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Author Topic: What is Sigma up to?  (Read 117147 times)

BernardLanguillier

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #60 on: January 25, 2018, 12:10:18 am »

Then what message are you sending to the tried and true DSLR base...soiuanora?

No, the message is “come join us and enjoy the lenses we could never design for F mount”.

Why would Nikon be only attempting to copy Sony? What would be the value of releasing an a7r3 clone together with me too lenses?

Has Nikon been a follower in the DSLR world? The answer is no, for years they have been trying to open new segments on top of Canon. Why would it be surprising that they try to do the same in the mirrorless world?

In my view, there are 3 reasons why it is only happening now:
- they felt the techno was not ready (evf, batteries,...)
- they had not yet understood that not canibalizing themselves their DSLR with their own best technology would let Sony do it
- they were fixing issues that Sony had already somehow fixed

It appears will soon be addressed.

You appear not to be too positive about the prospect that Nikon’s mirrorless system may outdo Sony. Why so?

As a photographer I am super glad to have the option to get access to Sony’s great techno but can only hope that Canon and Nikon do even better.

Cheers,
Bernard

Paulo Bizarro

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #61 on: January 25, 2018, 05:03:57 am »

IMHO, the easiest way to do that is to propose lenses unheard of in the DSLR world.

Cheers,
Bernard

Indeed, and in that regard the shorter registration distance opens up new possibilities: one example is reducing the footprint of DSLR lenses, e.g. Zeiss Distagon 21 f2.8 > Zeiss Loxia 21 f2.8. Or coming up with new lenses, like the Laowa 15 f2.

But on the DSLR side, new possibilities are far from dead: look at Canon's recent TSE lenses with 1/2 macro capabilities like 50mm and 135mm.

BJL

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #62 on: January 25, 2018, 08:50:17 am »

Perhaps we need a new thread to discuss this apparently popular but to me nonsensical idea that Nikon (or anyone) should completely ignore the mainstream "APS-C" format with its next attempt at mirrorless cameras, and offer _only_ 36x24mm format.  The claim that "higher margins on lower unit sales will be more profitable than higher volume at lower margins" is not only offered without any supporting evidence, but is anyway rather irrelevant: so long as both formats are adequately profitable, the best business strategy is clearly to pursue both of them.

Despite some persistent expectations of 36x24mm format taking over the ILC mainstream, its price of entry remains far higher than for the smaller formats (about three or four times higher for the base models in the respective formats) so combined with IQ from the smaller formats that is highly satisfactory to a lot of actual ILC users (as opposed to forum-dwelling bokeh worshippers) a lot of customers are going to choose a smaller format, and so would be lost to rivals like Olympus, Sony, Canon, Panasonic or Fujifilm if Nikon were to offer _only_ 36x24 format. And some of those lost customers will later get more ambitious in their gear purchases, and when they do, a lot will probably stay with the same system, especially if any cravings for 36x24mm format are met by that (non-Nikon) system.

So the big question is, are the mainstream formats adequately profitable? ILC camera makers continue to offer more new camera models in those formats than in 36x24, so I would say that they are, and promise a good ROI for mirrorless offerings from Nikon.


P. S. to repeat, i also expect Nikon to offer 36x24mm format mirrorless cameras and hgih quality native lenses for them at some stage, and to offer SLR lens adaptors which give results that are OK but not as good as with "native" lenses. The only question for me is about timing.
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hogloff

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #63 on: January 25, 2018, 09:09:05 am »

No, the message is “come join us and enjoy the lenses we could never design for F mount”.

Why would Nikon be only attempting to copy Sony? What would be the value of releasing an a7r3 clone together with me too lenses?

Has Nikon been a follower in the DSLR world? The answer is no, for years they have been trying to open new segments on top of Canon. Why would it be surprising that they try to do the same in the mirrorless world?

