We caught-up with Sigma’s CEO at Photokina to discuss the company’s purple patch and to hear about the plans for more high-end lenses.
Looking back four years, Kazuto Yamaki (Sigma’s CEO) says that high-end photographers didn’t care about Sigma. The lenses were seen as a cheaper alternative, something you only bought if you couldn’t afford your camera manufacturer’s glass.
But the introduction of Sigma’s Art lens line has changed that and convinced many people that Sigma has something to offer serious photographers.
Yamaki says that Sigma will continue to refresh its lens range over the coming years and will introduce more high-end optics, stating ‘high-end is the future’. The company is also going to continue to innovate by introducing lenses that go beyond mere upgrades of existing optics.
Sigma’s 50-100mm f/1.8 Art lens, for example, was the first first telephoto zoom to have a constant aperture of f/1.8 and Yamaki is planning more of that ilk saying ‘we need to innovate to create demand, there will be more World-first lenses.’
While more high-end lenses are good news for dedicated photographers, there’s a clear benefit to the manufacturers. Enthusiast and professional photographers are loyal to photography and high-end equipment, they make repeated purchases.
Sigma Contemporary, Sport and Art lenses
At Photokina 2012 Sigma announced that its future lenses would be organised into three categories: Contemporary, Art and Sport (C, S and A). The more affordable of the three lines, the Contemporary lenses are relatively small and light-weight for their focal length.
Meanwhile the Sports optics, have higher-level optical performance and are bigger and heavier. The Art lens line has proved particularly popular, covering a range of focal lengths and uses with the aim of offering the highest possible optical quality and large apertures.