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Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Wes Jordan, Apr 17, 2006.
How is this lens? Any hands-on experience with it?
No hands on, but from what I've seen its a pretty respectable lens. Especially given its price, $230 off sigma4less.com
the best review I've seen is down though.
i've got the 18-200 sigma, but i'm not really happy with it. it seems to be hard to get sharp pictures out of this lens. I think i am going to replace it with the new 17-70 sigma, and later buy an 70-300 APO (also sigma).
the 18-125 get's better reviews than the 18-200, look around on the dpreview.com forums, a lot of info there.
If you can't get good pictures with the 18-125 good luck with the 70-300. I'm guessing your hand holding your images? Try taking a tripod shot of something at f8 it should be plenty sharp at all focal lengths. That said the 17-70 is slightly better, if for nothing else the extra stops it gives you.
yeah, that reminds me, gotta buy a tripod as well
it's the 18-200 i have btw.
what do you shoot with?
Since you're not happy with the Sigma, maybe you might want to buy lenses made by the manufacturer of your camera? To me it just doesn't make a lot of sense to buy a Nikon or Canon body and then stick some third-party lens on it, especially if that third-party lens is very inexpensive. Both Nikon and Canon also make consumer-level fairly inexpensive lenses, too, if you've got a tight budget. For instance, Nikon's new 18-200mm VR lens is outstanding, an amazingly sharp and versatile lens, and yet it's really not that expensive and really beats the 18-200mm Tamron by a mile. I don't know much about the Sigma 18-200, but I'm sure that the situation is the same there, too.
The ugly truth is that many of the affordable designs from the likes of Canon and Nikon, and many others - are made by the likes of Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina. If one looks closely at the Minolta and Pentax offerings, one can see that they are very close to what Tamron offers.
Are you kidding? Sorta like saying you buy a computer and will only use that manufacturers software with it.
Tell me, is there a Canon equivalent of this?..
Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG HSM
or this in the same price range?
Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC
Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX DG HSM
The list goes on. And canon has no equivalent to the 18-125mm either. The bottom line is that for people who don't want to spend THOUSANDS of dollars on good f2.8 zooms. I know my Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG Macro is every bit the lens the Canon 24-70mmL is at 1/3 the price. (it doesn't have HSM though but it focuses very fast anyway)
what do you think about the lenses i plan to buy (the 17-70 and 70-300)?
i'm just an amateur, and a student! i see the sigma lenses you use are all the EX type, but thats a bit out of my range (pricewise).
Personally I would go with the Canon 28-135 IS lens. Thats if your shooting Canon.
not really wide enough for me
i do landscape and architectural photography most of the times.
The 17-70mm is a good lens, a good review was done by fstopjojo, but unless he moved his website it has been taken down.
The Sigma 70-300 APO is slightly better than canon's older 100-300 and 75-300mm lenses. But not by a whole lot. The new canon 70-300mm IS is a much much better lens optically, even sharp at wide open apertures.
My favorite review site has it reviewed now http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/sigma_1770_2845/index.htm
Its a bit dissapointing for 17 and 24 mm wide open, but 24mm at f5.6 is very very good. And 50 and 70mm are very good wide open. When reading this site I tend to think of that anything under 1500 is soft, and over it is aceptable for most things and 1750 is sharp.
Some people look at paying the price for the camera manufactures lenses as an investment of sorts. They do tend to hold their value better, and seldom are there rechipping issues that pop up with some Sigma lenses from time to time.
But I know what you mean, I have the Tamron 28-75 f2.8, and that lens is sharp and well corrected. On my Canon it focuses a little slower than a USM would - but the cost difference made it worth while.
Sigma will rechip lenses for free usually if they aren't ancient. Also its not that big of a deal because even if a new camera body doesn't work with it, how much does that affect me? I could always keep it on the camera body I already have or buy a body it does work on. Or just resell the lens. Also from what I've seen good sigma lenses hold their value too, I wish they didn't so I could pick up some cheap ones on ebay. But alas sigma4less.com is generally just as cheap as ebay.
Uh....no, I'm not kidding. I chose the camera system I did -- Nikon -- because I like not only the way they do camera bodies but the lenses that they produce. Nikon makes good glass and I don't think anyone can argue otherwise. As it happens, I don't use Nikon's software in my computer, either the program which comes bundled with their cameras or Nikon View. Had a bad experience many years ago and figured that, hey, Nikon is not really a software company anyway -- they do optical glass and they do camera bodies very well, but the other-- well, that's when I go elsewhere (Photoshop and Aperture).
