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


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.



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.





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!

  • wilmark johnatty

    A few caveats here. Lenses designed for APS-C are not generally serious lenses. Serious photographers hardly use crop bodies. Sigma announces lenses and take very long to deliver. 1.8 at that focal range is not really so critical – that range is of interest mainly to landscape photographers where smaller fstops are used typically. On the flip side SIgma seem to be taking advantage of an area that is completely neglected by canon and to a lesser extent by nikon. Maybe its in anticipation to the upcoming 7DII. Wonder how it would perform on a FF body – will it vignet?

  • Le Hoang

    “On a 1.5x crop sensor it’ll be the equivalent of a 27-52.5mm f/1.8 lens”
    – ????? f/1.8 ? Is it magic @@ ?

  • Deej

    I beg to differ, I know several pro photographers that use Canon 7D’s as main bodies. What matters here is that this lens proves that Sigma can build a lens with a constant f/1.8 aperture, which opens up options for them producing full frame lenses in the future. Sure, it bums me out that I own a 5D classic and can’t use this lens, but maybe they’ll release a 17-40 1.8 in the future?

  • Adam Cross

    lenses are used for video, too. pretty sure that would put the likes of the Canon 7D into the “pro” range (do I need to mention that films like 27 Hours, Black Swan, End of Watch and The Avengers all used Canon 7D for many shots), and the focal lengths in this lens are extremely useful for video

  • Vu Le

    The “seriousness” deficit for the APS-C format is due to the manufacturers, not the users. Canon and Nikon have gone to great lengths to protect their pro lens lineups with intentionally compromised lenses like the 17-55 f/2.8 zooms. They call it “product differentiation.” There’s a second reason they won’t make serious lenses for APS-C—they WANT you to buy a more expensive full frame body, also.

    Olympus, Fuji, Sony, and Sigma may not be the top dogs, but they all offer their top notch optics for smaller sensor formats. Sigma probably realizes that there are a LOT of Canon 7D and Nikon D7000 users who would are ready and willing to buy a true 24-70 for their cropped bodies. There are a lot of high end amateurs and lower end pros using APS-C for their bread and butter. For them, this will be a boon.

    And even though the depth of field will be essentially the same as a full frame 24-70, it will have a one stop advantage in shutter speed. That can be the difference maker in getting your shot.

    If the optics deliver, and the price is right, Sigma will have a hit on their hands.

  • De

    Smaller sensor, simpler optics. The lens is f/1.8 in terms of speed, in terms of DOF it will be about 2.7.

  • Trythe1

    Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god

  • C.K. Lee

    Making statements like “serious photographers hardly use crop bodies” undermines your credibility. Which is unfortunate as you make some good points after that.

  • Adam Cross

    canon’s ef-s 10-22mm could’ve been even more amazing than it already is if it had a constant aperture – one lens I wish I could still use after jumping to FF

  • the all mighty one

    Kinda makes me regret picking up a second hand 24-70 now :(

  • Non-serious lens user

    Utter rubbish. Calling anything buy full frame “not serious” is absurd.

    Crop cameras do have more depth of field at the same aperture versus full frame and a constant f/1.8 is more than welcome. Effective focal length of 28-56mm on a Canon crop body is more than a lens for landscape photographers, it’s quite versatile and handy.

  • C.K. Lee

    I’m interested in seeing how Canon and Nikon will react to this.

  • 43343434

    you have no clue.. wildlife photographer use aps-c all the time.

  • Mort

    if you really believe that you are a moron….

  • KL1

    they will make a firmware that makes the lens back or front focus….

  • SgtBoognish

    For Nikon DX shooters, this’d be equivalent to a 27-53mm f/2.8 on FX (full-frame). If the lens is at least somewhat cheaper and lighter than Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, I’m sold. Nikon must be annoyed – they’re trying so hard to get their high-end DX-shooters to move over to FX, and then Sigma comes out with lenses like this. Very exciting stuff!

  • David Hammonds

    Slow down… There’s a chance this lens might be a dog – wait for the the reviews. Who cares if it’s f/1.8 if it’s soft as heck?

  • SgtBoognish

    Haha, that’s brilliant

  • RicharD7000

    This does look good, excuse me: GOOD

  • Syed Zillay Ali

    I would take it as a major breakthrough in the stagnancy created by the big twins.
    This should be welcomed!

  • artur

    HAHA same situation! :D

  • Sporkguy

    Have you used any of Sigma’s recent (~5 years old or less) lenses? They’re mostly tack-sharp and built like tanks. I’d be surprised if this didn’t fit in perfectly with the rest of them.

  • Jean Baptiste

    Hey, I’m interested in what uve said. How did u get that 2.7 number?

  • 9inchnail

    But there is a point to it. The 7D is propably the only (Canon) crop camera any professional photographer might use. You never see a pro using a 3-digit-model, do you?

