Last year, we declared it to be the year of the third party lens manufacturer–and that strength seems to be going deep into this year. Today, DxOMark released the findings on the company’s 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 DC lens that was recently updated. Now, despite the fact that the Nikon and Canon versions are both older optics, the Sigma has outperformed both–leading both companies by quite a bit. Sigma’s option for a lens that has been typically not been looked at for its sharpness is outdoing both Nikon and Canon. But the reason for this may be deeper.
If you look at the T stop transmission data, you can see that Canon and Nikon both let in more light. But the fact that the Sigma is letting in less could mean that this factor is attributing to the extra sharpness and if it were instead putting out a less number, it could only be slightly better than the two.
We have the lens in for review right now, and so far we’re finding it to be very warm and quite contrasty. The latter is a trademark of Sigma’s optics and helps to add to perceived sharpness. We will have to wait until the full review is done though to give our final judgement.
With many camera companies struggling, it seems like they’re focusing more on cameras than lenses. And with that, these third party companies may come to even greater prominence. But sales and bundles are a totally different consideration than what tests and reviews say.