Sigma 18-35/1.8 DC HSM Coming Soon

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by c_watson|1, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. Too bad Nikon can't/won't crank out a fast zoom in this range:
  2. pge


  3. At 800 bucks, this is going to be a hot sell for sure.
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    18-35 is a great zoom range for FX, as it can be the only wide-angle lens you need. However, this is a DX type lens, and 18-35 is a weird zoom range for DX.
  5. I can't believe how ridiculously cheap that is!
  6. pge


    Its true it isn't a wide lens, but to me it seems like a nice people/event focal range. I often use a 35-70mm on FF and I actually enjoy that range, I don't need 24mm for people photography. I also really enjoy f1.8's in my primes, so I see the appeal of a f1.8 in a zoom. I bet they will sell a bunch of these.
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    18-35mm on DX is like 27-54mm on FX as far as angle of view goes. As an event, wedding, indoor available-light type f1.8 lens, the wide end is fine, but 54mm is way too short. f1.8 is mainly for low-light photography, but in these days people buy into FX for that purpose. An FX body with a 24-70mm/f2.8 would be a far more useful combo indoors than this Sigma 18-35mm/f1.8 on DX, but if it is the Nikon 24-70mm/f2.8, it would cost a lot more.
    Another issue is that as a camera category, high-end DX DSLRs doesn't exist any more, at least for Nikon. The most expensive Nikon DX body is now the $1200 D7100, compared to the $5000 D1 and D2 bodies when Nikon introduced the expensive 17-55mm/f2.8 DX AF-S a decade ago. Expensive DX lenses will be a tough sell, as most people who own DX bodies have consumer bodies and are not into $1000+ lenses. Nikon learned that from the 18-300mm AF-S DX they introduced last year, at $1000. In less than a year Nikon was giving $300 rebates back in April (and continues to do so on and off).
    I think Sigma is pricing this 18-35mm/f1.8 wisely.
  8. I have to admit that this lens is cheaper than I expected. But then Sigma's 24-70 f/2.8 is a lot cheaper than the Nikkor, so maybe that's expected. I'll be interested in how good it turns out to be.

    For amusement value, it strikes me that it ought to be possible to put a 1.4x teleconverter on this and get a 25-50mm f/2.5 FX lens. Probably with awful optics, but I'd love to see someone try it...
  9. Shun
    This may be a good replacement for Nikon's 17-55 2.8. You lose some zoom range (35 to 55) but for indoor low-light use that should not be a big deal + you get the faster 1.8 aperture.
  10. Nikon's 17-55 is a DX lens; in other words it works as 25-82, 2.8.
  11. This lens covers the most needed fast wide angle focal lengths for indoor available light photography of people; it can be augmented in the long end by 50mm and/or 85mm primes. I would normally be using primes a lot in these kinds of situations so a 2x zoom is not a problem at all. For many applications of wider lenses, such as architectural interiors and landscape, f/1.8 is probably not of much use, as a lot of depth of field is usually preferred for those subjects. A Tokina 11-16mm or such lens could be used for wider focal lengths if desired.
    Nikon's 17-55 is a DX lens; in other words it works as 25-82, 2.8.
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say. The 18-35/1.8 Sigma and the 17-55/2.8 Nikon are both DX lenses that cover the sensor area of DX cameras. In any case irrespective of whether a lens is DX or not, it behaves the same way as FX lenses of similar focal lengths when used on DX cameras.
  12. Add a Tokina 11-16 for the wide end and Tokina 60mm f2 as your portrait/ macro lens
    you got the majority of shots covered. With the 18-35 at f1.8 fixed DX cameras can
    lower the EV in low light one stop and get reduced noise as if they were FF lenses.
    I wonder if this new lens will cover the FX circle at any FL. Maybe FX guys will use
    DX or 5:4 crops just to use this lens.
    To think we all thought this lens would cost $1000-1200 and now they say
    street price in the $800 range. A no brainer of a bargain, and since we have seen
    plenty of samples, we know that Sigma designers continue to lead with this Art series
  13. I'm not sure what you're trying to say.​
    Ilkka, I was simply reinforcing the point that the 17-55 was longer. That's all.
  14. Also looks like it has usb dock for firmware updates ... read, autofocus fine tune (and more) without 'charts and graphs' ... Nikon Nikon, where are youuuu?
  15. Also looks like it has usb dock for firmware updates ... read, autofocus fine tune (and more) without 'charts and graphs' ... Nikon Nikon, where are youuuu?​
    Huh? The dock will no doubt have some interesting features (presumably not just "lets us fix the lens then next time Nikon messes with their protocol"), but you still need to AF tune it specific to the camera. To do that, you still need to point it at a focus target.
  16. Great, now we can have even more fussy gear for fussing with the gear we already have. I'd rather they calibrate the
    lenses well enough at the factory that a few point plus or minus on the camera's fine tune is all that's needed instead of
    making it the customer's job.

    But anyway. I'm with Shun on this. An 18-35 lens on DX doesn't seem that exciting to me. You can have speed but only
    at wide angles - I guess there are uses for this, and people who like to do things like shoot in nightclubs with available
    light would love it, but it seems like it's more for the wow factor of having a 1.8 zoom. I'd probably take the 17-50 if given a
    choice. Nikon used to make zooms in lengths like 28-50 and 24-45 and I guess that was pretty cool back when zooms
    were less accessible but I wouldn't want one now.
  17. Andrew: Yes ... 'point the camera at a focus target' ... but w/o the mostly current de rigeur, involved, hocus pocus (focus)... sorry, couldn't resist that one... awhile back, on dpr, there was a long, and excellent thread started by "Horshack" on 'dot tune' fine tune ... think he made it into a You Tube piece ... usb dock would essentially automate it, and accomplish the job in minutes, or, possibly less. Would give the link, but, we are in the air, and getting the cxxp bounced out of us right now ... I NEED stabilization ...;-)
  18. Nikon's 17-55 is a DX lens; in other words it works as 25-82, 2.8.​
    So is this lens. Just as the 17-55 is 25-82, the 18-35 is 27-52.
  19. pge


    18-35mm on DX is like 27-54mm on FX as far as angle of view goes. As an event, wedding, indoor available-light type f1.8 lens, the wide end is fine, but 54mm is way too short.​
    I knew someone would do the math for us ; )
    Clearly the trade is focal range for aperture and that will appeal to some people. How many? Thats for Sigma to worry about. I think its an interesting lens.
  20. The dock lets you set different fine tune values depending on distance, which would be a crucial improvement if available for a number of fast Nikkors that have significant distance dependency of focus offset that cannot be set from the camera since it allows only only one value per lens and camera to be stored. It's quite a pain actually to have to adjust the fine tune based on distance to the subject, as I have to do with more than a few lenses to get the best results. I'm very happy that at least Sigma is on track here. Perhaps Nikon will let you set the fine tune as a distance- and focal length dependent correction in the future as well.
  21. Ilkka: Oh. Okay, I take it back then. Of course, it could do with being built into the body. Along with a completely automatic fine tuning mechanism, given that the camera has a perfectly functioning contrast-detect mechanism with which to calibrate the phase detect. Do I remember there also being something about focus shift on stopping down in modern lenses?

