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Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC

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90 274946 Apr 29, 2013
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89% of reviewers $438.58
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.58
8.67
8.3
18-50f28

Specifications:
EX lens series denotes excellence of engineering and new technology.
Compact and lightweight zoom despite large F2.8 aperture.
Excellent correction for various types of aberration provided by one SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass element and two aspherical lenses.
Super Multi Layer (SML) coating reduces flare and ghosting from which digital cameras tend to suffer.
F2.8 large aperture standard zoom lens designed specially for use with digital SLR cameras.

The characteristics of digital SLR cameras were taken into consideration when designing the lens power layout. The new advanced lens design corrects various aberrations. This lens provides the utmost correction against lateral chromatic aberration which is a serious problem for digital SLR cameras.

This lens is specially coated to get the best color balance whilst cutting down flare and ghost caused by reflections from the digital image sensor and lens. It has excellent correction for vignetting and superior peripheral brightness is ensured.

A Special Low Dispersion (SLD) lens and two aspherical lens elements provide excellent correction for all types of aberrations. The design produces a compact and lightweight, yet robust, construction with an overall length of 84.1mm (3.3in.) and maximum diameter of 74.1mm (2.9in.) and weight of 445g (15.6oz).

This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 28cm (11in.). It is equipped with inner focusing system. The non-rotating front lens element makes the lens suitable for using its petal-type lens hood and circular polarizing filters.

It is an ideal large aperture standard zoom lens for digital SLR cameras featuring APS-C size image sensor.


 


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jgillard
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Registered: Oct 23, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $410.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build Quality/Finish/Usability/Speed
Cons:
You have to remove the lens hood to put on lens cap.

I have not had this lens for long but I am quite impressed with it. Focussing seems accurate with limited testing and colors/sharpness are great.

It has a good weight and seems to balance well on my 300D camera. I am replacing the kit lens with this one and it is a marked improvement.

I find it gives a good range to be paired with my Canon 70-200 F4 L.

I noticed that the lens is not quite 50mm at the telephoto end when compared to my 50mm prime, but it is close enough. It is probably closer to 48mm/49mm.

The only things that they could of really improved on this design was to fix the lens cap so that it could be removed without having to take the lens hood off. Also to use the HSM, but the focus is pretty speedy and not that loud.


Nov 18, 2005
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MashuriBC
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Registered: Sep 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Review Date: Nov 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $385.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: F2.8, sharp when stopped down, well-built, light weight
Cons:
Soft wide open, noticable CA, some vignetting on the wide end, AF can overshoot its mark

Very good walk-around lens for 1.6x crop cameras. I had mine rechipped to fix AF issues on my 20D. Since then, it focuses more accurately but still sometimes requires an extra press of the AF button or two. This has the typical Sigma warm color cast but that can be a plus, depending on how you like your photos. Overall, a great lens for the money that gives you F2.8 speed and excellent sharpness from F5.6 onward.

Nov 15, 2005
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platypus
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Registered: Oct 29, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast, small and light, sharp, contrasty, usable wide open
Cons:
Focus not fully reliable, soft edges at 18 (unless stopped down), noticeable CA

Had this one for a few days now and have been impressed with it's ability. I had read a lot of good reviews but was concerned I might end up with a turkey due to poor QC. This one has some edge inconsistency at 18mm (one side slightly softer wide open) but I can live with that becasue it is obviously a quality optic. Wide open at all focal lengths its pretty sharp in the middle with softer edges that improve a lot with just one or two stops down. I had hoped it would make a good portrait lens and indeed it's pretty good at 2.8 50mm but agree with others that it's real focal length is somewhat shorter at the long end. Down at f8 it is snappy and consistent across the frame from 24-50mm and not quite so hot at the edges at below 24mm- good enough though and noticeably better than the kit lens I sold on ebay. Actually, I kind of wish I had kept that kit lens as I had a good sample, but the Sigma is definitely a keeper, albeit a bulkier and heavier one. Pleased to get a 3 yr guarantee here in the UK. Having also purchased the very good Sigma 70-300 APO DG I am going to get my kit insured!! Now I am hankering after the Sigma 10-20mm but canot justify it's purchase just yet.(Can't keep it secret from the wife!)

Oct 29, 2005
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darylc
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Registered: Sep 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 46
Review Date: Oct 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $409.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast. Colors look great! Focus is spot-on, and f/2.8 makes the viewfinder bright.
Cons:
None.

