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Sigma 18-125mm F3.5-5.6 DC

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Reviews Views Date of last review
58 182736 Aug 30, 2008
Recommended By Average Price
76% of reviewers $241.20
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.17
8.13
7.0
4882618_125dc_1_

Specifications:
Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the new 18-125mm F3.5-5.6 DC. This zoom lens was exclusively designed for use with digital Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras and has 6.9 times high magnification zoom ratio. Image circle is designed to match the size of the image sensor of digital SLR cameras. A Special Low Dispersion (SLD) and two pieces of aspherical glass elements produce high level of optical performance through the entire zoom range and also this has resulted in a compact, lightweight lens. This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 50cm (19.6in.) at all focal lengths and equipped with inner focusing system. Since the front of the lens does not rotate, "Petal Shaped Hood" and a circular polarizing filter can be easily attached and used. This lens is also equipped with "Zoom Lock Switch" that eliminates "Zoom Creep."



 


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Remy
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Registered: Mar 9, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 177
Review Date: Sep 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Price, contrast, overall quality, zoom range
Cons:
vignetting, non-constant aperture, slow AF

It's a great lens, for the money. Don't expect miracles: but for the price, it's great. High points are the zoom range and pretty good image quality for this price: low points are the slow/noise AF and vignetting at large apertures. Also, at 125mm f/5.6 is not fast at all: but then again, it relates to the price.

Definitely a great walkaround lens for people on a budget who don't mind the drawbacks.


Sep 22, 2005
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kvolaa
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Registered: Sep 18, 2005
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: lightweight, versatility, good optical quality (1 stop down), zoom range. ideal for travel. Better is 18-200 DC.
Cons:
18-125 vignetting, 18-200 is better. At 18mm slight CA. At long edge ocassionally front-focused (if you auto focus twice, its OK; simply half-press shutter release twice, next fire)

Good universal zoom for travel. Excelent zoom range. 18-125 vignetting, I recommend Sigma 18-200, it has no vignetting (and better range).
Sometimes front focusing at long edge. Simply try focusing twice, it helps (maybe bad settings in focusing servo feedback - little gain in difference apmlifier).

Surprisingly good zoom for everything. If I can have only one lens, it is Sigma 18-125 (or better 18-200, which I bought now).


Sep 18, 2005
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baumgart
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Registered: Jul 15, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 15, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: good range, compact size, price, non-rotating front, lens hood included
Cons:
image quality, sharpness, not suitible for making images much larger then 5x7

I purchased this lens used to use as a walk around lens and for traveling light. The focal length range is excellent, the size and weight are very convinient. Unfortunatly I was not impressed with the image quality. I found that images printed at 4x6 looked quite plesent. But I was disapointed with images 8x10 or larger. The images looked soft although the colour was good. I also think that the new price is to high, here in canada you can purchase the sigma 24-60 2.8 for only $20 more, in my opinion a much better choice for a walk around lens, you lose range but you gain in speed and quality.

Jul 15, 2005
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DavidWEGS
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Registered: Apr 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3799
Review Date: Jun 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $269.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: impressively sharp given the range. Focus is quick enough. Great street lens. The range is very useful.
Cons:
Vignetting visible but easily corrected in PS. Slightly noisy AF.



Jun 14, 2005
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YellowBullet
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Registered: Jan 14, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2432
Review Date: Jun 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $225.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, light, sharp, good color & contrast, price, zoom range
Cons:
Slow aperture, distortions on wide and long end, focusing can be iffy at long end

This is a great, great little lens. I bought it to use as a walk-around when I don't feel like lugging my bag full of primes, and was I pleasantly surprised.

The lens is SHARP. If you stop it down 1 stop from wide open, you'll get some impresivelly sharp pictures.

At 125mm, it gets a bit soft, so stopping down to F8 or F11 is a must.

There's very noticeable distortion on wide and long end. There is also vignetting wide open, but only noticeable in shots of clear blue sky.

Either way, those things are very easily corrected using PTLens. Lack of detail, however, that you'll have if you use any other zoom in this price range, cannot be recovered.

No CA to speak of at any focal length or aperture.