    Bruce: I commend your efforts at educating me! I'll have a hunt for the YouTube entry.
  22. Andrew: We are down at last (by choice) ... shooting a race tomorrow am billed as the 'World's Fastest 4miles' and we have wangled a place 12 feet from the Start Line , and the Finish Line 100 yards away... found the link ... here: ...if you can also get the original thread on DPR (it is quite long) it is also worth reading ... I think "Horshak" works for, or is, a testing lab ... in the thread, I recall, he was in consult with a fellow named HOGAN ... not "Hulk"...the other one, the photo one.
  23. Thanks, Bruce! Enjoy the race.
  24. Nikon's PROVEN 17-55 is about the same cost used as the Sigma is new. Considering reliability, zoom range, compatibility, etc., the choice is probably an easy one for most.
  25. We looked at several tests of this lens because we were considering picking one up.
    The tests were a mixed bag, only fair resolution in edges at several FL, not good bang for
    the buck. summed it up
    Optically it is, without doubt, a very good lens but it has a few issues. The center performance is generally excellent but the borders are a little worse than desirable at 24mm @ f/2.8 and at 55mm (for such a lens). Some field curvature at 17mm can also spoil the results at this setting.
    The level of CAs is quite low and distortion is also well controlled for a standard zoom lens. The vignetting characteristic is about typical. The quality of the bokeh is rather mixed with issues regarding highlight rendition. The Nikkor also shows some rather heavy bokeh fringing.
    Thus all-in-all there are question marks regarding the price/performance ratio of this lens. Our final verdict from the first review still remains valid: it simply lacks the greatness suggested by its high price tag.
    I just pre ordered the lens based on the measured test just posted and the hands on
    and photos posted on the web.
    I found a $25 discount on the pre order price thru 6/16 at, I have
    no connection with them, I am just mentioning it here to help pass along money saving
    One thing that must be understood, the laws of physics dictate that if Sigma or anyone
    else wanted to build a 17-55mm f1.8 it would be significantly larger than the Nikon f2.8
    of the same focal length. I guess the design decision was made to limit the range
    and make the lens sharper and smaller/lighter. Tokina used the same reasoning for
    their 11-16mm f2.8. The trade-off is speed and compactness vs. more range coverage and larger size/weight.
  26. Elliot: Yes, the Nikon IS proven, and possibly the best dx zoom lens they (Nikon) makes ... But we don't have this new lens to make a comparo ... on the other hand, if it is anything like the recently released Sigma 35mm1.4 reviewed here ... then the choice may not be so clear ...' proven' matters aside. Note the above link shows the 35mm Sigma outperforms all others, including the ZEISS DISTAGON T 35/1.4 a far, far, less $. I have the Nikon 17-55 (using to tomorrow am at ... 6:00am!). I also have the Sigma 35/1.4 ... it is one hell of a package for the $, and considerably less expensive than all the competition. I continue to marvel at just exactly HOW Sigma is able to do this.
  27. Why somebody would buy this lens if most people have zooms, like cheap but great for the money i.e Nikon 18-55mm II VR - that covers that range .... if one needs wide lens especially on DX - should go inmy opinion with great:
    Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8
  28. This Sigma lens is f/1.8. The Nikon 18-55 is f/3.5-5.6. The difference in apertures means the Sigma is able to shoot in lower light, requires less light for the camera's AF to work effectively, and will do a better job of blurring backgrounds when that's desired. The Sigma is also much sharper, and is better made, with more durable construction and does not have some of the drawbacks like the front element that rotates. In short, this lens is a lot better than the Nikon 18-55, and accordingly is more expensive.
  29. summed it up​
    Hi T. Zenjitsuman,
    ? Where ?
    I cannot find a sigma 18-35 1.8 DX lens at which was tested on a Nikon camera, but maybe i'm doing something wrong, so please can you publish a link to that test ?
    a little worse than desirable at 24mm @ f/2.8 and at 55mm (for such a lens).​
    MM is there a 55mm setting on a 18-35mm lens ?
    Ah your respons is not about the Sigma 18-35mm 1.8 but about the nikon 17-55mm f2.8 ?
  30. C>P.M. right I was responding to Eliot's post just before mine re: 17-55mm.
    If you want to read a test on the new Sigma lens
    looked so good I actually pre ordered it based on all the sample images
    and this review and all the other hands on reviews.
    How this fits in? If you own a Tokina 11-16 f2.8 then 18-35mm f1.8 (this lens)
    CV 58mm f1.4 (87mm EFL) and 105mm f2.8 vr and 1.7x TC. With the use of the additional
    1.3x crop you get a lot of range options and VR at the long end.
  31. Interesting review (as a dispassionate observer with only FX cameras and no urge to own a 24-70 f/2.8). This was a prototype, and therefore ought to be hand-picked as a good sample, and it still shows slight decentering... but all in all, not bad, at least if you can fix the CA in software. I'll be interested in experiences when it ships for real - and in whether Nikon decide to respond.
  32. Nikon's PROVEN 17-55 is about the same cost used as the Sigma is new. Considering reliability, zoom range, compatibility, etc., the choice is probably an easy one for most.​

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha! Proven? By that, do you mean, not updated since it was introduced in 2003, a full ten years ago (put another way, that's three-four full generations in digital terms)? or do you mean, proven to be overpriced, especially in today's market, where the competition is smaller, just as good optically, less expensive, stabilized, and now, faster? It will be an easy choice for many to choose a new lens with a warranty than an older lens without, and the 1.8 aperture will be the deal-sealer for many. Even at $800 used for the 17-55, many will opt for the Sigma, since that extra stop-and-a-third of aperture effectively compensates for the high-ISO limits of DX bodies (compared to FX).

    Have to say, this lens injects excitement back into high-end DX, a segment Nikon has overlooked, perhaps intentionally. Sigma is actually doing Nikon a favor here, since D300s users who have resisted going FX now have a reason not to dump their bodies in favor of mirrorless cams, and d7000/d71000 users have a (surprisingly) affordable, low-light-capable, high-performance lens. the 2x zoom range isnt as limiting, i suspect, as some have opined, and by keeping the zoom range to these parameters, Sigma has likely made it much better optically than it would have been had they extended the range to 54mm or thereabouts. If the lens can perform well at 1.8-2.8 throughout its range, it will be a winner, especially at that price point, which was announced at $799--meaning the street price will be lower, once the newness wears off. I wouldnt be surprised if the price will be $650-$700 in a year or so, which is quite reasonable, although i think there will also be many early adopters at the introductory price.

    Some of the skepticism about this lens i'm hearing on this forum no doubt comes from the Nikon fanboy segment, who still haven't wrapped their heads around the fact that Sigma is positioning itself as a market leader in lens-making, if they havent done so already. The 50, 85, and 35/1.4 primes are all high-quality lenses, and the 18-35 looks to conttinue this trend. in an age of declining standards, it's nice to see a company whose performance/quality index is actually increasing, and who isn't so full of them selves that they are out of touch with the economic realities of the market.
  33. Well said.
  34. Seriously, that Nikon lens could use an update. Just looking at the lenses that directly compete with it, does it have enough going for it to compete at its current price with the Sigma and Tamron options that cost half as much? I'm not going to demean Nikon-only buyers (seriously, can we stop saying "fanboy" for anybody who likes some company's products - I've never been called a Trader Joes fanboy for regularly buying their granola - and it's not like there has to be a fight every time a company name is mentioned) but every time sensor resolutions rise and other lenses get updated the value for money equation changes a bit and I can't remember the last time anybody I know bought a 17-55 new.
  35. Right, with all the sheep going to FF you can find EX 17-55mm for half price used.
    What Sigma seems to be doing is turning around there business from truckload
    lens seller to value plus IQ/QC alternative to the very good but pricey Nikon/Canon L lenses.
    My question is does it even make economic sense to buy a used D300 in 2013?
    I have a EX F3HP, but film gets better, the digital sensor inside a D300 can't be changed for the
    sensor in a D7100. So my old F3hp might take better pictures with better film and newer lenses, but the D300 can only improve with a better lens. Guess this new Sigma
    helps make low light work better with a D300, but is the platform just a bit out of date?
  36. There we go again. You can't make reference to a frame size without using an insult? Try to go a week without dropping a pointless rude word - can you?
  37. T: Economic sense? I don't think anyone's going to claim the D300's sensor is as good as that in
    newer cameras that sell for less than a used D300, though it's far from "bad". If you give enough
    priority to other features of the D300(s), it's still competitive, or people wouldn't still be hoping for a
    D400 (the D7100 is 95% of a D300s and an extra 50% of its own, but some people still want the 5% of
    the D300s that a D7100 isn't). And the going rate for a used D300 is currently much lower than a new
    D7100. As for upgrades, the D300 can use new flashes, new memory cards, new BIOS updates, new
    tethering software, better raw converters, better processing software... And an F3 can't even make
    proper use of G or VR lenses. Not that there's been a huge number of new films released since the
    D300 either. DSLRs depreciate because the newer versions are such a significant improvement, not
    because the old ones are less capable. Of course a camera launched in 2007 is a bit out of date in
    some ways; if it weren't, we'd complain about lack of progress. Compare a D1 to a D100!

