Sigma, Tamron, and Others Are More Important Than You Think

Third-party lenses from Sigma and others add so much to the industry.

It was just the other week when we outlined what we wanted to see from Sigma in the coming year. We talked about how we looked forward to Canon RF and Nikon Z mount lenses. We even pleaded with Sigma for new Foveon based cameras. Well, it looks like our prayers have been received. Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamak talks about lenses and cameras and what direction the company will be taking going forward in a new interview. Just how important are players like Sigma and Tamron to the industry? Let’s talk about that.

The interview Sigma’s CEO, Kazuto Yamak, with ICAN Management Review is eye-opening. Entitled ‘The Path of the Little Samurai,’ the piece talks about why Sigma has waited so long to make RF and Z mount lenses. They give their opinions about the photography industry and when they think the market will settle. They even talk about cameras and how they are still working on bringing new Foveon sensor-based cameras to the market.

Sigma Is Playing the Waiting Game


In the case of lenses for Canon’s and Nikon’s Mirrorless systems, Kazuto Yamak stated that they wanted the systems’ user base to grow before making lenses for them. Sigma now sees value in the platforms, and because of this, lenses for these mounts are a possibility. This should be music to the ears of Canon and Nikon fans. The current cost of first-party lenses keeps many photographers from picking up Canon’s and Nikon’s Mirrorless cameras. I’m still hoping that one day Fujifilm allows Sigma and Co. to create lenses for X mount cameras too. Fujifilm has nothing to be scared of; their lenses are great. A little competition never hurt anyone. At the end of the day, I guarantee more people would look Fujifilm’s way if they opened up their AF systems to others.

As for new Sigma cameras with Foveon sensors (something the stale camera market needs badly), Kazuto Yamak says that Sigma wants to control the entire workflow between the camera and lens. Sigma is indeed working on new Foveon based cameras. A Full-Frame L mount camera with a Foveon sensor mated to Sigma’s newest DG DN lenses? Yes, please! That’s a camera that would really shake up the market. Make it happen, Sigma. Variety is the spice of life, and the photography industry certainly needs some spice.

Third-Party Manufacturers Are the Photography Industry’s Glue


The heading of this section says it all, and it really is true. Companies like Sigma, Tamron, Rokinon/Samyang, Lensbaby, and others keep first-party manufacturers on their toes. These companies continually make lenses that put some first-party options to shame, and they keep their products affordable. There have been many times in my career when I have needed a new lens but simply couldn’t afford the first-party options. The great thing is that I didn’t have to ‘settle’ because I knew that the third-party options were just as good or better than lenses from the likes of Canon, or Sony. I know I am not the only photographer who has to look toward third-party options. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the Sigma’s and Tamron’s of the world, we could simply be priced out of the industry.

So, just how important are these players? They’re everything. When some photographers use the term ‘third-party,’ they use it in a derogatory way. It’s like they believe the lenses aren’t good enough, or the photographers are too good for them. That’s a real shame. Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, Rokinon, and others have done more for the photography industry than many people give them credit for. Their continued research, development, and lens innovations have driven the industry forward. They’ve also helped many photographers keep things together. We would be in a much worse place without them.

How do you feel about third-party lenses. Do you lean towards them or will you only use first-party options? Let us know in the comment section below.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.