Took a closer look at Lenstip Sigma Lens Designer Interview

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brecklundin
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Took a closer look at Lenstip Sigma Lens Designer Interview
6 months ago

I don't normally read interviews like this because it's usually marketing babble. This was actually quite interesting despite the lack of questions about adding Pentax mounts.

http://www.lenstip.com/136.1-article-Interview_with_constructor_of_Sigma_lenses.html

Still I found something very pleasing to read. First about the designing of the 18-35/1.8 and then about additional fast zooms. Talk was of something akin to a 35-85/1.8....that would be a hard combo to compete with if the complementary lens delivers the MTF (lpmm) results of the 18-35/1.8 which easily rivals my beloved Amigos. No pixie dust of course, likely due to the somewhat better results across the frame which has it's important uses but is a different character than the FA Ltd's.

The thing is both of those lenses are of far more interested to me than any current Pentax zoom, even the actually very nice 20-40/2.8-4 WR. The thing about the Pentax though is the WR part. I just don't know if I would find a time where I will need WR on a shorter zoom. Something longer I could see adding a DA* like the 50-135 or even better the 60-250.

I prefer primes BUT for some uses I want the flexibility of a zoom, especially events. I just have always felt I was compromising with the best zooms delivering no better than F2.8...but it sounds like Sigma is seriously looking at building out the Art series with f1.8 as the goal. I assume that is as long as the size remains reasonable.

I was also pondering that Pentax shooters need to get over the obsession with "...it's too heavy...it's too big..." Sure these lenses are bigger and heavier than Pentax options BUT we are talking real resolving of a level of the best Pentax primes and at THE SAME max apertures. This is the level of lens design I would have hoped Pentax exploited long, long ago but they have never been able to make a "magic" zoom along the lines of the 18-35/1.8.

These are not complaints because I like my options with Pentax, and we have sealed glass...however if Sigma decides to add WR sealing to these Art lenses AND is willing to produce them, even only via smaller pre-order only batches, Pentax will be behind the curve in a way I find disappointing. I actually think I prefer these sort of zooms over a FF from now, as long as the K3 continue to improve.

Anyway, just some random thoughts which came to my mind. I LOVE my Pentax gear and FA Ltd's (others feel the same about eh DA Ltd's so it's great to have options) and never will give them up. I just am lusting after more Art glass...luckily the Art primes, while seductive at f1.4 are not enough to get me away from my 31ltd or even my 35ltd because of how I use the 35ltd....but the 35ltd is gonna get a run for it's money when I can rent a 35/1.4 for a month to try it out and compare. Just need to talk to the good folks over at CameraLensRentals.comif they will be adding them in Pentax mounts as they become available. (Ilene there is a super person to work with )

That darned interview just got me thinking or, perhaps, it's the lack of sleep the past 4-5 nights.

leopold
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Re: Took a closer look at Lenstip Sigma Lens Designer Interview
In reply to brecklundin, 6 months ago

Interesting interview.

Sigma also lunched a 24-105mm/4 that competes with Canon, also a very good lens. If i would be shooting FF i would probably go for the Sigma 24-105mm. Sigma really rocks now, i remember buying Sigma lenses back in the film days (1995 or so) because they were cheaper even if IQ was lower. But now they are not compromises but a true option to high quality glass.

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paulkienitz
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Re: Took a closer look at Lenstip Sigma Lens Designer Interview
In reply to brecklundin, 6 months ago

As Roger Cicala has pointed out, these new Art lenses won't just hurt Pentax -- they put pressure on all the camera makers.

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JamieTux
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Re: Took a closer look at Lenstip Sigma Lens Designer Interview
In reply to brecklundin, 6 months ago

brecklundin wrote:

I don't normally read interviews like this because it's usually marketing babble. This was actually quite interesting despite the lack of questions about adding Pentax mounts.

http://www.lenstip.com/136.1-article-Interview_with_constructor_of_Sigma_lenses.html

Still I found something very pleasing to read. First about the designing of the 18-35/1.8 and then about additional fast zooms. Talk was of something akin to a 35-85/1.8....that would be a hard combo to compete with if the complementary lens delivers the MTF (lpmm) results of the 18-35/1.8 which easily rivals my beloved Amigos. No pixie dust of course, likely due to the somewhat better results across the frame which has it's important uses but is a different character than the FA Ltd's.

The thing is both of those lenses are of far more interested to me than any current Pentax zoom, even the actually very nice 20-40/2.8-4 WR. The thing about the Pentax though is the WR part. I just don't know if I would find a time where I will need WR on a shorter zoom. Something longer I could see adding a DA* like the 50-135 or even better the 60-250.

