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Posts Tagged ‘Sigma’

Sigma offers firmware updates for four Canon mount lenses

19 May

Sigma has released new firmware for Canon mount versions of four of its lenses:

  • 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM | Contemporary Canon
  • 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM | Contemporary Canon
  • 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | Contemporary Canon
  • 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Art Canon

According to Sigma, the new firmware improves the AF accuracy of the lenses when used with the Sigma Mount Converter MC-11, as well as decreasing the lens diaphragm blades noise when using the aforementioned converter.

The same AF accuracy improvement and decreased noise also apply to the lenses when they are used with Canon EOS DSLRs while shooting video or while in Live Mode. Finally, Sigma says these lenses are now compatible with the Canon Digital Cinema Camera EOS C300 Mark II. 

Sigma lens owners with the Sigma USB Dock must first update the Sigma Optimization Pro software to, at minimum, version 1.4.1 (Windows) or version 1.4.0 (Mac) before installing the new firmware.

The full Sigma changelog is below:

Benefits of this firmware update

  • It has improved the AF accuracy when the lens is attached with the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11.
  • ?It is necessary to use the SIGMA USB DOCK for Canon ver.1.02 or later to update the firmware.
  • ? For customers who own SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E, it is necessary to update this to the latest firmware ver. 1.05.
  • It has reduced the operating sound of the lens diaphragm blades when attached with the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E and used for video shooting.
  • It has improved the AF accuracy when the lens is used for video shooting as well as with Live View mode of EOS DIGITAL SLR cameras.*1
  • It has reduced the operating sound of the lens diaphragm blades when the lens is used for video shooting on EOS DIGITAL SLR cameras. *1
  • It has become compatible with the Canon Digital Cinema Camera EOS C300 Mark II.
  • *1 The degree of improvement may differ depending on the camera used.

Via: Sigma

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sigma releases updated firmware for 30mm F1.4 APS-C lens for Sony E-mount

12 May

Sigma has released an updated firmware version for its 30mm F1.4 APS-C lens for the Sony E-mount. Firmware version 0.2 brings the following improvements:

  • Improved peripheral brightness correction when an aperture value of F1.7 is selected on the Sony a6300 camera.
  • Fixed the AF operation when using focus points in peripheral areas of the frame with the Sony a6300 camera
  • Fixed freezing and not properly operating touch focus feature on the Sony a5100 camera 

Firmware Version 0.2 for the Sigma 30mm F1.4 APS-C lens for Sony E-Mount can now be downloaded from the Sigma support website. 

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Imaging Resource publishes Sigma 135mm F1.8 gallery

03 May

Imaging Resource took a look at Sigma’s fast 135mm telephoto prime lens, calling it once of the sharpest lenses they’ve ever tested.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sigma announces 14mm T2 and 135mm T2 Cine Prime lenses

21 Apr
Sigma Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2

Just in time for NAB, Sigma has announced an expansion to its Cine Prime line of lenses, adding the Cine High Speed 14mm T2 and Cine FF High Speed 135mm T2.

The Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2 and Cine FF High Speed 135mm T2 lenses are designed for use with full frame cameras, and join five existing prime lenses in Sigma’s Cine Prime product line. With the addition of these lenses, Sigma now offers cine prime lenses covering a very useful focal length range of 14mm to 135mm.

As with the other lenses in the set, both new lenses are available PL-mount, EF-mount, and E-mount.

Sigma Cine FF High Speed 135mm T2

In addition to the lenses, Sigma is now offering customers the option to order their cine lenses in metric or imperial measurements, as well as standard or full luminous paint markings. Sigma says that existing customers can swap from one measurement system to another for a fee.

Finally, Sigma is now offering its mount conversion services for owners of its cine lenses, allowing users to switch lenses between EF- and E-mounts.

We’re planning to get some hands-on time with these lenses next week at NAB next week and will share our experience with you.

Press release:

NAB 2017: Sigma Unveils Two New Cine Prime Lenses; Adds New Product Options?

Sigma introduces brand new Sigma Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2 and 135mm T2 Prime Lenses

April 20, 2017 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading DSLR lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, today announced its brand new Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2 and 135mm T2 prime lenses and new Cine Prime and Zoom product options.

