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Sigma 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art: a new high-end Cine Lens in disguise

Sigma announced at Photokina 2018 five new lenses, including the world’s first 10x optical zoom telephoto lens, but it’s a humble 40mm that cinematographers will want.

Sigma 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art: a high-end cine lens in disguise

The Sigma 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art is more than a new lens for the Art series from Sigma: it represents an evolution of the Art line, a “bridge” between the worlds of still and moving images.

Sigma’s presence at Photokina 2018 represents a bold move from the company, not only through the association to the L-Mount Alliance and the announcements made around the partnership with Leica and Panasonic, but also with the introduction, by the company, of five new Sigma Global Vision lenses: 28mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary, 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports, and 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports. The five lenses, covering everything from wide-angle to hyper-telephoto, expand the Sigma Global Vision and further facilitate artistic expression for photographers.

The different models deserve some attention, as they represent a variety of solutions for different styles of photography and photographers. The Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports, for example, is the world’s first 10x optical zoom telephoto lens, signalling how much the company has invested in the development of long focal lengths. The features of this lens make it something that wildlife photographers will want to explore.

Sigma 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art: a high-end cine lens in disguise

Despite all that, one lens of the five attracted my attention as it has has special interest for the readers here at ProVideo Coalition: the 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art. Available for Sigma, Nikon, Canon and Sony E mount camera systems, this is Sigma’s first lens developed originally to live up to the sought-after angle of view and performance standard for a benchmark cine lens. This new perspective to ensure the quality of professional equipment for visual production empowers it to breakthrough also as an interchangeable photographic lens.

In fact, the 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art inherits the development philosophy behind the Sigma Cine Lens, in a move that suggests the direction Sigma is taking.  The company notes that “High-end cine lenses used by professional filmmakers are required to have a consistent characteristic over the entire sensor at a high level, because these lenses are used to film a subject moving freely on the screen or while panning or tilting the camera.” and adds that this represents exactly the concept of the Art line; “optical performance comes first”, and the high-end cine lenses need to be designed with this idea.

Sigma 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art: a high-end cine lens in disguise

The optical performance of the new lens meets the requirement of high-end cine lenses, says Sigma. The 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art effectively arranges three FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements to correct axial chromatic aberration and magnification chromatic aberration to the limit. A sharp image is formed on the focal plane with the maximum aperture and contrast with the soft bokeh in the out of focus area highlights the solidity of a subject. With a distortion of 1% or below and a sagittal coma flare corrected to the limit, it demonstrates a consistent optical characteristic over the entire sensor. This is the ultimate large-diameter standard lens that has both 8K-compatible resolution and beautiful bokeh.

Designed to meet all shooting conditions, the lens features a water- and oil-repellent coating on the front lens element; together with the dust- and splash-proof structure,  it ensures excellent performance even in the most challenging shooting conditions. The high-speed AF, thanks to the HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) with an updated algorithm, captures instantaneous photography movement.

The 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art is one of the highlights of Sigma’s presence at Photokina 2018, but there is a second lens now announced that may interest videographers too: the Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary. This lens completes the Sigma large aperture series of portable wide-angle, standard, and telephoto prime lenses in Micro Four Thirds and Sony E mounts.

Featuring compact design, light weight and the level of image quality offered in Sigma’s Contemporary line, this lens stuns, says Sigma, with a beautiful bokeh effect and the amount of brightness expected from F1.4 lenses even in the mid-telephoto range for cropped sensor cameras. In addition, this lens is characterized by smooth and quiet autofocus ideal for video shooting. Compatible with the Sony E mount Fast Hybrid AF, it also achieves precise AF tracking. By using the face recognition or eye AF functions of the camera, focus will continuously be on the face or the eye even if the subject moves during the shoot.

The new Sigma 28mm F1.4 DG HSM Art wide-angle model also introduced stands out with its thoroughly corrected magnification chromatic aberration and sagittal coma flare, as well as completely minimized distortion thanks to its optical design. It features water- and oil-repellent coating on the front lens element and its overall dust- and splash-proof structure ensures excellent performance even in the most challenging shooting conditions. The lens, available in Sigma, Nikon, Canon and Sony E camera mounts, is a great contender for street photography, as well as shooting landscapes and night skies.

Sigma 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art: a high-end cine lens in disguise

One of the most anticipated lenses from the Sigma Global Vision line, the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports is the new flagship large-aperture telephoto zoom lens that meets the most stringent needs of professional photographers. Robust yet lightweight, the lens’ magnesium body ensures high mobility and its dust- and splash-proof structure together with the water- and oil-repellent coating on the front element ensure safe use even in the most challenging shooting conditions. It also incorporates Intelligent OS with an acceleration sensor and the latest algorithm capable of panning in all directions. The lens’ optical design, incorporating 10 exclusive low-dispersion glass elements, allows for extremely high resolution, from the center to the corners.

By optimizing spherical aberration, a smooth and natural bokeh effect is achieved when using the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports for portrait photography. The versatility of this lens is demonstrated in various customization options via an AF Function button either through the camera body or Sigma USB Dock. The newest F2.8 large-aperture zoom lens from Sigma comes in Sigma, Canon and Nikon mounts.

Sigma 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art: a high-end cine lens in disguise

Sigma also introduced the 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports, the world’s first 10x optical zoom telephoto lens with a tele end of 600mm. Incorporating 25 elements in 19 groups, excellent and consistent image quality can be achieved throughout the entire zoom range. This lens’ intelligent OS featuring the latest algorithm delivers an image stabilization effect of 4 stops. Its optical design ensures maximum correction of magnification chromatic aberration encountered in hyper-telephoto shooting. This offers both high resolution and consistent edge-to-edge performance throughout the entire zoom range.

In addition, when shooting at the focal length of 200mm, the Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports can also be used for telephoto macro photography, with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.3, thanks to its high rendering performance. Its multi-material build, which incorporates magnesium among other components, ensures durability and enhances portability, allowing for comfortable handling of the 10x zoom lens. The zooming mechanism has been engineered to make both smooth rotation and straight zoom possible. Versatile and robust, the new Sigma hyper-telephoto zoom lens is available in Sigma, Canon and Nikon mounts starting in late October 2018 for $1999 USD.


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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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