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Sigma impresses us twice with the fastest zoom lens that costs only $799

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If you want a zoom lens for your DSLR that’s also really fast, your options are typically limited to a range of highly expensive glass. So when Sigma introduced its 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens in April, it was a big deal because the lens is faster than anything similar from the competition. But today’s announcement takes the cake, as Sigma has finally revealed the price: $799.

To get a fast zoom lens from Canon or Nikon, you’ll probably spend more than a $1,000 for a new one at full retail. However, those lenses have a maximum aperture of f/2.8. Sigma’s new lens not only trumps them in speed but also in price, which makes the news a bit staggering.

The lens is designed for cameras with APS-C sensors, with a 35mm-equivalent field of view of 27-52.5mm. Sigma says the 18-35mm “incorporates a wide glass molded aspherical lens with Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass to compensate for aberrations and curvature at the widest angle,” and that it’s ideal for a variety of photographs ranging from landscapes to portraitures. A nine-blade rounded diaphragm, coupled with the fast aperture, would deliver nice background blurring. The Hyper Sonic Motor “ensures smooth, fast, and accurate autofocusing.” The lens is compatible with Sigma’s USB Dock, which lets you calibrate it.

The lens goes on sale in July 2013, but only for Sigma and Canon mounts. Versions for Nikon, Sony, and Pentax are on their way.

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