Lens Comparison Sigma 17-35mm f/2.8-4 EX DG HSM and Canon 18-55mm f/3.5 – f/5.6 IS
Sigma 17-35mm f/2.8-4 EX DG fits both on full frame and cropped sensor bodies, costing approx 250$, for its price range the lens is pretty much well built with a metal mount, the lens is available for Canon, Nikon and Pentax alike. For the purpose of this lens review the canon mount version on Canon 40D is being used.
The build is pretty much like Sigma’s other lens with Matt finish surface. The lens is definitely not light weight, with a filter size of 77mm the build looks pretty much sturdy. The HSM works quite well, I find the internal focus mechanism is faster than the 18-55mm kit lens from Canon. The lens is also equipped with all time manual focus which means even if the lens is in auto focus mode, rotating the focus ring will allow you to adjust focus. Summarizing at this point usually this is typically stated in the verdict section of the review, since I don’t have a verdict section I will put it here , the lens works best at its widest range and stopping down the aperture to f/8.0 or higher, although f/5.6 gives decent results but I am being a little more critical, since I would like sharper pictures.
This is a very narrowed review on the lens comparison of Sigma 17-35mm F/2.8 – F/4.0, alongside Canon’s 18-55mm F/3.5 – F/5.6 as a flip side to anyone who would be interested in having this replace the kit lens, can get some general idea on what they are looking at. Although the focal length is shorter at 35mm compared to Canon’s 55mm, but obviously there are cons to it. First being the quality of the images. Although I have noticed at certain cases the 18-55 can do wonders provided with perfect lighting and a combination of a higher aperture value. Let me add here that some might consider this comparison not being justified since the focal length is way too less on the Sigma compared to Canon’s 55mm, but for general purpose use and specially for cropped body sensors the sigma can be looked at.
Below is a color comparison as how the 17-35 snaps at full focal length (35mm) and how 18-55 snaps at its full focal length (55mm).
The colors on the Sigma are slightly vibrant compared to the kit lens. Although to the naked eye they might not have much drastic difference.
Although Sigma’s 17-35mm is a pretty soft lens and stays soft upto f/8.0, a decent sharpness can be obtained at around f/11 . The softness on this lens can be put to positive use, by using it solely for portraits.
Comparing the sharpness at different aperture values at f/2.8 , f/8.0 and f/20 the images below reflect the differences, do notice the difference on sharpness at 30cm in all the different aperture values, the difference is pretty obvious. I have also taken the same shots with the 18-55, keeping the focal length to its widest as done for the sigma, we cannot actually compare the results ditto since Sigma’s aperture goes down to f/2.8 where as Canon’s drops to f/3.5, so it will not justify if we compare them, this is just to display the difference of sharpness and focus each lens can provide and its widest.
Sigma 17-35mm f/2.8-4 EX DG HSM
Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 IS
Focus Test Comparisons
Also the results of both lenses at their maximum focal lengths can be observed in the below images. The easiest way to look at them is the measurements on the scale; you can look at how various measurements appear sharper or softer with different aperture values.
Sigma 17-35mm f/2.8-4 EX DG HSM
Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-f5.6 IS
The main are to look at are the measurements that get focused or appear sharp within each image, looking at them closely and comparing them with each other will give a better view on how each lens produces its results.