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The new Global Vision series

Naming and categorization are important to make a lens line clear and guide users according to their needs.

I frequently get questions on what exactly is hidden behind the Global Vision labels: Art, Contemporary and Sports. So here’s what Sigma says (in italic), along with a couple of thoughts.

Art lenses

Designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power, our Art line delivers high-level artistic expression.

Large-aperture prime lenses, wide-angle lenses, ultra-wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, fisheye lenses and more

Lenses designed with no weight and size savings in mind. With the 24-105mm f/4 Art being a notable exception (more on this below), Art lenses offer a large aperture and/or are specialized. Additionally to Sigma’s examples, we can assume that tilt-shift lenses would go into this category.

Contemporary lenses

Featuring the very latest technology, and combining optical performance with compactness, our high-performance Contemporary line covers a wide range of needs.

Standard zoom lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, high-magnification zoom lenses and more

Since compactness is a goal, using smaller and less glass elements − and, subsequently, compromising on optical performance to some extent − is necessary. The 150-600mm f/5-6.3 variants, one Contemporary and the other Sports, show what it’s like to design two lenses with the same focal length range and aperture but with different quality goals.

Mechanically, Contemporary lenses should be just as good as the others (barring weather resistance in some cases). TSC material and metal parts are used, and as every Global Vision lens, they are individually tested.

Sports lenses

While offering sophisticated optical performance and expressiveness, our Sports line lenses deliver high action-capture performance, enabling photographers to get exactly the shots they want.

Telephoto lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, super telephoto lenses, super telephoto zoom lenses and more

That one doesn’t need much explanation. Well, things were really clear until the 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Sports came in. A “high action-capture performance” implies a large aperture for motion-freezing purposes. With the Global Vision categorization, this was the only way for Sigma to differentiate the two 150-600mm lenses, and it sure adds a bit of confusion.

Regarding optical performance, the Sports line aims at the same quality goals as the Art series.

A word on the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 Art

Note that the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 is not even in the list of possible lens types for the Art line. As a standard zoom lens, it should have been labeled “Contemporary”. That won’t spoil anyone’s shooting experience, but it raises the question of what we can expect from it, and from the Art series in general. For instance, the lens could have been made bigger, to achieve higher performance and to clearly outperform the 8-year old (as of its release) Canon 24-105mm f/4 L.

[Reference: We’re reorganizing all our lenses into three product lines]

  • Paul Menard

    must admit its mostly marketing junk to me. but art and sports basicaly means they have gone for performance, while contemporary means they have balanced it with weight,size,cost. and sports lenses are ones you would use for sports

  • mantis

    So, 70-200/2.8 would be Sports? I was wondering about that with my friends recently, there were some arguments used that ‘Art’ seems to have been more high-end, being compared even to Otus lens. But if the Sports difference is only in type of lens, not quality, 70-200 sounds like a Sports candidate.

    • Florent – SigmaRumors

      Optically, I don’t think that Sports lenses are built to lower standards than Art lenses. Whether Art of Sports is a matter of focal length (usage), and based on what Sigma says, a 70-200mm f/2.8 should be Sports.

  • animalsbybarry

    This explanation does little to clear up the questions regarding the 150-600mm le

    • Florent – SigmaRumors

      I can’t do much to clear up your questions Barry. I don’t have access to more data than you.

      • animalsbybarry

        I realize that…the comment was directed primarily towards Sigma for not releasing the info.

        • Pittsburgh Kid

          Agree completely. I like the concept of the 150-600, but there is no way I am touching it until I see Independent tests. For both.

          As for A/S/C, it’s more confusing marketing mumbo-jumbo.

          Used to be companies had a simple list of their products. Now it is vague “solutions” in which nanny MBA’s preselect what yhey think you want. Go to the Garmin GPS site. You can’t get a simple list of their products. It’s inane categories like “on the go” or “on the trail”. Guess what. Some people use products in multiple applications. Same with the Art Sports Contemporary fluff.

          Sigma needs to lose their marketing department. They are adding no value and confusing the consumer.

          1) Make great lenses

          2) Get them in the hands of independent reviewers. Not gear pimps. People who can publish real, objective data.

          3) Sell direct. It is absurd to have only two US sellers, unless US marketing is in on the action. Sold direct, a C 150-600 would be what, 650? The S $1400? The MSRP selling price stinks to high heaven.

    • Zeckson

      Well, in my opinion, just to share some thoughts, a possibility why MTF charts were not released together with the Sports version is because of sales. Sigma made it clear that the ‘C’ lens will be cheaper. And from many explanations, optical quality of ‘C’ lenses are not much different from ‘A’ and/or ‘S’, when the MTF chart is out, surely people will just buy the ‘C’ version and not the ‘S’ version. Make sense from a customer point of view? Why should one pay more where both of them are optically almost as good. Yeah, one can always put in the weather sealing and sorts but when it comes to taking out the money, all those may be “I’ll just be a little more careful with the lens” and buy the ‘C’ versions. 🙂

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