Sigma really came through with this lens. If you have a 1.6x SLR, this the perfect walkaround lens! Because it doesn't waste glass focusing a full-size 35mm image, you get amazing performance in a relatively small package.

CA is very well controlled. Purple fringing is only noticeable on RAW images at 100% -- and that's with power lines and branches in front of a clear, sunny sky. Picture quality is at least as good as my 200mm 2.8L series II.

Overall, I'd say the images look better than the Canon 17-40mm 4.0L -- not surprising, since the 17-40 is built for full-frame 35mm. Long story shot: good job Sigma, this is my new favorite lens!

Bought from sigma4less.com. They were fast and didn't try to rip me off or upsell me. The 3-year warranty card (US) is an extra $20, which seems fair. Just be sure you ask for it if that's what you want, because they may forget to offer it.


Oct 16, 2005
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21kine
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Registered: Oct 15, 2005
Location: Belgium
Posts: 4
Review Date: Oct 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness, buildquality
Cons:
none so far

One of the best lenses I have, it's on my camera most of the time, together with my Tamron 28-70 f/2.8 and the Sigma 70-20 f/2.8
This is a very good lens, at least mine is, I heard of someone with a bad copy, but he got another one and now he's very happy with it.
For me, this is a lens I probably never will sell.


Oct 15, 2005
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FlyRN
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Registered: Sep 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 226
Review Date: Sep 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lens is very very sharp. Very good indoor zoom range, nice wide angle. Bright, punchy colors. Well built.
Cons:
None so far

I have only used this lens a brief time but am blown away by the quality. The lens is extremely sharp and the color is excellent. It focuses very quickly. I have used the Canon 28-105 3.5-4.5 extensively and while it's a good lens, the image comparisons between the two are much different than I expected. I lamented over my lens choice of the Tokina 12-24, Sigma 15-30, and this lens. I think I made the right discision. The Tokina would be a great wide angle but is more or less a specialty lens, I do some wedding photography and I would have to be standing on the groom to get a close up. The 15-30 sounds like a good lens but was more than twice the weight and 3.5 vs. 2.8. I don't have a fortune to spend on a lens so I have to be pretty picky about what I get. I think I made the right decision with this one. (It's nice to get a high quality lens that actually comes with it's own case and hood too.)

Sep 29, 2005
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barjanto
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Registered: Aug 27, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 22, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Solid Build. Reasonably fast auto focus. Sharp. Excellent color. Fast. Relatively light.
Cons:
None so far.

Ideal as walk-around lens. Good for potrait, indoor (f/2.8), and landscape. One of the best options available for this zoom range and aperture. Have been using it for almost 4 months. No complaints so far.

Some sample pictures: http://www.pbase.com/boedi/sigma



Sep 22, 2005
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barjanto
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Registered: Aug 27, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Solid build, excellent hood, reasonably fast zoom (even without HSM), excellent performance/price ratio.
Cons:
None so far.

It's my 2nd best lens I've after my 70-200mm f/4L. Have been using the lens for almost 4 months. It replaced the 350D kit lens right away and become my main lens for shooting indoor and landscape. Posted some sample pictures in different application (e.g. landscape, indoor, and outdoor).

http://www.pbase.com/boedi/sigma

Highly recommended! Wish Canon has the same range for its L lens. Smile



Sep 21, 2005
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sa45731
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Registered: Aug 26, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 1, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: See my previous post
Cons:
See my previous post

A couple of things I forgot to mention in my previous review.

The lens hood does not block the built in flash of the XT. But doesn't matter. Once you have a filter to protect the front element, you either use the hood or the flash right. And if you want to fill in outdoors, then the built in is not so good. I would recommend a 420ex for normal use.

I am so happy with this lens that the next time I press the lens release button on my 350D (XT) will be only to clean the sensor, or when SIGMA announces a 17-85 f/2.8 EX DG/DC IF OS HSM Smile which is not heavier than 500 gms and I know that atleast for the next two years that this would only be a dream.

I would like to thank FM for being instrumental in providing quality information and helping me upgrade from a point and shoot Olympus C-750 to a world of DSLRs. I thank each and every one of you who have been kind enough to present your views on various gears.


Sep 1, 2005
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sa45731
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Registered: Aug 26, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: f/2.8, SHARP, light weight, takes 67mm filters that are cheaper than 77mm ones, range, sexy hood unlike the 17-40 HAT.
Cons:
Only to mention (i.e., very minimum impacts for me) - No HSM (USM in canon's language) so AF makes noise, Zoom ring a little bit tight, but I guess i eases out as I use. Front Element moves (does not rotate)

I own a 350D (Rebel XT). This is my first DSLR. When I first got the kit, I had very high expectations of the KIT lens (18-55). After a few shots, when I tested them, I got the shock of my life and my next hunt started. This time for lenses. I started reading / surfing like crazy to get myself upto speed with basics of SLR shooting, lenses, etc..

