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

06.16.13 @ 8:00PM Tags : ,

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):

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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]

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  • 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.

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

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

        • true dat did they release a m43-canon yet?

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

          • 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

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

      • 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!

        • 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.

          • 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.

    • 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.

  • Sweet! It’s parfocal.

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

  • Anthony Marino on 06.16.13 @ 9:02PM

    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

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

      • 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?

        • William Koehler on 06.17.13 @ 11:15AM

          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.

          • 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?

          • Anthony Marino on 06.17.13 @ 10:46PM

            Makes perfect sense. Thanks

  • 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…………

  • 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?

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

    • Chris Lambert on 06.17.13 @ 9:57AM

      think of it as an ef-s

      • 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.

  • VinceGOrtho on 06.17.13 @ 12:00AM

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

  • 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.

  • Howard L Hughes on 06.17.13 @ 1:19AM

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

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

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

  • redcargorice on 06.17.13 @ 9:06AM

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

  • 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?

    • Chris Lambert on 06.17.13 @ 3:35PM

      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

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • Stu Mannion on 06.18.13 @ 8:58AM

    Slap this puppy on my fs700.

  • I don’t care about video, but I think this new Sigma will be a killer lens for still photography on a good APSC camera like the Nikon D7100. What more can you wish for? I shoot full frame for better image quality and greater flexibility, so this is not the lens for me, but Sigma has surprised me with the excellent 35mm f/1.4 DG. It hardly leaves my camera. The image quality is truly excellent! What the hell happened there in Japan?

  • Won’t the BMCC 4K camera have a 35mm sensor? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that would make it closer to a full frame sensor than a crop sensor, meaning I don’t think that this APS-C sized lens would work with that either…

    • A 35mm film/video sensor is not the same as a 35mm still photography sensor.

      The 35mm still photography format was “invented” by using 35mm film from cinema cameras, but horizontal, unlike in a film camera, where it is used vertical. That accounts for a roughly 1.5 crop factor from full frame 35 still photography to super 35mm cinema film.

      So… long story short, 35mm in film and video terms is roughly the same size as APS-C.

      • Stills 35 full frame is actually basically the same as the motion format VistaVision, including the way it runs horizontal (something that IMAX 70mm also does). And you’re absolutely right about APS-C being about the same size as typical 35mm motion film…this seems to be a major trip up to DSLR shooters.

  • The first ever DSLR f1.8 zoom lens (as far as I know), sharp, nice bokeh, and all that for 800 USD?
    That sounds too good to be true!

  • dave cearley on 07.5.13 @ 12:19PM

    Combine this with the new Canon 70d and you’ ve got a great video rig.

  • Here is an example video featuring the Sigma 18-35 on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Kessler Cinedrive: