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View Full Version : Sigma & Tamron 18-200 review



TheObiJuan
04-26-2005, 03:19 PM
The review was posted on here already. Just getting the word out to those that have not seen it.

The sigma 18-200 is just as good as the sigma 18-125 and better in many aspects. I especially love the minimal vignetting. The sigma has better build quality and even a metal lens mount. It has zoom lock, I dont know if the tamron 18-200 does.

I wish the sigma had the same true focal range that the tamron 18-200. It appears that the 200mm end of the sigma is more like 170mm or so. Or it could be that the tamron 200mm is more like 230mm.
When I get it I will do some testing.
Here are some pics that I borrowed from a Japanese review. Credit goes to them for their hard work. ;)

I labeled and assembled them to illustrate the difference.

Note the sharpness.
http://www.styleandspeed.com/theobijuan/pics/hyperzoom1.jpg
Note the chromatic abboration.
http://www.styleandspeed.com/theobijuan/pics/hyperzoom2.jpg
This one is at 200mm at f/6.3 and 1/1250
http://www.styleandspeed.com/theobijuan/pics/sigmabokehcrop.jpg

Bluedog
04-26-2005, 04:25 PM
Maybe I should have waited ... :( ... nah I'm pretty satisfied with my 18-125 for now.

TheObiJuan
04-26-2005, 07:32 PM
here you go George. ;)
I noticed that the 18-125 does give more contrast. The extra sharpness increases acutance, which makes images sharper. It is sharper at 125, it's maximum focal length, just like the 18-200 is very sharp at 200, it's maximum focal length. At 80mm, though, the sharpness is astounding. To tell you the truth, the only difference is the gain in "75mm" and less vignetting.


http://www.styleandspeed.com/theobijuan/pics/lens_tests/3lenstest.jpg
http://www.styleandspeed.com/theobijuan/pics/lens_tests/3lenstest135.jpg

TheObiJuan
04-26-2005, 07:33 PM
http://www.styleandspeed.com/theobijuan/pics/lens_tests/3lenstest18.jpg
http://www.styleandspeed.com/theobijuan/pics/lens_tests/3lenstest80.jpg

TheObiJuan
04-26-2005, 08:43 PM
It should be worth noting that the sigma 18-125 in the 125-135 test shot was shot at f/6.3, which is stopped down 1/3 stop, where the 18-200 was wide open. This could have an effect in adition to the 18-125 being at the end of its focal range (125).

Savannah
04-27-2005, 04:44 AM
I went to BH Photo to check out the Sigma 18-200 for my XT and saw this note. I was wondering if it will be compatable with future camera purchases or should I only expect to be able to use this with my current camera?? :confused:

(*)Note: Not compatible with 35mm cameras or digital cameras using full-size image sensors (e.g. Canon EOS 1Ds or Kodak DCS PRO SLR/c).


BTW......Nice work and great review!!


Stacy

gabester
04-27-2005, 05:47 AM
I went to BH Photo to check out the Sigma 18-200 for my XT and saw this note. I was wondering if it will be compatable with future camera purchases or should I only expect to be able to use this with my current camera?? :confused:

(*)Note: Not compatible with 35mm cameras or digital cameras using full-size image sensors (e.g. Canon EOS 1Ds or Kodak DCS PRO SLR/c).


BTW......Nice work and great review!!


Stacy

Well it depends on whether your future camera will have a full-size (36 x 24 mm) sensor, just like a 35mm film frame. The two cameras mentioned above (16 MP and 14 MP) are already there. The lens will project an image on the relatively small APS-C sensor that's not much bigger than it; if you switched to a full sized sensor the image will be smaller than the sensor and the edges will look darkened (vignetting). I'm not sure what future trends will bring, but it'll be while before you're forced to trade that lens for one with a bigger image. One thing is sure though - if cameras are to remain small (small lenses), the sensor will need to remain small; the only reason the Tamron and Sigma 18-200s are as tiny as they are is because the APS-C imaging circle is small. Okay, I'm done with typing the word "small" now.

Ray Schnoor
04-27-2005, 05:52 AM
I went to BH Photo to check out the Sigma 18-200 for my XT and saw this note. I was wondering if it will be compatable with future camera purchases or should I only expect to be able to use this with my current camera?? :confused:

(*)Note: Not compatible with 35mm cameras or digital cameras using full-size image sensors (e.g. Canon EOS 1Ds or Kodak DCS PRO SLR/c).


