Sigma 28-200 3.8-5.6 UC Aspherical A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 5   
reviewer#29666 date: Aug-23-2016
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
overall: 3.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-55mm DT SAM II
Sony 55-200mm SAM
Minolta 28-100mm D
Tamron 28-200mm aspheric.
Lots of other Minolta lenses
price paid:£45 UKP
positive:well built, good in MF
Very low CA and PF
negative:Soft, especially at 200mm
spherical aberration and coma
strong ghosting and veiling
sticky zoom ring
long MFD (1.5m) limits close-up possibilities
comment:This lens is a late film-era super-zoom which has been superseded by more recent hyper-zooms with much wider zoom ranges. Is it worth buying s/h?
It is compact and well-built, without the loose plasticky feel of Minolta’s cheaper lenses, and though Sigmas are known for breaking their AF drive, my copy AFs well, though a trifle noisily. The focus ring is wide and much more pleasant to use in MF than the thin ring on many Minoltas, but the zoom ring on my copy is very stiff, particularly going long.
Optically the IQ is mixed. There’s some sight bowing at the edges at 28mm but not enough to bother me; CA & PF are very well controlled – almost invisible except at 100% crop, and if you frame your shots fully the results are clear and bright. Unfortunately the lens is quite soft, especially at full length, and is let down by significant spherical aberration and coma which reduce contrast quite badly on writing, number plates, etc. The coma also creates some pretty horrid bokeh (eg on light filtering through distant trees).
I would expect some flare or ghosting from the large front element (the ‘hood’ supplied is more of a front-element protector than a real lens hood) and this proves to be quite bad, giving a large semicircular ghost with sun just off-scene and so much veiling the lens wouldn't AF! Par for the course on older lenses, perhaps, and fine if you shield the sun with your hand, but not good with multiple light sources indoors or at night. The Minolta 28-100mm works much better in the same scene despite it's similar vestigial 'hood', AF-ing just fine and with enough veiling to give atmosphere (if that's what you want) without killing the image.
I did some back-to-back tests of this lens against the silver Minolta 28-100mm D and the Sony 18-55mm and 55-200mm DT lenses, on real-world subjects (treetops around 30-50 feet away and vehicles 100-200 feet away, which I feel give more representative results than test cards), and the Minolta 28-100 was sharper everywhere. In fact the Sigma at 200mm was no better than the Minolta at 100mm with digital zoom – less jpeg artefacts but more blur. The Sony 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses are a huge amount sharper at all comparable focal lengths, as expected, as well as being almost free from ghosting and veiling.
So is it worth buying? Obviously the latest hyperzooms are better in most respects including focal range, but at the time of writing they’re a lot more expensive. It is probably not as bad as you would expect from the previous reviews here; my copy of this lens was certainly much better than my copy of the Tamron 28-200 (which was awful), and produced some nice pictures. If you want a 28-200mm zoom, don’t expect to crop heavily, and don’t want to pay more than 50 pounds/dollars/Euros then it is a good choice, but I’d suggest you try the Minolta 28-100 D which is even cheaper and rather better. For me (in particular for photographing trains which is what I need this all-in-one range for) it was no improvement over the Minolta so I returned it.
reviewer#26526 date: Mar-17-2016
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:I don't have anything else to make a direct comparison with. Might compare well to other "superzooms".
price paid:
missing
positive:Versatile. Well made solid build, but not heavy. Compact. Bokeh.
negative:Soft. Lots of distortion.CA. minimum focus distance.
comment:I have always been a prime lens snob who subscribes to the idea that a zoom simply could not compete with them at the same focal length and aperture. That's not to say I don't appreciate a good zoom.

When my brother in law decided he was giving up photography and passed this lens on to us (gratis), I was certain that If i tried it out on full frame digital it would prove to be the worst lens I had ever tested. I was not disappointed. It is the worst SLR lens I've ever used.

Optically it behaves like a toy lens. It vignettes, the distortions are complex, obvious (most noticeably at 85mm with significant pin cushion), probably difficult to correct in pp (to be fair I have not tried to do this), chromatic aberrations a-go-go. It is soft throughout the zoom range at apertures down to f11 (didn't bother to try anything smaller). The minimum focus distance is an intergalactic starship defeating 1.5 meters - at all focal lengths.

