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View Full Version : Lenses: Nikon 18-70 vs Sigma 18-125 for D50



Quorthon
09-20-2005, 09:29 AM
Hi everyone,

I am currently on the verge of buying a Nikon D50, and am in the process of deciding what glass to get with it. I currently have 2 main options in mind, the Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-4.5 or the Sigma 18-125. My main purposes are family pics (got a little kid..) some landscape of course, portraits etc'. After reading reviews of both lenses on the web, I didn't find any direct shootout between these two. From what I gathered, here are some points-in-mind:

Nikon 18-70 Pro:
Excellent quality
Fast autofocus and mostly on-spot

Nikon 18-70 Con:
Limited zoom range

Sigma 18-125 Pro:
Very good quality
Higher zoom range

Sigma 18-125 Con:
Fear of getting a "lemon" - I heard there are quite a few
Unreliable autofocus at times

Now for some specific questions:

1) Which lense do you think or know, would have more distortion at the wide end?
2) Which lense will, in general, give sharper images?
3) Does any one have any experience with the 18-70 auto-focusing better than the sigma?
4) Am I loosing anything in image quality when widening my zoom range from 18-70 to 18-125?

I understand that some of these issues are just a matter of personal preference but I would like to know, for instance, if by getting more zoom (Sigma) how much am I paying in terms of image quality, AF etc'...

Thanx for any thoughts,
Or Dubnov-Raz

D70FAN
09-20-2005, 10:59 AM
Hi everyone,

I am currently on the verge of buying a Nikon D50, and am in the process of deciding what glass to get with it. I currently have 2 main options in mind, the Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-4.5 or the Sigma 18-125. My main purposes are family pics (got a little kid..) some landscape of course, portraits etc'. After reading reviews of both lenses on the web, I didn't find any direct shootout between these two. From what I gathered, here are some points-in-mind:

Nikon 18-70 Pro:
Excellent quality
Fast autofocus and mostly on-spot

Nikon 18-70 Con:
Limited zoom range

Sigma 18-125 Pro:
Very good quality
Higher zoom range

Sigma 18-125 Con:
Fear of getting a "lemon" - I heard there are quite a few
Unreliable autofocus at times

Now for some specific questions:

1) Which lense do you think or know, would have more distortion at the wide end?
2) Which lense will, in general, give sharper images?
3) Does any one have any experience with the 18-70 auto-focusing better than the sigma?
4) Am I loosing anything in image quality when widening my zoom range from 18-70 to 18-125?

I understand that some of these issues are just a matter of personal preference but I would like to know, for instance, if by getting more zoom (Sigma) how much am I paying in terms of image quality, AF etc'...

Thanx for any thoughts,
Or Dubnov-Raz

I have a D70 and used the 18-70 DX lens for about 6 months before buying the Sigma 18-125 DC. 9,000 frames and 12 months later, I haven't found a better full range lens for less than $600. The Sigma 18-125 is unique and the perfect day-to-day lens. The only negative is that there is some vignetting at the extremes of aperture (wide open) and focal length.

Most of the problems, that I have read, with Sigma lenses seem to be with Canon dSLR's, and low-light focusing, and that may be more a chip mismatch by Sigma than a fault of the cameras.

The majority of shots up on my gallery page have been taken with the Sigma, and a few with the Nikor 18-70 DX. So pictures may help more than words.

http://d70fan.smugmug.com/

D70FAN
09-20-2005, 11:13 AM
Sorry I forgot to answer the individual questions.


1) Which lense do you think or know, would have more distortion at the wide end?

A: Both about the same

2) Which lense will, in general, give sharper images?

A: Both the same at a given aperture. At f8 the Sigma is as sharp as any.

3) Does any one have any experience with the 18-70 auto-focusing better than the Sigma?

A: In my experience no.

4) Am I loosing anything in image quality when widening my zoom range from 18-70 to 18-125?

A: Not that I have seen, and in fact the 18-125 at f6.3 is arguably better at 125mm than the 18-70 DX at 70mm.

I understand that some of these issues are just a matter of personal preference but I would like to know, for instance, if by getting more zoom (Sigma) how much am I paying in terms of image quality, AF etc'...

A: In my experience (even with slight vignetting) there is no downside.