In my view, there are 3 reasons why it is only happening now:
- they felt the techno was not ready (evf, batteries,...)
- they had not yet understood that not canibalizing themselves their DSLR with their own best technology would let Sony do it
- they were fixing issues that Sony had already somehow fixed

It appears will soon be addressed.

You appear not to be too positive about the prospect that Nikon’s mirrorless system may outdo Sony. Why so?

As a photographer I am super glad to have the option to get access to Sony’s great techno but can only hope that Canon and Nikon do even better.

Cheers,
Bernard

Supertramp -- Dreamer, you're nothing but a dreamer.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #64 on: January 25, 2018, 09:37:15 am »

Supertramp -- Dreamer, you're nothing but a dreamer.

Lovely song!

Cheers,
Bernard

shadowblade

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #65 on: January 28, 2018, 05:21:03 am »

IMHO, the easiest way to do that is to propose lenses unheard of in the DSLR world.

Cheers,
Bernard

How will this actually help them?

Canon/Nikon/Sony/Zeiss/Sigma can design all the niche lenses they want, but the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of photos by most photographers is taken using the same few lenses. The exact lenses may vary, but very few people maintain a large collection of lenses and actually use all of them on a regular basis.

For instance, a wedding photographer may live on the 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8, as well as a fast prime of some sort (85/1.4, 105/1.4, possibly 200/2) while a (non-studio) portrait photographer might primarily use the 35/85/135mm prime combination. A wildlife photographer might use a 500/4 and 200-400/4, while someone photographing property might primarily use a 12-24 zoom and 17/19/24mm tilt-shift. Someone who shoots a bit of everything might have a wider collection of lenses, but, for any one purpose, is likely to be using the same few lenses.

The point is, once a manufacturer has the bases covered, introducing more, niche lenses is not going to win them much more market share, or attract new users outside of that niche. You can do all sorts of things with optics, but there's a reason certain types of lenses are popular, while others are rarely-used - Nikon is hardly going to win many more users if they introduce a super-fisheye with a 220-degree FOV, or a 1-10x 'super macro'-type lens. Nor is introducing more lenses that pretty much do the same job - once you have a 'no holds barred' option and a 'budget' option, you don't really need much more in that category. Rather, it is the quality of lenses covering key capabilities that wins users, and that's something that all the major manufacturers can do relatively well.

With regards to the smaller flange distance allowing for a greater range of wide-angle designs, that's only true to a limited extent, and largely only for lower-end lenses more concerned with small size than optical performance. Digital sensors and their microlenses function best with angles of incident light that don't deviate too far from the perpendicular. Even if they didn't, a greater angle of incidence (away from the perpendicular) results in greater vignetting and greater chromatic aberration. So, the smaller flange distance may allow for some smaller, low-end wide-angle lenses, but the high-end ones will still need to have a retrofocus design. Sure, you can put the rear element closer to the sensor than you can on an SLR (this goes for all lenses, not just telephotos) but this represents a mere reshaping of a few elements to move the focal plane closer to the rear element, not a radical change in design (such as a Z-shift or curved sensor might allow), and isn't a significant saving in size or weight. Significantly reducing the size of lenses is going to require a revolution in optics, not a minor change in flange distance or mere evolutionary change in optical design or manufacturing precision - something which Canon, if anyone, has the lead in, with their advancements in diffractive optics.

As for the future of APS-C, that's an interesting and completely different tangent worthy of its own thread...
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #66 on: January 29, 2018, 02:45:32 am »

I see Nikon attempting to differentiate themselves lenswise in terms of:
- very bright designs (f0.9, f1.2) and very compact designs (2 lens line-ups)
- utmost optical quality (Otus+ at f1.4)
- AF speed even for very bright lenses (the 2 motors patent)
- best looking physical design
- ruggedness (today an Otus mostly stays at home when the going gets tough)

Future will tell.