  • 9inchnail

    This will propably cost an arm and a leg, maybe you’ll have to throw in a kidney. Ok, still cheaper than Canon ^^

  • Blphoto

    More DoF? I beg to differ. Do you understand what is happening inside a crop sensor body in terms of light projection?

  • Matt

    I agree – the 10-22 is an excellent lens. There are a few APS-C lenses that could easily be L lenses (like the 17-55 f/2.8 and even the 15-85) if Canon allowed crop sensor L lenses. They would probably have to get a refit with slightly better materials and weather sealing, but optically they are great.

    However, the 17-40L is 10.6-25mm equivalent and has f/4 throughout, better materials, and is weather sealed. And it’s similar in price. In fact, the 17-40L can often be found for cheaper.

    So, while it sucks that you can’t use the 10-22 on FF, there is a FF equivalent that is better for less money.

  • Blphoto

    How do you figure a change in DoF?

  • Jack

    People who take photos in the real world, as opposed to people who shoot test charts and post on the internet about ‘sharpness’.

  • Jack

    Well trolled.

  • Igor Ken

    What about full frame? :(

  • tertius_decimus

    Nikon D300s.

  • AdamMalcolm

    Everyone seems to have forgotten that Olympus have a FULL RANGE of F/2.0 zoom’s for their Four Thirds cameras. You could have zooms faster than F/2.8 on a full frame body, they’d just be rather large.

  • Tyler Magee

    Whats next a 24-70 1.8? hahaha

  • Non-serious lens user

    Beg all you want, facts are facts. Use the same lens with the same focal length set to the same large aperture on a full frame and a crop body and note the difference. Since you’re clearly not aware of what the difference would be, I could ask you the same question.

  • Lesley

    if you have the “same” Field Of View. That’s not always possible. think about minimal distance lens…

  • Lesley

    if you have the “same” Field Of View. That’s not always possible. think about minimal distance lens…

  • DEZ

    What do you mean with 10.6-25mm? There is no such lens. The 17-40 is a 27-60 EQUIVALENT.

  • DEZ

    What do you mean with 10.6-25mm? There is no such lens. The 17-40 is a 27-60 EQUIVALENT.

  • dez

    Nobody has forgotten it, it is only that noone is using it, because it has the price of my kidneys, and is useful only with a half-frame camera. (Comon, it is not an option, Oly is trying to kill off this cameraline, only the micro4/3’s will survive.)

  • Anthony

    I agree with those who are saying that the lens might be terrible, and we will have to wait and see, but to me who only shoots video and documentary/corporate video with large sensor camera, fs700, F3, and will hopefully be an owner of the Blackmagic production camera, this lens could be a Godsend. For us video people there really is no spec for a full frame sensor, everything we have is super35 which is slightly bigger than APS-c. On top of that for me speed really matters, i’ve been shooting on primes almost exclusively, and to have the ability to zoom and a large apature like we were able to do with older ENG style cameras, will be amazing.

    All in all we will have to wait, but by the spec alone this is something special.

  • Konrad

    Thank You Sigma. You are real game changer. I hope, that in few years, You gonna be called next Apple in photography world. Simple moves but real talent needed for these. This year I have bought my first two lenses after Nikkor 18-105 which was a kit with d7000. These lenses are 17-70 2.8-4 (model 2013) and 30 1.4 (model 2013). I am very happy with them. And I dreaming about 50-150 2.8 but I temporary out of savings. Again, thank You Sigma for your lenses.

  • Konrad

    I’m sorry, my mistake. 30 1.4 is pre 2013.

  • triggertime

    I think 17-40divided by .6 crop give 10.6-25mm

  • Swade

    Sorry, but you don’t get more depth of field. You do not have a 28-56mm lens on your camera, you have a 18-35mm lens at an 28-56mm equivalent field of view. Because you’re field of view is smaller, you have to increase your distance between you and the subject, giving your a wider depth of field, not a shallower one. Just because you put it on a crop body doesn’t mean your 35mm lens has the optics of a 56mm, it is still 35mm with a 56mm field of view. Your facts are incorrect.

  • Swade

    Field of view and distance to your subject.

  • Boron

    18-35 on a crop is 25-50, that’s not much of a landscape lens!
    General walkabout and indoors is where this lens will find its true calling – making ISO 400 more of a reality for many shooting (grand)kids inside or out on a dull overcast day.

  • Neoracer Xox

    Im sure it’ll be 4 grand for the professional out there..

  • Neoracer Xox

    I love snobs don’t you?!!!

  • G

    Relates to the main reason I’m not sure I’d pay for a high end third-party lens. They’re backward engineered to be compatible with the current camera bodies. You never know if newer bodies will support it properly.