    Though I'm not sure why buying a D300 came up. :)

    Andy: I assume T believes that some people shopping for a D600 would be better served by a D7100.
    He's probably right, though I concede that an unqualified reference to sheep might be a bit of a rude
    over-generalization to those WITH a good reason. Can we assume any insult was accidental and
    move on? I prefer to think that people make mistakes rather than that they hate me. Besides, the last
    exchange of this sort killed a thread I was interested in...
  38. Alright, for Andrew's benefit the issue is dropped :)
  39. In passing Eric mentioned the D300, I was the one who wonders why people still always
    seem to mention it as being superior to the D7100 as the "PRO" model. I look from time
    to time at the DXO mark and I am sure that the D7000 and D7100 got substantially
    higher scores than the D300 despite their higher resolutions. As a person who would rather
    have had an 18mp than 24mp version of the D7100 just to have less high iso noise,
    I wouldn't want a 12mp camera these days. Your right some people still want the 5%
    that the D7100 doesn't have vs. the D300, as you said that 50% improvement is seemingly
    ignored. And I agree with those that the D300 is the right size for big guys like me,
    but we can always order a $90 third party grip. No camera is perfect, still the D7100
    is great value for the money. Let me answer my own question this way. Time goes
    bye Dslr's get better and the old ones lose value faster than say an FM3a. Its just
    a fact that supply and demand. I hope those waiting for the D400 get their wish
    and Nikon makes one, or a D7100s with a bigger buffer and faster write time. That
    might push the price of the D7100 down, a good thing, don't you think, everyone
    would be happy. More choices.
  40. mm What was the topic of this thread again ?
    Getting totally lost now ... :)
  41. Okay: T, thanks for explaining. I believe Eric was suggesting that "high end DX owners" (who might be in the market for the equivalent of a
    24-70 f/2.8) would have been looking at an FX upgrade to get it, while keeping the same class of handling as the D300, and that this lens
    would stop them needing a body upgrade to achieve that; it's a point coupled with the perception that the successor to the D300s is an FX
    body. I'm not sure that this was about buying a D300 so much as the options for existing owners, though I guess if you wanted a D700/24-70
    combo, a D300 + this lens is a budget alternative(ish). And the D7100 did get mentioned too.

    Actually, as a backup camera, the D300 still seems a good used option to me (less the D300s, which costs a fair bit more), but I'm not
    actually buying. I'm not sure the "50%" advantage of the D7100 is ignored, but for some people it's less relevant than the 5% D300 advantage.
    Most people would be happier with, and buy, the D7100 - I'm not going to argue with Nikon's market research - than a D300, or (with lenses
    like this) than a D700. But
    I'm in no position to judge how important that 5% is. There's only 5% that a film rangefinder can do that my D800 can't, but I still sometimes
    use my Bessa R. I'm sure that none of the "5%" is in the D300 sensor that DxO tests - it's in the feel and handling; Leica seem to make money
    out of people who believe that's worth a premium. YMMV (and so might mine!)

    So yes, this is a lens that should allow FX-class DoF control with a DX body, and might tempt some people to stay with DX who would
    otherwise end up with FX just to have a "pro camera". Though I'd want the 10-18 and 35-135 OS f/1.8 lenses as well, and I'm not holding out for a 135 f/1.3 OS any time
  42. this is a lens that should allow FX-class DoF control with a DX body
    Similar to a 24-70/2.8 on FX, yes, but not like 24/1.4, 35/1.4 etc. on FX. If I need to do a full body portrait in a wide angle image I'll use 35/1.4 wide open, something like here:
    in a documentary context, these lenses (this cropped image might be from the 35mm or 24mm; I don't recall exactly) give good separation of main subject:
    Admittedly these lenses are significantly more expensive than the 18-35/1.8. Now, if Sigma makes a 16mm f/1.0 and 23mm f/1.0 for DX, I'll open my mouth wide open.
  43. Ilkka - absolutely. It's a partial substitute for one of the three (four if you count the 200-400) "pro zooms", 14-24/24-70/70-200, not for anything else. The metabones speed booster is arguably more interesting, though the ones released so far seem to need a mirrorless system to give them room for the optics; I'll be impressed if there's an FX-to-DX one - and I suspect Nikon won't be!

    Though if they do a version for bigger formats, the 6x7 Pentax version of the 600 f/4 is a lot cheaper on ebay than a Nikon 300 f/2...

    Not a criticism of the shot, but the bokeh in the first image is a bit "ew"; which lens was that, out of interest?

    There is speed in smaller formats, though not for DX: Nikon has the CX f/1.2 lens, and there are the f/0.95 lenses that Photozone have tested - not so impressive on micro 4/3, but the full frame T/0.95 lens is interesting. And costs more than an FX camera, of course. But this is always the way with smaller formats - matching the DoF and image quality of a 150mm f/2.8 on a 5x4 camera is tricky and expensive. Though I gather (Google) a Zeiss 75mm f/0.85 has existed. I believe the NASA/Kubrick 50mm f/0.7 didn't have full 135 coverage - and effectively has an integrated focal reducer. Getting anything like this to work properly with a modern camera is likely to be a little challenging; besides, the NASA lens isn't much faster than you'd get by putting a metabones on a Canon f/1.2 (though there's the old EF 50mm f/1.0...), and the metabones has more coverage. For now, mirrorless has the speed that DX doesn't - though given that finder screens and autofocus systems would struggle a bit, you'd probably want to use a lens this fast in live view anyway.
  44. CPM: "What was the ....? It was about whether the new Sigma 18-35/1.8 was any good. Thing is, no one knows because no one, including those with early 'samples', has any way of knowing ... there are no examples picked randomly out of production ... six months or so after production has started. When I cut into page three I was wondering, the same as you :).
    That said, If I were a market analyst, or on a pre-design/develop team for a company (I'm not), ... I would read with great interest.
    Nope. No such team. Still, I read with great interest.
  45. Bruce: I'd like to think that if the initial samples tested had appeared to have poor results, that would have been information. The picked sample suggests that Sigma can design an f/1.8 zoom lens with decent image quality. Whether they can manufacture one consistently is another matter, and I'd hope anyone buying an early sample will be prepared for some risk, but at least some information has been provided.

