Nov 18, 2018

Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-F6.3 Contemporary

Introduction

Superzooms, or lenses with very large range between the minimum and maximum zoom setting, have been around for quite some time. For several years, the de-facto superzoom for APS-C cameras was a lens covering the 18-200mm range.  The long end of the zoom range started being pushed to 250mm, then 270mm, and finally, at the end of 2014, Sigma took things even further with its 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM F3.5-6.3 "Contemporary", which offers an enormous 16.7x zoom range. As of today, the Sigma lens is only topped by the Tamron 16-300mm, which is unfortunately not available for Pentax.  This makes the Sigma offering unique.  Its main competitor is the Pentax 18-270mm, which is several years older.

The Sigma “Contemporary” line is a series of modern consumer-oriented lenses.  Despite its affordable price point, this lens ticks many boxes: metal mount, silent autofocus, decent close focusing capabilities, an unusually long zoom range, and an included hood. It seems it can do it all.

Of course, as with any lens, specifications are a matter of compromise. The Sigma offers a decent maximum aperture of F3.5 at 18mm, but a slow F6.3 at the tele end. It lacks weather sealing and any type of quick-shift focusing. More importantly, superzooms do not have an excellent reputation with respect their optical performance.

User reviews give the lens an excellent 9.2 out of 10, which seems to defy the usual reputation of superzooms. Users enjoy tihs lens and rate similarly to many well-regarded primes. Is this reputation deserved? Read our review to find out!


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