You sound awfully defensive here. Did I hit a nerve? Sorry about that.
Frankly, I don't know and I don't much care. I really have no idea of the full range of Canon's offerings, as I've never been a Canon shooter. I also don't know what Sigma, Tamron, Tokina or other third-party vendors offer as substitutes for Nikon lenses either. I will say that a year or so ago when I bought my D70 that I did buy a Tamron 18-200 lens, which I found "OK," but not outstanding. When Nikon came out with its 18-200 VR, I snapped one up and used it, compared it against the Tamron and found the Tamron to be lacking, so the Tamron was sold back to the dealer.
The other day I was chatting with a fellow photographer, yes, another Nikonian, who commented that he'd gone through a real metamorphosis and an expensive one as he got more and more into photography. He'd started out with a D70 Nikon body and kit lens and then in search of greater range and reach bought several very inexpensive lenses. He looked at his images and time after time was disappointed. He saw other people's images and there was the "wow!" factor and all that, but he could tell that there was more to it than that, as in his own images he had good composition and correct exposure....finally he realized that he needed to make an investment in better lenses and after he did so saw the rewards in the better appearance of his images. Composition and exposure values were the same, but there was a distinct difference in the sharpness and overall quality. Mind you, I'm not talking about him having invested thousands of dollars in pro-quality lenses, simply that he'd taken a step beyond the very inexpensive third-party lenses with which he'd started out.
As Chip mentions, there is also resale value to be considered. Now I don't buy lenses and equipment with an eye to resale value but if it comes to a point where I want to sell off a lens or camera body for some reason, yes, I would expect that I would get more for one with the Nikon name. Many years ago I was in exactly that situation, it being a case where I had to sell off some equipment during a period of unemployment. I had Nikon-branded equipment and I'm sure that this made a difference when I walked into the camera shop and said, "hey, I've got this stuff...."
Again, I see some real defensiveness and hostility going on here.... As I said, I don't know that much about Canon lenses and their ranges so couldn't begin to respond to your comments and questions. I will say that one thing that's important to remember is that we don't always have to depend on zoom to get what we want....there's definitely a lot to be said for good old "foot zoom." Prime lenses very often will take a photographer where zooms cannot, and this has nothing to do with the range covered.... A lot of times one can pick up a good (and faster) prime lens or two for a lot less money than for a zoom.
In the end, it's not so much the camera body or the specific lenses on it which can make the difference, it is the photographer's creative vision....
I sound defensive? Frankly Nikon has no alternatives to the lenses I listed either. You seemed to have looked the other way about this.
My favorite review site http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html is starting to fill in Nikon lenses, and I must say I'm not impressed by anything but the 85mm prime (a $400 lens and doesn't even have a focusing motor built in ) and the 18-200mm.
Most large zoom lenses like 18-200mm's are not very good. Nikons lens is a very new design and easily costs twice what the sigma and tamron lenses do. But sigma and tamron and tokina don't really have the budgets to try to win on all the fronts. Sigma doesn't put HSM into any of their normal zoom lenses, and they don't make any normal primes that are not dedicated macro lenses.
I think its almost evil to come into a thread where a guy is asking about a $260 lens and you tell him to look at Canon lenses instead. Then start talking about a $800 Nikkor lens that is about on the same level (less sharp and more distortion at 18-30mm) than the lens he's considering.
I recently went through the same metamorphosis as your friend. But it was from consumer grade Canon lenses like the 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 USM to more expensive Sigma EX lenses. I see a huge difference in speed and sharpness. So much so that after a few months with them I deleted a few photo albums I had taken with my old lens, they just weren't good enough. If I had decided to stay purely canon, the two Sigma lenses I have now that cost me about $900 total. Would cost me $2400 to replace with their canon equivalents (24-70L and 180mmL). Canon doesn't really have a "good" consumer lens, even canon's so so 28-105mm costs $240 retail right now, which is quite close to the sigma 18-125mm he is talking about but is a much much better lens and wider angle to boot.
