Here's a little interesting development: Starting immediately, all newly produced interchangeable lenses from Sigma will be designed for and organized into one of three product categories: Contemporary, Art and Sports. Sigma is also launching three new lenses. Haven't seen this from anyone done quite the way Sigma is going at it. So what does it mean?
Sigma has broken down the lenses into three categories:
Contemporary – These lenses incorporate the very latest technology and keep size and weight to a minimum, without compromising their advanced optical performance or utility. High-performance, versatile, compact and superbly portable, these lenses will be largely comprised of standard zooms, telephoto zooms and high-magnification zooms for an array of photography, including landscape and travel photography, and casual portraiture.
Art – These lenses are developed with an emphasis on artistic touch and are designed to meet the expectations of users who value a creative, dramatic outcome. Along with landscapes, portraits, still-life, close-up and casual snaps, these lenses are perfect for the kind of photography that unleashes the inner artist. Ideal for studio photography, they offer just as much of an expressive scope when capturing architecture, starry skies, underwater shots and many other scenes. This category will be comprised of many focal lengths and designs, such as large-aperture prime lenses, wide-angle lenses, ultra wide-angle lenses, and macro and fisheye lenses.
Sports - With their high-level optical performance and expressive power, these lenses can capture fast-moving subjects, even at distance. This line also offers a variety of functions to aid the photographer in challenging conditions and scenarios. Besides sports photography, the lenses are also ideal for nature shots featuring birds, wild animals and other creatures, and for the capture of aircraft, trains, race cars and more. The Sports line is also unique in that users can adjust the lenses’ focus speeds and the focus limiters via a button on the lens. The Sports category will be comprised of telephoto lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, super telephoto lenses, super telephoto zoom lenses, and more.
With these categories come three new lenses:
This new Contemporary lens is designed for cameras with an APS-c sensor and covers a range equivalent to 25.5 to 105mm on a 35mm camera. An upgrade to its predecessor, which was released in December 2009, this general purpose lens offers a new design and a more compact build.
This Art lens provides photographers with a state-of-the-art alternative to the more conventional 50mm. This lens’ axial chromatic aberration is minimized, which renders a cool and smooth out-of-focus image. At low apertures, it can perform like a wide-angle lens; when opened up to F1.4, it will provide background bokeh and make the subject pop like a mid-range telephoto lens.
With redesigned mechanics and performance, this Sports lens is an update from its predecessor released in February 2011. This high-performance lens eases difficult shooting conditions by offering a maximum focal length of 300mm and a wide-open aperture of F2.8. This lens, like the other Sports category lenses to come, is dust and moisture resistant, and allows users to adjust the focus speed and the focus limiter via a button on the lens.
But wait! There's more. Sigma also releases new user-control tools and software with new quality control measures:
The new Sigma Optimization Pro software and USB Dock are designed exclusively for the new lenses within the new product lines. They will enable Sigma users to connect their lenses to their computers to update lens firmware and fine-tune focus parameters via easy-to-use, on-screen controls.
All of these new lenses will also be subject to Sigma’s new, proprietary modulation transfer function (MTF) measuring system called “A1.” Named in honor of the company’s sole production base, the Aizu factory in Aizu, Japan, the A1 system will allow inspectors to verify previously undetectable high-frequency details in each lens before it is shipped.