Pro Moviemaker Summer 2018


“Key tomaking the breakthroughwas having a full range of lenses to talk about”

when we decided to really start working on this project. How big a team at Sigma was dedicated to developing the new Cine range? There were two teams (Zoom and Prime) working on the designs. They also worked together on some usability features that are commonly necessary for both primes and zooms. It was an efficient way to work and that’s how we managed to get these lenses ready to be launched at a similar time. Generally speaking, we could say zoom lenses are more difficult, though there are different challenges to each production. Such things as zoom tracking and image shift while zooming are particular to zoom lenses, and it takes time to control these. However, the prime lenses are brighter than zoom lenses and all of them are compatible with full-frame. In order to achieve high optical performance, it requires more than one adjustment process, not to mention the quality control inspections applied to each and every lens to assure we’re delivering reliable, high performance products. Were the zoom lenses more difficult to produce than the prime lenses?

and slower at close range. With cine lenses, we adjusted the lens mechanism to make focusing as linear as possible. It was extremely challenging to design this while securing the accuracy of the system. We also paid a lot of attention to standardising the torque of each ring. This was achieved by significantly adjusting the design and selecting a different lubricant. Durability is also important, and when testing out the rings we developed a dedicated machine to connect to external gear and we continuously moved the rings for a day and night. Furthermore, while we use plastic components in some of our still lenses, in cine lenses we only use metal. We manufacture all lenses in our Aizu factory and our metal processing unit has established a unit dedicated to cine lenses there. How long did the process take, from the idea being agreed to the first of the Cine range being ready to present? We started developing the idea about three years before the launch. At first it was just one idea among many; however after visiting fields of productions and listening to end users, we realised how our lenses for still photography were actually used for promotion videos or music videos. That’s

IMAGES The whole range of new Sigma cine lenses was developed in the company’s Aizu factory, which now has a dedicated cine lens production unit.

Why was it so important to deliver a whole family of optics in a short time frame? While we were communicating with customers, we came to understand that it didn’t make sense to provide only a limited number of lenses, or even just fixed focal length lenses. Maintaining a unified look across the entire film is important in film productions, so there had to be a lens line-up that covered a certain range of focal lengths. For the Sigma Cine lens launch, we wanted to demonstrate how serious we were and were determined to have an enhanced line-up from the launch to ensure customers would consider using our lenses in their work.

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