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Old Aug 13, 2010, 6:41 PM   #1
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Default Time for a New Lens

I recently won grand prize in the Steve's monthly contest. I decided to sell it so that I could buy a new lens for my Sony A200. After about 6 months of using my kit lens, I think that as a first step I need to go for a zoom lens.
So after initial browsing, I have two lenses lined up:
Sigma 18-200mm $250 (18-250mm run for too much)
&
Sigma 70-300mm $170 (please suggest similar)
For me, they are essentially the same cost because I could sell my kit lens for about $80 if I end up getting the 18-200mm.
Right now I'm leaning towards the 18-200mm. My question about it is how does it compare to my kit lens in focusing speed & optic quality? If it's going to replace my kit then it needs to be about par on quality.
I realize that this is not the lens to become a photographer with. That's why I plan to get a 50mm f/1.7 lens. But since I have the money to get a big lens, I'm going to get this one now, and wait till cmas to get the 50mm (since they only run at like $80).
So it would be my carry around lens, like for vacation, and then I'd gradually add more specialty stuff.

So is it really that much better to get the 70-300mm? I know it would give me longer range, but I've see the difference, and it doesn't seem like that much better than the advantage of having a wide angle combo. So how do they (18-200 & 70-300) compare optically and focusing wise? It would have to be pretty significant advantage in the 300 to make me want to get it.

My budget right now is about $250, so any other lens combos suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 6:46 PM   #2
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I would look at the tamron 70-300 DI LD II if you are considering the sigma 70-300. It is slightly better then the sig optically. But both are soft form 200-300mm.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 7:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
I would look at the tamron 70-300 DI LD II if you are considering the sigma 70-300. It is slightly better then the sig optically. But both are soft form 200-300mm.
Okay, thanks! But my original questions still applies.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 7:53 PM   #4
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Congratulations on your win!

The Sigma 18-200 would be a poor choice. It's not as good as your kit lens.

Sony 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 DT SAL-1870 (Tested)
Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC (Tested)

If you want something longer to compliment your 18-70 kit lens, on a budget, the Tamron 70-300 Di LD that shoturtle mentioned would be a better choice. It's not a lot better than the Sigma 70-300, but that Sigma has a problem with stripped AF gears when mounted on all Sony dSLRs after the A100.

Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF (Tested)
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro APO (Tested)
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 8:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for the heads up about the sigma gears stripping. Do you know if that's the case with the 18-200mm? This is a pretty big investment, and I don't want to see it crash and burn. :P
Has anyone out there owned the 18-200mm and the kit lens? Just wondering if there is any difference on the field.
So now I'm a bit more open to a telephoto tamron, but I still would like the sigma to work.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 8:22 PM   #6
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No. The Sigma 18-200 doesn't have the same problem.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 9:03 PM   #7
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This is the tamron lens, correct?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000EX...1751191&sr=8-2
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 9:05 PM   #8
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that be it
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Old Aug 14, 2010, 4:19 AM   #9
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Remember: The Tamron is not a great lens. If you want a great lens, look at the Sony 70-300 'G'. What the Tamron is is a bargain. It's the best lens in its price range (and more.)
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Old Aug 14, 2010, 11:48 AM   #10
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Hmm, I still feel undecided. Looking at SLRgear.com, the users rating on the 18-200mm is 20% higher, and each score is about a point higher than the kit. I really think im going to get it as my travel lens, especially if the tamron isn't anything special either.

So right now I really want to know of anyone who has used the kit and the sigma in the field and compare them. If it really is bad, then I guess I'll settle for the telephoto.
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