78 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2010
I'm using this lens on a Nikon D200. After destroying my 18-200mm Nikon VR I wanted a cheap "walkabout lens" that I could risk destroying as I do a lot of industrial shooting where it's easy to whack a lens.
I bought this lens despite some less than glowing reviews. I really liked the self-contained design where nothing changes length when zooming or focusing. I also liked the idea of it being f/2.8 at the wide end.
This lens has a boatload of chromatic aberration at wider settings which is it's chief drawback. I use Lightroom 2.6 and it's perfectly correctable which enhances its wide end sharpness as well. This lens is sharp enough at all zooms stopped down just a little. It's really quite a surprise. I wouldn't try to make billboards with it, but it should print up to 12x18 with a little care in shooting. The optical stabilization on mine is really very good and I'm impressed with how far it allows me to push the shutter speed on still life shots.
Like most inexpensive wide lenses, it shows corner softness and vignetting at wide settings but this can actually be used to push the viewer into the center of the shot, or vignetting can be corrected in post. Wide open at 50mm (it's full zoom limit) it's soft all over but sharpens up by even F/5.6 on my copy. Not bad since most lenses in this price range are already F/5.6 at this zoom and have to be closed further to get any sharpness at all.
I have a number of Nikon and Sigma lenses and this one sits on my camera almost all the time. I've grown to know and trust it in just the short time I've had it. The autofocus has been very good in low light -- contrary to some reviews I've read elsewhere -- and I have to say this lens is easy to like once you understand its limitations.
For the very low price this lens sells for and the features it has (non-rotating filter mount, internal zoom and focus) it's a very attractive lens for a shooter like myself.
52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2009
I'm an amateur photographer, whose pictures are taken indoors, with no flash. I could not afford higuer-end class just yet, so I opted for this lens, knowing that 18mm, it gives you f2.8. That is pretty awesome. IT works fantastic and smooth. From the beginning, my photos came out pretty sharp, thanks in part to the Optical Stabilization offered, something that other brands cannot offer for that price.
Strongly recommend this lens for your everyday photos. Outdoors and indoors. It is not heavy, it is fast, sharp, and practical.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2009
As a walk-around lens I really did try to think of the best overall lens that I would want. I recently purchased another Canon body (450D) and instead of getting another 18-55 canon kit lens I opted instead to purchase body only this time. I then did my homework on which lens I thought would be best. Looking at the 18-100+ lenses, the 18-200+ lenses, and the typical overpriced L lenses really put things into perspective for me. I love the range of the kit lenses but REALLy wanted a better quality piece of glass, silent AF, and NO lens extension while zooming. This lens fit the bill perfectly! The fact that Sigma not only made the ultimate kit lens upgrade, but also included the petal hood as well for $300 really made me think about my next purchase and Canon.
Canon wants too much money for their lenses and unless you pay the high price for an L lens you don't even get a lens hood! ENOUGH ALREADY! I am sold on Sigma quality and will continue to support them for my future lens purchases. I have now shot over 3,000+ images with this lens and I have only tossed around 15 total.
Extremely Sharp, accurate color, little to no chromatic issues, fast, and sturdy. Buy this lens, you wont regret it!
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2009
Test photos made with this lens on a Canon XSI were beautiful.
The photos showed no chromatic abberation or edge distortion.
The colors were true and images sharp as a tack. Depth of field was excellent due to the large aperature.
Large blow up of text revels sharp edges. I would recommend this lens to anyone who likes good quality and price value.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2011
I wouldn't expect L quality with this lens, but it does have some nice features (OS, HSM, and f2.8 at 18mm for $200!) and it focuses very quickly and accurately on my T2i.
At first I thought it was going to be a really great lens, but after seeing a lot of CA and softness on the edges of pictures, I am not as impressed. The center of images looks very sharp, but because I always take pictures with the thought that I could publish one, the edge softness is disappointing. *To update this, I have found that stopping to f/8 produces sharp photos, all the way to the edges.
Now for video this is a great lens w/ f2.8 at 18mm. That's one reason I bought this lens and that I'm going to keep it. Because the video files are compressed, the edge softness won't matter nearly as much. Judging from the videos I've taken with this lens I'm much happier with it over the kit lens (18-55mm). The videos taken with the kit lens, even in daylight, just looked bad for some reason. The videos taken with this lens match up nicely with videos taken with my canon 50mm.
Bottom line, if you need f2.8 at the wide end, this is the best value you can get for your crop-sensor DSLR, especially if you don't mind some edge softness. If you happen to capture a really great picture with this lens, a little softness around the edges isn't going to matter, because the center is adequately sharp. Get this lens if you need a versatile zoom for you rebel, 40d, etc. If you already have the kit lens, this lens isn't going to blow you away with how much better it is...you'll just have to weigh the pros and cons (the only con I can think of it the edge softness and CA at wide apertures), and decide for yourself. If this lens cost 600 dollars, I'd be disappointed, but it's only 200.
