Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC AF OS Lens

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Updated to Add HSM on 8/23/08

Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Lens Top ViewThe built-in HSM motor is capable of auto focusing with all Nikon DSLR cameras. Compact and lightweight construction of 70mm (2.8") in diameter, 75.6mm (3.0") in length and weighing just 610g (16.35oz). SLD lens and Aspherical glass elements provides high image quality through entire zoom range. Sigma’s super multi-layer coating reduces flare and ghosting.

If you need a low light lens, this isn't it. If your primary objective is to take pictures in low light situation such as weddings and concerts, in the 18-200mm range you need 2 lenses, get the 18-50mm f/2.8 Sigma or Tamron 17-50 VC and a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens instead.

DC lenses special lenses designed so that the image circle matches the smaller size of the image sensor of most digital SLR cameras. Their specialized design gives these lenses the ideal properties for digital cameras, the compact and lightweight construction is an added bonus! including compact and lightweight construction. These lenses will not give a full image on 'full frame' cameras.

HSM means this lens will autofocus on Nikon D40/D40x, Nikon D60, Nikon D3000, Nikon D3100 and the Nikon D5000 DX Cameras

Superzoom
The term hyperzoom or superzoom is used to promote photographic zoom lenses with unconventionally large focal length factors, typically more than 4× and ranging up to 15×, e.g., 35 mm to 350 mm. The largest ratio for digital SLR cameras is held by the Tamron 18–270 mm, giving 15×. Some Digital Camera Reviews have even larger zoom ratios up to 35×. For movie and television use, Panavision holds the record with their 300X HD Lens.

While superzoom lenses have improved greatly in recent years, they still have a number of drawbacks in comparison with shorter-range zooms and prime lenses. Most notable is the much increased likelihood of significant distortions of the image at both extreme ends of the range. Other potential problems include smaller maximum aperture and poorer autofocus performance

Features

11.1x high zoom ratio lens with a built-in AF motor allowing autofocus with all Nikon APS-C DSLR cameras. 18-200 F3.5-6.3 DC lens for Nikon

This Sigma high zoom ratio lens, designed exclusively for digital SLR cameras, covers wide angle to telephoto focal lengths. The built-in motor is capable of auto focusing with all Nikon DSLR cameras. Two SLD (Special Low Dispersion) lenses and two Aspherical glass elements provide excellent correction for all types of aberration. Sigma’s super multi-layer coating reduces flare and ghosting and provides high image quality throughout the zoom range. The compact and lightweight construction of 70mm (2.8”) in diameter, 75.6mm (3.0”) in length and 395g (13.9oz) makes it ideal for field work. This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 45cm (17.7”) and a maximum magnification of 1:4.4. An inner focusing system also eliminates front lens rotation, making this lens particularly suitable for using the petal lens hood and circular polarizing filters. A zoom lock switch mechanism is provided to prevent the lens from creeping due to its own weight.

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Specifications
Overview
Lens styleZoom lens
Max Format Size APS-C / DX  
Lens focal length18 – 200 mm  
Stabilization type Yes (Auto panning detection)  
Camera mount Canon EF, Sigma SA, Nikon F (DX)  
Angle of view 76.5 - 8.1 degrees  
Aperture (lens diaphragm)
Largest aperture opening F3.5 - F6.3  
Smallest aperture opening F22.0 - F40.0  
Total diaphragm blades 7  
Aperture annotations rounded blades  
Optical
Total Elements 18  
Number of Groups 13  
Coatings / special elements 1 SLD glass element 3 aspherical elements  
Focusing
Minimum focus distance 0.45 m (17.72")  
Maximum magnification ratio 0.26 x  
Autofocus type Yes  
Lens motor Micro-type ultrasonic  
Full time manual focus Unknown  
Focusing method Internal  
Focus notes Micro Motor for Canon & Sigma mounts  
Lens distance scale Yes  
Depth of field scale Yes  
Physical features
Overall weight600 g (1.32 lb)  
Lens diameter 79 mm (3.11")  
Overall length 88 mm (3.46")  
Construction materials Plastic barrel, metal mount  
Lens color Black  
Zooming method Rotary (extending)  
Zoom lock switch Yes  
Filter thread size 72 mm  
Filter annotations does not rotate on focus  
Lens hood included Yes - Peral  
Tripod collar included No  
Notes Nikon and Sigma mounts


Lens Includes
Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Lens Hood

Petal-type Lens Hood, Front & Rear Lens Caps, 1-Year International Warranty

Accessories

Reviews Sigma 18-200 OS, One of Several Very Good, All Purpose, Walkabout Lenses, January 6, 2010

By Tiffany Ann (Black Diamond Bay)

This review is from: Sigma AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS (Optical Stabilizer) Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras (Electronics) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so, I think, is one's opinion of a camera lens. I've learned over the years that lens reviews are helpful, but they are just opinions. Yes, for sure, you generally get better optics with more expensive lenses, but it's certainly not a guarantee. And for reasons one can only wonder about, oftentimes two copies of the same lens will produce very different results. For example, my friend Sara, who is as nuts about buying (we're like compulsive buyers) and using Canon lenses as I am about buying and using Nikon ones, has a Canon EF-S 18-55 kit lens that produces images so tack sharp through its whole range that would make you cry.

And so it goes with super zooms, these wonderful lenses that go from pretty wide to very long. If you look at the reviews of any of them, some people claim horrible results, while others scratch their heads, because they're just loving them to death.