BTW......Nice work and great review!!


Stacy

As long as your future camera purchases are not cameras with full-size image sensors. Currently, cameras with that size of sensor are considerably more expensive than your XT, but who knows about the future.

Ray.

Bluedog
04-28-2005, 05:25 AM
Click here for more sample pics from Sigma 18-200mm (http://www.dpchallenge.com/forum.php?action=read&FORUM_THREAD_ID=197613) ... this lens is looking pretty nice.

jcw122
08-24-2005, 02:08 PM
Hmm...I'm thinking these 18-200 Sigmas will be worth it compared to the 18-125, I mean it will save me money of buying RAW vignetting correction capable software (like Nikon Capture...$100!)

D70FAN
08-24-2005, 06:16 PM
Hmm...I'm thinking these 18-200 Sigmas will be worth it compared to the 18-125, I mean it will save me money of buying RAW vignetting correction capable software (like Nikon Capture...$100!)

If you have the $400 it's probably the better choice. I like the 18-125 but am still debating. Today, most things being equal, I would opt for the 18-200.

gary_hendricks
08-28-2005, 01:15 AM
Thought I'd contribute to this hot thread. :)

The autofocus on this Sigma 18-200mm is slower and less accurate than Canon lens and much noisier too. It is slower and noisier than the similarly priced Tamron 18-200mm also. Anything within 10-20' knows you are focusing! It also tends to hunt quite a lot, especially in lower light conditions, sometimes failing to lock at all. I don't understand why Sigma can't produce a quicker, quieter autofocus system.

The maximum aperture at the 200mm end is 6.3 and with the 1.6X focal length multiplier of the Digital Rebel it can be hard to get a fast enough shutter speed to avoid blurring due to shake. If you back off just a tad you get can get 5.6 aperture. Given that the maximum focal length is about 160mm (see below) then backing off just a little to get f5.6 puts you at about 150mm. At the wide end you get f3.5 at 18mm and f4.5 at 28mm.

If you choose Sport mode on the Digital Rebel with this lens, the autofocus goes crazy. It hunts a lot and does so very quickly and just won't stabilize resulting in rapidly changing focus.

D70FAN
08-28-2005, 07:24 AM
Thought I'd contribute to this hot thread. :)

The autofocus on this Sigma 18-200mm is slower and less accurate than Canon lens and much noisier too. It is slower and noisier than the similarly priced Tamron 18-200mm also. Anything within 10-20' knows you are focusing! It also tends to hunt quite a lot, especially in lower light conditions, sometimes failing to lock at all. I don't understand why Sigma can't produce a quicker, quieter autofocus system.

The maximum aperture at the 200mm end is 6.3 and with the 1.6X focal length multiplier of the Digital Rebel it can be hard to get a fast enough shutter speed to avoid blurring due to shake. If you back off just a tad you get can get 5.6 aperture. Given that the maximum focal length is about 160mm (see below) then backing off just a little to get f5.6 puts you at about 150mm. At the wide end you get f3.5 at 18mm and f4.5 at 28mm.

If you choose Sport mode on the Digital Rebel with this lens, the autofocus goes crazy. It hunts a lot and does so very quickly and just won't stabilize resulting in rapidly changing focus.

Oddly enough I didn't have this problem on the D70 when I tried the 18-200 a few weeks ago. It seems to work as well as my 18-125, which rarely has a problem getting focus lock, and the noise is no worse than any other low cost non-HSM lens. But it was only about 30 minutes of goofing around.

Before I draw any conclusions I wil try to get out with this lens on a real shoot next weekend (and post the results). If it's as troublesome as you say, then I will quit offering it as a suggestion as a good walk-around.

Thanks Gary.

AllanMarcus
08-29-2005, 09:55 PM
Is it just me, or do the sigma picture look much better? Seems like the Tamron pics are, I don't know, hazy?

I was thinking of getting the tamron 18-200 with my Maxxum 5D, but now I'm thinking the Sigma 18-125 is better. Unfortunately, Sigma doesn't make their 18-200 for Konica :-(

I'm looking forward to seeing more sample shots.

Thanks,

Allan

Steadi
10-30-2005, 03:37 PM
Hi

Just registered as I urgently need to replace a wrecked Canon lens before a theatre shoot. Looks like I'll have to buy either the Tamron or Sigma 18-200 in a hurry for a theatre shoot in a week.