    Given that there's some evidence that this lens might be good enough to meet pro standards, I'm interested in what people have to say about whether it influences their purchasing decisions. I'm not in the market myself, but it's nice to learn what everyone else is doing. And I can hope that someone from the big companies might pick up on the interest and act on it. Though Canon have conspicuously updated their 24-70 and 70-200 more recently than Nikon (and with very good examples), so I wouldn't be surprised if Nikon's "pro zoom design team" were a little preoccupied. (Also, be careful what you wish for - apparently Leica X customers publicly wanted a zoom. Whether they wanted a zoom with the specifications of the X Vario is another matter.)
  46. I hope this link to the comparison I set up works.|0/(brand3)/Nikon
    If we can assume that over one F stop extra speed advantage of this Sigma F1.8 zoom means
    better low ISO noise say at say ISO 3200 then maybe it will be close to matching the D600.
    But remember that the 24mp on the DX format is about 50mp of resolution and that is
    something the D600 can't match. The D300s lags way behind either of these recent
    Nikons in most sensor tests.
  47. Andrew, that's not a good bokeh example from the AF-S 35/1.4 - sometimes the distances work against the photographer and the effect gets worse in sharpening (here selective sharpening would have solved the issue). Here is another example from the same lens; in this case the bokeh is nicer.
  48. And crop illustrating how the bokeh looks in actual pixels view, without interference from sharpening. The reason I want to do this kind of full body portraits with a wide angle is two-fold - one is that in tight crowds and places, there may not be enough space to shoot with a longer lens, the other is that it creates a more dynamic feel to the image than shooting with a long lens. The effect of the wide aperture on a wide angle lens is not a strong as with a tele, as the background is not magnified as much when the wide angle is used, but still I prefer to have some separation rather than none.
  49. But remember that the 24mp on the DX format is about 50mp of resolution and that is
    something the D600 can't match
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say (I do say that often, don't I?). Wide angle images shot with the D600 with the same angle of view as those shot with the D7100 using a shorter lens to match the FOV, are likely to be a bit better defined because the pixel count is the same, but lens MTF tends to be higher at the spatial frequencies corresponding to more coarse pixel spacing of the D600. On the other hand the D7100 has no anti-aliasing filter so perhaps it compensates, but my experience with existing Nikon wide angles and the 16MP D7000 is that even the 12MP D700 produced better quality at equivalent FOVs with wide angle lenses at wide apertures. Of course, here the 18-35/1.8 is a new lens and may change the situation.
    Andrew, I think most people who have FX cameras will not be affected by the 18-35/1.8, as they have many other options for wide angle and wide aperture. But people who are using DX and would prefer to stay with DX, and yet like available light / shallow DOF portraiture / documentary work will be very much affected by this lens, and its relatively affordable pricing. Personally if I were to buy the D7100 it would be mostly for tele and macro work, and I would prefer to have a more compact fast wide angle lens than the tank sized 18-35/1.8. But that's because I already have reasonably compact wide angles for FX and the DX would need to compete with the primes to be used for wide angle work. And I have the Fuji X100s with its super compact 23mm f/2.
  50. Andrew: I HAVE the Sigma 35/1.4 ... also the Sigma 8-16. and the 'Bigma'/50-500. My expectations for this lens are +++. Nikon's Pro-Zoom Design Team? I don't know ... pre-occupied? ... sure, why not. To broaden the discussion even more, I offer this up with the greatest intention of humor...and I will repeat it ...HUMOR, lest someone here get totally bent out of shape, and become 'de-focused', or loose their 'perspective'. Google 'Olympus Cayman Islands' ... perhaps the Nikon folks have gone totally ... 'Japan Incorporated', and are in the Islands with the FORMER Board Chair of Oly, and most of the Board, relaxing on the beach ... drinking Duff Beer (Can't Get Enough Of That Duff!) ... gently sipping, while local baristas walk on their back. Can't think of a better way to cool through a billion+ (yes, with a 'b') these last ten years. Nikon, Nikon ... where are youuu? But I repeat myself.
  51. Edit: Crossed over with Ilkka and Bruce while looking up PureView specs, apologies for any redundancy.
    Ilkka: Ah, thank you (and I'm sympathetic that sharpening can make a mess of smooth bokeh). The LoCA is a bit painful, but we can't have everything, and I get what you're trying to do; I could do with something wider than 50mm that's faster than f/2.8.

    T: Yes, I've argued in the past that the sensitivity advantage of FX sensors largely goes away if you can compensate by speeding up the lens (especially with gapless sensors). Whether the lens can really do a D7100 as much justice at f/1.8 as a 24-70 can do a D600 at f/2.8 we'll have to see - there are still some optical and tolerance limitations that favour the bigger format, and optical aberrations are much easier to control on a slower lens - but it'll certainly close the gap.
    But remember that the 24mp on the DX format is about 50mp of resolution and that is something the D600 can't match.​
    Huh? Neither can the D7100. A PureView 808 would be about 650mp of resolution (in FX sensor size terms), but that doesn't mean you can use that fact for anything. What the D7100 can do with its higher pixel density is act like it has a perfect 1.5x teleconverter... but you can buy teleconverters for FX cameras. You can't currently buy a speed booster for DX cameras, so this lens will be as good as it gets for a zoom.
    The D300s lags way behind either of these recent Nikons in most sensor tests.​
    Most? The sensor is, of course, not why people like the D300 (at least, not now). The combination of why people do like it and the D7100 sensor is why some want a D400. But that's several other threads.
  52. Ilkka: Yes, I don't think it's relevant to existing FX owners. But if a DX owner has a great deal of 24-70 envy and is prepared to buy an FX body to get it, this might just change their approach. It's certainly a good thing that the option exists - though I agree that, as an FX owner, I wouldn't rush to get one for a DX back-up body.

    Bruce: I'm sure Nikon's lens designers are busy (and not on holiday). Whether they're producing what everyone would like them to produce - particularly in the DX range, where I'm sure they feel that "pro" shoppers can just buy FX lenses - is another matter.
  53. My question is does it even make economic sense to buy a used D300 in 2013?​
    for some, sure, why not? if you dont need the latest and greatest, and/or are willing to use flash in low-light situations instead of hi-ISO, the d300 is still a very good camera with a very solid feel in the hand, and very affordable at current used prices. the d300s is even better, with the dual card slots.
    FWIW, i still find myself using the d300s a lot--there's a noticeable difference in weight with my d300s+sigma 17-50 OS set-up, as opposed to my d3s+24-70 set-up, and if i'm not shooting in an environment where i know i need the better hi-ISO performance, and/or dont wanna carry all that weight, i wont hesitate to grab the DX body. i will most likely continue to use it until it dies.
    my point, however, was that there are d300/d300s owners--a lot of them--who havent jumped to FX, and for that segment, the 18-35/1.8 will be very appealing. just to clarify, i also think that lens will do well with d7000/d7100 owners. it makes less sense for those with consumer-grade bodies, perhaps. the bottom line is that, for all those who were asking for a pro-spec DX lens, well, this is it. actually, sigma does pro-spec one better by introducing a 1.8 zoom, which mitigates the DoF advantage of FX compared to DX. for someone heavily invested in DX thinking of jumping to FX, who has held off because of the overall cost of upgrading, the 18-35 is a reason to stay with DX. it's also an innovative design, in a segment where it was beginning to look like there were no more innovations to come as far as lenses.
  54. But remember that the 24mp on the DX format is about 50mp of resolution and that is
    something the D600 can't match
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say (I do say that often, don't I?).​
    I think it means that if you took the pixel density of a D7100 and put it in an FX sensor it would be 50MP. But I don't think that is very meaningful. In reality both those camera have 24 MPs.
    If we do the "f-stop equivalent" - and I've only read this, but haven't really put any thought into whether the math is correct, so forgive me if it's a bit off - multiply both the focal length and the aperture by the crop factor to get the FX equivalent. This is said to account for both the difference in light gathering ability between sensor sizes (which makes sense to me because both the crop factor and the aperture number are square roots, extrapolations left as an exercise to the reader) and depth of field. So when you say "18-35 f/1.8 on DX" this is roughly equivalent to "27-53 f/2.7 on FX". Assuming the lens performs well, that's how it would work in the field. A D7100 owner could get this lens and be basically caught up to a D600 with an f/2.8 zoom, except missing the long end.
  55. my point, however, was that there are d300/d300s owners--a lot of them--who havent jumped to FX, and for that segment, the 18-35/1.8 will be very appealing​
    Agree to that, but if this would be the only targeted groep it would be quit stupid for Sigma to spend all that research on this lens. Ppl here seem to forget often that brands like Sigma target all other DSLR brands too.
  56. Sensor INFO