Focusing can be a bit iffy at full zoom. At other focal lenghts, I use a parfocal focusing tecnique: zoom all the way in, focus, then zoom out and compose your shot. Works like a charm.

If you use this lens as a 18-105mm walkaround, use the 125mm end only for focusing, and don't mind correcting distortions or vignetting in software now and then, it is a fantastic little lens that has no alternative for the price. Highly recommended.



Jun 9, 2005
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jmccoy
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Registered: Apr 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1108
Review Date: Jun 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $240.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, zoom range, decent autofocus.
Cons:
Not the sharpest lens I've seen, but respectable for the price.

I bought this lens to replace the 18-55 kit lens on my 300D. I'd say that their quality is somewhat similar in the 18-55 range, but obviously this Sigma has more reach, and I believe it gets sharper at longer lengths. I can confidently say I am glad I did not go with the Canon 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 or pay a lot more for the Canon 28-135 IS.

The lens itself is somewhat heavy.. not uncomfortable, but it's noticeable when you first try it out. I think it would be well balanced by a battery grip, but I did not have the grip on when I was testing it out.

I highly recommend this lens as a general walkaround lens for people on a budget. I think you will not be disappointed.


Jun 6, 2005
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simplecam
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Registered: May 19, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Price, value for money, focal range
Cons:
Heavy distortion at wide end, AF noisy, not very useful for low light situations

I bought this lens together with my EOS350D. For me a digital SLR was completely new, after 30 years of analog SLR shooting. This lens is absolutely useful as walk-around lens. So far I didn't notice any of the backfocus-problems that other people reported.
I have used it now for about 6 weeks, and I'm really happy with it. In the meantime I have rented a Canon 100-400 L IS during 1 week, and as I could expect, the difference was really obvious. But what could you expect?
The Sigma 18-125 is not an L-lens, but it offers good value for the money.
What bothers me most, is the heavy distortion at the short end. If you intend to shoot buildings in a city on holiday, this lens is not for you. Between 18 and 20 mm heavy distortion is clearly visible.
Also in low-light situations you might get into trouble. This lens is not the fastest lens. For this reasons I intend to buy at least one faster 2.8 lens. I prefer to shoot without flash if possible. But for holiday, daily shooting and walking around this lens offers decent pictures for a very reasonable price at a very interesting focal range.


May 19, 2005
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joele
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Registered: Apr 2, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Very sharp considerng the range and price (see cons though), great range, Internal Focusing, Light, feels pretty well built..
Cons:
QC, backfocusing at wide open and wide focal length

For the money and considering the range this lens is amazing.... if you get a good copy... Sounds familiar doesn't it, a lot of people complain about bad QC with various sigma lenses, even EX lenses.

My first lens was very soft on the left hand side... If it was all soft I may have just thought it was rubbish and not exchanged it. But as it was soft only on one side I returned it and they replaced it on the spot... The second sample I got was very good, much sharper than I would have expected. So do not buy this (or maybe any?) Sigma lens from somewhere you can't exchange it....

Even though this sample is sharp I have discovered one other problem, wide open (3.5) at focal lengths from 18-35 it tends to backfocus... beyond 35mm or when stopped down 1-2 stops this problem goes away... I live with it as I know when to use MF and when I can trust AF. It is a problem but considering how usefull the focal range is, and how surprisingly sharp it is when you keep this in mind, I am happy to accept this fault....


May 16, 2005
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Navyblue
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Registered: Mar 27, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1906
Review Date: May 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp through out the aperture and focal length, internal focusing.
Cons:
Noisy focusing motor, focusing ring can be firmer.

I have done a side by side comparison with Canon EF 50mmf/1.8 II. I was expecting huge differences between an "original" prime lens and a "third party" zoom lens, but I was wrong. Yes the Canon EF 50mmf/1.8 II is sharper, but just by a tiny weeny bit at 100% crop, which is unlikely to be noticable even at large prints.

Sharpness is very consistent through out the aperture range. Lens is sharpest at f5.6 and f8 at full wide angle and full telephoto respectively. The difference of sharpness between widest aperture and optimal aperture is minimal. The lens says f3.5-5.6 and it is really good at f3.5-5.6, Unlike the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II that says f/3.5-5.6 and f/1.8 but you wouldn't really want to use them at those appertures.