Does anyone out there have any comparison shots other than the Japanese shots we have all seen. The Tamron shots seem implausably hazey and de saturated and I'm a little worried about the accuracy of the comparison.

Between the two the tamron seems to have a smoother action and quieter focus system. The wierd range shift would be a real bonus as the lens seems considerably longer at the tight end whilst still giving me a very useful wide.

Mike

D70FAN
10-30-2005, 05:04 PM
Hi

Just registered as I urgently need to replace a wrecked Canon lens before a theatre shoot. Looks like I'll have to buy either the Tamron or Sigma 18-200 in a hurry for a theatre shoot in a week.

Does anyone out there have any comparison shots other than the Japanese shots we have all seen. The Tamron shots seem implausably hazey and de saturated and I'm a little worried about the accuracy of the comparison.

Between the two the tamron seems to have a smoother action and quieter focus system. The wierd range shift would be a real bonus as the lens seems considerably longer at the tight end whilst still giving me a very useful wide.

Mike

The Tamron is quieter, but the Sigma is better optically. I have used both and like the Sigma on my D70. As a caveat I don't own either lens as I was hoping that Nikon would bring out a similar 18-200, which they seem to be doing in November (with VR).

I would think for theater (indoor) use you might want something a little faster like the Tamron 28-75 f2.8.

Steadi
10-31-2005, 08:16 AM
Thanks George

I agree a faster zoom would be Ideal but unfortunately I need the range, I'm shooting musical theatre where that elusive money shot can disappear almost faster than you can zoom the lens!

Other than using a second body there is no time to lens change and I have had bad problems with dust in the past which will be cured keeping one lens on the body most of the time.

Will look into the shorter zoom in the hope that I can pick up a secondhand body but of course I will then need a second lens for the tight end. Took some test shots with a siemens star in Jessops this morning and although slightly softer than the Sigma the Tameron seems far better than the Japanese test shots imply.

Will leave making a decision to end of week, many thanks for your input.

Mike

TheObiJuan
10-31-2005, 05:44 PM
A 70-200 f/2.8 lens will probably do you better for that type of photography.
The 18-50 range on the 18-200 is pretty worthless for theatre photogs.

Steadi
11-01-2005, 05:56 PM
Thanks for your help, will look at the 70 to 200 F2.8 but will of course need to buy a wide as well which may be a problem.

Had a chance today to look at my test shots between the Tamron and Sigma 18 to 200. Jessops let me set up a Siemens star at one end of their shop and take some tripod shots.

At the wide end Tamron is actually sharper than the sigma, I even cropped a area nearer the edge of the picture in a far closer focal plane and although both lenses handled well the Tamron is still sharper.

At the 200mm end the Sigma is a little sharper but it has to be remembered that by some wierd quirk the Tamron frames about 10% tighter so there are real advantages to buying this lens.

There appeared to be none of the nasty de-saturation common to the Japanese test shots of the brick wall etc and I'm not seeing any depth of field problems either. Maybe I have a good example of the tamron and an iffy Sigma but this is a real dilemma.

I can either go for the sigma which is marginally sharper at the long end, or the Tamron which is widely considered to be the lesser lens which is sharper on the wide, and zooms tighter.

Nightmare!

Mike

Steadi
11-04-2005, 01:10 PM
Hi

Just to keep you posted I have bought the Tamron. Its possible that I tested a very good example of this lens and Jessops have kept the tested lens under the counter for me.

The range is actually ideal for my Theatre work, I regularly need to get wide for group shots or when working in smaller theatres and to be able to do so without a camera or lens change will be very useful.

I have now wound up with a spare EOS 10d, (found a very tatty one secondhand and had it serviced) so a 70 to 200 is on my christmas list! But for the moment the Tamron will get me out of trouble and the F5.6 stop is the same as what I'm used to on the iffy canon lens.

Many thanks again for all your comments, I'll let you know how the Tamron matches up to the canon glass.

Mike

boog
11-04-2005, 01:51 PM
Steadi, when you get a chance, can you post some of those test shots and maybe even some of the theatre shots. I am having same dilema. I've seen shots with Tamron lens and they were actually quite good. Thanks.

PerfectPitch
11-12-2005, 01:56 PM
Hello all,

I just ordered copies of both the Sigma & Tamron 18-200 zooms to try out with my Digital Rebel XT. I spent yesterday shooting semi-scientific comparison series outdoors (tripod, controlling for aperture, shutter speed, framing, focal length, etc.). To my chagrin, I found out afterward that my camera had been reset at the shop--where it was recently checked out--with "medium high" boosts in contrast, saturation, and sharpening. But the settings were the same for both lenses.

