Two years ago, Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki teased the idea that the Japanese optics manufacturer would some day make its way into the cinema lens market.
Since then, it’s been silent on every front. But a new tip has rekindled the idea that Sigma may enter the motion picture realm. The hint comes from a reliable source, according to Photo Rumors, who says Sigma is “planning on launching [its] own line of cinema lenses.”
No specific date was mentioned, but with Photokina 2016 around the corner, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the launch ahead of the September trade show. By announcing them ahead of time, cinematographers and news outlets would get a chance to put the new glass to the test ahead of the holiday season.
In the past, Sigma was seen as just one of many third-party lens manufacturers for photographers to go to when cost was a concern. Rather quickly though, that opinion has changed, with Sigma’s lenses being discussed just as much, if not more than, Nikkor and Canon glass.
Helping fuel this revival has been the incredible amount of effort Sigma has put into its Global Vision lens lineup, which consists of its “Art,” “Contemporary,” and “Sports” photography lenses.
Besides a much cleaner look than that of Sigma’s past, the amount of quality assurance and precision engineering that goes into the Global Vision lenses is absolutely astonishing and is rightly putting Sigma into the limelight it deserves.
While these photography lenses are more than capable of being used for cinematic purposes, dedicated cinema lenses do differ from still photography lenses. Most notably, cinema lenses offer a longer focus throw for more precise control, a smooth aperture for noise-free adjustments, and with similar lengths across the entire lineup — so video rigs don’t need to be adjusted much when swapping glass. They also include built-in gears for controlling both the aperture and focus rings.
If Sigma does end up bringing its expertise to the world of cinema lenses, it could cause yet another shake-up in the lens market. Sigma came in and undercut both Nikkor and Canon with photo lenses of equal or better image quality, so it’s not hard to imagine them doing the same in the world of cinematography.
It won’t be long before we find out. If the pre-Photokina announcement is to be believed, Sigma cinema lenses could be just a month or two away. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on the latest news.