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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    North Eastern India
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    653

    Question Nikon 18-200 VR or Sigma 18-200 OS for D40?

    Hi, Nikon Gurus!

    A close friend of mine has just sold off his S3IS and wants to get an SLR, but there's a catch! He only wants a Nikon

    Now, his first priority is portability. He wants it to be as small as possible with only one single lens providing a focal length range similar to the S3. He's into long distance cycling and would be carrying the camera in a small backpack. He's a college student and has a tight budget maxing around USD 1K.

    So, I've suggested the D40 with either the Nikon 18-200VR or the Sigma 18-200 OS.


    Nikkor AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR II DX





    Sigma AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS




    As can be seen, both lenses are very similar in design and offer exactly the same focal length at similar apertures. Both provide Image Stabilization. The Sigma has HSM, so I guess the focus speed might be faster, also it offers lower barrel distortion than the Nikon at 18mm. Also, I've read that the Sigma is much better built and inspite of the duo cam design, there's no inner tube wobble. And to top it all off, the Sigma comes at $550 whereas the Nikon costs almost 30% more at $700.

    So, on paper, it's a no brainer in favor of the Sigma, however this is all based on paper research and could be far from the truth. I've never actually used or tester either of them or the D40 even

    So, I'd like to have real world inputs from guys who have actually used either of these, or both.

    Thanks in advance!

    P.S. Tried hard to talk him into the Canon Camp, but i guess all Nikonians have very thick skin
    Last edited by Viky; 01-05-2008 at 05:47 AM.
    You first see a photo with your mind, and then capture it with your camera!

    Canon - EOS 50D | BG-E2N | 70-200mm f/4 L IS | 400mm f/5.6 L | Sigma - 18-50mm f/2.8 EX | 30mm f/1.4 EX | 150mm f/2.8 Macro EX | | Misc - 430EX | OC-E3 | EF-12 Ex Tube | Kenko Teleplus 300 Pro 2x TC | FotoFile Backpack AW | Lowepro Nova 3 AW | Tripod | Panasonic FZ5.

    My Flickr

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
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    10,424
    thank God your friend has brains. if only he was able to talk some sense into you.

    i have personally not tried the sigma but have owned the 18-200 and i loved it. VR rocks. btw: it is an AF-S lens, (equivalent to HSM), so it focusses very fast and quietly. if my current sigma lens' and those i have tried are anything to go by, i would suggest that the nikkor will be quieter, faster and more accurate. it's also a stop faster at the tele end which could come in handy.

    btw: does he know that the 28-300 tamron has IS and will AF on the d40 ? thats more like the S3 range.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    North Eastern India
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    653
    Quote Originally Posted by Rooz View Post
    thank God your friend has brains. if only he was able to talk some sense into you.

    i have personally not tried the sigma but have owned the 18-200 and i loved it. VR rocks. btw: it is an AF-S lens, (equivalent to HSM), so it focusses very fast and quietly. if my current sigma lens' and those i have tried are anything to go by, i would suggest that the nikkor will be quieter, faster and more accurate. it's also a stop faster at the tele end which could come in handy.

    btw: does he know that the 28-300 tamron has IS and will AF on the d40 ? thats more like the S3 range.
    Thanks for the inputs Rooz!

    Regarding the tamron, i think that with effective 42mm, he would loose too much at the wide end. Also, this lens is yet to be launched in the US, so I guess it might be months before its made available in India, and above all the infamous Tamron build issues
    You first see a photo with your mind, and then capture it with your camera!

    Canon - EOS 50D | BG-E2N | 70-200mm f/4 L IS | 400mm f/5.6 L | Sigma - 18-50mm f/2.8 EX | 30mm f/1.4 EX | 150mm f/2.8 Macro EX | | Misc - 430EX | OC-E3 | EF-12 Ex Tube | Kenko Teleplus 300 Pro 2x TC | FotoFile Backpack AW | Lowepro Nova 3 AW | Tripod | Panasonic FZ5.

    My Flickr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
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    10,424
    all true viky. as long as he is aware that he's going from a 432mm tele to a 300mm tele, so there is a considerable distance lost. depending on what he shoots this may disappoint him.

    welcome to dslr where extra reach costs mega dollars ! lol
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Near Seattle, WA
    Posts
    368
    Viky,

    The Nikkor 18-200 VR's image stabilization system is more effective than the Sigma 18-200 OS's (about 1 stop better).

    Also, the Nikon lens is slightly faster at 200mm (f5.6 vs f6.3).

    Personally, I would get the Nikon lens - although I chose to be cheap and cover this zoom range with two lenses - see my signature.
    Sam


    Nikon D80, D300s, Nikkormat EL, Tamron 17-50mm f2.8, 55-200mm f4-f5.6 VR AF-S Nikkor, 50mm f1.8 AF-D Nikkor, 80-200mm f2.8 AF-D Nikkor, 135mm f2.8 Nikkor-Q pre-AI, Hanimex 35mm f2.8 doorstop

    www.flickr.com/photos/swpars

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,929
    Nikon all the way. Something that hasnt been mentioned is if your friend were to resell the lens, hed have a much easier time selling the Nikon, not to mention better profits than the Sigma.