Yes, I looked the other way, inasmuch as I didn't bother with third-party lenses and have been gradually building my lens collection with pro-quality Nikon lenses which have and will continue to meet my specific photographic needs. Therefore I really don't know what Tamron, Tokina or Sigma has to offer in many Nikon lens mounts and I'm not interested in knowing because I either already have the Nikon lenses I want or will at some point in the future be buying them. Yes, it takes longer to build a set of high-quality lenses than it does a group of consumer-quality lenses and for a while there are going to be gaps in a range. I only just recently filled in a couple of gaps -- in the mid-range and in the tele range. The lens I've added in the long range, giving me more reach, is one I bought used from a friend and while it's not a "pro" lens it is still a Nikon lens and certainly seems to be sharp and to have the quality that I want. I do know of the Sigma "Bigma," and I must say, size-wise, that's one heck of an impressive lens! I've seen a few samples of images from it but that is a lens which is not under consideration for me for several reasons, primarily size and weight, never mind anything else. I have ruled out several outstanding pro-quality Nikon lenses for the same reason. I just can't work with a 6 or 7 pound or heavier lens. Cost factors in there, too -- I'm not in a position to plunk out thousands of dollars for one lens any more than most of the rest of the participants on MR are.
I'll have to take a look at that site; haven't heard of it before. For reviews I tend to check out DPreview, Steves-digicams and Imaging-Resource. There's another one, too, but right offhand I forget its name. Also I particularly value comments made on sites such as Nikon Cafe (since I'm a Nikon user) from people who have bought and used the lens or camera body in question. You mentioned the 85mm f/1.4 lens -- yes, that is highly prized among Nikon users because it not only focuses extremely well on the subject, it has an especially nice, "creamy" bokeh.
Look, Sonny, suppose you just try out a Nikon camera body, either the D70/D70s or the D200, and the 18-200mm VR lens before you make such blanket statements. Yes, you're right that MOST 18-200mm zooms aren't that great -- the third party lenses just are not up to snuff -- but the quality coming out of that Nikon 18-200 VR has really surprised a lot of us. Only today someone posted some images on Nikon Cafe and since he has the 18-200mm VR and also the 35mm F/2D, several people tried to guess at which lens he'd used -- turns out that it was the 18-200mm VR. This is a surprisingly sharp little lens and actually Nikon could probably charge much more for it than they're asking and still have a lot of eager buyers. Zoom lenses of today are of very high quality so times have changed from when the mantra was that primes were better than zooms. Actually, many people STILL feel that primes are superior to zooms and certainly when it comes to shooting under low light conditions, there are a lot more really fast primes than there are zooms.
Evil? That's a strong word! Good grief! I suggested that the original poster check out whatever lenses Canon has in the budget (consumer) level. I can't give specifics because I'm not familiar with Canon's offerings. I mentioned the Nikkor 18-200 VR because it is something with which I AM familiar, the price is not over the moon -- we're not talking thousands here -- and maybe Canon has something somewhat equivalent somewhere along the line in its offerings of consumer-level lenses. I don't know, but I was simply suggesting that the OP look at whatever Canon offers rather than just jumping into third-party lenses because they're less expensive.
I can't respond knowledgeably to this because I don't know the Canon system and what is/is not offered in the various price ranges/skill level ranges, nor do I know about the third party lenses which are offered to replace those lenses or fill in the gaps.... Heh, actually, since you're so enamored of Sigma, why not go all the way and buy a Sigma DSLR body, too?
Obviously you are happy with your choices and you are satisfied with the results you're getting when you shoot, so that's great. In the end that is the most important thing, that the consumer be happy with his/her choices and that he or she be able to work well with whatever lenses are on his or her camera....
To be fair, I know of no camera company truly offering these type of lenses.
For "different" focal lengths like the 100-300 Sigma, Canon does offer a 100-400L lens with IS. And Nikon offers a 80-400 lens with VR. Yes, they are stop slower at the longest length. Yes, they are more expensive than even B&H or my own shops pricing - but they do offer some sort of image stabilization. They also go 100mm further. In the end you have to be happy with your lens purchase. As Clix Pix has heard me say time and again in the shop I work at, I can tell you that XYZ is the best lens. But if you don't see it, then it is not worth the extra price one pays.
Something that I do when some one comes in to look at binoculars, is when they ask to see the "best", I take out a low end and a couple of others (typically a Canon IS and a pair of Leica binocs). Sometimes they see no differnce between a $80 pair and a $800 pair. Sometimes they do, and they have to make the choice on quality and price. In the end, they make their choice, based on their needs.
Lenses are harder to do like that. That is why we offer 14 days for exchanges and/or returns. No real hassle. Just return it in the same condition that we sold it in.