In short: I found the two to be very close optically. The Tamron made images that are ever so slightly less saturated and a little deficient in the red hues. Sigma images look just slightly underexposed in comparison. Purple fringing was equivalent in both, but slightly more noticeable in the Tamron because of a slightly "harder" feel to the contrast.

The important differences echo what I've read elsewhere. Tamron zooms both wider and tighter than Sigma, auto-focuses more quietly and sometimes more quickly, and feels smoother going onto the camera. Both show vignetting at 18-24mm wide open, but Sigma is noticeably worse. And Sigma intermittently mis-focuses badly. From beyond a track circling a football field, I focused on a marker on the near 30-yard line with the XT's center AF point. At f6.3, Tamron hit it right on, but Sigma focused on the near end zone, about 1/3 of the way below the focal point to the bottom of the image. In 200mm shots of a distant cell phone tower and the moon, Sigma missed and caught nothing as sharply as Tamron.

I took a few pictures today after setting the camera's processing parameters to neutral. Details of branches against the sky looked noticeably blue in Tamron but not Sigma. Tamron's comparative softness was more evident, as was a slight greenish cast and lower saturation. But at f6.3 135mm, Sigma missed focusing on a roof ridgeline some 50 feet away, catching the middle of the slope instead, and 5-dollar bill shot at 18 inches, 200mm f6.3 was unfocused in the middle but clearer around the edges than Tamron's best details.

Sigma at its best looks better than Tamron, but many of my shots include momentary situations (wildlife, sunsets) that won't wait for me to get the right focus. I'm going with Tamron and saving my pennies for something sharper and perhaps faster.

If I can figure out how and find the time, I'll post some sample shots. Not art, for sure, but evidence.

trae
11-14-2005, 01:31 PM
Thanks for that review PerfectPitch.
Time for some opinions though. Is it worth it to upgrade to the Tarmon from the (350XT) kit lense? Increased range is a large bonus, but I'm looking for some image quality increase as well. What do you say?

erichlund
11-15-2005, 06:16 AM
... or does Sigma just not have Canon cameras figured out? You occasionally hear about a good experience, but so many more seem to be difficult.

- Eric

Ash
11-16-2005, 04:03 PM
Thanks for that review PerfectPitch.
Time for some opinions though. Is it worth it to upgrade to the Tarmon from the (350XT) kit lense? Increased range is a large bonus, but I'm looking for some image quality increase as well. What do you say?

That's exactly my question too. I bought an EOS350D (or Rebel if you like) and don't have bags of cash to upgrade my lens with but would like to step up a grade or two for around 300. The extra zoom range of the Tamron 18-200 sounds great, but if I'm going to spend 270 I would also like to see noticeably sharper images in a range of situations from landscapes to portraits (I can't afford multiple lenses right now) than the 18-55 lens Canon bundled with my camera (which, compared to a Nikkor series lens my father recieved in a bundle with his Nikon D50 is noticeably inferior). Who's going to help us out here? Will the Tamron deliver?

Rex914
11-16-2005, 04:08 PM
... or does Sigma just not have Canon cameras figured out? You occasionally hear about a good experience, but so many more seem to be difficult.

- Eric

It's because they are too "cheap" to pay Canon for the information they need to create properly compatible lenses. Instead, they "guess" it out and reverse engineer Canon's lenses.

philipcs
11-17-2005, 07:32 AM
Hello all,

I just ordered copies of both the Sigma & Tamron 18-200 zooms to try out with my Digital Rebel XT. I spent yesterday shooting semi-scientific comparison series outdoors (tripod, controlling for aperture, shutter speed, framing, focal length, etc.). To my chagrin, I found out afterward that my camera had been reset at the shop--where it was recently checked out--with "medium high" boosts in contrast, saturation, and sharpening. But the settings were the same for both lenses.

In short: I found the two to be very close optically. The Tamron made images that are ever so slightly less saturated and a little deficient in the red hues. Sigma images look just slightly underexposed in comparison. Purple fringing was equivalent in both, but slightly more noticeable in the Tamron because of a slightly "harder" feel to the contrast.