    Nikon D7100 comes with a 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS sensor, which has a diagonal of 28.21 mm (1.11 inch) and a surface area of 366.60 mm².
    Diagonal 28.21 mm [details] Surface area 366.6 mm² [details] Pixel pitch 3.9 µm [details] Pixel area 15.21 µm² [details] Pixel density 6.59 MP/cm²
    Sensor INFO

    Nikon D600 comes with a 35.9 x 24 mm CMOS sensor, which has a diagonal of 43.18 mm (1.7 inch) and a surface area of 861.60 mm².
    Diagonal 43.18 mm [details] Surface area 861.6 mm² [details] Pixel pitch 5.95 µm [details] Pixel area 35.4 µm² [details] Pixel density 2.83 MP/cm²
    The point I am making is that while they are both 24mp sensors, because the number
    of pixels packed in the pixel area on the D7100 gives it a resolution edge.
    6.59 MP/cm squared vs. 2.83MP/cm squared. That high density is both a blessing
    and a hindrance, less light gathering ability but higher resolution if you can
    get a really sharp, steady shot using a very sharp lens, and nail the focus.
  57. If by "higher resolution" you mean "more pixels per area" translating to "smaller pixels" - I don't see how that can be a good thing. Presented with two 24mp images from cameras of similar generations, where one sensor is smaller than the other - how is the image from the smaller sensor supposed to be sharper? I can't see why smaller pixel sites are a good thing. If there are situations where a D7100 is going to have a sharpness advantage over a D600, it might be because the D7100 omits the AA filter - but in practice, in actual use you'll have a really hard time finding a difference in sharpness. Unless it's going to be in situations where either the D7100's superior AF or the D600's superior high ISO quality are important. But both sensors are as "sharp" as anybody could really need them to be.
  58. DPreview tested the D5200 vs the D7100 DPreview says the sensor is similar except one
    has no anti-aliasing filter. They didn't notice a vast improvement overall.
    I just say if you have to crop and lose pixels then you have more pixels to work with, also
    if you use the 1.3x crop on top of the DX you still have about 15-16mp. As I stated before
    I would have rather had an 18mp sensor in the D7100 and a better noise profile.
    Having said that, its still an excellent low light sensor. Getting back what this lens
    means for trying to equalize for the FF superior low light performance, I figured that
    maybe 1.25 f stops faster lens may almost catch up to the D600, not quite. But, real world
    if you shoot raw and use Denoise or Define you have to do very little to make images
    look the same when looked at on the wall (not pixel peeking).
  59. None of them are zooms, but I stumbled across this and thought people on this thread might be entertained. I'll have the 150mm, please. (Though that Topar is interesting too!)

    T: I think you can assume that people on this forum know the area of a sensor (though actually I'll admit the D7100's is a fraction of a mm smaller than I'd expected), and that we know that 24MP = 24MP. The smaller sensor receives less of the image circle of a lens than the larger, unless you use some kind of focal reducer (like the aforementioned speed booster) to concentrate the result. The higher pixel density sensor resolves more detail, unless you use a teleconverter on a bigger sensor to enlarge the detail: in both cases, you throw away the edges of the image, so the "advantage" is effectively just a change of focal length and aperture; so long as you can match the absolute aperture with a shorter lens, the same argument also removes the primary advantage of an FX system. It is, nonetheless, generally easier to get a lens to resolve detail for a larger sensor.

    Don't get me wrong, DX has its advantages over FX. It's generally cheaper, lenses are shorter, the whole system is lighter, the outdated mirror box given better AF coverage, that the "integrated teleconverter" is perfect makes it tempting to me for macro use and good-light distance shooting. For DoF control and low-light shooting, I'll still take the bigger format. And I actually have a teleconverter. And, of course, Nikon don't make a 36MP DX camera. (IIRC, Canon allegedly made a 50MP one at one point, though since so many people complain about the D800 having too many pixels it's probably for the best they didn't ship it, even if it mostly resolved lens aberrations.)
  60. If the idea is to get the most pixels while shooting tele in DX crop, then yes, putting the 24mp inside the DX crop area as opposed to about 12 when setting a D600 to DX is an advantage. Don't worry about more pixels causing more noise. That only matters when you pixel peep. If you print or shrink for screen display from a higher res file, the noise is smaller. In actual use you won't see the image as noisier.
  61. I too thought the D800 had too many pixels, I wish I could afford the Pentax D645, I have a
    Pextax 6x7 and could use my lenses on the D645 which has I think 40mp on a medium format
    sensor. I concur with your thought on the fact that more MP doesn't always equate to being the best mix. For me if I ever go FF it will be a mirrorless that can take advantage of my Leica M
    lens collection. These lenses are small, pretty fast, optically and mechanically excellent and
    would make a great system, and I have 6 prime lenses, from 15mm thru 90mm. Even so I would want no more than 20MP, that is plenty on a FF.
    This Sigma lens being so fast would eliminate on DX having a FF lenses like 20mm(30mm EFL) 24mm (36mm EFL) 28mm (43mm EFL) and 35mm (53mm EFL). Other than using
    the with my film cameras or a mirrorless camera I don't need them.
  62. T: DPReview say they had to use a decent prime at f/3.5 to see the edge enhancement from missing the low pass filter, which doesn't surprise me. The maths says you've thrown away the difference to diffraction, and sure enough that's what they found. Even on the D800e, I know I'm down to "plain D800 resolution" if I shoot at f/8, and I try to stick to the f/4-f/5.6 range when I can. The difference from no AA filter is small, but there. I got a D800 because I wanted the resolution, so not going for an "e" and getting every scrap of resolution I could seemed unwise. It costs you very little on the D7100, beyond a little moire at the wrong aperture, and if you want the resolution it's nice to have it.

    You obviously lose some noise handling by "further teleconverting" the D7100 with the 1.3x crop, due to the reduction in light contributing to the image area, but at full size I believe it's pretty close to the D7000. I don't believe there's a significantly "better noise profile" to be had, with the arguable exception of moving the whole shebang to back-side illumination or the recent organic sensor announcements (when mature) - the D7100 is within a small fraction of class leading, and identical to the D600/D800/D4 sensors in terms of areal efficiency, as far as I know. "Better" isn't asking Nikon to catch up with everyone else, it's telling them to invent something better than everyone else has, which is a bit of a big ask. Though stuffing more light into the camera with one of these obviously helps...

