18 August 2008


Photo gearheaddery from Sigma, Canon, and DPReview

Canon 50/1.8 and Sigma 50/1.4 at Flickr.comPhoto buffs (yeah, like me) will be interested to read two new gear reviews at DPReview today:

  • Sigma's new 50 mm f/1.4 lens is unusual: the first genuinely modern 50 mm lens design in a long time, not from one of the camera manufacturers, and both huge and expensive compared to lenses made by Canon, Nikon, and Pentax (whose comparable lens is half the weight and price!).
  • Canon's $8000 EOS 1Ds Mark III is the top of the heap for price and resolution among digital SLR cameras. It's taken awhile for DPR to review it, but it's interesting to see how it compares to Nikon's very different top model, the D3.

The Sigma, while both ginormous and pricey at $500, has some impressive optical benefits, and is the first 50 mm lens that will autofocus with Nikon's introductory-level cameras (the D40, D40x, and D60). It's also designed to work with both small-sensor and full-frame SLRs, and it isn't a zoom for once. So that's some news in itself.

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I'm wondering if the Sigma 50mm f1.4 lens is signaling an industry towards full-frame sensors - surely the cost of producing such sensors is falling. There are rumours that Pentax could be readying a full-frame pro-level DSLR on the back of Samsung developing full-frame sensor technology. If so, the next 12-24 months could be very interesting....

Steve Taylor
Melbourne, Australia
Read the last paragraph of my crop factor article, and you'll see I agree with you.