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LENS PORN: Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)
Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)




The Sigma DC 18-200mm Macro OS HSM is a variable aperture zoom lens suited for all around photography, a jack of all trades. While it may not have a wide maximum aperture compared to the more expensive prime lenses which are suited for low light photography, the Sigma 18-200mm will win your heart in terms of budget, practicality and portability.

Sigma's first version of the 18-200mm was announced in February of 2005. Since then, it has made many versions with slightly different specs. For example, some of them has OS (Optical Stabilization) for crisp photos even when using slow shutter speed or shooting at telephoto range, HSM (Hyper Silent Motor) for quiet autofocus, and macro for close focusing ability.

The lens isn't really hugely bigger than your typical 18-55mm kit lens, just slightly bigger. In terms of weight, it's around double. When fully extended at 200mm, it's just about slightly shorter than your typical 55-200mm or 70-300mm zooms.

I had the opportunity to pick between this Sigma and a Nikkor 18-200mm. For handling, I loved the Sigma's design more than the Nikkor's. The Sigma had the focus ring toward the front, while the Nikkor's had its focus ring toward the rear/camera body, which feels awkward when manual focusing. I do manual focusing 100% of the time so the AF doesn't matter to me. The wide grip of the focus ring is especially a pleasure to use for manual focusing. I did test the AF sometimes, and it's acceptably fast (not lightning fast) and very silent really. I like that the focus and zoom rings turn the opposite way Nikkor lenses do, and that they both turn on the same direction.

Durability and craftmanship? This lens feels very sturdy, as the barrel and mount are made of metal. The plastic parts are the zoom ring, focus ring and filter thread. But you know what? If you judge on first impression, nothing about it says cheap at all (vs the Nikkor 18-200, which looks damn tacky!). Distance marking and magnification ratio are printed on the barrel/focus ring. It looks like Sigma really did not forget about people who do manual focusing.

Image quality in mind... I have no complaints really. It's sharp from 18mm up to 200mm at their widest apertures. Sometimes I feel it's so sharp I wanna use a soft filter! Color rendition is very nice, always saturated and great contrast, it beats my vintage primes in this department. Distortion isn't an issue even at the minimum focusing distance of 0.45 meters. Pssst!... my lens actually has a small bit of fungus at the center, but it's so sharp, it really doesn't have any effect on the output.

As a person who's used alot of old vintage manual zooms, one of the things I highly appreciated here was the Minimum Focusing Distance of 0.45meters on all focal lengths. You see, the vintage ones typically have a MFD of 1.5 meters, they don't even have a macro feature.

It's a variable aperture lens. Meaning, the maximum aperture is f/3.5 at 18mm, and f/6.3 at 200mm. At first I thought it might be too dark for indoor use, but not really! The highest ISO I ever used indoor at 200mm f/6.3 was ISO 3200, and with cameras having better noise reduction at higher ISOs, this shouldn't be an issue.

Now for the application. This lens is indeed a great all around lens. I've used this for many events and it never failed me. I've used it for product shots too, never fails, I often set it to f/8 or f/11 for overall sharpness. Thanks to its OS (Optical Stabilization), this lens is also useful for low light photography at slower aperture, and it's also nice for handheld shooting at the telephoto end. Shooting outdoor under bright sunny condition, images do not bleed even at f/3.5

In full frame equivalent, the effective focal range is 28-300mm. This zoom lens is useful for many things and occasions. However, I find that I usually just use 28mm up to 80mm! At least I know my usage statistics haha I might probably trade it someday for a shorter focal length then, maybe an 18-105mm, a 28-70mm, 24-50mm. 200mm is still useful if for example I go to a concert and I'm sitting at the very back, or when I'm covering an event from about 15 meters, then I could still get a crisp view. (See photos below)

What NOT to expect from this lens. Of course not all lenses are perfect. This is certainly not a macro lens, so even at 200mm, I'm still not satisfied with the magnification and often reach out for my Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 90mm f/2.5 Macro (52B) for my product shots. This is also not the lens to go to if you want artistic background blur or bokeh.

My conclusion is that this 18-200mm is a wonderful addition to my tools ever since I got it in December of 2016. It's not to be compared to prime lenses, which are in a different league, but with its very capable features, it's my go-to lens when going to events, it just never departs from my camera. Would I sell this lens? Yes, not because I don't like it, I really love it so much, but because I often find myself using the 28mm to 80mm focal range. If I would be using 200mm, I feel that it's too short for a tele, maybe I would use my Zoom-Nikkor 100-300mm f/5.6 Macro instead.

Did I cover everything you need to know? If not, comment below and I'll reply to you ASAP.


Some videos below may not play on mobile
because of copyrighted music...


















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SUMMARY

Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3
DC Macro OS HSM

Year Launched:
August 2007

Minimum Focusing Distance:
0.45 meters / 1.48 feet

Focus Throw:
45°

Can autofocus on non-motorized Nikon DSLRs

Filter Thread Size:
72mm

Aperture Run:
f/3.5-22 at 18mm
f/6.3-38 at 200mm

# Aperture Blades:
7

Switches:
Zoom lock at 18mm
AF/M switch
OS on/off

Made in Japan

History

Version 1 announced February 2005

Version 2 with OS (announced September 2006)

Version 3 for Nikon, with OS and built-in HSM (announced August 2007)

Version 4 for Nikon, non-OS, with built-in HSM (announced December 2007)

Version 5 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 OS HSM 'C' Contemporary (announced January 2014)

Terminology
DC (Digital Crop) - made for crop sensor (APS-C)
OS (Optical Stabilization) - sensors built-in to compensate for camera shake
HSM (Hyper Silent Motor) - silent autofocus even on non-motorized Nikon DSLRs
SLD (Special Low Dispersion) - reduces flare and ghosting for superior image quality throughout the zoom range
Internal Focusing - front filter does not rotate

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)
 
Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

========================================

SAMPLES

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

Nikon D5200

95% of my shots here are unedited.
The event shots were usually the ones edited.

All shots were manual focus.



Selfies and my pets

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)
  
Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)
with Kenko Softon B filter

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)



Product Photography

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)



Closeups/Flowers

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)



Outdoor

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)
 
Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)



Events/Clients

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)
Shot this from the balcony, second floor about 15 meters away

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)
Shot from the second floor, 15 meters away. This was at 200mm.

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)
Shot from 10 meters away. This was about 150mm

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

Sigma DC 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS HSM (Launched 2007, for Nikon)

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LINKS

Sigma 18-200mm Photo Album
https://flic.kr/s/aHskPDaq3D







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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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