June 16, 2013

Sigma's 'Shockingly Sharp' & Super Speedy 18-35mm F/1.8 Coming This Summer for $800

Sigma 18-35A couple of months back we covered the announcement of Sigma's super speedy wide-angle zoom, the 18-35mm f/1.8. At the time, I had predicted that it would fall somewhere in the $900-$1300 range, and while that seems like a reasonable price for a lens with these features and of the same quality of Sigma's other "Art" lenses, Sigma has boldly priced the 18-35 at $800. There were also numerous questions about whether the lens would be sharp wide open and whether or not it would be parfocal (maintaining focus at a certain point throughout the zoom range). Now we have some of the first photos taken with the lens as well as a quick video that sheds light on whether or not the 18-35 will be parfocal. Hit the jump for the details.

Firstly, here are some of the first images we've seen from the 18-35 f/1.8. These were taken by Julian Huijbregts and pulled from a slideshow on the Dutch site Digifotopro (all shot wide open at f/1.8):

If you'd like to see more of these photos (there are 78 in all), you can hop on over to Digifotopro to watch the slideshow and download the photos at their full resolution. Also, it's in Dutch. Just a heads up.

To my eyes, these photos are almost as sharp as it gets considering the price point (even compared to Canon L glass or Zeiss ZF primes). Add to that the fact that this lens - as well as the other Sigma Art lenses - renders an extremely creamy and aesthetically pleasing bokeh, and it seems safe to say that many filmmakers will gravitate towards Sigma's latest offerings.

Here's a quick test showing whether the lens is parfocal:

From Sony Alpha RumorsSLRgear reviewed the lens and found that it performed magnificently:

The Sigma 18-35mm ƒ/1.8 DC HSM “A” lens packs a big punch in features and image quality without a big punch to the wallet. Shockingly sharp images at all apertures, even at ƒ/1.8, with excellent flatness of field and good control over chromatic aberration, distortion and vignetting make this lens a no-brainer for users of APS-C cameras looking to upgrade from their kit lens. Furthermore, the lens has excellent built quality with smooth zoom and focus actuation and a nice, hefty heft to it that brings to mind the feel of high-end professional-level zoom lenses.

I'm not sure about you guys, but I'm convinced that this lens will be the real deal for photographers and videographers alike. With the speed that modern shooters demand and superb image quality to match the other Sigma Art lenses, alongside a price that's almost too good to be true, the 18-35mm f/1.8 looks to be one those lenses that will become essential to many of our camera bags, especially for those who shoot with a run and gun style. It also looks to be an excellent wide-angle choice for the new Blackmagic 4K Camera or even as a standard length zoom for the original BMCC.

If you're interested, B&H now has the lens available for preorder and looks to be shipping at the end of July.

What do you guys think? Do you think the 18-35 will become a widespread tool for low-budget filmmakers and videographers? Let us know in the comments.

Links:

[via Sony Alpha Rumors]

Your Comment

58 Comments

I'm getting it on Gh3 + Blackmagic pocket cinema camera, it'll remplace most lenses I'm using (Voigtlander 25mm f0.95, Panasonic 20mm f1.7 etc., Zeiss 35mm Distagon).

Plus with the SpeedBooster, it'll keep autofocus.

June 16, 2013

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I tought the same thing but i like that the panasonic 12-35 can go wider

June 16, 2013

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Yes but the speedbooster will make it wider by a factor of x0.71?

June 16, 2013

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true dat did they release a m43-canon yet?

June 16, 2013

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true dat did they release a m43-canon yet? im waiting for a m43->m43

June 16, 2013

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No, they haven't released the EF-to-MFT Speed Booster yet. I vaguely remember Metabones mentioning that might be until autumn before it releases.

