Sigma 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC

Review Date : Thu, 26 Mar 2009

Author :

Sigma 55-200mm

Review of the Sigma 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC lens

Pros: Unpretentious specification and consistent results
Cons: Nothing, given its price point

With a list price that is just a shade over £100, and on-the-street prices comfortably into the two-digit domain, this is a very affordable tele-zoom that offers a very useful range of focal lengths. Its f/4 maximum aperture is a bit of an illusion because the lens needs to be stopped-down to f/5.6 before its resolution figures hit the magic 0.25 cycles-per-pixel but they then remain above that critical value down to about f/16 at all focal lengths.

Casual perusal of their specifications might lead potential buyers to assume that this lens is on a par with Sigma’s 18-50mm sub-£100 standard zoom (tested previously by WDC) but the 55-200mm feels more robust and has a particularly nice balance. The zoom ring, which is located closest to the camera body, has a very comfortable grip and is wide enough for comfortable use. The manual-focusing ring is more distant and has a rather loose rotational movement but is very usable.

Sadly, not only the focusing ring but also the entire front-end of the lens rotates in AF mode, making it difficult to get a firm grip on the lens as the only non-rotating place to take hold is the zoom ring. This in turn results in a very poor balance and risks losing image quality through camera-shake. There is no image-stabilisation to offset this handling limitation but a reversible conic lens-hood is included, which should help to improve image quality under high-flare conditions.

Image Quality
Real-world testing produced some very nice pictures from this lens. There are no exceptional strengths to the Sigma 55-200mm but neither does it have any serious weaknesses. Given its low cost, there is little to fault and much to admire about this refreshingly unpretentious lens.

 ThumbnailSigma55-200mmAt200mm.jpg ThumbnailSigma55-200mmLowAngle.jpg  ThumbnailSigma55-200mmAt55mm.jpg

Verdict

Sigma’s lens is consistent overall but, by the same token, is bereft of any noteworthy highlights.


Digital SLR Reviews

Price as reviewed

£109.00

Scores

Scores
Features 17/20
Design 17/20
Image Quality 17/20
Performance 17/20
Value 19/20
Overall Score 87%