Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM | A ("Art") - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published May 2014
We are a little late with this review but finally here it is ... our test of the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM "Art" (Canon mount, Nikon will follow eventually). The lens produced quite some buzz when it was released earlier this year. Given the focal length range you may expect a full format ultra-wide zoom lens but it has been exclusively designed for the APS-C scope - hence also the "DC" in the lens name. The exciting thing about it is, of course, the max. aperture of f/1.8. As such, the Sigma is the fastest (mass production) DSLR zoom lens ever. Now even so we still weren't overly impressed when the lens was announced. After all, it is just a "29-56mm f/2.8" when thinking in equivalent full format range and depth-of-field terms or to phrase it differently - you may even raise the question whether it is a standard zoom lens with its 2x zoom ratio. Moreover this Sigma lens is also as expensive, as big and as heavy as its full format counterparts which negates a bit the idea of having an APS-C format camera in the first place. However, it received enthusiastic comments from (potential) users so we may be rather lonely cowboys with these preliminary thoughts.
The build quality of the Sigma lens is certainly nothing short outstanding. Besides some metal parts, Sigma uses a new material called TSC (Thermally Stable Composite) which contributes to the high quality perception. It is a "true" internal focusing lens thus it doesn't even extend during focusing operations. The broad zoom and focus rings are nicely rubberized and operate super smooth and, of course, without having play. A petal-shaped lens hood is part of the package.
The 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM | A features Sigma's ultrasonic AF drive (HSM="Hypersonic") which is similar to Canon's USM both in terms of high speed and negligible noise. Of course, this applies to phase detection AF whereas in Live View mode you shouldn't expect wonders here. It is also worth to note that the lens is compatible to Sigma's USB dock (for AF tuning) and they also offer a mount conversion service (e.g. Canon EF to Nikon).
|Equiv. focal length||29-56mm (full format equivalent)|
|Equiv. aperture||"f/2.8" (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)|
|Optical construction||17 elements in 12 groups inc. 4x aspherical and 5xSLD elements|
|Number of aperture blades||9 (circular)|
|min. focus distance||0.28m (1:4.3)|
|Hood||supplied, petal-shaped, bayonet mount|