Sigma’s surprise

Last week, Sigma surprised all of us with a very unusual announcement: Sigma Mount Conversion Service. It’s all about offering the owners of the most recent Sigma lenses (the Art, Sport and Contemporary series; currently seven lenses in all) the possibility to swap mounts.

You bought a 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM with a Canon mount but you wanted to move on and take advantage of the newest Nikon DSLR? Well, OK. you just have to send back the lens to Sigma to have it refitted at the Sigma USA service center into a Nikon-mount version of the same lens. No need to sell all your lenses on eBay when switching brands.

Prices: between $80/100€ (for a DN lens for hybrid cameras) and $250/325€ (for a 120-300mm f/2,8 “Sport”). [source DPreview].

This is a true world-wide premiere but the surprise is less in the technology than in the announcement process: Nothing filtered out on any Internet web site until the very last hours. Nevertheless, it certainly took more than a year for Sigma to organize this conversion service and to present the seven first lenses covered by it.

Here, I find to refreshing lessons:

  1. Even a company like Sigma which is not considered as paranoid can perfectly hide such a ground-breaking strategy, including when the actual products which it is based upon are on the shelves already (the first lenses have been announced without uncovering one of their most significant features in the interest of preserving the surprise expected from the conversion service announcement itself). Kudos to Sigma!
  2. This aptitude to master the communication for a photo equipment manufacturer leads me to openly ask the question of the operation of those Internet web sites that make all their business out of publishing (actively and continuously) rumors on the web. Where are their informations coming from? Comparable experience from other industry sectors (i.e. automobile) shows that there are two sources: On the one hand, small-time attention-seekers basing their “leaks” on probable or predictable informations (intelligent analysis easily leads to reliable but unoriginal data) ; On the other hand, brands and manufacturers embed these web sites into their marketing strategies and distill data according to plans and schedules they define.

We keep reading these rumor sites. The newspapers also submit themselves to the tyranny of more or less organized leaks. But we must remember that despite the continuous efforts to appear independent, professional and objective, the information there is either unfounded or mostly directed by the brands (rumor? disinformation? leaks? No! Marketing).