Sigma 18-200mm vs Canon 28-105mm vs Canon 28-135mm

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by harry_sanderson, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. What's better a Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 vs Canon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 vs Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6. Thinking that I may eventually want a 18-
    200 and one of the Canons? Advice people? :)
  2. What camera? What purpose? What output? What budget? And why are you only looking at those 3?
  3. Welcome to PhotoNet! :)
    Rob asks some good questions. Why does it matter for what purpose or what output, etc.? Consider a motor vehicle: Dodge Ram 1500 vs. Toyota Prius vs. Ferrari 250GTO... Which is best? That begs the question, "For what? Hauling hay? Conserving fuel? Driving fast?"
    A "hyperzoom" like the 18-200 (having a very broad zoom range) is convenient for not having to carry lots of lenses or change them often, but image quality and maximum aperture can sometimes be lacking. A narrower zoom range usually, but not always, yields better image quality, price for price, but of course you might have to change lenses here and there. And then there's the question of whether you want/need image stabilization, which the Sigma and the Canon 28-135 have.
    Anyway, if you can tell us what model of camera you have, what you like/want to take pictures of, how large you'd like to print, and what you're willing to spend, I think people here can give you better advice.
  4. In considering only these 3 lenses...
    It is very likely that the Sigma is the best choice for you. The reasons are pretty simple. You have a camera with an APS-C sized sensor. This means that the field of view is narrower for a given focal length (since the APS-C sensor sits in the middle of the projected image circle, and doesn't extend to it's edges). This effect is like having a built in 'zoom', because the sensor inherently 'crops' the edges of the image.
    As a result, The 18-200 turns into the equivelant of a 28-320mm, the 28-105 -> 45-168mm, and the 28-135 -> 45-216mm.
    The widest the Canon lenses can go is NOT very wide at all. For simple group photos, you may find yourself unable to zoom 'out' wide enough to get everybody in. Don't expect to be able to capture expansive landscapes, or similar.
    Also, the OS in the Sigma is going to make it an easier lens to use effectively than the 28-105. The 28-135 has IS too, but it is a much older system, and not as effective.
    Of course, the Image quality is all anyone goes on about around here it seems, and in respect to that, all three of these lenses have a rather low ceiling as far as absolute image quality goes. ...the good news is that by the time you've reached that ceiling (which might take awhile), you'll know how to overcome it, and what you need to shoot effectively to do so.
    Good luck!
  5. I was looking for a General All around lens hence the Sigma 18-200mm and then a possible 28-105 good for potraits? and as a backup lens just in case. I'm using a Canon 50D with a 1.6x Crop Factor. I've seen Wide Angle lens adapters with a crop factor 0.43x are they any good?
  6. [[and then a possible 28-105 good for potraits?]]

    There is no such thing as a lens that's "good for portraits." A portrait lens can be any lens, it just depends on how and where you shoot. As just one example, some people use 70-200mm zoom lenses for portraits.

    Are you shooting a lot of portraits? Are they head shots or full body or something inbetween? Are they indoors or out? Are the images for prints or for web-sharing?
    [[I've seen Wide Angle lens adapters with a crop factor 0.43x are they any good?]]

    They are designed to needlessly separate people from their money. Sadly, they are very good at that part and not good at anything else.

    [[I was looking for a General All around lens]]
    What lens do you have now with the 50D and what is wrong with it that you feel you need the Sigma? Are you traveling and need to reduce bulk/weight? Are you walking around and don't want to change lenses for a telephoto zoom? There are dozens of lenses that could be called "general all around." The Sigma does offer a ton of range, but it compromises on the amount of light it can let in (especially at 200mm) and, depending on what you do with the images, the overall quality.

