Nikon 18-200 or Sigma 18-250

Started Apr 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
georgehudetz Veteran Member • Posts: 4,060
Re: Nikon 18-200 or Sigma 18-250

After doing a little more indoor shooting, I want to make two more additions.

First I’ll clarify that I am comparing the Sigma to the Nikon 18-200 VR, not the VR II.

Second, there is one area where the 18-200 VR, and probably the 18-55, is plainly superior to the Sigma 18-250 Macro:  Indoor, available light shooting (no flash).

The problem with the Sigma is that, below 100 mm or so, it is very soft wide open.

So, for example, I can get a perfectly serviceable shot out of the 18-200 inside my house kitchen or living room (typical can lighting) by shooting, say, 1/10 or 1/13 of a second, wide-open, ISO 500-640 on my D7000.

On the Sigma, the shots are plainly soft at these settings – no need to pixel peep.  I can stop the lens down, but the higher required ISO negates most of the resolution gain, and the 18-200 still has the best shot.

Now, for candid shots in social gatherings, this difference isn’t significant IMO.  1/13 sec is too slow to avoid motion blur of people who are milling about in a party, so a flash is needed either way with these lenses, which allows you to both increase shutter speed and stop down the aperture, in which case the difference in IQ between the two lenses is minimal.  Since I’ve discovered the effectiveness of a bounce flash, I do pretty much all of my indoor social gathering shots with a flash, unless I’m using a prime.  In fact, it’s worth observing that the price difference between the Sigma & the Nikon gets you most of the way to an SB-700, or a SB-400 with cash left over.  Either setup will give much better indoor candid shots than a 18-200 with the on-board flash, assuming you have white ceilings that are under 10 ft.

For indoor shots where flashes are not allowed or desired, like churches, museums, the 18-200 is plainly the better choice.  But then this is where the advice to have the 18-55 as a backup could be a viable alternative.

Hope this helps.

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