CES 2012: Sigma stand report

The Sigma Imaging stand is a little bit hidden at the back end of the Central Hall but nonetheless it's busy with visitors who are keen to get their hands on the Japanese lens giant's huge range of optics.

Sigma is showcasing three new lenses at this year's CES, including its first 'Digital Neo' lenses for mirrorless cameras. These first two lenses, a 30mm F2.8 and 19mm F2.8, are going to be available both in Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX mount versions. These diminutive optics are on display alongside another new lens - the 180mm F2.8 Macro, which features silent HSM focusing and optical image stabilization.

The Sigma stand is a little tucked away at the rear of the Central Hall but nevertheless busy with photo enthusiasts. Some impressive photography is on display all around the stand.
The 30mm F2.8 EX DN features a silent and fast AF motor which makes it very suitable for video capture. A Micro Four Thirds version will be available in February/March and a Sony E-mount version will follow later in the spring. Pricing is unconfirmed but Sigma tells us it will be 'competitive'.
Like the 30mm the 19mm F2.8 EX DN will be available both for Micro Four Thirds and Sony E-mount. Noticeably larger than Sony's 16mm pancake for NEX, Sigma tells us that this kens will offer better edge-to-edge sharpness. A Micro Four Thirds version will be available in March/April with a Sony E-mount version following later in the spring.
The APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM is the world's first 180mm macro to offer a F2.8 aperture. A fairly heavy lens, Sigma tells us that enthusiasts will love the optical quality.


Total comments: 25
By audijam (Jan 19, 2012)

Did Sigma recover the stolen 180 prototype yet? I heard they brought 2 copies to the show and 1 got stolen. Whoever that lucky guy is please write a review already!

By zzapamiga (Jan 14, 2012)

Sigma please sell Foveon to Canon or Sony. Your camera division cannot be profitable and you are primarily a lens maker. That way we can all enjoy Foveon sensors in great bodies with a better supported lens mount.

By Feud (Jan 14, 2012)

Couldn't agree more. I have a DP1 but wouldn't shell out £7000 for an SD1. Sigma would have a head start in optimising lenses for whatever Foveon bodies the mainstream manufacturers developed.

By AbrasiveReducer (Jan 17, 2012)

Or give it away. But I agree, if Foveon's quirks are ever to be worked out, Sigma is not the company to do it. And I say this as the owner of two Sigma cameras.

By Dafffid (Sep 19, 2012)

Canon will always be market-leaders who follow the innovation of others, and Sony already make the best CMOS sensors. Nikon are a conservative company - no chance. If we want Foveon developed it would have to be sold to someone with a need to trailblaze.

Olympus don't have the money, and although Fuji like experimenting with their sensors (I'm sad the S5's sensor was never taken forward) they have their hands full with their latest idea. That leaves Pentax, Panasonic and Samsung. Samsung are more interested in android cameras and new UIs. Panasonic have the resources and it would create differentiation between them and Olympus, but can't see it happening (unless rumours are true that they've ditched their own sensors for Sony in the GH3).
But Pentax are in desperate need of something to make them contenders again. Their APS-C cameras are 'nice' - but 99% will still buy an Canikon instead. But put a Foveon inside one and you have a genuine unique selling point again.

Jan Madsen
By Jan Madsen (Jan 14, 2012)

Not the worlds first 180mm f2.8 macro - Sigma made one earlier, in the 1990's, also with AF. So it is kind of a revival.

Chris Cuennet
By Chris Cuennet (Jan 13, 2012)

Everything those who have 180mm / 3.5 macro Sigma EX HSM can assert that it is great one pebbles... Today Sigma can take out a version 2.8 with stabilization, with their lenses FLD, it is the macro telephoto lens which promises a very high optical quality...
For the frame Pentax, generally, Sony and Pentax is always produced late after frames Sigma, Nikon and Canon, thus I imagine nothing before the end of 2012... Or maybe never also ^^

By map1273 (Jan 13, 2012)

Why do they say enthusiasts will love the optics of the 180mm macro, are they saying the optics aren't good enough for professionals?