    You should suggest your friend join here so you dont have to play the "middle-woman"
    Jason

    "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once."-2Pac


    A bunch of Nikon stuff!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    670
    Hi, I have the 18-200/VR and my friend has the 18-200/OS on his Rebel XTi which I used many times while on vacation with him. It's a beautiful, sharp lens and very similar to the Nikon. Certainly, the Nikon is not noticeably better than the Sigma in terms of sharpness or colour rendition IMO, and is not worth the price difference based on optical image quality alone. In fact, the Sigma is sharper at both ends than the Nikon is (which is more important IMO), although the edges are a bit softer at intermediate focal lengths.

    What the Nikon has going for it are as follows:

    1. It is lighter. Not by much. Only 50 g or about the weight of the D40's lithium battery. But I am all for saving weight and will go for the lighter lens, all things being equal.

    2. 1/3 of a stop (not 1 stop) faster at the long end. That's not much, but it helps in conjunction with #3 below.

    3. The Nikon has VRII, which is almost a stop more effective than the original VR and Sigma's OS. Combined with #2 above, you have up to 1 whole stop more usable range than the Sigma.

    4. Resale value, as mentioned earlier.

    IMO, it depends how important that extra stop is to your friend. One more stop can be useful from time to time. I know I wouldn't mind paying for it. If low light performance is important to your friend, it could well be worth the extra $. But if not for that, I say the Sigma is the better choice.

    Nikon: D300, D700, Nikkor: 24-70, 70-200, 70-300/VR, 24/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.4G, 60/2.8G, 180/2.8,
    Sigma: 10-20, 50-150/2.8, 50/2.8, Tamron: 17-50/2.8, 28-75/2.8, Tokina: 12-24, Zeiss: 25/2.8
    Olympus: E-520, E-3, 7-14, 9-18, 11-22, 12-60, 14-35/2, 14-54, 35-100/2, 50-200, 25/2.8, 35/3.5, 50/2
    Panasonic: G1, Leica: 14-50, 14-150, 25/1.4
    Sony: A700, A900, 24-85, 35-70, 70-210/4, 20/2.8, 24/2.8, 50/2.8, T 90 macro, Zeiss: 24-70/2.8, 135/1.8
    P&S: Canon S90, Panasonic: LX3


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    1,148
    I read quite a few reviews before I chose the Nikkor lens. There was one particular review that did a side-by-side comparison that won me over to the Nikkor lens. Chances are that unless you are shooting a brick wall you won't have much issue with the wide angle distortion, and I have been pretty successful removing it when needed (a couple times out of over 10k images).

    I have been quite happy with it and don't regret the extra cash that had to be put out.
    Nikon D70s
    Nikkor 50mm 1.8D (If you don't have it you need it)
    Nikkor 18-200mm VR II
    SB-600
    Bogen/Manfrotto Tripods/Heads
    NAS (D300, Nikkor 80-200mm (or 70-200mm)f/2.8, Tamron 90mm Macro)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    28
    I bought a D80 recently, with the Nikon 18-200mm VR. Like your friend I spent a lonnnnng time thinking "Sigma...no Nikon...no Sigma..." In the end I went for the Nikon because of the slight faster max. aperture and (because I'm a sucker for things like this) I think it looks slightly cooler than the Sigma with the gold lettering and red VR"

    The Nikon is proving very sturdy, and the only criticism I've read about it being the tendency of the lens to extend / contract very slightly on its own when pointed vertically up or down is a minor issue, not something that I notice except when right in the middle of the focal range and when pointing EXACTLY vertically. However I think the Sigma does have a zoom lock so if this is a concern (it wasn't to me) or if it is going to be thrown into a backpack then the Sigma may be a better option.

    Two other things your friend MUST buy though:

    - a 72mm skylight / UV filter for the front of the Nikon (or whatever equivalent filter thread is for the Sigma if they go that route) as if they throw in it a backpack and the lens cap pops off mid-journey it'll be one VERY scratched lens at journey end!

    - some kind of screen protector to protect the LCD from scratches in the same backpack

    -Colin
    --
    Nikon D80 + Nikon 18-200mm VR + 50mm f1/1.8
    Nikon AW100
    Panasonic DMC FZ-20 + Olympus TCON wide & tele converters
    Olympus C-21 (2mp oh yeah!)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    North Eastern India
    Posts
    653
    Thanks guys for all the responses.... I think the verdict is clear... I've suggested him to go for the 18-200VR mainly for 3reasons:

    1) Better realization at time of resale.
    2) Faster at the telephoto end.
    3) Slightly more efficient VR mode.

    Plus I didn't like the quality of bokeh produced by the Sigma.

    Thanks to everybody for your inputs
    You first see a photo with your mind, and then capture it with your camera!

    Canon - EOS 50D | BG-E2N | 70-200mm f/4 L IS | 400mm f/5.6 L | Sigma - 18-50mm f/2.8 EX | 30mm f/1.4 EX | 150mm f/2.8 Macro EX | | Misc - 430EX | OC-E3 | EF-12 Ex Tube | Kenko Teleplus 300 Pro 2x TC | FotoFile Backpack AW | Lowepro Nova 3 AW | Tripod | Panasonic FZ5.

    My Flickr

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