Camera kits

Sigma Cine Primes and Zooms - all you need to know

Since the full range of Sigma Cine FF primes and zooms landed at VMI in 2017, Sigma, a manufacturer better known for lower-cost DSLR and SLR lenses, has produced a magnificent range of 10 x cine primes and 3 x cine zooms.  They are seriously impressive and well worth a look, especially since they resolve 8K, are compact, affordable and are available in EF, PL, as well as E mount, with LPL mount coming soon.  All primes cover Full Frame and S-35 format too.  

What is surprising is that since taking delivery of our first set of Sigma primes in early 2017, VMI in late 2019 now owns 5 sets today in EF and PL mount and also more than 10 cine zooms too.

This article seeks to introduce the range of Sigma Cine Primes and zooms and to explain why we like them as much as we do and to give a list of compatible lens mounts for this range of lenses which VMI stocks, since we don't (yet) stock all focal lengths in every available mount.

Sigma Cine Primes - good enough for Top Gun

Amazingly, Sigma Cine Primes were the choice of DP, Claudio Miranda, which were used to shoot the latest feature, Top Gun: Maverick, which is the sequal to the famous 1986 orignal - both starring Tom Cruise.  

Miranda, best known as the Academy Award-winning director of photography on Ang Lee's film Life of Pi and David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, apparently really liked the look of the lenses and whilst he didn't hire them from VMI for this production(!), it is safe to say that if they are good enough to shoot Tom Cruise, then they are probably good enough for your production too!

If Sigma Cine Primes are good enough to shoot Tom Cruise, then they are probably good enough for your production too.

                                          Barry Bassett, VMI

 

Some History

When I was growing up, Sigma didn't have a great reputation for manufacturing lenses.  In fact, during the 70s, Sigma produced lenses which you might buy if you couldn't afford Nikon and the build quality was disappointing.

This was my perspective of the brand until I actually saw the lenses in 2016 at IBC.

This new range of lenses, instead of simply being based on remounted DSLR lenses, was completely designed from scratch.

I am told that Sigma actually spent £10m fitting out a factory in Japan, specifically to manufacture this new range of lenses and Jon Fauer's excellent article in December 2016's Film & Digital Times of his tour to visit the Sigma Cine Lens factory, entirely reassured me that I was right to have ordered the UK's first set of Sigma primes, which arrived in early 2017. 

We were not disappointed.

                                                                                    Sigma Factory, taken by Jon Fauer, Film & Digital Times

Full Lineup of 10 x Sigma Cine Primes

From the outset, Sigma announced that they would manufacturer a range of 10 x Cine prime focal lengths from 14mm to 135mm and the majority of these have a T stop of T1.5.

Please read the independent IMAGO review of the Sigma lenses here.

All cover S-35 and Full Frame FF) and these now include:

All are available now to buy in PL and EF mount and whilst VMI carry multiple sets in both mounts, not every focal length is available in EF mount, only PL mount, though this is subject to change.

 

Sigma Cine Zoom Lenses

Sigma also manufacture three zooms in their range, which work over short ranges but are very fast (T2 and T2.2-T16).

 - The 18-35/T2 and 50-100/T2 cover S-35 and are available in EF and PL mount.

 - The 24-35/T2.2 which covers S-35 and Full Frame format (FF Φ43.3) and is available in EF mount only.

Clients always want lenses which work over a large useful range and which are fast (have a large aperture), so that they can work in low light, however they also want them to be low cost as well... but the science of manufacturing lenses, means that these are conflicting demands.  

Sigma elected to make 3 x compact zoom lenses which operate over a limited range but in doing so achieve a maximum iris of T2 and T2.2.  Being small and lightweight means that they are also portable and the large iris means that they can work in low light.  The trade-off is of course that all 3 zoom lenses operate over reasonably short focal ranges but they are very effective and extremely popular too.

The performance however is fantastic, especially at their price and Imago have written a very comprehensive technical review of the 18-35 and 50-100 zooms here.

The Sigma 24-35/T2.2 covers Full Frame and is available in EF format only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Frame cover, T1.5 aperture and 8K quality too

4K might be in vogue now, however Sigma have manufactured these lenses to be future-proof and so ensured that they fully resolve 8K quality.

All of the prime lenses fully cover FF format (FF Φ43.3) as well as S-35.

All feature clear focus scaling, film gear pitch follow focus rings, are fully manual throughout and the build quality is first class, featuring a 9-blade aperture diaphragm for a beautiful full rounded bokeh. 

8 of the 10 lens set (20mm-105mm) all have a maximum iris of T1.5 and even the 14mm and 135mm manage to achieve a maximum iris of T2, whilst all lenses still achieve Full Frame coverage.

