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Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM (Art)

Sharpness 
 9.7
Aberrations 
 9.0
Bokeh 
 8.5
Autofocus 
 6.7
Handling 
 8.2
Value 
 8.5
Reviews Views Date of last review
29 73,683 Thu April 12, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
93% of reviewers $757.07 8.70
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM (Art)

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM (Art)
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Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM (Art)
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Description:

The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 is the world's first F1.8 zoom lens for the APS-C image format.  It started shipping in late 2013 with Canon and Nikon mounts.  The Pentax version hit the shelves in July, 2014.

This lens incorporates a wide glass molded aspherical lens with Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass to compensate for aberrations and curvature at the widest field of view. The lens has internal focusing as well as internal zooming. The 18-35mm is ideal for landscape photography, snap shots and casual photography. The lens has a built-in HSM autofocus motor and no provision for screw-drive autofocus.


Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM (Art)
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades (rounded)
Optics
17 elements, 12 groups
Mount Variant
KAF3
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.8
Min. Aperture
F16
Focusing
AF (in-lens motor)
HSM
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
28 cm
Max. Magnification
0.23x
Filter Size
72 mm
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 76.5-44.2 ° / 66.7-37.4 °
Hood
Included
Case
Lens Cap
Included
Coating
Multi-coated
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
AF/MF Switch
Diam x Length
78x121 mm (3.07x4.76 in.)
Weight
811 g (28.6 oz.)
Production Years
2014 to present (in production)
Pricing
$799 USD current price
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review

Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM (Art)
In-Depth Review: Read our Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM (Art) in-depth review!
Price: $799
Mount Type: Pentax KAF3 (in-lens AF only)
Price History:



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Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Trail, BC
Posts: 319

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 12, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, virtually no CA, f1.8
Cons: A little heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K5   

I was a little nervous buying this lens after all the reports of poor auto-focus performance, but as my main reason for purchasing it was for astrophotography where I would be using manual focus anyway, I wasn't too concerned.

Suffice to say my copy of the lens, bought from a forum member used, has never given me any auto-focus issues at all. For astro work it performs excellently with little obvious coma and the bright f/1.8 aperture makes using live view for framing the shot a breeze.

For landscape work I love this lens. I have two K5's and it stays on one of them almost full time. It is big and a little heavy, but I have never found it to be a problem.

Overall, I am very happy with this lens. It really is like a prime lens from 18mm to 35mm.
   
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 84
Lens Review Date: December 28, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $470.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: The best image quality from any lens I have ever used, Unusually sharp at wide appertures, Great build quality, Great value when compared to many Pentax lenses
Cons: Autofocus unprecise when using the viewfinder (on my camera), not weather sealed, fairly big and heavy (not your typical walk-around lens)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-70   

The best image quality from any lens I have ever used.

Main drawback:
(On my camera) Only Live view AF gives me (very) reliable results at wide apertures.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: December 5, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:
New or Used: New   

Just received my lens

It appears that used with central collimator for AF there's no AF problems with my k-50

I use central collimator as i had problems with the 18-55Wr kit lens : it was blurring 50% of the time.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Christchurch NZ
Posts: 12

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 31, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Set of primes
Cons: A little heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5/KS2   

I like to shoot with primes. Have been unable to find a good 24mm prime
This seemed to fill that spot with the bonus of having a 20 a 28 and 35 as well.
It's hardly a zoom but I didn't want that.
So far I have had little or no focussing issues. At any length or aperture.

A tip that may help.
I also have a Sigma 50-150mm MkII
Pretty similar construction with a broad focus ring at the front. And heavy!!
Had focus problems with that until I realised that because of the weight, I was supporting the lens at
the front. All too easy to either inadvertently hold the focus ring or nudge it. result --> de-focussed.

Once that lesson was learned, virtually no focussing problems.
I applied that to this 18-35mm.
Maybe I have just been lucky and have a "good" copy -- who knows?

