Link for Gallery images taken with the 18-35 1.8
I bought this lens to replace my Sigma 17-50 2.8. The 17-50 2.8 is a great lens but is pretty soft around the edges and not as sharp in the center as I would like. I originally was thinking I would get a 30 Art for lower light capabilities and sharpness. I quickly came across this lens!
I bought this lens with the Sigma dock (also a GREAT product and feature I wish other companies would adopt) knowing I would need to fine tune it. If you plan to use it at 1.8, you will most likely need to adjust it with the dock. 1.8 is a very thin DoF so any little difference can make or break an image. I spent about 3 hours total adjusting it with the dock and a book with a ruler propped up against it at a 45°. Once calibrated, this lens is prime sharp!
The "sweet spot" is f2.8-4 which is where I shoot anyway.
AF is smooth, quiet, and is pretty accurate but can struggle in low light. But so does any lens. I always double tap the AF to be safe. This could just be user error of course.
I use this lens mainly for weddings. I also use 2 bodies. I take 90% of my shots with it. Its like having 3 primes in one! Depending on the venue and what I am shooting, I pair this lens with a 50 or my 70-200 2.8. Sometimes with a 10-18.
Some complain about the weight but it isnt much heavier than the 17-50 2.8 or any other fast zoom. I actually like the weight. For me, the weight helps me keep is steady for hand held shots. It feels very solid and is a good example of the quality that the Art lenses are known for! I love the texture of it. This is a sexy lens!
One thing that I had to get used to and I still screw it up when switching between zooms is - The zoom ring is closest to the camera and the focus ring is near the front of the lens. Just something to get used to.
There is NO OS(IS) but I do not miss it. The wide aperture allows for faster shutter speeds to make up for the lack of OS. I'm not sure the size of this lens would be desirable if it had OS as well.
The lens hood that comes with it is good and snaps into place.
I also hear this lens is great for video but I cannot comment on that.
Definitely a great lens at a great price! Worth checking out if you are looking for something to replace several primes or to replace a general use lens. There is only one other lens similar to it and that is the Sigma 24-35 f2.
Feel free to ask any questions!