    Anyway, talking to Canon about their dynamic range might be fairer, though I understand the 1Dx keeps the D4 quite honest. (Aside: I played with a D4 a couple of weeks back. The grip's too deep for me to reach the buttons by the lens mount, and I still can't reach the ISO button during shooting. My lust is dying with old age.)
  63. I too thought the D800 had too many pixels, I wish I could afford the Pentax D645, I have a Pextax 6x7 and could use my lenses on the D645 which has I think 40mp on a medium format sensor.​
    With an adaptor, I hope you realise. :) It's only "medium-ish format" (44mm x 33mm vs 56mm x 41mm for 645 film - you need much more expensive digital backs to get near a full 645 frame). Still, as far as I can tell, nice camera. It won't be appreciably easier to get the full resolution out of it - much of the problem people have with a D800 is that you only get the best quality by shooting like you would to get the best out of medium format. Various discussions here, here and here.
    I concur with your thought on the fact that more MP doesn't always equate to being the best mix. For me if I ever go FF it will be a mirrorless that can take advantage of my Leica M lens collection. These lenses are small, pretty fast, optically and mechanically excellent and would make a great system, and I have 6 prime lenses, from 15mm thru 90mm. Even so I would want no more than 20MP, that is plenty on a FF.​
    With the right lenses, it's possible to make pretty good use of a D800E's resolution. Just. With the wrong lenses, not so much. Generally, I'll take more resolution when I can get it (memory cards are getting cheaper, computers are getting faster), but I do think I'd be surprised if Canon - or Nikon - have much that could resolve to 50MP, at least at the frame edges. Now, a 24MP DX crop embedded in a D800-resolution border is another matter. One problem of DX is being diffraction limited - so faster lenses like the Sigma ought to help.
    This Sigma lens being so fast would eliminate on DX having a FF lenses like 20mm(30mm EFL) 24mm (36mm EFL) 28mm (43mm EFL) and 35mm (53mm EFL). Other than using the with my film cameras or a mirrorless camera I don't need them.​
    If they're all f/2.8 (tiny and cheap), yes. It's not really a substitute for the better and faster primes, or even a 28mm f/1.8, on FX. Still, the same is true of a 24-70 f/2.8.
  64. I hope not to use any lens that has a max aperture of less than f2.8 or with TC17e2 f4.8 used
    with the 105mm VR f2.8 macro. (268mm EFL DX; 348mm 1.3x crop mode). Indoors/ outdoors in
    low light at f2.8 or better and 13.7 ev's dynamic range the D7100 should be enough for most
  65. Sorry, T, you've lost me again. Do you mean you don't expect to use a lens faster than f/2.8 (and therefore this f/1.8 zoom won't apply to you), or you don't expect to use a lens slower than f/2.8? I've certainly seen the difference between f/2.8 and faster on a D700, or even my D800 - though with most of my lenses I'm usually at f/4-f/7 for optical quality on the D800. Sometimes, even f/1.4, FX and ISO 25600 is pushing it. Not by choice, obviously.
  66. Right, I meant slower than Max aperture of f2.8. You knew what I meant.
    I have lots of older Nikkors, but I wanted to use the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8,
    This new Sigma 18-35mm f1.8, then a CV 58mm f1.4 (instead of my 85mm f1.4) as
    the portrait lens and the 105mm f2.8 VR AFS macro with the TC-17e2.
    One nice feature that the D7100 has is that additional 1.3x crop. I have to
    check if there is a zoom feature that lets you isolate the crop in the lcd
    monitor, that would be handy. Anyway its still got to be easier than separate optical
    finders I used on Leica rangefinders. With that crop option and with and without the TC
    you can have the 105mm with or without the crop and attach the TC and have that with
    or without the crop. Only wrinkle is the TC for some reason works in AF mode with
    my big 70-200mm f2.8 AFS VR, but only manual focus mounted on the 105mm AFS VR.
    doesn't matter much since at distance focusing should be fairly easy with the in focus
    indicator. Working with the Leica type gear one gets used to not having a zoom and
    anticipating lens changes. At least 11-16 and 18-35 are zooms here and you know when
    your going to need to have a portrait lens and longer lens. Plus, you can get that extra
    reach with the 1.3x crop and still have plenty of pixels.
  67. if this would be the only targeted groep it would be quit stupid for Sigma to spend all that research on this lens. Ppl here seem to forget often that brands like Sigma target all other DSLR brands too.​
    they also make their own proprietary bodies too, which is another reason why they want to have decent lenses. the practicality of this approach is in the fact they can split their R&D costs against all mounts they make their lenses for, which allows them to maybe take more chances with lens design than the Big Two.
  68. Ah, thanks T. Sorry, I was genuinely confused - please forgive me, it's late (here). And... Don't forget that all the crop does is throw away
    pixels. I've used the D800's DX crop when I knew I didn't need the boundaries and I was short on storage, and you get a frame rate win on
    the D7100, but it's no teleconverter substitute. I've not checked, but I'm sure the crop is obvious both in the finder and in live view.

    Eric: Sigma *make* bodies. I'm not sure they *sell* any. :) (That's harsh - allegedly the Foveon compacts are quite good.)
  69. Eric: Also note, Sigma, in addition to 'one lens design, many bodies' ... ALL of their product is made 'in county', i.e., Japan. Nikon does not do this ... only the 'high end' product ...the pro bodies, and the 'pro' lenses. Other Nikon product is 'off shore' in China and Thailand. (I don't personally care where it is made, as long as it performs ..."Performance, It's Everything" ) ...but some DO CARE ... knowing that 'off shore' production and labor costs are significantly lower ... the assumption being that the resulting product is somehow less, ah, what? ...glorious? This adds to the question ... how are they (Sigma) able to do this, and undercut the 'majors' on price, significantly, not occasionally, but repeatedly. We are getting ready to clear an air field, but my co says to punch in here the old keyboard test ... 'the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog' ... I am certainly not the 'brown', and Nik is (hopefully) not the 'lazy dog' ... he just asked me to punch it in ... thought it was relevant, and he's not really the co, I am, so I do as asked.
  70. Bruce: Now you're confusing me. Though on the country of origin thing, I don't believe their should be a quality control issue on lenses that Nikon feel it's worth ramping up Chinese production on. I've always found KR's "Quality: Chinese" thing to be mildly racist, whether he means it as such or not. But then I'm white and middle class, and may be inventing problems where they don't exist.
  71. Andrew: Up too late on this one? ;-) ... read... 'I don't personally care where it is made as long as it performs..."Performance, It's Everything". That said, there is NO QUESTION it costs more to produce in Japan than China or Thailand. The issue is, not an issue really, Sigma produces ALL in Japan, yet is able to under price the majors in the lens category at least, all the time. Not only under price,... get a taste of their goods ... buy (or rent) Sigma 35m/1.4. Heft it up, look it over, and shoot some frames thru it ... you can't help but wonder how is this possible at this price? I know the folks at Zeiss are probably asking this, since the S outperforms the Z. Then there is the usb port ... Not only has this discussion generated EIGHT PAGES here, it certainly generated more on my end (with lots of photo types this weekend) ... one even mentioned Sig's advertising (!) ... new agency, new plan? ... their adverts are really attention getting and top-notch. Maybe they are just selling the bejeebers out of their product, and can afford to go out and 'CAPTURE' (another, sorry, to good to pass up) more and more customers. Just looks like a very 'forward-leaning' company that has, as we say in the USMC, their head and axx wired together.
    I need to add ...I have read every word on this thread, some three times to fully understand has all been great ...(and free, well $25, I pay) ... thanks HUGE for the inputs and clarifications. I fly more informed.
  72. Eric: Sigma *make* bodies. I'm not sure they *sell* any. :) (That's harsh - allegedly the Foveon compacts are quite good.)​
    @Andrew, Sigma also makes the SD1 Merrill models, which are aimed at a niche market which wont settle for second-rate glass. They're able to amortize costs of R&D for their own proprietary mount by dispersing that cost among all the other mounts. So they probably dont need to sell any bodies, since they are the world's biggest lens seller. but for the ones they do, they need to have hi-end glass, as well as hi-end glass in DX format (SD1 series uses APS-C), which benefits high-end DX users for other formats. I think that explains their commitment to hi-end DX, e.g. 18-35/1.8, 50-150/2.8 OS. As to how they're able to do it at those price points--under $1000 for 35/1.4 and 18-35--with the 35, they needed to make a statement about where they were headed; with the 18-35, they were realistic about what the market will bear -- at $800, they will easily sell twice as much then had they priced it at $1200. considering that nikon has had to deeply discount some lenses just to maintain interest level, it seems like sigma has learned a few lessons from their disastrous launch of the sd1.

    @Bruce: not sure the made in japan tag matters as much as dedication to innovation in design and QC. Sigma has always made their lenses in Japan (so does Tokina), it's just that they've been making better lenses lately.
  73. Bruce: I was only confused by the lazy dog analogy, but I might be slightly thrown by being too used to it in a keyboard context. So strictly speaking, you weren't the one confusing me. :) But thank you for elaborating - and thank you for your other input. I always learn in these threads too, even if others despair of me doing so. I'm not sure I've particularly registered a recent Sigma advert, but then I've seen a few too many showing allegedly sharp images taken with the long end of a 150-500, so I may be blotting them out.

