Lens Test: Sigma 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 DC AF

A good DSLR zoom for the money.

Lens-Test-Sigma-18-125mm-f-3.5-5.6-DC-AF
Lens-Test-Sigma-18-125mm-f-3.5-5.6-DC-AF

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Like Sigma's other DC (for Digital Camera) lenses, the 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 is mountable only on DSLRs with APS-scaled image sensors. (You'll get severe edge vignetting on a 35mm camera.) This $269 optic will be available in the Olympus E-series mount, the most affordable lens for Olympus E-1 and Evolt owners.

HANDS ON:

Several ounces lighter and about a half inch shorter than typical wide-tomoderate- tele 35mm zooms. Features distinctive matte-black crinkle finish except on the zoom and focus rings, which are covered in matte-black ribbed rubber for extra traction. Well-damped focusing ring is unusually shorttraveling for fast manual focusing. A zoom lock secures the lens in its 18mm setting. Scales are large, legible white-on-black.

IN THE LAB:

SQF data show excellent sharpness and contrast at the three tested focal lengths. We found noticeable barrel distortion at 18mm (1.05%), and noticeable pincushioning at 50mm (0.92%) and 125mm (1.06%). Light falloff disappeared by f/8 at all focal lengths. Close-focusing capability was significantly better than Sigma's published specifications. Sigma claims close-focusing to 19.6 inches; we focused down to 16.9 inches (at all focal lengths). Our tighter focus allowed better magnification power, with test results showing a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.5 instead of Sigma's 1:5.3 (at 125mm).

CONCLUSION:

A good DSLR zoom for the money.

Specifications

18-125mm (18.67-124.71mm tested), f/3.5-5.6 (f/3.44-5.5 tested), 15 elements in 14 groups. Focusing turns 50 degrees counterclockwise. Zoom ring turns 80 degrees clockwise. Focal lengths marked at 18-, 24-, 28-, 35-, 50-, 70-, 100-, and 125mm.
• Diagonal view angle: 69-11 degrees.
• Weight: 0.9 lb.
• Filter size: 62mm.
• Mounts: Canon AF, Nikon AF, and Sigma AF.
• Included: Lenshood.
• Street price: Approx. $269.

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