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| p.2 #2 · Pre-order: Sigma 24-105mm f/4 OS Art for $899 |
As much as I'm excited to see new Sigma glass- this is one tough cookie to understand. I mean, who is this lens for? What market segment?
For those of us with the 24-105L, we understand that it is one of the best all-around lenses on the market- and it's ~$600 price in a kit is outright unbeatable. Further, the Sigma is going to be heavier and larger- both advantages to Canon in a walk-around/utility lens- and the Canon is weather-sealed, with very good AF speed, accuracy, and consistency.
So what does this Sigma bring to the table? We can surely expect the optics to be an improvement over the Canon- the same as we'd expect from Canon if they were to replace their current, aging 24-105L with a ver. II- but is that it? It's not going to be cheaper, not by a long-shot. That's not the Sigma way. And again, what about AF? For every person that claims that their Sigma lenses all work perfectly, there's a legion that find unmitigated issues with them; and that's after you weed out the people that can't actually use a camera.
Now, with that laid out, I'll attempt to answer my question- this lens is for either a) those that did not get Canon's kit lens and need something just as versatile, over the other available options, or b) those that need something sharper. Sigma's OS is likely going to be more effective than the two-generation-old IS in the Canon lens, so that's a minor plus.
To me, this lens' appeal comes down to cost; it must be cost competitive with the 24-105L, in the same vein as the S35/1.4A is cost competitive with the 35L. Which means that it must fall into the $600-$800 range, and not the $1300-$1500 range of the 24-70/4L and 24-70/2.8 VC, which it's also competing with. It targets far too small of the market to be a success for Sigma if the price isn't one of it's qualities.
As an aside- where the hell are Sigma's cameras? Sigma keeps going nearly all-out with new lenses, but their failings reside largely in their lack of effective AF-algorithm reverse-engineering faculties to allow their lenses to match the performance of the OEM lenses that they're trying to compete with. But they themselves do have outstanding sensor technology- if only they'd actually develop it into something worthwhile. Give us a 30-40 million photosite FoveonX3 full-frame sensor in a body competitive with Pentax's new K3, and suddenly they'd be the golden child of the market.