Thursday, September 4, 2008

Digital-only Lenses Part VII: Sigma

The digital-only lens multi-part series concludes today with the army of Sigma clones!

We will be using the old-school shorthand to denote which lens is available in which mount. Since Sigma is the only maker of Sigma-mount SLRs and lenses, we won't be adding the Sigma mount to the shorthand.

  • C: Canon
  • M: Sony Alpha Minolta
  • N: Nikon
  • O: Olympus Four Thirds
  • P: Pentax K-mount

All the Primes
Distort the world in circles with the 4.5mm F2.8 EX DC Circular Fisheye HSM lens, available for around $900 in [CN] flavors.

A more traditional fisheye is the 10mm F2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM, going for about $650 and available in [CN] flavors.

And the trio of primes ends with a "normal" prime, the 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM, for about $430, priming the world in all the flavors, [CMNOP].

The Stabilized Lenses
A versatile zoom with OS? Gimmie some! The 18-125mm F3.8-5.6 DC OS HSM can be yours for about $400. This has roughly the equivalent of 28-200mm, and is available in [CN] flavors.

Who needs telescopes when you can have superzooms from here to the moon? Well, actually Shiguma has been rather modest as they continue with the 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 DC OS, available in [CN] flavors, for about $500. The Nikon version is HSM to faciliate the AF-crippled D40/D40x and D60 DSLRs. Yell at Nikon, not me :)

The EXcellent Lenses
EX is of course Shiguma's indicator of a non-entry-level line of lenses. We start with the wide zoom 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM, available for about $500 in all flavors [CMNOP]. This will be roughly 15-25mm or so, when mounted on most digital SLRs.

All lens manufacturers are contractually obligated to provide a constant aperture zoom. Okay, they are not, but it feels that way after you look at their lens line-up. Shiguma is of course no exception, and they offer their 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC MACRO for about $450 in all flavors, [CMNOP].

For fans of affordable f2.8 telephotos Sigma has two flavors of the 50-150 lens, the APO 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC HSM available in [CN] for about $640, and the APO 50-150mm F2.8 II EX DC HSM available in [CMNP] for about $750.a

The Affordables
Saving money is one of the main reasons why one goes for a 3rd party lens manufacturer, and here we find the lowest priced Sigma lenses.

We start with the versatile 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO, available in [CMNP] for about $400. This is roughly a 28-105mm when mounted on cropped sensor DSLRs, giving the user a nice working range.

If your DSLR supports sensor shift stabilization, then you can get more out of the 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC lens, available in [CMNP] for about $300. There is also version II with HSM for those pesky DSLRs who can't even autofocus on their own *cough* Nikon *cough*.

And we conclude with the two "standard" kit lenses, the 18-50mm F3.5-5.6 DC available in [CMNOP] for about $120, and the 55-200mm F4-5.6 DC, available in [CMNOP] for about $150. You pay an extra $30 for the Nikon HSM model. Their 35mm equivalent focal lenghts are roughly 28-75mm and 80-300mm, depending on mount.

And with this we conclude our digital lens soap-opera! :)

1. Sigma
2. B&H Photo

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