Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM. The First And Fastest Zoom.

August 29, 20136 Comments

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM


To say I’m a little excited about this lens is an understatement. I’m so stocked I had to write about it in order to get my feelings out! I ave seen and read enough on the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM that yes! I had to buy one. I dont have it because the darn thing is on backorder now. I had a feeling this one was going to be popular but I held off and now it looks like weeks before I get my hands on my copy. This lens is going to fit in perfect with what I have now. I like like fast lenses and if you want fast ones they have to primes. The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM is a f1.8 CONSTANT aperture ZOOM! The first ever made! Way to go Sigma! The lens is APS-C so basically s35 and that’s great if you’re a C100, C300 shooter. This gives you 27mm-52.5mm on 35mm camera. I just got my fast 50mm and I get all of it not a cropped version. So very cool! Oh and did I mention it cost $800. Somebody pinch me! This cant be right! I really want to see the bokeh on this lens. It has 9 blades. Not bad. I would have paid more if they added a couple more. I wish Sigma put a manual iris along side the electronic one. Lots of Nikon lenses have this and it’s handy if you want tho use the lens on a non-Canon camera. Come on Metabones! Make that EF to MFT electronic SpeedBooster! Check out my post on Which Lenses Should I Buy For The C100, C300. I actually took my own advice. ūüôā

Sigma USB dock

Sigma USB dock


The lens can be updated with a USB dock that is sold separate for about $60. That’s not so cheap, so I will wait for this accessory. I like Sigma found a way to update the lens. Usually you have to use a camera system to do this.

Just The Facts.


  • 17 elements in 12 groups
  • Minimum aperture: F16
  • Filter size: 72mm
  • Angle of view (SD1): 76.5-Degrees – 44.2-Degrees
  • Minimum focusing distance: 28cm/11.0in.
  • Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 78mm x 121.0mm/3.1in. x 4.8in.
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 9 (Rounded diaphragm)
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 1:4.3

Sigma’s Art line delivers high-level artistic quality.

Sigma is organizing all its interchangeable lenses into three product lines; Contemporary, Art and Sports. Designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power, the Art line delivers high-level artistic expression. Developed with the maximum emphasis on artistic touch, they are designed to meet the expectations of users who value a creative, dramatic outcome above compactness and multifunction. Along with landscapes, portraits, still-life, close-up and casual snaps, they are perfect for the kind of photography that unleashes the inner artist. Ideal for studio photography, they offer just as much expressive scope when capturing architecture, starry skies, underwater shots and many other scenes.

Excellent Usability.

A zoom lens is very convenient as it offers various angles of view just by rotating the zoom ring. However, the down side was that no zoom lens ever offered a faster aperture than f2.8 which led photographers to select fixed focal length lenses for brighter images. While the aperture value of prime lenses is superior to zoom lenses, their field of view is always the same, and therefore it was always necessary to carry many fixed focal length lenses. SIGMA 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM is a next generation lens that can deliver images at f1.8 aperture throughout its focal length. The bright viewfinder is very helpful for checking the focus and composition of the image. If it is compared with a lens of F2.8, the faster shutter speed and the shallow depth of field of F1.8 further expands creativity. From wide to standard range this lens offers the excellent versatility and performance of multiple
fixed focal length lenses.

Fruit of cutting edge technology.

To achieve a wide zoom lens with a maximum aperture of f1.8, various technical problems need to be overcome. As the aperture value gets larger, the depth of focus becomes shallower, thus it makes the lens design extremely complicated in order to compensate for various distortions, such as spherical, axial chromatic and astigmatic aberration along with curvature of field. In order to compensate for astigmatic aberration across the entire focal range, Sigma has relied on the experience and know how gained when designing their super wide angle zoom lenses such as SIGMA12-24mm F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM and SIGMA 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM. In addition, the technological innovation at our Aizu factory also contributes to better lens production. It has enabled
Sigma to develop a wide glass-molded aspheric lens, and the incorporation of SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass has optimized power distribution of the optical elements and compensated for various aberrations as well as curvature of field at the widest angle. Thanks to their knowledge of lens design accumulated over a long period of time, plus the latest lens manufacturing techniques, SIGMA has finally made the dream of a zoom lens with F1.8 throughout its entire focal range come true.

Convenient handling.

Convenient handling is achieved by incorporating internal focusing and zooming which prevents any change in the length of the lens when focusing and zooming. It is possible to use a specialist filter, such as a Circular Polarizer, as the front part of the lens does not rotate.

Designed to minimize flare and ghosting.

Flare and ghosting were thoroughly measured and monitored from an early stage in the lenses development to establish an optical design which is resistant to strong incidental light such as backlight. The Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting and provides sharp and high contrast images even in backlit conditions. Attaching the matched petal type hood, which is supplied,
will provide extra protection from flare and ghosting.

Minimum focusing distance of 28cm.

With a minimum focusing distance of 28cm and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.3, this lens is excellent for close-up photography.

Hyper Sonic Motor.

The HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) ensures a silent, high-speed AF function. Optimizing AF algorithm, smoother AF is achieved. It also enables full-time manual focusing capability which allows sensible focus adjustment by simply rotating the focus ring.

Incorporating Rounded diaphragm.

The 9 blade rounded diaphragm creates an attractive round bokeh at large-aperture settings.

Design concept.

This product line incorporates rubber for the attachment part of the provided lens hood. For better usability, the designs of the lens cap and AF/MF changeover switch have been improved. In order to ensure high accuracy of the product, all metallic parts and the new compound material, TSC (Thermally Stable Composite), which has a high affinity to metal parts, are housed internally. On the lens barrel, the last three digits of its release year are engraved so the lens can be identified according to the year of its launch.

Brass made bayonet mount.

This lens incorporates a brass made bayonet mount which has both high accuracy and durability. A special treatment to reinforce its strength is applied to the surface giving it greater strength and making it highly resistant to long-term use.

Newly developed “USB DOCK”.

Attaching the lens to an optional USB DOCK plugged to your computer and using dedicated software “SIGMA Optimization Pro”, you can update the lens firmware and adjust parameters such as focus.

I cant wait, or I guess I have to to get the Sigma. I currently have the Rokinon 35mm, 85mm cine and Canon 24-105, 70-200 f4 non IS. This fits perfect in my lineup and it’s fast. I will post a full review when the lens arrives.

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About the Author ()

I'm a broadcast DP In San Diego. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on and testing new equipment. This blog is also part of giving back. I've learned so much from so many people.

Comments (6)

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  1. Erik,
    If they came out with a dock, that may mean that future lenses with the same USB port are in the pipeline. Maybe…
    Waiting for your hands-on first impressions.


  2. Mike Chenoweth says:

    Will be interesting to see comparisons between this and the Rokinon 35 – Hope you’re up to the task! ūüėČ

  3. Mark Val says:

    Thank you for the great write up. Thanks to you I’m about to press the buy button on this gem. Just a quick question. Does the c100’s one shot autofocus work on this lens?

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