We spent the weekend with a close-to-final prototype of the new Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 lens
We were quite excited when we first caught wind of Sigma's made new 18-35mm f/1.8 lens for APS-C sensor DSLR's. It's new territory in a land of zooms that typically max out at F/2.8.And iIt really could be a game changer in the fight between full-frame and crop-sensor cameras.
We spent the weekend with a fairly-close-to-final prototype of the 18-35mm f/1.8 and our initial impressions of it were quite positive. The lens itself is a member of Sigma's Art Series, and, like all their other Art Series lenes, it offers really beautiful build-quality and attention to detail, in terms of materials and finish. The zoom and focus ring both also provide a nice amount of damping, for smooth steady turning. The lens itself weighs about the same as a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8, and is about the same size as well (just a bit taller). However, for full impressions of how the lens functioned, you'll have to wait until we get a final version that we can run through our test lab. For now, check out the 20 sample images in the gallery at the right.
A few notes about those images: They were all shot with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i as RAW files. They were then converted to full-res JPG's (in the sRGB color-space) using Adobe Lightroom 4. Each image offers a link to a full-res view. I should also note that some slight exposure adjustments were made here and there for your viewing pleasure, although none more than a quarter of a stop.
Note: You may notice that the few images shoot wide open at f/1.8, zoomed out to 18mm appear to be extremely soft. As far as we can tell, this is due to the prototype nature of the lens. Again, as soon as we have a final version for testing, we will update you.