DPReview: CP+ 2019: Sigma interview – ‘Optical design is always a battle with the design constraints’

https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/7487852065/cp-2019-sigma-interview-optical-design-is-always-a-battle-with-the-design-constraints

Last month at the CP+ show in Yokohama we spoke to executives from several major manufacturers, including Sigma. In our conversation with CEO Kazuto Yamaki we discussed his plans for future L-mount lenses (and cameras) and some of the challenges of supporting multiple mounts.

sigma_105mm_f1.4_dg_hsm_art_l-mount_35mm_1024px
Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM | Art prime lens with L-mount. A brilliant portrait focal length but no equivalent lens currently exists for Micro Four Thirds or Fujifilm APS-C cameras.

Commentary

I am looking forward to seeing and trying Sigma’s Art collection L-mount prime lenses scheduled for release sometime this year and that are adapted from the company’s current DSLR Art collection offerings.

One major bugbear of new mirrorless launches such as those of Fujifilm APS-C and medium cameras, Panasonic’s Lumix S1 and S1R 35mm cameras, and Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds cameras is the relative paucity of lenses.

Canon took 30 years to come up with its near-complete DSLR lens collection and it may well take Fujifilm, Olympus and Panasonic almost as long to flesh out the many gaps in their lens collections.

Professional photographers and cinematographers rely on the availability of large lens collections for their cameras in a way that amateurs and enthusiasts tend not to, especially when relying on prime lenses for their optimum optical and mechanical quality.

I would love to see Sigma creating lenses for Fujifilm X-mount APS-C cameras given there are so many glaring holes in Fujifilm’s lens lineup, and the same desire applies to professional-quality lenses for use on Blackmagic Design, Olympus and Panasonic M43 cameras.

Panasonic and its L-Mount Alliance partners Leica and Sigma have done well to aim at releasing enough lenses to satisfy those contemplating investing in the L-mount camera system, and it is pleasing to read that Sigma will be working on smaller and more affordable L-mount lenses in due course.

Meanwhile those of use needing focal lengths that Fujifilm does not offer for its X-mount and G-mount cameras may need to bite the bullet and rely on adapted EF-mount lenses instead of the much-preferred native X-mount and G-mount alternatives that simply do not exist yet.

I am still hoping for a professional-quality alternative to Fujifilm’s too-quirky, too-slow Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R prime lens with its 35mm sensor equivalent focal length of 28mm, a staple optic for many documentary photographers and photojournalists, me included.

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  • Sigma LensesB&H
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Richard Wong: Interview with director of Panasonic Imaging Division – Yosuke Yamane San

“I had the honour to interview Yosuke Yamane-san during the Asia Pacific regional Lumix S series launch event in Tasmania, Australia. In this interview, we talked about the development of Panasonic Lumix S1 & S1R, the L-Mount alliance, Lumix GH6, DFD Autofocus, and a few other things….”

panasonic_lumix_s1r_02_1024px
Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R with Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4.0 zoom lens.

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  • Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R cameras, lenses and accessoriesB&H

Sigma Global Vision: Release of SIGMA Interchangeable Lenses for L-Mount

https://www.sigma-global.com/en/news/2019/02/26/2042/

2019.02.26

Release of SIGMA Interchangeable Lenses for L-Mount

SIGMA Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the Art line prime lens lineup for full-frame cameras in L-Mount. These L-Mount series lenses have achieved high-speed AF and are fully compatible with AF-C mode, in-camera image stabilization, and in-camera aberration correction. The lineup will consist of 11 prime lenses for full-frame cameras from SIGMA’s Art line covering from 14mm to 135mm currently available in other mounts, allowing the Art line, which pursues the highest performance, to be enjoyed on L-Mount cameras.

[Features]
1. Optimized AF for L-Mount※1
With the AF drive control program and high-speed communication tuned for each lens, shooting at speed with high-precision AF control is achieved. The lenses also support the AF-C mode.

2. Compatible with in-camera image stabilization※1
Compatible with in-camera image stabilization, the camera automatically detects the focal length of each lens and optimizes image stabilization performance.

3. Data pre-loaded for compatibility with in-camera aberration correction※1
Fully compatible with in-camera aberration correction (corrections for peripheral illumination, chromatic aberrations, and distortion). By matching corrections to the optical characteristics of the lens, this function takes image quality to an even higher level.

4. Native mount for a more rigid and stable feel
Making the lens mount native provides a much more rigid and stable feel to the lens than using an adapter. Featuring a surface treatment to enhance strength, the brass bayonet mount offers a high-precision fit and exceptional durability. The mount connection area incorporates rubber sealing for dust- and splash-proof construction.

5. Available SIGMA Mount Conversion Service※2
This service converts specifications of the mount of SIGMA lenses to that of a different camera body. Users can “tailor” their favorite lenses to the camera body if they plan to get a new one in the future. This allows continued use of their favorite lenses over the long term regardless of the camera system.

※1 Compatibility with each function depends on the functions available on each camera.
※2 The SIGMA Mount Conversion Service (chargeable) is different from a normal repair service. It is not available at stores. In order to apply for the service, please contact your nearest authorized SIGMA subsidiary or distributor.

SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art
Launch: TBD
Case supplied

SIGMA 20mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
Launch: TBD
Case supplied

SIGMA 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
Launch: TBD
Case and Hood supplied

SIGMA 28mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
Launch: TBD
Case and Hood supplied

SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
Launch: TBD
Case and Hood supplied

SIGMA 40mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
Launch: TBD
Case and Hood supplied

SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
Launch: TBD
Case and Hood supplied

SIGMA 70mm F2.8 DG MACRO | Art
Launch: TBD
Case and Hood supplied

SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
Launch: TBD
Case and Hood supplied

SIGMA 105mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
Launch: TBD
Case, Hood, Tripod Socket, and Protective Cover PT-21 supplied

SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art
Launch: TBD
Case and Hood supplied

More about SIGMA Interchangeable Lenses for L-Mount

[Contact]
For further information, please contact your local authorized SIGMA representative listed in the link below:
https://www.sigma-global.com/en/about/world-network/

[Product information]
SIGMA GLOBAL VISION:https://www.sigma-global.com/en/

panasonic_lumix_s_series_01_1024px_80pc
Panasonic Lumix S1R 35mm mirrorless digital camera.

Sigma L-Mount Art lenses and EF-to-L-Mount adapter to be released early 2019

Commentary

At the time of writing this article Sigma has the launch date of its first batch of L-Mount lenses marked as TBD but I hope the company can arrange to release them and the MC-21 Mount Convertor in its EF-to-L-Mount version at the same time Panasonic releases its Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R 35mm sensor mirrorless cameras.

No mirrorless hybrid camera system maker has managed to release its first cameras alongside an almost full collection of prime and zoom lenses, thus enabling early adopters to buy in and get to work almost immediately without the often years-long wait for the right focal lengths to finally appear.

Sigma’s first L-Mount prime lens release comprises a very usable set of optics, from 14mm up to 135mm, and it contains several that I consider invaluable as a documentary and portrait photographer and moviemaker.

Here is my ideal set of L-Mount lenses for a range of applications and genres:

  • Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM | Art
  • Sigma 28mm f/1.4 DG HSM | Art
  • Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM | Art
  • Sigma 40mm f/1.4 DG HSM | Art
  • Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG MAcro | Art
  • Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM | Art

Alternatively, one could purchase the MC-21 EF-to-L-Mount adapter and a set of Canon EF-Mount Sigma lenses for maximum versatility and use on a range of cameras with different-sized sensors via adapters.

What is next for Sigma’s L-Mount lens collection?

Zooms and long telephoto prime lenses, I assume.

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  • Atomos Ninja V 5″ 4K HDMI Recording MonitorB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGS1 Battery GripB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BLJ31 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (7.2V, 3100mAh)B&H
  • Panasonic DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone AdapterB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro O.I.S. LensB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4 LensB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 O.I.S. LensB&H
  • Sigma LensesB&H

Two of Panasonic’s First Three Lenses for Lumix S1 and S1R 35mm Sensor Cameras Have Manual Clutch Focus. Yay!

I have been asking Panasonic, either directly or through friendly staff members, to ensure that new lenses for its Micro Four Thirds system cameras have manual clutch focus built in for years now, always without positive result. Until now, sort of… 

panasonic_lumix_s1_s1r_three_lenses_1024px
Panasonic Lumix S 70-200mm f/4.0 OIS telephoto zoom, Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 fast prime lens and Panasonic Lumix 24-105mm f/4.0 Macro OIS standard zoom lens. The first two lenses have manual clutch focus.

The very first M43 lens I bought for my first M43 camera was the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro standard zoom lens, and besides its many excellent optical and mechanical qualities, the biggest reason I chose it over Panasonic’s own Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II Aspheric Power OIS standard zoom was its manual clutch focus mechanism.

Coming from decades of relying on non-autofocus, non-autoexposure cameras equipped with manual-only prime lenses, I was not ready to fully commit my photography and cinematography practises to focus-by-wire prime and zoom lenses without hard stops at both ends of the focussing scale.

There have been many times in recent years when the only way of achieving fast and deadly accurate focus has been manually, with my 12-40mm M.Zuiko Pro lens most often on my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 rangefinder-style camera, in conditions where my focus-by-wire and autofocus-only lenses have let me down.

With the 12-40mm, all one needs do is snap the focussing ring towards myself, rotate it a little until the required part of the image pops into sharp focus, then shoot.

Manual clutch focussing mechanisms offer a surety of fast, repeatable, accurate focusing that autofocusing does not and, and when I was considering investing in Fujifilm’s X-System cameras and lenses, I was pleased to discover that it offers three manual clutch focus lenses.

I wish that every Fujifilm Fujinon XF and GF lens had manual clutch focus just as I wish the same for all of Panasonic’s Leica and Lumix M43 lenses.

That lack of manual clutch focus in the latter lens system heavily tipped the balance for me towards Olympus’ M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lenses and I hope to be investing in more of them soon.

