Sigma 18-125mm f/3.8-5.6 DC OS HSM - £255
How long do you really need to go? If you're willing to sacrifice a little of the 'super' in your superzoom, and settle for a 7x zoom range equivalent to 29-200mm, this Sigma lens has a lot going for it. Quite compact but with a reassuring heft, the 18-125mm feels particularly solid and well built. The zoom and focus rings have a smooth feel to them and - more remarkably for a superzoom lens - the Sigma doesn't suffer at all from zoom creep.
The HSM (Hypersonic Motor) autofocus proved only marginally quieter and faster than the standard micro-motor systems in the Canon lenses, but was very accurate even in very tricky conditions.
Like the larger Sigma 18-250mm on test, this lens also features Sigma's latest-generation 4-stop OS (Optical Stabilizer), which performed every bit as well as the Canon and Tamron equivalents.
Along with its impressive build quality and advanced features, optical quality is very good. Sharpness and contrast proved slightly better than with the Canon lenses, especially at large apertures. Distortions are well controlled, which is an upside of the more modest zoom range. It's a great buy for the price.
18mm sample image from the Sigma 18-125mm f/3.8-5.6 DC OS HSM
125mm sample image from the Sigma 18-125mm f/3.8-5.6 DC OS HSM