New Sigma Zoom Lens: Fast 18-35mm f/1.8!


Sigma has announced a very interesting new fast-aperture zoom lens. The 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens, which is available for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony Alpha and Sigma mounts, is an APS-C format lens with an exceptionally fast maximum aperture of f/1.8 throughout the zoom range. As a lens designed for cameras with APS-C-sized sensors, it offers a 35mm equivalent focal-length range of 27-52.5mm on Nikon, Pentax, Sony and Sigma APS-C cameras and 28.8-56mm on Canon APS-C cameras.

APS-C sensors, being smaller than full-frame sensors, really benefit from the increased maximum aperture. The wide f/1.8 aperture provides APS-C cameras with as much low-light capability as a full-frame camera using an f/2.8 aperture, which is the standard maximum aperture on most full-frame fast zoom lenses. This Sigma lens has the potential to offer APS-C cameras the kind of bright, fast zoom capability and shallow depth-of-field control that has been reserved for pro-level f/2.8 zooms on full-frame cameras.

As part of Sigma’s new Art line of lenses, the 18-35mm f/1.8 brings with it not only the wide aperture, but exceptional design, inside and out. Its 17 lens elements in 12 groups include a glass molded aspherical lens and SLD (Super Low Dispersion) elements which minimize distortion and aberrations even at the lens’s widest focal length. A Super Multi-Layer Lens Coating reduces surface reflections and lens flare and contributes to this lens’s ability to reproduce images with higher contrast and clarity. A circular nine-blade aperture adds to its ability to create pleasing bokeh. Externally, the lens offers a large base for assured handling, a new weather-sealed AF/MF switch, a brass-coated mount, rubberized lens hood attachment and Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) construction material. TSC provides the durability and temperature-resistant quality of metal, but without the heft. The lens looks and feels good.

An internal focus-and-zoom system provides efficient performance. The lens does not extend when focusing and its front element does not rotate, allowing confident use of a circular polarizing filter. Furthermore, the lens’s Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) offers not only fast and accurate, but smooth and silent AF, which improves control and is important when shooting HD video so that audio recording is not disrupted by the sound of the lens’s motor. Precise manual focusing can be achieved at any time, even when in AF mode. The lens can focus as close as 11" and offers a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.3.

As with other members of Sigma’s new generation of lenses, the 18-35mm f/1.8 is compatible with the Sigma USB Dock and Sigma Optimization Pro software. The lens can easily link with the USB dock to fine-tune performance features and update firmware. As the first wide-angle to standard zoom DSLR lens to offer a constant maximum aperture of f/1.8, Sigma has brought forth a lens well worthy of your consideration.

To learn more about this new Sigma lens, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, or contact our sales professionals over the phone at 1-800-606-6969 or online via Live Chat.

Focal Length 18-35mm
Format Compatibility APS-C
35mm Equivalent Focal Length 27-52.5mm (Nikon, Pentax, Sony and Sigma)
28.8-56mm (Canon)
Lens Mount Types Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony Alpha, Sigma
Maximum Aperture f/1.8
Minimum Aperture f/16
Angle of View 76.5°-44.2° (Nikon, Pentax, Sony and Sigma)
73.8°-42.2° (Canon)
Minimum Focus Distance 11" (27.9 cm)
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:4.3
Lens Construction 17 elements in 12 groups
Number of Diaphragm Blades 9
Image Stabilization No
Filter Thread 72mm
Dimensions 3.1 x 4.8" (78 x 121mm)
Weight 1.8 lb (811 g)

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You forgot to list the Sony/Minolta A Mount version! As a Sony shooter I'm hurt =[

Hi Ben,

This article was written in May 2013 before Sony and
Pentax mounts were announced. Your eagle eye and keen sense of observation have enabled us to make the required textual changes.

Thank you for participating on InDepth.