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I have bought a new Canon 800d/T7i(APSC) DSLR Camera body. I haven't opted for the Kit Lens.

Now I am planning to buy Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 lens for my daily photography.

But I have gone through some recent reviews about Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 lens where they have mentioned about Auto Focus issues with Canon 80d/T6i/77D models. Moreover the lens doesn't come with Image Stabilisation.

I personally like the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 lens because of its sharp lens and also I don't have to carry any Prime lens.

Please let me know if Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 lens is compatible with Canon 800D.

If not, can you please suggest any other good alternative lens.

  • Have you considered Sigma 24-35/2 Art? It is a full-frame lens, in case you decide to switch sensor formats. Also, the bokeh looks a bit better to me than the 18-35/1.8. – xiota Jul 30 at 16:32
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There's no other lens comparable to the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art currently on the market. That is, there is no other zoom lens in that focal length range with a maximum aperture larger than f/2.8 that is offered in the Canon EF mount. In fact, there is no other zoom lens in any focal length range with a maximum aperture larger than f/2.8 offered in the Canon EF mount.

The lens should be compatible. It will certainly mount on your camera. By all accounts it will communicate with your camera regarding the electronically controlled aperture. By all accounts it will AF with your camera. The question really is, "How well will it AF with your camera?"

The same exact lens will perform differently on different camera bodies. The variations will probably be greater on different models, but there will be some variation between different copies of the same model. Different lenses will perform differently on the same exact camera. Again, the variations will probably be greater on different lens models, but there will be some variation between different copies of the same lens model.

But here's the thing about phase detection autofocus (PDAF): no matter what camera body and what lens you have mounted on it PDAF is never 'perfect'. A well implemented contrast detection autofocus (CDAF) system will almost always be more accurate. So will careful manual focusing using magnified Live View. The reason we still use PDAF many times is because it is fast, it works with a TTL optical viewfinder, and usually it gets 'close enough' for most purposes.

Anytime you buy a 'third party' lens, you risk incompatibilities with newer camera models released after the lens was made. This is because third party lenses are reverse engineered and then tested with existing bodies available at the time they are developed. Companies such as Sigma and Tamron will often release an updated firmware for the lens(es) in question to resolve the issue. They usually will modify the lens at no charge, at least until the lens has been discontinued for a while. In the past this meant the hassle (and cost) of shipping the lens back to the maker or an authorized service center to have the updated firmware installed in the lens.

One thing that has made this risk more acceptable is the development of USB docks that allow the end user to update the lens' firmware themselves without needed to send to the lens off to a factory service center. All of the Sigma Global Vision lenses, including the 18-35mm f/1.8, are compatible with the very affordable Sigma dock. The end user can download the updated firmware from the manufacturer and then use the USB dock to install it on their lens.

If there are actual compatibility problems between this lens and some of the newer Canon cameras it is very likely that Sigma will release a firmware update to rectify the issue.

What often happens on 'the internet', though, is that other issues are often (but far from always) at play when images turn out blurry. What one commenter may interpret as a 'compatibility' issue may, in fact, be one of these other issues. If one has been shooting with f/3.5-5.6 and f/4-5.6 zoom lenses and then one starts shooting with an f/1.8 lens, there will likely be a need for increasing one's knowledge and skill using the same camera's AF system because the margin for error is dramatically smaller.

The other thing that the USB dock enables is very detailed calibration of the lens for a specific camera body. As the resolution of camera sensors and the lenses used with them have improved, we are beginning to be able to see the effects of very small manufacturing variations from one camera to the next and one lens to the next in the pictures we take. Previously, it took an expensive test bench to detect such variations. The Sigma Optimization Pro application allows the end user to adjust the lens' AF calibration to ake these variations into account. This is discussed in detail in Bryan Carnathan's Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens Review at The-Digital-Picture.

For further reading on AF systems, Roger Cicala's Autofocus Reality series is very insightful. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3A, Part 3B, and Part 4. And: How Auto Focus (Often) Works Also: Are zooms always sharper at one end than the other?

