After a long winter of heavy shooting and endless travel on assignment I usually take a few weeks of late spring and early summer to spend time with family and friends and do a bit of casual photography. When I don’t have to worry about deadlines, editors, athletes and assignments I leave the big pack filled with heavy fast glass and opt for an all around kit. This year it was the Canon 7D paired with the Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS Macro HSM that was with me on all occasions.
I really put the 18-250mm through the paces and shot a huge variety of subjects including family snapshots, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, wildflowers, landscapes, location scouting, backpacking and more. If I had to use just one word to describe this lens it would be FUN!
I did a bit of low-key coverage of a new mountain bike race in Eagle, Colorado and shot it exclusively with the 18-250. The lens focused fast and I was able to get a high number of keepers while using AI Servo and the Optical Stabilizer worked well enough to get a few shots dragging the shutter.
Some of key aspects I like about this lens are its svelte weight, which makes it easy to get around mountain trails and also keeps me feeling unencumbered on family outings. Its versatility also amazed me! I had never used a super zoom before and was blown away at having the ability to go from wide angle all the way to telephoto with the twist of the barrel. I do quite a bit of location scouting for commercial shoots and I quickly realized the 18-250 is perfect for these reasons.
One of the issues with many high-ratio lenses, including this one, is zoom creep . When the camera was pointed down the lens would extend to its full 250mm length. While mildly annoying it is certainly not a deal breaker and it does have a locking mechanism to keep the lens barrel from extending when not in use. On a ski mission with friends (that ended up being a photo gallery for an outdoor magazine!) I had my camera out quite a bit and used the locking feature extensively.
The lens is impressively sharp too, yielding enough detail to make big prints that will look great on your wall. I brought the 18-250 with me to a very remote hard to reach area of the Gore Range for a shot I had wanted to get for the last few years. It was an overnight trip with over 8,000 vertical feet of hiking and weight was a critical factor in what gear I was going to pack with me. At first I was a bit nervous about bringing an all purpose zoom with me for landscape shooting, but stopped down to somewhere in the f10-f16 range the lens performed beautifully.
Sharp, fast and versatile––the Sigma 18-250 F3.5-6.3 is the perfect one lens solution for 90% of shooters out there 95% of the time. And with a kind retail price, it won’t break your budget. Pick one up today and let the fun begin–wherever your adventures take you!