Sigma 18-35 F1.8 review

Started Sep 7, 2014 | Discussions
Westmill
Westmill Senior Member • Posts: 2,048
Sigma 18-35 F1.8 review
6

ok its time I did a review on the Sigma 18-35 F1.8

You often hear great claims for lenses for being sharp at any setting ect.  This particular lens goes a step further than that. As well as being the fastest zoom lens ever produced, and thus making it an equalizer for DX against FF cameras if using a zoom. It is claimed that it is sharper or as sharp as the best primes out there. Top that off with a superb Pro build quality with par focal thrown in, and this makes it sound almost too good to be true.

So what is it like in practice !  Different, would be the best word !

Lets start with the good bits !  Firstly, the focus is excellent. It is swift and quite and accurate !

Then the bad... as such.... Well I am not sure about the form factor. It is like a big heavy straight tube. This is not good for your fingers to learn the lens since it all feels the same. I often knock the focal length out and perhaps be shooting at 24mm instead of 35 ect ect ect.

The lens is also exceedingly big and heavy. It is about 50 grams heavier than the Nikon 17-55 even. This makes it very front end heavy and does not balance well on a D7100, even with grip fitted.  So you use this lens in the same way as would when using a big zoom or tele lens. IE you cradle the lens rather than the camera.

That in itself makes this lens different to use compared to any other standard zoom lens. The other deciding factor is the very limited range of 18-35mm !  This can take an awful lot of getting used to !  There is however an inbuilt saving grace here.... This lens is so sharp and detailed you can crop you never thought possible. This makes that 2x crop mode on the D7100 a very usable tool

Using this is to all intents and purposes, giving you a four thirds mode. In standard mode you are getting 52mm. Using the crop mode that extends to a very much more usable 70mm F1.8

With this kind of IQ on tap.... Crazy not to use it

So is it as sharp as they say it is ?  You bet your life it is !!!!

I have owned some superb sharp primes over the years. This is without question the sharpest lens I have ever used. The fact that it is an F1.8 zoom just boggles the mind.

My verdict.... Its not a case of if you can afford it, its a case of can you afford not to own it !!!!!

A 100% crop

How much DOF would madam like

F1.8 !!!!!!!

A 100% crop from bottom right of pic

100% Crop from F1.8

A staggering performance for F1.8

 Westmill's gear list:Westmill's gear list
Nikon D4S Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 +3 more
Nikon D7100
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thelenspainter Senior Member • Posts: 1,894
Re: Sigma 18-35 F1.8 review

Very impressive indeed Would certainly be on my buy list for a DX camera.

 thelenspainter's gear list:thelenspainter's gear list
Leica TL2 Leica T 55-135mm F3.5-4.5 Leica Summilux-TL 35mm F1.4 ASPH Leica TL 18mm F2.8 +1 more
Westmill
OP Westmill Senior Member • Posts: 2,048
Re: Sigma 18-35 F1.8 review

A link to my sister Sigma 50-150 F2.8 review http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3618195#forum-post-53179864

 Westmill's gear list:Westmill's gear list
Nikon D4S Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 +3 more
Brent Allen Thale Regular Member • Posts: 486
Re: Sigma 18-35 F1.8 review

I agree, it's definitely a great lens and Sigma deserves recognition for delivering something no one else has. It is big and heavy and it does flare a bit, but I like it. Surprisingly good for wide-angle portraits, I swapped it out for a 24-70 2.8 recently but I'm going to go back to the Sigma 18-35, love the look, sharpness, and consistency across the frame.

1:1 crop, 24 megapixel shot from the D7100:

http://www.wingedmammal.com/comic_con_2014/Lady_Stoneheart_Game_of_Thrones_DSC_1798.shtml

 Brent Allen Thale's gear list:Brent Allen Thale's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR +6 more
Nexu1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,746
Re: Sigma 18-35 F1.8 review

It's such an interesting lens because it truly is groundbreaking (first ever f1.8 zoom).

On one hand you could literally make a good argument that says this one lens replaces an 18mm f1.8, 24mm f1.8, 28mm f1.8 and 35mm f1.8 primes (and everything in between).  So if you love shooting there and can manage the weight then it's much cheaper (and flexible) than buying all those primes (some of which don't even exist).

On the other hand, I rented it and didn't like it one bit.  Too big & heavy, didn't like the limited focal length range one bit and I had focus accuracy issues with my D5100 (had a few "wow that's sharp" images and a ton of "good sharpness" shots).  I think my problem was about 80% the focal length range.  Sure this lens helps levels the playing field a little bit against FX but then again, if would anyone buy a 27-52 FX lens?  I don't think so.  It's just an awkward focal length range IMO.

 Nexu1's gear list:Nexu1's gear list
Nikon D750
Westmill
OP Westmill Senior Member • Posts: 2,048
Re: Sigma 18-35 F1.8 review

Nexu1 wrote:

It's such an interesting lens because it truly is groundbreaking (first ever f1.8 zoom).

On one hand you could literally make a good argument that says this one lens replaces an 18mm f1.8, 24mm f1.8, 28mm f1.8 and 35mm f1.8 primes (and everything in between). So if you love shooting there and can manage the weight then it's much cheaper (and flexible) than buying all those primes (some of which don't even exist).

On the other hand, I rented it and didn't like it one bit. Too big & heavy, didn't like the limited focal length range one bit and I had focus accuracy issues with my D5100 (had a few "wow that's sharp" images and a ton of "good sharpness" shots). I think my problem was about 80% the focal length range. Sure this lens helps levels the playing field a little bit against FX but then again, if would anyone buy a 27-52 FX lens? I don't think so. It's just an awkward focal length range IMO.

Its only awkward if it does not cover your needs  Like I would not buy a 50mm if I wanted a 500mm.  Nikon also do more than one 18-35mm in FX too. Such as the 18-35 F3.5 - 4.5 G ED

Its certainly a bit of a culture shock for those used to wide ranging zooms Far less so for those that use primes or fixed lens cameras ect. Or like me and use more than one camera

 Westmill's gear list:Westmill's gear list
Nikon D4S Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 +3 more
Robert A F
Robert A F Senior Member • Posts: 1,295
Re: Sigma 18-35 F1.8 review

Thanks for the lens review.

-- hide signature --

Robert A F

Westmill
OP Westmill Senior Member • Posts: 2,048
Re: Sigma 18-35 F1.8 review

Robert A F wrote:

Thanks for the lens review.

Your welcome !

This particular lens tested is for sale too

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/161418519830?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

 Westmill's gear list:Westmill's gear list
Nikon D4S Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 +3 more
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