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Real-world samples from the Nikon-mount Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM

By dpreview staff on Oct 11, 2013 at 15:00 GMT

Sigma USA has announced availability of the Nikon-mount version of its 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art fast zoom for APS-C DSLRs. The Nikon version will retail for around $799, the same price as the Canon version, and will be available from November. We've been shooting with one for the past few days, and have put together a sample gallery of images showing what it's capable of.

We've already reviewed the Canon-mount version of the world's fastest zoom lens for SLRs and, with some reservations, gave it our highest rating. Click here to read the full review.

Our initial impressions with the Nikon mount version are even more positive, with much greater focus accuracy than we've seen with any of the copies of the Canon-mount version we've used. We've shot a samples gallery, giving a taste of what this 27-53mm equivalent lens can do on the Nikon D7100.

 Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM (Nikon Mount) Sample Gallery - Published 11th October 2013

There are 19 images in the preview samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of dpreview.com, you can enjoy all of the new galleries functionality when browsing these samples.

185
I own it
439
I want it
20
I had it
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Comments

Total comments: 64
MauriceM
By MauriceM (6 months ago)

Some photos shoot with Nikon D7100 + Sigma 18-35:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/marius1982/sets/72157636892964746/

0 upvotes
Solitaire01
By Solitaire01 (6 months ago)

Received this lens Tuesday in Canada after a months-long preorder. I could not be happier! I own a 50/1.8 and never believed you could approach that quality in a zoom. This is a great walkabout lens in conjunction with that little prime. Highly recommended. If you search flickr for "sigma nikon 18-35 1.8” you'll see a half dozen or so test shots. Haven't really been out with it yet but I'm stoked to be doing so this weekend!

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
DimensionSeven
By DimensionSeven (6 months ago)

Any chance for sample shots on an infrared converted body?

0 upvotes
Just another Canon shooter
By Just another Canon shooter (6 months ago)

The contrast is too low, especially on the shots with large portions of the sky and one of the portraits with strong backlight. Flare problems?

0 upvotes
ForeignerOnEarth
By ForeignerOnEarth (6 months ago)

Dear Richard Butler. Can you write the experiences with focusing on Nikon D7100? I want to buy Sigma 18-35/1.8 and to sell my Nikkor AF-S DX 17-55/2.8G after many, many years. I have D7100 and D300 and I am affraid Sigma 18-35 is not exact and faithful for focusing. I read your experiences with Sigma 18-35/1.8 on Canon. Are your experiences on Nikon D7100 better? Is it the good idea to buy Sigma USB dock for 18-35/1.8 or D7100 AF Fine Tuning is satisfactory? I want to shot the people indoor in the distance of some meters with SB-800 flash and without it. I love Nikkor AF-S DX 17-55/2.8G focusing, but Sigma is faster and better in the image quality.
I have sold Sigma 10-20 and buy Nikkor 10-24 three years ago for better focusing and better image quality, is it now the time to sell Nikkor (17-55) and buy Sigma (18-35) ????

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (6 months ago)

As I wrote above - it seems much more reliable than the Canon-mount versions we've used. I shot several hundred images and am not seeing the inconsistency of focus that we saw with the EF mount version.

I'm not going to say with absolute certainty that the problem doesn't exist - I did have two shots taken near infinity, where it's got the focus wrong - but they're also shot pretty-much straight into the sun, so it's impossible to know which issue caused the missed focus.

0 upvotes
ForeignerOnEarth
By ForeignerOnEarth (6 months ago)

Thank youy very, very much!

0 upvotes
nsantos923
By nsantos923 (5 months ago)

I actually received this lens yesterday. Tested it for a little and i just placed an order for the usb dock cause it definitely need some micro adjustments on the focus. At close range (from minimum focus distance to about 3ft) i found the focus to be pretty accurate and acceptably fast. I find that when my focus subject is more than 6ft away, the lens tends to front focus. I would return this lens if it wasnt for the fact that i "need" this lens! hopefully the usb dock will solve the issue.
I shoot weddings in a photojournalistic style (as a second shooter). I bought it to take use between 1.8 and 2.8 on my D7000 to pair up with the 70-200 2.8 on my D600 to take avantage of the natural light since i avoid using flash on my shooting style.
I will get the USB dock tomorrow and i will be putting the lens up to a challange at a sweet sixteen and a christening this comming weekend. Send me a message and i will tell you what i think of it.

0 upvotes
cherrydn
By cherrydn (6 months ago)

Could you guys please tell me where can I buy this lens for Nikon mount?. I'm looking around but I couldn't see any one in stock.

