Day Two Of the Sigma Experiment

Day Two Of the Sigma Experiment

Lenses.

You need ’em and Sigma have ’em. And you could be forgiven for being overwhelmed sometimes when you stand in front of the Sigma cabinets in Murray Street or Stirling Street and start to imagine which one you need.

Not surprising – Sigma have made their lenses to fit Nikon, Canon, Sony for years. They made their own mount – the SA mount for their own DSLR cameras, and you can get plenty of these still. And now they make lenses that could appear on Olympus and Panasonic cameras – the micro 4/3 mount. Not slowing down, they are supplying the new L mount as well, and this is where the camera taste buds started to throb – I spotted a new L mount lens in the cabinet.

This 45mm f:2.8 lens – the left hand one in the picture – is dedicated to the new FP camera – as well as to other L mount cameras. It’s marked as a ” Contemporary ” lens on the little silver side plate but that sounds like PR flak. Any lens you buy is contemporary if you buy it fresh…

But semantic quibbles aside, the lens is weighty, small, very precisely-made, and has a sensible manual focus ring as well as a dedicated, detented f:stop ring. Note it is also AF.

The mount that it goes into is a four-lug type. I reckon you can see the German heritage from Leica there. I take it that lenses from Panasonic or Leica themselves with a similar L mount would also be able to bayonet in and connect correctly. I take it that they have shared the specification completely.

I tested the lens quickly with an outdoor shot – the jpeg looked superb on a 6000 x 4000pixel image – but it’ll need a dedicated studio shoot to see just how good it might do with raw imagery. Hopefully this can be arranged – if the Adobe people have agreed with Sigma on the RAW image decoding. That is one reason I put up with the Adobe subscription model for the LR and PS – I want to test out new cameras as they come to hand and the LR has to keep up with them. Be patient – no half-baked tests yet.

Note that the other Sigma lens the 50mm f:1.4 DC – is intended for a Sony E mount and their smaller sensor cameras. Still well-made.

Final note: Sigma and Fujifilm have never agreed on the protocols and patents that would allow the former to produce lenses with the FX mount of the latter. As a Fujifilm user I grieve, because I remember the fine results obtained on a Nikon camera with a Sigma 8-16 lens. I don’t think it’s technical – I think it’s business. Yet, so has it been with Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, and that stiff German neck…Leica, and they’ve gotten along together. Maybe there’s something personal there between the firms in Japan as well…

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