60 Exceptional Years of Sigma Lenses & Cameras
Better Photography|October 2021
Incorporated in 1961, Sigma completes 60 years of production this year on September 9. There is a big reason why some of the highest rated lenses tested by Better Photography is by Sigma, and why the company is so proud of their ‘Made in Aizu’ heritage. On a visit to the company’s factory in Aizu, Japan, K Madhavan Pillai discovers the answers.
K Madhavan Pillai

Since the beginning of Sigma in 1961, the company has become one of the largest and most prolific lens manufacturers in the world, with over 300 different lenses, from ultra-wide to extreme telephoto, and cine lenses all designed and manufactured within Japan. Many of these were extremely well-conceived, innovative lenses. In recent years, this innovative spirit and the desire for quality has seen the production of some truly brilliant optics. Sigma also makes some unique cameras. Their range of Foveon stacked sensor compact and interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras found a cult-like following of purist photographers.

In late 2019, Sigma unveiled the Sigma fp, the smallest full-frame (Bayer sensor) interchangeable lens mirrorless camera in the world. The fp remains the only specialised, modular camera, that can be operated as a professional cine camera. In early 2020, Sigma released a new line of cine lenses called the ‘FF Classic Art Prime Line’ and /i Technology-compatible Cine Art Prime PL-mount lenses, which has since become preferred by many filmmakers.

Sigma also launched the I series of lenses in early 2020. These were all-metal, beautifully designed primes for mirrorless cameras. Sigma recently added the 24mm and 90mm to the line-up (for a total of six prime lenses) on September 9th, 2021, to celebrate Sigma’s 60th Anniversary.

Just before this, in April 2021, Sigma also unveiled the more stills-oriented 61MP Sigma fp L, which can also perform as a high-quality video camera. The Sigma fp L now retains the crown as the smallest, lightest full-frame camera in the world. All of these lenses and cameras are proudly made in Aizu, Japan.

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