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Any one tried a Sigma 28-200mm F3.5-5.6 Aspherical Macro?

Ernie Ong , Oct 26, 2003; 09:07 a.m.

Has anyone tried using the Sigma 28-200mm F3.5-5.6 Aspherical Macro? Inputs much appreciated. Tnx


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Jim S , Oct 26, 2003; 09:49 a.m.

I haven't even considered a zoom with that much range. I find that a 28- 105mm is more reasonable and much better quality. If quality is much lower priority than versatility and you are happy with 4x6 inch prints, go for it. Just don't come back and complain that your 8x10s are too soft and your focal extremes have too much distortion.

Lindsay Robb , Oct 26, 2003; 10:33 a.m.

Sorry to intrude on the Nikon forum but I saw this post and felt the need to give my 2 cents worth.

I recently bought a Tamron 28-200mm F3.8-5.6 Asperical Macro for my EOS to replace two zooms that I hated carrying around and changing.

Contrary to what Jim says, I have not noticed any degradation in my picture quality. I have blown up a couple of photos to 8x10 and they do not look too soft and as yet I have noticed no distortion at either end (it's probably there but if I can't notice it then who cares?).

I have also managed to catch a few great shots that I wouldn't have bothered with if I had to change my lens (travelling).

So unless you are intending on a gallery exhibition of poster sized images then I would ignore comments about image degradation and get what you think you would like. Test it and if you don't like the results then take it back. Simple.

David H. Hartman , Oct 26, 2003; 02:24 p.m.

Sure plenty of folks have. If not, these lenses would not be for sale. I wouldn’t touch one of these with a ten foot pole. Then again I have my own darkroom, make my own prints and set rather high standards. If convenience is more important than quality this lens may be the lens for you. It’s personal and subjective and depends on what you want to do with the image.

I’ve noticed that the resolution of photo paper is not high enough to show what’s actually in the negative at 8x10. It takes an 11x14 inch print to do justice to a good 35mm Tri-X negative. I also notice that graded papers can have higher resolution than VC papers though VC papers likely have better blacks. Yes I’m picky. I have an enlarging lens that’s the best of five that I tested and I paid $125.00 for my grain focuser many years ago. I also ran my own business for 14 years.

If you want the lens for vacation photos it may well be the lens for you. If your vacation includes a keen interest in architecture this lens is probably not wide enough and will exhibit too much distortion. I’d recommend two or there primes and one zoom rather than one all-in-one zoom.

I can’t advise such a lens, still it may be the lens for you.


Shun Cheung , Oct 26, 2003; 03:14 p.m.

If you always shoot at f8 and never use a tripod, you'll probably never see any different between a cheap zoom and a good zoom or prime. But if nothing else, I'd say maximum f5.6 at 200mm very limiting.

Elliot :) , Oct 26, 2003; 10:51 p.m.

"I have not noticed any degradation in my picture quality"

I guess ignorance is bliss.

Tor Johnson , Oct 27, 2003; 02:49 a.m.

I find it a bit premature to disregard a superzoom as useless - it reminds me of how Nikkor glass is often dismissed in favor of a Leitz lens. Also - it is possible to shoot a razor sharp picture hand-held contrary to the implicitation of the previous post about tripod use (most 35mm cameras do have speed settings of 1/500 and above).

In experience I've noticed two things about supersooms - the build quality among lenses (even of the same model) isn't perfectly consistent.

Secondly - in terms of distortion, yes a superzoom at 50mm is no match for a Nikkor 50mm prime AF-D lens. Color and clarity differences if you blow the print up to 16x20. However: for many situations these lenses are perfectly up to the task of creating lovely works of art. There are cases where I've gotten images that you would be hard pressed to tell whether they were shot with a 28-300 superzoom or a 70-200 AF professional zoom (and no I don't mean to imply that the 70-200 DIDN'T live up to expectations).

Bottom Line: see if you can try one and see if it fits you needs. These lenses do have their place.

Kenny Goh , Oct 27, 2003; 06:08 a.m.

Hi Ernie,

I use a Sigma 28-200mm F3.8-5.6 UC Aspherical Zoom Lens.

As many of the guys would have mentioned here, the lens is not as good as prime options. But, again, are we really comparing with prime lenses? It's a good lens. Don't compare it with good primes, that should be another topic altogether. Like Tor said, it's best if you could get a hold of one and try it before you buy it.

My lens have been excellent as a versatile tool and giving me better than acceptable blow-ups. Fit on a 28-200mm and you can virtually walk around with this the whole day. Keep those primes (if you use any) for that "sure-shot" and shots which you have decided to mark for "near-perfection".

I like this lens for portrait shots as it softens facial features. (if only the ones noticeable...)

So, Ernie for me, it's a good buy... :)

Shun Cheung , Oct 27, 2003; 06:40 a.m.

To Tor Johnson: The point I am making is that if you hand hold a 200mm lens even at 1/250 sec, you'll get some shaky soft images. Therefore, if one compares a 200mm prime and a super zoom also at 200mm hand held, you might not see much of a difference because both are a bit soft as a result of hand holding. Put them on a good tripod and you may finally see the optical capability of a prime or a good zoom.

Yes, you can usually get sharp images hand holding at 1/500 sec, but that is why my 2nd point about the max f5.6 aperture. Unless you are shooting in bright conditions, you either have to use fast film or you simply cannot shoot at 1/500 sec. Of course you'll also never get the shallow depth of field from a 200mm/f2.8.

If one never makes large enlargements, a bit of softness may be completely acceptable. There is certainly a market for 28-200mm zooms, but only you can decide whether it meets your needs or not.

Anup P , Oct 27, 2003; 07:15 a.m.

I have this lens and found it to be quite useful. For the type of photographs I take, this is quite sufficient. It all depends on what you expect the lens to do. If you dont want to carry a lot of lenses and would like to have an all in one, go for this. You wont be disappointed.

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