0 upvotes
Steven Blackwood
By Steven Blackwood (6 months ago)

It will not be available until November.

0 upvotes
Clint Thayer
By Clint Thayer (6 months ago)

PLEASE stop using the term "REAL WORLD". It's become a cliche on this site and is technically not correct. Be specific like-- landscape photos with this lens- or portrait photos with that lens. "REAL WORLD" has become a catch all. Thank you!

0 upvotes
Nikonsyncro
By Nikonsyncro (6 months ago)

Well for the first time a sigma with zoom ring turning the right way for nikon users.
I have refused to buy sigma because of this. Can not afford to lose the shot because I zoomed in the wrong direction. It happened to me all the time when using a 17-50 so I sold it and got the nikon.

Hopefully we will see more lenses with the zoom ring turning the right way.

1 upvote
JakobG
By JakobG (6 months ago)

On DSC_4281 - can I ask were you focusing on the eye to camera right (the subject's left eye)?

Looks pretty good overall to me, from the Canon samples I have no real concerns other than the AF and since I shoot Nikon, your initial thoughts are a positive confirmation! :)

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (6 months ago)

Yes, I had chosen a focus point on the camera's right (subject's left) eye.

0 upvotes
acidic
By acidic (6 months ago)

This is a very exciting lens. However, this lens has a lens focal range less than a 24-70 f/2.8, and it weighs just as much. As weight savings is one of the main benefits of APS over FF, this lens only makes sense to those heavily invested in APS.

0 upvotes
Jurka
By Jurka (6 months ago)

I understand this lens is designed for low light photography, but yours samples is from bright sunny day, when same pictures can be taken with kit lens or maybe Samsung mobile phone easily.
Do some dedicated test- in church, for example! Use your brain!

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (6 months ago)

@Jurka - low light is one of the things a wide-aperture lens can be used for. However, low light shots will tend to be at higher ISO, where noise and noise reduction erode the sharpness we're trying to demonstrate.

It was a concious choice, not an omission.

5 upvotes
ceaiu
By ceaiu (6 months ago)

35-70mm F1.8 DC HSM OS would also be nice.

1 upvote
sharkcookie
By sharkcookie (6 months ago)

I won't be buying it as I'm on full frame, but this lens is a milestone in lens design and for Sigma.

3 upvotes
BOB
By BOB (6 months ago)

I'm looking forward to purchasing this lens. It will definitely be my new candid wedding lens. I've been using the Nikon 35 f1.4 & 35 f1.8. This will make my workflow that much easier without having to switch. I hope they have one at the PhotoExpo in NY this month so I can test it live.

0 upvotes
P Hartung
By P Hartung (6 months ago)

The feat pulled off here by Sigma, both in historical terms as well as current technology, is nothing short of amazing. If ever there was a zoom lens that lived up to the 'stack of primes' moniker - this is it. Newer shooters would do well to simply bypass their reservations and get this lens (experience shooters already know).
Nikon and Canon should be freaking out that Sigma can design/produce a few popular lenses that, even if a comparable zoom were attempted, would best them for so much less...

2 upvotes
ISPotter
By ISPotter (6 months ago)

Been looking for something to fill in the gap between 15 and 31mm primes for Pentax. 21mm Ltd is the obvious choice but quite slow and I've been shooting a friends band in low light a lot recently. Hope the AF accuracy on PK is as good as the Nikon seems.

0 upvotes
mumintroll
By mumintroll (6 months ago)

Corners are really bad. Center and around is perfect.

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (6 months ago)

While this may be as sharp or sharper than some primes and as bright or brighter I still wouldn't buy it because A. It lacks Character, B it is to short for a standard zoom.

0 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (6 months ago)

So you like abberations (AKA character)...Good. I think Sigma will survive your decision even if I have to buy 2 !

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (6 months ago)

Character is not defined by aberrations. Some of it is also taken out by modern coatings and aspherical glass giving photo's a too perfect look. It's boring.

0 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (6 months ago)

In that case you are in luck :) Pre-owned market is full of fine, cheap old timers with little or no coating at all and brimming with character.

