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Gear Rumors

Did Sigma Scoop Canon on an F/2 Zoom Lens?

By Anthony Thurston on June 28th 2015

When Sigma announced their new F/2 full frame zoom lens, the 24-35mm F/2 Art, many of us were wondering why they chose to go with such a limited focal range. Surely, the lens is useful, but only to a niche crowd, and only in certain situations. But now we may have an idea on why Sigma released the lens when they did.

sigma-24-35mm-dg-hsm-art

We had been hearing 24-70mm F/2 rumors from Sigma more a while and all indications were that they were trying to make one. But now we are hearing of a Canon F/2 zoom lens project, which if Sigma got word of, may have prompted the – what some might call – premature release of their F/2 full frame zoom lens.

Sigma has a lot of positive press to gain if they are first to the F/2 FF zoom lens party, even if the lens is slightly underwhelming in its usability. So if they received word that Canon was nearing a launch of their own F/2 lens, I could easily see Sigma releasing what they had been working on – what appears to be the 24-35mm F/2 lens – just so they could have that ‘we were first’ moment.

A new post over at Canon Rumors indicates that Canon is, in fact, working on their own F/2 FF zoom lens project. But we don’t have any focal range or really any details on the lens other than that it is being worked on. The CR admin thinks Canon would not be constrained by marketing (Sigma is known for low price, high value lenses – where Canon is not) needs, and could possibly produce a more versatile lens because they could ask more for it.

[REWIND: Sigma Announces New 24-35mm f/2]

While I agree with that to a point, I am not sure that Sigma would be scared to ask a lot if they had a 24-70mm F/2 working. I mean look at their 150-600mm sports lens; that is $2000 when all the competition is around the $1,000 mark (including their contemporary version).

I am curious what you all think of this possibility. Do you think that Sigma would rush to market jut to beat Canon and be first? If Canon is close to their own F/2 launch, what do you think it will be?

[via CR]

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Stephen Jennings

    24-35? What am I supposed to use that for? I don’t mind the limited range, being an owner of the 14-24 f/2.8 but I do take issue with the focal selection here. 24-35.. that’s just too off. 35-50 would have been better, or 35-85 even better still, I’d love a 35-85 f/2 lens, it’d probably be the only lens I would need.

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  2. Anders Madsen

    I don’t buy it. I’ve never designed lenses but I seriously doubt that you would start out designing a 24-70 as a 24-35 and then add focal lengths as you go.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      You wouldn’t. But their crop sensor 18-35mm F/1.8 from 24-35mm *works* on a FF sensor, so they could have taken this lens from that lens in the interest of being first. Not saying that is what happened, but its possible.

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    • adam sanford

      Anthony, some folks have been saying that Sigma just took the 18-35 as a starting point and tweaked it a bit, but the barrel is a fundamentally different diameter with this new one.

      So they may have ported over some of the design *approach* to delivering such a large aperture zoom, but the likelihood the 18-35 crop lens was just slightly modified for the 24-35 FF seems low to me. I could be wrong, though.

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    • Michael Old

      I dont design lenses either, however from my *very* limited knowledge, wide angle lenses seem to require more complex optical solutions, so designing the wide angle optical solution for a lens first would seem like a good starting point, then tweek it to add the normal zoom solution after that.
      After all 35mm on FF is still considered more towards the wide angle field of view with the transition to normal zoom around the 40mm mark.
      If Sigma really did want to get the “first to the market” tag then they may have taken just this in order to give them more time to create the full optical solution for 24-70mm

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    • Anders Madsen

      To be honest, I think the focal range may well be a matter of practicality – if they went all the way to 70 mm on the long end, this thing would be a freaking monster to lug around.

      A wild guess might be that a 50-85 mm f/2 is lurking in the shadows somewhere. That would give you prime-level maximum apertures while still keeping the 24-85 mm focal length covered with two lenses instead of the normal 24-35-50-85 set of primes.

      Countering that idea is the fact that the two zooms would most likely be heavier and more expensive than the aforementioned set of primes (provided we are talking about f/1.8 primes) and on top of that leave you up the creek without a paddle if one of the zooms broke. If one of the primes were smashed, you could probably get by with another focal length in a pinch.

      Yeah, I’m confused. I personally don’t see who really would need this lens instead of two primes, but that probably just mean that I am not the target customer. :)

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    • adam sanford

      Anders, you are dead on. The longer the FL multiplier, the bigger and the more massive this lens will get.

      It’s possible Sigma simply did the math on this and their marketing group said there’s a tipping point where the amount of people who would be willing to pay the money *and* lug such a pickle jar around diminishes to the point of non-profitability. I was personally hoping that tipping point would have been 24-50 f/2, but it looks like they believe that tipping point is 24-35 f/2.

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  3. Stan Rogers

    I don’t think Sigma would be in any way afraid of a “statement” lens. Anybody remember the car-priced 200-500mm/2.8?

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    • adam sanford

      This. +1. Exactly.

      People’s Exhibit A on Sigma’s past forays into being equal parts audacious and impractical:

      http://goo.gl/AOBC7T

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    • Stan Rogers

      To paraphrase Charles Babbage: I am not able to rightly apprehend the confusion of ideas that could lead to trying to hand-hold that monster. Good find.

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    • adam sanford

      If you try to handhold lenses that are too large, someone will come by and shave off your sideburns.

      #themoreyouknow

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