Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM (C) – Part 2
– Featuring Guest Reviewer Ng Chee Seng
Photo: Ng Chee Seng with the the Sigma 18-200mm (C) at Hainan, China.
10th March 2014, Singapore – Sigma’s recent release, the super all-in-one Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM (C) has caught the attention of many users worldwide. Many photographers were taken by surprise that Sigma had the 18-200mm redesigned and rebuilt for this popular all-purpose zoom focal range lens right after 2 years since the Mark II was released. Sitting in the Contemporary Line (C), this lens had proven itself to be different from the rest of the competition since our first review. As we all know, most All-in-one zoom lenses are also made & marketed as travel lenses, so we decided to appoint a semi-professional photographer to review the Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM (C) as a Part 2 review. And we came to know that he will be travelling – perfect.
Ng Chee Seng, 36 years old had been shooting for about 4 years now. A semi-pro photographer specializing in landscape photography & portraitures, we persuaded him to bring the Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM (C) for his trip to Wenchang, Hainan in China. And he agreed. Let’s check out his account & experience of using the new Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM (C).
By Ng Chee Seng, Semi Pro Photographer (Singapore)
When I was contacted by Allan Lee, the Editor of ourshutterjourney.com, I wasn’t sure what I am getting myself into. He had recently reviewed the new Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM (C) and after learning that I was going for a trip to Wenchang, Hainan, he excitedly contacted me and asked me if I am keen to review this lens. I told him that I had never done this before and to my surprise, he actually say this is exactly what he wanted – an end user with no prior review experience to review the lens so that he can get an unbiased and fair feedback from the user point of view. Happily I agreed and we met up to collect the lens.
First Look & Handling
Photo: Key information here. Review done on a Canon DSLR, the super broad, smooth & comfortable zoom ring, the Zoom lock button, the new Sigma “C” Badge, other operational buttons like the MF/AF and OS switch. Most importantly, it’s Made in Japan.
The new 2014 Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM (C) is a pretty small and light weight (430g) zoom lens. It has a standard wide (18mm) to super telephoto (200mm) focal range. I fell in love with the smooth finishing (feel) of the lens exterior (barrel) of the lens which was manufactured with the new TSC (Thermally Stable Composite) – this offers thermal expansion characteristics similar to those of aluminum and it feels expensive to the touch.
Together with the supplied Canon DSLR (from Allan), I took the lens to Wenchang, Hainan in China for a trip.
I was impressed by the very capable Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM (C). Apart from its solid built and the super smooth zooming ring, this lens packs performance too. Image sharpness is rendered across the whole focal ranges from 18mm to the super-tele range at 200mm. (see below pics).
At the wide angle of 18mm F3.5, it render very good sharpness at the center of the frame but sharpness is slightly compromised at the sides of the frame.
However, after stopping down the aperture to F11, sharpness at the center frame is good but not as sharp as compared to shooting at F3.5 – but the sides of the frame became very sharp.
I personally discovered that the “sweet spot” for this lens has to be the highly-loved F5.6, sharpness is very good across the whole frame, corner to corner. If you love shooting landscape at the wide 18mm range, you will never go wrong with the aperture set to F5.6 for this lens.
At tele-end of 200m, it maintained very good sharpness across the whole frame which is seldom the case for such lenses in the past. I am very impressed by it’s capabilities to keep CA (Chromatic aberration) very low. Almost negligible, I can hardly notice any CA at 18mm with 100% crop but at 200mm, it show very minimum traces of CA (outline) lining the tree branches which to me, is very acceptable.
I have certainly no issue with this Sigma’s fast & silent focusing. The hypersonic motor (HSM) was super quiet & focusing was “instant hit” even at 200mm. This lens focuses well for both day or night operations. The lens did a little hunting when I used it at night during low light condition which was quite common for most variable apertures zoom lenses – now which lens doesn’t hunt at low light right? On overall, I really love the blazing fast & spot on focusing.
After using the Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM (C) for a straight 7 days in China, I am very pleased by what this lens had delivered. Be it handling or image quality, this lens is definitely the best all-purpose lens available today. Although designed and made as a variable aperture lens, we cannot compare it with other fixed aperture zoom lens or prime lens but given its humble asking price and the overall quality, this is the best combination that money can buy.
The Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM (C) will guarantees pleasing user experience for street shooting and a great companion for oversea travel for its portability. And yes, I have booked a Nikon Mount version of this 2014 Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM (C) – and I think you should too.
Thanks Allan for giving me this great opportunity to test out this lens for my China Trip!
Ed: You are most welcome Chee Seng!
** Sigma had re-organized their whole lens line into 3 category.
They are “C” Lens, “A” Lens & “S” Lens.
C Lens = Contemporary Lens Line
Featuring the very latest technology, and combining optical performance with compactness, Sigma’s high-performance Contemporary line covers a wide range of needs. Lenses in this category are Standard zoom lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, high-magnification zoom lenses.
A Lens = Art Lens Line
Designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power, Sigma’s Art line delivers high-level artistic expression. Lenses in this category are Large-aperture prime lenses, wide-angle lenses, ultra-wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, fisheye lenses.
S Lens – Sports Lens Line
While offering sophisticated optical performance and expressiveness, Sigma Sports line lenses deliver high action-capture performance, enabling photographers to get exactly the shots they want. Lenses in this category are Telephoto lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, super telephoto lenses, super telephoto zoom lenses.
For more information, please visit http://www.sigma-global.com