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Sigma updates their 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM lens for Nikon mount

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A day after Nikon introduced their new AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR super zoom lens, Sigma announced a refresh of their 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM lens for Nikon mount. One of the new added features is macro capability. The Nikon mount version of the lens will start shipping in July for $499 (vs. $1000 for the Nikkor 18-300mm).

MTF charts of the Nikkor 18-300mm and Sigma 18-250mm lenses:

Wide MTF charts

Nikon 18-300mm wide MTF

Sigma 18-250mm wide MTF

Tele MTF charts

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  • Jivee

    No comments yet? Clearly no one is interested in this. Or that Nikon trumped this with their 18-300. Who wants a Slower f6.3? And do many people shoot Macro with such lenses?

    • salesdude

      Hi, I sell cameras.

      Not everyone is a gear nut, enthusiast or a professional. There are many seniors that have an interest in taking photos, but not necessarily in the industry or the gear. If they can get one lens that can take photos of their kids and do closeups of flowers, they are over the moon.

      Remember, not every lens has to be sharp from corner to corner and have a max aperture of 2.8. Not all people can afford, nor do they want any specialized or high-end lenses.

      • syd

        Yes true, tho those people usually don’t come here, so wot’s yer point?

        • spam

          The point was to answer the question in the first post, which he did. Did you really not get it?

        • hunt

          Go back to school and learn how to spell and use proper grammar.

          • Henrik

            Not every one have English as there first languish. But as long as you can understand what they are saying (typing) Then what is the problem?

      • http://haroldellis4444@gmail.com Harold Ellis

        in good old days, even seniors were better. They used film cameras with 50/1.8 lens.
        Now they want to spam flickr with unsharp zoo “wildlife”, macro flowers where flower is unsharp and grass under it sharp and facebook with their kids photos with lotsa motion blur and bad focus.

        good for them?

        • Calibrator

          At least they produce *something* — you are of much less help here.

      • nono

        correct – its required at 1.4 -

        these one-lens-does-it-all approaches are crazy. why do people buy a cam for interchangeable lens, if the want using exactly one lens?

        • spam

          Can you come up with an example of a camera with a fixed 18-300 lens and APS-C sized sensor? Or 18-250? Or anything similar with a sensor size larger than 2/3″ that’s not a camera with interchangeable lenses?

          • Global

            Not only far larger sensors — but not to mention that you can always take off the do-it-all lens and replace it with a specialized one. Try doing that with a p&s as well. I love these all around lenses, they pair with my primes perfectly.

        • AtlDave

          It is not just seniors. I know a lot of guys at work that buy a SLR and then get a lens like this. They think of the SLR as a modular camera where they get to choose the lens they want instead of being forced to accept the one the manufacturer wants them to buy. The SLR gets the superzoom installed and never leaves full green auto mode.

          While it is tempting for us to dismiss them as foolish I have seen the pictures they take of their vacations, kids, grandkids and pets. They are much better than they would have gotten with a P&S, let alone some cheap, junky film camera from 30 years ago. And that is all they care about. They do not go on vacation to take pictures, they just want better pictures of the same vacation they would have gone on if photography did not exist. They want a camera that can focus on kids and pets quickly enough to be useful. They want better results in dim light. With a SLR they get all of that even with a single lens. They could do better with multiple lens and if they learned more about photography but they do not enjoy it enough to spend the money or take the time to do so. They are very happy with the results they get and think we are nuts for spending so much time and money on photography as a hobby. They out number us by a huge margin too so get used to the market catering to them over us.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/jan_f_rasmussen/sets/ Jan F. Rasmussen

            Very well said Dave!

          • nono

            Todays P&S cams are not any bad. The advances over the last 1-2 years are obvious: P&S delivers high quality at affordable cost while simple to use.

            Regarding practical aspects: a P&S is light weight … that counts a lot.

          • I see the future

            Dave, you are a poet and a gentleman. I take my hat off to you.

            • db

              I don’t understand all these hateful comments on superzooms. I will definitly buy the 18-300 (for D7000) because it will be a wonderful allinone lens for sports and familiy in daylight. I own the Nikon 18-200 and are an enthusiast of this lens, but too often I am limited on 200 telephoto . And yes – it was my kit lens (with D80) and some time my only lens.

              Later I purchased more lenses: the 1,8/35, the 1.4/50 (love it!), a wideanlge zoom, a macro lens. But most photos are taken using the 18-200, because I can react fastest on all occasions. And yes – the IQ is excellent as long as you don’t count pixels in corners – OK, I use DxO as standard on ALL images, so I can decide if I like to remove distortions or enlarge distortions but get natural round head in the corners.

              I don’t think that a D7000 or even a D80 will be front-heavy – a D800 with 2.8 tele zoom is much more front heavy. Practically this doesn’t matter.

          • Lanskymob

            Sir, you’re making too much sense for many of the people here, who will not be happy unless and until they have a camera that can shoot the inside of a black velvet back in a windowless room with no light 1 mile below the surface of the earth in a mineshaft.

            Please, stop using this confusing thing called ‘logic’ and get back to calling anyone who isn’t a gear-obsessed doofus an “amateur”.

