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Nikon vs. Sigma vs. Tamron, 18-200 Lenses

Louise Wilkins , Jun 21, 2008; 02:11 p.m.

I'm getting a 18-200 AF-S VR lens for my D60. I see besides Nikkor lenses, Sigma & Tamron advertised. Any thoughts other than cost? That's obvious!


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Michael Kohan , Jun 21, 2008; 02:49 p.m.

Response to Nikon vs. Sigma vs. Tamron

The Nikon f stop range is 3.5 to 5.6, the others are 3.5 to 6.3. From what I understand, Nikon cameras don't auto focus well at 6.3. Only the Sigma has optical stabilization (VR).

Robert Hooper , Jun 21, 2008; 02:58 p.m.

Response to Nikon vs. Sigma vs. Tamron

I don't think the Sigma product will autofocus on your D60, Louise. Your camera requires Nikon lenses with the S designation or Sigma lenses with the HSM designation. I believe the same is true of the Tamron lens. It will not autofocus on the D60.

Eric Sande , Jun 21, 2008; 03:11 p.m.

Response to Nikon vs. Sigma vs. Tamron

Nikon *officially* advises against using any lens with an aperture smaller than f/5.6 in order for AF to work properly, but these f/6.3 lenses have been around a long time so it's obviously not a train-stopping obstacle.

Tamron is slowly incorporating in-lens AF motors to accommodate the newer Nikons, though I'm not sure of the status of 18-200/250 lenses.

If you're already set to buy the Nikon, I'd say stick with that and enjoy guaranteed compatibility + VR.

Douglas Greenberg , Jun 21, 2008; 04:02 p.m.

Response to Nikon vs. Sigma vs. Tamron

Just to clarify: the NIkon 18-200mm. does include VR. For what it does it is a very good lens.

Sigma's design may be great and the price is certainly right--and from what I read it does include HSM, so it's compatible with the D40 and D60 bodies. But Sigma does have some continuing QC issues. If you get a Sigma zoom be sure that you order from somewhere that has a convenient exchange policy in case you have problems.

Shun Cheung , Jun 21, 2008; 04:33 p.m.

Response to Nikon vs. Sigma vs. Tamron

The 3rd-party lenses in this range are all f6.3 on the long end. You'll have inconsistent AF performance under broad day light. AF will be essentially useless indoors.

Michael Kohan , Jun 21, 2008; 04:41 p.m.

Response to Nikon vs. Sigma vs. Tamron

Thanks Douglas for the clarification, I meant between the Tamron and Sigma.

Robert Hooper , Jun 21, 2008; 05:08 p.m.

Response to Nikon vs. Sigma vs. Tamron

I'm terribly sorry, Louise. I was wrong about the Sigma 18-200mm not being HSM. I hadn't realized Sigma had come out with this newer version. It will auto focus on your D60, but even so, as Shun has explained, the f6.3 aperture of the Sigma lens will compromise auto focus function. You would be far better off with the Nikon product in any case, in my opinion.

Lil Judd , Jun 21, 2008; 06:37 p.m.

Response to Nikon vs. Sigma vs. Tamron


I'd stick with the Nikon 18-200VR just for the sake of it. Personally I've not had any problems with focus on any lens that a Third Market and a f/6.3 on the long end. I have had two - - not ever used them inside, but outside in OK light and my D200 & D300 have always focused just fine.

As for the 18-200VR. It is best in between f/8 - f/13 I find it a great all around lens which is very convenient. Once you get to the point that you know better what you want & start buying higher quality lenses - - that's a different story.

I tend to direct people to this folder of mine to show the versatility of the 18-200VR http://lilknytt.zenfolio.com/f200314254/ - - all shots except for some of the shots in the Venice Beach gallery are shot with the 18-200VR. I believe I shot all of them at a f/8

Good luck with your decision & know that it's a convenience lens & that there are probably sharper lenses you can find - - but not as convenient & not with that reach.

Depending upon what you wish to shoot - - people might suggest other lenses for you.

Good luck

Lil :-)

Lex Jenkins , Jun 21, 2008; 07:07 p.m.

Response to Nikon vs. Sigma vs. Tamron

In this particular type of lens I'd definitely go for the Nikkor. The VR really helps with shaky mitts like mine (I had a 24-120 VR and am seriously considering the 18-200 now). And the photos I've seen look really good for a lens of this type, far better than a superzoom should be.

As for Sigma QC, while I've seen some reports of softness affecting one side/corner or another, probably due to de-centering, they also have a reputation for making good on customer satisfaction. So I wouldn't hesitate to consider Sigma if they happened to have a lens I was interested in. But this particular zoom ain't one that interests me. Now, their 150/2.8 macro? Yup. That's an interesting one.

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