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Patent: Sigma 25mm f/1.4 for the Micro Four Thirds system.


Egami (translation here) spotted a new Sigma patent that describes a new 25mm f/1.4 lens made for the Micro Four Thirds system. My guess is that Sigma may want to release a much cheaper alternative of the excellent Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens. But as usual with patents, this may not become a real finished mass product…

P.S.: Price of the Leica 25mm at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.

  • JF

    Great news ! I may buy it if it’s good !

  • ha

    Design looks very similar to Pana 25/1.4, so lets hope IQ is also similar but not the price.

    • Mike

      Actually it looks like they are the same lens, Sigma also designed (owns the patent of) the original Leica 25mm F1.4 for the full size 4/3rds. to add to that Sigma was the designer of the Olympus 90-250mm F2.8, and at least one of the Olympus 40-150s.

      • Mike

        Forgot to mention that the 75-300 is a Sigma design and the old 18-180 is a modified sigma design… Olympus, Panasonic and Leica don’t always design every lens they put their name on, that goes for many other companies too.

        • Daemonius

          Then 25mm f1.4 Panaleica exhibit quite a bit of Leicaness for lens being made by Sigma.

          Tho truth is Sigma actually made lens directly for Leica. Leica R 28-70mm is from them. :) And few others..

          Considering last 35mm f1.4, I think Sigma can make very good lens..

          • bousozoku

            They just don’t make good lenses often. The 105mm and 150mm macro lenses were very good, and of course, Bigma.

      • “Sigma was the designer of the Olympus 90-250mm F2.8”

        That I don’t believe. Where do get that info from?

        The 90-250 is a native 4/3 ZD SHG, and I don’t think Sigma played any part in designing those lenses. Not ever. Truth be told, I don’t think Oly would take such a chance when first entering the market w/ the E-system. And why should they? Oly has state of the art competence and knowledge all in-house for optical designs and manufacturing.

        The only lens I know of that possibly is originally a Sigma design, is the 4/3 70-300. Besides, any lens design Sigma have made, will normally be produced w/ the Sigma badge on it as well. And I find nothing in their lineup that is even a far cry from the ZD SHGs…

        • hytiyt

          Wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth if you paid $6000 for a sigma lens , pretty funny thought lol

  • oluv

    i got my leica from a friend for 300 euro and he even added the fl220 flash for free (thanks so much björn), so no need for an alternative right now :)

    • Anonymous

      300 euros for the Pana 25mm f/1.4 means you basically stole it from him, the nice friend you are.

      • MarcoSartoriPhoto

        LOL! Yes, got mine brand new a couple of years ago for 550 euros: since then its price didn’t change a lot. You pay for a high quality glass, though I don’t like some cheap finishing, like the silver stick around it, or its hood. But I won’t change it for a new 25mm.

        • Sticker!

          Yeah, what is with the cheap silver sticker that comes off?

          • MarcoSartoriPhoto

            Around the body lens, near the front element, there’s a silver sticker (3mms width): it’s there simply for aesthetic purpose (meh..). I pulled it off, since it got ruined after short time, and I can’t figure how it happened. It’s not a problem at all, but I ask myself: if people don’t even notice it, why putting it there? I noticed it only when it started to drop away.

  • Miroslav

    Panasonic, Voigtlander, SLR Magic, two 4/3 lenses… Do we really need one more 25mm lens?

    • JF

      Yes, there is only one AF 25 mm f1.4 ! some people don’t like MF and don’t care about Voigtlander and SLR Magic…

    • hsalonen

      PanaLeica -> AF, heavy, expensive, reported “rattling”.
      Voigthländer -> Manual, EXPENSIVE
      SLR Magic -> Manual, price might be ok, though, no words on IQ

      There is plenty of room, and Sigma has been known for aggressive pricing and plastic products. Plastic 200e lens with AF -> I buy, without thinking twice.

      Most used focal lengths for me on DSLR were 50mm and 35mm, I could really use some 17mm and 25mm lenses. I am still waiting for a positive expert review of the Olympus 17mm..

      • Esa Tuunanen

        Panasonic is also rather “plastique”. Leica DGs didn’t continue construction quality of 4/3 Leica Ds.

      • MarcoSartoriPhoto

        PanaLeica: it “rattles” when shooting against bright light. It’s made of plastic but the construction feels solid, and the rubber ring is smooth. It’s not a cheap built as let’s say one of those slow zooms or Oly kits (14-42 or latest 12-50). It’s performances are really good. It’s not heavy though. Voigtländer is heavier and you would need a grip to use it comfortably on an OMD, for example. Pana/Leica is well balanced.

