With it’s introduction back in 2013, the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 DC HSM | Art lens took the photography world by storm as the first wide angle zoom with a 1.8 aperture. A wide angle has it’s place in sports photography, albeit on a more limited scale than my go to sports lens, the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS HSM lens.
As one of the Sigma Pro’s, the 18-35 was high on my list of lenses I wanted to shoot with. It’s an outstanding lens for wedding photographers, street photographers, landscape photographers and more, but as a sports action photographer how much use would I get out of a lens like this?
Recently I had a rare free afternoon so I made my way down to the local skate park armed with the 18-35mm and a few strobes. My objective was to get as close to the action as possible short of taking a skate board to the jaw. I set up one of my Strobies STR-200 strobes opposite the setting sun at the base of a few of the ramps and let the skate boarders and BMX riders go to town giving me their best stuff. Getting my vantage point down low put the action almost directly over head giving a huge sense of height to each of the aerial tricks.
Having the ability to zoom to varying degrees of wide angle helped to frame the shots nicely against the evening sky. Although I didn’t need the widest aperture values for this situation, having a lens that can open up to f1.8 is a huge asset for lower light sports. This is the lens I’d want with me at the local high school gym for a basketball game from behind the net.
If you’re a sports photographer don’t leave the wide angle behind. With a wide angle zoom capability, a fast aperture and sharpness that has to be seen to appreciate, the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 should be a staple in every sports photographer’s bag.