Perhaps a perfect followup to Nikon's D500, Canon's 80D, and even Sony's A7-series releases, Sigma's two new lenses aren't built for full-frame coverage, but instead include a fast, Art-series portrait zoom for APS-C cameras and a fast, f/1.4 normal lens specifically designed for mirrorless cameras that is supposed to offer superb image quality at a reasonable price. In addition, Sony E-Mount users will enjoy the availability of Sigma's new MC-11 Sony E-Mount converter that will allow the use of 19 of Sigma's Global Vision series lenses on many Sony APS-C and full-frame mirrorless bodies.
While pro shooters have anxiously been waiting for Sigma to fill up its line of full-frame lenses, tonight's announcement leaves them in order to give APS-C and mirrorless shooters some love. And for the aforementioned Nikon, Canon, and Sony releases, one couldn't ask for a better start to a more well-rounded set of lens options.
Sigma's 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens provides high-quality, bright, constant-aperture performance in a package that includes internal focusing and a tripod socket, which should be useful to handle this relatively compact, but still hefty lens. Considering the APS-C crop factor, this 50-100mm lens provides angles of view similar to a 35mm-equivalent of 75-150mm, covering all of the most popular portrait shooting focal lengths for any cameras with Canon, Nikon, and Sigma mounts.
Perhaps the most surprising and useful feature of the 50-100mm f/1.8 is that it is a parfocal lens, meaning that once focus is acquired, the lens maintains that focus at all focal lengths. In combination with a design that features internal focusing, this is particularly exciting for filmmakers, as focusing with such lenses is an order of magnitude easier than with the more common varifocal lenses, which require refocusing as soon as the lens is zoomed in our out.
The 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary promises Art-line performance while Sigma also promises it will be the world's first high-performance, affordable f/1.4 lens for mirrorless cameras. A normal lens (approximately 45mm in 35mm equivalent), the 30mm f/1.4 will be available in Sony E and micro four-thirds mounts (note: while Sigma's mount conversion service will apply for switching between the different mirrorless mount types in the future, conversion to other APS-C or full-frame non-mirrorless mounts will not be possible).
Finally, Sigma's new MC-11 converter will adapt 19 of Sigma's Global Vision lenses (Canon EF or Sigma SA mounts) for use on various Sony mirrorless cameras. Taking both the camera's in-body optical stabilization (where applicable) as well as that of the Sigma lens, the MC-11 converter ensures accurate and efficient use of all optical stabilization systems available.
In addition, an integrated LED display offers the convenience of letting the user know if the attached body and/or lens is compatible with the adapter and/or if an update is needed to work with a particular lens. The added communication of all of the lens' data through the converter and to the body along with the other features of the MC-11 are sure to make this one of the most advanced mount adapters on the market.
The 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art is available for pre-order for $1,099 in Canon, Nikon, and Sigma mounts and is expected to ship at the end of April 2016. The 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary is available for pre-order for a very reasonable $339 in Sony E-mount and micro four-thirds mounts and is expected to ship in mid-March 2016. Finally, the MC-11 converter should ship at the beginning of April for $249.
Are these lenses what you expected from Sigma? Are you pleasantly surprised or disappointed? Let us know!