Then i decided to go for the 17-85 IS. The range attracted me, though I did not pay attention to the speed. I tested the shots, and was still not happy. I missed my Olympus C-750 quality.

Ok, the next try was the 17-40 L. I thought it was going to be my everyday glass. Boy, I was disappointed again. I don't know how to explain, but the image quality was not upto the mark. Highly saturated colors, lack of brightness and many more to add to the list.

Then I was totally confused. If an L glass cannot satisfy me, then what else could ? I was thinking of getting out of the DSLR world and going back to my Olympus. I even tried my hands on a Nikon D50. Nikon's ergonomics was not what I was looking for. Canon is the best. I decided to give a last try by looking for a faster glass (having invested a lot of money now).

I went for the sigma 18-50 f/2.8. Man, this is THE lens. I took some tests and pics were excellent. I look for sharpness, CA, Vig and Distortions, and I am a very tough guy to please. Believe me, I had no complaints with these pics.

I am not a proessional, but I know what quality pics are. You don't need to be know how to make cars, but could well drive one and say if it is good or bad right ?

Pros :

Fast f/2.8 - I can shoot indoors and in less light environments, If you have kids (I have one) this lens is for you.

Light Weight - I dont like it when you carry something all day long, and every minute it reminds you that you are carrying it!

Image Quality - I shoot with Set 1 in my 350D (XT). My set 1 settings are the same as Parameter 1, with the sharpness set to +2 and the images are excellent (in my opinion)

Hood - My 17-40L came with a hat !! I wanted a hood, and got it with my 18-50 EX.

Recommendation - My recommendation would be to buy a 67 mm HOYA SMC UV filter (minimum) to protect the glass. I am now thinking of getting a CIR POL filter since I shoot through glass boxes during vacations when I visit mueseums.

Cons :

Well, there are no real cons for this lens in my opinion (for my needs) but to mention a few which I found in the lens:

Front Element moves - I thought it would not move since it is an IF lens, but I think IF means that it doesn't only rotate, could or could not move. But I don't care. It has a zoom lock at 18mm and that is good enough (in my opinion) to ensure safety.

No DOF Markings - You cannot set the lens to the Hyperfocal distance.

One big Con of this lens is that it is not a Canon L. It does not have a red ring around it. And so, there is no snob value. However, I like the golden ring. Looks very elegant with my black 350D - in fact better than the red ring Smile

Finally :

I gave it a 9 because of a philosiphical reason. Nothing in this universe is perfect ! Smile

If every cent you earn is important to you, and you don't earn a living by shooting, and this range is acceptable to you, go get this lens and keep shooting. Professional Quality lens (in my opinion) at a consumer price - probably only because it is not a canon !


Sep 1, 2005
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Y_vdm
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Registered: May 20, 2005
Location: Belgium
Posts: 1303
Review Date: Sep 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: build, focus noise not so loud, size, comes with hood
Cons:
focus unstable, soft on all apertures

Concept :

This lens would be the perfect all-day lens on my 20d body.

The build quality is OK, giving a pro feeling. However when touching the focus ring when focusing gives allways a "hum, ... be carefull" reaction.

Compared with the results from my 70-200 2.8 L (non IS), the Sigma is really soft.

What's really strange is that when focusing 3 times on the same subject (only central focus point enabled), it focus 3 times on different distances. I tried this procedure on various targets (short and long distances, ...). Trouble is that the infinity seems to be really far away as for a subject at a 200 meters distance, I'm not at infinity focus point .... and when refocusing, the results vary for the same delta that for 1-2 meters for close shots. As at end of the focus range this delta correspond to around 50 meters, I'm in the trouble.

Conclusion :

I need this lens, and will return back to Sigma for calibration. I hope that when it comes back it will be sharp enough.


Sep 1, 2005
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astrokwang
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Registered: May 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 45
Review Date: Aug 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $410.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Mine has really fast focus. Better sharpness/clarity than kit lens. Scratch resistant body. F/2.8 is useful in a pinch.
Cons:
Ultimately sharpness/clarity is worse than canon "consumer" primes (not the L primes). There may be quality control issues.