Thanx for any thoughts,
Or Dubnov-Raz

Quorthon
09-20-2005, 12:16 PM
Dear George,

Thanks for your time and for sharing your informative replies. I am happy to have you for a perfect target for my inquiries, since you, miraculously, have exactly those 2 lenses I was so eager to find out about... ;)

Based on your answer, it sure looks like my search is finally over. So it will probably be the D50 and the Sigma 18-125. I will try getting them either from the US or Singapore for best prices (I live in Israel). From what I've seen on local stores here, I can only get the D50 as whole kit and besides from being more expensive here than out-of-country (D50 + Nikon 18-55 + Sigma = ~1500$), it seems like a waste to have both 18-55 and 18-125 lenses. I just hope the lense doesn't turn out a lemon cause I really dont feel like shipping it abroad...

Thanx again for all your help (loved your site BTW),

Or

Quorthon
09-20-2005, 01:36 PM
One last question that I forgot - How does the Sigma 18-125 handle Manual Focus override? I remember reading that with the Nikon 18-70 you just go ahead and turn the ring, while the 18-55 requires switching button to MF. Since the Sigma has no button (does it?..) - how do I override autofocus?

Or

D70FAN
09-20-2005, 02:26 PM
One last question that I forgot - How does the Sigma 18-125 handle Manual Focus override? I remember reading that with the Nikon 18-70 you just go ahead and turn the ring, while the 18-55 requires switching button to MF. Since the Sigma has no button (does it?..) - how do I override autofocus?

Or

Flip the AF MF switch to MF on the camera. This will release the AF function on the lens. This isn't an EX HSM lens, so there is a little bit of manual operation required (one switch). ;)

Quorthon
09-21-2005, 10:58 PM
Thanx for the reply, George. That sounds fair enough... (having to move the A/M switch).

One last question (pardon my iterations...) about the Sigma lense and the D50. Are there any functions that will operate only with Nikon lenses, such as the 3d Matrix metering method, Auto Servo focusing(AF/A), or anything else, that will not be available when using the Sigma? Or does the Sigma lense allow using all the features of the D50 just the same as the Nikon lenses? Just want to put my mind at ease, or to know what features will be lost.

Thanx again for your help,
Or

Quorthon
09-23-2005, 06:37 AM
Regarding my question (one post above...) I found the following text on the web, regarding the 3d matrix metering system, which makes my fears even worse... :

"The 3D Matrix setting integrates exposure information from 420 areas across the entire screen ...... This information is enhanced (essentially made "3D") by the focus distance information shared from the microchip inside Nikon's D- and G-series lenses."

So here goes my question again... will using a Sigma lense with the D50 render this '3D-matrix-metering' feature obsolete? any other features compromised?..

Sorry for re-posting, but I just keep finding more hints to a problem existing, and haven't found on the web any explicit source to suggest otherwise.


Any info appreciated,

Or Dubnov-Raz

D70FAN
09-23-2005, 02:16 PM
Regarding my question (one post above...) I found the following text on the web, regarding the 3d matrix metering system, which makes my fears even worse... :

"The 3D Matrix setting integrates exposure information from 420 areas across the entire screen ...... This information is enhanced (essentially made "3D") by the focus distance information shared from the microchip inside Nikon's D- and G-series lenses."

So here goes my question again... will using a Sigma lense with the D50 render this '3D-matrix-metering' feature obsolete? any other features compromised?..

Sorry for re-posting, but I just keep finding more hints to a problem existing, and haven't found on the web any explicit source to suggest otherwise.


Any info appreciated,

Or Dubnov-Raz

The answer is, No. 3D matrix metering is part of the Nikon interface just as on Nikon lenses.

Quorthon
09-23-2005, 02:30 PM
Thanks again, George.

Sorry my questions may seem naive at times, I just want to make sure my entrance to dSLR world is as painless, knowledgeable and surprise-free as possible...

Hoping to post some pictures soon enough, so you can see some fruits of your assistance... ;)

Or

D70FAN
09-23-2005, 10:02 PM
Thanks again, George.

Sorry my questions may seem naive at times, I just want to make sure my entrance to dSLR world is as painless, knowledgeable and surprise-free as possible...

