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!

  • Chris Preperato

    Thing is, a 20mm f1.8 for full-frame has an 82mm filter and, well, isn’t that good. So, I cant only imagine the extra glass needed to make it to 17mm, not to mention the ability to zoom and be sharp. It’d be expensive, probably more so than the Canon and Nikon versions, which isn’t really Sigma’s game.

    Here, they are smart in that, even if the cost is similar to the 17-55 from Canon, it has a major, major advantage. If it costs more than the Canon/Nikon versions (so, it’d be $1300 retail or more), then they might struggle to sell it

  • Non-serious lens user

    It seems you’re trying to prove a completely different point. Try this on for size: use a 35mm focal length on a Canon crop camera, use a 55mm focal length on a full frame camera, set the same wide aperture on both lenses and photograph the same thing from the same location.

    Are you going to tell me the above will produce an identical depth of field? If you are, you’re sorely mistaken.

  • Good news

    Hence the user-upgradable firmware in these new lenses.

  • De

    Same way you find the equivalent focal length. Multiply by the crop-factor.

    20mm f/1.8 is (in terms of dof, not speed) 30mm f/2.7 FF equivalent (1.5 crop). This is because you end up standing further from your focus point to get the same framing as for FF which increases DOF. It is also why it makes no sense when people say they use a 50 on crop, instead of a 35, as a normal lens for that “lovely bokeh”. True if all you want is shallow dof and will accept crap framing, otherwise a 35 will give you the roughly the same dof in real life photography and you don’t have to walk to the end of world for the right framing. (today’s rant)

  • Trythe1

    I’ll take one please

  • Kurt B

    Right after I read “Serious photographers hardly use crop bodies.” I just didn’t even bother reading the rest and just clicked thumbs down.

  • lidocaineus

    Ok… and why would you ever reduce crop factor? You can’t use non-FF lenses on FF bodies in the Canon lineup. Not to mention even if you could, lens focal lengths are always given in their 35mm/FF focal length, not their equivalent.

  • mike

    I guess my $5000 1D Mark 4 is not a “pro” body? And my 40D never took great pictures? I love when people that “think” they know what they are talking about put their foot in their mouths.

  • branden rio

    The crop factor is 1.6, not 0.6. The 17-40mm lens works out to an equivalent of 27-60mm on an APS-C camera.

  • Eric

    You keep saying “fixed aperture”. I think what you really mean to say is “constant aperture”. Fixed aperture would imply that you can ONLY use f/1.8 across the entire zoom range. Constant aperture would mean that f/1.8 is available across the zoom range. I recommend you update the post before people get confused.

  • etothej

    Guys, he just meant that if you would want the equivalent of the full-frame 17-40 on an APS-C camera, you would need a 10.6-25mm lens, which is really close to the 10-22mm.

  • Mansgame

    Wow so many defenders of both Sigma and DX format here. This lens should be a runaway hit! Except that it won’t. Most DX users are going to find the range limiting. why pay $1000 for 18-35 1.8 when for $500 they can get a 17-50 f/2.8? One stop isn’t worth that much especially for a lens that they’ll outgrow when they move to FX.

    Yeah yeah…I know, you took great pics with your D70, but the reality is FX will always be taken more seriously than DX.

  • ArDes

    Konrad: how do you like your 17-70? i have been contemplating on getting one coz for now I can’t afford the Nikon glass at that range.

  • Scott Verge

    People that scoff at the aperture seem to be forgetting something. Low light photography.

    Low light photography of bands in smaller bars could be a great use for this lens and it’s not just about how much light it’s letting in but also in trying to get a some what thin DOF.

  • Scott Verge

    Why pay for 2.8 when you can get f4?

    I have a feeling the people that are negative about this release would be ecstatic if this was a Nikon/Canon release.

    I’m perfectly fine with people being wary of sigma as a brand but the lens format/specs? Really?

  • lidocaineus

    Well it sure sounds confusing when you say things like:

    “However, the 17-40L is 10.6-25mm equivalent…”

    Not sure where that would ever be true.

  • Mansgame

    Well, the difference is many DX users don’t see the value of f/1.8. Do you think someone going to costco to buy a D3200 is going to want to pay $1200 for a camera lens when the one that comes with it looks just as good and has more range? By the time someone gets advanced enough to know about f/stops, they will likely be moving on to FX.

    And no, I would say the same thing if it was Nikon. DX does nothing for me. If it was a 16-35mm f/1.8 FX lens, I’d want it but then it’d cost about $5k too.

