(Photos are of my actual lenses)
As much as I love vintage, there are projects where I need the sharper, higher-contrast, cleaner look that I can get with modern lenses. The Sigma FF Cine Primes are very fast, all with T1.5 maximum apertures, they cover Full Frame 24x36mm sensors which means these lenses can cover ARRI Alexa LF, RED Monstro, Panavision DXL, Sony Venice, Canon 5D, and the Sony A7s to name a few. They of course cover all the Super-35 and APS sensors as well (ARRI Alexa, RED Dragon 6K, Canon 7D, Sony FS7 for instance).
There are more “Full Frame” lenses to choose from than ever, but the Sigma’s have so much going for them. They all open up to T1.5, even the wide 20mm. They all have 95mm fronts, which I particularly like because they are compact and they work with my favorite diopters in the world: the Leica MacroLux series of diopters (see photos). They also have matching gear positions, so lens changes are quick and easy. They are small and light-weight too, so they are perfect for gimbal work.
Sigma has taken advantage of modern lens design techniques and a new generation of exotic glass to create their first series of cinema primes. The lenses are sharp from corner to corner even wide open. The images are free from almost any aberrations, including the purple/green fringing you often see in high contrast situations with high-speed lenses. If you do some research, you will find that these lenses are almost always compared to the Zeiss Otus prime lenses, and the Sigmas perform just as well. In fact the Sigma 85mm T1.5 actually outperforms the 85mm Otus in many ways and was the highest performing lens ever tested by DxOMark! Breathing is extremely well controlled. The 20mm and 24mm have virtually no breathing and the 35mm, 50mm and 85mm have extremely low breathing. Flares are very well controlled. They have a nice look but are quite subdued.
They are sharp at any stop, and the image is very clean and free of distortion. However they color is just slightly warmer than neutral and I find it great for skin tones. Bokeh is really smooth and creamy, never busy. These lenses really make your subject pop from the background and give images a very 3 dimensional look.
When my vintage lenses aren’t the right choice for a project, I would choose something like a Master Prime or Leica Summilux C if I had the budget. But we often don’t have the budget for the absolute cream of the crop gear, and even with their lower price, the Sigma Cinema Primes are a great alternative. When I use them I don't feel like I am compromising at all. They just do everything right. These are high-end lenses, make no mistake. Also, neither the ARRI/Zeiss Master Primes or the Leica Summilux C primes will cover Full Frame, but the Sigma Primes will.
Sigma is a new name to the high-end cinema lens game, but once you try these lenses, they will be one of your go to sets of primes.
I also have the Sigma 18-35mm T2 available if you need a wider lens. It matches the look of the primes and has the same 95mm front and gear positions. However the 18-35mm does not cover Full Frame.
Sigma 20mm T1.5
Sigma 24mm T1.5
Sigma 35mm T1.5
Sigma 50mm T1.5
Sigma 85mm T1.5
Cine FF High Speed Primes
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