Monday, February 22, 2010

Sigma launches 5 new lenses

I'm convinced that Sigma’s engineering and production teams must have been chomping on pizzas every night recently, judging from the slew of products they just announced. Hot on the heels of the original camera manufacturers, Sigma has been launching exotic lenses one after another. Judging from the technical specs, it’s definitely no mean feat to engineer such optics!

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM

First up is the new 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom lens from Sigma, equipped with Hypersonic Motor (HSM) and optical stabilizer (OS). Depending on the price tag, this can be a good alternative to the pricey original 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses that camera brands have launched (notice how prices jump substantially with every generation?) Optically this lens looks promising, with Sigma using its new 'FLD' glass to control aberrations, plus a nine-blade circular aperture for more attractive bokeh.

Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM
Great… Sigma announces a 85mm f/1.4 portrait lens just after I purchased a 85mm portrait lens for a not insubstantial amount of moolah. Anyway, this new Sigma features nine-blade circular aperture for more attractive bokeh and a minimum focusing distance of just 85cm. I’m sure it won’t be as good as the one I bought… I hope.

Sigma 50-500mm DG OS HSM
Sigma’s management’s directive to the engineers must have been blindingly obvious based on the latest releases – make the widest and longest lenses you can! The result is a hulking monster like this 50-500mm 10x telephoto zoom. The Sigma has been popular with nature photographer, but this latest iteration (finally) comes with optical stabilization. Guess someone in Sigma figured out it wasn’t easy handholding a 500mm lens after all.

Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM
If you ever need evidence that Sigma engineers are going mad, this is it. Say hello to this crazy piece of optics – the Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM. Not contented with the batch of current ultra-wide angle lenses for APS-C cameras, Sigma engineers decided that photographers needed to go really wide, so they decided to make one for APS-C photographers, just like they already did with the Sigma 12-24mm for full-frame. Seriously, anyone who tried to use such a wide-angle needs to buy really nice shoes, because they’re going to get into the frame easily. Salvatore Ferragamo anyone?

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM
Strictly for APS-C sensor cameras only, this Sigma is your standard zoom lens with a fast constant aperture of f/2.8. Other nice features include optical stabilization (OS) and Hypersonic Motor (HSM) for faster focusing, as well as the incorporation of Sigma’s new FLD glass and non-rotating front focus ring.

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