Canon kit vs Sigma 18-200, first blood:)

Discussion in 'Canon' started by jazu, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. jazu

    jazu Guest

    I received my sigma and now I'm competing both lenses against each other. Is
    really hard to say which one is better.
    People say so easy that upgrading from lens kit to sigma 18-200 was a good
    Are there some good steps how to compare two lenses? I would appreciate your
    advice. So far I'm trying shots with same setup for both lenses.
    I believe that the proper way to find out which lens is better. Perhaps I'm
    not using proper setups.
    jazu, Dec 28, 2007
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  2. jazu

    Paul Furman Guest

    The most basic test is shoot a brick wall at various apertures in full
    sun or with a tripod & compare center & corner sharpness. My technical
    check on that is to apply sharpening to exaggerate the differences: you
    can also try & see which responds to the lowest sharpening radius for
    objective results.

    For bokeh (out of focus softness), shoot at closest focus with Christmas
    lights in the background & look for rings around the edges of the
    circles or dots in the middle. Which has closer focus?

    For vignetting (dark corners) shoot a white ceiling with the aperture
    wide open.

    For chromatic aberration (color fringing) shoot bare tree branches
    back-lit into the sun overexposed a little.
    Paul Furman, Dec 28, 2007
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  3. jazu

    RichA Guest

    Try them both wide open (such as is their "wide" open apertures) then
    start crying.
    RichA, Dec 28, 2007
  4. jazu

    jazu Guest

    would Canon 17-85 IS be a better chioce?
    jazu, Dec 28, 2007
  5. jazu

    jazu Guest

    I made already 100+100 pictures.
    Different angles, focal lengths, apertures. I used tripod for +-75% shots
    I'm not very experienced photographer, but I have a very good sight:)
    IMHO Sigma 18-200 is a nice lens, but I don't think it is a good replacement
    for kit lens 18-55.
    In range 18-55 both lenses perform almost the same. Generally Sigma seems to
    me produce warmer images than kit. Judging from pictures of beer bottles:),
    kit 18-55 makes slightly sharper images.
    The only advantage of Sigma is tele end, which I would say is not that bad
    and this would be the only reason to keep this lens.
    Lately I'm coming to conclusion that kit 18-55 is not that bad at all. I
    have fillings that perhaps Canon 17-85 IS would be slightly better, but
    maybe there is no point to spend $400 for small improvement.
    I really am jealous of people who so easy write on reviews how replacing kit
    with Sigma 18-200 was a great decision. If you believe in something....
    It didn't happen to me. Perhaps is too early for me to conclude. I have
    sigma for 3 days only. Do you think I need more time and more shots?
    jazu, Dec 28, 2007
  6. I thought that the Tamron (?) 18-250mm was supposed to be a better lens?
    Does the Sigma have image stabilisation? For me, the main issue would be
    weight in a carry-round lens. Image quality I would expect to be at least
    as good, as the Canon kit lens has a poor reputation.

    David J Taylor, Dec 28, 2007
  7. jazu

    Guest Guest

    something else is better than sigma? how can that be?:)
    sigma makes two 18-200 lenses, one with stabilization and an older one
    without, and neither one is all that good.
    Guest, Dec 28, 2007
  8. jazu

    flambe Guest

    Most of the people who post about lenses on this newsgroup have no
    experience with use of those lenses, This is clear from the posts I have
    read so far on this topic.
    No one likes to let the facts get in the way of a bad opinion.
    Unless the formulation has been changed from its initial production the
    Canon kit zoom is the poster child for chromatic aberration at its wide end.
    Otherwise it performs not much differently than others of its ilk, which is
    adequate but far from wonderful.
    The Sigma 18-200 in my personal experience using this lens and comparing it
    to others pointed at the same subject, has less chromatic aberration than
    the Canon. It has visible distortion at the wide end, as does the Canon. My
    main complaint about the Sigma is that it vignettes at the wide end at
    widest apertures, but its overall performance is quite acceptable.
    The better comparison is with the Nikon 18-200 VR. The comparison does not
    favor Nikon. The Nikon vignettes less at the wide end wide open, less than
    the Sigma though clearly visible, but the Nikon actually has worse linear
    distortion. Apart from the VR and the price there is nothing to optically
    distinguish the very expensive Nikon 18-200, as there was nothing to
    distinguish the Nikon 28-200 from its lesser pedigreed competitors. There is
    no way to make a lens with that kind of zoom range that will not have
    technical compromises.
    The 18-200s are very reasonable performers, in that range competitive with
    the 18-55 ilk regardless of vendor. The Nikon 18-70 kit lens is the only kit
    lens I have seen that is a cut above the others in the 18-55 zoom range.
    If you are going somewhere and only want to lug one camera and one lens the
    18-200s are reasonable choices, none optically superior to the other
    overall, and VR/OS worth the added price. The distortion and vignetting
    issues are easily corrected in Photoshop if they are even noticed in actual
    If you are shooting for National Geographic then none of the lenses
    mentioned above will ever enter your plane of consciousness. Most of us do
    not shoot for National Geographic, however and have absolute financial
    limits that govern lens purchases and prefer/need to carry one lens instead
    of four.

    In any event most photographers are far more aesthetically challenged than
    these lenses are technically challenged.
    flambe, Dec 28, 2007
  9. jazu

    TH O Guest

    The 18-55 kit lens is usually considered a very poor performer.
    Concluding that the 18-55 is sharper is not a good sign for the Sigma.
    TH O, Dec 28, 2007
  10. jazu

    Colin_D Guest

    The 18-55 has a less than good reputation, but that is due mainly to its
    feel and appearance. It is a very light lens with focusing by rotating
    the front element, and the overall impression is one of cheapness -
    which is valid, since it only costs about $70 more or less.

    But, its performance belies that impression. It's not an 'L' lens, but
    for what it is, its a surprisingly good performer. There is a bloke in
    my camera club who uses a Canon XT and the kit lens. He wins most of
    the A-grade competitions, and has won national honours, including the
    letters APSNZ after his name. Most of his prints are A4 size, (8.27 x
    11.7 inches) and they are plenty sharp.

    Colin D.
    Colin_D, Dec 29, 2007
  11. is just one, or maybe two, samples of a lens from a manufacturer
    with reportedly widely varying qualities between samples.
    Read: for an 11x zoom they aren't too bad versus a more
    conservative 3x zoom. Which puts an unquantified bonus on the larger range.
    Which other lenses have you seen, then?
    .... assuming your relative importance of different ranges versus
    image quality and wide aperture needs is similar to the comparer.

    But "If you are going somewhere and only want to lug one
    camera and one lens" you may just take one of these
    newfangled slim point'n'shoots.

    Or you could take a "normal" lens. Or even a fast 50mm. Or a
    10-22mm. It depends on where you go when and how you shoot.
    Read: They are all bad.
    Read: ... and usually very slow, especially at the long end.
    Read: Prepare for quite an amount of extra work afterwards.

    But are there any steps between NG and lomography?
    A good fixed focal length lens around 20-80mm is not expensive and
    vastly better. It also teaches better photography. Otherwise,
    there are point&shoot cameras that are cheaper than an DSLR +
    a soup-zoom, at similar quality.
    The idea that one should/must be able to do everything from 5mm
    to 2500mm, from a format filling single human hair to grandiose
    shots of Saturn sounds rather strange to this one.

    Why not a single, fixed focal length?
    And there not even a DSLR will save them.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Jan 3, 2008
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