Editors’ Picks: Best Photo Gear 2018

Our annual selection of noteworthy cameras, lenses and accessories

Best New Zoom Lenses

Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art

Available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts, and compatible with the Sigma MC-11 adapter for Sony mirrorless, the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art lens is an ideal choice for landscape and astrophotography with its expansive wide focal range and fast ƒ/2.8 maximum aperture throughout the zoom range. The lens can focus as close as 10.2 inches at the widest end of the zoom and 11 inches at 24mm, allowing for dramatic compositions with prominent foreground elements. It’s also offered at a price that’s a noticeable savings compared to other zooms of like range and speed. List price: $1,299. Contact: Sigma, sigmaphoto.com.

Check out the Sigma 14-24mm for Canon on B&H! Sigma 14-24mm for Nikon on B&H! 

 Sigma 14-24mm for Sigma on B&H!

Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD

The Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A036) for Sony full-frame cameras is an excellent value for the price, with its fast, constant ƒ/2.8 maximum aperture. The third lens in the Di III series for mirrorless cameras, at the wide end of its range, the 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD can focus as close as 7.5 inches, extending to 15.3 inches at the telephoto end. The lens also features a new RXD stepping motor AF designed for extremely quiet operation, making it well-suited for video work in addition to photography. Estimated street price: $799. Contact: Tamron, tamron-usa.com.

Check out the Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD on B&H!

Canon EF 70-200mm F/4L II USM

Canon introduced two upgraded 70-200mm zooms this year. Though not as fast as the ƒ/2.8 option, the EF 70-200mm F/4L II USM received more noteworthy updates, including greatly improved IS performance. The Image Stabilizer now provides up to 5 stops of stabilization, compared to 3 stops in the older model, and adds new IS mode to compensate for irregular movements. The new model also improves on its predecessor with a reduced minimum focusing distance of just over 39 inches (down from about 47 inches). List price: $1,299. Contact: Canon, usa.canon.com.

Check out the Canon EF 70-200mm F/4L II USM on B&H!

Panasonic DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH

Micro Four Thirds users have an excellent new telephoto zoom option in 2018. The Panasonic DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH offers a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 100-400mm, and though it’s not the most extreme tele zoom available from Panasonic (the Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4.0-5.6 II and Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH offer greater telephoto reach), it is the fastest with its ƒ/2.8-4.0 variable maximum aperture. The lens features POWER O.I.S. image stabilization built-in and also works with Dual I.S. and Dual.I.S.2 in-body stabilization systems when using compatible Panasonic cameras. List price: $1,699. Contact: Panasonic, panasonic.com.

Check out the Panasonic DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH on B&H!

Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport

For wildlife photography, getting out to 600mm with a full-frame camera typically means either using a tele-converter or investing in a prime lens that carries the price tag of a used car. The 10x Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport zoom strikes an excellent balance between portability, versatility and affordability, allowing you to carry a single lens in the field that covers a standard to super-tele range. It’s available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts and is compatible with Sigma’s MC-11 adapter for Sony mirrorless. List price: $1,999. Contact: Sigma, sigmaphoto.com.

Check out the Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport on B&H!