Sigma: New lenses, new strategy

The company updates a couple lenses, adds a prime and USB dock, and unveils its odd new marketing strategy.

Sigma's new USB dock for upgrading the firmware on its lenses.

Sigma announced some new lenses at Photokina -- updates to its 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS HSM ("redesigned mechanics and performance") and 17-70mm f2.8 DC OS macro ("new design and more compact build") and unveiled a 35mm f1.4 DG HSM -- along with a clever USB dock to use for firmware upgrades. But what's really interesting is the new organization of its lens marketing. And when I say "interesting" I mean "what were they smoking?"

35mm F1.4 DG HSM "Art" lens Sigma

I guess focal lengths, apertures, mounts, and prices just don't convey enough exciting information to potential customers, because Sigma is now breaking down its lens lines into the categories Contemporary, Sport, and Art. I know I've looked at the 50mm f1.2 sitting next to me and thought "you're really more Art than Contemporary," and when I'm browsing for lenses I think "I'm in the mood for Sport today."

Seriously, Sigma, your heart's in the right place but this will just make things more confusing. I've been through endless iterations of trying to break product categories like this into use-case buckets and it simply doesn't work, because a 35mm f1.4 is equal parts Art and Contemporary, and sometimes the best lens for sports is wide angle. You'll just frustrate buyers trying to figure out how you're bucketing stuff.

But hey, that 35mm f1.4 sure sounds nice, as long as it's not prohibitively expensive. All prices and availability are still to be determined.