Focusing motor is noisy. But it is not something that I mind, may be I am weird but sometimes I prefer hearing it to know that the AF is working.

I'd prefer the the focusing ring to be firmer but that was just nitpick as that is the case with all AF lenses except those from the top of the line.

Definitely a nice upgrade from Canon kit lens Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, especially in term of corner sharpness, and the range is very useful and great for travelling if you can only bring one lens.


May 8, 2005
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dhphoto
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 10112
Review Date: May 1, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 1 

 
Pros: Light & small
Cons:
Everything else, absolutely dreadful, BY FAR the worst lens I have ever owned (and I've had a few stinkers)

Awful, just plain awful.

The lens apparenty thinks infinity should be 15 feet away. Flatly refuses to focus on anything more than that far away. Distant hills, mountains, birds, all are apparently within spitting distance according to this sad optic.

Apart from being hopelessly slow (f5.6 from 60mm to 125 - even my 5x4 lenses were faster than that!) The 'focusing' is both noisy and innacurate and the image has a 'chroma' around it making it look terribly digital.

Nor is it particularly sharp (when you switch to manual and actually focus it properly). I couldn't trust it take a picture if my life depended on it.

I'm too embarassed to sell it on ebay because I think I'd be a fraud - shame it came mail order from overseas and I can't send it back - not that I'd really want a replacement anyway.

Terrible, terrible, terrible.


May 1, 2005
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sculptor
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Registered: Apr 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $239.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: cost, zoom range
Cons:
unreliable auto-focus (particularly at infinity)

I bought this lens to replace the Canon kit lens (18-55mm) for my new Canon Rebel XT (which by the way has a decent review in the May 2005 issue of Popular Photography). The first copy of the Sigma 18-125mm lens I had wouldn't focus past 15 feet. I exchanged it. The focus on the copy I have now is inconsistant. The problem is for distances greater than about 15-20 feet but especially when shooting at infinity. It is sometimes front focusing. This isn't necessarily a problem if you are shooting at 18mm up to 24mm if you consider the hyperfocal distance which is about 10 feet at f/8 when shooting at 18mm and 17 feet at f/8 when shooting at 24mm. No problem if the autofocus winds up at 15 feet instead of infinity (maybe even better for your shot). However at longer focal lengths this is a problem (of course you can focus manually but the lens should work properly). Since I can't exchange anymore I will have to send it back to Sigma. From what I read in an earlier review here I might not get it fixed. I should add that I called Sigma about the first copy I had before I exchanged it and they said that "most auto-focusing problems are the fault of the camera sensor- not the lens". This lens is reviewed in the February 2005 issue of Pop Photography. The conclusion is "A good DSLR zoom for the money." No mention of the focusing problems that have been mentioned in these reviews a few times. For you Canon users with the 18-55mm kit lens the Popular Photograhy conclusion:"Go take high-quality pictures and forget the rest."

Apr 29, 2005
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perpera
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Registered: Mar 11, 2005
Location: Denmark
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Cheap. Good range
Cons:
Soft. Very noisy AF

Bought mine for the Rebel XT, but returned after a week. Way too soft and very noisy AF.

Apr 25, 2005
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GuilhermeB
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Registered: Jan 25, 2005
Location: Brazil
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent cost X benefit, very sharp, zoom range
Cons:
A little bit noisy, maximum aperture

I was watching for a “point and shoot lens” for my Canon 300D and a friend from Pentax told me about this product. I realized some tests comparing my Canon 70-200 f4 "L" and SIGMA 18-125mm F3.5-5.6 DC lens and the loss of quality was not too significant (of course, we are talking about a U$250 lens).
I don’t have focusing issues but AF operation is slow.

For this price, there are no relevant cons.





Apr 22, 2005
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beograd
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Registered: Oct 31, 2004
Location: Serbia & Montenegro
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharpness, price
Cons:
Not really for this price

I bought this lens as a 'walk around lens' for my Canon EOS 20D. It performs better than expected and I'm very happy with it. I expected some more visual difference compared to my 20, 28, 50 and 100mm prime lenses.

