Best 28-200mm Lens

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Andrew K-V, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. Andrew K-V

    Andrew K-V Guest


    I'm looking for a bit of advise here: I'm interested in buying a 28-200mm
    lens for travelling with. I've got 3 real choices:

    Sigma 28-200mm F3.5-5.6 Compact Aspherical Hyperzoom Macro

    Sigma 28-200mm F3.5-5.6 DL Aspherical Hyperzoom Macro (about to be

    Tamron 28-200mm F3.8-5.6 XR Aspherical (IF) Super Zoom

    I'm not familiar with any of these lenses other than what I read on the
    manufacturers web sites. I would appreciate any advise about which one to
    buy, particularly related to image quality. I'll be buying a canon EOS fit.


    Andrew K-V, Jun 8, 2004
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  2. Andrew K-V

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Avoid the Sigma. IF you must have a 28-200 I suppose any other one on the
    market would do, but were I you, I would opt for the Canon 28-135 IS lens,
    as a much better performer.
    Tony Spadaro, Jun 8, 2004
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  3. Please don't mention the "S word" around here. ;-)
    Richard Cockburn, Jun 9, 2004
  4. Andrew K-V

    Mike Hunter Guest

    Had a Sigma 28-200. It was CRAP. Someone stole it from my hotel room -
    YIPPEE - got a decent lens on the insurance.

    Seriously - any of these lenses will take pictures and are convenient when
    travelling. Don't expect magic results though - soft focus, colour
    aberations and distortion are the order of the day with these very cheap
    lenses. They are not strongly built either.

    If you can't afford better, I would suggest the Tamron.

    The nearest equivalent lens from your camera manufacturer will cost more but
    should be a bit better optically and much more robustly made. Choose from
    your camera manufacturer's pro-sumer or professional ranges and you will get
    a lens that you can be really happy with.

    I made the mistake of getting cheap lenses when I bought my first Minolta
    Dynax (some years ago now) and have replaced all but one of them. I would
    have spent far less overall if I had bought good quality lenses in the first


    Mike Hunter, Jun 9, 2004
  5. Andrew K-V

    TP Guest

    Image quality?

    It will be *atrocious*, whichever of these lenses you buy. There is
    no way that any of these 28-200mm lenses will produce good results.

    Look for a shorter zoom range, no greater than 4X focal length (these
    are 7X) and you will have a much better chance of getting good optical
    performance. 28-105mm is a good bet, and try to buy a Canon lens
    rather than an independent brand. It will cost more, but it will
    perform better, and hold its value well, which cannot be said of the
    independent equivalents.
    TP, Jun 9, 2004
  6. Andrew K-V

    TP Guest

    You were lucky ... sounds like you got one of the better examples!

    TP, Jun 9, 2004
  7. Andrew K-V

    bmoag Guest

    These lenses are best suited to use outdoors in bright light with a
    contrasty subject. They are not very sharp, tend to low contrast, flare and
    have significant barrel and pincushion distortion. There is not much to
    distinguish one from the other, camera brand name lenses do not perform
    significanly better than Sigma/Tamron etc. For vacation/travelling they are
    ok but you will probably be disappointed in some of your pictures due to
    lens problems: been there, done that. What made me put this lens away was an
    indoor family picture in front of a brick wall. If possible carry a good
    quality 50mm lens as well. Although higher priced camera brand lenses in the
    +/- 28-100 range are much better performers and will yield higher quality
    bmoag, Jun 9, 2004
  8. Andrew K-V

    Alan Browne Guest

    My girlfriend just bought this lens. It is a bit soft in
    rendition. Color is fine. Distortion is of course noticeable at
    the wide end. For her use (convenience /travel), it is perfect,
    but I would not recommend the lens generally. When pointed up or
    down, it will not hold focal length, which can be a pain in some
    It does focus closer (macro) than the other lens, IIRC, and this
    was another selling point for my girlfriend, but it is not a true

    (Note, she paints, and her photographs are to capture elements or
    scenes for her paintings.)

    If your objective is "image quality" (sharpness, distortion,
    contrast, etc.) then do not buy the above lens.
    Personally I wouldn't buy a superzoom. A photoclub member
    presented travel slides from a Sigma 28-200 (not sure which) that
    were very (very) good. So either other models than the one I
    reply to above are much better or he had a flukey "good one" (not

    Alan Browne, Jun 9, 2004
  9. Andrew K-V

    Sander Vesik Guest

    So how come you pick on 'sigma' but not on 'hyperzoom'? A Nikon /
    Canon / Pentax / Leica / whoever 28-200 3.5-5.6 compact (or not)
    hyperzoom is going to suck too. And there really isn't a real
    quality difference between lens made by sigma and tamron either.
    Sander Vesik, Jun 9, 2004
  10. Andrew K-V

