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 Canon 799 25
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM 2299 20
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Canon 1699 19
Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Canon 1299 19
Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Canon 999 19
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 2499 17
Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Canon 669 16
Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x 11800 15
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C Canon 499 15
Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Canon 770 15
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM Canon 899 14
Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM Canon 469 14
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM 1210 14
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM 1300 14
Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 Di II XR VC LD Aspherical IF Canon 649 14
Tokina AT-X 11-16 PRO DX Canon 659 14
Tokina AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX Canon 849 14
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO HSM Canon 880 14
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II Canon 949 14
Tokina AT-X 12-24 AF PRO DX Canon 400 14
 

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 Canon 1699 15
Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Canon 999 15
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM A Canon 799 15
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 2499 14
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM 2299 13
Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x 11800 12
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM 1210 11
Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 Di II XR VC LD Aspherical IF Canon 649 11
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C Canon 499 11
Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Canon 1299 11
Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Canon 770 11
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Canon 460 10
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM Canon 899 10
Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] Canon 499 10
Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM Canon 469 10
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM 1300 10
Tokina AT-X 11-16 PRO DX Canon 659 10
Tokina AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX Canon 849 10
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO HSM Canon 880 10
Tokina AT-X PRO SD 11-16 F2.8 IF DX II Canon 655 10

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

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.