NikonRumors reports it has sources indicating that Sigma will start producing its new mirrorless lens designs in Canon RF and Nikon Z mounts in the coming year.
Sigma previously indicated early in 2020 – before the COVID virus disrupted worldwide manufacturing – that it was going to wait to see what the demand appeared to be for those new mirrorless systems.
The ability to produce lenses for Z mount may differ significantly from the ability to produce a fully functioning lens for the Canon RF mount. When Canon introduced the RF mount, it revealed that there were additional pins available to increase the bandwidth for information going back and forth to the lens, but also that these communications for new lenses were happening over an encrypted protocol. Canon patents indicated an interest in this aspect going back several years, and indeed the RF mount appears to even include new silicon to facilitate this.
It is likely that third party RF-mount lenses will use previously reverse-engineered hardware and software for the EF-mount system. In theory, Canon could foreclose that opportunity by only allowing those EF protocols to be employed when coming through one of the four Canon-manufactured EF-to-RF converters. But that has not been the case to date, as evidenced by the launch of working third party converters.
This uncertainty may have also contributed to Sigma’s wait-and-see stance on Canon and Nikon glass production.
Where Canon’s RF mirrorless lens lineup exploded in the past year, Nikon’s Z-mount lens portfolio remains immature, probably providing more of a market vacuum for a third party manufacturer to fill. Canon’s RF lenses are generally large and expensive, though, and the newer DN Sigma lens series would certainly be attractive to many RF shooters. The Nikon range is also more geared for consumer and prosumer level buyers, so the Sigma Art series could fill many gaps on that side.
Tamron’s Marc Morris indicated in an interview half a year ago that lenses were “under development for both” Canon and Nikon mirrorless mounts. Not long after that comment was reported, however, the video containing it was scrubbed from YouTube.