Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM
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dpreview posted a first impression review of Sigma’s UFO (Unbelievable F-stop Object), the amazing Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC. The lens delivers constant f/1.8 through the zoom range and is the first zoom lens for APS-C DSLRs with this property. As dpreview writes, the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC “offers APS-C DSLR users access to some of the depth-of-field and low light capabilities that full frame shooters get from their F2.8 zooms”.
Overall the Sigma seems extremely promising and I’ve been pretty pleased with the results[…] Its range means it’s unlikely to be the ‘one lens to rule them all’ for many people, but if I were an owner of an APS-C DSLR that I liked, this might help dispel the idea that APS-C is somehow just a stepping-stone to the quasi-mythically ‘optimal’ full-frame format (an idea Nikon and Canon have no incentive to challenge). The fact remains that APS-C is by far the most widely-used format in the DSLR era, and this lens could help strengthen the cost/size/flexibility proposition that it offers.
The updated sample pics gallery is here.
Product description (from B&H’s product page):
The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Lens for Canon is a wide-angle to normal-length zoom lens that features a fast, bright constant f/1.8 maximum aperture. It is specifically designed for use with APS-C-sized sensors and provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 28.8-56mm.
The lens integrates one aspherical element into its construction as well as Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass to help minimize various aberrations and distortions throughout the zoom range as well as provide greater image sharpness and clarity. A Super Multi-Layer Coating has also been applied to lens elements to reduce surface reflections, lens flare, and ghosting to produce images with higher contrast and color fidelity. The lens barrel design is constructed from a Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) material that is akin to metal in texture and resistance to temperature and environmental changes while also remaining lightweight and compact. An internal focusing and zooming mechanism also helps to maintain a compact and consistent overall length and non-rotating front ring also better enables the use of circular polarizing filters. For control of focus, a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) is used to ensure fast, precise, and quiet focusing capabilities that are well suited to continuous shooting and movie recording.
For updating lens firmware and fine-tuning its nuances to best suit your personal shooting, this lens is compatible with the Sigma USB Dock. The dock allows you to specify certain parameters and other settings through the Sigma Optimization Pro software, such as AF speed and focusing limitations.
- Art Lens Line
- This lens is part of Sigma’s Art line; deeming it well-suited to creative image making due to its large, constant f/1.8 maximum aperture and ability to produce aesthetic bokeh by way of a nine-blade circular diaphragm. The range of focal lengths it covers, from wide-angle to normal-length, is nicely situated for everyday and artistic shooting applications.
- Optimized Lens Design
- One aspherical lens element, as well as the incorporation of SLD glass, help to minimize the appearance of distortions and aberrations throughout the zoom range and provide clear imagery with enhanced sharpness. A Super Multi-Layer Coating also benefits the image quality by reducing reflections and flare and contributing to greater overall contrast and fidelity.
- Hyper Sonic AF Motor
- The Hyper Sonic Motor provides fast, quiet, and smooth auto focusing that is well-suited for use with video applications. This AF motor can also be manually overridden at any time by rotating the focusing ring, giving you the ability to fine-tune image sharpness through manual focusing.
- Other Lens Features
- Constructed using a TSC compound material, this lens is lightweight while also exhibiting notable durability and resistance to environmental changes.
- An internal focusing and zooming mechanism helps to maintain a consistent overall lens length and a non-rotating front ring facilitates more efficient use of circular polarizers.
- Compatible with Sigma’s USB Dock and Sigma Optimization Pro software for fine-tuning your lens’ performance, updating its firmware, and better suiting it to your needs.