The first Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens reviews and tests are out

Sigma-18-35mm-f1.8-DC-HSM-zoom-lens

The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens is not available in stores yet, but the first reviews are already posted online and they all have been very positive. The lens is priced at $799 and will be available at the end of July for all major mounts (Nikon, CanonSonyPentax and Sigma).

Very detailed and favorable Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens review at Lenstip:

Sigma-18-35mm-f1.8-DC-HSM-lens-review sample photo

"You should congratulate the Sigma Corporation and their optics specialists for two reasons. Firstly for their courage – they attempted to produce an instrument no other company had tried to construct before. Such a situation a lot can be forgiven so their product didn’t have to be outstanding. Still it is obvious Sigma wasn’t contended with half measures; not only they manufactured a unique instrument but also made it optically excellent in many categories."

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens review at SLRgear:

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM "A" - Sample Gallery

"This is an amazingly sharp lens, even wide open at ƒ/1.8, which is typically not the case with very wide-aperture lenses. At 18mm and ƒ/1.8, the Sigma shows very little corner softness and a good portion of the center and middle of the frame are very sharp indeed."

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens review at Fstoppers:

Sigma-18-35mm-f1.8-DC-HSM-lens-review

"For Sigma’s first run at a previously never before seen lens concept, this is a rousing success. It may not be a home run, but it’s a solid line-drive double. There are thousands of photographers who will not only love the price point, but the return on that investment. The issues I experienced with the lens are from a very high level, high expectation standpoint. This is so far Sigma’s best APS-C only lens, and it’s the best by leaps and bounds."

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens review first impressions on Sigma's blog:

Sigma-18-35mm-f1.8-DC-HSM-sample-image

"Simply put, this is a fantastic lens. It’s sharp, fast, and offers the performance of a fast prime, with the versatility of wide-to-standard zoom range for quick recomposition. For photographers and videographers working on the APS-C platform, for weddings, documentary and more, this lens is simply brilliant."

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM A lens review by Ephotozine:

Sigma-18-35mm-f1.8-DC-HSM-A-Lens-Review

 

"Chromatic aberrations are remarkably well controlled for a zoom lens with such a bright maximum aperture. The strongest fringing can be found towards the edges of the frame at maximum aperture at 24mm, although the level of CA is still low enough to cause very few issues here."

Additional detailed review with many sample images can be found here.

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  • Borek
    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      Yes, this was the first review on my list.

  • Steve Stevenson

    I’m really looking forward to trying out this lens myself.
    I like what they did with the 30mm and 35mm f1.4 Art Series lenses.

  • n11

    Cue people saying “Just go FF and similar FF lens for 2-3 or more times the cost.”

    • Pablo Ricasso returned

      But a 35-70 f2.8 is two or three times cheaper…

      • teddyweddymuddy

        18 FF equivalent would be 27. Which is close to a 24-70.

        • Mr. Mamiya

          24 ist NOT close to 27 on FF, this is quite a difference. The Sigma is more like a 27 (Nikon) or 29 (Canon) -50/2.8 on FF, which is not an exceptionally huge zoom range.

  • Fred Flintstone

    If I buy any more lenses my wife is gonna divorce me, damn you Sigma!

    • Kynikos

      50% of marriages end in divorce anyway. There’s no stigma anymore. Place that pre-order!

  • madmax

    Bravo, Sigma! And shame on other camera makers that are charging way too much for their lenses.

  • FDF

    Almost makes me wish I hadn’t gone FF. It’s like a zoom version of my old favorite lens, Nikon’s 35mm 1.8 DX. The weight and size also kind of defeats the purpose of DX though. DX was supposed to be lighter and smaller.

    • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

      Just like FourThirds was supposed to be lighter and smaller too and we all know how that worked out.

      At the end of the day there’s no win-win. If the format size is reduced, the lenses are going to get complex (big and expensive) to try and achieve the same effect as an equivalent simple (small and inexpensive) lens on a larger format.

      This new Sigma seems to be a really nice lens but a 27-53mm f/2.8-equivalent lens is nothing special if you already have a full frame camera. Tamron has that 24-70mm f/2.8 VC… why bother with this? Plus a decent full frame lens will always have an IQ advantage over even the best comparable APS-C lens.

