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Gear Reviews

Sigma Pushing the Limits with Newly Confirmed 18-35 1.8 Lens

By Anthony Thurston on April 17th 2013

Rumors have been flying the last few days about a rumored Sigma 18-35mm with a constant aperture of F1.8. Many of us dismissed this as a pipe dream, Nikon and Canon don’t make 1.8 zoom lenses so why would Sigma be able to do it? At least that was my thinking when I saw it.

Apparently Sigma is having the last laugh in that regard as they apparently confirmed the pending lens announcement to Fstoppers earlier today. In case you don’t know, this is BIG news. This would be the only zoom lens to ever have a constant F1.8 aperture, that’s right – no one else has ever done it.


Wait a minute….. Hold on a Second…. Since when were Sigma innovators? I mean really, Sigma have had the reputation of being a cheap alternative brand to Nikon or Canon. But with the recent release of the highly acclaimed 35mm F1.4, and now this announcement it seems that Sigma is on a mission to change that reputation.

I will hold my thoughts until I see actual results from people testing this lens out. The one caveat to this lens is that is is for crop sensors only – which is no problem for me and my D7000. But those of you who are Full Frame only or don’t have cameras with a Crop mode then this will likely not be much news to you.


Lens Specs

  • Ultrasonic autofocus (HSM)
  • 9 aperture blades
  • Type A (Art), which guarantees quality materials, metal bayonet
  • Filter size: 72mm
  • Minimum aperture: f/16
  • Lens construction: 17 elements in 12 groups
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 0.23x
  • Weight: 810 grams, length: 121mm
  • Angle of view: 76.5 – 44.2°
  • Internal zoom and focusing
  • Minimal focusing distance: 28cm


The guys over at have already had a hands on with this lens (pre-production model). They are unable to post any of the images taken with the lens(pretty standard for pre-production lenses I believe), but they says that the lens is very well built. To quote them directly:

“Focus was quick and silent and the front ring allows full time manual focusing adjustment. With just a brief period of time shooting with the lens, results look impressive with sharp images at both wide and telephoto ends of the lens, and good bokeh performance when using the lens wide open.”

This is great news. Based on this I can say that I am officially exited for this lens with its internal focusing, constant F1.8, stylish design, exceptional build quality, and apparently good image quality I am sold. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these to try out.

Also, Sigma has uploaded their official page for this lens. The MTF charts that they have released look pretty crazy. Its going to be hard for this lens to live up to the hype, but if it does then I think Sigma has struck gold.

What do you guys think about this announcement? Is Sigma crazy or genius?

[via Fstoppers via Nikon Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  3. Ricardo Consonni

    This will be a heavy lens – 800+ grams won’t be your average walk-around lens. I think 35mm (56mm equivalent) is a bit too wide, for me at least. I don’t know what a 17-50mm f/1.8 would be like, but that would be my range choice.

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  4. Piotr Tymcio

    I’m surprised that you are surprised. ;) Sigma changed the appearance and the marking of their lenses and they said in the official press releases that from now on they are going to be leading the industry and not jest deliver cheaper alternatives. I’m just waiting impatiently for them to update their 50mm. :)

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Well sure, but just because someone says they are going to do something doesn’t mean it actually turns out that way. I don’t think any lens manufacturer labels their lenses as “alternatives” they always go by “industry leading blah blah blah”.

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    • Piotr Tymcio

      You’re right. Talking isn’t doing. But it looks like Sigma is not going to just brag about their stuff and deliver instead. :)

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    • Anthony Thurston

      No Arguments there.

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  5. Zach Holz

    my 85 f1.4 Sigma is a beautiful FF lens, I wouldn’t put anything past them!

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  6. Joe Gunawan

    I can’t wait to use this in conjunction with the Metabones SpeedBooster for micro4/3 mount for my GH3 or the BMCC or BMPCC!

    – Joe Gunawan |

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  7. Valmar

    Well, actually Sigma is pretty innovative, remember Sigma 200-500mm f2.8? :)

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    • Anthony Thurston

      lol, I guess. Hopefully this lens won’t come at quite a steep price. haha

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    • Joe Gunawan

      I can definitely see it pricing over $1200. – joe

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I agree, I can easily see this starting around $1500 – maybe even a little higher. Too much higher though and people wont want to spend that much on a crop lens.

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  8. Chris Adval-Photog

    very interested in seeing a price!

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    • Anthony Thurston

      agreed. Most crop sensor shooters are of the low budget variety, so price will be a big tipping point for this lens.

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