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Archive 2012 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....
  
 
veroman
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


I recently purchased a t3i as my travel camera of choice. Great camera. Superb with very good to great glass.

Until now ... and except for the behemoth Canon 28-300 IS lens I'd owned for a time ... I've pretty much steered clear of the lower cost and lighter super zoom lenses in that coveted 18-200 and 28-300 range. But I recently read some very good things about the newest version of the Sigma 18-200, the 18-200 OS II. One user review in particular pushed me in that lens' direction. I decided to give Sigma the benefit of the doubt ... which is a big step for me 'cause I am not at all a fan of Sigma products. I've not had good experiences with them, cameras OR lenses.

So I purchased one of these Sigma 18-200s this morning, brought it home and immediately put it through some pretty basic, simple, straight shooting kinds of tests.

Bottom line: it is the single worst lens I have ever put on ANY camera, film or digital. Even when it focused accurately ... which it rarely did ... the images it produced on the t3i were totally unnatural, as if something had come between lens and camera and had decided to interpret the subject matter in its own way. Fine details ... a hallmark of these Canon 18MP sensors ... were totally lost to this lens, at any focal length and aperture. Color was noticeably off and contrast was on very much on the light side.

More importantly, every single image was soft, soft, soft, soft and soft. No amount of USM could save these pics. And Sigma's version of IS ... which they call OS ... was hit and miss. Sometimes it worked as promised. Most times it didn't live up to its "3 stops."

It's possible I got a bad copy. But I decided I didn't want to exchange it for another only to find out that the 2nd copy was the same. I could have sent it in to Sigma .... but to what end? To have them tell me it's "within spec?" To have them "fix it" only to return it to me with exactly the same poor performance as when I sent it in? ... then to go through that back and forth episode a few more times until they got it right?

Canon's 18MP sensor embedded in the t3i, 60D and 7D absolutely demands the best glass you can afford. What I've decided is that few manufacturers are designing their lenses to match the sensitivities of these new sensors. However, great glass is great glass, and if it's really great, it will only bring better and better results with each new generation of cameras. Some of my older NIkons and Canons perform splendidly on the t3i. A few don't.

So I brought the Sigma 18-200 back to the store and exchanged it for the old, trusty, totally incredible and reliable Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 ... which performs better on the t3i than on any other crop camera I've ever used it on. It's a great lens. Always was. Always will be. Hard realities sometimes have to hit you square in the face before you can fully come to grips with them ....

- Steve



Feb 20, 2012 at 10:47 PM
reno.peterson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


Could you post a couple of the "Best" resulting examples from this "unremarkable" lens...


Feb 20, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


The sig 18-200 is not known to be any good. However there are some decent super zooms around.
The sig 18-250(I think) is meant to be much better. Tamrons 18-270 is said to be good also.

However I don't see much point to lenses like these. They never get that small (I see many rebels hanging at awkward angles around people's necks.)
As a travel set I'd rather have a twin set 18-55&55-250



Feb 20, 2012 at 10:55 PM
stanj
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


Ian.Dobinson wrote:
As a travel set I'd rather have a twin set 18-55&55-250


The 18-55 and esp 55-250 are quite unremarkable. Not sure about the Sigma in Steve's post, but still, may be more of the same.

The point of a hyper zoom is that you don't have to switch lenses. The 28-300 on my 1Ds3 is the ultimate P&S setup, albeit a bit heavy and pricy, but it can conquer pretty much anything in daylight. That's worth a lot to me (and I end up using it far more than the 24-105).



Feb 20, 2012 at 11:01 PM
brockwhittaker
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


I made that same mistake. It is definitely one of the worst lenses I have ever tried (except the 18-50 f/3.5-5.6 Siggy that my friend had). Now that I have upgraded to a 5D, and some L's, I can only think of all the shots that would have actually turned out if I'd have just had a decent lens.


Feb 20, 2012 at 11:04 PM
leftymgp
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


I dunno, tough to have your cake and eat it too with lenses. Something has to give - it might be low price, great optics, FL range. Can't have all 3.


Feb 20, 2012 at 11:25 PM
kevindar
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


the sigma superzooms are generally crap. the best on the crop is the 15-85 is, a 5.5x zoom lens. as for true superzooms, the original tamron 18-270 vc, and canon 18-200 probably get the best overall marks on canon (though it seems that nikon has managed a little better with their 18-200).


Feb 20, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Monito
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


reno.peterson wrote:
Could you post a couple of the "Best" resulting examples from this "unremarkable" lens...


With EXIF intact so that we can see the shutter speed and the focal length.



Feb 20, 2012 at 11:26 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


You should buy a Pentax body just so you can try the SMCP-FA 28-200. It's the most worstest!


Feb 20, 2012 at 11:35 PM
veroman
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


Monito wrote:
With EXIF intact so that we can see the shutter speed and the focal length.


I'd oblige, except I didn't save any of those images. Why would I?
- Steve

P.S.: I just looked at some of the test images from the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. It's only $100 more than the Sigma I brought back and, of course, doesn't have anywhere near the focal range. But for $100 additional, I got myself well over thousands of dollars more in quality. My travel glass will be the 17-50 and their 28-75 for a total range of 27-120. It'll have to do.



Feb 21, 2012 at 12:15 AM
 

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timbop
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


A cheap 11x zoom didn't perform too well at 100% on an 18MP sensor. who knew?