Sigma is expanding its Cine Prime line to include two brand new lenses: the Sigma Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2 and the Sigma Cine FF High Speed 135mm T2. The high-performance Sigma Cine Prime product line, which now includes the following focal lengths and apertures – 14mm T2, 20mm T1.5, 24mm T1.5, 35mm T1.5, 50mm T1.5, 85mm T1.5 and 135mm T2 – is compatible with the latest full-frame camera sensor technology. Compact in design, the Cine Prime line offers outstanding optical performance and is ready for higher resolution shooting (up to 6K-8K). Both the 14mm T2 and 135mm T2, along with the previously announced Sigma Cine Prime and Zoom lenses, will be available for test-shooting at the Sigma NAB booth C11525.

In addition to this expansion of its Cine Lens Prime line, Sigma is now offering customers the option to order Cine lenses in metric or imperial measurements as well as standard or full luminous paint on markings. Existing customers who wish to swap from one measurement system to the other can do so for a paid fee.

Also, Sigma is now offering its sought-after Mount Conversion Services for the Cine lens customers. The highly successful program ensures continued return on investment for customers, allowing them to convert their lenses to and from EF and E mounts.

You can read the full Sigma announcement including tech specs here as well as download the new Sigma Cine 14mm T2 and 135mm T2 product images here.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sigma sd Quattro H real world samples gallery

09 Apr
ISO 200 | 1/500 sec | F5.6
Photo by Carey Rose

With a large APS-H sized Foveon sensor, Sigma’s sd Quattro H promises a lofty 51MP of equivalent resolution when compared to more traditional Bayer-sensor cameras. The sd Quattro lineup is also the first series of Sigma cameras ever to output Raw files in an accessible DNG format, meaning you can open them with almost any Raw converter, as opposed to being locked into Sigma’s Photo Pro software. Take a look through our gallery of cherry blossoms, cars, cityscapes and studio shots and download a few files to check out the impressively sharp Foveon rendering for yourself.

Check out our Sigma sd Quattro H sample gallery

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Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Opinion: Shooting DNG on the Sigma sd Quattro H is a game changer

09 Apr

Introduction

With the changing of the seasons comes a big change in how I shoot Sigma cameras.
ISO 100 | 1/1600 sec | F5.6
Photo by Carey Rose

Fifteen years.

That’s how long it’s been since the release of the SD9, Sigma’s first digital camera, which was also the first camera to use the layered Foveon sensor design. From then on, for better or for worse, Sigma has continued to refine its unique layered sensors. While no one will argue that their cameras are capable of insanely sharp output, you still have to put up with an awful lot of shortcomings.

Early on, there was the low pixel density. And there’s still poor battery life. And Huge file sizes. Long card write times. Heat. Lots of heat. (And there’s plenty of other image quality concerns, as well).

But significantly, fifteen years is also the length of time we’ve had to use Sigma’s Photo Pro software to get any sort of decent results from these cameras. In the early days, you were almost forced into it, as the SD9 didn’t shoot JPEGs and Adobe Camera Raw support that was present up until the Merrills was laughable or simply non-existent. So until now, if you wanted to shoot Raw on a Sigma digital camera, you’d have to fire up Sigma Photo Pro and wait. And wait. And wait some more. And then relaunch it once it crashes, because crashing was a foregone conclusion (though to be fair, it is far less stable on Mac OS than Windows).

We as a staff collectively find, even above and beyond all of Foveon’s shortcomings, that the biggest hurdle to using Sigma cameras is their very own software. Even now, in the year 2017, Sigma Photo Pro is just painfully slow and unstable.

But Sigma is that rare company that listens to its customers. Last year while at CP+ in Japan our Technical Editor Rishi Sanyal was afforded a rare opportunity to sit down with the ever-charming, warmly receptive and almost unusually frank Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki and talk all things camera and optics. One of the topics covered was the usability of Sigma cameras, where we re-stressed the common request for wider Raw support of Sigma cameras but, more importantly, outlined what might go into making the most flexible DNG possible from Foveon Raw data. Just a short year later, the new sd Quattro interchangeable lens cameras can shoot DNG format Raw files straight out of the camera.

A hearty thank you.

And this just might be what Sigma needed to do to bring Foveon tech to the mass market – a place it really hasn’t been before.