Also, a Micro Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds version of the Speed Booster wouldn't work properly and hasn't been announced. The Speed Booster needs a lens that projects a larger image circle than the size of the image sensor in order to work properly. If Metabones were to release an MFT-to-MFT Speed Booster, the images one would get out of it would most likely end up out of focus, severely vignetted, and would lack both the "speed boosting" effect and most of the wider field of view the current one provides; it'd be, in effect, a useless adapter. Hell, in order to correct the focus and vignetting issues, they'd have to add in *another* optical element to refocus the image, which, in turn, would add size, weight, and reduced optical quality to the whole system. In effect, you'd be adding a bunch of extra glass in front of the sensor that would only serve to make the image look worse than if you had just attached the lens to the body outright. :-P

June 16, 2013

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Blah

The Sigma 18-35 is APS-C only, so the speed boaster won't work.

June 16, 2013

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TehRandax

MFT is smaller than APS-C. So it will work.

June 17, 2013

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Voltaire

If you use the Speed Booster you get roughly a 12-25mm that f1.2, so I think I'd prefer the Sigma/Metabones combination, even if I'll really miss the stabilizer on the Panny!

June 16, 2013

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This 18-35 mm f/1.8 lens would effectively become a 26-50 mm f/1.3 when attached to the upcoming EF-to-MFT Speed Booster.
For the sake of comparison, the popular Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 looks like the full frame equivalent of a 24-70 mm when attached to MFT cameras like the GH3.

June 16, 2013

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Blah

You're mixing objective focal lengths with FOV equivalences.

With a Speed Booster the Sigma effectively becomes a 12.78-24.85mm which is a 25.56-49.7mm equivalent in full frame terms. You miscorrected me.

June 16, 2013

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I doubt that Metabones will guarantee autofocus with it. My Canon 100mm f2.8 L Macro autofocuses with my NEX-6 (but not the FS700) using the Speedbooster. My Canon 50mm f2.5 Macro doesn't autofocus with either.

June 21, 2013

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Zan Shin

Sweet! It's parfocal.

June 16, 2013

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Ben Prater

Going to be a huge hit. Hopefully they will invest and add to the range. Giant strides being made in lenses lately.

June 16, 2013

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Marklondon

Seems real nice, glad they're priced to sell...Now I'd like to see a 35-200mm equivalent with some stabilization please. Any rumors? Thanks

June 16, 2013

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Anthony Marino

A 35-200mm 1.8 with IS? Haha, keep dreaming.

June 16, 2013

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TehRandax

I'm interested to know what the limiting factor is. You can have 2.8 70-200 with IS, so is it the greater range with constant/larger aperture or adding in the IS that wouldn't work? In other words, is it possible to produce 35-200 with IS but not at 1.8, or vice versa, and so on?

June 17, 2013

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Graham Kay

You do realize that aperture or f-stop expresses a relationship between aperture radius and focal length? So if the focal length goes up, so does the diameter of the lens to accommodate gathering more light and a physically larger aperture. An f1.8 200 mm lens, zoom or fixed, would be one very large and very heavy lens. And expensive. Which is why you don't see them - the numbers of buyers would be very, very small.

Which is also exactly why the maximum f-stop is typically variable on long zoom lenses. Yes they have the reach, but in giving up that large f-stop as they zoom way out there, the lens can be made smaller, lighter, and at reasonable cost to the customer.

June 17, 2013

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William Koehler

Thanks. Yes, I do understand how f-stop values are derived. I think I phrased the question poorly. For one, this is no it a full frame lens so can be smaller. So for arguments sake, what would an APS-C only 70-200 1.8 look like compared to existing 2.8 full frame versions - I mean how much bigger in reality? Second, what specifically is the limitation on extending the range - is it impossible to make a 35-200 lens with constant aperture, even if out is "only" 2.8, cost considerations aside? And then, adding IS - again just how much size and weight does it add? Just idle speculation. It must either be impossible or well expensive otherwise it would be here already because everyone would surely want one, right?

June 17, 2013

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Graham Kay

Makes perfect sense. Thanks

June 17, 2013

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Anthony Marino

Speaking of the BM 4k:

It's expected to be out in 5 1/2 weeks. It seems there should be some test footage already somewhere like there is of the BM Pocket Camera. Been waiting to see. 4k for $4k is within reach. Just wish it did 60fps............

June 16, 2013

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Gene

doesn't it do 60i?

