What a difference a couple of years makes!
Two years ago, we were gearing up for PhotoPlus, just days after the announcement of the Sigma Global Vision at photokina 2012. We were preparing ourselves for discussions and briefings to explain the philosophy behind the three new lines being offered.
At that time, many photographers and technical editors were confused as to what Art, Sports, and Contemporary was meant to convey in a lens name. We spent a lot of time that fall explaining the way that Sigma is rethinking lenses and how this relates to the three new lens markings.
Shortly thereafter, though, the first of the new Sigma lenses, the 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens was released, and almost overnight, the conversations changed. Photographers and editors around the world were blown away by the build quality, and more importantly, the total image quality of this new Sigma, full-frame, fast-aperture wide prime. People realized that this new lens, the original Art lens, was something quite special. It defined the Art category and heralded a new era for Sigma under the guidance of new CEO Kazuto Yamaki. It was the perfect proof of the promise of the Sigma Global Vision.
Art, Sports, and Contemporary categories are guiding design principles that inform the process from conception, optical and physical design, with an eye on the final image. Each line has its own tenets and intentions.
Art lenses are designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power, to deliver high-level artistic expression. From the original 35mm F1.4, to the more recent 50mm F1.4, and 24-105mm, and a trio of fast primes for compacts, these are razor-sharp lenses that elevate the experience and offer remarkable image quality.
Contemporary lenses feature the very latest technology, and combining optical performance with compactness. The high-performance Contemporary line covers a wide range of needs. The just-announced hyper-tele 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C and 18-300 | C joins the 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 and my personally most-used of all the SGV lens, the 17-70mm F2.8-4.0.
Sports Lenses offer sophisticated optical performance and expressiveness, to deliver high action-capture performance, enabling photographers to get exactly the shots they want. Long-reach, rugged builds, ultimate customization, and outstanding image quality are the hallmarks of the Sports line, represented by two all-stars, the 120-300mm F2.8 and the 150-600mm F5-6.3 | S.
With fourteen lenses now badged as Contemporary, Art, or Sports, the Sigma Global Vision has gained significant appreciation among photographers. We’re no longer finding ourselves having to explain what an “Art”, a “Contemporary”, or a “Sports lens” is; instead, fans now anxiously await and celebrate each new lens announcement.
While we do not make a habit of publicly discussing the product roadmap; I can tell everyone that we do greatly appreciate all the requests for new products and lenses to be introduced in the Sigma Global Vision categories! This means that both our longtime and new-found fans truly understand and appreciate the totality of the Sigma Global Vision and what it means for the commitment to photographers.
Photography has always been Sigma’s only focus, and the Sigma Global Vision is singularly focused on creating exceptional tools for photographers. Every step of the SGV process, from conception, to ray-tracing, to physical design, then the A1 testing of each lens before it leaves our factory in Aizu, Japan, to the USB Dock for at-home lens performance customization, to mount conversion service, to publishing both geometric and diffraction MTF charts to enable informed real-world performance, is thought out with both the eye and heart of the photographer in mind.
There is so much excitement and interest around each new Sigma lens announcement. The feedback and conversations about the pair of new 150-600mm F5-6.3 lenses and the new 18-300 just announced at photokina 2014 has been fantastic! And, as Sigma continues to launch each new, incredible lens for photographers, worldwide interest and demand has grown significantly.
Crafting lenses to meet the image quality expectations of today’s most demanding cameras—and the photographers who use them—takes time, skill, and talent. Our dedicated team at the factory in Aizu, Japan, works to ensure each and every lens is built to meet the optical performance thresholds.
It has been an incredible two years here at Sigma Corporation of America as we have showcased our new lines. And we truly appreciate all the emails, phone calls, conversations at dealer events, tradeshows, and on social channels, from both longtime and new-found fans of Sigma lenses.
Thanks for being a part of this fantastic photographic journey with us!