Cheers,
Bernard

scooby70

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #67 on: January 29, 2018, 03:46:23 pm »

I see Nikon attempting to differentiate themselves lenswise in terms of:
- very bright designs (f0.9, f1.2) and very compact designs (2 lens line-ups)
- utmost optical quality (Otus+ at f1.4)
- AF speed even for very bright lenses (the 2 motors patent)
- best looking physical design
- ruggedness (today an Otus mostly stays at home when the going gets tough)

Future will tell.

Cheers,
Bernard

I think the chance of you're list coming true is next to impossible but Otus + quality and ruggedness and the best looking do look particularly unlikely to combine.

Time will tell I suppose but I think you're heading for multiple disappointments and sorry to say this but with that list of hopes verging on fanboyism.   
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shadowblade

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #68 on: January 29, 2018, 05:34:47 pm »

I think the chance of you're list coming true is next to impossible but Otus + quality and ruggedness and the best looking do look particularly unlikely to combine.

Time will tell I suppose but I think you're heading for multiple disappointments and sorry to say this but with that list of hopes verging on fanboyism.   

The Otus-quality-at-Nikon-price looks especially unlikely, as do the super-fast lenses. Super-fast lenses for mirrorless won't be any sharper or smaller than similar lenses for SLRs, which often don't perform as well as their slower f/1.4-f/1.8 counterparts. And, with improving high-ISO performance and the limited utility of such narrow depth of field, there just isn't much demand for them outside of a few well-heeled enthusiasts - certainly no professional demand.

Most of all, none of these things are unique to Nikon - Canon, Sony, Zeiss (or Zeiss-for-Sony), Sigma and others can design exactly the same kinds of lenses just as well. So there's no unique advantage there.
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Alex Waugh

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #69 on: January 29, 2018, 05:55:00 pm »

Personally I would like to see slower, well built and compact lenses. A 24-70/4, 21/2.8 and short tele would be great. Pretty much Nikon Loxias with AF.

I would pay a super premium for a 28-70/4 amazing IQ zoom but I know it aint happening.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #70 on: January 29, 2018, 11:08:51 pm »

I think the chance of you're list coming true is next to impossible but Otus + quality and ruggedness and the best looking do look particularly unlikely to combine.

Time will tell I suppose but I think you're heading for multiple disappointments and sorry to say this but with that list of hopes verging on fanboyism.   

All I am writing is that I expect Nikon to be attempting to reach these characteristics. To what extend they succeed is anybody’s guess.

Would you not target something similar if you were the head of product planning at Nikon?

I know I would. ;)

Regarding compactness, I see Nikon release 2 lenses line ups.
1. High performance unique designs leveraging the new possibilities of the mount (the f0.9...)
2. Super compact lenses opening at f2.8

I could be wrong, but again, this is what I would do if I were in charge because this is what I want as a photographer. This isn’t very far fetched because it makes sense and is what pretty much everybody else (including themselves in the DSLR world) has been doing, right?

And btw, I expect Canon to attempt the exact same thing. I am writing about Nikon because there are many recent patents supporting my crystalballing while Canon has been much quieter.

This being said, knowing Canon’s marketing approach, they will probably make an announcement in the same time frame as Nikon (I would guess a few days before) with an actual release date 6 months away. Either way, my guess is that they will also use lenses as the differentiating factor vs Sony. We will see how they have planned and executed this. I expect the Canon offering to be very appealing also because it has to significantly outdo Sony.

What some people seem to be missing here is the fundamental difference btw this FF mirrorless releass from Canon/Nikon and their past DSLR releases. This is the big one and what they show in terms of the promise/potential of their new mirrorless mount is the most important aspect. For Nikon, this is their EOS moment. If they don’t dream now they never will.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 11:31:57 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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shadowblade

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #71 on: January 30, 2018, 01:20:00 am »

The shallower mount doesn't actually allow for much that you can't also do in an SLR, at least at the high end.

