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Sigma Designs One Lens in Two Versions

Even the company calls it a “crazy design”, but people are starting to get used to Sigma’s fixed-lens Quattro cameras, and the first model in the line-up – the dp2 – even won the Best Design category in this year’s TIPA Awards.

Sigma-Lenses Sigma Designs One Lens in Two VersionsThe new dp1 model uses exactly the same distinctively-shaped all-metal bodyshell as the dp2, but has a 19mm f2.8 lens which is equivalent to 28mm instead of a 30mm f2.8 (45mm equivalent). The yet-to-be-launched dp3 will complete the trio with a 50mm (75mm equivalent) short telephoto lens. The big deal with these cameras is their unique Foveon ‘Direct Image’ triple-layered sensors. The green-sensitive middle and red-sensitive bottom layers each have 4.9 megapixels resolution and capture only colour information. The top, blue-sensitive layer captures both colour and luminance information and has19.6 megapixels resolution.

The idea behind this configuration is to enhance both colour fidelity and the definition of fine details. Sigma has also announced the LCD View Finder LVF-01 which is a loupe for the Quattro series of cameras, allowing them to be used at eyelevel. The loupe magnifies the monitor image by 2.5 times and a dioptre adjustment on the eyepiece. Perhaps also a little quirky is the launching of the same lens in two quite different versions. The new 150-600mm f5.0-6.3 DG OS HSM supertelephoto zoom is available in either ‘Sports’ or ‘Contemporary’ configurations. Along with ‘Art’, these are the product categories Sigma introduced at the 2012 Photokina and which are designed to classify a lens according to its main application.

The ‘Sport’ version of the 150- 600mm is actually quite a lot bigger than the ‘Contemporary’ model by virtue of a 24-element optical construction and the provision of a tripod-mounting bracket. The barrel is also fully sealed against dust and moisture. The ‘Contemporary’ model has a 20-element optical construction, no tripod bracket and is only sealed at the mount. The more compact design makes this version easier to hand-hold, assisted by its built-in optical image stabiliser (which the ‘Sport’ lens has as well).

Both models are compatible with Sigma’s USB Dock calibration and its Mount Conversion Service. Both are available in Canon EF, Nikon F and Sigma SA mounts, but the ‘Contemporary’ model will also be offered with the Sony Alpha mount.

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