70/2.8: Production stopped

Following its little 50mm sibling, the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro, a little optical marvel, is on the chopping block. The Canon version is marked as discontinued at Sigmaphoto.com, and Adorama only has the Sigma and Sony mounts left.

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Model for DP3M shooting

I was trying to determine if there was any gain in using SPP 6.0.5 over SPP 5.5.3 to process Merrill X3F files, beside the faster operating speed (on Win 8.1 x64).

With the default sharpness setting of 0.0, SPP 6.0.5 displays a sharper image (may even be too sharp depending on subject matter and taste). Pushing the sharpness slider in SPP 5.5.3 does not quite match it, and strong sharpening often brings out noise and other artifacts.

However, when opening the 16-bit TIFFs from each version of SPP in Photoshop, I noticed that the extra sharpness of the image processed in SPP 6.0.5 was no longer there, while the image from SPP 5.5.3 had the same look as in SPP, which is of course the normal behavior.

The below comparison, with 100% crops from a DP3 Merrill shot, makes it obvious.

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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art EISA Award

Sigma’s 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens won EISA’s best product award in the European DSLR Lens 2014-2015 category.

You can see all the winners here.

Sigma Booth at CP+ 2013 (courtesy of Sigma Corporation)

A rumor about an interesting 14-24mm f/4 DG OS HSM − thus falling in the “Art” category − popped up at Photo Rumors. The lens could be announced at Photokina. This is the very first time such a lens is mentioned.

The combination of focal length and aperture is attractive, and unique so far on full frame. The choice of f/4 versus f/2.8 (think Nikon’s own 14-24mm lens) is sure to keep size, weight and price down, with OS coming in handy when shooting still scenes handheld. Besides, a huge protruding bulb-like front element is not needed, making the use of filters possible (the lens is said to have a 82mm filter thread).

Given Canon’s lack of reactivity in this range and the pricey Nikon 14-24mm peaking at f/2.8, Sigma has definitely a spot to grab here. The lens is said to cost $1,199.

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The Nikon-mount Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is finally back in stock at Adorama and B&H. Not sure how long this will be true (the stock of the Canon version lasted a couple of hours).

Changing a bit from product images, the video above was shot on a Blackmagic 4K camera using the Sigma 50mm Art lens in Canon EF mount.

Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM

The 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM is now listed in the list of discontinued lenses at Sigmaphoto.com, and the product page says “This product is discontinued“.

The process started with the Canon mount a few months ago, and the Nikon version was the last survivor. Adorama and B&H Photo still have stock of the latter.

That is food for speculation on what will replace it (well, for the fun of it we’re assuming Sigma will replace it, and they should). A lighter and better 50-150mm f/2.8 DC would be nice, but something faster and with a shorter range seems to pique a bit more interest, and would come as a logical complement to the super-popular 18-35mm f/1.8 DC Art.

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

In a reply to an inquiry from a Pentax user, Sigma’s sales operations supervisor admitted that the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM in Pentax mount was no longer made due to insufficient sales. There is one left in stock from a third-party seller at Amazon.

As far as I can tell, the Canon and Nikon mounts are good sellers, so the lens itself shouldn’t leave the lineup until a Global Vision version (which is high on many wish lists) gets in.

[Source: Pentax Forums]