I should repeat what I have posted here elsewhere. I have also owned and used Leica RF cameras and lenses. I know what quality of an image can look like under the right hands in processing. I also don't like overspending. So some of my lenses for my Leica are Cosina/Voightlander offerings.
Going to pick on you, the Nikon is not twice as much from main line stores. I will not working for a main line store pander to those that will search just a cheap price. My shop is selling the 18-200VR for $700, and the Tamron 18-200 for $399 (with a free Domke F5X bag). Close to your claim, but it fails to note that the Nikon has the AF-S focusing motor. And the Tamron does not have the VR function.
We have an employee that uses his Tamron 18-200 as his regular lens for his pro shoots. As long as he and his customers are happy, that is what counts.
I think it is evil that you pander such low costs sites for Sigma lens purchases. For service and support are very important equations.
But I share some of your concern. Taking Canon as an example, many here trash the 18-55 Canon lens. I have many customers that are very happy with the results from that lens.
There are few lenses for DSLR's that are perfect in the distortion field. And the pixel peepers that photograph a straight line grid don't seem to realize that there are few times that the distortion is a real issue in the final image.
Good for you. Maybe you need to switch to film and single focal lengths in order to get even better quality images.
This is sad IMO (not seeing the images that you deleted). Who knows what gems that we can't share in. I doubt that Bresson, Adams, and so many others "deleted" their work because lens quality improved.
For it is the subject that matters in a photograph for others to enjoy. For it can be a "blurry" pinhole image, or maybe a shot from a lowly Kodak Instamatic 104.
Yes, there have been shots that I wished would have been done with a "better lens". But in the end I let them stand on their own. And they are some of the shots that get the best comments.
Price is not the only factor, as I have said. Glad that you have found lenes that do what you expect. Just don't feel that this is the only solution for the "rest of us".
In a previous post you mentioned the Sigma 18-50 2.8 lens. IMO the Nikon 17-55 2.8 is much better than the Sigma offering. There is also the issue of color fidelity between brands. And now we have Canon with their offering with IS.
Hey Clix, he is only sharing his opinion on not using the lens in real world situations. One only has to look at my post from my trip to Reykjavik. London, and Williamsburg to see the quality that the 18-200VR has to offer. Even I was surprised at what this lens can deliver.
In the end we chose the lenses that will do the job we want. There are those that will be happy in choosing by price, and like you there will some that choose by brand. I like to think that I am in that happy middle ground.
I for one am looking forward to third party offerings in the 50-135 range with apertures of 2.0 or 2.8, at affordable prices.
Though Jared would disagree, I would personally rather buy a Tamron or a Tokina over a Sigma lens. As long as all things are close to being equal. Chip issues play a part. But also personal experiences over the past 20+ years, with quality issues with Sigma.
Tamron ranks high on my list because of the 6 year warranty.
Evil might be a bit strong, even though I used it too. I only wish that Canon offered an equal to the 18-200VR. It would have saved me from buying the D50 to match up with this lens.
There is something to this with the Foven sensor.
If anything Jared's response of Sigma or nothing does rankle some of us that do see value with the choices we have made.
So right you are. You from what you have told me, are happy with the choices you made. As I am with the choices I made on the Nikon and Canon systems I own. The 18-200VR and the 10.5 fish-eye are the best purchases I ever made.
On the Canon side, I think the Tokina 12-24 (which I traded to a Nikon mount - thinking that a D200 is in my future) is the best there is for price/vakue in an ultra-wide for a DSLR. I already spoke about the Tamron 28-75 2.8. The 75-300IS is an OK lens, the new 70-300IS is said to be better. The 28-135IS is a decent overall performer. None of these beat the 28 2.8 or the 50 1.8 mkI lenses. I also have what I found to be the excellent 17-40L lens.
At this point I am looking at getting rid of the 28-135IS, the 75-300IS, and maybe the 28 and 50. The only reason I am keeping the Canon system is due to my getting a second 420EX and ST-E2 transmitter as an early XMas present to myself.
It maybe soon enough that I will relent and let go of my XT and and the lenses I wanted to keep.
Um it is the f1.8 I was talking about, no 1.4, that costs $1450.
Blanket statements? was it not the line before that I said I was impressed by the Nikon 18-200? The nikon 18-200 is a sharp lens stopped down as are most. Sheesh read will you, ask me why I'm defensive? Maybe I don't like your "tone" "sonny".