I have used this in Fog, Rain, near darkness, pointed at buildings, mountains, close ups.
It just never seems to fail.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2017
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 23, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Extreme fast lens from 18 to 35mm
Cons: Autofocus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K3II   

Carefull! You buy an art lens. Thats what it is! This glass is an high end construction, 1.8 overall! That gives you the possibility to cut out objects at the wide end of the glass. I do not know another zoom lens with this characteristics. And in my opinion its sharp from 1.8. And a bit stopped down, its more sharp than Pentax DA 20 - 40mm.
But because of its very own construction, it has a few problems. The main Problem is the AF. My first glass was at the sigma service center for two times. For the third time, i got a completely new one - it works. Not perfectly, but it works. Unluckily you NEED the AF. I tried to work manually, but it is nearly impossible to get sharp immages if you work with the optical view finder at 1.8 or 2.2. Live view mode works without a problem, but that is not the reason why i decided for a reflex camera!
But another big point for me is its value. If you have it in hands first time, you get a big smile in your face. Its just a dream to work with this lens. There is nothing comparable.
If you have the money, try it! If you need something reliable, leave it.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2017
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: May 9, 2017 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $660.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Described in the review
Cons: Described in the review
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 4    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2   

The lens is pretty sharp overall. However at f/1.8 the lens is not sharp. The aperture should not be wider than f/2.0. At f/2.0 and above the images are sharp. I am disappointed with the aperture in this lens. It has 9 rounded blades, but the aperture hole is not round, and it is not in the center of the lens. The aperture hole has a deformed shape. I have not noticed any aberrations on this lens, which is good. The bokeh is average on this lens, mainly due to the deformed aperture. The bokeh-balls are not round with this lens. Many people have complained with the autofocus on this lens, but I have not had any major problem with its autofocus. The autofocus motor is absolutely quiet on this lens. The only problem I have with the autofocus is when I have sunlight in front of me, then the autofocus focuses in front of the subject. The lens is beautifully built on the outside. The zoom-ring is nice on this lens. The focus-ring is only for decoration in my opinion. It is not very useful; it has a short throw and it has too much friction (feels like it gildes on paper). The lens-hood and the lens-bag that comes with the lens are very nice.

The lens is good, but the price is just too high. I would have recommended it if it had a lower price. Somethings are just not acceptable at this price, like the aperture. At this price I expect more.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2011
Posts: 1,688

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 24, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 1 

 
Pros: resolution, if ever focussed ok
Cons: autofocus is lottery, no advantage over faster, lighter prime
Sharpness: 8    Bokeh: 3    Autofocus: 1    Handling: 1    Value: 2    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

The one pro:
  • Yes, if anybody gets the lens to ever autofocus ok the technical resolution is very good wide open.
The cons:
  • poor color rendering quality
  • low size quality
  • low weight quality
  • low plastic build quality
  • focus throw not good for manual focussing
  • short end too long for a "wide" lens, should be 16mm
  • long end too short
  • it is basically a manual focus lens, because you can't really call Sigmas implementation "autofocus". Three lenses tried, none would focus correctly more than 30% of the time.
Probably the most superfluous lens ever made.


You want a fast lens? Buy a prime which is faster, lighter, cheaper.
You want flexibility? Buy something with 3x to 5x zoom, not the limited options of this one
You want a wide lens? Buy a 24mm equivalent 16mm or less.
You want a long lens? 35mm?

You want fastness for DoF? Really? Make portraits with fat noses at 18-35mm?


It can not replace a prime.
It can not replace a kit 18-55 zoom.
It is poor for portraits.
It poor for wide angle shots.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 216

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 24, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp,color,bokeh, good and stable autofocus
Cons: not very fast autofocus
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: 5iis   

I am very happy to have this lens -best choice for APC camera!! Autofocus work very good with my K-5iis ( but i have lots problem with pentax lens )
   
Junior Member

Registered: February, 2009
Posts: 42

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 17, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: SHARP, F1.8 throughout focal range, solid build quality
Cons: focusing issues, size/weight, not weathersealed
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 7    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K7, K5ii   

Focusing problems

As with many copies of this lens, mine suffers from noticeable front-focusing problems (Please read for more details: https://www.pentaxforums.com/articles/review-news/sigma-18-35mm-autofocus-a-second-look.html) on my K10d, K7, and K5ii. The 'in-focus' is consistently off through the viewfinder but not through live-view mode. I have not attempted to adjust the focus yet until I pinpoint the exact situations where I 'miss' the shot. Thus far, I've adapted by aiming slightly 'behind' my point of focus. Not the most desirable solution but I am still enjoying the wonderfully sharp photos that I can produce which are slightly outweighing the cons at the moment.

