History

    Ani Watanabe’s Impression

    SIGMA New Mirrorless Lens Series

    With mirrorless cameras emerging at an accelerated pace, expectations towards lenses suited for high-performance full-frame mirrorless cameras are growing. Unfortunately, many photographers may feel that they have little choices for mirrorless lens systems in terms of performance, size, extensive lineup, and due to the burden of having to use multiple systems. SIGMA has thus developed and proposes this new full-frame mirrorless lens series as the optimal solution to this challenge.

    SIGMA will develop interchangeable lenses with unprecedented specifications and performance by designs that benefit from the short flange focal length feature of mirrorless cameras while retaining the concepts of “Contemporary,” “Art,” and “Sports.” We have announced three models as the first lenses from this series.
    This page will introduce the impression and photographs taken by photographer Ani Watanabe with the newly developed high-performance lens series for full-frame mirrorless cameras.

    14-24mm F2.8 DG DN | Art

    Astonishing starry skies at hand ―A wide-angle zoom with remarkable resolution that is perfect for full-frame mirrorless cameras

    45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary

    An enjoyable prime lens your camera can hardly part with ―Admirably balanced performance and size for full-frame mirrorless cameras from our Contemporary line

    35mm F1.2 DG DN | Art

    Take your mirrorless to the next level ― benefit from the finest performance that the SIGMA’s first F1.2 large aperture prime delivers.

    14-24mm F2.8 DG DN | Art

    Astonishing starry skies at hand
    ―A wide-angle zoom with remarkable resolution that is perfect
    for full-frame mirrorless cameras

    14-24mm F2.8 DG DN | Art, ISO100, F3.2, 1/320s, 14mm

    14-24mm F2.8 DG DN | Art, ISO100, F6.3, 1/125s, 14mm

    14-24mm F2.8 DG DN | Art, ISO100, F4.5, 1/100s, 14mm

    14-24mm F2.8 DG DN | Art, ISO100, F3.5, 1/400s, 14mm

    IMPRESSION

    That this lens design is optimized for mirrorless cameras may be a factor that contributes to its relatively small size. When I put it on a smallish camera body, just for that moment, the lens feels rather large; as soon as I start using it, however, that won’t bother me any longer.
    Just recently, I had a string of assignments where I would use this range of focal lengths a lot for about half a year. I would often take the 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art with me to these location shoots, but if I was to go to one of those now, I would definitely take the 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN | Art instead. First off, zoom lenses typically have some flaws, and I can find hardly any with this new lens. You can get very sharp, clear images at any focal length.
    As the camera sensor performance becomes increasingly high and 40+ megapixel sensors are not special anymore, wide lenses will become a more powerful, attractive choice than ever. So far, we did not have anything to complain about with standard to medium telephoto lenses, i.e. where you want your subject large in the frame. When “wide-angle pictures” are as high resolution as ones taken with one of those good old large format film cameras, however, you would want to use a wide or ultra-wide lens.
    And that is not just when shooting a grand landscape, but also to shoot a portrait at an uncommon angle of view or capture an everyday life scene from an unusual point of view—it will broaden the ways we create our images. The 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN | Art is good at capturing objects both close-up and in distance, so you can go and try a different style of shooting, such as a composition where you have dynamic layers in the foreground and in the background, for instance.

    45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary

    An enjoyable prime lens your camera can hardly part with
    ―Admirably balanced performance and size for
    full-frame mirrorless cameras from our Contemporary line

    45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO100, F2.8, 1/5000s, 45mm

    45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO100, F2.8, 1/1250s, 45mm

    45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO100, F5.6, 1/1000s, 45mm

    45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO125, F2.8, 1/1000s, 45mm

    45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO2000, F2.8, 1/1000s, 45mm

    IMPRESSION

    This particular angle of view that is 45mm – not 35, not 50 – is very versatile, and you can use it for anything from everyday snaps to portraits. A large, heavy lens is fine for studio shoots, while you would want a small one to carry with you for casual snaps. The lens you want to use varies depending on the shooting situation, but what matters is that you have a choice. In the past, the performance of small, inexpensive lenses used to be clearly poor, but no longer. Given the level of freedom we have with today’s digital cameras in post-processing for sharpness and color balance, it is not always a bad idea to choose a lens that may do a little poorly in numbers but are better in portability.
    When I first had the 45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary in my hand, what came to mind was: “this is a lens I will use every day.” A perfect angle of view; small in size; a metal hood and attention to detail with its looks and textures. A smooth impression at wide apertures expertly takes the edge off the mechanical sharpness of digital photography—it seems to make a picture “look like a picture,” if it makes any sense.
    It may be the characteristic bokeh that comes hand in hand with the sharp areas in focus that gives this old-fashioned feel of film photography. As you stop down the aperture, the images come to have a more contemporary, clean feel to them. You will find you have fine edge detail even one step before the aperture you would have thought you would need to go to. I found the 45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary to be a lens that does very well for portraits, landscapes, and casual snaps.

    35mm F1.2 DG DN | Art

    Take your mirrorless to the next level
    ― benefit from the finest performance
    that the SIGMA’s first F1.2 large aperture prime delivers.

    35mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, ISO100, F1.2 , 1/125s, 35mm

    35mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, ISO100, F7.1 , 1/125s, 35mm

    35mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, ISO250, F2.8 , 1/50s, 35mm

    35mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, ISO100, F2, 1/1000s, 35mm

    35mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, ISO125, F1.2, 1/100s, 35mm

    IMPRESSION

    Some manufacturers have too many large aperture lenses that give fringes even at F1.4 or so, making it impractical to use the maximum aperture per their catalog specifications. SIGMA’s large-aperture lenses, on the other hand, all seem to create very fine images when you shoot wide open. Take the 35mm F1.2 DG DN | Art; this is another SIGMA lens that creates gorgeous bokeh. Perhaps because I had not used an F1.2 lens for a while, but my test shooting surprised me. You will see in the monitor images that are completely different from what you see with your own eyes. The way the bokeh gives extra depth to the image and the way the excessively shallow depth of field creates a warped sense of scale that is similar to one created by the reverse tilt-shift technique, are both very fascinating. When you first start using it, you may find yourself obsessed with the magic-like images the lens creates for some time.
    Once you get used to it, you can start checking how different your images can be depending on the aperture and distance from a subject. A common still object would look with dramatic contrast; shot in studio, your object would come out crystal clear with extra-crisp details.
    I find it fortunate that I have the 35mm F1.2 DG DN | Art in my collection of 35mm lenses, which I use the most often. I happen to believe that you can shoot almost anything with a 35mm, and this one will find use in many a shoot, especially for the kind of objects I shot with a 50mm in the past.
    It may also be interesting to use it on an APS-C or movie camera with a 1.5x crop factor.