Sigma lenses have been around for decades. For a long time, they've been the budget-friendly choice for photographers trying to avoid the heavy costs associated with some of the big name guys like Canon or Nikon. In 2012, the company went through a refurbishing of sorts and came out the other side with three distinct classifications of their lenses under their Global Vision redesign. Since then, the words 'Sigma ART Lens' can be seen regularly on various photo and film production blogs all across the internet. It's serious glass with serious performance. It's clear that Sigma isn't playing around any more.
Sigma's three designations for lenses produced since 2012 are based on the different types of applications that they might be best for. That's not to say that one couldn't shoot a baseball game with an ART lens of course. It's just a suggestion. The ART series lenses provide peak optical performance with ultrawide apertures. They're very densely packed with glass, designed to precisely match color rendering across the line so your close-up images aren't coming out warmer than your establishing shots. The SPORTS lenses, bring a heavy focus on operation speed and durability. This line brings a more rugged quality to the design, as seen in larger rubberized focus rings or sturdier lens hoods. Not to be outdone is the CONTEMPORARY line of lenses, which bring all the basic needs of a photographer to the forefront. These focus on compact, versatile designs at the most affordable price.
Each of these newer lenses are offered in several different camera system mounts. Sigma even has a send-in service to change the mount on many of these lenses in the event you feel like switching camera ecosystems. Regardless of which mount you're looking for, here are four of Sigma's newer lenses that we love at KEH. We think you'll love them, too.
The 35mm focal length has begun to take over the territory of the once-standard 50mm. Great for general-purpose use, this lens sits somewhere between a longer wide-angle and a shorter telephoto focal length. That means you can use it quite well for both applications. While the 35mm focal length is often loved by street photographers, this lens may be a bit heavy to lug around with you all day. It packs a bit of extra weight but brings a speedy and silent autofocus motor and an incredible 9-bladed f/1.4 aperture with it. There's a reason Sigma calls this one their flagship lens.
This 85mm ART is in the same family as the 35mm pictured above, which means it offers the same lens coatings and has been designed specifically to match the other ART focal lengths when it comes to sharpness and color rendering. This lens will give your portraits and close-ups dramatic intensity with its superwide f/1.4 aperture. It also pairs exceptionally well with the 35mm if you're looking to have a dual-prime kit in your bag. It's a big hefty beast of a lens that's likely to knock your socks off when you see the images that come out of it.
We've included this 30mm specifically for the APS-C sensor photographers. On the more compact sensor system, this lens gives you an angle of view equivalent to a 45mm lens on a full-frame sized sensor. That means it's just slightly wider than the standard, once again giving you a bit more flexibility with composition. Keep in mind that this lens packs in all the optical performance of its larger full-frame 35mm brother, but cuts off a third of the weight and half of the size, making handling much easier on a smaller sensor camera body.
Switching gears a bit, this offering from their CONTEMPORARY line provides a surprising telephoto range in a compact package. With two modes of built-in Optical Stabilization, the focal length is perfect for wildlife and nature photographers capturing photos from afar. It may not pack the super-wide aperture that the others on our list do, but it can still provide substantial separation between subject and background. This lens also offers three different focus modes, a focus distance limiting switch, and a fourth custom switch for you to select which modes work best for you. At this budget price point, it's hard to argue with features that are this impressive.
Sigma is currently producing 23 ART lenses, 9 CONTEMPORARY lenses and 5 SPORTS lenses with more being developed every year. They've also got an extensive history of making lenses for many different camera systems. We've got both their older and newer lines here at KEH. Check out our Sigma collection. I'm sure we've got something you'll love.