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SIGMA Interview – Celebrating 60 Years of Producing Lenses and Cameras

During my recent visit to Japan, I had the chance to talk to Mr. Kazuto Yamaki of SIGMA, the man whose leadership made the company became a beloved and respected lenses and cameras manufacturer. Check out our interview with SIGMA below.

As some of you might already know, in recent years Japan has become a second home to me. And as such, I’m very thankful for being able to speak with various distinguished manufacturers in person. My recent interviews include Yamane-san, Panasonic’s director of imaging business, and Canon’s Go Tokura-san. With SIGMA celebrating 60 years of producing lenses and cameras, I was delighted to interview Kazuto Yamaki-san at his headquarter which is located more than an hour away from Tokyo.

Founder Michihiro Yamaki-san (1979). Image credit: SIGMA

SIGMA is a company you just have to admire. It’s relatively small compared to other Japanese cameras and lenses manufacturers giants, yet very focused on bringing high-quality products at a fair price – made in Japan.

Father, Michihiro Yamaki-san (left) and son, Kazuto Yamaki-san (2010). Image credit: SIGMA

In our talk, Yamaki-san and I spoke about different topics including the history of the company, upcoming plans, the future of the Foveon sensor, and more. I hope you will find this friendly conversation interesting and if you would like to ask SIGMA additional questions, please comment below and we will do our best to communicate it with the manufacturer.

SIGMA Interview Highlights:

  • Michihiro Yamaki-san, the founder of SIGMA was very keen in making the company big but his son Kazuto Yamaki-san is more focused in creating best quality products than company size.
  • The recent pandemic caused SIGMA to discover and start intensely using online marketing tools. Approaching customers diectly is now becoming their prefered way to communicate.
  • The SIGMA fp-L will co-exsist with the original model but of course allow more people to explore additional camera capabilites. Feedback from users is being collected so their next developing steps can be planned.
  • The factory in Aizu is expanding as more machinary for precision manufecturing and quality control is being obtained.
  • Customer support is extremely important to SIGMA. So creating a nice working environment for the customer support team is a must.
  • Quality pancake lenses to suit the small mirrorless camera are not so easy to built, yet SIGMA is constantly exploring new possibilites.
  • SIGMA is getting many requests from filmmakers to create anamorphic lenses.
  • There is also awarness regarding the popularity of FUJIFILM cameras and the need for SIGMA X mount lenses in the market.
  • Japanese companies should consider cooperating in some fields yet keep an healphy competition between them.
  • The development of the Foveon sensor is on-going but video is not a priority here since the amount of data read-out is huge.

I would like to thank Kazuto Yamaki-san for the time and patience in answering my questions!

Visiting SIGMA’s HQ. Credit: CineD

Hope you guys can spare 20 minutes and watch the friendly interview video. Feedback and thoughts that can be passed on to SIGMA is welcomed in the comment section below

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