      • FDF

        Right, that’s why I said almost. I’ll stick with my 24-85 3.5-4.5G on FF – it’s cheaper, lighter, smaller, covers a more useful range and should produce about the same IQ. I mostly use the 50 1.4G anyway. There, two FF alternatives for about the same weight & size & price combined :)

      • Zos Xavius

        There is no free lunch. Its f1.8! Of course its going to be a large lens. No way around that. I would find this range pretty useful actually, but I do think its a small range compared to a 24-70. My 16-45 offers the equivalent of the 24-70 range, and I often wish it were tad longer. That said, this lens is a stop faster than an f2.8 zoom. There is a lot of advantage to that. I kind of want one. The sharpness is superb!

        • Zos

          Keep the good money man.

        • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

          People on the internet need to stop reading junk written on photography by old bearded fools. There’s no absolute sense of “speed” with digital. The concept of lens speed is an issue when the film in your camera has a particular speed that you can’t change the same way you change an ISO on a digital camera.

          Noise-wise, a f/2.8 lens at ISO200 on a full frame can produce the same image quality as a comparable f/2 lens at ISO100 on APS-C. The same goes for DOF if you’re shooting the same field of view with at the same magnification on both (on that note, there are lots of idiots on the net that compare DOF at different subject magnifications too).

          And a f/2.8 lens can be made better than a f/2 lens if the same effort is put in. It doesn’t require much effort for a f/2.8 lens to match the quality of a f/2 lens. So the larger formats can have better lenses than anything equivalent in the smaller formats.

          Look in to what “equivalence” means.

          • Zos Xavius

            The lower my iso stays the better. With this lens I get a whole stop. That’s significant. Not all of us want to carry a large full frame camera everywhere. There are some advantages to smaller sensors like greater reach as well. My only real desire to eventually get a full frame body lies in that wide angles are easier to access. I know what equivalence means. If you have an aps-c camera this gives you some advantages over a typical f2.8 zoom. That was my only point. I wasn’t trying to compare formats.

          • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

            “The lower my iso stays the better. With this lens I get a whole stop.”

            That’s not how it works when you compare this lens against a 24-70 2.8 on FF. Please look in to the topic of “equivalence”.

          • Can’t Believe It

            Please help me out here. Why doesn’t anyone compare ISO 100 on Full Frame to ISO 100 on DX? Wouldn’t that be a better comparison? Or is it that all full frame sensors start at ISO 200?

      • madmax

        Not completely true. You probably don´t ignore that IQ rapidly degrades when raising ISO, especially dynamic range. With this lens you can shoot ISO 100 without problem and so getting the best print quality.

        • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

          You should have written “can you please explain to me what equivalence is” instead.

          Knowing a bit about something and claiming things is a lot worse than not knowing anything and asking.

          • madmax

            I didn´t know you were a photography master! Wow! Please, I beg you, enlighten us! Hahahahahahahahaha!

          • rkas

            He do have a correct thou. 18mm, f1.8, iso 100 on DX is equivalent to 27mm, f2.7, iso 200 on FX.
            That means that the angle of view, depth of field and noise is exactly the same. Theoretically that is. Practically the FX lens will probably perform better thou, and in this case with the Sigma 18-35/1.8 versus Tamron 28-70mm f2.8 (for example) the FX lens will also be smaller, lighter have better range and its also cheaper, so Id say that FX wins all the way. :)

          • DSP

            Not true, not even theoretically. There is a new cult, who just learnt about the nature of SNR, and how the sensor surface and the resolution change it, but they are completely ignorant about microelectronics, and how the CMOS amplifiers work. So they tell total idiocy, in the name of APS-C and FF “equivalence”.

            Using the same technology, ISO 100 always provides better DR, than ISO 200, but in practice, the situation is far more complicated, since FF and APS-C sensors never use the same technology.

          • rkas

            They do use the same technology, and the bigger sensor on a FF camera do compensate for the higher iso etc. Just google “equivalence” and do some reading and you might lrean some new stuff. Or even better, buy a D7100, D600, Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 and a Tamron 28-70mm f2.8 and start doing comparisons. ;)

          • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

            No one is claiming that the quantum efficiency is the same between the APS-C and the FF. Where did you pull that out from? The point is that the difference in area is much greater and therefore the larger sensor brings SNR benefits even if it’s made with slightly older tech than a smaller sensor of the same generation.

