Interview with Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki

mobile01 posted a video (in English) with an interesting interview with Kazuto Yamaki, CEO of Sigma. Our friends at Mirrorless Rumors not only spotted the interview but they did also a great work to sum it up for us.

1) Company philosphy:
We’re still a private company, not a listed company. Epically we are still family owned. So we don’t need to maximized turnover, sells and profits. Public company have to do that to keep their stock price high. But in our case, our goal is just to continue the business and protect the employees. And that is very important. So we gave up to grow rapidly. We decided to stay in Japan, and to explore what can be done here. And that’s one reason why we change our main business form volume zone to mid-high end product.

2) The best selling lenses (in volume) are:
1. 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS
2. 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM
3. 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG MACRO

3) The lenses creating more “value” (I guess he means earnings) are:
1. Contemporary/Sports 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM
2.  35mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART
3.  50mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART

4) DP camera sales:
dp0 sells more than our expectation. So I’m happy! dp2 is the highest by far. Over 50% than other three models. 

5) In a recent Mobile01 poll the users biggest wish was for Sigma to make FE lenses:
He recognizes that he gets the same request from other countries (Editor’s note: Mobile01 is located in Taiwan). And he adds later that “Everything is possible” (when asked if he would make Sony FE lenses)

6) About Sony and Foveon:
To us, it is very clear that Sony will be the major player in the photo industry. Because they have sensor technology. In order to differentiate the products. the sensor and lens are the most important. Other things can be shared by other companies. I think in the photo industry who has a good technology of making good sensor and lens could survive. That is why we acquired the Foveon company and try to retain the technology to us. ”

7) About Taiwan market:
Taiwan’s market respond to new products very quickly. Way faster than USA, China, even Japan. Taiwan is one have quickest response country in the world. Once we release a new product, Taiwanese will jump into new product or technology. And also they care about the quality very much, even more than price. I think it’s a very sophisticated market. ”

8) Why not make a medium format Foveon camera?
“One of my dream is to make our camera to produce such high quality image. Medium format is my personal interest. But so far we have not work on it. First of all, In order to make a medium format camera, we need to re-develop a whole series from the beginning. We have to develop the sensor, camera body, lens…etc. It’s a very long procedure. And unfortunately, the market size of the medium format look quite small, even for Sigma. So that’s why we did not enter the market.

[via mobile01 via Mirrorless Rumors]

Sigma unveils heat-treated ceramic glass lens protector filters

Sigma ceramic protector

Sigma’s new Water Repellent Ceramic Protector

Sigma unveiled WR (Water Repellant) Ceramic Protector filters. These protective lens filters are claimed by Sigma to be “world’s first highly shock-resistant and scratch-resistant clear glass ceramic protective filter”. The core specs are:

  • 10x the strength of a conventional protective filter and 3x the strength of a chemically hardened glass filter
  • Optically clear ceramic glass offers extremely high transmittance
  • Water-repellent (WR) coating reflects only 0.24 percent of visible light, thereby minimizing flare and ghosting

Sigma ceramic protector

Sigma states that their WR Ceramic Protector filters allow for 99.76% light transmission. 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm, 86mm, 95mm and 105mm sizes will be available. Pricing and availability are not known for the time being.

The video below gives an overview about Sigma’s WR Cermaic Protector filters.

[via DIY Photography]

Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens in stock and ready to ship at $899

Sigma 20mm F/1.4

The new Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM “Art” lens is in stock at major retailers at $899: Amazon Adorama B&H Photo

Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM key features:

  • EF Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16
  • Two FLD Elements and Five SLD Elements
  • Two Aspherical Elements
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor, Manual Override
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • TSC Material, Brass Bayonet Mount
  • Built-In Petal-Shaped Lens Hood
  • Compatible with Sigma USB Dock

Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM announced, ships in November at $899

Sigma 20mm F/1.4
  • EF Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16
  • FLD and Special Low Dispersion Elements
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor
  • Full-Time Manual Focus Override
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Thermally Stable Composite Material
  • Brass Bayonet Mount
  • Compatible with Sigma USB Dock

Sigma announced their new Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens. The Sigma 290mm f/1.4 will ship in November 2015 at $899. Pre-orders are available at B&H Photo and Adorama.

With a focal length of 20mm and F1.4 aperture, this lens delivers outstanding large-aperture brightness and bokeh, delivering unprecedented visual experiences.

SIGMA has extensive experience in leveraging its advanced design capabilities and leading-edge technologies to craft large-aperture prime lenses that bring out the full potential of ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs. As its latest achievement in this category, SIGMA has created an ultra-wide-angle lens with F1.4 brightness. With a focal length of 20mm and F1.4 aperture, this lens delivers outstanding large-aperture brightness and bokeh, delivering unprecedented visual experiences. Allowing the photographer to leverage the perspective provided by the wide -angle and the shallow depth of field provided by the large aperture, this lens is ideal not only for such ultra-wide-angle subjects as landscapes and starry skies, but also for snapshots in low light, indoor photography, portraits with a natural bokeh effect, and much more.

Art line delivers high-level artistic expression

SIGMA is organizing all its interchangeable lenses into three product lines: Contemporary, Art, and Sports, each with a distinctive concept. Designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power, our Art line lenses deliver high-level artistic expression. Offering astonishing rendering performance that meets the highest standard, they are perfect for landscapes, portraits, still-lifes, close-ups, and casual snaps. They are made for the kind of photography that unleashes the inner artist. A powerful ally in every genre of photography, SIGMA’s Art line lenses excel both in the studio for formal works and outdoors for impressive shots of architecture, starry skies, and many other scenes.

More at Sigma.