Hoping to post some pictures soon enough, so you can see some fruits of your assistance... ;)

Or

No problem. Just have fun.

P.S. Any reason for picking Quorthon as a login? Bathory fan? Never heard of them before I looked it up, but then I'm not a black metal fan either. ;)

Andy.ro
09-24-2005, 08:35 AM
well, i should start that 2 weeks ago i got my first dslr, the d50. The kit lens was not suitable for my needs and i decided to buy the body only + something else.

now ...since money is always an issue ... ( i live in the uk btw), i had 3 options:

1. 18-70 nikkor. 300 pounds;)
2. 18-125 sigma 200 pounds.
3.18-200 sigma 280 pounds.

i said ... ok ...i'll go for sigma. and for me it wasnt the best choice.

both sigmas are loud, no USM, and after a while it gets to you. i got the 18-125 and i must say it's no big deal. The quality is ok, but the zoom is external. on 18-200 the zoom is internal.

also, 3D matrix doens't work.

now i decided to return the D50 with the sigma and buy the d70s kit with 18-70 :) aaaaaaaaaaaalmost the same price as for d50+18-70 here in the uk. which is 730 pounds. 1100$ or slightly more.

my advice would be 18-70. how far will d70s kit be from what you've spent already? :)

Quorthon
09-24-2005, 08:50 AM
Something in your post confuses me... :confused:

Both Sigma lenses should support 3D Matrix Metering and all other D50/D70 features. I have this information from several sources already, including George Riehm from this site who has the 18-125, as well as from Sigma officials. :o

Apart from that - moneywise, I haven't spent anything yet, since my gear is to be purchased in a few days... But I'll probably be going for the D50 and not the D70 because of the size, the newer sensor and of course the lower price... Of course, there are a couple of features I might be missing from the D70 but hey, you can't have it all, can you?.. ;)

If you have any information that disagrees with what I wrote above, I would appreciate if you'd share it. BTW - are you sure the 18-200 has inner zoom? do you mean the 18-200 tube does not extend when zooming?

Thanx,
Or

NEL
09-24-2005, 02:10 PM
Tube extends when you zoom Sigma 18-200. It doesn't change length when focusing.
As for noise- I kind of like it, gives me additinal confirmation that autofocusing is comlpleted. And it is not loud at all.

D70FAN
09-24-2005, 08:57 PM
well, i should start that 2 weeks ago i got my first dslr, the d50. The kit lens was not suitable for my needs and i decided to buy the body only + something else.

now ...since money is always an issue ... ( i live in the uk btw), i had 3 options:

1. 18-70 nikkor. 300 pounds;)
2. 18-125 sigma 200 pounds.
3.18-200 sigma 280 pounds.

i said ... ok ...i'll go for sigma. and for me it wasnt the best choice.

both sigmas are loud, no USM, and after a while it gets to you. i got the 18-125 and i must say it's no big deal. The quality is ok, but the zoom is external. on 18-200 the zoom is internal.

also, 3D matrix doens't work.

now i decided to return the D50 with the sigma and buy the d70s kit with 18-70 :) aaaaaaaaaaaalmost the same price as for d50+18-70 here in the uk. which is 730 pounds. 1100$ or slightly more.

my advice would be 18-70. how far will d70s kit be from what you've spent already? :)

To each their own. Nothing wrong with the 18-70 DX, just too short for my liking.

The rest is personal perference. I've been shooting the Sigma for over a year and don't even notice the motor noise. ;)

Quorthon
10-05-2005, 01:09 AM
No problem. Just have fun.

P.S. Any reason for picking Quorthon as a login? Bathory fan? Never heard of them before I looked it up, but then I'm not a black metal fan either. ;)

(Sorry George, I didn't see your addition to the message...)

Caught red-handed... I was indeed a tight Bathory fan during my teens... the name just stuck from there. I am also so used in typing it, I do it in about 5 milisec... :rolleyes:

Or

D70FAN
10-05-2005, 09:08 AM
(Sorry George, I didn't see your addition to the message...)

Caught red-handed... I was indeed a tight Bathory fan during my teens... the name just stuck from there. I am also so used in typing it, I do it in about 5 milisec... :rolleyes:

Or

No problem, I miss messages all the time.

Thanks.