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Old Jun 24, 2010, 5:31 AM   #21
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I'm worried about compatibility between a DSLR and another manufacturer's lens.

I can get a good deal for a Nikon D3000 in combination with a Sigma lens that is described as
Sigma 18-200mm Ni F/3.5-6.3 iF DC HSM OS (stabilizer), Nikon (DX), FujiFilm (AF)

But can I be certain that image stabilisation and autofocus will work well in that combination?
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Old Jun 25, 2010, 6:50 AM   #22
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Thanks everybody for the advice.
I have bought a Nikon D3000 body with Sigma 18-200 OS lens.
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 2:48 AM   #23
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As you can see from the previous post, I chose to upgrade from a non-DSLR camera to a DSLR body with a large zoom lens. This turned out to be an extremely bad decision – for me. If I explain why, others can judge how relevant my experience is for them.

Naturally I wanted to check that my new Nikon/Sigma combination (D3000 with 18-200 OS lens) worked at least as well as my old camera (Konica Minolta Dimage A800). So I devised a test: indoors on a day with plenty of light (it was very sunny), handheld, no flash, images of books on shelves, CDs on racks, food jars and tins on kitchen shelves. I took each shot three times and chose the best.

All the A800 photos were fine, and there was rarely any difference between the photos in each set of three shots.
A few of the Nikon/Sigma shots were a complete disaster. Excluding them, by taking the best shot of each three, the results were this: about half were as sharp as with the A800; none were better; about half were so much less sharp than with the A800 that I considered them unacceptable.
Since that artificial test was a fair surrogate for thousands of photos that I have taken in real life I had to conclude the performance of the Nikon/Sigma combination was unacceptable. I’d rather throw it away and write off its entire cost than accept it as my new camera.

Fortunately the camera shop was prepared to take the Nikon/Sigma back and I bought a Fujifilm HS10 instead.
I gave the HS10 the same test. Sometimes the HS10 photos were a little better than the A800’s, sometimes a little worse, but all were acceptable. So, after a nasty shock, the HS10 has become my new camera.

The following points are of interest.
The Nikon/Sigma combination weighed 1100 grams. The Konica Minolta Dimage A800 500 grams. The Fujifilm HS10 630 grams.
All three cameras have an image stabilisation feature (I did not test the Nikon/Sigma with stabilisation switched off.)
I let the camera’s default program decide shutter speed. The Nikon nearly always chose 1/30 second. The other two cameras varied their choice a lot more and almost always chose a longer exposure than the Nikon: 1/20, 1/15 or even 1/10 (and, as I’ve said above, still producing successful photos).

The above describes my experience. Make of it what you will.

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Old Jun 29, 2010, 6:28 AM   #24
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Sorry, I meant the Konica Minolta Dimage A200
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 8:06 AM   #25
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Maybe I just like to argue, but let me show I how read your "test". You ended up comparing shots ooc from 2 p&s and 1 dslr. For these comparisons to be meaningful in real life, they would have had to be at the same ISO, same aperture, same lighting, etc. Also, appropriate pp would need to be applied. From your shutter speeds it seems that some of these variables must have changed. I looked at reviews of that old Dimage a200 and even at iso200 the noise is very apparent.

I hope you'll be happy with the Fuji HS10 altho how a super-zoom could be useful indoors is a little difficult to understand. It does get good reviews for it's intended usage.
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 8:17 AM   #26
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I'm glad it worked out for you.

If you ever decide to go the dSLR route in the future, make sure to decide if the lens you want to use is a good compromise.

As mentioned in an earlier post I made:

Note that as a general rule of thumb, a Super Zoom type lens is not as good as having multiple lenses with less ambitious ranges from wide to long that cover the same total focal range.

So, I'd compare them carefully before deciding (using sites like http://www.photozone.de and http://www.slrgear.com to see how they test).
If you look at the test results for the Sigma you bought, it's optical quality is very poor at a number of spots throughout it's zoom range.


Click on the Blur Chart, then use the slider to increase focal length (zoom in more) and you'll see what I mean.

The Sigma 18-125mm VTphotog suggested is much better, especially with the aperture stopped down a tad (for example, set it to f/5.6 at wider focal lengths).


In a Super Zoom type lens with more range from wide to long, the Tamron 18-250mm (not the 18-200mm) is a much better lens than that Sigma 18-200mm you bought (although still not as good a lens with a less ambitious focal range from wide to long like the Sigma 18-125mm).

You really have to compare each lens on a case by case basis to see how one performs; and in the case of Super Zoom type lenses, you can expect to make some compromises on optical quality in return for the convenience of having more range from wide to long.
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