Sure, you can make UWA and WA lenses with a normal, non-retrofocus design. But your high-end lenses are going to be retrofocus anyway - a non-retrofocus lens won't give you the performance you want, and it has nothing to do with the flange distance. You can make cheap, low-end lenses much smaller that way, but I doubt that's a prime target for Canon and Nikon.

It's no easier to make a f/1.0 or f/0.9 lens for a 16mm flange distance than a 46mm flange distance. They'll still be huge, with significant sacrifices in optical performance required to reach the target aperture. There's a reason the Leica Noctilux is the softest of their 50mm lenses by far, despite being the biggest and most expensive.

As for target audiences, the only people you'll win with giant, super-fast lenses like that is cashed-up hipsters with a Leica fetish - rich, artsy types rather than working photographers. It's an extremely niche area. Very few others, and almost no professional users, need or want a lens that's twice the size of the f/1.4-f/1.8 primes, has an almost unusably-thin DOF when wide-open and is significantly softer than its rivals once stopped down to the same aperture. Current f/1.4-f/1.8 primes are already frequently used stopped down for DOF, even when shooting portraits; a faster lens just means you have to stop it down even more.

There's no point targeting tiny niches. Having super-sharp 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, 100-400 and 200-400 zooms, as well as 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm, 200mm and supertele primes is going to do far more to attract users than a handful of super-fast, super-large, super-expensive lenses hardly anyone needs or will use wide-open anyway. But Canon and Sony can play at that game just as well as Nikon (the Sony 12-24, 16-35 and 100-400 are exceptionally sharp, while the 24-70 is the equal of any of its competitors). Nikon has its work cut out for it, and there's no easy shortcut to be gained by designing niche lenses which are only ever going to sell a few copies.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #72 on: January 30, 2018, 01:21:58 am »

I understand your point of view.

Cheers,
Bernard

shadowblade

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #73 on: February 01, 2018, 02:32:48 am »

Personally I would like to see slower, well built and compact lenses. A 24-70/4, 21/2.8 and short tele would be great. Pretty much Nikon Loxias with AF.

I would pay a super premium for a 28-70/4 amazing IQ zoom but I know it aint happening.

I'd agree to an extent. As in, not slow for the sake of small, but for the sake of maximal image quality.

Making a lens fast often requires manufacturing or design compromises to achieve a wide aperture - compromises which may affect image quality.

It would be great to have a line of lenses where these sacrifices were not made, with the emphasis on sharpness and lack of optical aberrations, with maximum aperture only a consideration after that. This might mean a line of f/1.8 or f/2 primes, for instance, rather than f/1.4.

A bit like the Leica Sunmicron and Summilux lines, really - one line making it as fast as possible without sacrificing quality, the other attempting to maximise quality without sacrificing speed.
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shadowblade

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #74 on: February 01, 2018, 02:49:12 am »

With regards to Sigma's upcoming mirrorless lenses, no doubt they are working on the Art primes - 35/1.4, 50/1.4, 85/1.4 and 135/1.8.

But the one lens they could release, that would have the greatest impact, would be a mirrorless version of the 120-300/2.8.

After all, Canon and Nikon are both likely to release fast primes like these among their first few waves of mirrorless lenses (and Sony had already started to do so), so there is less value in Sigma simply replicating them. But the 120-300 would provide a great option for everything from sport, to (non-bird) wildlife, to theatre, to portraiture, and would stand out as a class of lens unlikely to have a Sony/Canon/Nikon competitor for a while.

