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