Simen1's reviews

  • Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Excelent zoom range, sharp, compact, non-rotating front, price
    Blury corers at low f and 18-70mm, slow lens, noisy AF

    I upgraded from Canon kit 18-55mm USM to Sigma 18-200 and are very satisfied with the upgrade.

    I bought this over the Tamron 18-200.
    When i compare theese side by side it seems Sigma 18-200 is better in important areas like 200mm f6.3 and center sharpness. This is slightly more compact (16% less volume) then Tamron 18-200. Better sharpness at f6.3 200mm then Tamron and doesnt have a rotating front.

    Its a slow lens. The best sharpness is found at:
    18mm - f/5.6-8
    24mm - f/5.6-8
    33mm - f/8
    48mm - f/8
    88mm - f/5.6 - 8
    144mm - f/5.6 - 11
    200mm - f/6.3 - 11

    Aperture priority f/8 and a steady hand is a good option in daylight. Good vacation lens for outdoor use. Inside you should consider using high ISO and flash.

    reviewed October 26th, 2007 (purchased for $405)
  • Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF AF

    5 out of 10 points and not recommended
    Very usefull Zoom-range, fair corner sharpness.
    Cost more then Sigma 18-200 but performes generally worse, rotating lens.

    Why does this get better grades then Sigma 18-200?

    When i compare theese side by side it seems Sigma 18-200 is better in important areas like 200mm f6.3 and center sharpness.

    Tamron 18-200 seems to have blur at lager areas of the picture then Sigma's 18-200 but Sigma have more blur at the corners.

    reviewed October 26th, 2007 (purchased for $545)
  • Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Fantastic sharp, all-in-one focal length, build quality
    Slow focus, cant reverse hood for storage

    This is the sharpest lens i ever tested. I guess it deserves 15-20 mega pixels to match its optical performance. Its a shame i only have 6 on the Canon. I moved to Pentax and planed to buy this lens with Pentax mount, but got a used Tamron 90mm very cheap so i bought that instead. In my opinion the build quality of Sigma 70mm is excellent.

    I use this lens for flowers and insects, and for portraits. (f/2,8 gives short enough DOF for "headshots")

    The downsides of this lens is slow focus for portraits. The limiter makes it less painfull. For macro work i use manual focus so lack of AF speed doesn't matter there.

    The hood is tube-shaped, not flower shaped. Its made of metal and is not reversible. Sigma should replace the hood with a plastic flower shaped, reversible hood.

    Soft lens case is included in the price.

    Bokeh is a little sharp edged, but decently round at f/2.8

    I would choose this over Tamron 90mm f/2,8 macro if the price was more or less the same.

    reviewed May 19th, 2009 (purchased for $550)
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 USM

    2 out of 10 points and not recommended
    Optical performance, build quality

    This is dirt cheap when its included with a camera.
    Warning: You get what you pay for.

    At f/8-11 it performs decent. But who would be stuck at those apertures?

    If the camera is left at Auto-mode, P-mode, Tv-mode, a-dep, or any of the scene-modes this lens will make a lot of the pictures unsharp and with a lot of CA.

    AF isn't as fast that the USM tag suggest. Its actually a lot slower then the Pentax kit-zoom without SDM ("USM") AF-motor.

    Rotating front is troublesome for filter-users.

    Plastic mount is not made to get mounted on and of a lot of times.

    Don't waste your money on this.

    reviewed May 19th, 2009 (purchased for $80)
  • Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II SMC DA

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Build quality, fast AF, nice hood, cap, weight, price
    Not water resistant

    This is simply the best cheap kit-zoom around.

    Compared to Canon 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS and Nikon 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 VR this is by far the best of these. Here is why:

    - Its smaller then the Nikon, about same size as the Canon.

    - The Nikon feels vulnerable. Canon's lens feels better. Pentax feels quite solid. Pentax is the only one of these with metal mount.

    - Focus ring is better on the Pentax. Simply turn it to focus manually. Even if the camera is in AF mode. The Nikon and Canon lenses need the AF/MF-switch to be at MF to focus manually.

    - The front does not rotate. On Canon and Nikons offer the front does rotate and will be a problem with filters.

    - AF is a lot faster on this then on Canon and Nikons kit-lenses.

    - Flower shaped hood is included. With Canon and Nikons kit you must buy the hood separately. The hood is reversable for more compact transport. The hood even have a nice feature: a "window" to adjust filters without taking the hood of.

    - The lens cap on Pentax and Nikons kit-zooms has a nice grip. Canon have a less practical cap.

    - I have not noticed any significant different optical performance between the three lenses. Tests claims Pentax have slightly better optical performance.

    - All three kit zooms are stabilized: Nikon and Canon in the lens, Pentax in the camera.

    - Pentax and Nikon offers a tiny bit more wide angle and less tele then Canon because of different crop-factors.

    - None of the kit-zooms are water resistant. That would be a nice feature with the weather resistant cameras it is bundled with. Rumors have it that a water resistant version are on the way.

    Conclusion: This is simply the best cheap kit-zoom around. (Probably until the WR version is out)

    reviewed May 19th, 2009 (purchased for $85)
  • Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF

    4 out of 10 points and not recommended
    Cheap, light
    Image quality at 200-300mm, build quality, slow AF

    Despite its quite big, the weight is low. It feels like hollow plastic. Metal mount is positive.

    I bought this much because of the 200-300mm range, but this range disappoints me. Its quite soft and have bothersome CA in this range. At 70-200 its quite good for its price. Always stop it down one aperture for best results.

    Auto focus is very slow and hunts for focus a lot in the 200-300mm range. Sometimes it just get stuck at the wrong end of the focus range. I often end up switching to manual focus to get the job done.

    Macro mode has quite good image quality but it might be difficult to hand hold the camera steady about 1 meter away. Use manual focus in macro mode.

    Reversing the hood from storage position to shooting position can be difficult because it rotates the focus ring and front element.

    Spend a little more and get something better. Even if the alternative doesn't go all the way to 300mm.

    reviewed June 15th, 2009 (purchased for $217)