The December 1 event to release new Sigma lenses appears to be just a line of cheaper “Contemporary” lenses in the same vein as the 45mm f/2.8 that sells for $449. Images of the lenses leaked to Nokishita, as they do. Sigma will offer a 24mm f/3.5; a 35mm f/2; and a 65mm f/2, all sharing the same geared look first released with the 45mm.

Some commenters on rumor sites have mistaken the f stop indicators printed on the sides of these lenses for magnification ratios, causing some unwarranted excitement that these might be near-macro lenses. They are not. Those are f stops, as Sigma (oddly) prints them on the lens as a 1:X ratio normally associated with magnification.

One additional leak came Wednesday evening indicating that at least the 24mm version of the new lenses will have a metal hood and magnetic lens cap.

This does constitute a real, honest-to-goodness alternative line of lenses for Sigma. The lens maker – known and criticized for a well-deserved reputation for producing peerless, but very large “soup can of glass” lenses that retail for around $1,000 – now has a junior varsity set of lenses that will satisfy groups looking for something both cheaper and smaller.

Traditional buyers of Sigma Art lenses will likely pass on these, as even though they are cheaper than the Art series, they do not constitute remarkable values. The L-mount users, however, include the Leica market, which seldom has reasonable price alternatives to even slow lenses.