Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Nikon F and Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lense for Nikon F
Sigma has two lenses that I recently heard about and excited me so much that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. I shoot a lot of concerts and use a cropped sensor camera for the extra throw, and both the 18-35mm f1.8 and 50-100mm f1.8 seemed like a great pair. I have been a photographer for 34 years and I have never used an “off brand” (non-Nikon) lens because in the past, they were pretty awful. Well let me tell you, that is no longer the case.
I had no idea how much I would love these lenses, and how they would turn out to be “photo life savers” in dark venues.
I have shot over 106 concerts so far this year and wish I knew about these lenses earlier. The constant f1.8 in two small lenses that are easy to hand hold (the 50-100mm weighs three pounds) is a game changer. Some people say these lenses are heavy, but for what I have been used to carrying, they don’t feel heavy to me.
Right out of the box, they have served me well and they are tack sharp on my Nikon D500 (they are also both available in Canon EF mounts and Sony A amounts). At $634 on Amazon for the 18-35mm and $949 for the 50-100mm, they are well worth the price for a fast lens.
The autofocus on both is incredibly fast, even in low light conditions, which is my main usage. One show in particular — Mike Love’s album release party with special guests Hanson — was so dark and yet the 18-35mm was flawless. At wide open (at f/1.8), I was extremely happy at the sharpness without having to do anything in photoshop. The sharpness is on the same level as my fast Nikon primes and the lens is a stop faster, making me a very happy photographer. The colors straight from the camera under concert lighting made me smile because it vastly improved my already fast editing skills. The 50-100mm has a built-in tripod collar, which is small and doesn’t get in the way of shooting.
Right before I got both lenses, I took a fall while shooting a concert, resulting in a bad concussion and I was out of commission for over a month. Instead of just shooting under low light at a concert, I wanted to see how both lenses were for available light portraits and took a photo of my nephew. The bokeh (the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image) is outstanding as well and once again, this lens focused very fast under awful lighting conditions. You can see how sharp it is, even cropped in at 100% at ISO 3200.
If you are looking for two amazing lenses that are “game changers,” especially under low lighting, the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 lens and the Sigma 50-100 f1.8 are the lenses to get.
Photos and Review by Debra L. Rothenberg