            This is not some magical rocket science. If you’ve used a full frame camera you would understand this too. That’s the problem here.

          • patto01

            It would be a lot easier to take you seriously if you weren’t a clown! Or is that a cookie on your face? ;-)

          • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

            I’m not looking for an audience that would even take a clown seriously if they had a serious profile icon ;-)

            So, I win.

          • patto01

            Well, you win anyway since I’m not creative enough to come up with a unique icon :-(
            Maybe I can use the clown from Stephen King’s “IT.”

      • Nigel

        Except the (much more expensive) Canon 24-70 f2.8 has much softer corners wide open at equivalent focal lengths on full frame.

        • Nigella

          Who told you? Have you tested both? Do you often shoot wide open at the wide end and look for corner sharpness? What level of photog would you say you are?

          • Zos Xavius

            corner performance is important to some people. if you can get better performance wide open with one lens over another this can make a big difference in your usable f-stop range. i have a few lenses that are usable wide open and a whole lot that are not. not everyone just shoots portraits…..

          • Nigella

            Really, I don’t believe that the Sigma does better than the Canon 24-70, until I have seen the payroll of the “reviewer”.
            Anyway, do show me a pic where corner sharpness wide open at the wide end makes a huge difference. No portraits – they rarely come well with wides, unless you know what you are doing.

        • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

          Without making this a APS-C vs. FF thing… can you tell me why anyone in their right mind would use a zoom if they cared about image quality?

          • Zos Xavius

            maybe because a zoom offers flexibility and convenience and the photographer is willing to sacrifice some IQ for that. in that case, wouldn’t you still want a better lens if it were possible?

          • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

            I was talking about a no-sacrifice approach. If you’re going to let go of a little bit of image quality for a bit more flexibility, where do you draw the line? But each to his/her own.

          • Nothing to say

            It really depends on what you shoot, doesn’t it? If you’re shooting things that are relatively static, then a prime is better, but if you’re shooting sports, concerts, theater or general photo journalism, that flexibility can be the difference between getting the shot or being the shot that got away. Sometimes I use primes, sometimes I use a zoom. If I had a DX camera, I’d try this lens. Whenever I use a zoom, i wish I could go to 1.8. When I use a prime, I want a different lens (and by the time I change, there’s a different shot).

          • Clint

            Not so fast Genotypewriter….the new era of zoom lenses are in a whole different realm of quality compared to zooms of yesteryear. Nikon 12-24, Canon 70-200 2.8L IS II come to mind…

            Besides, for convenience sake I’ll take a zoom with 90% of the quality of a prime any day of the week. Image quality is much more about the photographer than how many lines a lens can resolve in the outer 1/4 of the frame.

          • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

            True… there are very good zooms out there but if you know what you’re looking for, you can find primes that are better. And I think you mean Nikon 14-24, not 12-24… even then, I’d take a TS-E 24 II or even the Nikon PC-E 24 any day over the zoom.

            Also your statement about the photographer being the most important thing in the equation is not fair. You seem to be mixing up image quality and quality images. If you give good gear and bad gear to the same photographer, the good gear will produce better image quality. Bad photographer + good gear vs. good photographer + bad gear is a comparison fit for Mythbusters :)

          • JC

            because not everyone is a prime snob like you…

  • Crap

    Those pics are oversharpened and show flares. Nothing much to go by for photogs but surely a handful for internet experts.

  • Mr. Mamiya

    Reviewers, who emphasize how revolutionary this lens is, always seem to forget about the Olympus 14-35/2.0 (and 35-100/2.0). Admittedly this is a slightly smaller sensor format, 1/3 stop less and a different price point, but it’s not like the Sigma came out of nowhere.

  • Ambit guy

    A deal at double the price. They will sell a ton at this price point.

  • image360

    Will someone that has this lens please try it on a FF body, don’t care if Nikon or Canon. That is I’m assuming it might work on a FF, much like the Nikon 10.5 FE when shaved. This lens could perhaps be quite useful as a ultra-wide on a FF, but not one review I’ve seen yet has tried that. Please do!

    Robert

  • Jo

    The Zoomrange is just to small. I would go with a 20, 28,30 or 35mm and take a step forward or backward, when I need moreor less zoom. I would safe the money and make a shorttrip to take pictures…

  • Rojith

    I just got this baby! it is super sharp! loving it!

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