Sigma 18

« 1. Overview & Specifications2. Optical Features3. Lens Comparisons4. Summary5. More Image Samples6. Reader Comments »

This is an in-depth đánh giá of the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens, world’s first constant f/1.8 zoom lens for DSLR cameras that was announced in April of 2013. Despite the recent trend of manufacturers to move their customer base to lớn full-frame format, Sigma took a bold move và announced the professional-grade Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art for DX/APS-C format only. With a focal range equivalent to 27mm-52.5mm in 35mm format, the lens provides a good range to lớn work with for a variety of different needs and applications. And with its fast constant aperture of f/1.8, the Sigma 18-35mm opens up opportunities to shoot in low-light situations, something that was previously only possible with fast aperture prime lenses. Lastly, Sigma’s pricing of $799 MSRP for the lens made it the đứng top choice in terms of value when compared khổng lồ pro-grade lenses such as the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G DX, which sells for almost twice as much và does not offer the same low-light advantages.

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The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC hcm is a technological marvel, because it is the first zoom lens in history with such a wide / fast aperture. On đứng đầu of that, Sigma used many high-end features và components that are usually only available on pro-grade full-frame lenses. First, the lens comes with a hypersonic motor (HSM), which provides silent & fast autofocus.

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NIKON D800E + 18-35mm f/1.8
20mm, ISO 100, 1/800, f/5.6

Second, the lens has a very complex optical formula that consists of a total of 17 lens elements in 12 groups, with 4 aspherical and 5 low-dispersion elements. Third, it has a metal mount và a thermally stable composite barrel, which offers greater elasticity than polycarbonate & offers minimal thermal shrinkage with exceptional hardness, something Sigma has only recently started providing on its new generation lenses. Và lastly, being an “Art” series lens, it is fully compatible with Sigma’s USB dock that allows micro-adjusting autofocus parameters.

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NIKON D5300 + 18-35mm f/1.8
Available for Mounts: Sigma, Sony, Nikon, Pentax, Canon Focal length: 18-35mm Maximum aperture: f/1.8 Minimum aperture: f/16 Lens construction: 17 elements in 12 groups Angle of view: 76.5° – 44.2° Closest focusing distance: 28cm/11.0in. Maximum reproduction ratio: 1:4.3 No. Of diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded) Filter/attachment size: 72mm Diameter x length: 78mm x 121mm / 3.1in. X 4.8in. Weight: 810g/28.6 oz.
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NIKON D5300 + 18-35mm f/1.8
32mm, ISO 100, 1/200, f/5.6

Other technical information, including manufacturer-provided MTF chart can be found in the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM page from our lens database.

Lens Handling và Build

Sigma has put a lot of effort into making the new generation lenses attractive both in terms of design và function, & the Sigma 18-35mm is not an exception. Similar lớn the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art, the lens gives a different sense of chất lượng to it when compared khổng lồ previous generation Sigma lenses. The craftsmanship of the lens is indeed excellent. Starting from the rugged brass mount that smoothly connects with the metal barrel, to lớn the smooth rubber focus ring in the front, you won’t get a feeling of a cheap lens that we are so accustomed to lớn when usually dealing with APS-C/DX lenses. The metal barrel is made of a special Thermally Stable Composite material, which offers exceptional hardness, better elasticity than polycarbonate và minimal thermal shrinkage. This basically means that the lens should easily withstand extremely hot & cold temperatures without damage or potential performance degradation. While I could not test the lens in hot temperatures, I did take it out during a very cold morning when the temperatures peaked -5F (some of the snow images in the review were taken during that morning). The lens performed very well during and after the shoot, autofocus continued to lớn function without any problems, & both zoom và focus rings operated smoothly without getting stuck. In short, the build chất lượng of the Sigma 18-35mm is outstanding. My only gripe is lack of a rubber gasket on the mount to lớn prevent dust và other debris from getting into the camera. For some reason, Sigma never includes one on its lenses, which is unfortunate.

