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10-26-2010, 03:24 PM   #1
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Sigma 18-125mm 3.8-5.6 HSM?

Has anyone used this lens? I just got one in today from B&H...and so far I like it.

I haven't actually used it out and about yet; came in too late to go out and do anything with it, but I plan on going out soon to use it and test it.

Just looking to see if anyone has any opinions of it.

10-27-2010, 07:11 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by brofkand Quote
Has anyone used this lens? I just got one in today from B&H...and so far I like it.

I haven't actually used it out and about yet; came in too late to go out and do anything with it, but I plan on going out soon to use it and test it.

Just looking to see if anyone has any opinions of it.
Yours is the first post I've seen by someone who has this lens. I'm interested in this as I think it's a good focal range. Please post some images and let us know what you think of it.

Thanks.
10-27-2010, 08:36 AM   #3
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iCrop,

I feel the same way; it's a great focal length. I'll definitely go out and use it, and report back.

Thanks!
10-27-2010, 09:07 AM   #4
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Quick test wide open at 125mm....looks pretty good at 100%, just as sharp as any other lens I've used wide open.


Last edited by brofkand; 07-10-2012 at 01:58 PM.
10-27-2010, 10:22 AM   #5
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I'm also surprised at the speed of HSM AF for this lens. Just as fast as the kit 18-55 in my experience.

A trade-off is there's very little throw in the MF ring. Also, you can't fine-tune focus in MF unless you switch the lens to MF. So no QuickShift focus.

The zoom ring is also fairly stiff (feels more like a MF zoom than a new zoom), which is puzzling because there is a zoom lock switch on the lens. I bet the ring will wear and will be much looser in the future.

It is a very well built lens; no rattling or loose bits. The focus and zoom rings are very nice rubber, and the body of the lens is the "soft touch" plastic that Sigma uses on most of its lenses. Close focus is nice as well; at 125mm the working distance is about 14 inches.

I've tested it at a few different focal lengths and a variety of apertures and I'm impressed.

It's a little heavy, but that's a trade-off I'm willing to make. It is balanced very well on my K-7 but I'd bet K-x or K-r owners would have trouble. I'd say it weighs a little over a pound. Very soild.

Overall, I'm extremely impressed with this lens. I'll do a little more testing and write a full review for the Lens Reviews section.
10-27-2010, 10:37 AM   #6
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Your exif says it's only 98mm... still, it looks decent. Is the HSM motor quiet?
10-27-2010, 12:17 PM   #7
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Thanks for that update and the image. Looks good, even at 1/20th sec. Was it hand held?

How would you compare it size wise to other lenses and is the flange metal?
10-27-2010, 12:30 PM   #8
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Just went over to B&H to check it out. The web page says "# New item - No arrival date known
This is a new item. It is not available yet. We have no arrival date at this time."

I'm curious, how did you get it, pre-order? How long from the date you ordered until you got it?

10-27-2010, 06:33 PM   #9
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Yes it was hand held. Apparently I didn't have it all the way out to 125mm...

Size wise, it's a little bit longer and wider than the kit 18-55, but not much. Much heavier though. Yes the mount is metal. I'd say it weighs about a pound.

This is where I purchased it: Sigma 18-125mm f/3.8-5.6 DC OS HSM Zoom Lens 853109 - B&H Photo . They shipped it the next day.

The HSM motor is quiet; a tad bit noisier than the SDM motor, but not much. Imagine whispering to someone, them not understanding what you said, so you say it a little louder the next time.

I'll actually use the lens tomorrow and come back with real-world images.
10-28-2010, 12:31 PM   #10
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I just did some follow-up shooting today.

At f/3.8 and 18mm, the results aren't amazing. There's fairly low contrast (which can be corrected to an extent) and it's fairly soft.

In fact, the lens is soft at all focal lengths when shot at whatever the aperture is maximum for that FL.

I had to stop down to f/8 before I got acceptable sharpness at 125mm. Even then they're not terribly sharp, but sharp enough to where I can do some work in post to bring some of it back.

The results are so bad (so far off ANY other lens I've used), I'm going to give it one more shot. Maybe I wasn't doing something right today.

The picture of my cat looked fine, even at 100% on my display. The photos I took of trees here in Charlotte look pretty poor.

I am going to try again tomorrow, not with test subjects but with real world stuff. And then I'll make a determination; will it stay or will it go? We'll see...
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