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Sigmas have a really bad reputation for not being usable on newer models of
    Canon cameras - Sigma is cheap and instead of licensing the mount tries to
    reverse engineer it. They then claim that they will re-chip the failed lens
    but if it is "too old" in their judgement, they will not, and my friend who
    sent them a lens for rechipping didn't see it again for 6 months, and while
    that rechipping made it work for his Elan II it didn't work on my EOS 3
    which was already on the market when teh lens was sent for re-chipping.
    Others have also spoken about very poor build quality on Sigma lenses.
    I've only owned one and it has held together for 8 years but that isn't
    saying much as it was not a particularly good lens in the first place --
    simply dirt cheap.
    Tony Spadaro, Jun 9, 2004
  11. Bad idea. All lenses of this kind suck. If you're REALLY interested in
    'image quality', you would not even be looking at this sort of crap.
    I'd suggest a Leica R9 with the 70-180 f/2,8 VARIO-APO-ELMARIT-R and
    the 21-35 VARIO-ELMAR-R, along with a 60mm Macro or 50mm Summicron to
    cover the middle..
    Michael Scarpitti, Jun 9, 2004
  12. Andrew K-V

    John Fryatt Guest

    Yes, and why not have them gold-plated at the same time?

    I think the suggestion to split your required zoom range in two is good
    28-200mm lenses don't have a good rep. and two lenses, say 28-90 and 70-200
    would likely give better results.

    John Fryatt, Jun 9, 2004
  13. Andrew K-V

    Doug Robbins Guest

    It seems obvous to me that someone in the market for a 28-200 zoom lens is
    not likely to be interested in spending $6000 plus on Leica equipment.
    Doug Robbins, Jun 9, 2004
  14. Andrew K-V

    Andrew K-V Guest


    Thanks for your advice. Looks like the general opinion is that there is no
    decent all-in-one lens for travelling.

    Just for info, I already have a

    Sigma 17-35mm F2.8-4 EX HSM
    Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 EX
    Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX HSM
    Canon 50mm F1.8 Mk I

    So not really lokking for an everyday lens, just something conventient and
    small(ish) to take avay when i rather not cary 4 kgs of equipment with me.

    Any suggestion on the best option for a reasonable zoom range with some sort
    of image qaulity? Canon 28-135mm?


    Andrew K-V, Jun 9, 2004
  15. Andrew K-V

    Skip M Guest

    The 28-135 IS is my choice for my primary "walk around" lens. It's the one
    most often seen in front of whatever camera I'm using, even when I'm
    carrying 4 kg of equipment. Or 10 lbs, for that matter! <G>
    Skip M, Jun 10, 2004

  16. Then why mention 'image quality'?
    Michael Scarpitti, Jun 10, 2004
  17. Andrew K-V

    Sander Vesik Guest

    This will cost you two orders of magnitude more than the lens in the
    original question.

    While its nice to tell newbies to buy expensive lens (and thus sponsor
    your own next purchace via volume), unless you know you are going to
    hang on to them for a long time you might reconsider the f/2.8 lens.
    Conversly, if you know you do, don't get the 17-35mm zoom. get the
    20-40mm f/2.8 instead. Even better, consider a wide fixed focal.

    And people will tell you again not to buy Sigma - part of which is
    snobbery, part of which is real quality (and quality control) issues.

    The only one you definitaly do need out of this is the 50mm/f1.8
    Sander Vesik, Jun 10, 2004
  18. Andrew K-V

    Skip M Guest

    I think he meant he already had the listed lenses...
    Skip M, Jun 10, 2004
  19. Andrew K-V

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    Canon recently issued a 28-300/3.5-5.6 L IS, which will probably
    turn out to be the best hyperzoom ever made. Price is $2499.
    Canon also made a 35-350/3.5-5.6 L but it lacks IS.

    Recently while searching the web for reviews of the new 70-300 DO IS,
    I came across this comparison of various high-end Canon lenses.
    What interested me is how much better the 70-300/4-5.6 IS performs
    than your 28-135 IS does at 70mm:
    Bill Tuthill, Jun 10, 2004
  20. Andrew K-V

    Lisa Horton Guest

    I have owned this lens, in EOS fit. I regret selling it. By now
    you're well aware that the image quality from superzooms is often
    modest, to put it nicely. But my copy of this lens was surprisingly
    good. Sharpness was roughly comparable to my Canon 75-300, which may
    have been a less than stellar sample. The sharpness was not far behind
    the Canon 28-105/3.5-4.5, a pretty decent lens.

    My lens did need to be rechipped to work with the then new Elan 7, but
    it was free and painless to get that done. Since this lens is at the
    end of it's life, getting it rechipped for *future* EOS models may be

    What these lenses lack in image quality, they can potentially make up
    for in convenience. The key is being aware of what compromises you're
    making and having reasonable expectations.

    If I were buying again, I'd try to compare test results between this
    lens and the newer compact version. If the difference in quality is
    small, the smaller size of the compact may be desirable.

    Lisa Horton, Jun 10, 2004
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