2 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (6 months ago)

I love my Takumars ;)

0 upvotes
Ian Leach
By Ian Leach (6 months ago)

Once again I seem to have different eyes to others here. Everyone is going on about how sharp this lens is but it doesn’t look particularly special to me. These pictures aren’t great for judging edge sharpness but take a look at the last image of the building taken at f6.3. At that distance and f-number everything should be in focus but the edges are nothing to shout about. The word Georgetown is at the same distance as the wall to its right but that area quickly becomes blurry. Don’t get me wrong if you want fast glass which is OK in the centre, then fine, but people seem to be in love with this lens to the point of not being critical.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Well, what’s the pixel density of the monitor you’re using to view these Sigma samples?

And to your eyes does the exact same monitor show other claimed to be sharp lenses as sharp?

Then how much are you zooming into the images to judge lens sharpness?

(Also I still don’t get why anybody makes image quality claims, including sharpness, based on jpegs from a raw capable body. That said decent jpegs should look sharp if focused correctly.)

0 upvotes
Ian Leach
By Ian Leach (6 months ago)

Monitors, jpeg algorithms and my eye do not selectively blur the edge of photographs, lenses do that.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Ian:

Who knows what the jpeg engine does and that's partly the point.

I take it you mean that the center of the photo is sharper than the zone around the edges. Okay, that's a possible indication of trouble with the lens, but then one has to look for possibly sharp, in focus, edges of things near the edges of the photo. Finding none in hundreds of samples (can be high resolution jpegs) from several copies of this lens would seem to confirm your point.

Good luck collecting and sorting the data. But jpegs from one camera body with one copy of the lens is not confirmation.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

And the Nikon D7100 is fine camera, can we have raws for download, raw is sort of important for making judgements about a lens' optical qualities.

1 upvote
oselimg
By oselimg (6 months ago)

Great sharpness, great colours and lack of CA's. This lens is well worth consideration on those points plus the speed it offers throughout the zoom range of course. My only question is whether the bokeh performance could be better.

0 upvotes
HomoSapiensWannaBe
By HomoSapiensWannaBe (6 months ago)

This review confirms that the camera and lens perform as a system, and Nikon often has the edge, at least for now. Like many, I am impressed with the Sigma 35/1.4 on the D600. My only complaints are minor -- the front and rear lens caps aren't as good as Nikon's and the dang thing is heavy, which sometimes keeps me from carrying it. I eagerly await other lenses of this quality from Sigma. Meanwhile, it seems the 18-35/1.8 is a much better deal at $799 compared to $899 for the 35/1.4. I am hoping for an aggressively priced Sigma 24-70/2.8 (or similar range and f-stop) with OS/VR to replace my 24-85VR, which is not bad, but is mediocre compared with my other lenses. Way to go, Sigma!

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (6 months ago)

Seattle is beautiful..but if you guys are considering offsite test-er in Toronto then you may consider me:)

0 upvotes
Greg VdB
By Greg VdB (6 months ago)

If I'd be bying fresh into APS-C right now, I'd not hesitate at all to get the Nikon D7100 with some nice lenses, for focussing accuracy and high iso. However, I've aquired some nice EF mount lenses over the years (with Sigma's 50-150 one of my favs), so I'll stick with that system... Anyway, differences in real-life shooting and printing are mostly negligable already, and will only reduce with every new generation of cameras. In that view, the 18-35 is definitely a must-get lens, as it will easily match future cameras with even greater image quality.

0 upvotes
vesa1tahti
By vesa1tahti (6 months ago)

Incredible, must get one!

0 upvotes
SETI
By SETI (6 months ago)

No need to buy Nikon kit lenses anymore =)

1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (6 months ago)

Looks like a very sharp lens but difficult to know for sure as your sample images are awful subjects to determine that and/or only one image is raw processed. It doesn't help either when you guys can't be bothered to rotate your images.

Come on guys; you can do better than that!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (6 months ago)

We've already tested the lens (in Canon mount), as have several other sites - it's astonishingly sharp.

The issue is mainly whether it can be accurately be focused in combination with a Nikon body - that's what this gallery aims to show.

And having only had the lens for a couple of days, few of which have been sunny and having been stuck in the office during almost all the daylight hours during that time, this probably is the best I can do.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 56 seconds after posting
13 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (6 months ago)

Fair enough, but you have to admit such samples are not going to help you determine autofocus performance without more information, such as knowing exactly what you are focusing on.

My recommendation, in the absence of such information, is to take images where content is generally flat in terms of distance, such as distant scenics or walls.

And as I have said before, there's no excuse for not rotating your images before posting them. This has been a problem with your site's samples for years. It's the difference to attention to detail that makes for an exceptional site and one that is simply existing and going through the motions.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (6 months ago)

@Basalite - the reason I've shot subjects with fore-aft separation is to make it clearer what is and isn't in focus. The camera does record which AF point was used in the file's EXIF, so I may be able to check if you want to know, for any given image (I'm not sure how I'd convey this, but I'll try).

