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Sigma 18-50mm F3.5-5.6 DC

Review Date: Jun 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Weight, size, wide-angle (for a crop sensor), metal mount (unlike the competition), manual focus ring superior to other cheapies, price
Rotates when focuses, noisy AF

I'd like to make clear that this review (and the rating) compares the Sigma to it's competition - that is Canon 18-55mm "kit lens" and other brand equivalents.

The Sigma has a metal mount (versus plastic on all other cheapies), a far superior manual focusing ring being much larger than the pitiful attempts on Canon and Nikon kit lenses, with a much nicer feel to it than one would expect from a 70 lens. There is some barrel distortion at the wide, but photozone tests show it doing better than the other kit lenses.

The Sigma is small, light, cheap, and wide on crop sensors. If these are the criteria you are looking for, the Sigma is probably the best thing in anywhere near this price range. The next step up would probably be the F2.8 EX Sigma of the same focal length, or a Canon 17-85mm.