A year has passed since the new corporate vision and the regrouping of lenses, aka Sigma Global Vision, was presented by Kazuto Yamaki, who has taken the helm at Sigma shortly before that. I remember as if it were yesterday, many sceptics were making fun of the new idea and asking themselves what the new designations „Art“, „Sports“ and „Contemporary“ were good for anyway. Cynics felt that the entire thing was nothing more than a PR stunt. More than a few were rolling their eyes around, as the new CEO was promising to considerably improve quality of lenses and make Sigma into a premium manufacturer. After 12 months have passed, the question which arises is, have Sigma made good on their promise?
The very first lens belonging to one of the tree new lines, the 35mm f/1.4 Art, has caused a lot of discussions. Sigma, up to this point in time known for offering great value-for-money, but not necessarily the best possible quality, have dared to challenge Canon and Nikon, where they have always been set up quite well. Of all things the good, old photo reportage focal length was chosen to show what “Art” really stands for. The first reviews quickly revealed, that the 35/1.4 Art was not only better, but also much cheap than the at the time idolized 35/1.4 L and the much-praised 35/1.4 Nikkor. Now there is no doubt, that the Art is the best 35mm on the market. The at the same time announced, but somewhat later released, 120-300/2.8 Sports and 17-70/2.8-4 were in comparison mere upgrades of already existing lenses, which consequently didn’t manage to produce overflowing threads, bursting at the seams. 😉
The next two products, which shook the market, were the USB Dock and the 18-35/1.8 Art, aka “the fastest DSLR zoom in the world”. These two were also scrutinized with a sceptical eye. Some people argued that the sole purpose of the Dock was to pass quality control onto the consumers. After numerous user reviews it has become clear, that the Dock is a good alternative to sending a lens in. But not a necessity, since the service department at Sigma is still working hard to repair/adjust every faulty lens.
And the 18-35/1.8, what can I say? I myself had doubts, after seeing the f-number. I was expecting acceptable sharpness at wide open aperture at best. As we meanwhile know, before going to sleep prime lenses pray to god, to save them from the evil f/1.8 zoom, which eats them for breakfast. 😉
According to current rumors, there is still much more to come from Sigma. The list of lenses on which they are supposedly working right now is very long. You can get more info on them here. Only the rumoured 24-120mm f/4 OS is absent, because it was mentioned by rumor websites after I have written the article.
At the end, there is only one more thing left to say: as a Sigma user I’m really looking forward to the future. 🙂