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CP+ 2013 - lenses from Nikon and Sigma

By dpreview staff on Feb 1, 2013 at 02:25 GMT

CP+ 2013: Nikon has several samples of its 18-35mm F3.5-4.5G ED consumer-level wide-angle full-frame zoom on show, while Sigma has re-designed and re-worked several of its most interesting lenses, which are being shown in prototype form at its stand. This includes a new version of its 30mm F1.4 for APS-C DSLRs. And, while none are available to shoot with yet, we got a chance to handle them, along with the portrait-friendly Sigma DP3 Merrill.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm F3.5-4.5G ED

The AF-S 18-35mm G offers a well-balanced combination on the D800. Sadly the lenses on show are early samples and we weren't allowed to publish images from them.

The Nikkor 18-35mm follows the design of recent mid-level Nikon lenses, expanding gently at its mid point such that it accepts 77mm filters without the pronounced lip found on the front of its AF-D predecessor. The relatively modest position of this lens in the Nikkor lineup is reflected in its few external controls - just the M/A - M switch which is pretty-much standard on AF-S lenses. This G version has gained just 15g over the existing version, so it's still a light weight option - a consolation for it not having the metal construction of the company's top-grade optics. 

Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC

The new Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC retains the original version's substantial, squat presence. The lens comes supplied with a hood, an increasingly rare occurence.

Sigma's 30mm F1.4 - for many years one of the only normal primes designed specifically for APS-C DSLRs - has received a redesign. This lens is part of Sigma's 'Art' range of high-quality specialist optics and has been given a visual makeover to match this designation, along with a complete optical redesign. Despite the more complex optical formula, the latest version is a very similar size - 3mm longer but also 3mm smaller in diameter, so it's still the same solid little lump when mounted on an entry-level DSLR.

As seems to be the story of CP+, the 30mm F1.4 is a pre-production sample, so we won't be able to bring you sample images just yet.

Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN

The 60mm F2.8 DN arguably makes more sense on APS-C but it works well, size-wise even on small Micro Four Thirds bodies... ...and is likely to offer a considerably less expensive alternative to Olympus' 75mm F1.8 (albeit at the cost of over a stop in brightness).

Sigma is also showing-off its redesigned DN series of lenses for mirrorless cameras, including the newly-added 60mm F2.8 DN. The re-bodied lenses devote most of their metal outer surfaces to focus (everything forward of the first centimeter or so is the focus ring), and the prototypes on display exhibited none of the stiction found on current versions, that could occur as the focus rings caught against the casing. There's no word yet on pricing, but we're hoping they'll be close to the very reasonable pricing of the current versions. While F2.8 apertures may not seem terribly exciting, the telecentric optical designs should give good image quality, and a 60mm F2.8 should be a reasonable portrait lens on both APS-C and Micro Four Thirds.

Sigma DP3 Merrill

The Sigma DP3 is the largest DP camera, thanks to the longest lens used so far.  A 50mm F2.8 lens won't give extremely shallow depth-of-field but does allow some subject isolation.

Sigma was the first company to offer a large-sensor, fixed-lens compact, when it first introduced its DP series and deserves the credit for that bravery. The introduction of the 14x3MP Foveon sensor means the current DP line-up share very little with those original models - the optical were redesigned to suit the larger APS-C format. The latest model, the DP3 Merrill, shows just how far those changes have brought the cameras, with even this early sample focusing quickly and showing a level of responsiveness that the originals lacked.

Write times were still fairly lengthy (it's unknown what type of card this unit was using), but the sense of having to wait for the camera is gone. The 75mm equivalent F2.8 lens is a slightly odd choice but it's an effective focal length that many APS-C users are familiar with, offering some degree of flexibility while also being well-suited to portraiture. Some quick shots of other interested users on the show floor suggests the DP3 will give the familiar Foveon level of detail with a good degree of background separation. Beyond that, we wouldn't want to speculate until we've had a chance to shoot with a finished sample.


Total comments: 17
By sandwichsmiling (Feb 6, 2013)

This may be an idiotic question but will i be able to fit the Sigma lenses on my Canon Dslr?

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
By Timmbits (Feb 4, 2013)

I would buy the 30mm f1.4 if they offered it in an NX mount, even though I already own Samsung's very highly praised 30mm f2.0

By sportyaccordy (Feb 2, 2013)

Still holding out for Sigma to redo their 20mm 1.8 for APS-C bodies... specifically, Sony E-mount....

Nikkor 18-35 looks good though.

