Third party lens manufacturer Sigma has just announced a price for its 35 f1.4 lens, which was first announced last September. Additionally, SR Gear, a spin-off website of the Imaging Resource, has just posted an in-depth review of Sigma’s first of its kind in the world 180mm f1.8 Macro OS, which aims to be a direct competitor for manufacturer optics.
So, what of the new lenses?
First up: the 35 f1.4. Back in September’s lead up to Photokina 2012, Sigma announced that it was reclassifying its lenses into 3 basic groups in an effort to help beginner photographers choose optics: The new classes are contemporary, art, and sports. The 35 f1.4 falls into the art category, which , according to Sigma, is “developed with an emphasis on artistic touch and are designed to meet the expectations of users who value a creative, dramatic outcome. Along with landscapes, portraits, still-life, close-up and casual snaps, these lenses are perfect for the kind of photography that unleashes the inner artist. Ideal for studio photography, they offer just as much of an expressive scope when capturing architecture, starry skies, underwater shots and many other scenes. This category will be comprised of many focal lengths and designs, such as large-aperture prime lenses, wide-angle lenses, ultra wide-angle lenses, and macro and fisheye lenses.”
As for pricing, the Sigma 35 f1.4 will sell for $899, which is far less than the premium manufacturer models of similar specifications. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see whether the Sigma delivers on the optical goods.
Next up: Sigma’s 180 f2.8 macro.
Announced back in January for CES 2012, the Sigma 180 f2.8 OS Macro is a first of its kind lens in the world as it combines full 1:1 macro performance with image stabilization and a f2.8 maximum aperture. To this point, all long macro lenses in this focal range had neither stabilization or such a fast aperture. With an all-new design on the market, anticipation over the lens was very high, indeed.
So, how does it do? In short, great.
In just about every trait tested, sharpness, chromatic aberration, AF, and build quality, the lens performed very well. The only thing of note: as with all macro lenses, it takes a long time (about 2 seconds here) to go from full 1:1 macro to infinity, which is no fault of the focus motor, just a side effect of the extreme close-up capability.
Overall conclusion from SLR Gear: the new macro not only one of Sigma’s best lenses optically, but stands “head-to-head” with any other lens in the category, including name brand manufacturer optics. Price here: $1700 while, not cheap, buys one two features no other company can provide in sucha long macro: f2.8 and stabilization.
Want to buy photo gear in the Cleveland area? Well, there’s Cleveland-based Dodd Camera, with its downtown superstore. In addition, there are many smaller Cleveland metro area chain stores in the Cuyahoga County area, too. Dodd carries Sigma products.
Hit the ‘subscribe’ button for automatic email updates when I write something new!
Why not check out my other columns?
National Space News Examiner
National Photography Examiner
Cleveland Astronomy Examiner
Want even more? Check out my personal website:
Bodzash Photography & Astronomy