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Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM A Canon mount lens review: fixed focal length quality in a zoom?

By Kevin Carter - Tuesday July 16 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | Sigma 18-35mm DC HSM A Canon lens performance | Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 – best performing APS-C zoom in our database | Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM A Canon versus primes | Conclusion

With the introduction of this model, Sigma has the best performing zoom of its type. The DxOMark score of 25 points puts well ahead of both the full-frame Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM and the Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD (though bear in mind those lenses become the equivalent to a 38-112mm on a Canon APS-C body).

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM A Canon79925
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM229920
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Canon169919
Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Canon129919
Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Canon99919
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM249917
Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Canon66916
Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x1180015
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C Canon49915
Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Canon77015
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM Canon89914
Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM Canon46914
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM121014
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM130014
Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 Di II XR VC LD Aspherical IF Canon64914
Tokina AT-X 11-16 PRO DX Canon65914
Tokina AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX Canon84914
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO HSM Canon88014
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II Canon94914
Tokina AT-X 12-24 AF PRO DX Canon40014
 

As for sharpness, the new lens is on a par with the very best performers, matching the $1699 full-frame Tamron SP70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD and the firm’s $999 APS-C format 50-150mm (80-240mm equivalent) f/2.8 EX DC APO HSM model with a 15P-Mpix score on the Canon EOS 700D.

 
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Canon169915
Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Canon99915
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM A Canon79915
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM249914
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM229913
Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x1180012
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM121011
Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 Di II XR VC LD Aspherical IF Canon64911
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C Canon49911
Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Canon129911
Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Canon77011
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Canon46010
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM Canon89910
Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] Canon49910
Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM Canon46910
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM130010
Tokina AT-X 11-16 PRO DX Canon65910
Tokina AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX Canon84910
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO HSM Canon88010
Tokina AT-X PRO SD 11-16 F2.8 IF DX II Canon65510

High-grade, high-speed standard APS-C format zooms compared:

Versus1

Comparing the new Sigma to the firm’s nearest equivalent model, the $670 Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM and Canon’s $1,180 EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM,the high DxOMark Score is appreciably higher, as we’ve seen from the rankings above. While both models have stabilization optics, individual metrics show the new Sigma is significantly sharper than either, has far better transmission (actually +1.66 stop faster than the older Sigma and +2 stops faster the Canon) and has comparable distortion, reasonably low vignetting and very low chromatic aberration.