VMI carries the full range of 10 x Sigma cine primes (14-135mm) and 3 x zooms and most are available in PL and EF mounts too.  

Make no mistake, these lenses are solidly built and have been designed from scratch by Sigma.  They are not simply an adaptation of their stills lens range.  Focus breathing is minimised and the lenses look, feel and behave like you expect quality film lenses to.  

                                          Barry Bassett, VMI

Whilt Sigma manufacture these lenses in PL mount, E mount and EF Mount, VMI have chosen to stock most of these in EF and PL mount, enabling compatibility with all pretty much all cameras in S-35 and full frame (FF) format too. (Note that Native E mount versions are not stocked by VMI).

These lenses are compatible with all cameras with a PL or EF mount (including Full Frame cameras too) without the need for an adapter or with E mount (alpha mount) cameras such as Sony A7S, FS5, FS7, Panasonic GH5 and other cameras with a suitable lens adapter (Metabones etc). 

Note that due to the weight of all of these lenses and the inherent strength limitation of the EF lens mount, it is crucial to support each lens using the supplied custom support during use, though this is not required when using the PL mount versions.

 

Sigma Cine Primes

There are 10 lenses available in the Sigma Cine Primes range.

Main Features

 

 

Sigma Cine Primes. 
14-135mm, all are T1.5 except 14mm & 135mm which are T2

 

SIGMA Cine FF Prime Set (20-85mm/T1.5) 5-lens package (EOS & PL mount)

The flagship Sigma 5 lens prime set (EF) or Sigma 5  lens prime set (PL) with extremely fast (T1.5) 18-85mm prime lenses.

 - Sigma 20mm/T1.5 FF Prime.  Close Focus 27cm/11"  

 - Sigma 24mm/T1.5 FF Prime.  Close Focus 25cm/10"  

 - Sigma 35mm/T1.5 FF Prime.  Close Focus 30cm/1'

 - Sigma 50mm/T1.5 FF Prime.  Close Focus 40cm/1'4"  

 - Sigma 85mm/T1.5 FF Prime.  Close Focus 85cm/2'10"  

 

 

 

SIGMA Cine FF 14mm Prime (EOS & PL mount)

 - Sigma 14mm/T2 FF Prime (EF).  Close Focus 27cm/11"

 - Sigma 14mm/T2 FF Prime (PL).  Close Focus 27cm/11"  

 

 

 

 

SIGMA Cine FF 28mm Prime (PL mount only)

 - Sigma 28mm/T2 FF Prime (PL).  Close Focus 30cm/1'  

 

 

 

 

 

SIGMA Cine FF 40mm Prime (PL mount only)

 - Sigma 40mm/T2 FF Prime (PL).  Close Focus 40cm/1'4"

 

 

 

 

 

SIGMA Cine FF 105mm Prime (PL mount only)

 - Sigma 105mm/T2 FF Prime (PL).  Close Focus 1m/3'4"

 

 

 

 

 

SIGMA Cine FF 135mm Prime (EOS & PL mount)

 - Sigma 135mm/T2 FF Prime (EF).  Close Focus 27cm/11"   

- Sigma 135mm/T2 FF Prime (PL).  Close Focus 27cm/11" 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sigma Cine Zoom Lenses

Main Features

 

SIGMA S-35 Coverage Zoom Lenses

SIGMA 18-35mm/T2 Cine Zoom (EOS mount)

 - Sigma 18-35/T2 Cine Zoom  Close Focus 27cm/11"   

 - T2 Consistent aperture over entire zoom range

 - Covers Super 35 Sensor Sizes

 - Weighs Only 1.45kg.

 

​SIGMA 50-100mm/T2 Cine Zoom (EOS mount)

 - Sigma 50-100/T2 Cine Zoom  Close Focus 95cm/3'2"   

 - T2 Consistent aperture over entire zoom range

 - Covers Super 35 Sensor Sizes

 - Weighs Only 1.89kg.

 

 

Shoot with a pair of T2 zooms instead of Primes

Since the 18-35 and 50-100 are both T2, why not consider shooting with a pair of zooms, instead of a box of primes?  With only 2 quality lenses to choose from, this might be a quicker option to consider. 

Sigma Sigma_Cine Zoom Pair (18-35mm & 50-100 T2 EF)

 

 

 

 

SIGMA FULL FRAME Coverage Zoom Lens

This is Sigma's cine zoom which offers S-35 and Full Frame coverage (FF Φ43.3)

​SIGMA 24-35mm/T2.2 FF Cine Zoom (EOS mount)

 - Sigma 24-35/T2.2 FF Cine Zoom  Close Focus 27cm/11"   

 - T2 Consistent aperture over entire zoom range

 - Covers Super 35 Sensor Sizes

 - Weighs Only 1.45kg.

 

 

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