Is the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art Lens Worth It in 2022? 3 Alternatives to Consider

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Getting your first DSLR or mirrorless camera is extremely exciting. After a while though, you may start getting tired of that kit lens and want one that will make your photos look incredibly crisp.

Soon enough, you’ll be recommended the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art lens. The low aperture gives your photos that beautiful blurry background, making your subjects pop. But is it worth the price, and what are some cheaper alternatives?


Why Buy the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art Lens in 2022?

Lenses are a fantastic investment; unlike camera bodies, they do not go out of style nor depreciate as quickly. Lenses in general hold their value well because they’re useful with several camera bodies and are fairly durable.

All the reasons to buy the Sigma 18-35mm when it was released in 2013 are the same almost a decade later, and here’s why.

The Constant f/1.8 Aperture

A shallow depth of field with beautiful bokeh is everything an aspiring portrait photographer is looking for, and the Sigma delivers with its f/1.8 aperture.


If you’re new to photography, this means the lens is able to let in a lot of light, so it works well in dark environments and gives your photos a nice blurry background. Some lenses come in f/1.4, f/1.2, and even lower apertures, but they come at the expense of focusing. Since the depth of field is very narrow, getting your subject in focus can be fairly difficult; an f/1.8 aperture is perfect for blurry backgrounds and sharp subjects.

The lens also has a constant aperture, meaning whether you use its widest setting at 18mm or zoom all the way in at 35mm, you are still able to set your photos to f/1.8. The quality of the glass is also fantastic, so your photos will come out very sharp compared to cheaper kit lenses; the difference will be noticeable after taking the first photo.

If you need a refresher, here’s everything you need to know about camera aperture.

The Focal Length

The image quality is fantastic despite it being a zoom lens. In general, prime lenses that have a fixed focal length tend to produce sharper images than their zoom counterparts, but that is barely noticeable with the Sigma 18-35mm lens.

Keep in mind that this focal length is for a full-frame camera; APS-C sized sensors, which is what this lens is mainly used with, will have a focal length of approximately 28-56mm based on a Canon EOS APS-C sized sensor with a 1.6x crop factor. Despite this, the lens is perfect for many types of photography, including portraits, landscapes, pets, products, and architecture.

Fans of landscape photography may want to look for a lens with a bit wider focal length, but 18mm gets the job done if you want to experiment with shooting various landscapes. This lens will also not be a good fit for nature photographers, as 35mm, even with the 1.6x crop factor, will not zoom nearly as much as you’d like to get up close to wildlife.

Here’s why crop factor is important to photographers.

The Build Quality

Since you’ll be spending at least $650 on the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art lens at the time of writing, you’ll be happy to know that the build quality is outstanding. The lens is fairly heavy; Sigma states the 18-35mm is 810g, roughly 1.78 pounds, so putting it on a mirrorless camera may make your setup feel pretty front-heavy.

This is due to the lens being made of metal, which makes it very durable to accidental drops or hitting it on a hard surface.

The zoom and focus rings are made of rubber which makes them very satisfying to use. The autofocus is very good but can make audible clicks when hunting, making it pretty annoying when recording video. Sigma makes up for this with a fantastic manual focus ring, which encourages you to use it often.

Another great feature is that the zoom happens internally, which is great for people using Steadicams, such as the Glidecam, which would need rebalancing every time you would zoom otherwise. Since the Sigma 18-35mm does not have in-lens stabilization, Steadicams are needed to prevent camera shakes if shooting handheld video. Here’s how image stabilization works.

Sigma 18-35mm Alternatives to Consider

The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art lens covers a lot of ground and produces incredibly crisp photos, but it comes at the hefty price of $650 at the time of writing and can retail for around $800. Here are some cheaper alternatives to look out for that produce similarly sharp photos.

1. Samyang 35mm F1.4

Samyang, also known as Rokinon, has been releasing cheaper lens alternatives for 50 years, but that in no way means they skimp on quality. Most of its library of lenses are primes, which means they have fixed focal lengths and tend to be sharper than their zoom counterparts.

This lens is a perfect alternative if you enjoy taking more close-up portraits and like to get creative with architecture and landscapes.

The images are extremely sharp, even at f/4. The low aperture is even better in low light and gives you blurry backgrounds and foregrounds, making your subjects pop for a more affordable price.

The lens retails for $499 on Amazon for the Sony FE mount at the time of writing, but can be found for as low as $379 for the Canon EF mount.

2. Sigma 16mm F1.4

Want to stay with the Sigma brand but don’t want to opt for the more expensive 18-35mm? Sigma’s 16mm F1.4 lens is the perfect alternative. It’s an even wider angle lens, perfect for full-body portraits and beautiful landscapes. The fast f/1.4 aperture will let in lots of light for photos at night, and it retails for $374 on Sigma’s website at the time of writing.


Since this lens is a little newer, released in late 2017, it has features that the 18-35mm lens does not, which includes rubber sealing making it dust and splash resistant. Though you shouldn’t use your new lens in the pouring rain, the extra sealing will give you more peace of mind if you get stuck in a light drizzle or get splashed by some pool water.

3. Sigma 18-50mm F2.8

Do you love the idea of the 18-35mm but want something with a bit more zoom? Sigma has you covered with its 18-50mm F2.8 lens. At its fastest aperture of f/2.8, it will still be fairly good in dimly lit conditions, while also being able to achieve the blurry backgrounds you desire.

That little bit of extra zoom may help you more easily capture some wildlife shots or get more creative with your portraits.

Sigma retails the 18-50mm F2.8 lens at $549 at the time of writing, making it around $100 cheaper than the 18-35mm F1.8.

Should You Get the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art Lens in 2022?

Contrary to what all photographers want to believe, one lens cannot do it all. The lens that’s perfect for you depends on what you enjoy shooting, when you like to take photos, or if you take more videos than photos. The issue is that plenty of new photographers don’t know what they like to shoot, so they’re looking for an overall great lens to experiment with.

The Sigma 18-35mm is the perfect lens to do this with, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a better lens out there for you. If you’re a new photographer, go with a zoom lens over a prime, such as the Sigma 18-50mm. More experienced photographers who want to test themselves will have a wonderful time getting creative with a prime lens.



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