We've talked about Sigma's new 18-35mm f/1.8 several times before here at No Film School. Since it was announced back at NAB in April, the lens has generated quite a bit of buzz (especially when the $800 price was revealed). Now that the 18-35 has been shipping for upwards of a month, and the community has had ample opportunity to test and review the lens, it seems clear that Sigma has hit a grand slam, especially for videographers and low-budget filmmakers. Check out some of the stellar reviews and footage from the 18-35 below.
First, here are a couple of videos from Aaron Nanto. In the first one, we see some stellar footage from the 18-35 mounted on a BMCC (with motion from a Kessler CineDrive system):
In the second video, Nanto tests whether or not the lens is parfocal (maintaining focus throughout the zoom range), as well as the quality of the bokeh:
While it doesn't appear that the lens is truly parfocal, as we had believed it was from prior tests, the 18-35 still outperforms all other zooms in this price range -- as well as many others costing twice as much. Additionally, the 9 blade aperture on the 18-35 produces extremely smooth and creamy bokeh.
And here's an in-depth review from LearningCameras.com:
In my eyes, this lens was absolutely designed with DSLR videographers and low-budget filmmakers in mind. With the additional stop and a half of light that you can get over other zooms (most of which are rated at f/2.8 or higher), folks who are shooting in available light or low light will flock to this lens. Additionally, considering the fact that the travel distance between minimum focus and infinity is longer than most photo-style lenses, the 18-35 is uniquely suited for use with a follow focus.
The only thing holding me back from pulling the trigger on this lens is the fact that it could prove difficult to adapt the lens to various camera systems due to the electronically controlled aperture. Other than that, the 18-35 seems like a no-brainer for videographers and filmmakers alike, and it looks like it would be the perfect companion for the BMCC when coupled with a wide angle zoom and a telephoto zoom.
You can pick up the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 over at B&H for $800. It's available in various mounts from Canon and Nikon to Pentax and Sony Alpha.
What do you guys think? Is this lens a must-have for videographers and low-budget filmmakers? Let us know in the comments!