Umm then why would you tell him to check it out? I think $800 is closer to $1000 than $260 is.
All the lenses I talked about have Nikon mount variants. Oh and AH ha ha ha ha, god thats a good one.. I suppose I have no reason to be defensive, after all I'm just a stupid Sigma lens enthusiast, stupid me for saving money.
And to the rest, Chip you work at a weird store, cause your nikon is cheaper than Amazon, and your Tamron is more expensive than Amazon. I wasn't going around looking for the best prices I have been quoting Amazon.
The nikon 17-55 f2.8 might be "slightly" better than the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 being as it is a full frame lens. But they aren't even in the same ballpark on price. The nikon nearly 3 times as much on amazon (more when you consider sigma4less.com). Also sigma4less is a good store, I've had to send a lens back, and they sent me another. I don't know what kind of "service" you need from a store selling you lenses. The lens is obviously warranted by the manufacturer. Except for trying various lenses out, but thats why I read a lot of reviews and am well informed on the matter.
EDIT: This entire argument might be summed up with a car analogy. If on a message board someone says "How is the Hyundai Sonata, anyone have hands on experience with this car?" And people reply "a korean car in america? Jesus, pony up for Chrysler 300M." Then they're being elitist.
If you look at real world examples the 18-200VR is really great/good wide open.
You need to take a look at your posts about Sigma lenses and that website you mention in in every breath to understand Clix's comments, I had to wonder if you were spamming.
[quote}All the lenses I talked about have Nikon mount variants. Oh and AH ha ha ha ha, god thats a good one.. I suppose I have no reason to be defensive, after all I'm just a stupid Sigma lens enthusiast, stupid me for saving money.[/quote]
Just because you are happy is no reason to deride others that are willing to spend more for lenses that some feel are better than what Sigma offers. I do not totally support Clix in total devotion to Nikon. You have found a lens series you are happy with. Maybe it was your constant posting of links to that website.
Sorry but here is the page with the 18-200VR: http://www.penncamera.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=7093.
As to the Tamron pricing we are equal to the couple links that I looked at after the FREE Domke bag. Add to that it seems that you are only concerned about the final cost. Never mind the fact you ate cheating your state from tax revenue. But there are service and support issues. At my shop we provide FREE shipping and handling for products purchased from us, And we don't hassle over returns.
That is your opinion.
Glad to hear you are happy so far.
Service can mean a free loaner to complete your photo needs. To be honest I m loaning my own personal 420EX to a customer that I have dealt with for a long time. If there are rebates, will they fight for you? Or if you ever have a lemon, would they do everything they could to make you happy?Did you have to pay shipping and handling charges? Our customers don't.
You are happy with reading reviews in order to make up your mind. Others are wanting to see the results for themselves.
I'm a scientist, I don't believe a lens is going to perform better in the "real world" over how it does in the lab. Or anything else you cannot duplicate in controlled conditions. And my comment stands, the nikkor 18-200 is a very new design. As with all new designs we should expect they will be better than "current or old" designs (the tamron and sigma). Here is the conclusiong from photozone, remember this guy has reviewed a lots of lenses on his site.
So people are hostile when you post links to sites? I could have posted the same links to Amazon if that would have made everyone sleep better.
The post with the 3 links was almost rhetorical, no lens manufacturer has anything close to those lenses for even twice what they cost from Sigma. And I'm not trying to "deride" people, remember I'm being "defensive" not "offensive".
Well this is pointed, if I order from Amazon I am not, but if I order from your site I am(cheating). So are you saying that people buying online should only order from their state? But your site doesn't cary any Sigma products, so the argument is pretty academic.
No it isn't, there are optical limits to how good a lens can be. The Sigma 18-50 is so close to it that I cannot believe the Nikkor 17-55 will be "much better". Other than maybe focusing and VR, but when you consider lenses that cost 3 times as much, you expect them to be "better". EDIT: Ah ha, I just realized this is a DX lens(not full frame), we'll see soon enough photozone has it in for reviewing.
You do charge them shipping and handling, it just comes out of your markup. Don't be ridiculous. It isn't like every time someone orders from your store, your store goes "darn it there goes money from the bank". Anyway "my" store did sell me a lemon, I already said that, and they sent me a new one.
This morning I half expected either my stuff would be edited or the thread wasteland. From this point on I'm not going to respond to any more heckling. So have fun with it. I'm not going to be in this pissing match.