And yet, having said all that, it's really not that bad. Designed in the film era for 35mm film SLRs, I doubt the designers imagined that anyone using it would be making enlargements any greater than 5"x7" (12x17cm). In fact, viewed full screen on my apple cinema display the images look OK. The colour balance is nice and contrast is reasonable. It's only when the image is magnified to 100% that the softness fully reveals itself . In fact, I'm irritated by how good the lens is, given all the compromises that have been made. It has no right to be as good as it is! It does better in high contrast situations. Used on a tripod with a flash you could almost say it's sharp. Nearly.

The images do have a sort of vintage look about them. Lens flare and veiling is well controlled when the sun is in or just outside the frame. Lens flares have a typical sigma orange tang. Maybe this lens would suit people who are into making vintage looking toy lens images. Perhaps with film?

Metasynthese in their review says "I like the bokeh". An apparently throw away remark that intrigued me. Let me tell you about the bokeh. It is big, round, squidgy and really rather attractive. In fact it is the best thing the 28-200 has to offer, and possibly a deal breaker for the bargain hunter.

Summing up. I would not go out and buy one of these unless it was very, very cheap. Even then I'd think twice now I know how it performs. But I've never been one to look a gift horse in the mouth. I don't know if we'll keep this lens or pass it on. It's really down to my partner to decide.
reviewer#11885 date: Jun-28-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-250
price paid:R50 ($5)
positive:Price, lightness, compactness, useful range
negative:Noisy AF
Hunts in low-light closeup
comment:I bid on a whim, and mine was the only bid so the bad news is that I was stuck with it. The good news is that I paid R50 (about $5). The shipping cost three times as much, so I definitely can't complain about price, even though it arrived without a hood and front cap.
I wasn't expecting much, especially after the earlier reviews, but I think that, while I'm no Sigma fan, and it's no masterpiece, it's had a bad rap in those assessments, especially the one below. Where there's a possibility of a used copy that was defective to start with, rating everything a "1", including aspects one hasn't tested, isn't helpful if those ratings are allowed to affect the overall rating; it simply distorts the Rating Summary. Rather not review, in those circumstances. I nearly passed on quite a decent lens at bargain price because of it.
As for my impressions: for the range it is very compact. The build is actually quite good-(metal mount, solid feel, lots of rubber), and I don't get the comment about the focusing ring; it's wider than most (inc. my 18-250 and any of my Minoltas) and rubber-gripped- are we talking about the same lens?
I tested it on my A65 in cloudy low-light conditions, and the AF worked fine although it sounds like a car crash. It was quick and precise except in low light close-up, where it hunts a lot, and noisily. But when I fitted the Sony for comparison, to my surprise it hunted almost as much for the same shot. Outside, the Sigma was not pin-sharp, and falls off a little more at full zoom, but it picked up some visiting Vervet monkeys reasonably clearly in dark foliage with decent sharpness considering the conditions, and the colour is also reasonably good. I couldn't check flare properly in the circumstances, but with 72mm glass right at the front, with no shading at all from the barrel, I suspect that flare might be a problem without a hood. But the range is useful, the size and weight are handy, and I think it's a decent lens as a first step up from kit lenses. The Sony has a better range at both ends, is definitely sharper, is more or less the same size and weight, and is my absolute choice for my on-camera lens at the moment, so there's no reason for me to keep the Sigma. At the price I'm happy to make a gift of it, but I won't feel embarrassed when I pass this on to the beginner who has just bought my A33. I think he'll get good use and some decent images out of it.
reviewer#10130 date: Apr-20-2012
sharpness: 3
color: 2
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan, tokina 70-210, minolta 35-70, sigma hf 28-80
price paid:60 US Ebay
positive:cheap
Nice build with lots of rubber to protect lens.
focus ring
negative:AF is almost useless
unusable wide open
heavy
comment:I was very disappointed with this lens, did not meet any of my expectations. AF was very slow and half of the time didn't focus or "hunted". using it on manual focus was the only way it was usable. pictures were very low contrast. Maybe it was just my copy but would not recommend anyone to buy this lens.
reviewer#8978 date: Apr-30-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Several 18-55, 35-105,...
price paid:50 € (used)
positive:-Price
-Range
-Compact
-Image quality does not loose much at 200mm
-I like the bokeh
negative:-Everything else
comment:It's okay for the price, nothing more.
reviews found: 5   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 5
  • sharpness: 3.40
  • color: 3.40
  • build: 3.80
  • distortion: 3.40
  • flare control: 3.00
  • overall: 3.40

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