“To make money” was the most obvious answer and I thought that was already covered but I appreciate your take on that – why limit your production to only one camera system.
It was only until today that I discovered that Sigma also makes camera bodies… I can’t recall a company making parts for themselves and and a competitor / rival. It’s akin to finding out Chevy also builds parts for their trucks and for Ford, too.
I am more interested in the actual thought process beyond that such as; “here’s a great company that makes great camera body – like us – let’s make lenses for them, too.” Was there a eureka moment that someone had and said “Since we can’t make the best cameras out there, why not we make the best lenses for the best cameras!?”
I like your car example... it is very fitting.
In the camera world you have a couple of big players and a bunch of small players... same as the automotive world. In the automotive world it is very normal for specialty companies to take motors and transmissions from larger companies and to use them in their vehicles... remember Delorean and Bricklin???
I believe Sigma started off making lenses and did not have their own camera at first... the camera came later.
This is not unusual. It's probably unusual for a big company to not bleed into competitors products. Especially the way they buy smaller companies and sell of branches. When i worked for Lucent technologies we looked into buy a smaller company only to find out they were owned by a company we already owned. And we were their major supplier.
2nd, To borrow from your car theme, look at Lotus. They make cars, and they also provide engineering services for their clients including: Ford, Delorean, Vauxhaul, Dodge, Tesla, Austin Martin, Toyota, and I'm getting tired of typing them.
But this is far more common than you think. Sony sells cameras… and sensors to almost everybody who sells cameras. Microsoft sells Operating systems, and products for other operating systems.
But I think the best thing about Sigma is the are the wolves nipping at the heals of Canon and Nikon. Canon and Nikon are spurred to innovate to stay ahead, and keep prices tolerable.