      • Miroslav

        There are some focal lengths not covered by native lenses. It would be good to fill those first.

      • Twaddler Belafonte

        I don’t know how much plastic was in Sigma 30mm f/1.4, bit it was on solid (and heavy) beast. Not a cheap-feeling bone in its body.

  • tomas

    any of you see were in EU is the cheapest PL25 ? any link ? … i want to avoid anoying anybody bringing me something from US :-)

  • hsalonen

    Yes! Please!

    PL25 with lower price -> instant buy for me.

  • nobody

    I just hope Sigma will also make a high quality 12mm lens that’s not as overpriced as Oly’s is.

  • Yun

    Leica DG Summilux finally meets it’s competitor .
    This is one of the great lens I ever owed but I seldom use it . Could be due to it’s focal length , still thinking if I want to keep or sell it to finance the incoming 42.5 summilux .

  • Equivalent to 50 ƒ1.4, which every company has since the 1950s. It’s a good ‘normal’ lens, except on the BMCC it’s 58mm, getting into ‘portrait’ range. I’d like to see a 15 ƒ1.4 (30mm & 35mm, respectively), ‘wide-normal’. Gotta wait.

  • I am still waiting for a 60(ish)mm 1.4/1.8. I want something similar in length to the 135 on FF or 85mm on a crop sensor. Not sure if I am minority in this. Haven’t really tried the 75mm yet but I was thinking that it would be too tele.

  • Jwhst

    I just recently got the new Sigma 35mm F1.4 for my D800 and I am very happy with the results. I would fully expect this to be a very good lens, but why put out lens options that already exist in the system. Sigma have a huge range of lenses and there are a number i would very much like to see with a native full AF mFT mount,

  • mark

    Love that focal length, if they’re savvy and make it cheap, quieter than the 20mm and (why not)weather sealed I could see it being a real winner.

    • I don’t think sigma makes weathersealed lenses. I might be wrong, but i don’t remember any, for any system.

  • I was just commenting about it at DPR. The importance of it is if Sigma decides to make native lenses for m4/3.

    THEN we’ll start having decent, normal prices for primes, like any other systems. Sigma has the potential to halve the price of the system.

    If I remember well 4/3 Sigma fast zooms were expensive, but fast primes, close to the distance to flange, might be much cheaper to make.

    • You have a point. Regarding yet *another* 25mm lens for the system…i don’t care at all, we have enough. But if sigma decides to do native lenses for m43 instead of rehashed aps-c ones, then THAT means something to the system as a whole….

  • sweln

    Another 25mm? Why not!
    Cheapper? Better!
    Weather sealed? Even better!
    I would prefer a 25mm f/1.2 with AF from Sigma though.

  • Mahal

    Optics are identical to current PanaLeica25/1.4.
    As noticed in Mr.Egami’s blog, this patent indicates that Panasonic apparently
    ordered optical design of 25/1.4 from Sigma.
    I don’t believe Sigma would sell their own 25/1.4 M4/3-lens based on this design.

    • Twaddler Belafonte

      But-but-but it’s a Leica!!! *butthurt and disbelief* lol

  • Remi

    Compare this Sigma design :
    to the design published by Panasonic :

    This is NOT a competitor of the current Panasonic 25mm f/1.4
    This IS the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4.
    Looks like Panasonic simply out-sourced it to Sigma.

    • oluv

      good find, so why patent some existing design? wouldn’t this be called “rip-off”?

      • Mike

        They didn’t just patent it, its just that the patent became available to be viewed by the public, they probably patented it well before it came on the market.

        • oluv

          but as both the leica design and this are so similar, one had to rip-off from another, or why allow 2 equal patents from two different companies. the other possiblity is, that panasonic (or leica, or whatever) were not clever enough to patent theirs.

          • Admin’s Evil Twin

            OR, more likely, Panasonic didn’t design the lens and just bought (or are paying a license fee for) Sigma’s design.

            Remi even suggested this in his post;
            “Looks like Panasonic simply out-sourced it to Sigma.”

      • adaptor-or-die

        Lens design isn’t just the element layoutdesign. Very often competing companies will make similar element configurations. Whoever gets there first often gets to coin the name of the lens family and then those that come after simply alter their names, but they tend to all sound similar … Coating the optics has a lot to do with the individual product, maybe even more than the element construction? Glass vs other optical elements, the nuance stuff is what you copyright, patent, brand, etc.

