Stay with the Nikkors if for no other reason than they have better resale value. Besides, Nikkor lens coating and durability is superior to any comparable "knockoff". The lens coating on a Nikkor gives it that "contrasty" and sharp effect. If money is of concern then settle for a less expensive Nikkor or get a prime.
Hi there... I'm a proud owner of Nikon 18-35 mm, but I have never tried the Sigma so I cannot really compare those two. The Nikkor 18-35 is very light, and it focuses very fast on my N80 body. Pictures turn out great. About the speed, I don't really need it because I use the lens mostly on daylight, or nighttime using a tripod for taking landscape / city lights pictures. 17mm on Sigma is wider than Nikkor's 18mm, but then again my speedlight (SB-28) can covers only 18mm at the widest. This lens is my favorite travel lens along with the 24-120mm.
George Oei Mechanical Engineering, senior year U.W. Madison
George Oei Madison, WI "Dude, you're getting a Nikkor !!!"
The difference between 17 and 18 mm on the short end is 104 or 100 degrees of view, not that much, really. I haven't used the Sigma, but I know that the Nikon is an extraordinarily sharp variable aperture lens. Test rolls I shot do not show vignetting even wide open, but other reviewers have noted slight vignetting at 18 mm wide open, but not if stopped down 1-2 stops.
Speed is less of an issue with wide-angle lenses, inasmuch as they are frequently used stopped down for maximum depth of field and hyperfocal focusing, and in any event are hand-holdable at slow shutter speeds anyway.
I am very happy with my lens, and would highly recommend it.
#5. "RE: Wide zoom - Nikon or Sigma" | In response to Reply # 0
Wed 28-Mar-01 06:15 PM
I do not know much about the 17 -35, except a friend uses one which may be the same one that you mentioned. The pictures I looked at showed excellent resolution and colour but had less contrast. You should try to check out both lenses using film, it's not that hard to do or time consuming. You will not be disappointed with the Nikkor, in fact you will probably end up being extremely pleased with it, if you buy it. In fact I am so pleased with it that I actually prefer it to my evergreen 20mm AF.
Resolution at the 18mm is what marks it out for me though you will get eye popping sharpness elsewhere. There is some curvature at 18mm when shooting straight lines along all four sides of the frame like a grid pattern and also when lining up a 1/3rd to a 1/5th into the frame close up, otherwise you should get straight lines in all other circumstances. You should certainly be able to get lot of architectural shots without too many mishaps. Another thing to consider is that flare performance is exemplary on the Nikkor, hard to achieve by anyone who makes this type of lens.
Actually, mine shows barrel distortion that's quite obvious at 18mm and is still visible at 24mm. That's not a critical issue for me, but it's not the lens I'd choose for architectural photography (except on occasion). Otherwise, I'm very pleased with the performance.
Since the Sigma is designed to compete with the pro level 2.8 17-35 Nikkor and similar lenses, the build is likely to be more robust than the 18-35 Nikkor (only a deduction on my part, I've never seen the Sigma personally). The 18-35 Nikkor shares the same lightweight polycarbonate construction that didn't earn my respect when I damaged my 24-85 Nikkor in a minor fall. These are not lenses that are designed for pro level use/abuse and they're not built to the durability standards of high-end Nikkors.
It's a trade-off I'm willing to make. I like the light weight and compact design and the optical performance is very good. I'm just very careful when I have this lens mounted.
#12. "RE: Wide zoom - Nikon or Sigma" | In response to Reply # 6
Fri 30-Mar-01 08:01 AM
LAST EDITED ON Mar-30-01 AT 04:06 PM (GMT)
LAST EDITED ON Mar-30-01 AT 12:26 PM (GMT)
There is curvature but mostly under the conditions I have cited. I have shot lots of prosaic architecture with it and have managed to capture its structure in tact though like you I would not use this lens for an architectural assignment but there are very few that could meet those sort of stringent requirements. On aday to day basis I do find this lens does not draw attention to itself like many ultra wide lenses do as far as distortion is concerned, this is commendable. It provides a great sense of sharpness and the ability to pick out tiny details in a jam packed detailed shot, which tends to be the problem with even the very best wide angles.
The color from 18-35 is quite hard and intense. Images become less sharp when aperture <8 (?diffraction). But the worst is ghosting, comes readily when the sun is nearby. The hood is not effective; use your palm.
You may find many tiny granules within the front element which is said to be normal by the Nikon HK.
#14. "RE: Wide zoom - Nikon or Sigma" | In response to Reply # 9
Fri 30-Mar-01 08:38 AM
The 20mm is a great lens but unless you are used to it then you may find this lens limiting as you need to capture a lot of foreground unless use it the way I do and pretend it's a standard lens... lots of moving about but great fun. The 18-35 is not a big zoom but it does have a bigger threadsize, but are you sure you want to judge these things on marginal specs or great picture taking capability? You would have preferred the 18-35, I'm sure...