Update it slightly (the optics, although very sharp, are eight years old now and can likely be improved) and add an inbuilt 1.4x TC (taking the range to 120-420mm) and you'd have a very useful lens that could possibly go a decade without a real challenger. Add in a customisable button (like the lens button on Sony lenses) and I'd buy one tomorrow.
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davidgp

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #75 on: February 09, 2018, 02:36:16 am »

Looks like they were also busy doing some more typical DSLR-type lenses... with a new ART Zoom 12-24 f2.8: https://www.dpreview.com/news/9856051689/sigma-announces-full-frame-14-24mm-f2-8-dg-hsm-art-lens

shadowblade

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #76 on: February 09, 2018, 02:52:20 am »

Looks like they were also busy doing some more typical DSLR-type lenses... with a new ART Zoom 12-24 f2.8: https://www.dpreview.com/news/9856051689/sigma-announces-full-frame-14-24mm-f2-8-dg-hsm-art-lens

Doesn't mean they won't also release it in a mirrorless mount. No need to change the optics - why mess with something that works well? Good for Canon's and Nikon's mirrorless efforts, too - a UWA zoom is unlikely to be their first lens release, so a Sigma option would add a lot to the initial lineup.

I'd like to see an equal-aperture comparison against the Canon 11-24 and Sony 12-24 (at f/4, and perhaps also at f/8).
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davidgp

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #77 on: February 09, 2018, 02:57:20 am »

Doesn't mean they won't also release it in a mirrorless mount. No need to change the optics - why mess with something that works well? Good for Canon's and Nikon's mirrorless efforts, too - a UWA zoom is unlikely to be their first lens release, so a Sigma option would add a lot to the initial lineup.

I will prefer complete new design. Yes, you can use the same optics, but the advantage of mirrorless over DSLR in UWA is that you can avoid the retrofocus design needed in DSLR, making the lens smaller.

Quote
I'd like to see an equal-aperture comparison against the Canon 11-24 and Sony 12-24 (at f/4, and perhaps also at f/8).

Roger at Len's Rentals has MTF charts plotted for both lenses at f4: https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2017/06/sony-fe-12-24-f4-g-mtf-tests/  (the test was done before they started doing some tests also at f5.6 and f8, they always tested the lenses wide open until that moment).

shadowblade

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #78 on: February 09, 2018, 03:09:57 am »

I will prefer complete new design. Yes, you can use the same optics, but the advantage of mirrorless over DSLR in UWA is that you can avoid the retrofocus design needed in DSLR, making the lens smaller.

You can make them smaller, but that doesn't mean you should.

Retrofocus designs aren't just used to make UWA lenses fit on SLRs. They're used to ensure that the light hitting the sensor arrives at a more perpendicular, less oblique angle. Without a retrofocus design, light hitting the corners through a 12mm lens would arrive at just 29 degrees from the film plane. This would result in not only heavy vignetting and chromatic aberration, but also massive colour artifacts on Bayer (or other non-Foveon-type) sensors. Some film lenses got away with it, but film has neither a Bayer-type colour filter array nor a microlens array sensitive to angle of incidence, as well as nowhere near as much resolution. It wouldn't work with high-resolution digital sensors (unless the sensors were curved).

Quote
Roger at Len's Rentals has MTF charts plotted for both lenses at f4: https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2017/06/sony-fe-12-24-f4-g-mtf-tests/  (the test was done before they started doing some tests also at f5.6 and f8, they always tested the lenses wide open until that moment).

I know. They're pretty much equally sharp, very sharp for such a wide angle, and sharper than any primes in that focal length range. f/4 performance isn't the best in the corners (what do you expect with such wide lenses?) but, from f/5.6 onwards, they're sharp all the way to the corners. What I mean is, how does the new lens stack up against them?
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davidgp

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Re: What is Sigma up to?
« Reply #79 on: February 09, 2018, 03:34:09 am »


I know. They're pretty much equally sharp, very sharp for such a wide angle, and sharper than any primes in that focal length range. f/4 performance isn't the best in the corners (what do you expect with such wide lenses?) but, from f/5.6 onwards, they're sharp all the way to the corners. What I mean is, how does the new lens stack up against them?

Ok, I read it to quick... Well, the Sigma does not have a release date yet... it just the annoucement, so we will have to wait. Anyway, the ART zooms of Sigma weren't so stellar as their primes. 24-70 art is not better than the Canon equivalent. But we will have to wait for reviews.
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