From 12mm all the way to 500mm: Sigma announces trio of Global Vision lenses at Photokina
posted Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 12:25 PM EDT
Sigma has used Photokina as a platform for expanding exposure for its Global Vision Line of optics by announcing not one, not two, but three new lenses! Not only are they highly varied, as you'll see below, but they are also compatible with full-frame sensors. Speaking on behalf of the announcement, Sigma Corporation of America's president Mark Amir-Hamzeh says, "We are thrilled to announce three state-of-the-art additions to the Global Vision line."
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
First up is the new Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens, "the ultimate portrait lens." The optic has been engineered to provide great performance on the highest resolution sensors on the market and has been purpose-built to provide beautiful bokeh. On the focus side of things, a re-engineered autofocus system has resulted in 1.3x the torque of its predecessor and full-time manual focus override, even when the lens is utilizing continuous AF.
Inside the new lens are two special low dispersion (SLD) glass elements and a glass element "with a high rate of anomalous partial dispersion and refraction." Including these highly-specialized elements, there are a total of 14 elements in 12 groups, which currently has a "to be determined" total weight. Its dimensions have been given, however, and it has a 3.7-inch diameter and is 5 inches long. The lens' minimum focus distance is 33.5 inches and it utilizes nine blades to create a rounded diaphragm. On this topic, the Nikon mount version includes a brand new electromagnetic diaphragm.
The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens will be arriving in late October with a recommended street price of around US$1,200 for Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts, and purchase links can be found below.
Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art
If you're looking for something wider, Sigma's new 12-24mm f/4 lens may be for you. This ultra-wide angle zoom, like the 85mm lens above, is designed for high-resolution sensors and according to Sigma includes the largest aspherical glass mold in the industry. Offering a reported "virtually no distortion, flare or ghosting," the optic is designed for the discerning photographer. The brand new Sigma AF system is included in this 12-24mm lens as well, including the 1.3x torque boost.
The lens has an unspecified number of elements constructed with "F" Low Dispersion (FLD) glass, which Sigma states is "equivalent to calcium fluorite" in performance. Unfortunately, full tech specs aren't available for the 12-24mm f/4 Art lens, but we do know that it'll have a minimum focus distance of 9.4 inches at the 24mm focal length and will come in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts, with the Nikon mount (as previously noted) including an electromagnetic diaphragm. The lens will be arriving in late October with a street price just under US$1,600. (Purchase links below.)
Sigma 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sport
The only non-Art lens in the new trio is a lens that photographers have been eagerly awaiting in the Sigma 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sport. This lens replaces Sigma's previous 500mm f/4.5 EX DG APO HSM lens, which was getting a bit long in the tooth. This flagship super telephoto prime lens is aimed squarely at sports and wildlife photographers. Knowing full well that sports and wildlife photo opportunities sometimes take place in harsh conditions, Sigma has designed the lens with magnesium alloy components, a carbon fiber lens hood, a front element which is resistant to water and oil, and a dust and splash proof construction. The lens is also compatible with Sigma's exclusive LPT-11 protector, which is sold separately.
Like other large diameter telephoto lenses, the new 500mm f/4 has a drop-in rear filter slot. Inside the lens we find one SLD element and two FLD elements in addition to optimized power distribution which is said to result in minimized spherical and axial chromatic aberrations. The optics have also been designed to reduce transverse chromatic aberration, an issue that is particularly prevalent in traditional telephoto ranges of lenses. In total, the 5.7 x 15-inch lens has 16 elements in 11 groups and nine diaphragm blades. The minimum focus distance is 137.9 inches (a maximum magnification of 1:6.5). Weight is still to be determined. Unsurprisingly, the lens has also been engineered to work well with Sigma teleconverters.
Additional features include Sigma's two-mode optical stabilizer and a customizable AF "return" function for returning to a preset focus distance. The 500mm f/4 Sport will be available in late November for Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts with a recommended street price of roughly US$6,000. The Nikon version, like the above two lenses, includes an electromagnetic diaphragm.
In case you're curious how that very reasonable price stacks up against the competition, Sigma's price point is $3,000 less than the equivalent Canon offering and over $4,000 less than Nikon's latest FL-equipped 500mm f/4 optic (although the older VR version sells for only $800 more than Sigma's new lens). Despite not offering the new Sigma in a Sony mount, astute readers may notice that the Sigma costs nearly $7,000 less than the equivalent Sony offering.
Sigma USB Dock and Sigma's lens testing
All three new lenses are fully compatible with Sigma's Optimization Pro software and Sigma USB dock, which allows users to update and customize the lenses on their computer.
Sigma has also taken this opportunity to discuss their "industry leading" optical testing. They utilize a 46-megapixel Foveon direct image sensor to test their Global Vision lenses using an A1 proprietary MTF measuring system. Every Global Vision lens is A1-tested, analyzed and approved before leaving Sigma's factory. You can read more about their testing here.
Where to buy the new Sigma lenses
You can help support our site by preordering the new Sigma lenses through our trusted affiliates below. Additional purchasing links will be added as they become available.