General Impression

This lens is a master of trade-offs. If you are used to the size and weight of the lovely DA limited primes, you WILL notice the weight of this lens as a negative. The tradeoff is with it with the extremely sharp photos and F1.8 throughout the entire focal range. I've also noticed this lens consistently overexposes and requires me to dial in -0.7 EV to compensate. These are quirks that I have decided I can live with because of the tack-sharp images I keep producing.The HSM focusing is also fast and silent compared to my old screw drive lenses which have scared away some of my 'pet' subjects. This lens has usurped the Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 as the default travel lens that I have mounted on my gripped Pentax dslrs. I have only traveled with this lens a few times but have also begun to notice how the size and weight of this lens effectively cancelled out the 'small dslr' niche that Pentax had going for it for the longest time. Perhaps time and in old age, my opinion of what I am willing to live with will change.

Some example photos:





The Take Home

I think there are enough of these lenses out in the wild to confirm this lens is a hit or miss. More often than not, copies will have focusing issues. I bought mine used after waiting to see how prices would settle from the initial announcement, to launch, to when the frequency of reported focusing issues was enough to know the focusing problem was a common one. My purchase price was significantly lower than new ($760 CDN used v ~$1200 new) clearly reflects that the market is adjusting to reflect the focusing-issue tradeoff.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: May 3, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $590.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Ultra-fast aperture; crispy sharp; well build
Cons: quite heavy and big; not WR
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K30; K3II   

I thought about this lens for almost a year. Especially looking forward to you it for Milky Way Photography or in low light situations without a tripod.

And finally I got it and definitely can't say I wouldn't love it. It's the lens I use most, it doesn't go off the camera very often although it's not quite universal with its only 2x zoom. But for most of the things I do that's just alright.
The open aperture of 1.8 has been the main reason for me to buy this lens. And what can I say? It's just unrivaled! Sharper than many primes and 18,20,24,28,30,35mm just in one single lens. I really love it. Not only at night, also at day it's my favorite because of the excellent sharpness.
The only thing I have to complain about a bit is the autofocus. It's perfectly fine at close distances or stopped down but open and more than 5m from the object I always have to correct the AF manually.
That's a pity but doesn't help me come away from that lens. I'm simply addicted to it!
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2014
Location: Boden
Posts: 113

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 17, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $699.56 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast, Sharp, Build Quality, Bokeh
Cons: Weight, Slow Autofocus, and lack of Weather Sealing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-5 IIs   

This lens is a Tank, it weighs about a pound (800g), and holding this for half the day can be tiresome, the balance point with the IIs is directly under the zoom ring and is comfortable.

The weight aside, this lens is super sharp from f:1.8 through 16, I bought this lens for Aurora work, but have not taken it off the body yet for the month I have owned it.

The AF can be a little slow, but is (mostly) accurate. For Astro work I have always used MF, during the day or inside, there have been no major issues with the AF.

One gripe I do have is that it lacks Weather Sealing.





   
Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Luxembourg
Posts: 4,090

11 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 18, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $605.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, Sharp, Bokeh
Cons: Little bit heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5 II s, K-1   





























1/20 F1.8 2500 ISO = 1Ev


Addemdum

I must say that I totally disagree with beholder3's review.
It is a fabulous and cheap lens !
It is super sharp, bokeh is fantastic, AF is good and the rest is blabla.

Here are examples with my K-1. Yes you can use it in FF mode from 28mm to 35mm at F1.8 !!!

Click on the photos to see them larger !











































View all my 18-35 photos
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Iasi
Posts: 14
Lens Review Date: August 2, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $776.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Built quality, Price tag
Cons: AF speed, Weight, No weather sealing, Shock sensitive
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3 II   

This lens feels like a tank in your hands, and it's pretty well built, meaning it doesn't have that cheap plastic feel. It does feel like a pro lens. Still, the same old Sigma caveat... You bang it on something, even just a little bit, bye bye focus accuracy. Good luck calibrating it with the USB dock.

The zoom ring and focus ring are perfectly balanced and damped.

The hood secures nicely on the lens, looks good and does a great job cutting flare.

The pinch in lens cap is HORRIBLE. Every time I try to put it on is a nightmare, I can't get it in unless I look at the lens like a beginner. After fitting it in, I think I got it the next time... Nope. Next time will be the same story.

Optically, this lens is on par with some of the best pro lenses from Canon or Nikon that I've used before. I wish Sigma would release an entire family of APSC lenses of this quality, especially primes in the telephoto range.

Weather sealing would have made this lens perfect, and an extra $50 - 80 would have probably been gladly spent by everyone for a mount gasket and a couple others it the right places.

Bokeh is reasonably good, but not impressive in any way. It's a wide angle / mid range zoom for APSC after all, asking for more would be unfair. I am actually surprised of how many owners of this lens expect it to behave like the equivalent of a 50mm F1.8 on full frame.
APSC means you multiply the focal length AND the aperture by the crop factor, so 35/1.8 is more like 52.5/2.7, which should render good bokeh...but id doesn't. Not that good anyway. The Pentax HD 70/2.4 is WAY more impressive in both focus speed and bokeh quality, but then again, that one is almost a telephoto lens.

Last but not least, the excessively debated autofocus "issue". Here's my experience with this lens.
Out of the box, the lens performed very slow but very good focusing on any target at any distance. To be fair, I wasn't expecting more than 85 - 90% of in focus shots anyway from a Sigma lens, and that's a very good percentage for any good lens, especially in the wide and mid range focal length. This Sigma is no exception.
I was surprised of how quiet the autofocus is. I had to put my ear close to the lens a few times to hear if it's doing anything or not, while pushing the AF button on my K-3 II.
The unexpected has unfortunately happened. Sitting on the right front seat of my car, at a hard break the camera flew into my glovebox door, lens hood ahead. Bye bye autofocus accuracy. I haven't tested enough yet, but now the front and back focusing are random at different focal lengths. It will take me days to try to calibrate it with the bundled USB dock I received, and there's no guarantee it will be as good as new. I might have to send it to Sigma anyway.
This is my third Sigma to behave like that from a minor shock. My 50/1.4 EX was almost unusable on my ex-Canon 5D mk II because I dropped it on the table from less than 3 inches height.
So there. Take good care of your Sigmas because they are very sensitive to shocks.

All in all, a great achievement for the Sigma team in the APSC field. There have been firmware updates for this lens for Nikon and Canon, but nothing for Pentax... A bit disappointing.
I did have higher expectations from this lens in regards to robustness and autofocus, but given the price tag, I'll give it a thumb up since the optical performance is very good. IF you get a good sample and nurture it like a newborn baby.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: November, 2014
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: June 10, 2015 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: sharp
Cons: autofocusing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 1    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-50   

Pentax K-50 + Sigma 18-35 F1,8
Autofocus Problem
Also tested with K-5, K-3
To f/3,2 AF good. From f/3,5 front-focusing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0FBL1uHeCY

German Service:
"Lens checked; focusing checked; The lens meets Sigma factory standarts. (note, such phenomenon may occur due to the Hyperfocal distance, however, that is no fault of the lens)"
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2013
Location: Lometa, TX
Posts: 402

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 9, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $799.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build,Sharp, 1.8
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K3   

I do not know if I just got a good copy , but I have had NO AF problems with this lens other than a miss once in a while. I use the 35mm back button focus and then zoom to 18, etc., method suggested here on the Forum and I get TACK sharp focus also I really have not had problems at the 18mm end. I have used live view focusing and AF and my copy works very, very good. I do manual focus also and I can't praise the IQ enough. The lens does get a bit heavy compared to other 35mm lenses, also I would recommend using the grip although it does add a little more weight it is easier to hold on to. I have not removed this lens since I received it (I have two bodies) as in my opinion this lens TRULY is a box of primes. One more negative I have I forgot to mention is Flaring, it is there and can be a nuisance but if you use a GOOD cpl filter (coated like a B + W or a Marumi) the nuisance is gone.
I have changed my review after months of use. This lens Rocks !
Add Review of Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM (Art) Buy the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM (Art)



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