SONY SEL 1018 f4 OSS vs Sigma 19 f2.8 EX DN Rolling Review Part III
Well, there are few things to note before I show you some test results…
SEL 1018 f4 OSS is a zoom lens. Not only that, it is a WA (mabye we can consider it almost UWA) zoom lens, and to design something like that, is not easy. I had Canon EF 16-35 f2.8 L USM II and I still have probably best UWA zoom lens as of today – Nikkor 14-24 f2.8 G AF-S. Canon was good but not stellar, especially in the corners, so I sold it.
Nikkor is really good, but I will write about it, comparing it with SEL 1018 in the next post.
Sigma is smaller and lighter if that matters, and recently this lens can be found for as low as 100 USD! (It was a short action price at B&H, now is back at 149). Together with Sigma 30 f2.8 EX DN, it is hard to find better deal for the native mount NEX lens enywhere close.
Sigma is all plastic, but it feels quite solid. SEL 1018 feels and looks better for sure.
AF in SEL 1018 is more silent and faster than the one in Sigma, but at such a wide FL, that doesn’t mean much in a real life. (Unless you are hobby videographer. If you are pro, you will focus manually anyway, and probably use different lenses).
Manual focus is fidly on both lenses, but it can be used if necessary. (SEL 1018 has somewhat smoother and better dampened focus ring).
Both lenses comes with dedicated lens hoods. (unlike Sigma 30 f2.8 EX DN)
Let’s see if SEL 1018 can hold in this duel.
Test image 1 – close distance (Approx. 50cm, tripod, remote trigger, RAW, developed in LR 4.2 with standard sharpening (Amount 25, Radius 1, Detail 25) and noise reduction (Luminance 0, Color 25, Detail 50. Exported to PS 5, composed and exported for web without other adjustments.)
|Sony NEX 7 + SEL 1018 f4 OSS at 10mm f8|
Here are results at f4 (SEL 1018 at 18mm)
|Sony NEX 7 + SEL 1018 f4 OSS (left) vs Sigma 19 f2.8 EX DN (right) at f 4, daylight, shade|
As you can see, there is no contest and it only shows how Sigma 19 is amazing. But Sigma is already stopped to f 4, while SEL 1018 is wide open. Also notice the amount of some pink color (magenta cast again?) on Sigma 19. SEL 1018 doesn’t show any significant casting at 18mm in this test.
If you want to shot paintings in a museum i.e., you might have to use f4 for a close distance and flat field subject. But much more often, with a flat field subject at close distance, you would stop the lens to f5.6-f16.
Here are test results at f11 (SEL 1018 at 18mm)
|Sony NEX 7 + SEL 1018 f4 OSS (left) vs Sigma 19 f2.8 EX DN (right) at f 11, daylight, shade|
Now, that is something! At f11, Sony matches the Sigma in terms of sharpness across the frame, to the extant, that differences should be considered field irrelevant. This is an outstanding performance for both lenses, considering that no software correction was applied. But SEL 1018 is a zoom, remember?
Back to the real life. Here is another image for comparison…
Test image 2 – long distance with some close subjects to check.
|Sony NEX 7 + SEL 1018 f4 OSS at 16mm f8|
Here are the results at f8 (SEL 1018 at 18mm)
|Sony NEX 7 + SEL 1018 f4 OSS (left) vs Sigma 19 f2.8 EX DN (right) at f8, daylight|
Once agin, both lenses shows very good to great sharpness across the frame, and cudos to both manufacturers. To Sigma for being able to produce a WA lens with such a good performance for as much as 150 USD, and to Sony for designing an extremely comlicated WA zoom lens with equally if not better performance. Anyway, pixelpeepers might find some differences, but for the rest of us, they are simply not field relevant. It is good to notice however, that Sigma shows more CA than Sony at this FL.
There is much more than sharpness of course, but for the landscape work, it is certainly important criterium. I didn’t test Sigma now for the flare resistance, but after working with it for over 6 months, I know it can handle flares very well. Here is just one example…
|Sony NEX 7 + Sigma 19 f2.8 at f8 Flare|
But Sony should not be ashamed. You can get some nasty flaring with both lenses, but I know few WA that are much worse in that respect.
Here is what I was able to get with Sony facing the sun. (Unlike the previous shot, that I had time to work on and wait for the right moment, this one is only for test purposes).
|Sony NEX 7 + SEL 1018 f4 OSS at f8 Flare|
Ok, before I come to my conclusion, here are two more shots to explore. Because my main considered usage of both lenses, is for a landscape, before I will be able to get to some nice location with SEL 1018, here is a scene that comes close in theory. But being shot in a city, there is quite some smog and atmospheric haze in the air, so take that into consideration.
|Sony NEX 7 + Sony SEL 1018 f4 OSS at 18mm and f8|
|Sony NEX 7 + Sigma 19 f2.8 EX DN at f8|
Conclusion from this duel is rather easy.
Both are great WA lenses. If moderate19mm (27 on FF) is widest you will ever need, Sigma is your best friend. Comparing the price of both, you can get 6 Sigmas for the price of a new SEL 1018.
If you need wider than 19mm (27 on FF), there are many options, but none of them seems to be as well ballanced for the NEX as a SEL 1018 f4 OSS. If you can live with its price tag, and if it lives long enough in terms of the build quality, it will certainly make you happy for many years to come.
Only those who already own both, might have a problem… To sell Sigma for some 70-80 USD does not make much sense and to carry both in a bag, doesn’t make much sense either.
So, it is enother – “what to take”… situation for me, when packing my gear.
Links to the other part of SEL 1018 review:
Part I – initial impressions:
Part II – SEL 1018 vs SEL 16 f2.8:
Part IV – SEL 1018 vs Nikkor 14-24 f2.8 G AF-S:
Part V – SEL 1018 f4 OSS – Final Word
Your comments are always welcomed.