I had thought that Panasonic was impervious to the idea of manual clutch focus for any of its lenses, until perusing photographs of the first three Panasonic S-Series lenses and discovered that, lo and behold, two of the three have manual clutch focussing mechanisms.

Thank you, Panasonic!

I hope that many more S-Series lenses will follow this fine example.

Panasonic Lumix S 70-200mm f/4.0 OIS and Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 lenses, both with manual clutch focus

Aperture ring on the Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 lens

A second welcome feature of one out of Panasonic’s three new S-Series lenses is the aperture ring on the Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 lens.

My ideal lens form factor for documentary stills and video in all sensor formats would include manual clutch focus to supplement the choice of linear or non-linear focus-by-wire, and an aperture ring with the choice of clickless or clicking stops.

Perfect!

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  • Atomos Ninja V 5″ 4K HDMI Recording MonitorB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGS1 Battery GripB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BLJ31 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (7.2V, 3100mAh)B&H
  • Panasonic DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone AdapterB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro O.I.S. LensB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4 LensB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 O.I.S. LensB&H

Atomos: Atomos Ninja V Offers 4K 10-Bit 422 HDR Recording with the Panasonic Lumix S1

https://s3.amazonaws.com/atomos-web-uploads/press/Atomos_Panasonic%20Lumix%20S1_Feb2019_PR.pdf

“Atomos is delighted to announce that as soon as it ships, the new Panasonic LUMIX S1 full-frame mirrorless camera will immediately be able to record 4k (3840×2160) 10-bit 422 HDR footage to the Atomos Ninja V and Inferno monitor/recorders. Recording over HDMI to one of these Atomos recorders will allow recording direct to Apple ProRes or Avid DNx codecs at up to 4kp30 in the HLG HDR format. HDR metadata passed over HDMI from the Panasonic LUMIX S1 to the Ninja V or Inferno allows the HLG signal to be correctly displayed, giving the users an instant and accurate HDR image they can expose and trust. The metadata triggers auto-setup of the Atomos recorders, and the same data is written into the ProRes or DNx file for instant playout to compatible HDR televisions and monitors, or upload to YouTube.

Panasonic will also add 10-bit 422 HDMI output in V-Log gamma via a paid firmware update to the camera in the future. This version of the gamma curve will be the full V-Log, rather than the V-Log L variant found on the GH5 and GH5S. Atomos will record this and are working with Panasonic to fully support the additional options that the upcoming firmware will bring.

The Panasonic LUMIX S1 is the latest in a growing number of large sensor mirrorless cameras to support 4k 10-bit 422 recording via HDMI. The increased image quality brings greater flexibility in post-production for better HDR or SDR images. Stepping up to 10-bit offers greater accuracy with billions of color combinations. This is massively beneficial when utilising computer processing for finishing. Typically, users will see smoother color gradients, eliminating the commonly seen banding in areas with gradual tone change such as blue skies. Recording to an Atomos recorder perfectly preserves this information in the ultimate way possible, combining Panasonic and Atomos technology.

The Panasonic LUMIX S1 has an ergonomic body design that is perfectly partnered with the 5” Atomos Ninja V HDR monitor/recorder. The Ninja V weighs 360g and sits perfectly on top of the camera. When the two are used together they balance well in the hand, forming an easy to operate camera setup that rivals some traditional cinema cameras.

High bright 1000nit or 1500nit monitoring

Seeing the built-in screen of all mirrorless cameras is difficult in bright conditions. The Ninja V screen has 1000nit of brightness when in SDR mode, allowing it to be used effectively, even when outside. The Ninja Inferno and Shogun Inferno each offer an incredible 1500nit brightness and are well suited to productions where a larger 7” screen is required.

Why external recording makes sense

External recording via HDMI from mirrorless cameras is perfect for users wanting to get the best possible image quality from cameras like the Panasonic LUMIX S1. Until this year users needed to invest in a high-end cinema camera costing ten of thousands of dollars to get a larger than Super35 sized sensor that offered 4K 10-bit 422 recording. Now, with the advent of cameras like the LUMIX S1 combined with the Ninja V, users can have access to just that but at amazing price points – in this case less than $2500 US MSRP for the LUMIX S1 body and $695 MSRP for the Ninja V.

In addition, by moving recording to an external Atomos recorder like the Ninja V, mirrorless cameras are freed of many of their key video limitations. Record time limits are lifted and easy-to-edit Apple ProRes or Avid DNx codecs recorded, instead of harder to edit H.264 or H.265. When recording video with the Panasonic LUMIX S1 and Ninja V you can shoot to the new generation of Atomos AtomX SSDmini drives or Atomos Master Caddy II drives. These are developed with leading brands and offer high speed and high reliability in a compact metal chassis at a highly affordable cost per GB.

The Atomos Ninja V, Ninja Inferno and Shogun Inferno are available now from all Atomos approved resellers.

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • Atomos Ninja V 5″ 4K HDMI Recording MonitorB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGS1 Battery GripB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BLJ31 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (7.2V, 3100mAh)B&H
  • Panasonic DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone AdapterB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro O.I.S. LensB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4 LensB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 O.I.S. LensB&H