  • Two minor issues: (1) modern mirrorless dual pixel AF which is a form of PDAF is very accurate, (2) a Tamron lens I bought didn't work without firmware update on my EOS RP, and the instruction manual that came with the lens specifically said mirrorless is not supported, so modern mirrorless cameras should change the answer to somewhat. If a 3rd party Canon EF lens hasn't been specifically designed to work with mirrorless, it probably doesn't work, although if it works with a firmware update, the PDAF of mirroless is very accurate. – juhist Jul 30 at 16:36
  • @juhist 1) The clause later in the same sentence ("it works with a TTL optical viewfinder") will clue in careful readers that we are not referring to imaging sensor based "hybrid" AF methods that incorporate both PDAF (to get close) and CDAF (to finalize focus position) but rather to dedicated PDAF arrays not located on the main imaging sensor. But even imaging sensor based PDAF methods are not perfect. – Michael C Jul 31 at 4:52
  • 2) Over one half of this answer is spent on discussing firmware updates to allow older third party lenses to work with newer cameras. At the time this answer was written, there were no mirrorless cameras on the market in the Canon EF mount. Thus, the reference to "mirrorless" in the lens' instructions (likely printed before the introduction of the EOS R series of cameras), is more a reference to using the EF mount lens with an adapter to another non-Canon mount, such as the Sony E-mount. – Michael C Jul 31 at 4:54
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You should contact Sigma and/or Canon if compatibility is an issue for you. They're the only ones who can make definitive statements. Taking advice from the internet on this is probably a bad plan.

Now I am planning to buy Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 lens for my daily photography.

It's not a lens I'd choose for general daily photography. You really need to have a reason to chase f1.8 to make effective use of this lens and I'm not sure it's useful as a general lens, considering the cost (and weight).

Moreover the lens doesn't come with Image Stabilisation.

Stabilization is to avoid shake blur.

But shake blur can be avoid by shooting (on APS-C) at a shutter speed of 1/( 1.5 x focal length ).

If you can't make 1/24th to 1/53rd second using an f1.8 lens and a modern DSLR capable of high ISO, you have problems beyond the scope of image stabilization to solve anyway.

So it's not an issue.

I personally like the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 lens because of its sharp lens and also I don't have to carry any Prime lens.

The kit 18-55 is actually very sharp as well.

The 18-35 f1.8 weighs about 800g and is pretty large in volume.

The kit lens weight in at 205g and a 50mm f1.8 will weight in at 160g. So the combined weight and size of these is less than the 18-35 f1.8 (and probably costs less as well) You really will need a reason to need f1.8 to lug it around.

Also note that the alternative Canon 18-135 lens has a lot more versatility and is 515g. You're giving up a lot of zoom flexibility for that f1.8.

So I'd suggest you reconsider that choice as a general purpose walkabout lens. It may be what you want, but I'd suggest you really need to have a reason to want f1.8 at 18mm to justify it. Now I've never found that useful, but YMMV.

  • No point talking to Canon about compatibility with third party lenses. – Philip Kendall Jul 23 '17 at 6:25
  • Can't hurt to ask. :-) – StephenG Jul 23 '17 at 16:40
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I bought the 18-35 1.8 Sigma Art for my Canon Rebel T7i and have been having nothing but problems. The AF is way off. I bought the USB dock and tried updating the firmware and recalibrating it manually but no luck. It is too expensive a lens not to work perfectly, so I'm returning it. I'm sure part of it might be that I could use liveview more or use the manual zone focus instead of AF, but for a $1,200 lens it shouldn't be so finnicky.

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I don't know anything specific regarding an 800d, but my old 7D mk1 worked just fine as does my 80D. There is no reason to assume that it is not compatible (there are even shops that sell 800d bundled with the sigma 18-35).

The autofocus problem you have read about is not a compatibility problem. My sigma had the same problem that are oftentimes described: back/front focus. So the focus will work perfectly, but it ends up in front of or behind the spot you want it to be. The good news is, that it does that consistently and hence can be fixed by calibrating it with the dock. It is annoying that this is necessary, but after calibrating it, it works fine on both my cameras (have not tried others). Not everyone has those problems but they seem to exist quite often. The problem does not occur when focusing with liveview.

Other than that I really love that lens, and I use it almost exclusively. This of course depends on what you want to do with it, but for lowlight indoor photos (like of my son) it is perfect. I like the focal range for indoors, the F1.8 lets in so much more light, and it is really sharp.

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