Back in September 2014 the folks at Reviewed made an interview with Sigma’s CEO Kazuto Yamaki. You can listen to Mr. Kazuto Yamaki’s answers in the videos, or have a look at Reviewed’s article.
The interview starts about Sigma’s new lenses. Around mark 6:00 the talk goes to the awesome 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM ART lens (price & specs), world’s first zoom lens with constant f/1.8, and a lens of outstanding optical performance. The question “what’s next for Sigma?” comes at 8:15. From the interview:
Sigma’s Art series lenses such as the 35mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/1.4 have been very well-received for their combination of price and performance, especially the 50mm. What was the mission when designing those lenses? Was your goal to hit a certain price point?
The mission was very simple. I just asked our optical engineer to make the best optical lenses, ever, in history. Before I became CEO of the company, I worked as a manager of the optical design division. And through such experience I realized that if I give a very simple mission… the engineer can do an excellent job. So, when we developed those lenses, I just asked the designers or engineers to make the best lens.
About the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8:
Another lens that’s been very popular for you is the 18-35mm f/1.8—it’s the first f/1.8 zoom lens, which makes it quite unique. What were the design challenges for such a lens?
The mission of the project is to develop the first f/1.8 zoom lens. So anything [that’s a] “world’s first” is really challenging, because there is no such product which we can compare it to. So that’s always challenging. So when I started the project I told the engineer, “You don’t need to care about the quality, because it’s the world’s first. It’s really challenging. Your mission is just to make the lens f/1.8 zoom, period.” And I did not expect, actually, that high quality! (laughs) But surprisingly our optical engineer did a really, really excellent job and he [gave it] really, really good performance.
The video below shows (I think) Sigma’s factory and gives an insight in the production process. The interview comes with pics and samples.[via Reviewed] Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM – the lens that beats them all (Canon L and Zeiss lenses included)
Sigma lenses on Amazon US.