There is plenty to be said about the year 2021. In some cases, the less said, the better. We all know the challenges faced by – well, everyone – and that of course includes us in the photo equipment business. From chip shortages to global shipping issues, economic uncertainty to an ongoing public health crisis, it’s been a tough road. On the other hand, there have certainly been bright spots, and as SIGMA celebrates its 60th anniversary, we have done our very best to introduce new, innovative gear, which we hope will find a home with photographers and video makers, helping them create the art that keeps them going.
All that said, a “Year in Review” might be a bit much to tackle here, so how about a “Gear in Review”? Let’s fondly remember the new SIGMA gear that arrived in 2021, and ponder what the future has to offer!
Feb. 24, 2021
SIGMA 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary
One of the things that most photographers own and use – even if they don’t want to admit it – is a “kit zoom” lens. It’s affordable, it’s versatile, and it always seems to find its way into the bag when the collection of primes is a little too much to bust out for travel snapshots or group photos with friends. But what if your “kit” lens was a serious low-light performer with outstanding sharpness, smooth background blur, and the versatility you need on a daily basis, too? The SIGMA 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary is just that lens.
Designed exclusively for mirrorless (that’s the DN part) and covering full-frame sensors (that’s the DG part), this lens is extremely compact, lightweight, and it has a maximum aperture of F2.8 that lets in more light throughout the entire zoom range. So whether you’re capturing a beautiful landscape at sunset, or portraits of your loved ones, this lens is flexible enough to handle the job. Plus, it resolves images beautifully on even the highest-megapixel full-frame sensors, making it a great choice for serious photo work.
It’s a fantastic option for video too! Autofocus is fast and smooth (perfect for transitions from one focal point to another), focus “breathing” is minimal, and it’s so light, it can be easily handheld or used on a gimbal for extended periods. Wide establishing shots, intimate interviews, b-roll of virtually any kind… the 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | C can do almost everything, and you’ll never want to pack for another gig without it!
Mar. 25, 2021
SIGMA fp L
SIGMA has always been known for lenses, but now and then, we bring something fresh to the table with a camera that challenges the existing conventions. With the SIGMA fp, we certainly made a splash with a compact, modular design, incredibly robust construction, and RAW video capability that rivals far pricier cameras. But for the still photographer, there was some room to improve… so we added 37 million pixels, and voilà! The fp L.
Ok, so it’s a little more involved than that. In addition to the upgraded full-frame sensor, the fp L provides a hybrid phase detect + contrast detect autofocus system, for snappier AF. You can stream or record all day with continuous USB-C power. Use Crop Zoom to photograph things from a distance, but still get excellent detail with plenty of megapixels to spare. Save custom settings with a simple QR code, record in true 24p (rather than 23.97), take screenshots, and enjoy all the other benefits of the fp. Both models feature a dust and splash-proof body, silent shutter, in-camera cinemagraphs, ProRes RAW and BRAW support, and much more.
The SIGMA fp L was also introduced alongside the EVF-11 Electronic Viewfinder, an accessory that gives you a more traditional view if you prefer, or if you’re shooting in very bright conditions where an EVF is needed. For photographers who need a ton of resolution in an ultra-solid, super-portable body, with a deep (and growing) L-Mount lens lineup, the SIGMA fp L is a great fit.
April 27, 2021
SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art
No photographer’s bag is complete without a 35mm lens, and quite frankly, it was the 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art that paved the way for the SIGMA you know today. But SIGMA’s number one best-selling lens of all time needed an update for more modern camera bodies, and the evolution came in the form of the 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art, designed exclusively for mirrorless.
Smaller, lighter, sharper, and featuring on-lens controls like a manual aperture ring, customizable button, and click/lock switches, the new 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is a truly indispensable lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras. The body is dust and splash-resistant, the autofocus is swift and silent, the bokeh is 11 rounded blades of pure goodness, and it is incredibly good at flare reduction, perfect for backlit full-body portraits.
If you have ever shot with a 35mm lens, you know how versatile it can be. It’s the ultimate storytelling prime lens – wide enough to make the environment an important part of the composition, not so wide that it distorts the image – it’s just right. And it’s the best one we’ve ever made.
June 3, 2021
SIGMA fp Firmware Ver. 3.00
Well, it’s not exactly a new product, but this firmware update certainly gave the SIGMA fp some useful functionality that it didn’t have before. Introduced shortly after the new fp L, this firmware gave the fp the ability to utilize the new EVF-11 viewfinder, save and trade settings via QR code, shoot in “true” 24p, take screenshots, and it even enhanced autofocus functionality. New color modes like “Powder Blue” and “Duotone” were added, and for cinematographers, the Director’s Viewfinder mode received some very helpful updates.