        If you compare the two drawings, the element groups are as you say, the same. The shape of the lens does differ, and the two drawings to inform the coatings and content aspects? I suspect they are similar, but not identical?

        Let’s hope the Sigma remains as their products lean toward, effective price-point for quality. Even if Panasonic/Leica farmed their’s out, you know they used their own coatings …

  • Anonymous

    Is the new 75-300 a cheaper lower quality offering? Hope not.

  • br

    Waiting for an Olympus 25mm lense hopefully f=1.2!
    With metal body of the 2/12mm lens.

    The Pana Leica is a good lense but the plastic body, raddeling and with out the mf focusing feature of the oly lenses it can be done better!


    • W. C.

      Olympus going to f/1.2 would be a huge step. Going to f/1.8 was a big deal for them. I think Olympus prefers not to have an aperture arms race with Panasonic and others. f/1.2 would make it much more expensive too. If plastic bodied Panasonic 25 f/1.4 is $500-600, what would metal M.Zuiko 25 f/1.2 with 12 f/2 design features be? Oh, don’t forget the $75 lens hood and $40 lens cap.

  • I wish Oly would make their primes faster… 1.2/1.4.

  • BLT

    Well Done Sigma. This is what we need from you!

  • oluv

    why don’t they make a 25/1.4 pancake? if it is possible to make a 20/1.7 why not a 25/1.4? i wouldn’t care if it is optically slightly worse than the leica, but the leica is just too big for what it is.
    have a look at the 35/2.0 from the RX1 that covers a full-frame sensor. it is also smaller than the leica.
    i think panasonic and olympus just don’t get it that we need more pancakes! if the sensor is small, the cameras should be small (have a look at the GH3), so the lenses must be small as well, otherwise “micro” just doesn’t make sense for me.

    • bart

      35/2 < 25/1.4 (tho only by a slight bit), hence, when both would be made with as small a design as possible, the 25/1.4 would still be bigger.

  • kesztió

    How Sigma lenses compare themself to PanaLeica 25/1.4 in terms of focus speed?

  • Wow

    No wonder why there are so many tourists lined up in front of B&H Photo before they open…
    Damn some lens are SO EXPENSIVE in Europe.

  • Garypen

    This is excellent news. I am a Sigma fan from my Canon days. But, I was getting worried they were leaving the M43 space after the clearance basement pricing on their two current M43 lenses.

    My guess is pricing will be ~$300.

  • Garypen

    I would love to see Sigma release the M43 equivalent to their recently-released 18-250mm Macro superzoom for Canon and Nikon. It’s the best of the current crop of walkarounds for those platforms. It would be nice to have something a little better than the 14-140 for Lumix users.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      And all of those generic walkaround lenses being mediocre at best.
      Basically every one of them has problems in resolution outside center at wide end and when zoomed even center resolutions can drop despite of stopping down.
      Clearly bigger and heavier Nikkor 18-300mm is clearly best of those APS-C travel zooms with more decent performance. (because of not being so optically undersized)

      You need to decide what you want, optically decent/good performance or more of lower quality.
      Cramming more zoom (like Sigma and Tamron do) into design simply compromises also quality of that existing range.

      Though I guess size and weight of Nikkor 18-300mm would be enough for high quality lens for 4/3 sensor considering discontinued Leica D 14-150mm pulls out performance which would do honour to even just 5x zooms for APS-C/135. (wide open corner to corner sharp at wide end and still good to the edge even fully zoomed)

      • You are foaming at the mouth again, dear Eva, ehm Esa. Must be the drama queen bit that made me mistype :)

      • Garypen

        Calm down. We all know there are compromises with long focal range zooms. But, they serve a great purpose. And, Sigma’s is arguably the best, when taking into account all factors. (So, it isn’t quite so clear that the big and heavy Nikon is the best.)

        You do realize that these M43 lenses are interchangeable, don’t you? It is also possible to own more than one. That means you can use different lenses depending upon need in any particular situation. Superzooms fill a specific need, as do fast primes, short zooms, medium zooms, and long zooms.

        But, apparently, you are under the impression that M43 users can only own and use one lens.

  • Jákup

    I would buy it :)

  • Sam Waldron

    Bring it on $400 or so and top peformance like their recent FF primes…

  • FTT

    Sigh… Really hope there can be a good M43 25mm f/1.8 or f/2.0 sized similar to Pana 20mm or Oly’s new 17mm…

  • Pingback: Patent: Sigma 1,4/25 mm für Micro 4/3d-pixx | d-pixx()

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