Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 Best lens for APS-C Cameras

The Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 remains my pick for BEST crop (APS-C) sensor. Pairs well with Canon and Nikon. It is also possible to use the Sigma 18-35 on Micro 4/3 cameras, like the Panasonic GH4 and GH5 with Metabones Speed Booster Ultra (Canon EF-mount). Using the speed booster gives you an extra stop of aperture!Buy the Sigma 18-35 from B&H Photo Canon | NikonWant more zoom? The Sigma 50-100 is heavy but also fantastic

Tamron has announced a pair of full-frame f/1.8 primes

Tamron has announced a pair of full-frame f/1.8 primes that will be part of a redesigned SP series. The SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD and SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD are both full-frame-compatible lenses offering image stabilization (VC), fast maximum apertures, good close focusing distances AND, according to Tamron, high quality optics.The design team at Tamron has clearly been watching Sigma - the  look of these lenses is very similar to the ART line at Sigma and that's a good thing.  They do add a moderate amount of weather sealing not offered in the ART line from Sigma. The Canon and Nikon mounts also offer image stabilization - not often seen in primes this fast.SP stands for superior performance. Tamron 35mm f/1.8 VCTamron 45mm f/1.8 VCPrice will be $599 each and available at the end of September. (Sony mount* available later this year) This sounds reasonable for lenses of this caliber and speed with VC.   A few more specs worth detailing more-The close focusing capabilities are impressive. The 45mm can focus as close as 11.42" (.29m) and the 35mm can focus as close as 7.87" (.20m). That close with that wide an aperture will give you VERY shallow depth of field.9 aperture blades should provide smooth bokeh (the more blades the smoother the out of focus circles. The Old nifty-fifty had just 5 blades and you could often see pentagonal shapes of bokeh)Lens hood included!They are calling these lenses weather resistant.  I will mention that Tamron has one of the best warranties in the bsiness with 6 years for US buyers and quick repair turn around time.Preorder at B&H Photo Video45mm f/1.8 for Canon $599 | Nikon $599 | Sony A $59935mm f/1.8 for Canon $599 | Nikon $599 | Sony A $599 

Full Specs

SP 45mm F1.8 Di VC USD Specifications

Focal Length: 45mmMaximum Aperture: F1.8Angle of View (diagonal): 51°21' (for full-frame format) : 34°28' (for APS-C format)Optical Construction : 10 elements in 8 groupsMinimum Object Distance: 0.29m (11.4 in)Maximum Magnification Ratio: 1:3.4Filter Size: 67mmMaximum Diameter: 80.4mmLength: for Canon 91.7mm (3.6 in): for Nikon 89.2mm (3.5 in)Weight: for Canon 540g (19 oz): for Nikon 520g (18.3 oz)Aperture Blades: 9 (circular diaphragm)Minimum Aperture: F16Standard Accessories: Flower-shaped lens hood, Lens capsCompatible Mounts: Canon, Nikon, Sony*

SP 35mm F1.8 Di VC USD Specifications

Focal Length: 35mmMaximum Aperture: F1.8Angle of View (diagonal): 63°26' (for full-frame format): 43°29' (for APS-C format)Optical Construction : 10 elements in 9 groupsMinimum Object Distance: 0.2m (7.9 in)Maximum Magnification Ratio: 1:2.5Filter Size : 67mmMaximum Diameter : 80.4mmLength: for Canon 80.8mm (3.2 in): for Nikon 78.3mm (3.1 in)Weight: for Canon 480g (16.9 oz): for Nikon 450g (15.9 oz)Aperture Blades: 9 (circular diaphragm)Minimum Aperture: F16Standard Accessories: Flower-shaped lens hood, Lens capsCompatible Mounts: Canon, Nikon, Sony**Available in Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts - sadly that is the Sony/Minolta mount not the FE mount for the a7 series. Sony mount also does not offer VC - all sony bodies are stablized.

Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 Lens aka the Nifty-Fifty Knock-off

Screenshot 2014-12-17 11.41.00Yongnuo, the company that makes some of my favorite flashes for Canon and Nikon, has recently released their own version of Canon's 50mm f/1.8.  Costing just $30, less than a 1/3 the price of  Canon's already cheap 50mm intrigued reader John Witkowski. Here are his thoughts and some comparisons versus the Canon 40mm f/2.8. YONGNUO 50mm f/1.8 lens for Canon cameras. Initial thoughts so far; it seems to be built just a tad bit better than canons 50mm 1.8, not by much. Mount uses screws instead of canons plastic lock tabs. Quick test shots seem to have accurate color and contrast. Not as sharp as the 40mm 2.8 it is very soft at 1.8 and gets better around f4 - f5. Ok bokeh. Motor noise is similar to the canon 50 1.8. Focusing is ok not to bad to get locked in. With that said It does not work in liveview with my t5i. It has trouble focusing and when it finally does come in focus the camera will not shoot. I noticed if it is in live view with the lens on AF it will not fire. If I change the lens to MF in live view it works. Using the viewfinder the lens works fine. So far for $30 bucks its not bad but not great.  See John's Flickr Photos at

Here are the test shots. I started with canons 40mm stm at 2.8 and the Yongnuo 50mm at 1.8

Canon 40mm f/2.8 at f/2.8 50mm f/1.8 at f/1.8 50mm f/1.8 at f/2.8 comp 40mm f/2.8 @ f/2.8 vs Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 @ f/2.8Yongnuo40vs50 More samples on his Flickr Page - can order the lens via Ebay (price seems to have gone up slightly) Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 Canon Lens or Amazon (price is higher) My quick thoughts - at $30-$40 if offers a workable alternative to Canon's own prime but you are probably better off saving a little more and grabbing the Canon version, especially when you consider the focusing issues John mentioned along with the serious softness at f/1.8.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.