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Sigma 18-250 mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Lens for Nikon
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- Small and lightweight superzoom lens perfect for travel photography
- Equipped with Sigma's own unique OS (Optical Stabiliser) technology
- Incorporates newly developed Thermally Stable Composite for a smaller construction
- SLD and Aspherical lens elements
- Minimum focusing distance of 35cm and a maximum magnification of 1:2.9 makes it ideal for close-up photography
- Includes protective case
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Sigma have made the 18-250mm more compact and thus more portable than its predecessorClick here to view larger
18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM
Produced in their legendary Aizu facility in Japan, Sigma presents their 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM zoom lens. Building on 50 years of innovation in precision optics design and craftsmanship, the 18-250mm is a versatile super zoom lens and direct successor to the widely acclaimed Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM. Evolving from the success of its predecessor, the 18-250mm sets a new generation’s high zoom ratio by achieving improved image quality, a significantly reduced size and an advanced close focus capability. With its ability to cover such an extreme range of focal lengths, this lens makes a great all-round offering to any budding photographer.
By using the innovative Thermally Stable Composite material, the 18-250mm is 25% lighter than its predecessorClick here to view larger
The Lens Design
Design features make up the foundation of the Sigma 18-250mm lens. Measuring 7.4cm x 8.7cm and weighing just 470g, the 18-250mm is both more compact and 25% lighter than its predecessor. Sigma have achieved this incredible weight reduction by using a new lighter material called Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) instead of much heavier Polycarbonate. This innovative material has a thermal shrinkage level equivalent to aluminium and has little contractility, even when subjected to sharp temperature changes.
The 18-250mm features Sigma’s dedicated Optical Stabiliser system (OS). The system offers an effective blur correction of 4 stops, helping to stabilise the image and counter shake. It is also linked to the viewfinder, allowing for more accurate previews and thus in focus images. Working alongside the OS is Sigma’s in-house developed inner focussing system, which both eliminates the need to extend the barrel, reducing light loss, and the need to rotate the front lens. In staying fixed, the front lens can accommodate a petal design hood (included) that helps to counter light related issues such as glare. The inner focussing system also allows for the use of Circular Polarising filters. The lens also features Sigma’s exclusive Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) which works to auto focus images in a fast, accurate and silent manner. All the above features combined give the lens an extraordinary ability to produce in focus images whether at close or long ranges.
The final design feature on the 18-250mm lens is a greatly improved bayonet mount. Sigma manufacture the mount from speciality treated brass, the result of which create a more solid and rust resistant connection between camera and lens.
From Macro to Telephoto
By covering such a broad range of focal lengths, the 18-250mm lens is capable of taking many different types of images and therefore accommodating many different types of user. With a fixed minimum focusing distance of 35cm throughout the entire focal range and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2.9, the lens performs well at taking close up images regardless of the distance between subject and lens. At the lower focal length settings (18-30mm) the lens acts like a Macro and reproduces detailed wide angled images of close up subjects. Then simply zoom in a little and the lens automatically turns into a standard-medium range telephoto. Finally, increase the zoom to the maximum focal lengths and it becomes a full telephoto lens allowing you to pin point a specific area within a landscape or scene and reproduce it in stunning close up detail. Higher F stop numbers as well as OS technology enhance the performance of the lens for long distance photography.
One SLD and three aspherical lens elements counter various optical aberrations and increase light transfer to the sensorClick here to view larger
The Optical Composition
In all forms of lens construction, Sigma puts the highest emphasis on the quality and craftsmanship of the internal optics. As a result, the 18-250mm incorporates a set of cutting edge and unique optical features which work to create bright and sharp images, at all focal lengths. One out of a total sixteen lens elements, is manufactured from Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass, renowned for its high resolution and light transmission properties. It works in conjunction with three aspherical lens elements (one double sided) to counter various colour and optical aberrations throughout the zoom range. The configuration also ensures that all levels of distortion are corrected. The resulting images speak for themselves in terms of sharpness and resolution.
Super Multi Layer coatings work to eliminate flare and ghost irregularitiesClick here to view larger
The lens incorporates a 7 blade diaphragm which produces a desirable blur (bokeh) effect on out of focus areas. The diaphragm also smoothes out intense back lighting, making them appear as rounded highlights as opposed to areas of over exposure. This effect helps to over emphasise the foreground subjects and smooth out the background, creating a well balanced image. Finally, Sigma applies Super Multi Layer coatings to all lens elements, which work to create an optimum colour balance by reducing the damaging effects of ghost and flare. The coatings also help to maximise light transmission to the DSLR’s sensor.
A Lens Most Applicable For......