By jmmgarza (Feb 1, 2013)

Can't wait for the Photozone review. I am especally interested in the Nikkor 18-35.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 53 seconds after posting
Thomas Kachadurian
By Thomas Kachadurian (Feb 1, 2013)

The DP3 has to be the silliest offering Sigma has ever presented.

I don't know what they're smokin' over there at Sigma, but I'd like to try some.


By solarsky (Feb 1, 2013)

Just buy a DP3M, when it's sold, and you'll find out first-handedly... although, your strong prejudice doesn't seem to encourage that prospect, unfortunately...

By marike6 (Feb 1, 2013)

The idea of the DP3M to have a DP camera with a portrait focal length that will provide the same great IQ of the SD1.

As DP1M owner could also carry an additional DP body, the DP2M or DP3M, for different FOVs, i.e. the DP1M for wide shots, the DP3M to have a short telephoto.

I thought it pretty obvious why they released three DP Merrill cameras. It's all about offering choices and capabilities for those users who maybe don't want to carry the larger SD1.

Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Feb 1, 2013)

This Nikon lens only reminds me .. importance of m43 system .. SIZE (Olympus 9-18mm) ..
why Nikon couldn't make it faster or constant apperture at f4 and focal length upto 40mm. Like Canon L 17-40 f4. at this focal lengths and apperture its still huge! What is the significant advantage of this lens over the predecessor? Gain of little extra weight? lose of apperture ring??

By lpv (Feb 1, 2013)

why? because they've got already 16-35 f4 VR in their catalogue.
FX users got line of zooms f/2.8: 14-24mm, 17-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm VR
f/4: 16-35mm VR, 24-120mm VR, 70-200mm VR
18-35mm, 24-85mm VR, 70-300mm VR with variable apertures as well as f/1.4 primes 24, 35, 50, 85 and f/1.8 primes 28, 50, 85... bit more lenses than canon offering at the moment, but who cares...

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
By ianmurren (Feb 1, 2013)

Main advantage is cost. A $750 ultra wide lens will make sense to a lot of D600 users a year. The D600 kit lens is a 24-85 f3.5-4.5 the new 18-35 should compliment that lens nicely. Without the $1300 price tag of the 16-35f4, or the $1800 of the 17-35 f2.8.

By marike6 (Feb 1, 2013)

By making the 18-35 with a variable aperture, Nikon can make the lens smaller, and less expensive, providing more choices for UWAs at all price points.

By marike6 (Feb 1, 2013)

The UWA Nikkor looks quite nice, and is smaller than I expected (as small as lens with a 77mm filter can be). Since I have the 28 1.8G as my only wide, if the new 18-35 is a good performer, I'll consider it.

Regarding the "increasingly rare" inclusion of a lenshood with new lenses, every Sigma lens I've ever purchased has included a hood, and all of the newest generation Nikkors come complete with hoods. But there are some vendors (cough, Canolympus, cough) who feel hoods are optional, for whatever reason.

By noegd (Feb 1, 2013)

"Increasingly rare" may refer to the mirrorless market: Panasonic includes hoods for all of its lenses apart from the pancake ones, I think Sony only includes one with the higher-end lenses. Same for Nikon 1 lenses. Olympus does not include hood with any m43 lens afaik.

By Peiasdf (Feb 1, 2013)

Both my Fuji X-lens came with lenshood. Hoods are only necessary under certain conditions but for less than a dollar, might as well save the customer the trouble and include it.

I hate feeling being nickel and dimed.

By marike6 (Feb 1, 2013)

@Peiasdf wrote: "Hoods are only necessary under certain conditions".

It's common to hear, I don't use hood, I just block the sun with my hand. Hoods are not only for this situation, but should be used pretty much all the time.

Lenshoods help block contrast-killing stray light from hitting the front element of your lens. That's the main reason why people should ALWAYS use a lens hood. But you don't have to take my word for it (see link below):

By Josh152 (Feb 1, 2013)

Lens hoods also offer some level of protection for the front element of the lens. That plus what marike6 said is why I really don't consider them optional equipment and why it's ridiculous that Canon only includes them with L lenses.

1 upvote
Albert Macfarlane
By Albert Macfarlane (Feb 1, 2013)

As soon as I read that previous versions of Sigma's 4/3 primes were subject to "stiction" , I attached my 30 mm DN lens to my Panasonic body - and there it was ! One critic said my images with this lens left him "stultified" and now I understand why.

1 upvote
Total comments: 17