Although we’ve yet to see Nikon respond, Sigma’s new 18-35mm f1.8 DC HSM A was a disruptive influence in the market, and for very good reason. Not only is it the fastest zoom available for DX format models it’s also one of the best performers. In fact, of the models tested on the D5300 it’s the best corrected. Peak sharpness is 18-P-Mpix on the D5300 and an excellent performance for an ultra high-speed model.
|Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM A Nikon||799||29||18|
|Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Nikon||999||24||18|
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II||2699||23||16|
|Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Nikon||1699||23||16|
|Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM S Nikon||3599||21||17|
|Sigma APO 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Nikon||2449||21||16|
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR||1399||21||14|
|Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II Nikon||949||21||13|
|Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Nikon||1299||21||11|
|Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Nikon||669||20||15|
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED||2000||20||15|
|Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM Nikon||1699||20||14|
|Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED||1800||20||13|
|Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC Macro HSM Nikon||419||20||12|
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED||750||20||11|
|Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 Di II XR VC LD Aspherical IF Nikon||649||19||14|
|Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Nikon||459||19||13|
|Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM Nikon||899||19||13|
|Tokina AT-X 11-16 PRO DX Nikon||659||19||12|
|Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED||1329||19||10|
Sigma also features in second place with the highly regarded DX format only 50-150mm f2.8 EX DC Apo OS HSM achieving a DxOMark score of 24 points, and the same peak 18P-Mpix sharpness as the 18-35mm. It’s quite possible to just buy these two lenses for the D5300 and cover 95% of what general-purpose photography requires.
In third place is Nikon’s AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8G ED VR II, the full-frame equivalent to the previously mentioned Sigma 50-150mm f2.8. Although it’s a great performer you’ve really got to need the focal length range as it’s big and heavy. It’s also not cheap at $2,699, though as the equivalent to a stabilized 100-300mm f2.8, it’s certainly an attractive enough option.
If you have a new Nikon D5300 and a favorite lens, we would very much like to hear from you. Please leave a comment below, stating what lens it is and why you like it.