PetaPixel

Sigma Drops Bombshell, Announces a 18-35mm f/1.8 Lens

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Wow. The rumor of a new Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 lens we shared earlier today has just been confirmed by Sigma. The company has just officially announced the lens, which is the world’s first lens that offers a fixed f/1.8 aperture throughout its zoom range. That’s a pretty big deal.

The lens, officially called the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM, is geared toward APS-C format cameras. On a 1.5x crop sensor it’ll be the equivalent of a 27-52.5mm f/1.8 lens.

The fixed f/1.8 aperture breaks new ground in the camera lens industry, as the zoom lenses of other major players in the industry (e.g. Canon and Nikon) top out at f/2.8. This Sigma lens offers more than a stop of extra light.

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Sigma says that developing the lens was a technological challenge, and that the company needed to draw from an extensive amount of know-how developed over the years in order to overcome difficulties that other major camera manufacturers apparently haven’t conquered yet. These include “reducing optical aberrations” and “designing advanced structural elements.”

Other features of the 18-35mm f/1.8 include a new lens hood with a rubberized connector, a newly designed lens cap, a new AF/MF switch, a hypersonic motor for speedy and stealthy autofocusing, full time manual focus override, and a brass mount and rugged build quality.

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As with other newer lenses that Sigma has released as of late, the 18-35mm f/1.8 will be compatible with Sigma’s Optimization Pro software, which lets you connect the lens to your computer using a special dock in order to adjust focus precision and apply other tweaks.

The MFT charts of the new Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8

The MFT charts of the new Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8

No word yet on pricing or availability, but we’ll likely hear about both of those things shortly.

Sigma has been making brilliant moves with its lenses as of late. Its new 35mm f/1.4 matches up very well with rival lenses from major manufacturers, yet costs hundreds of dollars less. This new lens will further solidify Sigma’s growing reputation as one of the major innovators in the camera lens industry.


Thanks for sending in the tip, Bill!


 
  • Vin Weathermon

    Discounting the things you said that everyone else has blasted you for, I am interested in what the full frame performance will be. For everybody else who seems to have an opinion on who uses crop-factored bodies, well the more you know the less likely the camera really matters. The photographer/cinematographer still makes the art. A 60D makes a damn fine movie…by the right film maker.

  • Pritzl

    Turns out it’s only $800. Probably drop to less than that by next year (too long a wait list at that price). So, yes, I would definitely go for an extra stop of light if all it costs is a few mm and an extra $200-300.

  • Chris

    The statement saying “Professionals hardly use crop bodies” is false. Canons pro series the 1D line for a while used crop sensors to help professional shooters crop in closer to the subjects. The 1D IV was mostly meant for sports shooters and journalists and it has a 1.3X Crop sensor and for a while most professional journalist, sports shooters, wedding shooters who wanted a great camera used them. I went through 2 seminars with Canon Explorers of Light and they both used the crop sensor cameras and for a while Saturday Night Live used Canon 7D’s to film most of their footage when they moved from CCD cameras to CMOS cameras and the crop bodies improved the quality of footage much better.

    As far as the lens working on a full frame, I believe it would work. I use a Tamron 10-24mm lens that supposedly is only supposed to work on crop sensor bodies and the photos turn out really sharp at 17mm. I just think you wouldn’t want to use it at its widest to avoid vignetting among other things.

  • http://sevenbates.com sevenbates

    Lay off that “serious” talk, sir. That’s smug, and doesn’t even remotely reflect the photography industry today. Many professionals choose APS-C bodies for lots of jobs. Crop factors are only a “negative” if you perceive “full frame” as inherently better. Many of us in the industry don’t consider the full frame to be an advantage – especially since they don’t update those “serious” cameras as often as they do their APS-C lines. I think PetaPixel is right – this is a bombshell.