Sigma + DNG = <3

The sd Quattro cameras’ ability to shoot in DNG means is that you can finally edit your Foveon Raw files using a converter other than Sigma Photo Pro. As you might expect, there’s a few caveats. When you enable DNG capture on the Quattro H, you don’t have an option to simultaneously capture a JPEG (although there is a whopping 13MB JPEG embedded in every DNG, should you want to dig it out).

The highest resolution output you can get from these is 25.6MP, which is the same resolution as the top sensor layer, as opposed to the upscaled 51MP files that are possible when shooting JPEG in-camera or using Sigma Photo Pro with an X3F file (but if you think you might want those files, check out the comparison at the end of our samples gallery). And while upscaled 51MP may sound suspect, the pixel-level sharpness of the Foveon files means it may not be as gimmicky as it initially sounds (we’ll reserve final judgement until after our in-depth testing).

Lastly, you’d better have a big memory card – the DNG files weigh in at around ~150MB each*. For comparison, uncompressed Raw files from the Nikon D810, Sony a7R II and Fujifilm GFX 50S weigh in at around 70MB, 85MB and 110MB, respectively (and two out of those three offer lossless compression to bring those sizes down anyhow).

Out-of-camera white balance Adjusted in Adobe Camera Raw
Despite setting the white balance manually in-camera, the default DNG output was too yellow for my taste, but adjustments in ACR were a breeze. Click through to see the crazy sharpness.

Okay, enough with the caveats. Opening these DNG files in Adobe Camera Raw is an almost surreal experience. You still get the absolutely astounding crystalline sharpness Sigma’s cameras are known for, but now you can make any adjustment you’d ordinarily make to a Raw file, and with a decently powerful computer, it all happens in real time. No more making a small adjustment and waiting ten seconds (or thirty) for a full re-render.

So far, the files appear as flexible as one would expect from Raw: white balance works wonderfully, and you can turn all noise reduction and sharpening off. We’re still examining if the 12 bit DNGs are losslessly gamma compressed 14-bit data as we’d asked for, but it’s not clear this would matter anyway: 12-bit DNGs and 14-bit X3Fs show similar flexibility thus far, which makes sense given the comparatively lower base ISO dynamic range of these cameras.

The fun factor

So editing the DNG files is great, even if you need to pick up a couple extra hard drives to store them. But the real kicker for me is that it changed the way I shoot this camera relative to previous Sigmas. It’s just more fun.

ISO 100 | 1/500 sec | F4
Photo by Carey Rose

I ended up using the camera more and taking more photos just to see how the camera would render various scenes – and I was regularly blown away. I no longer had to worry about living with the JPEGs and poor white balance, and I didn’t have to go through a whole batch of X3F files over the span of an entire evening with Sigma Photo Pro.

Previous Foveon cameras I’ve used were good for some quirky fun, but I never really considered picking them up off the shelf after we’d put the wraps on our older sample gallery. But now, without the workflow woes of the past, the sd Quattro H is something I’m going to be using a lot more often. If you’ve never tried a Sigma camera before, now is the time to pick one up and have a go for yourself.

See our Sigma sd Quattro H sample gallery

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*Foveon sensors don’t directly capture red, green and blue information, nor do they require the demosaicing process required by Bayer sensors, so they require totally different processing (hence the historic lack of good Raw support). The Quattro H performs the necessary deconvolution and interpolation process required to derive red, green and blue information for each pixel, so that the Raw processing software doesn’t need to. Unfortunately that means having to save three 12-bit values for every pixel (which, given the lower resolution of the camera’s lower two layers, means storing twice as much data as was actually captured), resulting in 150MB files.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Firmware update brings DNG support and improved AF speeds to Sigma sd Quattro

05 Apr

Sigma has released a significant firmware update for its sd Quattro cameras. Firmware version 1.04 adds support for the DNG format (12-bit), improves AF speeds with Contemporary, Art and Sports lenses by 10-30% and enhances compatibility with the company’s Capture Pro software.

Capture Pro now supports live view when tethered to the camera as well as the Quattro’s multi-shot SFD mode. Color rendition when using the EF-630 flash (with flash white balance) has also been improved.

Lastly, several bugs have been knocked out, including problems with the AF shooting button not functioning when AF Lock is being used.

