Sigma AF 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2005

Special thanks to Werner van Loo (sample #1), Marcel van Leeuwen (sample #2), Sander Vermeulen for providing and helping to test this this lens!


The Sigma AF 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC is one of those lenses typically sold as a kit zoom combined with the Sigma AF 18-50mm f/3.5-5.6 DC and a consumer DSLR. Nonetheless it is also possible to buy this lens independently for just a few bucks - it's probably the most affordable tele zoom lens as of today. As a DC (Digital Camera) lens it has a reduced image circle only compatible to APS-C DSLRs. It's field of view is equivalent to 88-320mm (100-400mm for four-thirds) on full format cameras.

The optical design of the lens is made of 12 elements in 9 groups without any special elements. The AF 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC is ultra compact at only 72x87mm and it weights just 315g. It has a min. focus distances of 1.1m which translates to a max. object magnification of 1:4.5 at 200mm. The filter size is 55mm. Thanks to 8 aperture blades it should have a decent bokeh (out-of-focus blur). The package also includes a barrel-shaped lens hood. The lens is available for all APS-C DSLR systems plus four-thirds.

Regarding its price tag you shouldn't expect wonders regarding mechanical quality - it's surely not comparable to Canon L or Tokina AT-X lenses. Nonetheless the quality is a little higher than you might think - it doesn't really feel all that cheap thanks to a fine crinkle finish nor is it overly shaky. It's certainly better here than e.g. the low end-offerings from Canon such as the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. Typical for most zoom lenses the Sigma extends when zooming towards the long end (see above). The front element of the lens rotates when focusing so using a polarizer is no fun. In AF mode the focus ring is coupled to the AF motor so it rotates during focusing which is a little sub-standard today. The AF speed is a little on the slow side. The zoom ring operates quite smooth whereas the focus ring isn't damped at all.