More Photokina announcements are rolling in today and this time it is Sigma, with its headline-grabbing releases of upcoming Art and Sport-series lenses. With stellar lens designs such as the 35mm f/1.4 Art and 50mm f/1.4 Art lenses, we have been waiting for Sigma to release an 85mm f/1.4 Art lens for quite sometime now, so Sigma has finally delivered. The new 85mm f/1.4 Art promises to be a superb lens both in terms of sharpness and bokeh. Although Sigma is yet to provide MTF charts and lens construction images, the fact that there is no aspherical element in the lens design is an indication of the lens being optimized to yield pleasant-looking bokeh without onion rings, something that has plagued other Art-series Sigma lens designs. Its price is a bit steep at $1,199 MSRP, but it is still $400 cheaper than its Nikon counterpart.
The 12-24mm f/4 Art looks pretty solid as well, considering that it is designed for full-frame cameras. It rivals primarily with Canon’s 11-24mm f/4L lens rather than Nikon’s 14-24mm f/2.8, since those extra 2mm of focal length differences are huge. And price-wise, it is not a cheap lens either – at $1,599 MSRP, it is pretty darn close to Nikon’s 14-24mm, although if you were to compare it to Canon’s $3K 11-24mm f/4L, is is still quite a bargain. With a number of aspherical and low dispersion glass elements, this should be a stellar wide-angle lens though. As expected from such a lens design, the front element of the lens is huge, making it impossible to mount filters. You would need to get something like the WonderPana with those huge and expensive filters in order to be able to mount them.
Lastly, another surprise is the Sigma 500mm f/4 Sport DG OS HSM lens, a flagship super telephoto lens designed specifically for sports and wildlife photographers. This one looks quite attractive as well, but with lack of key specifications like its weight, it is impossible to say how it will be able to compete with both Nikon’s and Canon’s flagship 500mm f/4 lenses, both of which have fluorite elements and other optimizations to keep their weights very low. However, its street price of $5,999 definitely makes it look attractive compared to the big name brands, who sell their 500mm f/4 lenses at much steeper prices.
All three lenses will be available in October.
Here is the official announcement:
Cologne, Germany – September 19, 2016 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading camera, DSLR lens, flash and accessories manufacturer, unveiled its new 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art and 500mm F4 DG OS HSM Sport Global Vision lenses at the Photokina 2016 event (hall 4.2, stands B020, B028 and C029).
“We are thrilled to announce three state-of-the-art additions to the Global Vision line. The Sigma 85mm 1.4 Art has been a highly requested lens and we are very confident those customers who have been waiting for us to deliver this lens will be more than pleased with the superior optical performance and zero compromise,” states Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “In addition, the re-engineered 12-24mm F4 and highly competitive 500mm F4 Sport lens both embody the world-class performance our Global Vision lenses are known for. We look forward to seeing the incredible images our customers will create using these new Sigma lenses.”
Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art – The Ultimate Portrait Lens
Delivering the ultimate in creative expression, the new Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art lens is engineered to support the highest resolution sensors on the market with an exceptional degree of sharpness. The high-performance optical system is purpose-built by Sigma R&D to produce the attractive bokeh effect sought after by discerning photographers. The lens’ advanced architecture features two SLD (special low dispersion) glass elements and one glass element with a high rate of anomalous partial dispersion and refraction. A re-engineered AF system brings 1.3X the torque of its predecessor, while other features such as a full-time manual focus override have been added, which can be controlled when the focus ring is rotated, even during continuous AF.
The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. The Nikon mounts feature a brand new electromagnetic diaphragm.
The Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art lens will be available in late October and retails for a recommended street price of $1199.00 USD.
Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art Ultra-Wide Angle Zoom for the Era of Ultra-High Resolution Digital Cameras
Boasting the renowned Global Vision image quality from center to edge, the new Sigma 12-24mm F4 features the largest aspherical glass mold in the industry, offering photographers an ultra-wide angle zoom with virtually no distortion, flare or ghosting. Encompassing the long history of Sigma wide angle lens development expertise, the new 12-24mm F4 performance highlights include constant F4 brightness and the brand new Sigma AF system with 1.3X torque boost. The 12-24mm F4 features lens elements made with FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass, which is equivalent to calcium fluorite in performance. Combined with an optimized power distribution, the result is outstanding image quality from center to edges. With a minimum focus distance of 9.4 inches at 24mm, photographers can compose incredible close-up shots with expansive backgrounds.
The all new Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art lens supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. The Nikon mounts feature the brand new electromagnetic diaphragm.
The Sigma 12-24mm F4 Art lens will be available in late October and retails for a recommended street price of $1599.00 USD.
Sigma 500mm F4 DG OS HSM Sport Lens – Pro Fast-Aperture Prime Super Telephoto
The flagship Sigma super telephoto 500mm F4 Sport lens incorporates the very latest in Sigma optical technology and innovation. Designed for the professional sports and wildlife shooter, the ultra-durable lens features magnesium alloy components, a carbon fiber hood, a water and oil resistant front element, and is dust and splash proof. The 500mm F4 features a drop-in rear filter slot for polarizers, UV and other critical filters. To help prevent damage during shooting and maintenance, the lens is also compatible with the exclusive SIGMA Protector LPT-11 (sold separately).
The lens incorporates two FLD and one SLD glass elements, while the optimized power distribution helps minimize spherical aberration and axial chromatic aberration. The optical system also effectively minimizes transverse chromatic aberration, which can affect the edges of the shots taken in the telephoto range. In addition, image quality remains exceptional when the lens is used with a Sigma Telephoto Converter (sold separately).
Other key performance features include Sigma’s two-mode Optical Stabilizer for enhanced performance when shooting handheld for still subjects or panning and tracking for moving subjects. There is also a customizable AF “return” function for setting the focus position of one’s choice and returning to that preset distance.
The all new Sigma 500mm F4 supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. The Nikon mounts feature the brand new electromagnetic diaphragm.
The Sigma 500mm F4 Sport lens, in Canon and Sigma mounts, will be available in late October. The Nikon mount will be available in late November. The 500mm F4 will retail for a recommended street price of $5999.00 USD.
All Sigma Global Vision lenses, including the new 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art, and 500mm F4 DG OS HSM Global Vision lenses, can be updated with the latest lens firmware from a workstation or laptop using the Sigma Optimization Pro software and Sigma USB Dock (sold separately).
Tested for Optimum Performance
Sigma lenses are born of well thought-out design concepts, exceptional Japanese craftsmanship and manufacturing, and advanced lens performance testing and evaluation. To this end, Sigma has developed its own A1 proprietary MTF (modulation transfer function) measuring system using 46-megapixel Foveon direct image sensors. Even the most elusive high-frequency details are within the scope of Sigma’s quality control inspections. Every Global Vision lens is A1 tested, analyzed and approved before leaving the factory, ensuring maximum performance out of the box.
For more information on Sigma’s industry leading testing, please visit http://blog.sigmaphoto.com/2012/a1-mtf-testing-for-new-sigma-lenses/