The WR and compact lens size are key differentiators of the Pentax SLR line up though, if you take those considerations away why would a consumer new to SLRs buy Pentax over Canon or Nikon or Sony?

I prefer primes BUT for some uses I want the flexibility of a zoom, especially events. I just have always felt I was compromising with the best zooms delivering no better than F2.8...but it sounds like Sigma is seriously looking at building out the Art series with f1.8 as the goal. I assume that is as long as the size remains reasonable.

I don't think that size is a big requirement for Sigma anymore, look at the size of the f1.4 art lenses, they are pretty huge. Even in that interview they discuss why the 18-35 has a 77mm filter ring.

I was also pondering that Pentax shooters need to get over the obsession with "...it's too heavy...it's too big..." Sure these lenses are bigger and heavier than Pentax options BUT we are talking real resolving of a level of the best Pentax primes and at THE SAME max apertures. This is the level of lens design I would have hoped Pentax exploited long, long ago but they have never been able to make a "magic" zoom along the lines of the 18-35/1.8.

It comes back to what the brand philosophy is I think, also you could level the same argument at every camera and lens manufacturer, Sigma are first if they are successful and the sales figures are good I am sure that the others will follow.

These are not complaints because I like my options with Pentax, and we have sealed glass...however if Sigma decides to add WR sealing to these Art lenses AND is willing to produce them, even only via smaller pre-order only batches, Pentax will be behind the curve in a way I find disappointing. I actually think I prefer these sort of zooms over a FF from now, as long as the K3 continue to improve.

But if Sigma lenses become the best large aperture options (which is what they appear to be gunning for now) and you can buy them for Pentax then Pentax would seem to be better off concentrating on the small, sealed and optically great lenses that the other systems don't have.

Anyway, just some random thoughts which came to my mind. I LOVE my Pentax gear and FA Ltd's (others feel the same about eh DA Ltd's so it's great to have options) and never will give them up. I just am lusting after more Art glass...luckily the Art primes, while seductive at f1.4 are not enough to get me away from my 31ltd or even my 35ltd because of how I use the 35ltd....but the 35ltd is gonna get a run for it's money when I can rent a 35/1.4 for a month to try it out and compare. Just need to talk to the good folks over at CameraLensRentals.comif they will be adding them in Pentax mounts as they become available. (Ilene there is a super person to work with )

Personally I didn't like the focus inconsistency or busy booked of the Sigma 35 f1.4 when I used my assistants one on a shoot but I seem to be in a minority of 1 on that :).

That darned interview just got me thinking or, perhaps, it's the lack of sleep the past 4-5 nights.

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Ian Stuart Forsyth
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Re: Took a closer look at Lenstip Sigma Lens Designer Interview
In reply to brecklundin, 6 months ago

I cannot wait to see the new long glass in development

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brecklundin
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Re: Took a closer look at Lenstip Sigma Lens Designer Interview
In reply to leopold, 6 months ago

leopold wrote:

Interesting interview.

Sigma also lunched a 24-105mm/4 that competes with Canon, also a very good lens. If i would be shooting FF i would probably go for the Sigma 24-105mm. Sigma really rocks now, i remember buying Sigma lenses back in the film days (1995 or so) because they were cheaper even if IQ was lower. But now they are not compromises but a true option to high quality glass.

Hey Leopold,

I noticed that 24-105/4 the other night...it looked attractive to me too.  And you nailed it, Sigma has come a LOOOOONG way since I bought my first Sigma, a 135/3.5 used from a camera store in downtown San Luis Obispo.  I think it was about 1985 or so.  Loved that lens but it was not up to the Pentax glass.  As I recall used it was around $85(?) at the time.  I didn't care because it was my first tele of any sort and I shot the heck out of that thing.

Remember Sigma's old logo used the Greek "Sigma" character?  It looked sooooo cheesy to me but again I didn't care.  

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brecklundin
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Re: Took a closer look at Lenstip Sigma Lens Designer Interview
In reply to paulkienitz, 6 months ago

paulkienitz wrote:

As Roger Cicala has pointed out, these new Art lenses won't just hurt Pentax -- they put pressure on all the camera makers.

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"A good photograph is knowing where to stand." -- Ansel

Yup...something else too...Sigma is still making the lenses in Japan when the "big boys" took their plants off-shore.  I've often wondered if because the plants have almost all left the country if Sigma took the opportunity to hire some free agent lens designer talent AND technician talent that was cut loose.  And not Sigma might have a far better staff than ever.

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