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Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM review

January 2009 | By Andy Westlake
Buy on From $229.99

The Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM is the latest in the company's long line of superzooms, which stretches back to the early 1990s and a series of 28-200mm (and later 28-300mm) lenses for 35mm SLRs. In fact Sigma was the first company to produce a superzoom for the burgeoning budget DSLR market, with its 18-125mm D3.5-5.6 DC of August 2004, followed shortly after by an 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC in February 2005. However the big problem with long, slow zooms is image blur due to camera shake, and in March 2007 Sigma duly announced this new version of the 18-200mm with the addition of 'Optical Stabilization' (OS) technology for Canon, Nikon and its own SD range of DSLRs (Sony and Pentax users, of course, benefit from sensor-shift image stabilization of all lenses). In somewhat curious fashion, the Nikon mount version also sports an ultrasonic-type 'HyperSonic Motor' (giving rise to the HSM tag,) while the Canon and Sigma mount models use a conventional micro-motor for focusing.

Like all superzooms the Sigma 18-200mm OS features a complex optical design, in this case 18 elements in 13 groups including one Super-Low Dispersion (SLD) glass element, and no fewer than three aspherical elements to combat aberrations. A minimum focus distance of 0.45m through the entire range adds to the lens's all-round versatility. The optical stabilization system detects when the camera is panning and automatically switches to operating in one axis only, useful for shooting moving subjects such as sports.

This lens competes directly in the 'stabilized superzoom' market with the Nikon 18-200mm F3.5-5.6G AF-S VR DX, Canon EF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 IS, and Tamron 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 Di-II VC, all of which which we've reviewed over the past year. Its main advantage at the moment is that it is considerably cheaper than any of these other lenses, making it much the most affordable option for users looking to supplement their collection with a general-purpose travel lens. But in this case, does cheaper also mean inferior, or has Sigma delivered quality on a budget?

Headline features

  • 27-300mm equivalent focal length range; F3.5-6.3 maximum aperture
  • Optical Stabilization (OS) system
  • Available for Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts (APS-C/DX format DSLRs only)
  • Hypersonic Motor (HSM) focusing on Nikon mount only

Angle of view

The pictures below illustrate the focal length range from wide to telephoto (on Nikon DX format, 1.5x).

18mm (27mm equivalent) 200mm (300mm equivalent)

Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM specifications

Street price • $400 (US)
• £280 (UK)
Date introduced March 2007
Maximum format size APS-C/DX
Focal length 18-200mm
35mm equivalent focal length
• 27-300mm (1.5x DX)
• 29-320mm (1.6x APS-C)
• 31-340mm (1.7x Foveon APS-C)
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C) 74º - 8º
Maximum aperture F3.5-6.3
Minimum aperture F22-40
Lens Construction • 18 elements / 13 groups
• 1 SLD glass element
• 3 aspherical elements
Number of diaphragm blades 7, rounded
Minimum focus 0.45m
Maximum magnification 0.26x
AF motor type • Micro-type Hypersonic Motor (Nikon mount)
• DC Micro Motor (Canon & Sigma mounts)
Focus method Internal
Image stabilization • Yes
• Automatic panning detection
Filter thread • 72mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories* • Front and rear caps
• Petal-type Hood
Weight 600 g (21.2 oz)
Dimensions 79 mm diameter x 98 mm length
(3.1 x 3.9 in)
Lens Mount Canon, Nikon, Sigma

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area

Foreword / notes

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read some of our Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / recommendation / ratings are based on the opinion of the author, we recommend that you read the entire review before making any decision. Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of them, click to display a larger image in a new window.

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Dpreview use calibrated monitors at the PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally also A, B and C.

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Total comments: 3

Someone in the know, please comment on:
If I bought the Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM SLR Lens for Nikon for my D7000, the feasibility of using this lens on a Nikon D750 when I can afford to upgrade.

Tada Burke

It's DX, not FX.


This is very good lens for traveling. I had Nikkor 18-105, Nikkor 18-55 and I have Nikkor 16-85 and Nikkor 35 mm but for traveling Sigma 18-200 was the best. Test all my lensen and photos on my blog:

Total comments: 3