18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS and SD1

Started Aug 18, 2012 | Discussions
Tom Schum
Tom Schum Forum Pro • Posts: 11,477
18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS and SD1

My copy of the SA mount 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM just arrived. It seems to work a little better on my SD1 than it does on my SD15 mostly because autofocus seems better on the SD1.
Here are a few things I noticed:

Front ring is focus, and it rotates while autofocusing. Very quiet. Manual focus is very free, that is, the ring turns freely without damping. This is quite similar to the manual focus on my 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM.

Rear ring is the zoom ring, more than 3/4" wide. At this point it is a little bit stiff but I think it will smooth out with more use. It has a zoom lock, to hold the zoom to 18mm (minimum length) for storage etc.

It's smaller than my 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM and weighs less. Lens hood goes on securely, and it is not too big. Overall, a very nice package. Lens barrel is smooth matte-finish black plastic that feels pretty good and does not convey cheapness.

Macro works quite well, without limitations so far as I can tell. There is a convenient scale on the top of the lens barrel showing the imaging ratios.

Here are some sample shots. I noticed that clarity is good at the center of the images generally but it gets blurry as you move outward from the center of the image, regardless of what focal length you choose. For me this is not a severe problem since I mostly care about the subject in the center of the image. However, this lens might not do landscapes well.

Color and contrast seems very good. The viewfinder image darkens considerably as you zoom to maximum (250mm) and the F-stop goes up from F3.5 to F6.3. CA is not too bad at the long end. I see that my sample shots do not include one at the minimum end (18mm) but you can be sure that CA is worse.

The 37mm samples were manual focus. The shot at maximum zoom was autofocused. Interesting that I can read the small print on the bottom my neighbor's basketball goal from at least 60ft away.

These shots were taken without UV filter attached. I have a Hoya 62mm filter going onto the lens right now, model 62S HD UV. It goes on rather loosely and I have to be careful not to cross-thread it. It does not seem to cause vignetting at 18mm.
Click "original" to download full-res images:

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Tom Schum

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SigmaChrome Forum Pro • Posts: 13,594
Re: 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS and SD1

Thanks for this report, Tom. I'm amazed to hear that this lens is smaller and lighter than the 17-70.

I would like to see some more landscape shots so that I can assess the edge/corner sharpness.

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Regards,

Vitée

Capture all the light and colour!

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Tom Schum
OP Tom Schum Forum Pro • Posts: 11,477
Re: 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS and SD1

SigmaChrome wrote:

Thanks for this report, Tom. I'm amazed to hear that this lens is smaller and lighter than the 17-70.

I would like to see some more landscape shots so that I can assess the edge/corner sharpness.

Actually it is smaller and lighter than the 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM. I don't own a 17-70 unfortunately.

I'll try to post a few more landscape shots in the next few days. I think edge/corner sharpness is not excellent, but for a do-all tourist lens it is better than most.

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SigmaChrome Forum Pro • Posts: 13,594
Re: 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS and SD1

Tom Schum wrote:

SigmaChrome wrote:

Thanks for this report, Tom. I'm amazed to hear that this lens is smaller and lighter than the 17-70

Yes, I meant the 17-50.

I would like to see some more landscape shots so that I can assess the edge/corner sharpness.

Actually it is smaller and lighter than the 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM. I don't own a 17-70 unfortunately.

I'll try to post a few more landscape shots in the next few days. I think edge/corner sharpness is not excellent, but for a do-all tourist lens it is better than most.

Good to know. Thanks.

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Tom Schum

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Regards,

Vitée

Capture all the light and colour!

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Tom Schum
OP Tom Schum Forum Pro • Posts: 11,477
Re: 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS and SD1, a few more shots

See four samples below. The crane wil have to serve as an example of a landscape because I am running low on DPR gallery space for this month.

Lens performance at 250mm is not great at full SD1 resolution but I did see that I have some sensor splotches at the top left. You can still recognize the person in the shot if you already know who he is (which I don't). He did a few pushups out there on the balance beam just to get a little lunchtime exercise, but I guess I am just not the type of person who could be comfortable way up there.

Lens performance at mid-values of focal length range is spectacular, if properly focused. In the example below you can easily spot the same person near the support column if you view at full resolution.

250mm can still look very good downsized to half. Same can be said for macros except that the background bokeh is a little bit too busy for my taste.

This lens can compare favorably to my APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM at middle range focal lengths. I don't think it can keep up with my 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM however.

Overall, I think it is pretty good for a wide range zoom do-all tourist lens. I'm still getting used to this lens and figuring out all its capabilities, but it does have tremendous range and good contrast.

Click on "original" to see full-res of any of these.

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Tom Schum
OP Tom Schum Forum Pro • Posts: 11,477
Re: 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS and SD1, final landscape

This lens is capable of pretty good performance at 250mm under ideal conditions, even at full SD1 resolution as shown below.

