SIGMA Full-Frame Classic Art Primes


SIGMA launched their splendidly small, sharp, lightweight and affordable FF High Speed Primes at IBC 2016. Now, three years later, SIGMA adds a new series: Full-Frame Classic Art Primes. A prototype 40mm was presented in Tokyo on July 11. Two months later, the set is here in Amsterdam at IBC 2019.

The SIGMA Full-Frame Classic Art Primes are controllable, classic, flarey, vintage-looking lenses reminiscent of Hollywood’s Golden Era. Picture the glowing highlights and smooth skin tones on Garbo, Bacall and Dietrich. These primes are mostly uncoated inside, and single-coated on the outside front and rear element surfaces.

Because uncoated optical elements reduce the amount light transmission, SIGMA Classics are slower than the FF High Speed series. So, SIGMA FF High Speed Primes with a T1.5 maximum aperture become Classics at T2.5. T2 FF High Speed Primes become T3.2. The last stop engraved on the barrel is T22, although technically it goes further to T25.

Which series do you choose? The SIGMA FF High Speed Primes offer extremely high resolution and pristine images. The Full-Frame Classic Art Primes are based on the FF High Speed series. They retain the high resolution of the FF series and then go further to achieve a classic vintage look with the addition of uncoated optical elements and a combination of low contrast, artistic flaring and ghosting of the image. A special coating is used on the front and rear elements to protect them from those other elements outside the lens: spray, salt, dust, dirt, fingerprints. As with all the lenses in the FF High Speed Prime series, the Classic Art Primes create beautiful bokeh.

The FF Classic Art Primes have consistent maximum apertures of T2.5, except the 14mm and 135mm which are T3.2.

Cooke /i Technology lens metadata is incorporated and communicated to cameras via 4 standard contacts in the PL lens mount.

Delivery is planned around the end of the year. Only sold as a set of 10 primes.

Prices TBD, but expected to be about 15% more than the FF High Speeds (which are around $3499 for most of the standard versions and $4499 for the fully luminous, numbers that glow in the dark, models.) The 14, 105 and 135 mm are $4999 each ($5999 luminous).

Only available in PL mount. SIGMA Mount Conversion Service for the FF Classic Art Primes is not available.


Sep 2019 • Issue 97 49 SIGMA Full-Frame Classic Art Primes Framegrabs from “Operator” — short film shot with SIGMA Full-Frame Classic Art Primes. Directed by Bhavani Lee. Cinematography by Timur Civan. Choreographer and Dancer: Bhavani Lee. Steadicam Operator: Jason Leeds. Focus Puller: Ryan Patrick O’Hara. Camera: RED MONSTRO 8K VV. On YouTube:

Cinematographer Timur Civan said, “I shot with the 35mm and 50mm prototypes. Most of the time, we stopped down quite a bit to help control flare shape and amount, mostly from T4 – T11. As far as impressions, it seems that SIGMA started with an extremely clean, precise, sharp lens and introduced ‘controlled chaos.’ They stripped out the perfect behavior to allow the Classics and Cinematographers go wild.”

1.  Close focus distance is measured from the image plane.
2.  Length measured from front of lens to PL mount flange.
3.  Weight measured without lens support foot.

  • SIGMA Full-Frame Classic Art Primes come standard in PL mount with /i Technology lens data contacts.
  • Image Circle: 43.3mm Ø. Image illumination: greater than 46.3mm Ø.
  • Iris blades: 9 (rounded diaphragm).


Reprinted from Film and Digital Times September 2019 Edition #97


Leave a Comment

2 Responses:

  1. S Mark Strain says:

    Simply Awesomeness

  2. David Stewart says:

    I’m excited about these—hopefully my rental house picks up a set.

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