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Lens review

Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM

8 March 2010
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • Tight lens body that doesn’t change its dimensions
  • The presence of image stabilization and HSM in this price class
  • Very good or even great image quality at the center of the frame for all focal lengths
  • Slight chromatic aberration for longer focal lengths
  • Well-controlled astigmatism
  • Quiet and accurate autofocus 

Cons:

  • Poor image quality at the edge of the frame, especially visible at the widest angle of view
  • Large chromatic aberration at 18 mm focal length
  • Noticeable coma
  • Quite large vignetting in the whole focal length range
  • Work against the bright light might be better 

As you can see, the tested lens has a lot of advantages, but there are also a few disadvantages to it. This complicates the overall verdict a little, because it’s difficult to decide what to write in a summary like this. It seems that every owner of a kit 18-55 mm lens, stabilized or not, can easily think about exchanging them for the Sigma tested here. Slight price lowering would definitely help a lot of them make a decision. Sigma, compared to kit lenses, is better made, has a quiet and accurate HSM mechanism, better brightness and gives images of good quality. The least arguments for a swap will have Pentax owners. They have image stabilization in their camera bodies, and a good 18-55 mm kit lens to use, recently in a sealed version. The owners of non-stabilized Canons and Nikons will be the first to swap, in their case older versions of 18-55 mm models were dark and poor optically and mechanically.

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Still an open question remains about the comparison of Sigma 18-50 mm OS to models like Sigma 17-70 mm, Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 Macro, Tokina 16-50 mm f/2.8 or Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. Basically, in every one of them there’s something the competition doesn’t have. Also, in each of them you can find a thing you won’t like. So the choice is really large now and it hasn’t become any easier. There’s no doubt in my mind that photography portals will soon be flooded with questions like “Sigma 18-50 mm OS or Sigma 17-70 mm –which should I choose?”


Sample Shots

Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 50 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/125 sec., ISO 200
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 4.67 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 35 mm, f/3.8, exp. 1/180 sec., ISO 200
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 4.77 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 50 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/125 sec., ISO 200
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 3.81 MB
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 35 mm, f/3.8, exp. 1/180 sec., ISO 200
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 3.86 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 18 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/3000 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 4.12 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 18 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/800 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 4.29 MB
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 27 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/1000 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 4.09 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 50 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/640 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 3.64 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 50 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/500 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 3.77 MB
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 35 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/500 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 3.81 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 50 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 4.78 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 27 mm, f/3.3, exp. 1/400 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 5.73 MB
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 24 mm, f/3.2, exp. 1/400 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 6.05 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 18 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/400 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 6.37 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 50 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/125 sec., ISO 200
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 4.37 MB
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 35 mm, f/3.8, exp. 1/500 sec., ISO 200
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 3.52 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 18 mm, f/5.0, exp. 1/800 sec., ISO 200
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 6.87 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 28 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/1000 sec., ISO 200
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 6.87 MB
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 50 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/350 sec., ISO 200
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 4.34 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 35 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/320 sec., ISO 200
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 3.78 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 18 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/800 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 4.54 MB
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 24 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/320 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 4.96 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 35 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 4.55 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 50 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/320 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 3872 x 2592 pix, 4.3 MB



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