    Personally, I would look at lenses like the Canon 15-85 or the Sigma 17-70 or even the new Canon 18-135 STM (which is said to have greatly improved image quality over the previous version). But my needs are probably not the same as yours.
  7. I would discount the 28-135 - it is a slow lens, in my experience not particularly sharp, and the 28-135 is not wide enough on a crop body. Same for the 28-105 - just not wide enough on a crop body. The 18-200 is better, but you can do better still at an affordable price.
    For general kicking around photography when I only want to carry a body and a lens, I often carry the Sigma 18-250 OS HSM Macro on a 60D. I have been pleased with the quality, and the range is great, but you have to understand the limitations.
    For times when I just want to snap picks of the kids at the park, on vacation, etc., but still be able to grab some wide shots, the lens does a great job. For anything low light, it just isn't fast enough. All of the wide to superzoom lens have some sacrifices (slow, some distortion, CA, etc.). I wouldn't shoot a paid job with it, but for just having fun, I have found the positives outweigh the negatives.
  8. I was thinking the Sigma 18-200mm because compared to the Tamron reviews I've looked at on the web say that the Sigma is Generally a better quality compared to the Tamron. The Tamron seems to be Clunkier and Slower than the Sigma. The Sigma over the Canon purely because its a little bit cheaper about £150 compared to Canon £200 second hand.
    I was then thinking of a Canon 28-105mm as a good Alternative to an upgrade or purchasing alongside a 18-200mm. Although it doesn't have as wide an angle as the 18-200mm I still have an 18-55mm Kit Lens so it lacking wide angle wouldn't be a huge problem. Plus a USM motor and an f/stop brighter would be a good edition.
    Ultimately I'm looking at having several lenses and eventually upgrading to full frame DSLR. My main purposes for a lens would be one all purpose good rounded lens good for when I need to travel lighter. E.g. Holiday, Location Shoots etc... A a higher quality faster lens, one thats a little versatile (Reasonable Focal Range).
    As to my Current Lens Setup I'm using an old 18-55mm which still works and is a great lens but its just lacking a better zoom range really.
    Thanks swell for all your replies guys :) It's my first time to the site and I'm really enjoying all the help! :)
  9. For all around one-lens shooting, a superior alternative to your list is the EF-S 15-85mm IS lens. Gives you a real wide-angle for your camera, as well as a moderate telephoto. The older EF-S 17-85 IS is not so fine, but still a good bargain at current prices used.
    Image stabilization (called by other names by Sigma, etc.) is important.
  10. Harry, the image stabilized (IS) version of the 18-55 is a pretty good performer, albeit with one with really cheap construction. (The non-IS version is pretty abysmal in all respects.)
    If you want a (very) mildly wide to short telephoto lens to go with it, the 28-135 is perhaps a good choice. It was my first EOS lens, which I shared between my first two EOS body, the 10D (an APS-C) and an Elan 7n (35mm film). I still own the 28-135 and the Elan 7n. The IS on that lens is indeed of a rather old design, but I think it works quite well. IMO, you can do a lot worse than this lens for sharpness, contrast, etc. It's quite a bargain, especially on the used market. Remember that this used to be a kit lens, and kit lenses tend to flood the market as people upgrade to other lenses they feel will be better. However, there's also a lot of good engineering that goes into a kit lens, and you benefit both from the supply glut and from economy of scale.
    If your intent is eventually to go full frame (which is something that won't NECESSARILY benefit you -- see here: you would be wise to invest in full frame lenses, as you indicate. You might find yourself outgrowing any of the lenses you mention above. If it is within your budget, you might want to consider a much better "kit" lens that also floods the used market. It's the 24-105 f/4L. Often people get this lens bundled with their cameras for maybe $650 extra, and then they sell it off for maybe $700. (My memory for these prices might be a bit old.) Anyway, it's quite a lot of lens for the price.
    If you decide you'd rather stick with crop, the 15-85 is a good recommendation. There may be other good crop lenses that get you a bit more reach, but others frankly know more about the field of crop lenses than I do and can advise you better.
    And remember, full frame isn't necessarily better than crop. It's like the truck vs. economy car vs. sports car analogy I mentioned -- better for what? The above link lays out a lot of the differences between formats. You might actually be better off with crop. Only you can make that decision. However, just understand that full frame isn't necessarily an "upgrade." It depends on what you're doing. I, myself, am a dual format shooter, which means there are times I feel my crop camera is a better choice than my full frame camera.
  11. BTW, one question remains unanswered: How large are you going to view your photographs, whether printed or on a computer screen? This is a very important consideration. If you're simply going to be putting 4x6 snaps (er... 10 x 15 cm) into a photo album or posting pics to Facebook, almost any lens will be up to the task. If you're going to be hanging 20 x 30 (50 x 75 cm) prints on the wall, then you need to think more about the lens' image quality.
  12. At the moment I don't currently own any IS lenses my 18-55mm is an old Plain lens with no IS.

    in terms of 'upgrading' I was going to eventually follow the same lines as you Sarah running both a Full Frame and Crop
    Sensor camera.

    24-105mm was my original thought when upgrading but unfortunately is just a little out of my price range. Hence the 28-
    105mm seemed a good alternative offering a slightly similar focal range (albeit a slower lens) would be a good affordable
    replacement for the popular favourite 24-105mm.

    Generally the Majority of my photos tend to go online however I always like to have the quality there to be able to print
    about A4 size when I manage to capture an image that I'm especially proud of.

