Sigma 18 35
Sigma 18 35 f1.8 review
Sigma 18 35 mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens specifications:
Max aperture: f/1.8-16
Aperture blades: 9 (rounded)
Weight: 810g (28.57 o.z)
Dimensions:78x121mm (3.07 x 4.76 inch)
Minimal focus distance:0.28m (1 foot)
Filter size: 72 mm (non rotating)
Ring type silent Ultrasonic motor:yes (HSM)
Full time manual focus override: yes
Hood: supplied petal shape
Teleconverter compatible: No
Introduction – Sigma 18 35
Sigma currently makes very good, at times market leading, or simply unprecedented products such as the new Sigma 35 1.4 see the review here. This current Sigma 18 35 f1.8mm lens is no exception. Very welcome addition to the existing lenses that this is the first f1.8 zoom in the Aps-C Dsrl market. The lens has an “A” designation (means Art) such as the 35 f1.4.
Who is this lens for ? – Sigma 18 35
This is a very interesting question. As I see it, it is a professional lens, in many ways: optical quality is awesome, build quality is better than many Canon “L”-s, big and heavy, bright as well, I would not say convenient with it’s 2x zoom range. If it would be a Full frame lens it is a no brainer, I don’t understand why Sigma not opt for Full frame. The pricing is also reflects the quality. It just would look strange on an entry level Dslr. It is not for starters, the big weight, high price and limited zoom range all disturbing for the beginner photographer. The biggest advantage of the lens, the bright f/1.8 aperture is just not a point shoot feature, if use the f/1.8 depth of field is shallow, you need a precise focusing technique.
The shallow depth of field is good for creative photography, but most appreciated by skilled shooters, instead of someone just started Dslr photography. If I think about myself, for landscapes I prefer little wider lens preferably around 15mm focal length, and don’t need the f/1.8 aperture. For portraits I prefer longer lenses like 85-135mm f/1.8 or 70-200mm zooms.
I don’t think much overlapping in lens kit is needed. I don’t like the almost 1kg weight either. I like the excellent build quality. Lastly, World is not ideal, let’s see the lens as it is, 18-35mm f/1.8. The fantastic image quality this lens produces I would opt for it, I try to live with the shortcomings. The f/1.8 is nice in a dark room or bar, where until now the only solution was the fixed lens. The 18-35mm with the f/1.8 is also fantastic for internal shots. It can blur a portrait a bit with the bright aperture, to make a nice fragrance to the photo. So if you want to make lots of internal shots this lens can be very good. Obviously if you want wider lens for landscape or longer lens for portraits or telephoto you need at least two more lenses. What you perhaps not need, prime lens in this focal length range, because anyway the Sigma 18 35 is better than anything you can get, by a good margin except perhaps the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, which is similar or little better.
Sigma 18 35 on Full frame cameras
It is interesting I explain this is an Aps-C compatible lens, but already many people use it on Full frame cameras as well. Unlike Canon Ef-S lenses you can mount and some vignetting can happen. But you have a 18-35 f/1.8 on Full frame ! Perhaps not 18mm but 20, or more but there is no such other lens on the market.
Build quality – Sigma 18 35
The lens build quality is excellent, the rings operates buttery smooth, has nothing left to desire here. Sigma even used a Thermally stable composite material on this lens (TSC). The autofocus is almost silent, thanks to it’s Hsm motor. On my camera body the Canon Usm motor is quicker though. The lens is not small: looks like a small tele like the Canon 55 250 is, in reality the Sigma is even bigger. The lens can be attached to Canon camera as normally the Full frame lenses do (at the top must place the white dot on the lens), but this is a dedicated Aps-C lens, made for smaller sensor cameras.
Optical quality – Sigma 18 35
The Sigma 18 35mm f1.8 DC HSM A is a very sharp lens. I would give it a 10, because of this lens is truly excellent, you simply cannot make a better zooms lens, if you make it the difference would be minimal. I very much surprised on the wide open results see below. This lens is sharper at f/1.8 than perhaps anything you can attach to your camera. The lens is very good against flare, the level of chromatic aberration is low if any. The aperture blades are rounded, which helps to draw nice circular highlights, see below. The distortion seems low for such a lens, which is a very good achievement.
Bokeh – Sigma 18 35
The lens with f/1.8 aperture usually can produce nice background blur as they call bokeh. Wide angle lenses are not so good to make soft creamy like look. The Sigma 18-35mm can produce, nice, decent but not so creamy bokeh as the longer 85 or 100m prime or zoom lenses. If the subject is very close, and the background is more away the bokeh can be quite nice, see below.
Sigma 18 35 f1.8 at f2
Zoom range – Sigma 18 35
The zoom range is not wide but the most useful part is the wide end which is kept. The 50mm end according to me doesn’t make a huge difference, unless it goes to 85mm. I use my Tamron 17 50 at the wide end the most. If the lens would be wider(10-15mm) would be even better, but this is not the case.
What is the difference compare to the existing zooms ?
The f1.8 brightness is a big difference compare to the other zooms to date. On the other hand the bright aperture introduce lots of differences regarding depth of field, focus precision, etc. With such bright apertures the focus must spot on.
Price/performance ratio Sigma 18 35
This is not a cheap lens, with the price of this lens one can almost buy a Canon 85/1.8 + a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 new.
In short you cannot compare this lens to anything else because no such lenses existing in the market. This lens seems sharper than the Tamron 17-50 f2.8, which is a unique feature. I see lots of times people compare zoom lenses to several primes, as the case with this lens, which is not proper idea according to me. To compare this lens to two primes like the Canon 35/f2 or the Samyang 14 f2.8 and Canon 85/1.8 which is perhaps similar in price for example is not so realistic comparison (I won’t buy two primes in this range 17 and 35mm for example). Perhaps can compare the measured datas like resolution, brightness, but simply you won’t get two primes in one zoom lens (according to my humble opinion 🙂 ). On the other hand if you don’t want or don’t like to change lenses(I don’t like) this lens is an excellent choice.
-Not compatible full frame
-autofocus perhaps not as good as Canons, sometimes perhaps misses a little for fast action
-the lens is little long physically and
-little heavy for some
-reduced zoom range
-compatibility with future cameras not for granted
Perhaps the best lens today with this range, and even unparalelled features such as f/1.8 apertures – excellent sharpness wide open, even better sharpness stopped down, moderate distortion, bright aperture, makes the viewfinder image brighter as well, excellent build quality, full time focus override.
If you like the range, the weight, the handling, accept the price, don’t want Full frame the Sigma 18-35 is highly recommended ! It is a true masterpiece from Sigma.
First Amazon link is Canon the second is Nikon