LensVid Exclusive: Sigma CEO Interview in Photokina 2016

During Photokina 2016 LensVid had the privilege to interview Mr. Kazuto Yamaki – Sigma’s CEO (and the son of the company’s late founder).

After we talked to representatives from Nikon and Canon we had a chance to talk to the relatively young but highly inspiring head of Sigma. He was very honest and open (quite uncommon for most high ranking Japanese managers – especially when talking with western media) and was willing to spend some time talking to us even after the interview.

On this extensive interview we talked about Sigma’s plans for mirrorless cameras (specifically Sony – both for the E and FE mounts), about AF in Sigma lenses (specifically about the new 50-100mm f/1.8 lens and how it’s AF can be improved), about Sigma’s work to continue manufacturing cameras and sensors (the Legacy of Michihiro Yamaki – Kazuto’s father and the founder of Sigma who passed away a few years ago – you should really listen to the unexpected answer he gave around 6:30).

Talking to Mr. Yamaki about the new lenses


We also discussed new lens technologies, specifically the Phase Fresnel/Diffractive Optics as well as the big question of the decline of the photo industry since 2012 and Sigma’s reaction to it (Mr. Yamaki also gave us some of the numbers CIPA calculated which show a 40% decline since 2012 in global sales of photo gear – a very painful drop for any industry).

5 prime lenses from Sigma’s new Cine series

We had a very brief time with the 3 new Sigma lenses. The new 85mm impressed us with its huge size (as Mr. Yamaki explained in the interview the ART series is all about no compromises when it comes to optical quality – even if this means a much larger and heavier lens). The new CINE lenses also looks impressive at first glance – Sigma basically took more or less it’s entire line of ART lenses and created CINE versions of them with very smooth and long aperture and focus rings – we already know that they have excellent optical quality and now they also seem to have very good mechanical/functional properties for film makers (prices are still TBA as far as we know but we expect them to be less expensive than Zeiss and probably more expensive than the Samyang lenses.

3 of Sigma’s new Zoom Cine lenses


This video is just one of the first among over 20 videos and interviews that we took during the show (many more to come in the next days and weeks) and you can find them on our special channel on Youtube and on this link on LensVid.

Special thanks to our sponsors for Photokina 2016 – Manfrotto.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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