I've come to realize I use CPL and grad filters all the time, especially for wide-angle landscapes, and the fact that this Sigma allows filter use with its non-rotating front element is a considerable advantage over the Canon and Nikon kit 18-55mm lenses, which rotate annoyingly while focusing.
48 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2010
I used this lens with my Rebel T2i, and believe me, I really wanted to like it for its $200 price point. Wide-open at f/2.8 (available only at 18mm), I was dumbfounded by how soft the output was. Stopped-down to f/11, the lens exhibits adequate sharpness, but displays high levels of (correctable) distortion. The lens really struggles to resolve any detail in the corners at most focal lengths. I would not recommend this lens to anyone who tends to view images at 100%. Very strong chromatic aberration is visible at all focal lengths, even when stopped down.
Sigma's powder coat looks and feels nice, and the lens has great self-contained zoom action. However, the image quality is downright ugly on an 18MP sensor. I might recommend this lens to anyone with a 12MP or less camera who does not print large or enjoy viewing photos at full resolution. Indeed, the build quality and theoretical features of this lens are appealing, but you really do get what you pay for. CANON USERS: Keep your kit lens for now, it's CONSIDERABLY sharper, I assure you.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2010
Pro: Stabilizer works very well, built quality is very good, hood fits like a glove.
Con: Focusing is a hit or miss at wider aperture, it's more so than my F2.8 constant Sigma($500), especially at wide end of the zoom.
verdict: can't really complaint about the lens at this price point, it's ten time better build than the NIkon VR 18-55(which i had), and 18-55 Canon IS(which I used), the extra stops is very helpful in some situation.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2009
I was using a Sigma 28-70mm until the diaphragm seized with a friend's wedding a few days away. In the dim light, the large aperture and the optical stabilization proved to be a life-saver. I have a couple of other lenses, but this one hasn't left my camera for weeks, now.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2012
My last sentence will sum up my review ;)
After my 20D was stolen along with my walk around lens, I bought this lens to go with my replacement Canon T2i to compliment my 50mm 1.8 and 75-300mm cannon lenses. I originally bought my camera as a "kit" but ended up returning it after a week because I found it for less than half of what I paid as "body only" and wasn't thrilled by the kit lens.
This lens compared to the Canon 18-55 kit lens has a lot more strengths than weaknesses.
-F2.8 in a small zoom lens that's cheaper than the kit lens! I was worried that images in the wider end and lower aperture of this lens would look soft, to my surprise they're actually pretty decently sharp! I actually feel that the lens performs best at the wider focal range and it makes for a great indoor lens. When stopped up to 4 and above images are easily as sharp as the Canon kit lens, at least from the examples that I've taken they are.
-Build quality is FAR better than that of the Canon kit lens. This lens feels very solid and both the zoom and focus rings are smooth moving and provide excellent grip. The kit lens' tiny focus ring drove me nuts as I shoot a lot of video on my T2i and having a larger focus ring makes a big difference there.
-Lens has internal zoom and focus which makes using polarizing filters much easier, and to me it also makes storing the lens a lot easier. The focus is also very quick and quiet, in my experience thus far it's been pretty accurate as well, the image stabilization also works very well.
About the only weakness I can think of with this lens compared to the Canon kit lens is that between F3.5-5 the kit lens may be slightly sharper based on my sample images. The quality is so close though that I had to crop to 100% and even then it wasn't a night and day difference. Contrast and Color on the lens is great, I would have easily paid an extra $100 or more for this lens based on what I got. I think at $200 you'd be a fool to buy the Canon kit lens over this lens, however if you're looking for a lens as your only lens ever, save up and get a high quality piece of glass!
I gave this 5 stars based on what you're getting for what you're paying, it really is a fantastic value!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2010
I purchased this lens to replace my Nikon 18-55mm kit lens that came with my Nikon D40; the reason was that the plastic bayonet mount on the Nikon lens failed (and Nikon wouldn't cover it under warranty). This Sigma however has an aluminum mount, which is much more durable than the plastic mounts. So far I've had this lens for 2 months and love it! The autofocus is tack sharp, the optical stabilization is excellent, and my favorite thing so far is the f/2.8 aperture at 18mm. Combined, the f/2.8 and the OS in low light conditions has saved a lot of wobbly shots that I would have likely tossed. I own two other Sigma lenses (Sigma 10-20mm and Sigma 105mm macro) and have been very pleased with the build quality and durability of Sigma lenses. You won't go wrong in buying this 18-50mm Sigma, it's a great lens and a great deal!