For a crop sensor camera there is no better none-prime lens you can put on your camera and there are very few primes that can match what it offers at any focal length.  The value of this lens is excellent.


Lets get the cons out of the way. . . crickets.   Ok, seriously if you want to get picky. .

Its not cheap but you can’t expect a lens this good, this ground breaking to be cheap – it is still in the realm of affordable at $799 – I have seen a few deals that drop that $50 to $100 but I don’t expect this lens to be much cheaper in a year or 2 or 3.

It doesn’t have IS -so what, neither does my $2200 Canon 24-70 f/2.8 USM lens

It is a limited range – now this is a valid concern BUT across that range you get f/1.8 – there are no primes that offer f/1.8 at 18mm.  Basically when you walk around with this lens you are walking around with a bag of primes, 18, 24, 30, 35 all at f/1.8 and all very, very sharp.

The Pros:

Build quality is top notch, metal construction, distance indicator – great for star shots. Focus ring moves so smoothly, offers full time manual focus.  Zoom is smooth and fluid.

Full size sample images!

Buying the Sigma?  Amazon | B&H | Adorama

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 Menzie's Penstemon or as the nerds say - Penstemon davidsonii ;) Found these little purple flowers on the way down from Paradise in Mt Rainier National Park and thought they made a nice foreground to the beautiful and still snowcapped peak in the distance. Captured with the GH5 and 12-35 f/2.8 Lens #lumixloungegh3
 Rainy Day Reflections of Seattle's coolest public library - I almost said coolest building but the new Amazon spheres are crazy cool. I like living in the future - now if we could just ecotopia this place up all would be peachy!
 Upper Sunbeam Falls - Powered by melting snow(seen at the top of the frame) - Captured with GH5 and 12-35 f/2.8 lens 0.4 second exposure.

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  1. Dear Toby. I am really excited about this lens as many others there. But I ask you for advice.
    I currently have a 16-85 lens from nikon, it is practically the only one I use. It is not fast (3.5-5.6), but what I love of this lens is the VR, which allows me to shoot some nice dark pictures without the need of a tripod (at 1/6s or even slower). I find myself in most situations shooting at the wider than the tele end. Please see some of my pictures at v=qx-dT1k78Qo in youtube.
    However, after buying the 40mm 2.8 macro from nikon about a year ago, I,ve fell in love with large aperture and sharpness that primes offer.
    So my question is. Would you recommend me to go for the Sigma 18-35 instead of the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8, which has image stabilization and is around the same price? Buid quality is also something I value.
    Thanks a million for your help and your work, which I really like for its seriousness.
    All best

    • Hi Jose, you have some nice photos there. The SIgma 17-50 is one of Sigma’s less new lens (I didn’t want to say old) and it is just not as exciting as their new stuff. What about the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8 – f/4 You get VR or OS as they call it, you get wide aperture at the wide end and it is affordable. Sharpness is probably on par with your 16-85 though. The Sigma 18-35 is going to let you open that aperture nice and wide but looking at many of your shots you would prefer a little more depth of field and so do need that VR/OS. Hope that helps.

      • Dear Toby
        Thank you so much for taking the time to answer and give advice. It is so important to count on the advice of professional opinion as an amateur.
        Finally I did buy the 18-35 lens. I felt like giving a next step into much more serious photography. I would love to start making weddings, in combination with a 70-300 nikon lens and a 40mm prime. I will probably buy a second DX body for it, and old one because of the money, and go upgrading in the future.
        Thank you very much for all your videos, they are really useful and motivating.

        My opinion on the 18-35 lens. Well, you’ve said it all, it is like carrying a bunch of primes, but considering that there is no other 18mm f/1.8 choice, this is more than that. To me, it is like carrying the 35mm f/1.8, with the possibility and pleassure to zoom out all the way to 18 when you need to play with perspective. Yes, no VR, but with the clarity it offers, it’s enough. It is super sharp, but I still believe the 40mm nikon is sharper, only slightly.

        Thanks once more and good luck

        • JV – your summary is a good one. Thanks for following up and letting me know. looking forward to seeing some sample images.

          best, T

  2. I recently purchased a Nikon D5200, with the 18-55 kit lens. My interests right now have been mostly landscapes and portraits of my son. Would this be an appropriate second lens to work with? I have a feeling it would be great for my sunrise and sunset landscapes, but I’m a little worried about the lack of OS while using it off of the tripod. Thanks for your help.

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