Support Cameralabs by shopping at our partner stores or donating via Paypal
 






Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
 
  Latest camera reviews

Sony Cyber-shot H400
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Nikon COOLPIX A
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
 
 
   
 
  Best Buys: our top models
   
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories
   
 



Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
   
 
  DSLR Tips



 
Free Shipping on ALL Products
Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC lens review Gordon Laing, July 2006


 



 




Delivering a focal range equivalent to 27-300mm, the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC is a highly versatile lens. Its massive 11.1x zoom range allows you to capture both wide landscape shots and decent close-ups of distant subjects such as wildlife without worrying about carrying additional lenses.

Unsurprisingly a lens with this kind of focal range is rarely going to perform as well as one with a shorter range, but we were impressed overall by the results possible. Certainly unless you're into extreme wide or telephoto work, or demand the ultimate quality, you could really be very happy with one of these lenses. Indeed many photographers could fit one and never take it off again - and that's not only highly convenient but also greatly reduces the potential for dust to enter the camera body.

So an 18-200mm could be the ideal lens for you, but since the Sigma and Tamron models essentially cost the same, which one should you go for? Or is it really worth spending double on the Nikkor version?

Looking at the Sigma and Tamron results first, both lenses scored similarly in many respects: their macro, fringing, geometric distortion and vignetting results were essentially the same with only slight variations. Where they differed were in our outdoor and corner sharpness results.

As can be seen on our corner sharpness results page, the Sigma clearly doesn't perform as well as the Tamron in the extreme corners at both their 18 and 200mm focal lengths. Switch to the outdoor test taken at a focal length of 35mm though, and the Sigma clearly takes the lead over its rival. Comparing their physical characteristics, the Sigma's a little smaller and lighter than the Tamron, while its focusing was slightly quieter. They're subtle differences though.

Ultimately there's not a great deal between the Sigma and Tamron 18-200mm lenses. A couple of our results favoured one over the other, but neither took a decisive lead overall. Since the prices are essentially the same, we therefore have to call it a draw between the Sigma and Tamron models, and leave the ultimate decision between which personally looks and feels better in your hand.

Which brings us to the Nikkor. It may offer the same focal range, but sports three key differences. Most importantly, there's the inclusion of Vibration Reduction which as we illustrated in our Nikkor 18-200mm review, effectively combats camera shake. Secondly there's the slightly optically faster focal ratio of f5.6 at the telephoto end. Third, the Nikkor model boasts noticeably superior build quality which extends to the smoothness of the mechanics and silence of its focusing. In terms of our results, it also took the lead in corner sharpness and vignetting at wide angle, although the macro reproduction was less impressive.

The Nikkor 18-200mm is clearly a superior lens in many respects, but only you can decide if its benefits justify paying twice the price of the Sigma or Tamron. While we at Cameralabs believe its worth spending the extra on the Nikkor if you can afford it, anyone on a tighter budget can't fail but be impressed by the sheer value of the Sigma and Tamron lenses. They both offer a very impressive deal for the money and come recommended.


Good points
Highly versatile 11.1x zoom range
Great value
Relatively small and light - great travel lens
Polariser-friendly internal focusing

Bad points
Tamron version very similar
Pricier Nikkor version has anti-shake
Pricier Nikkor version is optically faster
Pricier Nikkor version has better build quality


Scores
(relative to other zooms)
 

Build quality:
Optical quality:
Specification:
Value:

Overall:

17 / 25
19 / 25
20 / 25
22 / 25

78%
 
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs