Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary
Image courtesy: Sigma

In a recent interview with PhotoTrend, Sigma’s CEO Kazuto Yamaki made a startling announcement: Sigma won’t be developing any new Micro Four Thirds lenses.

What was said?

Yamaki made his statement during an interview with PhotoTrend at the recent CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show in Japan. He confirmed that Sigma would continue to make the lenses already in their catalog. But Yamaki went on to say: “However, we are not planning to design new Micro Four Thirds optics at this time. The demand for this format is decreasing very sharply, and therefore it is quite difficult for us to develop completely new optics for this ecosystem.”

A move towards full frame?

Yamaki seems to be a fan of the Micro Four Thirds format but sees the future heading toward full frame. He said, “I think Micro Four Thirds has many advantages, especially its compactness. Personally, I really like this system. But currently, the trend is clearly in favor of full frame, alongside APS-C (which is also in decline, by the way).” This last point is another interesting admission as to the current state of the market.

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What Micro Four Thirds lenses does Sigma make?

Sigma currently only makes three Micro Four Thirds lenses. The company’s Contemporary series are all f1.4 prime lenses covering the focal lengths 16 mm, 30 mm and 56 mm. However, Yamaki seems hopeful that demand for these lenses will be maintained. He said, “I hope that with the arrival of the new OM System cameras demand will stabilize, but it is clearly tending to decrease for Sigma Micro Four Thirds lenses. But it looks like OM-System is getting good results with their new cameras and lenses. So I’m hopeful that the demand for the Micro Four Thirds will continue to exist.”

What we think

Sigma currently only makes three Micro Four Thirds lenses, so the company isn’t heavily invested in the format. As such, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that Sigma is stopping the development of new Micro Four Thirds lenses. However, if you use a Micro Four Thirds camera, you shouldn’t worry just yet. Panasonic is still supporting the format, and the new OM System cameras also use the Micro Four Thirds lens mount.

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.