Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM

Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM Handling and features

Weighing only 495g, this optic is lighter and slightly more compact than equivalent lenses from Canon and Nikon. However, the maximum aperture drops to a fairly modest f/6.3 at 200mm, which may be limiting for shooting in low light, requiring slower shutter speeds and/or higher ISO sensitivities to be used to compensate. The lens balances well on the Nikon D300 used for testing, and should also feel right at home on more compact entry-level camera bodies too.

Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM

High quality plastics have been used for much of the lens' construction, with a matt finish that doesn't mark easily and the lens mount is made of metal. A wide rubberised zoom ring fills much of the lens barrel and the zoom action feels very smooth indeed, having just enough resistance to prevent the zoom creeping through the range when pointed downwards. A locking switch is provided to hold the lens at 18mm during transport.

A silent HSM focusing motor powers the focusing mechanism, resulting in reasonably quick focusing, although not as fast as some equivalent lenses. Moving subjects can be a challenge to accurately get in focus as a result. Focusing is performed internally, so the 62mm filter thread does not rotate, making this lens ideal for use with polarising and graduated filters.

Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM

Full time manual focus adjustments are not supported as the focus ring is solidly engaged with the focusing motor. Manual focus adjustments can be difficult to apply, as the focus ring is very loose, and has a very short travel from infinity to close focusing. The close focusing distance of 45cm is fairly typical of this kind of lens.

Thanks to the optical stabilisation, sharp hand-held images are possible around half the time at shutter speeds as low as 1/40sec at 200mm, which is roughly three stops slower than the usual rule of thumb would dictate is possible.

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