          • JorPet

            Very well said.

            I will consider the 18-300mm as well. When we go on vacation I take two bodies and typically four lenses. I carry the D700 and the three f2.8 zooms. My wife carries the D7000 with the smallest lightest zoom I have, but the 18-300 would be far better for her.

            She is one who shoots on the “green” setting all the time. She doesn’t want to know anything about how it works, just wants it to work. That said she has a far better eye for pictures that work than a lot of “pro” photographers. Giving her a camera that just works and produces images that can be printed large is a huge plus.

            It also works for me when I am traveling for business and don’t want to carry my camera gear. D7000 and a super zoom covers it all and the pictures are useable for what I want them for.

          • rhlpetrus

            Good comment. I’m not in the market for any of these, but I see a lot of people that would welcome the alternatives to the expensive, heavy and range-restricted fast HQ zooms. For small prints and the internet, any of tehse lenses will produce same result, basically, as a whole f/2.8 zoom set or 5 or 6 primes.

            • Reilly Diefenbach

              Good point. I mean really, does anyone want to lug around a herkin’ great 2.8 pro zoom for eight or twelve hours when they’re on vacation?

            • Jim

              not only that, given airline restrictions on carry-on luggage (and you sure don’t want to put your photo gear in the other storage) having at least one single all purpose lens is almost mandatory.

    • karl

      just wondering – with f6.3 at the long end – will any DX camera even focus automatically with this thing ?

      • http://www.almondbutterscotch.com/home Almond Butterscotch

        Don’t most dSLRs work up to f/8?

        • karl

          nope, only till f5.6
          Pro bodies work till f8.

          • spam

            Correct, but all dSLR work fine with these lenses. I’m not sure what they do, but it doesn’t seem to matter as long as the lens is faster than F5.6 at some focal length.

          • None

            I’ve used the Sigma 150-500 (f/6.3 at 500) on a D60 with no issues.

      • Pat Mann

        D400, and probably the D7000 upgrade as well, will have the new AF system. It will gradually work its way down the range.

    • http://www.photosbygregstrong.com DeathK

      Incorporating a flat-field macro element can help increase optical performance even if you aren’t utilizing the macro capability of such a lens.

    • Rob

      At half the price people will be interested. A lot of people. Smaller too by the looks of it.

  • http://haroldellis4444@gmail.com Harold Ellis

    thank you sigma, i have been waiting for it!

    • Delete ^

      Admin, his name link is likely s phishing site and it’s more and more likely based on his contradictory opinions he posted (bad opinion of lens higher up and then this one)

      Please delete.

      • Shawn

        More likely just a troll? He trolls Leica Rumours nonstop.

  • BartyL

    ‘Interesting’ specs table. How do you make 13 elements go into 16 groups?

    Also, while I know the definition of ‘macro’ has been stretched a bit before now, how can they claim a 1:2.9 magnification ratio is even remotely macro?

  • http://blogg.hogbergphotography.com Danonino

    Hm.. people are not interested in this boring big zoom lens because everone is waiting for the first FF camera (D600) in a usable size to put their Nikon Ais or Nikkor-E lenses on.

    • Pat Mann

      It’s a lot more macro than 1:5 or 1:6, which is what most of the previous generation of zooms with tele into this range provided. 1:3 provides 4x the pixels on a bug or flower than 1:6. I have a friend who’s a great creative photographer with lots of other gear that’s salivating over lenses like this because he really likes a one-lens solution when he’s traveling or just out and about with no particular photo mission in mind, and this gives him that much more range plus significantly more macro potential than the 18-200 for this purpose.

      • BartyL

        It’s a “lot more macro” than 1:20 too. The thing is, “macro” is a 1:1 magnification ratio. Why not refer to it as a ‘close-focusing’ lens or something similar?

        Alternatively, what’s to stop them marketing an 85mm lens as a wide-angle (for DSLR)? They could always claim “it’s a lot more wide-angle than a 300mm”.

  • william

    To each his own,makes the world go round! !!!!!!

  • Mark

    What’s wrong with a one-lens budget-friendly solution for traveling?
    There’s limits to the amount of gear i can haul in a backpack, so this type of lens permits me to still pack my DSLR and not having to decide whether i should bring my prime wide-angle, portret, macro or zoom lenses for any odd occasion…

    • Calibrator

      +1

      I can comfortably take my D7000 + 18-200VR2 with me on business flights (very limited hand luggage) and my other lenses (ultra wide, 105 macro, fast prime) stay at home – together with the SB-900.
      I don’t see a point in buying another camera if my D7000 delivers what I want.

      • Calibrator

        Plus:

        Even if I upgrade to FX in two or three years I will only take this smaller, lighter but sufficient solution with me on those trips. That’s one of the main reasons I bought the 18-200 as my kit lens with the D7000 – and not using it always for everything for all eternity.

  • Sunburst

    I used to have the previous version of the Sigma 18-250 on a D5000 before I became a nutter and started spending loads of money on better gear ;-)
    If you consider the focal range and price tag it really is a solid performer and it is as Dave pointed out aimed at people who don’t want to spend thousands on gear but are not satisfied with a simple P&S.

