One of the best-loved wide-aperture crop-sensor standard zooms on the market, the SIGMA 18-35mm combines the optical performance and constant F1.8 aperture of a prime lens with the versatility of a zoom. With a full-frame equivalent focal length of 27-52mm, the lens has a wide-angle to a standard focal range, which makes it a highly versatile optic that can be used for a wide range of photo and video applications.
Its unusually wide aperture makes it easy to achieve a shallow depth-of-field, and easy to use hand-held in low light conditions. It’s considered by many film-makers as an absolutely must-have lens owing to its sharp optics, relatively compact size, F1.8 aperture, and fast and quiet AF. In addition, its inner focusing and inner zoom mechanisms, which keep the centre of balance relatively constant, make the 18-35mm ideal for use on a gimbal as rebalancing isn’t required when zooming.
The exceptional build quality of the 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM is exactly as you’d expect from an Art-line lens, including in the materials used, the overall ergonomics and the quality of craftsmanship.
The exterior barrel is made of a polycarbonate called Thermally Stable Composite (TSC). Not only is this very strong and light, but it has a similar thermal expansion rate to aluminium. This ensures that the interior aluminium parts and the exterior TSC parts behave in a consistent way as temperatures change.
The focus and zoom rings have sharply-ribbed rubberised covers for easier operation, and the action on both is very smooth for more precise control.
To reduce flare and ghosting in bright sun, and to help protect the front element from damage if dropped, the lens has a robust, removable petal-type lens hood.
The durable brass mount is surrounded by a rubber seal to help keep out dust and moisture.
Precision brass mount with seal
Protects against dust and moisture.
Made from a strong and light polycarbonate that behaves in a similar way to aluminium.
The SIGMA 18-35mm produces images with outstanding optical quality, with excellent rendering of detail across the whole frame even wide open at F1.8.
The lens has an advanced optical design made up of 17 elements in 12 groups, including 4 aspherical elements and 4 SLD elements. This ensures razor-sharp results and helps to eliminate chromatic aberration, flare, distortion and vignetting.
Advanced optical coatings reduce flare and ghosting when working in bright direct sunlight, creating high-contrast images with excellent colour saturation and strong blacks.
Owing to its constant F1.8 aperture across the whole zoom range, the 18-35mm is a superb lens for all types of low-light photography. It is a popular tool for wedding photographers and videographers, who need to be able to shoot hand-hand indoors without much available light. It’s also a good lens for astrophotography owing to its-light collection ability.
The wide aperture means a shallow depth-of-field that helps to separate the subject from the foreground or background.
Crop sensor camera owners have the choice of two standard lenses in the Art range. The 30mm has a fixed focal length but a wider F1.4 aperture, whereas the 18-35mm F1.8 has zoom flexibility. The 18-35mm is considerably heavier and almost twice as long, so may be less suitable for those who need to travel light. But its ‘two primes in one’ functionality makes it a more versatile option.
All Sigma cameras and lenses are designed, manufactured and assembled at our sole factory at Aizu in Japan. This domestic production model is unusual in today’s industry, with most imaging companies opting to outsource to other countries to reduce costs. But SIGMA believes that keeping virtually all manufacturing, processing and assembly in Aizu is essential for creating innovative, carefully thought-out and impeccably constructed products that meet the high standards demanded by professional photographers and film-makers around the world.
Sigma chose Aizu as its main production base in the early 1970s. Situated at the base of Mount Bandai in the Fukushima Prefecture, about four hours’ drive north of Tokyo, Aizu has an abundance of very clean water from mountain streams, which is essential for grinding and polishing lenses. Sigma’s founder, Michihiro Yamaki, was also drawn to this area for its workforce, who have a reputation for their craftsmanship, work ethic and attention to detail. Mr Yamaki’s son, Kazuto Yamaki, now the owner and CEO of SIGMA Corporation, has the same unwavering commitment to keeping production in Japan.
Today Sigma’s factory is more than 50,000 square feet in size, and packed full of some of the most advanced optical manufacturing technology in existence. So when you buy a Sigma camera or lens you can be sure that virtually every single component part has been manufactured and assembled by SIGMA, in Japan, with the greatest level of care and attention. We hope you enjoy using our products.
If you want to see how a particular SIGMA lens or camera performs, why not test drive it with our SIGMA Select hire service. Available for selected SIGMA lenses, short-term loans are free of charge (including shipping), with a small fee if you want to test it for longer. Refundable deposit required. Subject to availability.
17 elements in 12 groups
Angle of view
Number of diaphragm blades
9 (rounded diaphragm)
Minimum focusing distance
Maximum magnification ratio
ø78mm × 121.0mm
Corresponding AF mounts
Canon EF | Nikon F | Sigma SA
Canon EF barcode
Nikon F barcode
Sigma SA barcode
Specifications are for SIGMA SA mount
A special coating applied to the front element to help repel water and oil.
This suppresses flare and ghosting by minimising reflections within the lens, ensuring punchy, high-contrast results. All lenses in the current Sigma range feature this technology.
This describes the degree to which a lens can magnify an in-focus subject. The ratio shows the relationship between the size of the projection of a subject on the camera’s sensor (the left number) and its actual size in reality (the right number).
Internal focus or an inner focus system means the lens configuration uses movable internal lens elements that adjust focus without changing the length of the lens barrel. This helps keep the centre of gravity of the lens more constant when changing focus.
Sigma’s Hypersonic Motor (HSM) uses ultrasonic waves to drive the autofocus mechanism. It is extremely quiet, fast and accurate, so is well suited to a wide range of photo and video applications.
The lens has a filter thread around the front element onto which filters and filter holders can be attached.
The mount is the part of the lens that attaches to the camera body. A coated brass mount is used for strength, and is surrounded by a rubber seal to keep out dust and moisture.
The lens has an image circle large enough to be used on a camera with an APS-C / S35 (or smaller) sensor. It can also be used on cameras with a full-frame sensor, but only in the camera’s crop mode.
This switch toggles between autofocus and manual focus.
The diaphragm is constructed of nine rounded blades for a circular aperture opening and round out-of-focus highlights.