A 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:
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.
- Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 -- B&H
- Exclusive - Test Photos: Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art -- Digifotopro
- Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Review -- SLRgear
[via Sony Alpha Rumors]