Quattro owners can download the firmware right here.

Press Release

Sigma Announces Firmware Update to sd Quattro Cameras

Firmware Version 1.04 offers support for DNG formats, improved autofocus capabilities and enhanced functionality with Sigma Capture Pro

Ronkonkoma, NY – April 4, 2017 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading DSLR lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, announced today the release of firmware update 1.04 for its sd Quattro cameras to boost the performance and broaden the capabilities of the detail-rich camera. This latest version of firmware is availble for download on sd Quattro cameras that currently have firmware version 1.03.

Among the benefits included in version 1.04 are support for shooting in DNG format (RAW 12bit) and further compatibility with elements of Sigma Capture Pro tethering software. Additionally, the update includes improvements that increase autofocus speed and accuracy of lenses from Sigma’s Contemporary, Art and Sports lines. Overall experience with the software has also been improved in version 1.04 to create a smoother, more stable software experience.

Full List of Updates in Firmware Version 1.04:

  • Possibility to save images in DNG format (RAW 12bit)
  • Compatibility with the Live View Display of Sigma Capture Pro
  • Compatibility with the SFD mode of Sigma Capture Pro
  • Faster AF speed of Contemporary, Art and Sports lenses by about 10 – 30%; improved AF accuracy
  • Improved color rendering of the White Balance’s Flash mode when used with the Sigma Electronic Flash EF-630 (the latest firmware for the EF-630 is required)
  • Bug fixes – AF Shooting button did not work while the camera was using AF Lock; adjustments on the marked images could occasionally freeze the software when the card had an X3I file in it
  • Improved software performance to achieve better stability

Full instructions on how to download sd Quattro firmware version 1.04 can be found on the Sigma website.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sigma 135mm F1.8 Art Sample Gallery

03 Apr

Recently the new Sigma 135mm F1.8 Art landed in the office, prompting us to get out there and shoot some portraits… from a distance. While one of their heavier primes, performance is exceptional wide-open with very quick focusing. What about that background blur? Take a look at our samples to find out.

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Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

31 Mar

As I begin this review I find myself searching for appropriate adjectives. A few that come to mind are sharp, crisp, beautiful, sleek, and sexy. Easily, any one of these could be used with confidence when describing a sports car or an extra tasty hot dog. But here, I feel the need to apply such words to what very well may be the most impressively performing lens I’ve encountered in some time, perhaps ever. Before I get too ahead of myself, the one in question is the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art Lens.

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

The folks at Sigma have long been in the game of photography and lately their newly engineered “Art” line of lenses have been aimed to impress the discerning shooter. Let’s take a look at the 24mm F1.4 Art Lens to see why it’s worthy of all those impressive adjectives.

Build Quality

Aesthetically, this lens is beautiful. It arrived pristinely packaged and once I removed it from the box the high quality of the build is readily apparent. All markings and indicators are well executed and easily readable. The focus ring turns smoothly with very pleasing travel with the autofocus/manual switch being acceptably well placed and crisp.

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

With Sigma’s Art line came a newly introduced method of manufacture and construction material. This lens is made from Thermally Stable Composite or TSC. The lens barrel is constructed using this material rather than opting for a metal housing such as aluminum. According to Sigma, the benefits of using TSC is its resistance to shrinking and swelling when placed in temperature extremes (not as aluminum would) while maintaining its relatively low size to weight ratio.

It feels remarkably like metal and in the hand, it’s quite difficult to discern the difference. To date, all Sigma lenses I have evaluated which have been made with TSC have performed quite well. The 24mm F1.4 also comes fully weather sealed.

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

Specs – Size and Weight

The size and weight of the lens feel very manageable especially once it is mounted on the camera. Balance is something that can be difficult to maintain when sporting this wide of an aperture but the weight is very well managed on the Sigma 24mm F1.4. Even with a substantial number of elements (15), it is by no means outlandishly bulky at 23.5oz (665g). It’s close cousin, the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM weighs in at approximately 22.8oz (646g)

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

The Sigma 24mm F1.4 Art is both beautiful and manageable.

