The Latest kit, New Gear

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM | A
£TBA ($TBA) www.sigma-global.com


Sigma's latest standard zoom is vying with Nikon's AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E AF-S ED VR to win a place in your kit bag. It shares the same 88mm barrel diameter as the Nikon, but at just shy of 108mm long it's considerably shorter. Like the Nikon, it boasts an constant f/2.8 aperture, while its 19-element optical stack is designed to maximize the resolving potential of cameras with ultra-high-res sensors, like the D810. It features three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) and four aspherical elements to control aberrations, flare and distortion. Ultra-precise lens element processing, measured in hundredths of a micrometer, is supposed to offer improved bokeh quality by minimizing unsightly concentric bokeh rings that can be produced by normal aspherical elements.      
The focus on quality continues on the outside, as the lens is built to Sigma's range-topping Art standard. That translates to a mostly metal lens barrel, encircled by tough TSC (Thermally Stable Composite) control rings and switches. The barrel is also splash proof and features a weather-sealed mount, along with a water- and oil-repellant coating on the front element. This all helps increase the versatility of a lens that already offers one of the most popular focal length ranges. And that flexibility extends into low light thanks to a brand new Optical Stabilizer. The lens also gets a newly designed HSM (Hyper-Sonic Motor) autofocus system that offers 1.3x the torque of its predecessor for faster and more accurate focusing. The new F-mount version also benefits from an electromagnetic aperture diaphragm that ensures extra precision when using auto exposure during continuous shooting.

First impressions: A fast, mid-range zoom lens that looks very good on paper; we'll be sure to put Sigma's claims to the test as soon as possible.

Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C
£TBA/$TBA www.sigma-global.com


Super-telephoto lenses tend to weigh heavily on your pocket and your shoulder, but Sigma is at least trying to keep you away from the osteopath with its latest super-tele, which tips the scales at a relatively modest 1.16kg. It's also fairly compact, measuring just 182.3mm by 86.4mm. Thankfully the diet doesn't seem to have compromised optical quality, as the 21-element design incorporates four SLD elements to edge out fringing. Like Sigma's new 24-70mm, this lens also packs an all-new Optical Stabilizer that boasts a trick gyroscopic sensor that can detect shake in any direction - horizontal, vertical, or diagonal - to effectively counteract shake whether you're shooting in both landscape or portrait orientation.
Sigma's electromagnetic diaphragm makes another appearance here, with its nine-bladed rounded construction designed to produce creamy background bokeh. This feature is especially important given the lens can - at a push - be used for macro photography, with a minimum focusing distance of 160cm and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.8.      
And not content with releasing this lens and its new 24-70mm f/2.8, Sigma has also launched a pair of new primes: there's the 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM | Art that's being touted as the world's first and only f/1.8 ultra-wide lens; and there's the 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM | Art, which boasts similar specs and adds a weathersealed mount for extra versatility. As with the other lenses in Sigma's Art range, both promise premium build quality and performance.  

First impressions: It's around 25% lighter and 10% smaller than Nikon's 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 AF-S lens, but hopefully this lightened lens will punch above its weight.

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