service. Available for selected SIGMA lenses, short-term loans are free of charge (including shipping), with a small fee if you want to test it for longer. Refundable deposit required. Subject to availability.
21 elements in 15 groups
Angle of view
Number of diaphragm blades
9 (rounded diaphragm)
Minimum focusing distance
Maximum magnification ratio
Dimensions (diameter x length)
ø86.4mm × 182.3mm
Corresponding AF mounts
Canon EF | Nikon F | Sigma SA
Canon EF barcode
Nikon F barcode
Sigma SA barcode
Specifications are for Sigma SA mount
A special coating applied to the front element to help repel water and oil.
This suppresses flare and ghosting by minimising reflections within the lens, ensuring punchy, high-contrast results. All lenses in the current Sigma range feature this technology.
Sigma’s Optical Stabilizer function uses sensors inside the lens to detect motion, then moves specific lens elements in order to effectively minimise blur. This helps ensure shake-free images at slower shutter speeds.
This describes the degree to which a lens can magnify an in-focus subject. The ratio shows the relationship between the size of the projection of a subject on the camera’s sensor (the left number) and its actual size in reality (the right number).
Internal focus or an inner focus system means the lens configuration uses movable internal lens elements that adjust focus without changing the length of the lens barrel. This helps keep the centre of gravity of the lens more constant when changing focus.
Sigma’s Hypersonic Motor (HSM) uses ultrasonic waves to drive the autofocus mechanism. It is extremely quiet, fast and accurate, so is well suited to a wide range of photo and video applications.
The lens has an image circle large enough to be used on a full-frame camera. It can also be used on cameras with a smaller ‘crop’ sensor, provided the mount is compatible.
This switch, found on some Sigma telephoto lenses, allows users to limit the focusing range to either near distance or far distance. This helps speed up AF, and also ensures the camera won’t attempt to focus on an unwanted area of the frame.
The lens has a filter thread around the front element onto which filters and filter holders can be attached.
The mount is the part of the lens that attaches to the camera body. A coated brass mount is used for strength, and is surrounded by a rubber seal to keep out dust and moisture.
This switch toggles between autofocus and manual focus.
The diaphragm is constructed of nine rounded blades for a circular aperture opening and round out-of-focus highlights.