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Sigma Quattro sensor

Sigma’s CEO sat with Imaging Resource at Photokina, in last September, for another interesting Q&A.

As usual, I listed the main points, focusing mainly on what’s related to future products.

  • This is now clearly confirmed: Sigma is considering the full-frame Foveon option. “We’re studying that challenge”, said Kazuto Yamaki.
  • Sigma is aware of the substantial interest in full-frame E-mount lenses. The interviewers tried to push that idea, but got no more comments on this.
  • Having Sigma’s full-frame lenses declined in Sony E-mount seems attractive at first, but reading further down in the interview, we understand why this is unlikely to happen. The main reason is that the optical design and HSM (autofocus) motor found in these lenses are tailored for reflex cameras. In short, the glass elements that move while focusing are too heavy for the focusing system of mirrorless cameras to work as it should.
  • The price of the 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary should be “significantly lower” compared to the S version. The difference in image quality between the two lenses is said to be marginal in the center of the frame. The Sports version controls chromatic aberrations much better off-center though.
  • The Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro was discontinued due to a comparatively low demand, and additionally, a special glass element used into it is no longer made. I heartily recommend this lens, if you can find one. The images from it show super sharpness and clarity.

[Source: Imaging Resource]

  • Jeffry De Meyer

    So add a battery to the fe-mount lenses if power is it is the problem.

    • Cyrille Berger

      It is not “electrical power” that is a problem, so it cannot be solved by adding a battery. It is the mechanical power of the ultrasonic engine that is the problem. To make it work for mirrorless, they need either an engine with more mechanical power (like a step engine) or more light-weight focus elements, ie, a different optical formula. That is probably why their 150-600mm is only available in contemporary for the e-mount.

      • theclod

        I’d really like to understand a little more on this. Why do lenses for mirrorless cameras inherently need an engine with more mechanical power (or else lighter elements?)

        Is it that the shorter flange distance requires heavier focusing elements? Or it requires that larger groups of elements be moved for focus at once?

        Actually, I recall reading about a teardown of some of the Touit lenses, and how it was noted that there was a large, heavy group of elements which were all permanently glued together, and how there was a relatively noisy, slow motor to move them. I guess that was required?

        • EnKiu

          I do not understand thi point either. WHAT does an internal focusing motor have to do with what type of camera the lens is connected to?

  • animalsbybarry

    Based on this interview it seems like better perfomanence on E mount may actually be possible with adapters rather than native E mount.
    It seems however that the best solution would be to desighn a more powerfull stepper motor to handle the increased wieght of bigger lens elements.
    As for the comments about the quality of the 150-600 contemporary..this is very frustrating like Sigma is deliberately teasing us…please release the MTF charts on this lens so we can evaluate it for ourselves!

    • Andrew

      You would think they would hurry up, they are probably loosing customers due to the length of time they are making us wait. The Tamron 150-600 is now readily available and most people usually hold off 1 or 2 months after release to see the reviews. The only reason I am going for the sigma is that I am an A mount user like yourself so the lens will have in body OS, plus it’s my second major buy after A77 II. If this lens is slightly sharper than my current 150-500 at 600 it will be a vey decent setup for me with the advantages of faster and more accurate AF

      • animalsbybarry

        According to the interview they producing lenses as fast as they can but cannot keep up with the demand.

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