Sigma Corporation of America — a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of lenses, cameras and flash units — offers several popular lenses designed for DSLRs with full-frame sensors. The APO 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM is geared for photographing nature and wildlife; the 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports is ideal for sports photography; and the 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM | Art is a great “walk-around” lens. The latter two models are compatible with Sigma’s USB dock, which allows you to update firmware and adjust camera settings with Sigma’s Optimization Pro software.
APO 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM
This medium telephoto lens boasts a wide, maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout its zoom range. According to Patrick Santucci, Public Relations Associate at Sigma Corporation of America, “This lens features a patented optical stabilizing system and also has APO glass for premium optics.”
There are two modes of optical stabilization (OS): one for general photography, and the second for panning with moving subjects, making this lens a great choice for the serious hobbyist or the working professional who shoots sports and wildlife. You can use shutter speeds approximately four stops slower than you could otherwise without a tripod. If you have a Sony or Pentax camera with a built-in anti-shake system, you can choose between the camera’s internal function and the lens’s OS capabilities.
Although it was designed for use with full-frame DSLR cameras, the APO 70- 200mm f/2.8 is also compatible with smaller, APS-C size digital camera sensors (with a corresponding effective increase in focal length of 105-300mm). The lens incorporates Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) technology, providing quiet, high-speed auto focus and full-time manual focus capability. The minimum focusing distance is 55.1 inches throughout the zoom range, and the maximum magnification ratio is 1:8. The lens comes with a petal-type lens hood, and a lens hood extension adapter for APS-C cameras increases hood effectiveness.
Two of Sigma’s FLD glass elements are incorporated for high-level, low-dispersion glass and very high light transmission. In addition, three Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements provide color aberration correction, and the Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting. “It’s a workhorse of a lens and is priced very well against the competition,” says Santucci. It also works with Sigma’s 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters. The APO 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM is available with mounts for all major camera brands at $1,199.
120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports
This telephoto model’s zoom range of 120-300mm is ideal for sports, nature and wildlife photography. Santucci observes, “There’s no other lens with this focal range and constant f/2.8 aperture. It pairs the performance of a fast 300mm prime with the bonus of zoom flexibility.” He points out that the 300mm end is great for shooting birds and wildlife, while the 120mm end can be used for wedding photography.
This high-action zoom lens belongs to Sigma’s new lineup of Global Vision Sport lenses. Santucci describes it as a very sturdy lens, constructed primarily with metal materials. It features a wide f/2.8 maximum aperture throughout its zoom range, and is dust and moisture resistant. It also includes Sigma’s HSM and OS technology as well as a threezone focus limiter and full-time manual focus control.
Sigma’s USB dock works in conjunction with Sigma Optimization Pro (SOP) software (Mac and PC compatible), allowing you to connect any Sigma Sport series lens to your computer for updating firmware and creating custom settings. Santucci explains, “You can adjust the autofocus speed, optical stabilizer and focus limiter parameters, and save them in one of two Custom modes. You can then switch between the two modes while you’re shooting. For example, you can have one Custom setting with the focus limiter set to 100 feet to infinity with speed-priority AF, and one set to 25- 75 feet with the autofocus slowed down.”
The 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM lens is available with mounts for Sigma, Canon and Nikon cameras at $3,599. The USB dock is priced at $59. Sigma Optimization Pro is a free download for owners of the dock.
24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM | Art Lens
Santucci describes this model as “the proverbial walk-around lens.” The 24- 105mm f/4 covers the basic shooting range from wide to medium telephoto with an inner focusing system to eliminate front lens rotation. This enhances lens stability and allows for the use of circular polarizing filters. “The 24-105mm f/4 is part of our Art series,” he says, “designed with an eye for creative expression and exceptional imagery, even wide open.” The lens features a matte finish and new design with composite materials that makes it lighter — “but with the same durability as Sigma lenses constructed with metal.” It features a wide, fixed aperture and 4.2x zoom ratio that’s ideal for shooting travel, portrait, landscape, family, nature, wildlife and still life subjects. It offers a minimum focusing distance of 17.72 inches and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.6, making it a great lens for close-up photography.
This lens incorporates Sigma’s proprietary OS technology to reduce camera shake when shooting with a hand-held camera. (This function is omitted from Sony mounts to accommodate the manufacturers’ in-camera image stabilization.) The Hyper Sonic motor (HSM) ensures quiet, high-speed autofocus and enables manual focusing capability. The 24- 105mm f/4 is compatible with APS-C sensor cameras with an effective increase in focal length. High-performance glass elements, and glass-molded single- and double-sided aspheric lenses are incorporated into the optical system to prevent field curvature, distortions and color aberration, while nine rounded aperture blades make for pleasing defocused image elements.
As with the 120-300mm f/2.8, the 24- 105mm f/4 can be used with Sigma’s USB dock for firmware updates and adjusting parameters. The 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art lens is available with mounts for Sigma, Canon, Nikon and Sony camera models at $899. The USB dock is priced at $59.
For more information on Sigma products, visit www.sigmaphoto.com or follow the company on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.