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Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art vs. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

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  • filmguy123
    I have both, they are both great depending on what you need to do.

    Both are APS-C size lenses, and I think the 18-35 is the better pick for most people doing corporate/branding/b-roll type video, because how often are you going to need more than a FF equivalent 70mm zoom reach? And when you do, will you need to be able to quickly go back to a wider angle or would you have time to simply swap to a longer lens?

    Overall the primary question is one of better lowlight vs better range. If you're shooting indoor events and/or want extra shallow DOF, sigma. At wide open aperture, the Sigma lets in about twice as much light as the Canon. However, Iifyou're relying on being able to get a bit more reach (say, you're filming basketball games, or doing docu work where you can't get quite as up close), than canon.

    The 17-55 as mentioned as built in IS, which will help smooth out minor shakes. That can be helpful but it's nowhere near the effect of IBIS when it is in the body, so I am not convinced I would make it a deciding factor as it's likely not enough to prevent you from needing other forms of stabilization. I see this IS as more a factor of it having a longer reach up to 55 (110 FF) where that becomes much more essential. So with that in mind, as you decide between these, keep in mind if you are running with a small rig or handheld, a longer reach than the Sigma 18-35 may have limited utility as using the full zoom range without stronger support on the 17-55 will be a bit shaky.

    In any case, having both I always reach for the 18-35 unless I specifically need more range. I find that generally I don't need more than a 70mm FF reach, and appreciate the extra lowlight capabilities and DOF.

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  • Tim Sewell
    Haven't used the Sigma, but I've had the Canon for years. It has a nice look, it's very reliable and the IS is outstanding. AF is snappy and quiet, but manual focus is an absolute dog.

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  • ahalpert
    The 18-35 can provide more light and a shallower depth of field. The 17-55 has greater range and image stabilization.

    The 18-35 is very sharp at wide-open aperture and has excellent flare resistance. Those are generally considered to be positive traits, although it can look very clean and boring if you want more flare to happen.

    I'm not as familiar with the 17-55 but I don't think it's as sharp or as even across the frame.

    Dxomark provides a comparison of performance measurements of both lenses

    Notably, the sigma shows sharper corners and less vignetting than the canon when both lenses are zoomed out and at maximum aperture, which is impressive considering that the sigma opens more than a stop wider.




    Last edited by ahalpert; 03-18-2021, 07:20 AM.

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  • Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art vs. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

    To be used on BMPCC 6K / BMPCC 6K Pro / Canon EOS 90D, manual focus or auto-focus only, no follow-focus.
    What are the benefits and the drawbacks of each of those lenses?