7 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (6 months ago)

just to be clear on image sample rotation - we do nothing at all to the full size images precisely because we present them as 'out of camera'. It is a decision, not an oversight. We actually take pride in the amount of attention we pay to detail :)

7 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (6 months ago)

In this case little less "purity" would be nice. Btw. my 6 and 8 years dSLR are capable of auto-rotating images? :D Its still out-of camera.

And anyway, if you want to see that sample per-pixel and in normal aligment, you need to download that and rotate yourself, so really no point there.

1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (6 months ago)

"just to be clear on image sample rotation - we do nothing at all to the full size images precisely because we present them as 'out of camera'. It is a decision, not an oversight. We actually take pride in the amount of attention we pay to detail :)"

Leaving images that are not rotated to a viewable orientation is not something I would take "pride" in. All that does is irritate most of your readers.

2 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (6 months ago)

"the reason I've shot subjects with fore-aft separation is to make it clearer what is and isn't in focus"

Considering what I previously said, what's left is a function of aperture setting and sensor size, not AF performance.

"The camera does record which AF point was used in the file's EXIF, so I may be able to check if you want to know, for any given image..."

That's not a practical or feasible thing to do and not something I would ask or expect you to do. What would be practical and feasible, for the reasons you said you took the pictures, and otherwise, is what I suggested, subjects at different distances with subject matter that is essentially flat in distance to each other.

Just offering some constructive criticism. You have to understand that you are producing a product for others. A chef that says he's OK with some crab shell in a crab dish doesn't mean most people are willing to eat such a thing. I saw that on Chopped. And yes, that chef got chopped, and rightly so.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
1 upvote
William Koehler
By William Koehler (6 months ago)

Nice subjects, photos appear in correct orientation. Mr. R Butler, the work and effort are appreciated. Great job.

1 upvote
Becksvart
By Becksvart (6 months ago)

AF accuracy?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (6 months ago)

It seems very good - I've only shot around 200 images so far, but the focus seems pretty reliable, having examined them.

7 upvotes
SteveCooper
By SteveCooper (6 months ago)

Richard, I LOVE the "Preservative Paints" sign than needs painting! :)

3 upvotes
rurikw
By rurikw (6 months ago)

What building on DSC_4716?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (6 months ago)

It's the UW Medicine building at South Lake Union in Seattle.

2 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (6 months ago)

Not too shabby....

0 upvotes
DonSantos
By DonSantos (6 months ago)

I can't wait for the 24-70 2.0! Come on sigma RELEASE IT!

2 upvotes
Goldmandima
By Goldmandima (6 months ago)

I do not believe0

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (6 months ago)

Is this an X-Files reference?

I'm not quite sure what aspect of this requires belief.

6 upvotes
Maylene
By Maylene (6 months ago)

TRUST NO1

0 upvotes
leschnyhan
By leschnyhan (6 months ago)

This would be a great lens for a D7100. Most zoom lenses don't resolve enough detail to really exploit the potential of the 24MP sensor. I don't own a D7100, but I owned a Sony NEX-7 (until it was stolen from me), which has the same or very similar sensor. Sigma should also make this lens available for the Pentax K-3, which likewise shares a Sony 24MP sensor.

1 upvote
FujicaST605
By FujicaST605 (6 months ago)

The D7100 is a Toshiba sensor, the K-3 may use the same.

0 upvotes
raimaster
By raimaster (6 months ago)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/983904-REG/sigma_210_109_18_35mm_f1_8_dc_hsm.html and yes sigma has 18-35 1.8 with K-Mount (pentax) sometime ago .. Unlike D7100, K-3 use sony sensor

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (6 months ago)

I heard somewhere Toshiba and Sony sensor maker are now both partner I am not sure it is just rumour but it doesn't make sense to me really. Pentax works very well with Sony sensor and have lower noise than Nikon and Sony camera. Because of Pentax prime image processing engine is so good, although would be nice if they improve over red colour rendering in JPEG though.

2 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (6 months ago)

The cooperation between Sony and Toshiba was about using each other's production facilities, IIRC. I don't think they cooperate on sensor design. Chipworks has shown that there are significant differences between the Sony and Toshiba 24 Mp sensors.

0 upvotes
dougster1979
By dougster1979 (6 months ago)

Wow!!! Nice lens

2 upvotes
Total comments: 64