June 16, 2013

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VinceGOrtho

Yep. Like I said I wish it had 60fps. ;-)

June 17, 2013

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Gene

How does 1080 60i look when deinterlaed? As good as 720p?

June 17, 2013

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VinceGOrtho

I like the real thing. That's all.

June 17, 2013

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Gene

I don't think I'm the only one wanting BMCC's to get to 60fps.

June 17, 2013

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Gene

If your goal is 720p, why not simply shoot 720p?

Gene has set his eyes a notch up.
It allows for no loss in quality 50% slow motion.

June 17, 2013

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William Koehler

Well, I think I stuck a wrong note in my reply with the smiley face after it. I meant it to be humorous but I think it didn't come across that way. My bad.

June 17, 2013

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Gene

I'm a bit confused. This is an APS-C lens, but will it also work as an awesome wide-angle for a full frame camera like a 5D mk3?

June 16, 2013

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colm

No. Like you said, it's desgined for APS-C, so it wouldn't cover full frame, it'd vignette.

June 16, 2013

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it would do more than vignette.

June 17, 2013

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steve

I don't know why, but this comment made me laugh. Probably because I had the same exact thought.

June 17, 2013

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David Stewart

think of it as an ef-s

June 17, 2013

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Chris Lambert

The big difference between ef-s lenses and 3rd party aps-c lenses is that the 3rd parties' offerings will work with Canon's full frame and aps-h bodies, although sometimes in a limited basis. Using ef-s lenses with Canon's full frame and aps-h bodies may damage the mirror of the camera when it flips to let in light to the sensor.

August 4, 2013

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Eeps

The new Rokinon 16mm f2 is now available for order as well.

June 17, 2013

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VinceGOrtho

This will make for my second sigma lens and i'm quite happy with my first 50mm I got from them. Looking forward to this one.

June 17, 2013

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so would a m4/3 to nikon work with a speedbooster?

June 17, 2013

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Howard L Hughes

This probably works well on Red Scarlet/Epic. Niiiice.

June 17, 2013

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Luke

No manual aperture? Kind of takes it out of the picture for non dslr video users.

June 17, 2013

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I'm guessing the F-mount version will have manual aperture.

June 17, 2013

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Luke

I was JUST thinking the same thing, Richard. Hopefully as was just mentioned after you, the F-mount does have manual iris.

June 17, 2013

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That would be awesome!

June 17, 2013

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Basic question: Would this work on the BMCC with EF mount?

June 17, 2013

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redcargorice

Yes. They have an EF mount version.

June 17, 2013

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I'd be more impressed if the bug on the right side of the sign would be sharp xD

Tbh, I don't really see much use in a lens like this (for me atleast). Most people would surely argue otherwise, but I like primes more, as they keep you thinking. The price also seems a bit too high. Although, there's one really good thing about this, most of you will sell your primes so more of those for me. Mwhaha. :D

Ps: Is it just me, or am I the only one who's thrown off of overly sharp films?

June 17, 2013

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julian

depends on your use I guess... from what I read on one preview they were saying it was comprabable to a L lens in quality.

I do a lot in terms of live events where the lighting and events themselves can be unpredictable at best having a fast wideish - med zoom will be a big help especially on upcoming not so great in low light like the BMPC4k.

Not sure I'd call the price high though I think the general consensus was that this would be twice the price it has turned out to be

June 17, 2013

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Chris Lambert

I'm not much of a zoom man myself, but I think this + speedbooster + blackmagic pocket would be a fantastic combination. But I'd go further than what Chris says - for a lens of this quality and specs, the price is almost too low to believe, frankly.

June 17, 2013

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Luke

As much as I would love the Nikon version to have a manual aperture ring, I'm pretty sure it wont. This lens is for crop sensor cameras and none of Nikon's newer lenses for crop sensor bodies have aperture rings so why would Sigma put one on?

If it did have an aperture ring, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

June 18, 2013

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Anthony

*sshhhhhhhhhhh* Don't kill the dream x-D
No seriously, you may be right. Hopefully it will, but if not....blar.

June 18, 2013

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Slap this puppy on my fs700.

June 18, 2013

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Stu Mannion

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