Ever since Sigma decided to revamp its line of lenses with its “Art”, “Contemporary” and “Sport” editions, we have seen a number of innovative lenses from the company, some of which claimed the “world’s first” title. Sigma has been working hard on producing fast, high-performance and durable lenses for Nikon, Canon and Sigma mounts at very attractive price points, allowing the company to quickly grow and establish itself as a reputable lens manufacturer. Today, the company revealed yet another amazing set of lenses in the form of Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art, 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art, 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art and 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary – four lenses designed specifically for full-frame cameras.
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art
The Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art claimed yet another “world’s first” title, because it is the first 14mm ultra wide-angle lens ever made that has a very wide f/1.8 aperture. Looking at the specifications and the MTF chart of this lens, I can see how it will quickly become a favorite lens among astrophotographers – with its optical formula optimized for extreme sharpness, which boasts the same aspherical element as on Sigma’s 12-24mm f/4 Art lens, along with the largest glass mold in the industry, it is supposed to deliver outstanding performance at wide apertures, something astrophotographers always long for.
Sigma claims the lens the lens to have virtually no distortion, flare or ghosting, which is very impressive. The optical formula of the lens is pretty complex, featuring three FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements and four SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements, which not only reduce chromatic aberration, but also help achieve excellent edge-to-edge sharpness. Just like other Art-series lenses, the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM will also feature a fast and quiet hyper sonic motor.
Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art
It looks like Sigma is taking advantage of Nikon’s timing with its 135mm lens update with this new Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art. Not only is this lens slightly faster than the Nikon 135mm f/2 DC, but it also promises better edge-to-edge sharpness with high resolution cameras up to 50 MP. In addition, Sigma says that the lens features a newer large hyper sonic motor (HSM) that provides more torque for quicker and more reliable autofocus acquisition and the diaphragm is now electromagnetic, similar to what we have been seeing on the latest generation Nikon “E” type lenses such as the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E.
With an optical design featuring a total of two FLD, two SLD and no aspherical elements, the lens should be a superb candidate for portrait photography, delivering excellent bokeh and sharpness at its wide open aperture. In fact, sharpness-wise, if you take a look at its MTF chart in our lens database for the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art, it looks like this lens will be a resolution monster. Its MTF chart looks even more impressive than on the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art, which is supposed to be the sharpest 85mm lens on the market right now…
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG HSM OS Art
Sigma has been making 24-70mm lenses for many years and the new Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG HSM OS Art is a brand new refresh of that line which now adds better overall performance and image stabilization features to the lens. In addition to the new look and feel, the fourth generation 24-70mm f/2.8 DG HSM OS features a completely rehashed optical formula comprised of three SLD and four aspherical lens elements to deliver high level of sharpness across the focal range of the lens. Sigma promises better coma, chromatic aberration and distortion performance on the lens compared to its predecessor and says that the optical formula of the lens was optimized to yield pleasing bokeh.
The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG HSM OS will feature a similar HSM motor as the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DH HSM Art with a better torque performance, in addition to the latest generation optical stabilizer (OS). The lens has a dust / splash proof design and the external moving parts feature thermally stable composite to resist thermal expansion and contraction, so it should hold up really well in challenging weather conditions. Just like the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art, the lens will have an electromagnetic diaphragm.
Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary
Sigma calls the new Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary “the light bazooka”, since it is supposed to be a versatile lens with a rather simple push/pull zoom mechanism, compact size and a total of weight of 1,160 grams. Sigma says that the lens is a great all around performer when it comes to sharpness, focus speed and image stabilization performance, which should be comparable to the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM, minus the size, the bulk and the weight.
Featuring a fairly complex optical formula comprised of 21 elements in 15 groups, four of which are SLD glass elements, the 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM is not just categorized as a lens with solid optical characteristics – thanks to its impressive minimum focusing distance of 160cm (63 inches), it is also supposed to be a fairly good choice for macro photography. Just like the other two lenses, the 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM will feature an electromagnetic diaphragm.
Sigma has not yet announced pricing for these four lenses. We will publish pricing information as soon as it becomes available.