While we consumers all want Sigma, Tamron or Rokinon to come to Canon, Nikon or Fujifilm with electronic support and autofocus, it might not be best for the actual camera brands.
Right now a big selling point of the Sony mirrorless cameras is all the great third-party lenses that are available for the system. Mainly Tamron and Sigma. Just look at the massive list of third-party Sony lenses.
When people email me and we talk about different camera brands, this is usually their #1 reason for choosing Sony over Nikon or Canon, and it’s a very good reason. Can’t blame them either since you should always prioritize lenses over camera bodies.
This is a big reason why I’m sticking with the Nikon Z system for now. I love those sub $1k Z f1.8 S lenses that are weather-sealed and perfectly tuned for video as well as photography and as of last year, nobody offered anything even remotely close. They still don’t.
We can also see from the latest CIPA report that camera companies sell more lenses than they do bodies, with a ratio of about 1.8 lenses to every camera body sold. So lens sales are big money makers for these camera companies.
Having a somewhat closed system like Nikon, Canon, and Fujifilm will assure that they maintain a good cash flow from native lens sales, which allows them to lower the margins of their camera bodies when needed. This is maybe why you often see the Nikon Z 6 selling for less than the Sony A7 III, even though the Z 6 is a vastly superior camera.
Sony sells a lot of third-party lenses and will be in less of a position to make money off lenses since so many Sony shooters are now buying Tamron and Sigma lenses.
The Problem With Allowing Third-Party Lens Companies
What happens when third-party lens companies start making lenses that are better and cheaper than native lenses?
With Sony, that seems to be what’s happening and it could put them in a dangerous position.
Fewer and fewer Sony shooters are actually using Sony lenses. It seems more and more shooters keep gravitating towards those Tamron and Sigma lenses.
Sigma just released a new 85mm f1.4 lens for the Sony E mount. Based on Jarod Polins latest review, it looks like it pretty much blows the Sony GM 85mm f1.4 out of the water in terms of overall performance and in terms of sharpness. Not to mention the price.
The new Sigma 85mm f1.4 essentially renders the 85mm f1.4 Sony GM dead. Nobody will buy the Sony over the GM unless they need weather sealing. At least I wouldn’t and I was seriously considering that GM at one point, glad I waited.
Now Sigma is making camera bodies while still profiting off lenses being sold for Sony bodies.
Check out the new Sigma here
Sigma 85mm f1.4 – BHphoto
Check out Mr. Polin’s comparison here. It’s pretty interesting.
Here is a comparison between the Sigma 85mm f1.4 and the older DLSR version.
One big problem is these lenses have a lot of focus breathing and distortion. A problem Nikon has solved with their S line of lenses.