Sigma continues to grow their line of small, fast, budget-friendly lenses for APS-C cameras. The Sigma 10-18mm f/2.8 DC DN lens is their latest offering, and it does indeed have a lot to offer photographers looking for an excellent and fast wide angle zoom that won't break the budget.
So Very Small
The Sigma 10-18mm f/2.8 DC DN is extremely compact. According to Sigma, it's "the world’s smallest and lightest ultra-wide angle zoom lens for APS-C cameras," as of October 2023. It certainly is the smallest wide angle zoom with a fixed f/2.8 aperture I have ever used, and at 260 grams, the weight was barely noticeable when I attached it to my Fujifilm X-T5. The 10-18mm (35mm equivalent 15mm-27mm) focal length is sure to appeal to many photographers including those shooting landscapes, street, architectural, and travel genres, as well as those who want a great lens for vlogging.
The autofocus, as with all of the previous Contemporary lenses I’ve tested, is very good for both still and video shooting. I tested the 10-18mm on the Fujifilm X-T4 and X-T5, with excellent results on both cameras, although the performance on the X-T5 is better, which is to be expected. The lens locks on to faces with ease and didn’t give a lot of false positives when using eye detect autofocus. The autofocus performance rivals some of my much more expensive Fujifilm lenses. When shooting video and zooming, the focus adjusts rather quickly and locks on, although there is some focus breathing.
Build Quality and Handling
The build quality is also on par with other lenses in Sigma’s Contemporary line, and features a metal lens mount which has a rubber gasket around the barrel for weather resistance. The gasket around the mount is the extent of the weather sealing, however, so although the 10-18mm is designed to resist moisture, bear in mind that there are no gaskets positioned internally around the zoom or focus rings. The zoom mechanism is external, and must be zoomed “out” to reach 10mm, which is a bit confusing when first using the lens. The 10-18mm does not have a metal zoom barrel, and as some of the Contemporary lenses have a large, metal focusing ring, the 10-18mm does feel more plasticky than the fixed focal length lenses in the line, although it is on par with the 18-50mm f/2.8 in terms of build quality, and it doesn't feel cheaply made.
The zoom ring is not large, but easy enough to find with one's hands when looking through the viewfinder. The manual focus ring, however, is too narrow, which makes it impossible to turn the focusing ring without your fingers also touching the lens barrel itself. This is not a major issue, but for those who do a majority of manual focusing it is something worth noting, and a criticism I have had with other lenses in Sigma’s Contemporary line.
Finally, there is no physical aperture ring, which is, of course, a deal-breaker for some Fujifilm users. For those of us who don’t mind using command dials for aperture and shutter speed control, or who have a Fujifilm camera without traditional dials, this is of course a non-issue.
In my testing, the lens performs best at 10mm and f/5.6. In the accompanying video, I show samples at both 10mm and 18mm with varying apertures, for those interested. At 10mm and f/2.8, image quality is excellent in the center and acceptable at the corners. There is also some color fringing, which was apparent at 10mm and 18mm, regardless of the aperture I used. As is to be expected with a wide angle lens, there is also vignetting in the corners. When shooting into direct sun, there is some flaring, but it is well-controlled and did not present a major issue in my time using the lens.
Putting aside test charts and pixel peeping, the Sigma 10-18mm provided excellent results in a variety of lighting conditions and situations. When visiting a local museum with my son, I was able to capture images in poorly lit and cramped rooms using the fast f/2.8 maximum aperture and 10mm focal length. The color, contrast, and detail are all very good. My son and I also took the 10-18mm outside on a bright day to photograph a local cathedral, and outdoors I was very pleased with the color rendition in Fujifilm’s standard Provia film simulation mode. Since those who are using a Fujfilm camera will no doubt use their camera’s excellent native film simulations, myself included, I imported many of the photos into Capture One, where I did a quick edit which included removing unwanted vignettes, adjusting the shadow and highlight detail, and applying some of my favorite film sims. One of the benefits of using the 40-megapixel X-T5 is the ability retain a large amount of shadow and highlight detail, which made editing the photos an easy and enjoyable task.
The Sigma 10-18mm f/2.8 DC DN adds another excellent option to their growing line of budget friendly, compact, high-quality lenses. For anyone shooting with an APS-C sensor camera, these lenses are very attractive, especially for the price. I do feel that the 10-18mm, however, represents a small compromise regarding image sharpness, depending on the focal length and aperture used, however, this was not noticeable when I was using the lens in a real-world context. For those looking for an affordable, fast, wide-angle lens, the 10-18mm should certainly be on your short list.
What I Like
- Ultra compact size and weight
- Fast f/2.8 constant aperture
- Good image quality
- Excellent price
What I Didn't Like
- Corners soft at some apertures
- No physical aperture ring
Image Stabilization: No
Filter Size: 67 mm (Front)
Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
Minimum Aperture: f/22
Minimum Focus Distance: 4.6" / 11.7 cm
Maximum Magnification: 0.25x
Macro Reproduction Ratio: 1:4
Optical Design: 13 Elements in 10 Groups
Diaphragm Blades: 7, Rounded
Dimensions: (ø x L) 2.8 x 2.5" / 72.2 x 64.3 mm
Weight: 8.8 oz / 250 g