  • Chris Preperato

    It’s true when you multiply the 10.6-25mm by a 1.6 crop factor and arrive at a 17-40mm lens. Thus, the 10-22 being a very similar lens for an APS-C user as a 17-40 lens is for a full-frame user

  • Scott Verge

    Plenty of serious photographers get more serious then a D3200. I’m running a D5100 and use the fastest glass I can get my hands on. 50mm 1.4, 135 2.8 and such.

    Also let’s not forget that the D3XXX and D5XXX aren’t the only crop sensors. There is the D7XXX and D300s. Plenty of people that are obviously willing to spend money on serious equipment would be in the market for such a lens.

    The next lens I plan on investing in is the Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR2. Some of us DX users are smart enough to know it’s not the camera it’s the glass. My main focus is Sports and Wildlife, I currently have no real plans to move to FX.

    I guess we shall see how it pans out though. I’m not sure why people that don’t use DX are really bitching unless they are jealous?

  • lidocaineus

    Well first of all, there is no 10.6-25mm lens. There’s a 10-22mm EF-S which is probably what you’re referring to, though that means its equivalent focal length at cropped frame would be 17-40. Since it’s an EF-S lens, there *IS* no 10mm focal length in actuality, since you can’t fit it onto a full frame body. And yes, I understand the 1.6 crop factor. None of that is in question.

    He however stated that the 17-40L is a 10.6-25mm equivalent. That makes absolutely no sense, as the 17-40L is a 27-64mm equivalent on an APS-C sensor.

  • Rez Cruz

    Strong point dear Sir. A fixed aperture of f/1.8 will make this lens difficult to use in A LOT of situations(if ever…). I have to able to stop down when I need to.

  • Guest

    I’m a Nikon user and I have to say, you words carry my sentiments haha.

  • Rez Cruz

    I’m a Nikon user and I have to say, your words carry my sentiments haha.

  • Konrad

    It’s a grate lens. Sharp as most lenses since second half of ’10. Good chromatic abberations, good contrast, clear image, not overburning whites with bed contrast like older, mostly film era lenses. Even very good considering fast apertures and longer zoom range. The only one problem I have encountered is to small dof. Really. With 18-105 I almost never get in considerations dof. I shot wider possible and only sometimes got to narrow dof. Especially with portraits of two people on party. Second person was to hazy and unhappy of that;) Now with 17-70 I have to take in considerations dof even harder. Before I have in habit some operations; for example exposure time, iso, flash lock, spirit level, af point selection mode, sometimes af mode, and seldom dof – only for landscapes. That was my techniques not mentioning composition. Now dof is next point in my habits, for sure. But that’s the way it is. And the most important with d7000 is that 17-70 is focusing on 2.8-4 apertures, not 3.5-5.6. It’s important for it’s af system, because one have not the fastest (in terms of lens speed, light gathering) af silicon and sometimes with single precision af points and dim indoor light is missing a bit. So this lens gives to af one speed stop. That is quite quite on parties for example. In one sentence 17-70 is a great lens if You ready to loose this 85 and 105 focals for one speed stop. Cheers.

  • John Riedy

    If this thing is anywhere NEAR as sharp as their new 35 1.4 Art lens then it’s going to be a game changer. WHY can’t this be a FF lens??? Almost makes me want to pick up a 7D.

  • G

    Oh, didn’t know. That’s good news.

  • Teun Dilles

    Nikon produced their 17-55mm 2.8 when it was still convinced the company would never produce a full frame camera. It was thus aimed towards the professional market with the nikon D2 in mind. This lens was not compromised in order ro preserve ‘product differentiation’. Obviously, if Nikon would have been stuck to the DX-format for professional camera’s, they might have developed a new version of this lens with VR and improved optics.

  • Gray Powell

    This will be great for nighttime landscape photography, where big apertures are a must..

  • Rui Nelson Carneiro

    Or gonne bankrupt, like pentax!

  • Dih-loan Wong

    He wasn’t saying that it’s a 10.6-25mm equivalent. He was stating that there’s no reason someone going from crop to FF should miss the 10-22mm, because there’s a FF version that gives the same field of view with better performance and value.

    No one here thinks the 17-40mm is a 10.6-25mm. But they have the same field of view on their respective sensors. The 17-40mm was meant for FF use anyways, not crop use.

  • A sad mans game

    “What a lovely photo, pity it wasn’t taken with a full frame camera because then I’d take it seriously”. Elitism at its finest.

