Just four short weeks ago Fedex showed up at my door with a shiny new Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 Art lens. To my surprise, it is actually smaller and lighter than I would have expected! In the last few weeks I have had the chance to travel with that lens to New Jersey, Las Vegas and Chicago. The lens was put through the tests on a Canon 7D, 50D, and 60D. I was so intrigued by the lens that as a full-frame shooter, I went and found a cropped sensor camera just to use it. It was well worth it.
While in Las Vegas, I made a point to only use this lens on the Canon 50D. The results were amazing! Here you can see two black and white images made with the combination. The first is a portrait of Danny, a shop worker in Nevada. This image was photographed at 18mm at 1/200sec at f/1.8 and ISO 800. This image shows incredibly crisp detail and textures at the lenses widest aperture.
The next image is of an old desk in a barn in Nevada. This image was photographed at 23mm 1/30sec at f/1.8 and ISO100. This image shows details so crisp that the fine texts in various parts of the image are readable.
I instructed a few portrait classes at Unique Photo in New Jersey last month as well. Here are two portrait examples from the lens. These were both done with Westcott Spiderlites. These are constant lights that allowed me to photograph the portrait of the model in the white dress at f/1.8. These were both photographed with the 7D at ISO 400.
The model in the black shirt was at f/4. They both show very sharp detail where you need it; the eyes. The skin was softened with Imagenomic Portraiture.
The last set of images that I have here are with the 18-35mm f1.8 lens on the Canon 60D at the American Photo Model Shoot in Chicago. Sigma along with American Photo Magazine puts on a really great educational event that travels throughout the country. The first two of the year were in Dallas last month and Chicago this month. In the event we bring in a group of beautiful models along with makeup artists, Westcott Spiderlite studios and professional photographer mentors. The event is a true portfolio-building day for an aspiring professional. The next American Photo Model Shoot is in Cleveland, Ohio on August 10th. Check American Photo Model Shoot website for more dates and locations.
During the model shoot in Chicago, I had the chance to hook the Canon 60D up to the Sigma studio bay to photograph with the 18-35mm f1.8 lens and studio flash. Here are some great examples of what the combination of a cropped sensor camera along with this lens is capable of with portraits. With the Canon 60D, this lens is effectively the same as a 29-56mm in a full-frame camera. Since 30mm in a cropped sensor camera is a normal lens, 35mm makes for a really nice portrait length. This group of images were all photographed at ISO 100, 1/100 sec. at f/11. The focal length was set to 35mm for each. Look closely and you can see the color and detail available in the models eyes. You can even see texture in the skin throughout the image.
The 18-35mm f1.8 Art lens is sure to be a go-to lens for cropped sensor camera users everywhere. With the quality of construction, optics, and design and the fact that it is has a widest aperture of f1.8 throughout its focal range may make full-frame photographers purchase an extra camera just to be able to use it. Check out the lens at your preferred Sigma dealer to try it for yourself!
Ryan Brown, M. Photog. Cr, Sigma Technical Representative