first look Sigma 18-50 F2.8 EX DC Macro HSM
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Old 09-21-2007   #1
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Default first look Sigma 18-50 F2.8 EX DC Macro HSM

Wow what a name. That is not all that is big on this. The front glass is 72mm. This lens weighs about a 19 ounces. its a lot bigger around and feels heavier than my tamron 28-75 f2.8. The Tamron actually weighs 1 ounces less. The focus zoom is not that long and the zoom lock switch is a lot smaller than my other lenses. The HSM is 1.6 ounces heavier than the non HSM version

In the package; Outside of the paperwork and warranty cards. Theres is the black EX bag. Its a nice touch but can be a little silly if you have the monster 65-70 pound backpack like me. The sun shade is coted like other HSM lenses and locks with little pressure or twisting involved. The standard Sigma lens cap are provided. I am beginning to think they should change like Nikon and Tamron have. The lens it self is not overly long, but it is big around.

Initial feel; Well heavy comes to mind. When mounted on the S2 its feels huge and front heavy. The S2 almost gets lost in my hands, I do not think I could ever get sued to the 28-70 Nikon. On the S3, this feels great. The much better body on the S3 balances the lens a lot better. The AF/M switch is mounted at just the right spot. When looking at, it looks a little high. Some how when cradling the lens its right where my finger falls. The focus ring is really to small and i had to really feel for it. While I am not anticipating needing to use it, a different grip or slightly larger would have been nice.

Initial use; While i tried it both on the S3 and S2. The S2 seemed to shoot a little bit faster than the 2.5fps posted. The glass is clear and fast. Its easy to looks through. I could not test with flash, daughter has taken out the cr-123s. This lens works a lot better than the Tamron. On the S3, wow amazing. I can not wait to go out tomorrow and shoot this bad boy. I bought the S3 because it fit my hand. This lens does the same. It looks like you will need an external flash for the wide end. You get sun shade shadow with the pop up flash at 18mm with the shade on. Amazing, if you take the shade off the shadow goes away completely. The is minimal shade at 50mm. Focus is what you expect from a HSM lens, fast crisp and sharp. It might be a little better than my bigma.


My big downer is the lens is not compatible with the Sigma tele-converters. I did test it with my Kenko 2x and it hunted really bad in the low light. It was much worse than my 70-300 F4-5.6 Sigma.

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Fuji S2/S3/S5 Pro
Kenko MC7 2X, Pro 300
Nkkor 50 1.8 70-300VR
Phoenix 100, 650-1300& Sima 100mm F2 SF
Sigma 12-24, 18-50 HSM, 18-125, 50-500, 70-300, 120-300, 1.4X 2x
Tamron 28-75
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Old 09-22-2007   #2
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Default Re: first look Sigma 18-50 F2.8 EX DC Macro HSM

What a joy it was shooting this lens. This seems to be a bit crisper than my Tamron 28-75 f2.8. It definitely is better than the 18-125mm. I hand held it most of the day and really didn't feel the weight. I think I'll take of me strap again, as this bother me most of the day. I do not know how it stakes up against the 17-55 as I do not have one. Having said that, if you are looking for a one good lens and money is an issue. I would look here first. Tonight I had no issue with hunting. Even in the shadows when in daylight I did not see the lens hunt once. I wanted to try it in the light with my 2x, but didn't get the opportunity.

If any one is looking for a great 2 lens kit for any F mount digital camera. I would say the Sigma 18-50 f2.8hsm and the Nikon 70-300 afs vr.
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Fuji S2/S3/S5 Pro
Kenko MC7 2X, Pro 300
Nkkor 50 1.8 70-300VR
Phoenix 100, 650-1300& Sima 100mm F2 SF
Sigma 12-24, 18-50 HSM, 18-125, 50-500, 70-300, 120-300, 1.4X 2x
Tamron 28-75
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Old 09-22-2007   #3
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Default the pics

downtown



the bridge

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Fuji S2/S3/S5 Pro
Kenko MC7 2X, Pro 300
Nkkor 50 1.8 70-300VR
Phoenix 100, 650-1300& Sima 100mm F2 SF
Sigma 12-24, 18-50 HSM, 18-125, 50-500, 70-300, 120-300, 1.4X 2x
Tamron 28-75
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Old 09-23-2007   #4
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Default Re: first look Sigma 18-50 F2.8 EX DC Macro HSM

I've had the original Sigma 18-50 2.8 (non-macro or HSM) for about a year. I've noticed a little CA and the lens hood just doesn't go on well or stay on well compared to what I'm used to with my Nikon lens hoods. The zoom ring is the opposite of what I expect and the build quality is pretty decent but not great. The glass overall is very good though. I've not been disappointed by it at all, especially considering I spent $350 on it for a very good used copy. My biggest complaint is the horribly slow focus, and it hunts a little too much for my liking on the D70 in low light.

This HSM version should be a large improvement, though I dislike the larger filter size. Until this lens was announced the only real competitor was Tamron's 17-50 2.8, which is a very good lens in its own right, and is supposed to focus more quickly.

I'm just worried about Sigma adding all these extra bits & pieces to the existing lens. I heard reports of the lens suffering some image quality when they added the 'macro' and I'm worried even more now that they're adding HSM. I don't about noise and smoothness as much as I do image quality, as long as the standard focus method works well enough. Hopefully Sigma adding HSM to this lens won't produce any extra loss in image quality. The slow focus on my current lens is enough to make me want to offload it

Either way, I am quite sure this will be a wonderful addition to the '17/18-50/55 2.8' type lenses, especially since Tokina is in the market now.
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Old 09-24-2007   #5
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Default Re: first look Sigma 18-50 F2.8 EX DC Macro HSM

having tested the Tamron and now owning the sigma. optically they are about the same, the edge might go to the sigma. the hsm is quiet and fast. my main concern was low light hunting. my Tamron has frustrated me in night shooting. I kept up with the Sigma 18-125 just because it will focus at night. If you were closer, i would meet you for a day/night of shooting.

My biggest surprise was as soon as i looked at the pics, i knew it was a keeper. I could see the difference right away. This might be as sharp, or close to the sharpness of my 50 f1.8.


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Fuji S2/S3/S5 Pro
Kenko MC7 2X, Pro 300
Nkkor 50 1.8 70-300VR
Phoenix 100, 650-1300& Sima 100mm F2 SF
Sigma 12-24, 18-50 HSM, 18-125, 50-500, 70-300, 120-300, 1.4X 2x
Tamron 28-75
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