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Nikon 18-200mm VS Sigma 18-200mm?

Brian Chan , Jul 10, 2008; 08:26 a.m.

Hey all,

I am contemplating between buying either the Nikon version of the zoom lens or the Sigma version. As I am a beginner I would like to ask for some suggestions, such as the pros & cons of each? In terms of pricing Sigma is alot cheaper than the Nikon, however some say that the quality isnt as good.

Please advice. =)


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Elliot Bernstein , Jul 10, 2008; 08:33 a.m.

You actually answered your own question. Read your last sentence.

Warren Lewis , Jul 10, 2008; 09:03 a.m.

The Nikon is a "better" lens, the Sigma may be more affordable. The 18-200 is a good walk around, 1 lens solution. I have the Nikon and I really do not use it. The images seem a bit weak. As a lens, it is not that interesting to use. Its' a little to point and shoot for me.

As a beginner, depending upon your interest and knowledge, there might be other choices to consider. What do you currently have? What do you shoot and what are you looking to do that you cannot do with your current equipment?

Search around on this web site and you'll find more information and opinions.


Brian Chan , Jul 10, 2008; 09:18 a.m.

Thanks! I am currently just using the d40 kit lens, as I am just a casual photographer, i want a all-rounded lens to begin with so that i can take it around with me, to travel etc. The convenience of this broad ranged lens is what attracts me.

Shun Cheung , Jul 10, 2008; 09:27 a.m.

Nikon's auto-focus system is designed to work with lenses whose maximum aperture is f5.6 or faster. Nikon's own 18-200 AF-S DX is the only one of this type of lenses that is f5.6 at 200mm. The others are slower than f5.6 at 200mm and you will have iffy AF performance under bright sun light. It would be quite hopeless indoors.

Peter Keam , Jul 10, 2008; 09:49 a.m.

About a year ago I faced the same dilemma. I ended up getting a Sigma 18-200 (not the newer OS version). I have been VERY happy with it. I find the image quality to be very good. I was really concerned about whether my D70 would focus well @ the 200mm max apeture of f/6.3 but I have had NO problems. If you are considering the Sigma version with optical stabilization the choice would be a little less clear cut. My Sigma lens WITHOUT OS cost less than half of the Nikon. However, I don't have any lenses with VR -- I don't find this to be a problem. I also used to have the Sigma 18-125 lens and found it to be very satisfactory as well.

Elliot Bernstein , Jul 10, 2008; 09:56 a.m.

The 18-135mm Nikon lens is an affordable option. It offers exceptional image quality with a really nice zoom range, and is substantially less expensive than Nikon's 18-200mm. It does not have VR. I use it on my wife's D40 and I find it to be one of Nikon's best consumer lenses.

This photo:


shows the difference from 135mm to 200mm at infinity.

This photo:


shows the difference from 135mm to 200mm at close distance.

You need to decide whether the added range between 135mm and 200mm is worth the extra cost. Many find it isn't.

These photos:


show some crops comparing the two Nikon lenses.

Shun Cheung , Jul 10, 2008; 10:37 a.m.

Peter, I am surprised that you have no AF problem with a 200mm, f6.3 lens, especially on the D70 that has mediocre AF performance. While I don't have any lens that slow, I have mounted the TC-17E II onto f4 lenses to get an effective maximum aperture of f6.3, and AF tends to hunt a lot under the sun on some of Nikon's top-of-the-line AF bodies.

I also find it peculiar that Elliot keeps on making unsolicited recommendations of the 18-135mm AF-S DX without VR. According to Thom Hogan, this lens is barely recommended: http://www.bythom.com/18135lens.htm

While Hogan is not always right, when a Nikon authority like him makes such comments, I would check this lens out thoroughly before purchasing. Unless your budget is very limited, there are clearly better choices.

Warren Lewis , Jul 10, 2008; 11:01 a.m.


The D40x and 18-200 work well together. I give my son that set up when we go cruizing for photos and we've printed some nice images for his wall.

Alot of your question was answered on your second post. Its' a good combination for what you are looking to accomplish.

Have fun with it.


Peter Keam , Jul 10, 2008; 12:45 p.m.

Shun, I know the D70 is supposed to be mediocre at autofocus, but I've only had a problem with one lens -- an older Sigma 28mm 1.8 lens. I have used the following lenses on my two D70 bodies: nikon 28-105, sigma 18-200, sigma 18-125, nikon 50mm 1.8, nikon 28mm 2.8, nikon 70-300G, -- all with no autofocus problems. I think that this may be due to the fact that I shot with manual focus Nikon & Mamiya equipment for 25+ years in my days as a working professional. I never even took a picture with an autofocus lens until I got my two D70 bodies. Autofocus doesn't mean "point and shoot" I sometimes read posts about people having problems with AF and it seems they think that the camera is supposed to do EVERYTHING for them -- not so. This goes for exposure too. I've eagerly awaited each new Nikon body release, but so far I've not seen anything that has made me want to shell out $1000 plus for a new body -- Of course I WOULD like to have a D3 but I WOULDN'T like to have to explain to my wife why I NEED to spend $3000 for a camera body. :-)

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