The important differences echo what I've read elsewhere. Tamron zooms both wider and tighter than Sigma, auto-focuses more quietly and sometimes more quickly, and feels smoother going onto the camera. Both show vignetting at 18-24mm wide open, but Sigma is noticeably worse. And Sigma intermittently mis-focuses badly. From beyond a track circling a football field, I focused on a marker on the near 30-yard line with the XT's center AF point. At f6.3, Tamron hit it right on, but Sigma focused on the near end zone, about 1/3 of the way below the focal point to the bottom of the image. In 200mm shots of a distant cell phone tower and the moon, Sigma missed and caught nothing as sharply as Tamron.

I took a few pictures today after setting the camera's processing parameters to neutral. Details of branches against the sky looked noticeably blue in Tamron but not Sigma. Tamron's comparative softness was more evident, as was a slight greenish cast and lower saturation. But at f6.3 135mm, Sigma missed focusing on a roof ridgeline some 50 feet away, catching the middle of the slope instead, and 5-dollar bill shot at 18 inches, 200mm f6.3 was unfocused in the middle but clearer around the edges than Tamron's best details.

Sigma at its best looks better than Tamron, but many of my shots include momentary situations (wildlife, sunsets) that won't wait for me to get the right focus. I'm going with Tamron and saving my pennies for something sharper and perhaps faster.

If I can figure out how and find the time, I'll post some sample shots. Not art, for sure, but evidence.

emm...how come the test photos in page 1 showing Sigma is having better image quality? after read your review, i am really not sure which 1 to buy.

trae
11-17-2005, 11:12 AM
emm...how come the test photos in page 1 showing Sigma is having better image quality? after read your review, i am really not sure which 1 to buy.

'cause everyone has a different experience when it comes to lenses it seems.
although i've seen more good sigma pictures than tamrons. this makes me sad, because i can get a tamron 18-200 for a good price. dammit.

variable
01-12-2006, 01:52 PM
I have a love/hate relationship with the 18-55 that came with my 300D. It produces wonderful images but the stupid external focus thing is a royal pain. I ended up hacking apart one of those adjustable polarizers so that I could put my flip open cap at the end and not have the autofocus rotate the cap to block the flash. I picked up the tamron 18-200 and I havent made up my mind whether or not I like it. I didn't read the reviews, I just went and looked at it. Right off the bat, the minimum focusing distance is much larger than the 18-55 that came with the camera. Admitedly I don't know much about optics so this may be perfectly normal. Anyway. I noticed the zoom has quite a bit of resistance to it compared to the one I tried in the shop, though i suppose that should be expected...

D70FAN
01-12-2006, 03:26 PM
It's because they are too "cheap" to pay Canon for the information they need to create properly compatible lenses. Instead, they "guess" it out and reverse engineer Canon's lenses.

I'm pretty sure that Sigma, Tokina, Tamron, Vivitar, and etc. must all reverse engineer OEM lenses, not so much by choice, but because it's the only option.

I don't think that OEM lens manufacturers license or sell their lens and camera interface IP to competitors. Lenses are a cash cow, and I think that Canon is just better at making reverse engineering difficult.

I certainly could be wrong about this, but from what I've read over the years (sorry I don't have a pointer to information this time) I'm not sure that pointing the fickle finger of fate at 3rd party lens makers applies.

ktixx
01-12-2006, 04:04 PM
It's because they are too "cheap" to pay Canon for the information they need to create properly compatible lenses. Instead, they "guess" it out and reverse engineer Canon's lenses.

I don't think they are too cheap to pay for canon information, I just don't think it is available for sale. The information/research is what separates Canon from the Sigma's, Tamron's and Tokina's and what keeps their prices high.
Ken

D70FAN
01-12-2006, 08:50 PM
That's exactly my question too. I bought an EOS350D (or Rebel if you like) and don't have bags of cash to upgrade my lens with but would like to step up a grade or two for around 300. The extra zoom range of the Tamron 18-200 sounds great, but if I'm going to spend 270 I would also like to see noticeably sharper images in a range of situations from landscapes to portraits (I can't afford multiple lenses right now) than the 18-55 lens Canon bundled with my camera (which, compared to a Nikkor series lens my father recieved in a bundle with his Nikon D50 is noticeably inferior). Who's going to help us out here? Will the Tamron deliver?

Hmmm. Good cameras... Spotty 3rd party compatibility... So-so kit lenses. Great professional glass...

I'm sure that they feel your pain. All the way to the bank.;)