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Digital Camera World
Digital Camera World
Kalum Carter

The world's ultimate cinema camera test chooses Sigma glass to set benchmark

Sigma Cine 65mm T1.5 FF.

While Sigma is renowned for offering fantastic photographic lenses (and cameras, such as the Sigma fp and Sigma fp L), you may not be aware that it also produces some of the best cine lenses on the market. 

Filmmakers, though, have long been aware of Sigma Cine glass. This is certainly the case for the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA), which undertakes an annual Camera Assessment Test (CAT) that "tests to show the strengths of six higher-than-6K-resolution cameras to show filmmakers how each performs in challenging situations". 

Renowned cinematographer James Neihouse (known for IMAX films like Blue Planet and The Dream is Alive) and Michael Daut (co-chair of the GSCA Innovations Committee) led this year's CAT, which took place this month and tested six of the best cinema cameras: the Arri Alexa 35, Canon EOS R5 C, Kinefinity Mavo Edge 8K, Red V Raptor XL, Sony A1, and Sony Venice 2. 

The benchmark lens chosen to test each camera was the Sigma 65mm T1.5 FF, available for Canon EF, Sony E and PL/i mount. It is part of an extensive range of Sigma Cine primes which includes 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm focal lengths. 

(Image credit: Sigma)

"The evaluation required lenses that provided sharp, clean, crisp images while being as 'neutral' as possible," says Neihouse. 

"We chose the Sigma 65mm T1.5 FF Cine Prime lens for its exceptional corner-to-corner sharpness and ability to cover a full-frame (Vista Vision) size sensor. In Giant Screen documentaries, we like an image that is as close to reality as possible, which is why we liked this Sigma lens. Other lenses were considered but rejected for bringing their own 'look' to the images."

High praise indeed for Sigma, and it certainly aligns with my own experience with the Sigma Cine lenses. With a fast and wide aperture of T1.5 and 9 rounded aperture blades, the prime lens offers exceptional quality at a slightly more affordable price point than most cinema lenses. The lens was developed exclusively for cinema and optimized for ultra-high-resolution shooting, which makes it the perfect benchmark for testing 6K+ cine cameras.

The testing results were unveiled during the Filmmakers Symposium portion of the GSCA Film Expo, but are yet to be publicly available. Here's a showreel of the Sigma Cine 65mm T1.5 FF along with the T2.5 FF Classic. 

"We are honored that the GSCA selected the Sigma 65mm T1.5 FF Cine Prime as the benchmark lens to assess these leading cine cameras in the most demanding real-world situations," says Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma America. "This demonstrates Sigma's dedication to crafting exceptionally high-performing lenses for filmmaking."

Sigma will be at The Photography & Video Show, which takes place this weekend at the NEC in Birmingham, UK. Tickets are still available and you can get your hands on some of the best Sigma lenses at stand J304. Visit the show website for more information and tickets.

The need for cameras that can create exceptional video content has continued to grow among the everyday consumer, and we have some guides that might make digesting all of the information that much easier. You may be interested in our guides to the best cameras for filmmaking, the best hybrid cameras and the best cameras for vlogging

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