    • Big J

      Same situation, but I’m in that same transition now of getting new gear. I loved my D5000 and Sigma 18-250mm lens and im going to sell it down here to a person in Buenos Aires who will learn to appreciate it’s teaching ability. It worked out great for me and learned a lot about digital photography from it including the enjoyment of fiddling with manual mode and learning about other cameras like the D60, D700 and D7000 hands on from friends who own them. So in a way I owe it to Sigma for making the previous 18-250mm that helped me have a newfound hobby that is very unlikely to die in this lifetime.

  • Top E

    While the specs of this lens can be mused over from various perspectives, I’m planning a five-day thirty plus miles Grand Canyon hike and the 2.8 options are all around 4 lbs each. The weight of the camera, that lens and other lenses are quite considerable for a multi-day hike. I borrowed a Nikon 70-200 F2.8 lens from a friend to take some indoor photos and am still considering purchasing this lens or Sigma’s equivalent lens, but this new lens is pretty tempting especially since most of the photos would be taken with good light. BTW, I’m a senior, a proud grandparent and an above average camera nut that’s fortunate enough to have a D800. Great, great camera! Quite a move up from a D70 that’s seven years old.

    • Bret M

      Careful, this 18-250 will be a DX sized lens so if you use it on your d800 you’ll be losing quite a bit of image area. Check into the older 28-200 AF-D nikkor if you need a small one lens solution on full frame.

      I’m not a fan of super zooms, but I don’t have anything against them. I think we’re all spoiled as Nikon users because the nikkor 18-200 is pretty good optically compared to most. I still stick to “huge pro zooms” because to be honest, a lens/camera combination that weighs 4-5 pounds or more is no big deal to me, but I understand that it is to some people. Also I’ve flown many times with my camera equipment and never had issues with my “larger” lenses, (24-70 and similar)..

  • Boris71

    At least now there are enough zooms for consumers to choose from.

    I hope the next release from some manufacturer will be a lightweight, stabilized 400mm f/5.6 prime for Nikon. And the next one should be a 20mm f/2 prime.

  • Analyst

    For the curious, today Sigma posted a few pretty impressive pictures taken with this lens on their blog:

    http://blog.sigmaphoto.com/2012/sigma-18-250mm-first-impressions-with-walter-arnold/

  • D700guy

    Too little too late. Nikon just announced their 18-300mm

    • Big J

      I don’t think that matters much since they can barely fulfill orders on their 28-300mm priced at $959.00 that STILL are on backorder unless you buy them at double the retail from private resellers. If Sigma can maintain a flow of lenses then kudos for them (and Tamron also with their version).

  • Molesworth

    According to the press announcement, July release is for the Canon mount. Nikon and others tba.

  • mikils

    I am always considering lenses like these when I’m traveling and Prime bird Locations aren’t in the schedule, but for some reason I always end up packing 80-200 2.8, 50 1,4, 14-24 2.8 AND 90 2.8 macro ( this one a plastic Tamron which at least is a lightweight). It will be good for losing weight…

    • mikils

      And yes, I did hike the Grand Canyon (rim to rim!) like that…..

    • Big J

      No offense, but why are you taking a 14-24 , a 50 and a 90 if you need zooms to catch birds unless they`re stuffed and mounted in a shop by the Grand Canyon. And i dont even think an 80-200 is enough even mounted on a DX.

      • Pablo Ricasso

        Oh, please. If there was one place where you could feel like you NEED a 14…

      • mikils

        No offense, but have you read carefully? I said ”when Prime Bird location AREN’T in the schedule”. and where else in the world you may want a 14-24?

  • d400

    Still waiting for the tamron 18-310 lens

  • JJ

    If IQ and AF speed is not mentionably worse I would definitely choose the Sigma over the Nikon in this case. Half the price and better close up performance. And especially much lighter, this is what really matters in a superzoom. I have very good experience from my Sigma lenses 10-20 f3.5, 50 f1.4, 150 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8 are all great performers. This one of course can’t match the speed and IQ of those but if it matches the Nikkor the weight, price and close up ability will certainly be a deal breaker for me if I’m ever in business for a super zoom for my D7000.

  • http://shuttermonks.com/ Neha

    I think it will be a great lens for people looking for a single lens in low budget. Both Nikon and Sigma will find their buyers!

  • henry dinardo

    It’s not always the arrow and most of the time the Indian. I’ve seen photos with point and shoot that are spectacular.

  • FD

    I always love when people go negative on “all in one” lens. I started with a D70s and 18-200. I thought I needed more, so sold it and bought a “prime” (50 1.4) cause you know “primes” are better. Since then I’ve purchased two D300, 80-200, 300 2.8 vrI, 35 1.8, 16-85vr, 17-55 2.8, Tokina 11-16 2.8, extension tubes and flashes. I’ve rented various other lens.

    What have I learned, well just ordered the new 18-300vr and can’t WAIT to get it. As a semi-pro it will never replace my 300 on the football field, nor my 17-55 for portrait work, but otherwise I’ll keep it on the camera. Most of the time you just can’t beat an all in one and I am seriously looking forward to the extra 100mm.

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