Sigma 28-200 3.8-5.6 UC Aspherical A-mount lens review by JimD

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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 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.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 6
  • sharpness: 3.42
  • color: 3.67
  • build: 3.67
  • distortion: 3.50
  • flare control: 3.17
  • overall: 3.48 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania