Testing the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Against Nikon's f/1.8 Primes

Last year Sigma made history when they released an 18-35mm zoom with a wicked-fast f/1.8 aperture. Up until then, the fastest wide-to-normal zoom you could get for your crop-sensor camera was something in the neighborhood of a 17-55mm f/2.8 (more than a full stop slower than the current offering from Sigma). In this video from The Camera Store TV, the new Sigma glass is tested against Nikon's fabulous f/1.8G wide-angle prime lineup.

TL;DR

Focus speed: Draw. Focus speed on both was always right around half a second.

Sharpness Wide Open: Slight edge goes to Sigma, especially in terms of corner sharpness.

OOF Elements: Some Nikons performed well, including the 28mm; but the Sigma produced consistently more pleasing out-of-focus elements.

Price: This is no contest: the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 A comes in at around $800 in the states while the Nikon primes (20mm, 28mm, and 35mm) will each cost you $800, $700, and $500 respectively.

Other considerations: The Sigma is a crop-sensor-only lens. This may or may not be a deterrent to you depending on what you shoot, what gear you have, and where you see yourself going photographically. The Nikon primes don't have this issue and are compatible with full-frame bodies.

So what do you think? If you use a crop sensor body, would you shell out for the Nikon Primes or opt for the Sigma 18-35?

 

[Via The Camera Store TV]

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9 Comments

Justin Haugen's picture

What will it take to see a 1.8 zoom for full frame cameras? I changed over to primes last year because I was sick of shooting at 2.8 even with Image Stabilization which matters little when your subjects are moving. I hope this motivates Canon/Nikon or maybe Sigma can make it happen.

Austin Rogers's picture

It'll take a lot of money and a lot of weight! :) Here's to hoping the Sigma 24-70 f/2 becomes a reality. That'd have a lot of people rethinking their lens choices!

Karl-Filip Karlsson's picture

Yeah! Sigma 24-70 come to papa! when that one come i can sell all my nikkor prime lens :P except 85mm :)

Andrew Griswold's picture

I have been on the fence with the 18-35 by Sigma for some time. Having it close to the 800 range I am still more tempted in grabbing a 30 1.4 art that Sigma offers as my all around lens I look to do a majority of my projects with. Lets see how long that lasts! Ha Thanks for the info man

Austin Rogers's picture

Right on! I've heard nothing but good things about that 30mm, too.

Andrew Griswold's picture

Cant wait to run it through the paces. Booked a portrait shoot next week and currently have no lenses so...hope that sucker comes quick! Ha

Anonymous's picture

For me the main reason to use prime is the fine contrast in darks and highlights .. there is much more detail in this parts .

It is nonsense! They should compare DX Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 with FX 24-70 f/2.8 - it is +/- equal.

I can't help it....did anyone notice the bear??