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Mark Peters : February 21th 2005 - 12:39 CET

Around the world with Sigma lenses

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SigmaDuring our visit to the Sigma booth on PMA 2005, held in sunny Orlando - Florida, we spoke to Michiro Yamaki, President of Sigma Japan and Kazuto Yamaki. Just before the PMA 2005 kicked off, Sigma introduced a number of new lenses and adjusted a large amount of existing lenses in order to make them suitable for the digital reflex camera. Suspicion had raised amongst the passionate Sigma followers, that Sigma had taken a number of lenses with a fixed focal length out of production and at the same time decreased their assortment of lenses. But nothing like that, in fact the opposite happened: Sigma jumped on the growing market segment of digital reflex cameras, and equipped a huge amount of lenses with DG EX features.
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The new Sigma DG EX lenses are exhibited behind glass and will soon be available in sufficient amounts. The exotic focal length lover will be pleased with the Sigma APO 800mm F5.6 EX DG, the Sigma APO 300mm F2.8 EX DG and for example the Sigma APO 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG OS with optical image stabilizer are all a joy for the eye and looking at this telephoto power, one's photographic heart beats 10x faster!

Sigma 18-200mm zoom lens
Besides introducing the new series Sigma DG EX lenses, Sigma also introduced a very interesting lens for the beginning photographer. The new Sigma 18-200mm zoom lens with a bright f3.5-f6.3 wide angle that is equivalent to the top selling zoom lens 28 -200mm. As a consequence of the focal length multiplier, the effect of wide angle disappeared on the majority of digital cameras. Sigma however holds a strong trump with this Sigma 18-200mm zoom lens, which can be combined with, for example, the recently introduced Canon EOS 350D digital reflex camera. A typical feature of this new lens is its compact size, in fact the most compact size of this type of lenses available on nowadays market.

Sigma - No investements in Mobile Imaging
During our conversation we also discussed the growth of digital camphones (mobile phones with built-in cameras), the so-called mobile imaging market. How will Sigma anticipate and does Sigma expect to enter this extra market? The answer of Michihiro Yamaki, President of Sigma Japan, is clear: "Sigma will not make large investments in this market while it is not interesting enough. The high investments involved with the production compared to the small turnover from the sale to third parties does not compensate for joining this market.", "Another typical aspect plays a role at digital imaging: the aspect quality is of minor importance, it's the price that is the most important." Which means that for now we won't find mobile phones on the market equipped with Sigma lenses!

Sigma 30mm f1.4 lens
Besides introducing the new DG EX lenses, Sigma presents a new fixed focal length specifically designed for digital reflex cameras: the new Sigma 30mm lens. This small but extremely bright lens offers a bright f1.4 and is specially designed for digital reflex cameras equipped with an APS-C format image sensor. The lens feels incredibly solid and has a comfortable weight. The compact size makes it a perfect lens to join the standard equipment of the demanding amateur and the professional photographer.

Sigma 10-20mm EX DC lens
The new Sigma 10-20mm EX DC lens is a true treasure. The focal length offers super wide angle which makes it extremely useful for landscape photography. The wide angle offers the photographer every bit of freedom to use his creativity and enables capturing subject at a close distance. The new lens is very interesting for everybody who lost his heart to taking indoor images or landscape photography. The dramatic view of clouds above a fantastic landscape will be captured perfectly with a lens such as the new Sigma 10-20mm EX DC.

Sigma - Prepared for the digital future
Sigma is prepared to face the digital reflex flood that is expected in the near future and will be able to meet the demands for specific lenses or lens features. New digital cameras like the Konica Minolta 7D and the Canon EOS 350D can be enhanced with a variety of focal lengths, with or without zoom features and/or a fixed bright. The huge amount of people on the Sigma booth and the large amount of attention attracted by Internet publications like the one LetsGoDigital published last week, show the great interest for the activities of a lens specialist like Sigma.

Sigma - Bright future for digital SLR
The digital reflex camera is coming on strongly and we are happy to see that enthusiastic users take the final decision to switch over to a typical 'photographic' product, as we like to call a digital reflex camera. If we compare this with the other phenomenon, the mobile phone with built-in camera, it seems clear that the photographic market is less predictable than the traditional photographic market, and is a lot more capricious than many of us would have thought.

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