One of the most exciting news from today is Sigma’s announcement of the 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens designed for APS-C sensor cameras like the Nikon D500. That’s another f/1.8 constant aperture zoom lens from Sigma with a groundbreaking design! With an equivalent field of view of 75-150mm, this lens will surely be a popular choice among sports and portrait photographers, especially when working in low-light situations. Thanks to the complex optical design that incorporates 21 elements in 15 groups, the Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art is optimized to yield excellent sharpness at its widest aperture throughout its zoom range. And with its MSRP of $1,099, this looks like a killer offering for cropped sensor cameras. The only downside is its weight – at 1,490 g (3.28 lb), the lens is almost as heavy as the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II! But what did you expect from a constant aperture f/1.8 telephoto zoom lens?
I am surprised by how fast and how well Sigma is growing its lens line. The company seems to be putting enough emphasis on cropped sensor lenses, something neither Nikon nor Canon have been doing, which is sad. With both companies continuing to market and sell their APS-C cameras, one wonders why so little emphasis is put on developing a strong line of lenses that are developed specifically for such cameras. Take a look at Nikon’s line of DX lenses – it looks pathetic. Aside from four primes, Nikon’s DX line consists of all zoom lenses, many of which are slow superzooms. And Canon is even worse!
Anyway, this new 50-100mm f/1.8 Art looks amazing. With so many of the latest optical technologies present in this lens (four low dispersion elements, high-refractive index element, super multi-layer coating, Hyper Sonic AF Motor, rounded 9-blade polycarbonate diaphragm, etc), it is clearly not a consumer-grade product. The only serious downside is lack of image stabilization. I am not sure if there is a technical reason why Sigma could not incorporate it into the lens, but shooting at such long focal lengths on a cropped sensor body is going to be a bit difficult, especially towards the longer end of the zoom range.
Let’s take a look at its MTF chart:
Not bad at all at f/1.8! It looks like the lens is optimized for sharpness towards the longer end of the zoom range – the graph on the right side (100mm) shows higher level of performance than the one on the left (50mm). Based on the fact that the lens does not have any aspherical elements, and the above sagittal and meridional lines are fairly close, we can expect bokeh to look pretty smooth too.
Overall, this looks like a very solid lens for cropped sensor cameras! Can’t wait to test it out later this year on the Nikon D500.
Official Press Release
Here is the official press release from Sigma:
KANAGAWA, JAPAN – February 23, 2016 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading DSLR lens, camera, flash and accessories manufacturer, today announced the addition of two high-performance APS-C format lenses to the Sigma Global Vision product line: Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Lens and the Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens.
“Sigma’s aim is to provide high-performance lens options that lead with innovation and break new boundaries for every photographic scenario our customers can dream up,” states Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “These new lenses build on Global Vision’s great IQ technology and reflect this goal, delivering immense value, quality and performance that the Sigma brand is known for.”
Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art
Building on the groundbreaking Sigma Global Vision 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Lens, the new Sigma 50-100 F1.8 (75-150mm on 35mm format) mid-range zoom lens embodies the same engineering prowess to deliver outstanding prime lens-like results. Factoring in the APS-C image circle of 1.5x, the 50-100mm F1.8 covers three popular short tele prime focal lengths: 85mm, 105mm and 135mm. Like the 18-35mm F1.8, the new 50-100mm F1.8 maintains a constant F1.8 aperture yielding exceptional brightness and resolution throughout the zoom, while simultaneously maintaining focus as the lens is zoomed, a feature videographers will greatly appreciate.
Sigma Art Line Image Technology Innovation
- Features three FLD (F Low Dispersion) glass elements, one SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass element, and one high-refractive index, high-dispersion glass element to minimize aberrations.
- Redesigned and enhanced, the new Hyper Sonic Motor is 30% slimmer and provides fast and accurate AF.
- Highly durable polycarbonate diaphragm made with fluorine; blades feature carbon feather film offering exceptionally smooth operation even during continuous shooting.
Outstanding Zoom Lens Maneuverability
- Inner focusing and zoom design offer versatile shooting options
- Tripod socket for stable, comfortable operation
- Features 21 elements / 15 groups, Minimum Aperture: F1.6, 82mm filter thread, Minimum Focus Distance: 37.4in, Dimensions: 3.7×6.7, Weight: 52.6oz
The new Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 Art will be available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. For more information, please visit www.sigmaphoto.com/50-100mm-f1-8-dc-hsm-art