Michael Topham

Sigma’s highly ac­claimed Art lenses will soon be avail­able for Sony E-mount, but what does this mean for ex­ist­ing Sigma lens own­ers?

Amateur Photographer - - 7 Days - Michael Top ham is Am­a­teur Pho­tog­ra­pher’ s Re­views Ed­i­tor. When he’s not out test­ing and re­view­ing cam­eras, lenses and ac­ces­sories for the mag­a­zine, he’s often found pho­tograph­ing cricket, por­traits or wed­dings in South East Eng­land

Among the top news sto­ries to break at this year’s CP+ Cam­era and Photo Imag­ing Show in Ja­pan in­cluded Sigma’s de­ci­sion to start mak­ing their highly rated Art lenses in Sony E-mount. Sigma’s Art line-up has only been avail­able in Canon, Nikon and the com­pany’s own SA-mount, leav­ing those with Sony Al­pha 7-se­ries cam­eras who’d like to use Sigma lenses with lit­tle choice but to use a smart adapter. I’ve used var­i­ous smart adapters over the years, in­clud­ing Sigma’s MC-11, to pair Sigma Global Vi­sion lenses and Canon EF-mount lenses with Sony A7-se­ries cam­eras. How­ever, I've never been 100% sat­is­fied by the aut­o­fo­cus re­sponse time, which I found to be slug­gish when shoot­ing fast-mov­ing sub­jects or work­ing in high-pres­sure sit­u­a­tions. In truth, I’m not fond of the idea of mount­ing a lens to an adapter. I get that they're a good way of test­ing the wa­ters and make sense if you are run­ning two sys­tems side-by-side, but to me they feel like a tem­po­rary so­lu­tion be­fore fully com­mit­ting to a new sys­tem.

The first Sigma lenses to ar­rive in E-mount will be the 14mm f/1.8, 20mm f/1.4, 24mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4 and 135mm f/1.8. Each lens has the same op­ti­cal de­sign as those avail­able in Canon, Nikon and Sigma SA-mount, and all the lenses will work with Sony’s Con­tin­u­ous AF (AF- C) and high-speed aut­o­fo­cus ca­pa­bil­i­ties – some­thing not pre­vi­ously avail­able when adapt­ing non-na­tive Sigma Art lenses us­ing the Sigma MC-11 con­verter.

A switch­ing co­nun­drum

For pho­tog­ra­phers like me, who own a few Sigma lenses and are con­sid­er­ing the switch from DSLR to mir­ror­less, the thought of los­ing so much money trad­ing in used lenses and buy­ing the equiv­a­lent new lens in E-mount is very dis­con­cert­ing. One al­ter­na­tive is to take up Sigma’s mount- con­ver­sion ser­vice. From £240 a lens, Sigma will change the rel­e­vant parts for a new mount and ad­just the in­ter­nal core sys­tem ac­cord­ingly. The cost of con­vert­ing my two Sigma EOS-mount lenses (50mm f/1.4 Art and 35mm f/1.4 Art) to E-mount wouldn’t be cheap (£480), but when this price is com­pared to what I’ve been of­fered for selling both lenses sec­ond-hand (£440 to MPB in good con­di­tion) and re­buy­ing the lenses from new (£1,548) in E-mount, there’s a big sav­ing to be made. Real­is­ti­cally, if I was to trade in all my Canon gear and switch en­tirely to shoot­ing Sony, I’d be look­ing at spend­ing a lot more than £480 to con­vert my Sigma glass. But it’s good to see a third-party lens man­u­fac­turer try­ing to help pho­tog­ra­phers make the switch on what is such a big and costly de­ci­sion.

The in­tro­duc­tion of Sigma E-mount lenses is likely to see the de­mand for the Sigma MC-11 de­cline; how­ever it still has a role for pho­tog­ra­phers who’d like to try the Sony A7-se­ries be­fore put­ting all their eggs into one bas­ket. The good news for those who have al­ready made the jump to mir­ror­less and com­mit­ted to Sony is that there are soon to be seven Sigma Art primes avail­able in E-mount, with pos­si­bly more to come. All this re­it­er­ates the mo­men­tum Sony’s A7 se­ries has now.

Learn more about Sigma’s lenscon­ver­sion ser­vice at www.sigma-imag­in­guk.com/mount-con­ver­sion-ser­vice.

Seven of Sigma’s Art prime lenses will soon be avail­able in Sony E-mount

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