Packing so many focal lengths and optimising features, the Sigma 18-250mm replaces the need to carry several lenses making it the ultimate “all in one” DSLR lens. The compact size, 25% weight reduction and a zoom lock function, make the lens extremely portable and ideally suited to travel as well as general day use. With ability to instantly switch from a telephoto to macro lens and assisted by various features, it is suited to a wide range of specific uses from close-up wildlife photography, landscapes as well as long distance pursuits. The OS system and HSM also ensure that the lens performs well when composing handheld shots both near and far. If you are tired of carrying around and continuously interchanging your lenses to get the right shot, then the Sigma 18-250mm is a perfect all round solution for you.
Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM
Front and Rear Caps
1 Year Warranty Card
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Personally I feel that photographs are the best way to preserve memories and I have taken thousands of them over the years, more so since I moved into the digital world. However, I do not regard myself as a true photographer in that I do not fully understand much of the technical side of things and tend to rely on automatic settings most of the time. A lot of people will fall on the swords when I say that I use a Nikon D3200 (special birthday present) as I am only using a fraction of it's potential, but that doesn't overly concern me. I print a lot of my own pictures and have used many more in PhotoBox productions without any issues at all and that is what matters most to me.
Not long after getting the camera I felt the need for a longer lens and so purchased a 70 - 300 to compliment the kit lens. Like most people I soon grew tired of constantly swapping lenses, not only because of the increased risk getting dirt in the camera but also the frustration of missing those 'once in a lifetime' shots. The solution for me was an 'all in one' lens and I read loads of reviews to make sure that I knew the downsides as well as the advantages. I was advised that the Sigma lenses were the best and so all things considered, I bought this one.
Since putting this lens on my camera it has never come off again. It's first proper outing was a family holiday to Kos and the great thing was no lens swapping in the hot and sandy conditions. Since then it has been on various family outings, recorded many school productions and, most recently, seen it's first Christmas. My wife and two children (10 and 8) can use it with ease because it has created an almost perfect 'point and shoot'. On those occasions where the 250 end does not get you close enough, providing the quality of the photograph is good (I always use best setting on the camera anyway) you can crop and enlarge portions of the picture to suit. For me, it produces great results (indoors and outdoors) with both stills and (not for the purists) also the video facility. In short I like this lens a lot.
However, nothing in life is perfect and I did note some very minor issues that I had already noted in other reviews.
a) The lens is noticeably heavier than other similar ones but once I had got used to it, I found that it made the camera feel more stable.
b) The lens lock only operates when the lens is fully retracted. If you take the lock off to use the zoom and the camera is angled downwards then the weight of the lens will cause it to extend. You need to be aware of this and hold on to the lens to prevent it.
c) The lens rotates in the opposite direction to the Nikon lens and after 6 months I have still not fully got used to this.
None of the above are what I would call faults and do not, therefore, warrant the deduction of a star.
Based upon some of the reviews I have read there are no doubt many technical reasons for not having an 'all in one' lens but I think a lot of this depends upon what you want your end result to be. If you are like me and just want to keep photographic records and produce some decent prints when required, then I do not think you would be at all disappointed with this lens.
I decided to do a lot of research and review reading before deciding to take the plunge.
I then came across Digital Photographers Review which concluded that "The Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM fits the bill nicely; it's compact, has decent enough optics, offers fast autofocus and effective image stabilisation, and tops this all off with impressive close-up ability. We'd be inclined to conclude that it's the best-rounded general-purpose SLR lens currently on the market".
I decided to give it a try, after all when you buy through Amazon you can return and obtain a refund without fuss.
Boy am I glad I did. The pictures I get as a keen amateur are every bit as good as my kit lenses but without the weight & large size so I no longer need to keep changing lenses back and forth and my kit bag is now smaller & lighter too.
1. it is light. Not small enough to put in an overcoat pocket (the way I can with my D90 and a 50mm prime) but it is not cumbersome.
2. the quality is just fine. Yes, if I zoom right in on remote details, it is slightly more blurry than a prime - but there really is not much in it.
3. the range is great. I love being able to go down to 18mm then switch to 300mm zoom.
4. it has a macro. Good for people photographing flowers and insects.
5. I don't care about barrel distortion as I don't photograph buildings...except in the background.
So it is a travel lens. Take it on holiday, have it around the house to catch shots of the children. You will get more good photos off it than most others.
After *SO* much reading, analyzing, re-reading, comparing and general faffing around I went for this.
My primary subject is steam engines and heritage railways [yer yer anorak etc :p ] and it's not an arena you want
to be changing lenses in with bits of coal flying around and the carriages can be dusty.
First off I was very impressed with the narrow (18mm) end. Lovely sharpness throughout https://flic.kr/p/qCT9QL
The long end at 250mm again lovely levels of sharpness and overall image quality https://flic.kr/p/qCS5ew
I'm not some super-photographer, just someone who loves spending time out & about with my camera.
The macro is quite useful although only 1:2 or ½ size on the sensor.
I have used it in a lot of different locations, like a very humid butterfly house and
a very dark overcast day. It coped with them all.
The VR is very good but sometimes seems slow, perhaps I'm being a little to critical.
This has become my go anywhere lens and is rarely of the camera..
Overall I am really pleased.
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