    Going back to the Full Frame idea, I was leaning more towards the 28-105mm in my old research (obviously a bit
    outdated after talking to all you guys!) because it was EF mount therefore I would be able to keep the door open to Full
    Frame. It makes the 17-85mm look quite enticing being EF IS with a USM motor it seems like a logical and good choice!
  13. I've been disappointed with my 28-135. Soft in the corners on full-frame. That would probably not be an issue on a crop
    body, but the lens isn't really wide enough for daily single-lens use on a crop body.
  14. Harry, FAIW, my only EF-S lens is an 18-55 IS. I bought the lens to carry around on my 40D specifically because it is small, light, cheap and otherwise fairly decent. (Note: I'm not able to carry a lot of weight around with me, so this is an important factor to me.) You can find one very cheaply on the used market (keh $69 EX+). It would be an insanely cheap upgrade to toss/sell your 18-55 non-IS an to pick up an 18-55 IS. That might be worth doing, not only for the improved optical quality, but also for the IS. I think once you try using it, you will wonder how you ever managed without it -- at least if your photography is handheld and not from atop a tripod.
    I can certainly respect your limited budget. However, I'll point out that current ebay prices for the 24-105 here in the US are under $650 (keh, EX+), far below the list price quoted by Canon, and also considerably less than the new price for the lens bought separately from a reputable dealer. It's also slightly lower than the price point as the (smaller, lighter) 15-85. Unlike many lenses, a used 24-105 is generally in new condition, but simply unboxed from a kit and sold off. So a used (new condition) 24-105 is only US$250 more than a new Sigma 18-200. Frankly I'd far rather have the 24-105 on a 5D camera than a Sigma 18-200 on a more expensive/modern full frame camera, unless I were buying the 18-200 specifically for lightweight/compact travel. (And I wouldn't even consider the 28-105.) The better investment is always lenses, IMO. Bodies come and go, but it is your lenses you will keep for the long haul, and it is generally your lenses that impose more limitations on your image quality anyway. Just my 2p. ;-)
    But if budget is really a stretch (and I can appreciate that), I'd pick up a USED 28-135 for $144-199 (keh BGN to EX+). They're cheap, they're ubiquitous, and despite the criticism they often get, they tend to be very good -- not stunning, but very good, especially for the price.
  15. Oops: clumsy edit above: Ebay prices for the 24-105 are about $685. KEH prices are $650. Ebay has gotten very popular and therefore somewhat expensive lately.
  16. After researching about some of the lenses people have mentioned above I thought that the 17-85mm would maybe be
    good? However I can't find any consistent views about it ranging from Good to Unusable because of Chronic Abberration.
    Has anyone used this lens? If so opinions?

    I would love to get a 24-105mm f/4 but it's just not affordable for me at the moment hopefully in 8months to a year I might
    be able to get hold of one.

    I do love using my 18-55mm but I just feel that I need a broader focal range than it has to offer. Plus I wanted to maybe
    see if I could upgrade to a lens that would focus quicker (ideally for sports) with a reasonable broad focal range.

    I plan to add more lens to my photographic arsenal in the next few months so I don't need a huge range like 28-270mm
    because if I need a more telephoto range I'll look at getting a 70-300mm, 55-250mm.
  17. Harry, the 70-300 IS (non-L) is another wonderful lens for the price. It's not stunningly sharp at 300mm, but at least it zooms out that far. At shorter focal lengths it's quite good -- sharp, well controlled CA, really good IS, and relatively light/compact. Tamron also has a 70-300 VC that's even less expensive and is also reputed to be quite good. I can't tell you much about the 55-250 or 17-85.
  18. I think I might go for a 17-85mm and 70-300mm then they bother overlap a little (which I always think is a good thing).
    The 70-300mm is definitely and outstanding win and a no brainer for me! The 17-85mm on the other hand has some
    scary reviews and amazing ones aswell so it might just have to be bite the bullet and treat it as a bit of an experiment :)

    You mentioned earlier Sarah that one of your first lenses was a 28-105mm. What sort of lenses did you first get when
    starting out?
  19. My first EOS lenses were the 28-135 IS (not the 28-105) and the 75-300 IS. (I knew at the time that the 75-300 wasn't that great a lens, but it fit my needs and budget at the time. Then I acquired the 17-40, the Sigma 12-24, the 5D and 24-105 kit. Next I sold my 10D and bought a refurb 40D and added an 18-55 IS for a cheap walk-around crop lens. Later I added a 70-200/4 IS, then a Zenitar 16/2.8 fisheye (Curse those SOB Russians!), and finally a Pentax 500/4.5.
    That said, I wasn't "starting out" with this equipment. My "starting out" gear, back in the 70's, was a Pentax H1 with a semiautomatic 55/2.2, then a 135/3.5, a Spotmatic F, a Praktika LB, and two 50/1.8 lenses. I added a Tamron adaptall 24/2.5 (?) along the way. Then in the 90's I transitioned to a Canon FD system I inherited, as both of my Pentax shutters had gotten a bit wonky.
    You can find 17-85 test data here:
    Play with the interactive charts to get some notion what the lens is like, and judge for yourself. You can also search their database for other lenses mentioned here.
  20. Oh, to be clear, I first bought the 75-300 IS and then later replaced it with the 70-300 IS. The 75-300 IS isn't as bad as reputed, but it's still not as good as the 70-300 IS.
  21. Okay Thankyou so much for your help :) I'll definitely have a look at that test data and other lenses mentioned above!

    Thankyou also for giving me a rough how you progressed in the Canon EOS system. It's good to get an idea in how other
    peoples equipment has evolved :)

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