Part of the fp’s appeal is its physical versatility – its adaptable, modular construction that allows it to be used in nearly any filmmaking configuration. But its ability to be upgraded through firmware is also one of its great features, and we hope that the improvements we’ve made since its introduction have made the fp a worthwhile investment for its users.
Aug. 4, 2021
SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports
Admittedly, it’s easy for lens makers to call almost everything “essential” – but come on! The new 150-600mm DG DN OS | Sports lens is pretty amazing and opens up countless possibilities for almost any photographer, from backyard bird watchers to pros on the sidelines. With an incredibly useful focal range, insanely close focusing distance (23 inches!!) at 180mm, and super-solid build quality, this lens not only doesn’t disappoint, but wows at every opportunity.
Compared to the older 150-600mm Sports lens, this new version is designed specifically for mirrorless, and weighs nearly 2 pounds less. But despite the lighter construction, it’s just as robust, designed for years of heavy use in the field. It’s smaller, too, measuring just 10.4 inches long with a narrower diameter, so it easily fits in most backpacks.
Then there’s the image quality… it’s sharp as a tack, thanks in part to its built-in image stabilization. Smooth, swift autofocus performance makes it easier to acquire AF and track moving objects, and when you want to isolate your subject, the bokeh quality is smooth as silk. So with all that going for it, is it out of line for us to suggest that the new 150-600mm DG DN OS | Sports is an essential lens? Nahhh.
Sept. 9, 2021
SIGMA 24mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary
SIGMA 90mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary
Introduced in 2020, our I series lenses have been favorites of many keen photographers looking to downsize their gear while still maintaining the image quality they’re used to. Conspicuous by its absence, however, was a short tele / portrait lens, and many photographers were clearly hoping for a slightly faster 24mm (our 24mm F3.5 has the obvious advantage of very compact size). So SIGMA made both!
With their striking all-metal construction, magnetic lens caps, and gorgeous yet functional exterior design, the 24mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary and 90mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary share plenty in common with the rest of the I series. But as with all prime lenses, each focal length has unique advantages.
For landscape photographers, vloggers, astro shooters, real estate photographers, and anyone else who needs a compact wide-angle option, the 24mm F2 DG DN | C fits a variety of needs. Light, sharp, solid and incredibly sharp, it’s a great little prime, even (or perhaps especially) in low light.
For portrait or street photographers, or anyone just looking for a little bit of extra reach, the 90mm F2.8 DG DN | C is so compact and portable, it’s a no-brainer to bring along on any shoot. For video creators in particular, the 90mm also rounds out a wonderful trio of small prime lenses, including the 24mm F3.5 DG DN | C and 45mm F2.8 DG DN | C, which all use the same 55mm filter diameter and are easy to balance on a gimbal.
Oct. 19, 2021
SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary
We started this article by looking at a versatile lens that’s a big upgrade from the typical bundled optic. But what about the crop-sensor users? The Sony A6000 series, in particular, has been a huge seller for years, and SIGMA has never made a zoom lens for mirrorless APS-C. Well, now we have! The final SIGMA product of 2021 was the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary, the smallest and lightest F2.8 zoom for APS-C mirrorless cameras.
Great for everyday use, even indoors or in low light thanks to its fast maximum aperture, the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | C goes anywhere and excels in virtually any situation. Landscapes? You got it. Portraits? Heck yeah. Video? Absolutely. Streaming? Does a bear – ya know – in the woods? This lens even offers 1:2.8 macro performance, with a close focusing distance of just 4.8 inches, making close-ups of flowers, food and other small subjects a breeze.
If you have a compatible APS-C mirrorless camera body, this simple-to-use, portable little lens is the perfect companion, doing everything the 28-70mm does in a smaller package for smaller cameras. And if you have a full-frame camera, it makes an excellent ultra-portable video lens, or a tiny travel lens for photos (if you have a high-resolution sensor). Portable and powerful, with a creator-friendly price, the SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary lens is just the right size.
Looking back (and forward!)
Six new lenses, plus a new camera, plus a big firmware update – it’s been a pretty busy year! There’s always room to grow, of course, and as 2022 comes around we’ll continue to do our best to innovate and create new products that photographers and video makers alike will enjoy, while still supporting the older SIGMA products and photographers that brought us to the dance.
What will the next year bring? Well, we don’t have a crystal ball, but we do know this… from SIGMA America, to all our fellow subsidiaries and distributors, to our “home office” in Japan where the SIGMA magic is made, know that our family is always working hard and doing our very best to bring you great gear at a great price, so you can make your visions come to life. What gear are you looking forward to?
See you next year!