Sigma continues to develop its ‘Global Vision’ programs of three high-performance lens series specific to applications. At Photokina the lens maker added two models to its Art line – an 85mm f1.4 DG HSM fast prime and a 12-24mm f4.0 DG HSM wide-angle zoom – and a new Sport model, the 500mm f4.0 DG OS HSM supertelephoto. All are designed for use with full-35mm size sensors.

Fast, high-performance 85mm primes are quite fashionable at the moment (Sony, Nikon, Zeiss, etc), but the new Sigma Art model looks capable of being competitive, and have been designed to work with the latest ultra-high resolution full-35mm sensors. Its 14-element optical construction includes two SLD (special low dispersion) types and one employing glass with anomalous partial dispersion and refraction characteristics. A re-engineered AF system is claimed to give a 1.3x in torque over its predecessor, and a full-time manual focus override is provided. The new 85mm f1.4 Art is available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts, with the Nikon version employing an electromagnetically actuated diaphragm. This is also the case with the 12-24mm Art zoom and 500mm Sport tele.

The new 12-24mm f4.0 zoom is also an upgraded Art version of a previous model and its 16-element optical construction includes, says Sigma, the largest glass-moulded aspherical element in the industry. This is designed to allow an ultra-wide zoom with minimal distortion, flare or ghosting. This model also employs elements made with Sigma’s FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass which is claimed to be equivalent to calcium fluorite in performance and provides a very high degree of correction for chromatic aberrations. Sigma’s new higher-torque ‘Hyper Sonic Motor’ (HSM) AF system delivers improvements in autofocusing speed, and the external construction has been restyled to conform with the durability and styling of the Art line lenses.

The 500mm f4.0 Sport lens (above) features magnesium alloy components in its physical construction – as well as a carbonfibre lens hood – to help reduce its weight. The barrel is sealed against dust and moisture and the front element features a special coating to help repel water and grease.

The 16-element optical construction includes two FLD and one SLD type to optimise sharpness and help minimise both spherical aberrations and axial chromatic aberrations. The optical system also effectively reduces transverse chromatic aberrations which can be an issue with long telephoto lenses. The new 500mm has a rear, drop-in filter holder which accepts 46 mm diameter screwthread types, and dual-mode optical image stabiliser. There is also a customisable ‘AF return’ function for the setting a desired focus position with the ability to instantly return to this preset distance at any time.

All three of these new Sigma lenses will be available locally over the next couple of months. Visit www.sigmaphoto.com.au for more details and pricing.