By iudex (Jan 13, 2012)

Don´t analyze that much. ;-)

By PolarHki (Jan 13, 2012)

Will the APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM (oh my god, these endlessly long names that Sigma uses... ;-) ) also be available for Pentax K mount?

By the way, where is the report about the Pentax/Ricoh stand? (Or is there none this year?!)

By iudex (Jan 13, 2012)

I would also like to know what Pentax has shown (if it was present at all). There could be something new from Pentax, either a camera or some new lenses.

By chris_j_l (Jan 13, 2012)

Amen to that. K mount macro has been a bit bare - 50mm and 100mm that don't really cut the mustard.

By garyknrd (Jan 14, 2012)

Before I switched to Canon I asked a Sigma rep in Japan if Sigma is going to update the new lens for Pentax. The answer I got was no. I hope untrue. Pentax needs the new lenses in my opinion.

By PolarHki (Jan 14, 2012)

Yes, hopefully it was untrue. But even if it was true at some point, they might have changed their mind after the recent Pentax / Ricoh alliance. Even though Ricoh's imaging sector has not been too significant up to now, they are a huge player on the general electronics market.

By aldoc (Jan 12, 2012)

It is not the worlds first 180mm F2.8 Macro, but the first to go to 1:1 without additional tube. I have before me a review of 1996 Chasseur d'Image magazine about a "Sigma AF 180mm f/2.8 Apo Macro" with the then famous "Zen" finish ( ;-) ). Conventional AF and MF versions were made alongside at this time, no OS of course, 13 lenses in 11 groups including some ED elements. Minimal focus 0.64m, (0.5x). 85mmx180mm, weight 1580 g, Filter 82mm. It was made in a big variety of mounts: FD, EF, MD, MAF, NI-AF, NI-AIS, SA and K -- long, long time ago... BTW Price 8490 FF, maybe around $ 2000.- in todays world.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By bargainguy (Jan 13, 2012)

I have one of those -- a 90's Sigma 180/2.8 APO Macro in Nikon mount.

Great optics, although the finish rubs off (no surprise there) and the tripod mount is poorly designed and really doesn't lock properly. This tends toward a loosey-goosey attachment rather than a secure one, which you don't want with such a long macro.

By SteveNunez (Jan 12, 2012)

I'd like to see Sigma also support the other lens mounts such as Samsung NX, Pentax Q, the new Fuji mount etc as less expensive alternates to the OEM offerings. It seems as if only m4/3 and NEX systems are supported.
(read Samsung has not opened their lens mount specs to outside lens makers, shame.)
Thumbs up to Sigma for supporting these new popular standards.

By JosephScha (Jan 13, 2012)

I think if we look at the top 20 list from Japan, we see why Sigma chose to support Micro 4/3 and Sony NEX. Those systems are represented in the top 20, Micro 4/3 with several models. Samsung and Pentax Q have not made the list.

By Nate21 (Jan 13, 2012)

I don't see any near future that Sigma will make any lens for Samsung.

By iudex (Jan 13, 2012)

Samsung produces good prime lenses at low cost (e.g. 30mm/f2 for less than 200 eur). I guess Sigma would not be able to bring a lens for a competitive price. On the other hand lenses for M4/3 are quite expensive, so there is a place for Sigma to offer cheaper lenses.

1 upvote
By urix (Jan 13, 2012)

+1 to iudex
One more thing: NX has flange-back distance of 25.5 mm while mFT and E have 20 and 18 mm, respectively. Would the Sigma 30/2.8 design fit this requirement?

By kewlguy (Jan 12, 2012)

yeah - great optical quality - as long as Sigma could deliver well-centered optics...

AV Janus
By AV Janus (Jan 12, 2012)

So where is that elusive Foveon beast?
Seems to behave in line with a Loch Ness monster. :)

By brittonx (Jan 13, 2012)

The report I saw from an attendee said that the SD1 was there tethered to a Mac taking macro shots. Also the images around the booth are mostly from the SD1.

Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 13, 2012)

I think Janus meant info regarding coming beasts. Its by far too early to expect such an announcement though.

Sigma always takes some time to do the next step, even when haste seems more appropriate.

Total comments: 25