SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D Macro review

According provided by SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D Macro lens for Nikon cameras huge thanks to Alexey Yarysh.

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D is a versatile lens with sevenfold zoom for cropped cameras, from Sigma digging, it was produced for different systems (bayonets). This review presents a version for Nikon cameras with Nikon F mount. Unlike versions for Canon, Sony, Pentax, the Nikon version has the letter 'D' in its name (SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D Macro), which is responsible for the ability to transmit the value of the focusing distance to the camera. For other systems, this letter is simply not written.

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D


The lens is made in Japan, has a metal mount and a weak assembly. First of all, on the copy that came to my review, you can feel the play of the zoom ring. The lens does not inspire much confidence in the hands - when you shake it lightly, you can hear the micro-movements of the lenses / mechanisms inside. At the same time, the lens has a metal mount, which makes it rise above some similar native lenses such as Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED SWM IF Aspherical и Nikon 18-105mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED Nikkor VR AF-S SWM DX IF Aspherical.

The zoom and focus rings are rubberized. The retractable body frame (trunk) is quite sturdy and consists of two telescopic parts. One part of the retractable body frame, which is closer to the bayonet, is metal. The second part is plastic. Unfortunately, the lens that I had on the test spontaneously changes its size under its own weight. But the developers took this into account and did 18mm focal length lock, at this focal length you can use the 'Lock' button, which locks the lens at the 18mm position.

When changing the focal length, the rear lens moves in the middle of the lens body like a pump - it draws in and pushes out air. This behavior of the rear lens is called 'effect' of a vacuum cleaner, which can increase the amount of dust that accumulates in the camera.

The lens can use a lens hood, which is installed in special grooves (quick installation). In the review I visited the lens without such a lens hood.

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D uses filters with a diameter of 62 mm. The lens weighs 385 grams. The optical design consists of 15 elements in 14 groups. The optical design uses two aspherical lenses and one SLD (Special Low Dispersion).

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D


Auto focus on SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D is enough slow. When using on camera Nikon D80 sometimes focusing errors occur. Due to the lack of a focusing motor, the lens is pretty noisy, as the usual micromotor of the camera is used for focusing.

Focusing for SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D internal - when focusing, neither the front nor the rear lens rotates, and the lens itself does not change its size when focusing. During auto focus, the focus ring rotates and cannot be touched.

In manual focus mode, the focus ring rotates 75 degrees. The focus ring travels very smoothly, but still manual focusing is inconvenient. The focus distance marks are present more for show, the scale with the depth of field marks is not at all (more detailed here).

The lens has a focusing distance scale with marks in meters and feet. The scale is marked on the focusing ring. The minimum focusing distance is 50 cm (the distance from the camera sensor to the subject). With this MDF, the maximum magnification ratio is 1: 5.3 (on the official website 1: 2.9 indicated). Thus, the lens allows you to shoot 'about close'. On the retractable rim of the case there are marks indicating the current magnification factor: 1: 15.3, 1: 12.4, 1: 9.2, 1: 7.1 and 1: 5.3. In fact, the maximum ratio of 1: 5.3 is very small, and the prefix 'Macro', in the name of the lens, serves as nothing more than a “temptation” for buyers :(.

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D


The diaphragm consists of seven blades and creates fairly even circles in the out-of-focus area (example on f / 9) Aperture closes to F / 22 @ 18mm F / 36 @ 125mm. Using 125 mm focal length and maximum aperture of f / 5.6 you need to monitor shutter speedto prevent grease when handheld shooting. Of course, there is no image stabilizer in the lens.

The lens has a mediocre maximum aperturecharacteristic of many whale lenses of the 18-55 / 105/135/200 class.

The lens has a scale with focal lengths, the minimum number F for each of them is indicated below:

  • 18mm - f / 3.5
  • 24mm - f / 4
  • 28mm - f / 4
  • 35mm - f / 4.5
  • 50mm - f / 4.8
  • 70mm - f / 5.3
  • 100mm - f / 5.6
  • 125mm - f / 5.6
SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D

Compatibility and Features

It's important: auto focus with this lens is available only when using him on cameras with built-in motor focusing.

Exact list Nikon DSLR cameras with a built-in focus motor, on which this lens will focus automatically:

Exact list Nikon DSLR cameras without a built-in focus motor, on which this lens will not focus automatically:

Only auto focus and sound confirmation of focus will not work with these cameras, all other important functions, such as automatic exposure metering and automatic iris control, will work well.

You will find a lot of useful information on the types of cameras and lenses Nikon here.

The prefix 'DC' in the lens name means that the SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D Macro is designed to work with cropped cameras. Nikon DX. EGF lens for Nikon DX cameras is 27-187.5mm.

There is no focus mode switch on the lens itself; to put the lens in manual focus mode, you must put the camera in manual focus mode using the switch located near the camera mount.

Nikon does not have a complete analogue for the SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D Macro. The most similar to him can be considered Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED SWM IF Aspherical.

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D

Please note that the SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D lens is no longer available, in 2008 it was replaced with a new model SIGMA ZOOM 18-125mm 1: 3.8-5.6 DC OS HSM Optical Stabilizer with optical image stabilization.

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D

Image quality

With image quality, SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D let us down a bit. First of all, the lens produces poor sharpness, especially at the edges and corners of the frame. If you cover the diaphragm, then the sharpness normalizes. Worst of all, sharpness at corners and edges at 18 mm focal length and F / 3.5. At the same time, a strong vignette and noticeable distortion are noticeable by 18 mm.

But the lens copes well with back and side lighting. However, there is one more problem - the lens turns a little yellow, which can be seen even in the optical viewfinder.