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NIKON D800E + 18-35mm f/1.8
24mm, ISO 100, 1/800, f/5.6

The handling of the lens is also superb, although that can depend on whether you are comfortable with a reverse rotation of the focus ring. The zoom ring follows similar clock-wise rotation from short lớn long focal lengths as Nikon’s DX lenses, but its focus ring is reversed. So khổng lồ move from close focus to lớn infinity, you would have to lớn rotate the focus ring counter clock-wise. Aside from this ergonomic difference, I have not seen any serious issues with handling (and Canon users might prefer how the focus ring works, because Canon lenses work the same way). Yes, the lens is indeed quite heavy at 810 grams, but considering its fast speed, metal construction & a total of 17 lens elements, I doubt Sigma could have made it lighter. That said, it certainly does feel front-heavy when mounted on lightweight DX cameras lượt thích Nikon D5300. At the same time, its long barrel actually makes it easier to balance it out on lightweight camera bodies when it is hand-held. The zoom ring is smooth & has some nice resistance to lớn it, while the focus ring is also very smooth, albeit with a little less resistance. Similar lớn many Nikkor lenses, there is a switch on the side of the barrel that allows to lớn move the lens from autofocus to lớn manual focus operation. The middle portion of the barrel (which is nicely threaded underneath for better grip), along with the front part & the filter thread are plastic. Sigma probably decided to lớn use the lighter material lớn decrease the weight of the lens. The supplied hood is also plastic & can be mounted regularly, or in opposite direction to save camera bag space. Once mounted on the lens, it stays secure và does not wobble.


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NIKON D800E + 18-35mm f/1.8
26mm, ISO 250, 1/50, f/1.8
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NIKON D5300 + 18-35mm f/1.8
23mm, ISO 100, 1/4000, f/2.8

Use on Full-Frame

Some DX / APS-C lenses are known khổng lồ work quite well on full-frame cameras, with some vignetting that can be removed in the corners (the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G is a good example of such lens). The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8G is not a good candidate khổng lồ be mounted on a full-frame camera, especially at the shortest kết thúc of the focal length. Take a look at how the image turned out when I shot it at 18mm on the Nikon D800E:

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When I saw the above, I changed the setting on my Nikon D800E lớn switch lớn DX crop mode when the lens was mounted on it.

Autofocus Performance và Accuracy

Thanks khổng lồ the fast hypersonic motor, the lens acquires focus quickly và silently. I compared the AF tốc độ of the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 to the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G & while the Nikon seemed to lớn be a tad faster, it was definitely noisier. Also, it is important to note that unlike older lenses that required cameras khổng lồ have a built-in autofocus motor, the Sigma 18-35mm has an integrated focus motor, which means that autofocus will work on entry-level cameras like Nikon D3300 and D5300. With lenses with built-in focus motors, you bởi not have to worry about buying a higher-end DSLR just khổng lồ be able to utilize autofocus anymore.

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NIKON D800E + 18-35mm f/1.8
18mm, ISO 50, 25/10, f/11.0

In terms of autofocus accuracy, the lens behaved rather unpredictably at times. While most of the images were in focus, sometimes the lens would simply refuse lớn acquire correct focus on both the Nikon D5300 và the Nikon D800E (in DX crop mode). And when the light conditions were less than ideal pressing the AF-ON button repeatedly to lớn force the lens khổng lồ reacquire focus would not help either. Occasionally, I would extend my hand at a close distance, force the lens to acquire focus, then refocus on the subject. I don’t know if this has to vì with Nikon firmware not playing well with Sigma, or if it is Sigma’s AF motor that is unreliable, but it sure was disappointing lớn take a shot only lớn find out that the lens focused on the background. Utilizing the center focus point and using the focus and recompose technique in low-light và high-contrast situations seemed to yield better results.

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NIKON D5300 + 18-35mm f/1.8
30mm, ISO 100, 1/1250, f/1.8
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NIKON D800E + 18-35mm f/1.8
35mm, ISO 400, 13/10, f/5.6


Table of Contents


« 1. Overview and Specifications2. Optical Features3. Lens Comparisons4. Summary5. More Image Samples6. Reader Comments »
Filed Under: Cameras và Lenses Tagged With: Lens Reviews, Lenses, sản phẩm Reviews, Sigma, Sigma Reviews, Wide Angle Lens
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About Nasim Mansurov

Nasim Mansurov is the author và founder of Photography Life, based out of Denver, Colorado. He is recognized as one of the leading educators in the photography industry, conducting workshops, producing educational videos & frequently writing nội dung for Photography Life. You can follow him on Instagram & Facebook. Read more about Nasim here.