OK, it is not as sharp and contrasty as the 50 and 100mm primes, but for simple 'point and shoot' work it performs really well. Distortion can be corrected easily by PTLens.

Especially stopped down one or two stops the lens performs excellent.

For this price highly recommended.



Apr 11, 2005
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kschan
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Registered: Mar 27, 2005
Location: Philippines
Posts: 62
Review Date: Apr 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharper than the 300D Kit lens, more reach (zoom), slightly brighter
Cons:
heavy, sometimes a little short on the long range, and a bit noisy.

Have a 300D with lens kit (18-50mm) and a kit lens (28-80mm) from an older 35mm EOS 300/rebel. That initially gave me a range from 18-80mm with two lens. Not happy with the soft picture quality and have to change lens frequently, was looking for a better walk-around afforadable lens.

Did a lot of research at www.pbase.com and this site. Have to thank this site for the big help.

Canon lenses (good ones) are too expensive and have to work around a budget.

Got to learned about third party lens from a retailer that introduced me to a tamron 28-300mm. Not very convinced about third party lens, it took time for me to decide until when I decided to try it out, the lens was sold out already. So I went back to the internet and started researching and stumbled into Sigma. (Of course would have wanted the 18-200mm for the extra reach but it was not yet out in the market.)

So, I was initially looking at the Sigma 28-300mm Macro to compliment the lens kit but I did not regret switching the purchase to the Sigma 18-125mm DC after reading this site's review. Even if I am short of the range from 126-300mm, the lens performed very well for the price and was a better choice. My expectations for this lens was at par with the reviews. I also tried the 28-300mm which kind of a bit lower contrast than the 18-125mm.

Had used the lens on a vacation and took 300++ shots with it. Most turned out nicely. Flash Exposure using the built in flash (for 300D owners, they know the underexposure of flash situations) worked slightly better with the Sigma lens than the kit lens. Satisfied on improved sharpness as compared to the kit lens and looks like this lens will be glued on my camera for a long while. (This is kind of good for DSLR to minimize sensor dust contamination.) My lens kit will be up for the closet for a long time and am selling the old 35mm EOS 300 with the lens kit.

It won't turn the 300D into a P&S camera because most P&S have zoom range of 35-100mm (35mm equivalent) while this lens gives me a zoom range of 28-200mm (35mm equivalent).

Was not bothered initially with the AF noise but lately am noticing it.

I think it is the best valued lens around today.

For people under budget, won't go wrong buying this lens for their first walk around lens. I will only frown when the 18-200mm lens comes out and outperforms this lens, but the price will probably US$130 more. So I'm okay with is lens!

Keith


Apr 7, 2005
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austai
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Registered: Feb 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 27
Review Date: Apr 7, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $270.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Built quality, sharp at close distances
Cons:
Obvious front-focusing at far distances, poor Sigma service

This lens works great with my 300D, providing sharp pictures IF the subject is within 15 meters or so. Beyond that the lens focuses further and further in front of the desired subject such that by infinity, the desired subject is noticeably blurred, while intermediate objects like the grass are much clearer.

I've been told switching to manual focusing controls the focus point but haven't tried it. Besides, it should work right out of the box or the manufacturer makes it right, which gets to my next point.

Sigma's repair center is atrocious. I can deal with a faulty lens at purchase if the manufacturer fixes the problem when I send it in. After all, we all know how quality can vary from sample to sample.

But Sigma's techs either don't know how to read or they purposely ignore people's explanations of the problems. Twice I've sent it in and twice they sent it back unfixed saying their focus tests showed the lens was "ok". At least they include the pictures they took on a CD each time so I could see that their focus tests were of close subjects, which would not show the problem, which they would have known if they'd read my very descriptive letters explaining the issue.

Anyway, if you get a good sample, good for you, but if not, be prepared to pull your hair out trying to get Sigma to fix it.


Apr 7, 2005
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Sigma 18-125mm F3.5-5.6 DC

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
58 182736 Aug 30, 2008
Recommended By Average Price
76% of reviewers $241.20
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.17
8.13
7.0
4882618_125dc_1_


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