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

Here’s a full specification list from Sigma:

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

Image Quality

The overall image quality is, as I mentioned earlier, completely impressive. Short focal length lenses tend to suffer from distortion at the corners as well as loss of sharpness towards the edges of the frame. This softening becomes more apparent as the shooter uses wider apertures. Even at f/1.4, there is no considerable reduction in sharpness nor is there any apparent barrel distortion.

Another bane of large aperture lenses is the increased incidence of chromatic aberration as the aperture widens. Not the case with this 24mm. The only occurrence of chromatic aberration that I encountered was during imaging with highly backlit objects. There was a minute amount of purple fringing in those cases, which was only visible at 3:1 magnification. Vignetting was also minimal but nonetheless evident at apertures wider than f/2.8.

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

Chromatic Aberration in corner at f/1.6 is barely noticeable. Note the 3:1 magnification in the preview window.

Sharpness

Sharpness has been second to none, quite literally. Ultimately, maximum sharpness is one of the great goals of photo makers. The Sigma 24mm F1.4 Art lens delivers the best sharpness I have ever encountered with a lens of this focal length. I place it high in the running for the sharpest lens I have used in my career. I don’t make that claim lightly!

From corner to corner the sharpness is superb. At wide apertures there was virtually no diminishment of clarity toward the edges of the frame. Sigma claims this is due to the inclusion of FLD and SLD glass elements. The FLD is marketed as being arguably comparable to fluorite glass found in many telescope lenses. Whether these claims from Sigma are practically applicable or not, the proof is most certainly in the pudding.

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

Bokeh at f/2.8 and wider is absolutely dreamy. Pure cream, and as the aperture widens the results were even more impressive. Again, for a lens of this focal length, the bokeh is quite brilliant. The unnervingly close minimum focus distance of 9.8 inches (25cm) does a lot to help the lens in this area, as do the nine rounded aperture blades.

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

Even the lens flare was pleasing to the eye.

Autofocus

The autofocus capabilities of the 24mm F1.4 Art follow form with the other impressive attributes of this lens. The HSM motor is astonishingly quiet and swiftly focuses on the subject. The autofocus is, of course, overridable so the photographer can manually adjust focus without switching the lens to full manual focus. There is no image stabilization on this lens which, is not uncommon for lenses of such short focal length.

Some Final Thoughts

The Sigma 24mm F1.4 Art has excelled in every aspect of testing. It is dumbfoundingly sharp across all apertures, presents low chromatic aberrations, and is virtually distortion free. I don’t mind adding that the lens itself has a beauty that rivals even similar lenses in Sigma’s Art line. Its aesthetic appeal is possibly due to some yet to be discovered cosmic ratio that we haven’t been able to name. In any case…this lens looks downright sexy. There…I said it.

If there’s a cumulative notion I can lend to describe my attitude towards this fine piece of glass it’s this: this lens will likely be finding a home in my bag in the very near future. Here are a couple more sample shots taken with the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens.

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

The post Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens by Adam Welch appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM C available for pre-order for $800

31 Mar

The Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens introduced last month during CP+ has launched for pre-order at $ 800. The telephoto lens is described by Sigma as both lightweight and compact, offering a dustproof and splashproof design alongside a front lens water- and oil-repellent coating to help keep the glass clean.

Four SLD glass elements complement the Contemporary lens’ Super Multi-Layer coating to decrease both color fringing and chromatic aberrations, and they are joined by a nine-blade rounded diaphragm. Optical image stabilization works alongside the Hyper Sonic Motor autofocusing system to provide sharp images. Sigma bills this lens as offering ‘exceptional performance at lower shutter speeds.’

Specs:

  • Lens Construction: 21 Elements in 15 Groups
  • Angle of View:  24.4º — 6.2 º
  • Min to Max Aperture: f/22 — f/5 – 6.3
  • Max Reproduction Ratio: 1:3.8
  • Min. Focusing Distance: 5.25′ (1.6 m)
  • Filter Thread: 67mm
  • Dimensions: 86.4 x 182.3mm/ 3.4 x 7.2in
  • Weight: 1160 gram / 40.9 ounce

The new Sigma Contemporary lens is currently listed as available for pre-order on B&H Photo with a shipping date of ‘end of May 2017.’ The lens is also listed on Sigma’s website, but it still reads ‘Available Soon’ with no pre-order option.

Via: NikonRumors

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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