Generally, in technology, it’s now the norm to have third-party products which can be used in place of the original. Sometimes, these third-party manufacturers are cheaper and even more efficient because they are designed for maximum user experience.
A simple common example will be an earpiece that comes with a brand new phone, but you’ll agree that there are third-party earpieces that produce even better sound.
Photography is not an exception in this sense with third-party manufacturers designing cheaper cameras and lenses for the best user experience. Major brands like Nikon and Canon have expensive products but Sigma is one of those few companies that manufacture third-party lenses.
If Sigma lenses are only a bit of significant-quality less than those of the major brands, it begs the question: why are sigma lenses cheaper?
The answer may be too simple; sigma lenses require a low cost of production – a fact that has many other implications. But before we make a mention of these implications, it’s only crucial at this point to consider the reasons why sigma lenses are that cheap.
Factors that Contribute to the Low Price Tag of Sigma Lenses
The major factor that contributes to the low price tag of Sigma lenses is the cost of production. Furthermore, the cost of manufacture is due to a few other factors such as:
There is a reason why Nikon and Sigma are big brands on the market, so you don’t expect Sigma lenses to be on the same standard as them, especially with their low-resolution lenses compared to the other big brands.
In few words, Sigma lenses differ in resolution and other elements that contribute to the qualitative design of lens; to make the lens deliver more will require a shooting up of the cost of production.
Leading lens brands like Nikon invest heavily in improved processes to ensure the manufacturing of quality-delivering lenses. These brands have built a reputation for themselves and are privileged to set a higher profit margin compared to upcoming brands or start-ups.
Sigma, on the other hand, makes use of few parts in the manufacturing process of its lens. The brand is also able to maintain its cheap rate because of a simplified manufacturing process. For instance, you’d expect a lens with lower resolution compared to some big brands on the market to cost less.
Why? It cost less to manufacture low-resolution lenses. It’s more like saying that increasing a lens resolution by 10% may increase the cost of production by 60%, which consequently results in a higher price tag to make up for the profit margin.
Quality of Materials Used
The baseline for this argument will always be the fact that Sigma lenses are not of equal quality with top league brands in lens production. Now, while it is arguable that Sigma lenses are not particularly made from inferior quality materials, they don’t match up materials used by top brands.
So, when you use low-grade (or not so high grade, if you like) materials, you’re able to set a low price due to the minimal cost of production.
What are The Implications Of Sigma’S Cheap Lenses?
One major implication you have to worry about is image quality. Let me start by opening that Sigma lenses are not all that bad. If we should put aside the factors earlier discussed and focus on the manufacturer’s goals, it’s evident that the brand’s focus is on maintaining image quality.
Some photographers have indeed found it satisfactory having met their needs. That is, while the lens may not match the leading brands in quality material, design, and manufacturing process, they are not too far down the point rank.
The worry, however still, is that while Sigma lenses may function nearly as neat as leading brands’, per the quality of materials used, they may have difficulty in withstanding the wear and tear of daily use. You may compare them to bridge cameras that boast many capabilities but with short life expectancy.
Other implications include the lens’ inability to focus accurately and it becomes incompatible with a wide range of camera bodies. The latter means you have to selectively use the lens, depending on its compatibility with the camera at hand.
Take Nikon and canon, for instance, these brands do not only manufacture lenses, but they also make camera bodies the lenses would be 100% compatible used on; that is lacking with Sigma lenses.
That compatibility that exists between camera bodies and lenses is not shared with third-party manufacturers, hence, the challenge.
I know you don’t want to spend too much on a camera and its lens, especially if you don’t need it professionally or you’re a start-up business with minimal capital. Should you decide to purchase a Sigma lens, here are a few pointers:
Purpose of Lens
Like I earlier opined, cheap lenses may be okay for you if you don’t intend to use them professionally, but if that is the case, you should let go of that idea. Professional and commercial photography requires precision and accuracy.
Clean images are the hallmark of such photography which, I must acknowledge, that third-party lenses may compromise. No one wants your career flushed down the drain.
A professional who’s just starting up with a limited budget can still make use of Sigma lenses but should pay more attention to picking the right lens for his shooting.
That is, when choosing a Sigma lens, ensure it gives the best effect for your shot. Even where compatibility is not at its fullness, you can still salvage what remains to provide a clear and focused image.
Budget is the determining (or restraining, if you like) factor in many purchases. Sometimes, folks who are just starting on photography may be operating on a tight budget and can opt for Sigma lenses. Other third-party products like camera flash can be used alongside to produce a quality image.
Sigma lenses provide an option for amateur photographers and those who don’t have enough funds to spare for investment in top brand cameras and lenses