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Lens Reviews

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Review

Jan Stimel (photocyan)

Keywords: sigma, nikkor, comparison

Introduction: The bad attitude

In the past, when I was working in a photo store, the aversion towards other than original lenses (especially Sigma) was really overwhelming. A common malady of these lenses was that the same lens types differed from piece to piece and sometimes fell apart after half year of usage. An internal joke was that every Sigma lens purchase should include some free instant glue. These lenses also had issues with back-focus. Not to mention the fact that older Sigma lenses had to be re-chipped to work with newer digital SLRs. I have seen a lot of frustrated customers so you can imagine my attitude towards this specific brand. This was ten years ago.

afternoon in the park
A Sunday afternoon in the city park – shot with Sigma 18-35mm

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bill keane (billD80) on June 18, 2014

This is a truly beaut lens, and the USB dock is an ideal accessory. The only downside is the front cap. Mine popped off, so I got the much better Nikon one.

Jan Stimel (photocyan) on June 17, 2014

Hi Christian, you are right, it is clearly a typo :-) Thank you for thoroughly reading my article, it is already corrected.

Mike Banks (unclemikey) on June 16, 2014

Jan, thanks for taking the time to do all the work with the Sigma 18-35. I have been on the fence for some time regarding this glass but now I think I'll pull the trigger. I'm not much of a prime lens user at my age, zooms make things easier. Certainly some primes are a must for some applications but for general journalism you prove this is a fine instrument to add to any kit.

H.-Christian Theussl (hct) on June 16, 2014

Thank for the review. Very interesting. Just wanted to ask: are these typing errors on page 2 at "...Stepped down to aperture f/1.4 it is unstoppable in terms of quality: no visible vignetting, no unpleasant purple lines but a crisp and vigorous image from the center to the corners. It beats the fixed focus Nikkor 35mm and the Nikkor 17-55mm. The Nikkor 35mm seems to be less sharp at f/1.4, ...". There you wrote two times f/1.4 Should it not read f/4? Christian (Vienna)

David Soderlund (DaveSoderlund) on June 15, 2014

Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest

Great review, thank you! This lens moves to the top of my wish list... Dave

Jan Stimel (photocyan) on June 13, 2014

Hi John, thank you for your remark about the backfocus. It is still an issue and a hot topic in several internet discussions about Sigma lenses. Good to hear about the successful "operation", to set up the focus on a zoom lens can be a tricky job. The USB Dock itself is not very expensive, I think it costs about $60, and it's good to obtain one, especially if the camera lacks the AF-fine tuning as you mentioned.

Wes Pittman (jwstl) on June 12, 2014

I own this lens but almost returned it because I couldn't get a sharp image on either my D7100 or D7000...especially when shooting at or near wide open. Instead of returning it, I did some tests and found the lens to be severely back focusing. With some adjustments, I am now happy with the lens. I do recommend that when you buy it be sure to get the Sigma USB Dock so you can adjust focus. The dock isn't required if you have a body with AF-Fine Tune but, in my opinion, is essential for those without that feature.