Sigma Lenses for Canon and Nikon DSLRs

Sigma is one of the younger and more entrepreneurial of the Japanese camera companies, founded in 1961 as Setagaya-ku, changing its name to Sigma in 1970. It's a small company in terms of infrastructure and permanent employees.

Sigma's Web site

Sigma terminology used in their product descriptions:

  • APO: lens uses multiple low dispersion elements
  • ASP: Aspherical lens elements used
  • CONV: Lens can use the Sigma APO teleconverters
  • DOCK: Capable of being updated and tuned using Sigma's USB Dock and software
  • EX: Professional grade lens; zoom maintains aperture at all focal lengths
  • HSM: Hyper-Sonic Motor; internal lens autofocus motor that is quiet
  • IF: Internal Focus
  • OS: Optical Stabilization system; compensates for camera movement
  • RF: Rear Focus
  • SMC: Super Multilayer Coating
  • TSC: Thermally Stable Composite

Sigma, like some of the others, has some confusing product line designations:

As if that weren't enough, Sigma also now categorizes new lenses into one of three concept lines (read: marketing pablum):

  • Art — designed "with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power." Consists mostly of large aperture prime lenses, wide angle, and macro lenses. Examples: 30mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4, 18-35mm f/1.8, 24-105mm f/4, and 50mm f/1.4. 
  • Contemporary — "combining optical performance with compactness." Consists mostly of zoom lenses. Examples: 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3, 150-600mm f/5-6.3.
  • Sports — "high action-capture performance." Consists mostly of telephoto lenses and exotic telephotos Examples: 120-300mm f/2.8, 150-600mm f/5-6.3. 
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