Feb 21, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


Steve -- That is a bummer. At least you tried something new. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I'm with Stan on this. The 28-300L on a heavy 1-series body is an amazing thing! I'll go a step further, and say it's pretty good with 500-series flash (550EX or 580EX).

I started pursuing super-zooms with the oft-maligned EF 28-200 f/3.5-5.6 USM. I found it quite decent, but slow to AF. Still, it was a good, reliable used lens for very little money.

That got me interested in the 35-350L, and despite some nay-saying in older forum remarks and reviews I was researching, I found it a wonderful lens very good AF.

And those lead me to the 28-300L, with enough WA, very fast AF, and the much needed IS.

I like the 15-85 IS on crop (Steve, don't you just love those 18MP bodies!), but sorry to say, I didn't care for the Tamron 17-50/2.8 non-VR on the Nikon D7000. Maybe it was the Nikon, but I got rid of it due to focusing errors and slow AF. The 15-85 has been 100% for me. (I have witnessed some outstanding results from a Canon 18-200 on a 50D, the only occasion I've seen such files on computer.)

So, that's my current super-zoom line-up: 60D with 15-85 IS, and 1Ds2/1D2 with 28-300L.



Feb 21, 2012 at 12:46 AM
veroman
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


timbop wrote:
A cheap 11x zoom didn't perform too well at 100% on an 18MP sensor. who knew?

Like I said ... reality sometimes has to smack you real hard before you give up on some kind of a dream ... in this case, a dream lens; the kind you can just leave on the camera 100% of the time and get all the focal range and quality you need for all your shots for all time to come. Yeah, sure ....
- Steve



Feb 21, 2012 at 12:59 AM
veroman
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


Gunzorro wrote:
Steve -- That is a bummer. At least you tried something new. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I'm with Stan on this. The 28-300L on a heavy 1-series body is an amazing thing! I'll go a step further, and say it's pretty good with 500-series flash (550EX or 580EX).

I started pursuing super-zooms with the oft-maligned EF 28-200 f/3.5-5.6 USM. I found it quite decent, but slow to AF. Still, it was a good, reliable used lens for very little money.

That got me interested in the 35-350L, and despite some nay-saying in older forum remarks and reviews I was researching, I
...Show more

I've owned two copies of the 28-300 IS and used them on my 5D, 1Ds II and my former xsi. Loved it on each camera. But it ended up being just too damn heavy for me, especially with the 1Ds II, of course. So I gave up on it and have been searching for something with that range in a smaller, lighter body. The closest I've come is the Panasonic 14-140, which I used on my Panasonic GH1 for an effective 28-280. I found its sharpness and renditions to be excellent in most instances. The problem: it's an M4:3 lens for an M4:3 body, which makes it pretty useless at ISO 400 or up ... certainly at ISO 800. But the lower ISOs, a really nice lens. For now, two lenses are going to have to do. I'm fine with that ....
- Steve



Feb 21, 2012 at 01:04 AM
veroman
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


Gunzorro wrote:
Steve -- That is a bummer. At least you tried something new. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I'm with Stan on this. The 28-300L on a heavy 1-series body is an amazing thing! I'll go a step further, and say it's pretty good with 500-series flash (550EX or 580EX).

I started pursuing super-zooms with the oft-maligned EF 28-200 f/3.5-5.6 USM. I found it quite decent, but slow to AF. Still, it was a good, reliable used lens for very little money.

That got me interested in the 35-350L, and despite some nay-saying in older forum remarks and reviews I was researching, I
...Show more

I was very interested in the 15-85 and almost went for it, but the price gave me second thoughts, particularly with its f/3.5 max and when I've already got reach to 75mm at f/2.8. I decided to go for complimenting my 28-75 with the 17-50. But I've heard and read really good things about the 15-85.
- Steve



Feb 21, 2012 at 01:07 AM
morganb4
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


SIgnificant MAlfunction


Feb 21, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Betacamman
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


I got a lot of use out of Sigma's 18-125s, the OS and non-OS. Perfectly decent lenses, especially for the price.


Feb 21, 2012 at 01:47 AM
cputeq
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


possible your lens required MFA-- Did you try manually focusing on a target to see if sharpness improved?

I have a fairly low expectation of the superzooms, but from what you say it sounds like something maybe amiss (though I havent used this lens...maybe it IS that bad!)



Feb 21, 2012 at 02:22 AM
omarlyn
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


morganb4 wrote:
SIGnificant MAlfunction


Ooh…I like that…but I still prefer 'Stigma'.

Omar



Feb 21, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Cicopo
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · A big, heavy dose of reality ....


Call me crazy or lucky, don't know which will be correct but I've owned both versions of the Sigma 18-200 & got rather good results with them, but they were only used on 20D & 40D bodies. I now have a Tamron 18-270 VC as my one lens lightweight travel lens on a 7D. It's not L quality but but I've done some R/C events with it & it produced good results. I took that combination on vacation (just got back Thurs) not knowing there'd be an air show so as much as I wish I'd taken better gear I did what I could with what I had. This was the first time I shot an air show (full scale planes) plus I wasn't sure about shutter speeds to use & had to shoot towards the sun for most of the event.










Feb 21, 2012 at 03:09 AM
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