    Run and tell Zack Arias to throw away his Fuji X-series cameras and lenses, people might stop hiring him if they find out he uses them.

  • Jack

    The overarching aim of photography is To Be Taken Seriously on internet forums.


  • Jack

    Until the invention of the tripod, I guess.

  • Scott Verge

    Tripod doesn’t change much when you want sharp stars and foreground details (trees and hillsides) does it wise ass?

  • Jack

    And if you really need the speed and sharpness wide open, you would already be using a fast prime, not an f2.8+ zoom.

    ‘wise ass’

  • Pavel Kounine

    I was wondering why something like this hasn’t been released before. Well I’m happy that it has. I’m not too happy about the 27-52.5mm full-frame equivalency though. It’s an odd number (IMHO). I’m interested in seeing how well it performs. However, if it’s anything like the new 35mm f/1.4, then Sigma will have a winner.
    I’m a fan of the design as well. It looks great.

  • Scott Verge

    Who’s talking about an f2.8+ zoom?

    Sure a fast prime would be great, you buy it and I’ll use it. ;)

  • lidocaineus

    Yes yes blah blah blah blah. After re-reading it about 10 times we all already got it, but thanks for correcting. He basically said something extremely poorly and ambiguously.

  • Jack

    Start workin on them biceps, son.

  • Grulon

    I think you owe too much “meaning” (if anyone would ever assume meaning could be a quantifiable thing) to the word “equivalent”. There’s no more actual reason to multiply focal length in a way or the other, if you think about it. People are just used to what focal length “means” on 35mm bodies. But some people are now born with smaller sizes of sensors and understand what type of image 10mm will give on an APS-C sensor better than what 17mm will give on a 24×36. So yeah, admit that, even if it surprised you, which is fully understandable, someone could apprehend the 17-40 as a rough equivalent of a 10.6-25. (And it is rude of you to judge it poorly said.)

    Oh and to prevent any attempt at saying something like “Okay but no ones converts down that’s something that is not done anywhere” don’t forget larger types of sensors, like 6×6. Anyone who starts to use a good ol’Blad coming from a 35mm SLR will say “Oh yeah, this 80mm is a 50mm equivalent”.

  • lidocaineus

    If you need to compare field of view, perspective, and depth of field, all those focal length comparisons are valid and useful. I used to shoot medium format all the time and saying 85mm meant something completely different to full frame and aps-c. This is you shouldn’t be ambiguous with how you communicate.

  • Grulon

    Did I say focal length comparisons were unuseful ? I’m just pointing out that “equivalence” could go one way or another, why not ?

    A 17-40 on 24×36 is the equivalent of a 10.6-25 on APS-C in terms of field of view what is wrong with that ? I understand very well the surprise caused by the use of focal length equivalence in an unusual way, but one could want to mentally convert focal length meaning from FF to APS-C for it’s own convenience, right ?

  • lidocaineus


  • Grulon

    Ah ah ah ah, have a nice day sir.

  • Jimbo78a

    I know people who make their living out of APS-C cameras and have good fast glass. A good lens is a good lens and a crap lens is a crap lens no matter what size sensor it has been designed for. Don’t get caught up with FF verses APS-C. I look forward to seeing this lens. I use a D300 and this would be great. If I owned a D3 or D4 it wouldn’t be great as it wasn’t meant for this body.

  • Jessica

    ” By the time someone gets advanced enough to know about f/stops, they will likely be moving on to FX.” Oh REALLY now? I started off with a p&s with manual mode, learned all about ISO, f/stops, and shutter speed. I then moved up to a 1000D and am now using a 50D. Having money does not equal knowledge and artistic skill!!!!

  • Ricky V

    I think your spot on. APS-C, is great as a format and very few users need a Full Frame body to accomplish their goals.

  • Hoeras

    New look. Along the lines of new lenses from Fuji X, Sony NEX and Zeiss too. Clean lines and stylish. As long as the performance matches.

  • Guilherme Costa

    The f/1.8 may be too soft, but it will help a lot for the AF on those situations. Wedding, shows, bars, etc…

    I have a Sigma 10-20, that I don´t use anymore, but it´s a great lens and had it´s time with me. What other equivalent from Canon I could buy 5 years ago? For what price?

    It´s a good relase, if the reviews are positive, this lens will sell.

  • Ring Hum Dinger

    I guess giving an amateur a Ferrari automatically qualifies him/her to become a professional driver.