I should tell you that all my posted images from this lens are quite fully cooked in post. For this one, I used Lighting curve adjustments as well as Auto Smart Fix and Auto Sharpen in Photoshop Elements 9, after boosting color and presence (X3 Fill Light) in SPP.

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Tom Schum
OP Tom Schum Forum Pro • Posts: 11,477
A few tourist shots with this lens

I had a 50mm F2.8 Macro with me but I never took the 18-250 OS lens off my SD1. Generally I think it did well. CA is evident at the edges of the images, but center clarity is very very good. The images below are downsized to 1920x1080 from 4704x3136, but center clarity is so good that even a 100% crop would look great.

I wanted a good tourist lens, and this is it.

First shot is from Rehobeth Delaware, USA, and the rest of them are photos of the New Jersey shore at the barrier islands about 85 miles north of Cape May, NJ, USA. Color of the shot of the fishing boat is correct; it was surreal.

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Davethepom
Davethepom Regular Member • Posts: 392
Thanks for the review Tom

I've just ordered mine. I've been looking for an "all rounder" for a while now as I'm getting arm ache lugging my 50-500 everywhere! This looks perfect.

One question I have Tom... With the lens hood attached does the hood get in the way of the AF sensor beam or the internal flash on the SD1M - especially at the minimum 18mm?

Regards Pom

Tom Schum
OP Tom Schum Forum Pro • Posts: 11,477
Re: Thanks for the review Tom

I believe the instructions mention that the lens hood might interfere with on-camera flash. Also, I do not use the autofocus assist light, so I can't comment whether or not the lens hood interferes with it.

The lens hood is small as lens hoods go, though.

I did notice some vignetting at middle focal lengths not related to the hood (seen with and without the hood, so it can't be the hood causing it. This vignetting is at the top left and top right corners on my SD1. Maybe my lens is a little bit decentered or maybe my UV filter is somehow interfering (no interference at 18mm from my UV filter, which is where this would happen).

So, take a good look at the lens performance after you get yours. Maybe it will not be worth your trouble. As for me, I tend to make the most of whatever I get and deal with the shortcomings as best I can. So far I am well satisfied with my copy, quirks and all.
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djsquare1827 Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS and SD1, a few more shots

Tom Schum wrote:

See four samples below. The crane wil have to serve as an example of a landscape because I am running low on DPR gallery space for this month.

Lens performance at 250mm is not great at full SD1 resolution but I did see that I have some sensor splotches at the top left. You can still recognize the person in the shot if you already know who he is (which I don't). He did a few pushups out there on the balance beam just to get a little lunchtime exercise, but I guess I am just not the type of person who could be comfortable way up there.

Lens performance at mid-values of focal length range is spectacular, if properly focused. In the example below you can easily spot the same person near the support column if you view at full resolution.

250mm can still look very good downsized to half. Same can be said for macros except that the background bokeh is a little bit too busy for my taste.

This lens can compare favorably to my APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM at middle range focal lengths. I don't think it can keep up with my 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM however.

Overall, I think it is pretty good for a wide range zoom do-all tourist lens. I'm still getting used to this lens and figuring out all its capabilities, but it does have tremendous range and good contrast.

Click on "original" to see full-res of any of these.

From what I can see the Bokeh doent look that good infact bit dirty, I am not sure if its coz of post processing. Shots looks good enough to me but I am very curious if any of you have used Canon 18-200mm and compare it. I have posted a comparison between Canon Tamron & Sigma lens. Let me know if my findings are any right. Thanks in advance.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1000&message=42322065

Davethepom
Davethepom Regular Member • Posts: 392
Re: 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS and SD1

Tom,

Finally got my 18-250 and I love it. It's small (read compact), really good build quality (my opinion), quiet, auto focus seems to be excellent. Its obviously built to a price, but I think that due consideration has been given to prioritising the important aspects of an "all rounder" lens & they have created an excellent lens. I notice a modicum of CA in the corners, which is easily compensated for in SPP. It focuses will even without the focus assist. Above all, it's a light, small "carry" lens that'll hopefully make my street photography more autonamous and less invasive / intrusive to others.

here's the first of a quick bunch of pics I took today... None of them for anything other than to test the lens' capability. I really like it.

In the local park... at 1/30th sec, hand held. I'm impressed, especially as I had just consumed two bloody mary's!

Another of my power line shots,... Good for focus / contrast / DOF testing

Lastly a quick flash shot of Lucy. Taken with an external flash, but without any difuser. Again, a really sharp image saying it too was taken at 1/30th. The hairs on the top of Lucy's head are really sharp.

I'll have some better content in future shots, but I just wanted to let Tom (and others) know that it compares favourably with my other EX glass.

I'm even considering getting a smaller camera bag now as all I need is spare batteries, flash & a hip flask in the bag (hehehe)

Pom

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