Earlier this year, Sigma had introduced world’s first f1.8 zoom lens for DSLRs, Sigma 18-35 f1.8 DC HSM “Art”. And even though I had been quite intrigued by the launch of this lens, I had been a bit apprehensive about its performance. However now that my favorite lens review site has managed to review it (you can read the review here), here is my take on this lens.
For starters, it is quite a unique lens and according to Sigma, world’s first f1.8 zoom lens for APS-C DSLRs. Sigma 18-35 f1.8 lens is also quite solidly built and beautiful as well.
However that aside, considering the fairly limited zoom range of Sigma 18-35, it is somewhat positioned as a specialized lens for those who are essentially looking for an indoor group portrait lens, which offers the versatility of a zoom lens and at the same time, delivers the light gathering capabilities, which until now was confined to the world of prime lenses.
Nevertheless, as the review from The Digital Picture demonstrates, it can also be used for landscapes and just about anything else and is surely going to be a real asset for those planning to shoot the night sky, without turning stars into star trails.
However my biggest grouse with Sigma 18-35 f1.8 is the fact that it isn’t wide enough to be used to a great effect in the narrow confines of monuments, monasteries and temples, where its light gathering capabilities can be put to great use. Nonetheless it would be a real asset for those photographers, who are interested in natural light photography at such places and cannot setup tripod due to restrictions placed on tripod usage at most monuments.
In fact, I would love to take this lens on a tour of Ladakh and photograph the indoor environment of the older monasteries, where this lens would really be in its element and would be able to capture all the beautiful and old murals and statues in a light they are meant to be seen in.
Guess I now know the next lens I want to buy, after I get the lovely 70-200L f2.8, even though this will further entrench me in the world of crop sensor DSLRs.