My first superzoom was a Sigma 18-200 which I got about five years ago and I was blown away with what I could do with just one lens. Plus my shots were pretty darn sharp. The lens was more expensive then, than it is now. It's still a good lens, it weighs a couple ounces less than a pound and if I only could have been satisfied, I'd have saved a bundle of money. Ah well. Anyway, I had an opportunity to try out the Tamron 18-200 as well back then, but I decided on the Sigma. It was a coin toss. At the time I thought both lenses would be good general, all purpose, walkabout lenses. They wouldn't be as sharp or fast as primes and wouldn't be as light as shorter zooms, but heck, one lens which went all the way from 18 to 200mm (okay 27 to 350mm in the real world), such a deal.

Both lenses were five star lenses as far as I was concerned, both still are, because they are what they are, a very good compromise. If you're expecting a lens that will reach out across a dark night and grab a shot of lovers making out by the beach, then you don't want these lenses, but if you're looking for a good general walkabout lens, both will suit you and they won't break your bank.

But they don't have image stabilization and when Sigma came out with it, I had to have it. So I shelved the Sigma zoom I had, (thankfully I didn't sell it) and bought the Sigma 18-200 OS and Sigma's Optical Stabilizer worked great. I got sharper handheld shots in lower light, but they came at a price, almost half a pound. It doesn't sound like much, eight ounces (7.6 to be exact), but try carrying it around on your shoulder all day long. I really noticed the difference, especially when I was shooting.

I probably wouldn't have gone to that auction site with my fairly new lens, if it hadn't been for Tamron. They came out with their Tamron 18-250 and I had to have it. A bigger reach, the heck with image stabilization. Not only could I go all the way from 27 to 375mm in the real world, but I got back a bit over six ounces, the lens was lighter. So now I had two super zooms, which was good, because I go out people shooting with my sister a lot.

So one would think I'd be satisfied, but when the Nikon 18-200 came out, well Nikon optics in a superzoom. I had to have it, so the Tamron went up for auction (because I just loved the Sigma, even though it didn't reach as far). The Nikon lens focused faster, but not that much faster then the other two, had image stabilization and was faster at the long end and it took great shots, but it weighed more than the other lenses, coming in at a whopping 20 ounces and it was creepy, creepy, creepy and with no zoom lock. The other lenses had almost no zoom creep and they had a zoom lock, which I never used. Very annoying the zoom creep was, still, great shots from a great lens.

Satisfied, well for awhile, then came 2008 and the Tamron 18-270 with their VC version of image stabilization and up for auction went my expensive Nikkor lens. Yeah, I still hung on the my first super zoom, the Sigma. For sure the Nikkor was a five star lens, but a girl can't justify more than two super zooms at any one time.

The Tamron lens actually weighed a fraction less than the Nikkor it replaced. It was a bit slower on the long end, was a bit stiff in the zooming, but easy to get used to and almost no, sometimes no, zoom creep and it has a lock. It's just simply one heck of a lens. Sometimes it's a bit slow to autofocus in lowlight, but still I think it finds its focus faster than I would, but not as fast as the Nikkor.

I should add here that Nikon has upgraded their 18-200 adding a zoom lock. I've played with one and not only have they added that zoom lock, but it doesn't seem to creep nearly as much, but that could just be the copy I used. I should also mention that Sigma has come out with their Sigma 18-250 OS which I was lucky enough to use for a month. That is just one super fine lens. It focuses fast and I think it finds its focus better in low light than the Tamron 18-270. Also this new Sigma has a super quiet motor, though I've never really been bothered by the sound of a focusing lens.

By reading other reviews of these lenses, I've learned that they are all subject to zoom creep, so I suppose in the main, I've been lucky. All of these lenses are very good, at least all of the copies I've used. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of them. However, if you go with Nikon, you're going to be paying an awful lot more. You get a slightly faster lens on the long end and you get Nikon quality, but Sigma and Tamron give quality as well and Tamron warranties their lenses for six years, so they're pretty confident that they're building a great product (and now they're part of Sony).

So through my whole super zoom experience, which one do I wind up using the most? You guessed it, that Sigma I bought five years ago. Like the proverbial Timax, "It takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'." If the day is bright and I'm going people shooting it's the one I put on my camera, because it's light and it's images are true.


Pluses: This is really a fantastic lens. No lens creep like the Nikon 18-200. So why spend the hundreds of dollars more for a lens that has the lens creep. I prefer the Sigma over the Nikon for 1) price, 2) the distance scale on the focusing ring which Nikon eliminates on many newer lenses, and 3) the metal lens mount instead of the plastic used on many Nikon lenses.

 

Minuses: May be a little heavy for some users. Makes more noise than the Nikon image stabilized lenses.    The focusing ring takes a little time to get used to. It is not like the Nikon with internal focusing ring. I had to learn to not accidently turn the focusing ring when it is engaged. The focusing and zooming grip are not as distinct as the Nikon grip pattern.

Overall:

If you are looking for a great walk around lens that will eliminate the need to continually change the lens on your camera, and are satisfied with very good pictures (rather than spectacular!), then this Sigma 18-200 HSM is the lens for you! A wonderful all purpose lens that allows shooting in low light conditions because of the Optical Stabilization feature. The f/6.3 is not an issue as long as you're not shooting sports where a quick shutter speed is necessary. If you shoot a lot of sport shots, the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 would be a better choice.

Compare this lens to the Nikon 18-200mmSigma 18-250mm, Tamron 18-250mm, Tamron 18-270mm and the Tokina 16.5-135mm Lenses

Photos shot with the Sigma 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Lens. Click a Photo for larger Image

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