Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM lens review: Make your APS-C dSLR feel like it's full-frame

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.1
  • Design: 9.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0
  • Image quality: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM lens currently occupies a unique spot as a wide-aperture zoom lens built specifically for APS-C mounts. It has a great build quality and delivers excellent photo quality.

The Bad Lacks optical stabilization.

The Bottom Line As long as it stays at a sub-$1,000 price, the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM lens will be a great deal for photographers using APS-C dSLRs.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

Fact of life: fast lenses are expensive, and fast zoom lenses are expensive and heavy. While we can't do anything about its bulk, as long as Sigma's $799 price for its 18-35mm f1.8 doesn't rise to the $1,160 currently in strikethrough type on Sigma's Web site, this lens will remain a great bargain for serious photographers shooting with an APS-C camera.

The lens, which bears Sigma's "A" branding for its arty lenses -- marketing-speak for wide-aperture -- has the same excellent build quality as its 35mm f1.4 full-frame lens (which, at a current price of $899, is also a great deal). It uses all-metal construction with well-damped, rubberized focus and zoom rings and an easy-to-feel and operate focus mode switch.

Yes, it's heavy, but I love the feel of Sigma's A series lenses. It overbalances light cameras like the Rebel series a bit, but are a great match for the slightly heftier EOS models like the 60D (and the forthcoming 70D) as well as the 7D.

It's not a particularly feature-rich lens -- aside from the manual/auto focus switch there's a distance readout window for the manual focus and focal-length indicators for the zoom ring, but that's about it. I know it's rare to have optical image stabilization in wide-angle lenses (and many manufacturers will tell you it's unnecessary), but I really would like it. If you shoot video without a rig, it's essential. Of course, this isn't an issue for Sony bodies that use sensor-shift stabilization. It's also supported by Sigma's optional USB dock, which allows you to manage and configure lenses and firmware updates.

Editors' Top PicksSee All


Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Quick Specifications See All

  • Lens Aperture f/1.8
  • Weight 28.6 oz