    Eric: I still wasn't under the impression that SD1 Merrills were selling in enormous quantities. But you're quite right that if Sigma didn't make some high end glass (though not everything they make keeps up with the on-brand lenses) they'd struggle even more to ship any. Minor glitches aside, I've been perfectly happy with my 150mm macro and my 8mm, and I wish them well. Though I'll be interested to see what happens when others come up with Foveon competitors. (Personally, I'd rather have the spatial resolution from having the sensor sites for the colours offset, but I can see benefits to the approach, at least if the noise can be handled better.)
  74. Eric: ++ ...I only add more because we MAY be heading toward a thread record ... we as consumers may only have to worry about Sigma, if, in the future, due to any successes they may continue to have, THEY start adding a colored band around their product ... won't be red or gold, as those are taken. Perhaps orange, yellow, green or blue. This, if done, it would necessitate what? ... a 10 to 15% price increase of the product. ;-)
  75. Bruce: It's already gold, on "EX" lenses (except the 200-500, because I guess gold wouldn't go with the green... and nobody's going to mistake that lens for anything else.) There's sometimes some different paint, too. Interestingly, the 18-35 isn't "EX" (though it is "Art", if they're mutually exclusive). Nor is the 120-300, which you'd kind of expect to be a premium lens. I've no idea why a few of the lenses have a red ring.
  76. And Andrew: History trivia ... when the original 'hot-line' was set up between Washington and the Kremlin ... late Eisenhower or early JFK ('59, '60. or'61), it was not a phone line, just a DIRECT text line. The first message sent by USA to the Russians to test the connection was ... 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog'. The Russians did not know English keyboard test, and took it poorly ... they thought the US was calling itself a 'quick fox', and the Russians a 'lazy dog'. Caused a BIG INCIDENT, the Russes threatening to cut the line before it could even be used. The NSC people spent all night and the next day gathering up every single HS and College text they could ... USAF air-lifted them to Moscow the following day ... to prove ... it was just an innocent test, and noting else. Everyone calmed down ... for awhile.
  77. I still wasn't under the impression that SD1 Merrills were selling in enormous quantities.​
    They're not. it's a niche product as i said before, designed for landscape, macro and studio portrait work. Not really intended for mass consumption, even at the current selling price, and not really a camera i'd recommend for photojournalism, sports,or action, since the body design and UI lag behind the Foveon sensor quality. However, for photographers seeking the best possible IQ from a DSLR, the SD1 represents an intriguing, if eccentric, choice. I'd probably be more inclined to pick up a DP-series compact on deep discount, although the newer models with the Merrill sensor have been generally well-received.
    If Sigma didn't make some high end glass (though not everything they make keeps up with the on-brand lenses) they'd struggle even more to ship any.​
    The way i see this is, good glass is a necessity, since the SD1 will only accept Sigma-mount lenses. That sort of explains the recent upward momentum of their lens line, from an IQ standpoint, since they have incentive now not just to produce volume, but to produce quality. But what's interesting about Sigma is that they continue to put out innovative new designs, and are getting much better at making zooms -- they've long been known for making good macros and decent primes -- my 17-50 OS has been a real solid performer, as has my 50-150/2.8 non-OS. I wish Nikon would take more chances with their lens designs, which have seemed about as exciting as grandpa's cardigan. When was the last truly innovative lens Nikon put out? Why can't they do a 28-105/2.8 or a 20/1.8? or a stabilized 24-70/2.8? Even the Coolpix A has ho-hum specs which make it less appealing than the Ricoh GR and Fuji X100s, especially at that $1100 price point. You can't be an innovator if you're not pushing the envelope... but i digress.
    Interestingly, the 18-35 isn't "EX" (though it is "Art", if they're mutually exclusive). Nor is the 120-300, which you'd kind of expect to be a premium lens.​
    I could be wrong, but i think the EX line may have been discontinued in favor of "Art" and "Sports." that's just marketing jargon, but if the end result is better lenses and better build quality, i'm okay with that.
  78. For what it's worth. A review from
  79. Bruce: Always assume incompetence instead of malice. Especially of me.

    Incidentally, finally had the chance to look at the dot focus links. I should have thought of that. Though I'd probably binary chop rather than
    using increments of one. Thanks for the tip.

    Eric: I think you're right about the rebranding for new lenses. Maybe there'll be a new coloured line at some point! (And supposedly Nikon
    asked pros about a vr 24-70 but claimed reduced image quality for a vr design, so the vote was no vr. Maybe design has moved on.)
  80. Andrew and all ... thanks for all ... Watson (the OP) ... thanks, too ... bet you had NO IDEA ... huh?
  81. Nikon asked pros about a vr 24-70 but claimed reduced image quality for a vr design, so the vote was no vr.​
    that makes no sense. they have VR in the 70-200 and even the 16-35. and, since tamron's 24-70 got high marks for IQ with stabilization--and at a lower price point--it kind of looks like nikon's being lazy here. how long before sigma comes out with an updated 24-70/2.8 OS?
  82. wow...someone can replace their 20mm f/2.8d, 24mm f/2.8d, 28mm f/2.8d, 28mm f/1.8g, 35mm f/1.8g with this lens and not lose speed? heck of a deal :)
  83. If anything, I personally think Nikon should try to improve the corner sharpness, reduce the physical length and improve the construction quality of the Nikon 24-70/2.8 rather than add VR. All of the current Nikon wide angle and standard zooms that have VR also have more distortion, vignetting and reduced corner and edge sharpness at equal focal length and aperture, compared to the current Nikon 24-70/2.8 and 14-24/2.8. Long lenses are different as those have a lot of empty space inside for extra elements and the rays are already near parallel at this point, so a VR system can be incorporated with less damage to image quality. In my opinion adding VR to the 24-70 before it can match the size, zoom smoothness and image quality of the current Canon version would be a mistake. The physical size advantage of the Canon lens is quite remarkable.
    Tamron have their own examples of the adverse effect of vibration reduction on image quality in wide and normal zooms. Photozone shows that the earlier non-VC 17-50/2.8 is optically superior to the VC version. The 24-70 Tamron seems to produce good test results, but again there is no telling how great the lens could be if the VC feature hadn't been incorporated. Photozone show roughly similar sharpness and CA between the Nikon and Tamron 24-70/2.8's, with some differences (e.g. Nikon shows better corner sharpness at wide apertures at 70mm, and better center sharpness at 24mm, whereas the Tamron is slightly better in some other areas), but the 24mm focal length on the Tamron appears to show more vignetting and distortion than the Nikkor which are exactly the type of effects seen in Nikon's VR zooms at 24mm in this range as well. Also, the bokeh of the Tamron appears to be more complex (inner area of highlight discs out of focus are complex) than in the 24-70 Nikkor in that test. So I wouldn't go say that the Tamron is better than the Nikkor (or the Canon 24-70 II) based on this test. It seems to be getting close though. Nevertheless I would prefer improved, rather than almost as good.
    Nikon could work on the mechnical quality (zoom ring smoothness is frequently complained about, mine is not smooth either, which is something distracting), long distance and edge sharpness at 24mm, size reduction, bokeh fringing at 24mm, and so on, rather than incorporate VR into an already complex lens. But I have nothing against Nikon making a separate VR version of the 17-55/2.8 and 24-70/2.8's if that is what some customers want. Since resolution of cameras has been increasing, I've found increasing myself resorting to high shutter speeds rather than VR for best image quality. I do take advantage of VR on the 70-200/2.8II even though I know that best image quality is with a tripod and VR off. VR does help with keeping the AF point squarely on the subject when shooting hand-held at 200mm and longer focal lengths, and this translates to a greater percentage of in focus shots. Also in dark churches etc. indoor environments, in the 70-200mm range I find VR beneficial as sometimes the subject is sitting relatively in the dark part of the audience section, and without VR an extremely high ISO or a faster lens would have been needed. Shooting in similar conditions with the 24-70mm, I didn't have difficulty holding the lens steady without VR.
    But your needs may be different from mine. Perhaps the solution is separate lenses for different users. Since Tamron already makes a reasonable 24-70 with VC, perhaps it is not necessary to Nikon make one.
  84. that makes no sense. they have VR in the 70-200 and even the 16-35. and, since tamron's 24-70 got high marks for IQ with stabilization--and at a lower price point--it kind of looks like nikon's being lazy here. how long before sigma comes out with an updated 24-70/2.8 OS?​
    I assume Nikon had two designs which were "the best they could do at the time", one with VR and one without, and the one without was appreciably sharper. Remember the 24-70 was a significant performance improvement on its predecessar. The 70-200 is longer and I suspect easier to fit a VR group to the back of (it took Canon a long time to get a 70-200 IS that was as sharp as their non-IS version). Still, technology moves on, and it's clear than Tamron made a compelling product. But like Ilkka, if I were Nikon, I'd be losing more sleep over the new Canon than the Tamron. Given the history of f/2.8 lens revisions and given that Canon's newest versions seem to be outperforming the Nikkors in tests, I wouldn't be surprised if Nikon updated their 24-70 and 70-200 designs sooner rather than later - though what I'd really like is for them to clone the 17mm T/S, especially with the independent axis rotation (I have a superrotator, realigning with screws seems primitive).