I've shot mostly Canon primes -- 24 f/2.8, 35 f/2, 85 f/1.8 -- and the primes beat this lens each time in terms of clarity/crispness of image (at the same f/stops). I'm a part-time wedding/event shooter and I find this lens barely acceptable. I've never used a Canon 17-40 or 16-35 so I can't comment on the comparison.

I don't know if I have a below average sample, but I partly based my decision on FStopJojo's reviews on his Pbase site. My Canon 24mm vs Sigma 18-50 comparison isn't a completely fair one as the 24mm exhibits obvious distortion. The 35mm prime -- which I always thought was a bit soft -- seemed to pull more fine detail than the Sigma at f/2.8 and f/5.6 and f/8. Comparing it with the 85mm isn't fair, but it proves again that the 85mm is an exceptional lens.

I'm using it with the Canon XT and it definitely beats the kit lens...but you already knew that. It'd probably make an awesome walk-around lens, but for the same price you can pick up 28 f/2.8 and 50 f/1.8 primes and have much better clarity.

BUT there is one area in which this camera seems better than my primes -- low light focus. I don't know why, but the Sigma seems to be quicker in low-light situations than all of my primes. For this reason alone, I think it's worth using as an event/wedding lens.





Aug 28, 2005
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Editorial
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Registered: Jul 25, 2005
Location: Ireland
Posts: 1
Review Date: Aug 21, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Beautifully built lens with all the trimmings but and I say BUT with a capital "B" do not buy one if you want clarity.
Cons:

Maybe I've been spoilt by using nothing but Nikon Lens to date, but this Sigma 18-50 has been extremely disappointing.
Soft across all settings and whilst I can live with the vignetting I cannot live with OOF for the kind of stuff I do.

The image quality with my D2X is totally unacceptable even at this price range so it'll be the first and last time I'll be purchasing Sigma or as my grandad used to say: "you pays for what you gets and did I listen!"


Aug 21, 2005
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megastream
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Registered: Jun 4, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 26
Review Date: Aug 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Had mine for 2 months now, had some truely outstanding results with this lens.

Highly recommend.


Aug 16, 2005
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troutmask
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Registered: Sep 22, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 23
Review Date: Aug 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheap, well built, comes with a hood, sharp, small.
Cons:
Noise! and it won't be any use when I can aford a DS!

The only non Canon Lens I have, and the only zoom.
I wanted a "walking around" lens for snaps and stuff and wasn't prepared to pay the price of a L zoom. I have had bad eperiences with Canon zooms at the cheaper end so thought I would give it a go.
Its great! not quiet up to L standard in build or A/F, and it proberally wouldn't be as sharp with more pixals but on my 10D it produces first rate results. As a wide angle lens it is as good as none L canon primes.
The build quality is really good and once again superior to the Canon build (except for L lenes obviously).


Aug 10, 2005
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sigsegv0xB
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Registered: Jul 12, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 15
Review Date: Aug 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: F2.8! Sharp in the center at F2.8, And improves to amazingly sharp stopped down. Build Quality is excellent, I love sigma's 'rubber like' finish. AF is *FAST*. Distance Scale. Form factor: 450g F2.8 18-50.
Cons:
No HSM (AF makes noise). Significant CA (I can live with it, can you?). Zoom lock only works at 18mm (WHY?). The focus ring is only a 45 degree arc from limit to limit, makes precise MF quite hard. No HSM, Major CA!

This lens is great, it's easily a competitor to Canon's 17-40L for image quality.

It is MOST certrainly worth it over the kit lens, comparing this to the kit lens is pointless, these products aren't in the same league.

Comparing to the 17-85 USM IS is not easy, because these are two different beasts competing for the same market (I think). The Sigma's attraction is F2.8 (I can shoot this in very low light @ high iso hand held and manage keepers). 17-85 IS USM's attraction is IS. IS is amazing, if you're shooting static objects there simply is no reason to pick the 18-50 over the 17-85, however, if you want sharpness and shooting things that like to move lots, 18-50 is the obvious choice.

This lens isn't perfect however, it has a serious problem: CA is HORRIBLE, it's amazingly bad! If you can live with it, then this lens if for you.

I like this lens a lot, What I wish for Sigma to add to next version is.

1. More SLD elements (or ELD even :P ) to eliminate CA (it's horrid)
2. HSM
3. Another 30mm of zoom (if possible without affecting the lens excellent sharpness and F2.8)

Why are you still here and buying one? Smile


Aug 9, 2005
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Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
90 274946 Apr 29, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $438.58
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.58
8.67
8.3
18-50f28


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