This one has been a long time coming and I couldn’t be happier to be breaking this news to all that have waited so patiently. For the past couple of years I would receive an email or phone call about twice a month asking if we had plans to convert the Sigma 18-35mm and/or 50-100mm to a cine lens. I would consistently, politely decline citing high cost or some other hurdle that made such a project unattractive to my organization which was generally met with the oh so annoying “Well, this other company in China does it for real cheap”. Good for them… But alas, we can finally admit to the real reason why Duclos Lenses has avoided such a project. Sigma has taken it upon themselves to carry out what so many have asked for over the past couple of years; Manufacture a high quality, fast, lightweight range of zooms and primes direct from their factory in Aizu, Japan. Let’s take a look into the future of Sigma Cine.
Let’s start with the roadmap. Sigma is currently ramping up to produce the following:
- Sigma 18-35mm T2.0 (Super 35, 2016)
- Sigma 50-100mm T2.0 (Super 35, 2016)
- Sigma 24-35mm T2.2 (Full Frame, 2017)
- Sigma 20mm T1.5 (Full Frame, 2017)
- Sigma 24mm T1.5 (Full Frame, 2017)
- Sigma 35mm T1.5 (Full Frame, 2017)
- Sigma 50mm T1.5 (Full Frame, 2017)
- Sigma 85mm T1.5 (Full Frame, 2017)
All of the lenses will be available in Canon EF and Sony E mount, with Arri PL to follow shortly thereafter. Considering some of the other product launches we’ve seen in the past decade, I’d say Sigma has been very, very busy. Now keep in mind that this doesn’t all drop on day one. The two high-speed Super 35 format zooms (18-35mm T2 and 50-100mm T2) will be available Q4 2016, followed by the additional full-frame (24-35mm T2.2) zoom, and then by the five Full Frame T1.5 high-speed prime lenses.
If you haven’t been following Sigma for the past five years, it’s time for you to catch up. Sigma’s lens development and manufacturing is considered state-of-the-art. Their Art Series of lenses have secured a respectable place in the hearts of photographers and cinematographers world-wide. The new Cine line is no different. With some of the highest performing optics, there’s no doubt that the new zooms and prime lenses will have a very special place among indie and pro cinematographers alike.
Theres an important quote left out of the press release that I find to be quite indicative. I was first told this quote by Sigma CEO, Kazuto Yamaki: “100 & 100”. Let me explain the meaning behind this unique phrase… 100% of the optics are retained from the original lenses. But every single piece of aluminum and other components are 100% new. This is important for a couple of reasons: by combining the high quality glass with a unique, cine-style mechanical design, the cost of development and production can be kept to a minimum. Additionally, it allows the lenses to remain compact and light weight, the focus rotation is consistent throughout the entire range, the barrel and filter thread diameters are all the same, as is focus, zoom, and iris gear positioning. These are not just re-sleeved lenses. They’re built from the ground up in an all new chassis, body, and barrel.
I’m not going to go into image quality too much here since the optics are the same as their Art Series cousins. If you haven’t tried out the Sigma Art series of lenses, do some googling, see the results that everyone across the globe is achieving with these lenses already. The proof is in the pudding. So why are these lenses unique? For several reasons – the price is going to be extremely competitive, especially considering the performance you can expect from the Sigma Cine lenses. In the case of the zooms, the ONLY other zoom on the market with an aperture of T2 are the Fujinon Premiere zooms. And if you didn’t know, those are price around $90k each. Granted, the Fujinon zooms have a longer zoom range, but it’s all a compromise. The Sigma lenses are a fraction of the price, size, and weight compared to similar lenses.
Ready for some spec tables?
|Zoom Lenses||18-35mm T2||50-100mm T2||24-35mm T2.2|
|Aperture||T2.0 to T 16||T2.0 to T 16||T2.2 to T 16|
|Close Focus||0.28 m / 11″||0.95 m / 3’2″||0.28 m / 11″|
|Image Coverage||S35 Digital Ø28.4||S35 Digital Ø28.4||Full Frame Ø43.3|
|35FF||N/A||N/A||84.1°- 63.4 °|
|S35||76.1° – 43.8°||31.5° – 16.0°||60.8° – 43.8°|
|APS-C||76.5° – 44.2°||31.7° – 16.1°||61.2° – 44.2°|
|FF High Speed Prime Line||20mm T1.5 FF||24mm T1.5 FF||35mm T1.5 FF||50mm T1.5 FF||85mm T1.5 FF|
|Aperture||T1.5 to T16||T1.5 to T16||T1.5 to T16||T1.5 to T16||T1.5 to T16|
|Close Focus||0.276m / 11″||0.25 m / 10″||0.30 m / 1′||0.40 m/ 1’4″||0.85 m / 2’10”|
|Image Coverage||FF Ø43.3||FF Ø43.3||FF Ø43.3||FF Ø43.3||FF Ø43.3|
Let’s recap. Two high-speed zooms, 18-35mm and 50-100mm available in Canon EF or Sony E mount beginning Q4 2016 with PL mount to follow. The Full Frame 24-35mm zoom will come early 2017 with the entire line of High-Speed Full Frame primes early-mid 2017 in EF and E mount as well, PL to follow. There’s no official word on authorized dealers or exact pricing just yet, but you’ll definitely want to check back in with Duclos Lenses for an update on that really soon.