    Of course, I have no internal knowledge of Nikon's product release plans. I've noticed increasing amounts of white glass in press circles, though (maybe helped by the 5D3 probably being a better press camera than the Nikons, and at least on specs the 1Dx has the edge on the D4), so I wouldn't be surprised if they had some pressure on trying to pull the press to the dark side.

    For what it's worth, I thought Nikon's sample images for the D800 that were shot with the 24-70 showed a bit of softness even at f/8 - it looked like some kind of wavy field curvature. The 70-200 held up much better. (My 14-24 seems to have field curvature problems as well, but it may need a CLA.)
  85. I think we have to wait to see Canon make a high resolution full frame camera before we can really say how the newest Canon lenses perform vs. Nikkors on the D800. Using Canon full frame lenses on 21/22MP cameras and concluding perfection is a bit premature, I think. A lot of Nikon lenses look nearly perfect on the 24MP D3X, e.g. the f/1.4 AF-S Nikkors even close to wide open, but on the D800 a slightly different story is seen. Some testers give high points to Canon lenses vs. Nikon lenses just because they meet the resolution expectations of the 21/22MP sensors better than Nikon lenses meet 36MP. This is of course ridiculous and would lead readers to the wrong conclusions.
    Robert Cicalo compared the Canon 24-70 II + 5D Mk III vs. Nikon 24-70 + D800E and noted that mounted on D800E, the latter would still produce higher resolution images even though the Canon lens may in itself be better (it is significantly smaller and better constructed than the Nikkor in my opinion, which is why I would like Nikon to feel some pressure):
    This gives Nikon some time before the need to revise the 24-70, as they can ride the benefits of the D800(E) sensor for the time being but given the typical cycle of revision of these lenses, I think a new 24-70/2.8 may be only 1-3 years off. It is Nikon's best selling professional optic and given its significance and popularity, active development effort is justified. Canon will surely be out with a high resolution camera eventually and by then hopefully Nikon's efforts in revising their professional lens lineup (that has been quite active since 2007) will approach completion. I am waiting for the replacement to the 135 DC, though at the moment it seems the Zeiss 135/2 is better than either the Nikkor or the Canon lens, though manual focus of course. After that I could say I am happy with Nikon's lenses as a whole, where it pertains to my needs.
    I think Andrew's observation about Canon becoming more popular in photojournalist circles may be true, as the newest focusing system in the 5DIII and 1D X is earning very high marks among users, and Nikon has had some difficulty with the D800 and the Multi-CAM 3500 (I cannot count the number of hours I've spent trying to work out the fine tuning of the D800 with my fast primes - with the conclusion that the setting depends on the distance, making optimal use of many of these lenses tricky in practice, especially at longer distances). Also 6fps is a bit more practical than 4fps, though Nikon also offers DX and FX 6fps models.
  86. Ilkka: I've seen a magazine review of 24-70 lenses do exactly what you say, comparing a 5D3 and a D800. They tested fairly near the middle of the frame, too. The old Canon 24-70, which is generally considered to be a step behind Nikon's offering, got higher scores than the Nikkor. I wrote them a strongly-worded letter asking them to do it again, but better.

    My understanding is that the Canon does a bit better in lens-independent tests (and the one you link to is a good point - though that test also suggests the Tamron isn't exactly smashing the Nikkor). I'd really like people to do more tests independent of the sensor, since a D800-based test won't necessarily tell you much about how a lens performs on a D600 and vice-versa. There aren't enough multidimensional graphs out there. If Nikon could get better out of the D800 by upping the lens quality, it wouldn't be a bad thing for them to do. I doubt either Canon or Nikon will produce another FX camera in a hurry (though since I vaguely expect a D5 at some point I guess there might be a 1Ds4), but it'll happen at some point. Your 1-3 years guess wouldn't surprise me, either.

    I need to give my DC one last go, or actually get it on ebay before Nikon release a successor. Though if it doesn't have DC, it isn't a successor. The Zeiss is, admittedly, a pretty special piece of glass. I'm kind of sympathetic that Nikon would make more of its users happy if it gave DX a bit more love, though.

    As for the Canon AF system (and while I keep claiming the 5D3 is a better general-purpose camera than the D800 because of it and the frame rate - though to be honest, most of the sports and photojournalists I see still have the unibodies), surely KR can't be wrong in saying that the Canon's AF is hopelessly over-complicated and useless? :)
  87. VR adds a few more elements to the lens and thus reduces light transmission. whether that trade off is worth while would depend on the intended use of the lens.
    For UWA, few shoot it in low light at high shutter speed. Most light light shots are done with tripod so light transmission is not really an issue. Why is 16-35 VR the only UWA with stablisation is quite a mystery.
    For standard F2.8 zoom, maybe Nikon thinks majority of its customers are wedding and event shooters, who prefer light transmission because they need to shoot at relatively higher SS to avoid motion blur. Canon probably takes the same view which is why its new 24-70 F2.8 also does not have IS. But for less"pro" and more "hobbyist" lenses, such as 24-70 F4 and 24-105 F4, 24-120, 24-85, Canon and Nikon do include IS/VR. It should be pointed out that 24-105 is the prime example of light transmission loss - as an F4 lens its light transmission is only T5.1, while most F4 lens have trnamission of T4.50~ish.
    For medium telehoto, fast shutter speed is needed to freeze action and light transmission is preferred over stablisation, I presume.
    But for super telephoto, I am guessing, non-stablised minimum shutter speed is faster than that is required to freeze motion, thus they have stablisation.
    That is my rationalisation of the whole stablisation situation.
  88. I wouldn't go say that the Tamron is better than the Nikkor (or the Canon 24-70 II) based on this test. It seems to be getting close though.​
    Fyi, DxO mark rated the tamron as 1 point better than the 24-70 nikkor. Not saying the Nikon doesnt outperform the Tamron in real-world usage, but that shows that stabilization can be successfully put into a standard 2.8 zoom. also, i had the non-VC tamron 17-50 and now use the sigma 17-50 OS for DX. the tamron was maybe a hair sharper at 2.8, but stabilization does help when shooting still subjects in low light, as well as live shots where there may be more camera movement, even with a fairly high shutter speed.
    i'm still not sure there's a good explanation for why the 24-70 isnt stabilized and the 70-200 is. if the VR degraded the IQ so much, then how come both versions of the 70-200 are regarded as optically better than the 80-200/2.8 D?
    In any event, it's kind of a moot point since the 18-35 isnt stablilized--which may help explain its apparent optical superiority.
  89. since the 18-35 isnt stablilized​

    it is in K and alpha mount ;)

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