If you weigh everything, the image quality is consistent with the small price that is asked for for the lens.

You can download RAW source files at this link (36 files in .'NEF 'format, 330 MB). All photos were shot using protective filter ARSENAL 62mm MC UV.

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D

My experience

I believe that it makes no sense to produce non-motorized lenses for Nikon cropped cameras. The fate of SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D is exactly the same as Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6DX. Theoretically, SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D can be a replacement for whale lenses of class 18-55 / 3.5-5.6, but no more. Instead of SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D I would rather prefer Tamron AF 18-200mm f / 3.5-6.3 (IF) Aspherical LD ​​XR DiII Macro A14.

If you are looking for a similar lens, then relatives can act as a super-budget option Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED SWM IF Aspherical or Nikon 18-70mm AF-S 3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX. Past this SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D, I would go sideways.

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D and SIGMA C 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4 DC OS HSM MACRO

SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D and SIGMA C 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4 DC OS HSM MACRO

Catalog of modern Sigma lenses can look at this link.

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SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D Macro was not a very successful lens, maybe I just came across a very worn copy.

Later the SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D Macro lens was replaced with a more modern model Sigma Zoom 18-125mm 1: 3.8-5.6 DC OS HSM (Optical Stabilizer).

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 17, on the topic: SIGMA DC 18-125mm 1 review: 3.5-5.6 D Macro

  • anonym

    the quality of pictures from this camera, of course ... (

    • anonym

      The colors of the d80 are just awesome!

  • sergey

    Good evening, Thank you for the excellent reviews of especially the technique that you can apply, Sorry that is off topic but I don’t know which thread on this site you can discuss it: I recently acquired a manual flash and it turned out that the real sync speed for Nikon d5100 is not 1 / 200 and 1/250 since there is no band at this shutter speed, that is, the entire frame exposed by the flash and only at 1/320 does the band appear at the bottom, funny but with the built-in flash the camera does not allow 1/250 to be set, it gives only 1/200.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      This should be written in the subject to d5100

      • sergey

        Thank you, now I will write there too.

  • Eugene

    Hello Arkady! Small mistakes: TRANSFER the value of the focusing distance; special grooves (quick installation). Thanks for the reviews. Peace to all of us and creative success, to you, Arkady!

    • Arkady Shapoval


  • Mick jager

    Hello Arkady!
    Thanks for the excellent review as always.
    But I have a different question.
    What optics do you take subject photos of objects of review? And what are the shooting options (aperture, iso)?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      You can see it yourself in EXIF ​​snapshots, for example, using

      • Mick jager

        Thank you!

  • Gene jb

    I have such a version for Kenon. There is a very unsuccessful design flaw. Moreover, specially approved by the manufacturer. Focuses very fast. Half a second. When compared with the tamron 18-200, it is about 2 times lighter. I personally like it. Maybe soaping, not really noticed.

  • Maria

    Hello, please tell me, I want to buy this lens instead of the kit for canon 700d, tell me if it makes sense? Would this lens be better? There is still an option to buy tamron sp 17-50 mm f 2.8 xr Di || LD, advise which is better, whale, tamron or sigma.

    • BB

      The best option for quality and aperture ratio will be Tamron 17-50.
      But when buying, a thorough check is required (both new and used).
      Although Arkady does not like third-party import brands :-)

    • Lynx

      on “teaching work, without pens for fotosil, etc., with saving money” - whale.
      in terms of "luminosity and price" - tamron, but his drawing is flat like a table.
      “In terms of“ pleasant touch ”- sigma, it has a velvety coating. It was not possible to notice more advantages for cheap sigma.

      • Anatoly

        In fact, the most expensive top-end glasses in the world are Sigma ..
        This is the word about “more pluses ..” etc ...

        You had missed the opportunity when it was better to be silent than to speak (you can see right away that you haven’t seen Sigma in your eyes)

  • Sergei

    I had one. I took a staffer on the D80. From my inexperience, I could not understand why there was no sharpness to aperture 9. At 8, the sharpness was a stretch. I got rid of it by exchanging for Tokina 28-210, which is many times better for the same cost for a used version.

  • Vadim

    I bought used sigma 18-125 3.5 / 5.6, as in this review.
    My impressions are positive. The sharpness is good, at the level of my canon 24 / 2.8 stm. But the canon throughout the field is sharp, and the sigma on the right along the edge of the frame has a slightly blurred zone (8-10% percent), and very few angles, starting from 24mm. Defined by a printed sharpening table.
    But in the center, and for most of the frame, by eye, the sharpness is the same with the 24mm canon.
    I was a little surprised.
    Then I took a tamron 18-200 a14 from a friend (version without a stub) for comparison. Tamron lost to sigma at all focal lengths except 18mm. This specimen of tamron on the right side of the frame was good, but from the middle to the end of the left edge of the frame I really didn’t like it: “soap”, and the drawing seemed to be through a dim glass. I also noticed some kind of purple tint where it shouldn't be. Focuses noticeably worse than sigma (everything was tested on the canon 40d). In a bright room, the tamron often wobbled back and forth, ranging from 50mm. Sigma has no focusing problems at all.
    I bought it for 4200 rubles (in January 2019). The lens is about 12-14 years old, and it is still relevant for me. It is small, relatively light.
    Maybe I got a good copy (even despite the soapy right edge of the frame), but this is imperceptible in the photographs, and the edge is not critical.
    My opinion: better and more interesting than canon 18-55 is ii. For its current price, it’s just much more interesting than a whale.
    Thanks for the review. It is about sigma 18-125 3.5-5.6 that very little is written in RuNet.

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