Sigma says it has shrunk the lens diameter by 4.6mm and cut 11% off the volume compared to its predecessor.

The firm claims it has ‘solved the difficult problem of keeping the size and weight down without compromising optical performance and function’.

It adds: ‘This new lens has been redeveloped as the standard zoom lens… which has higher performance, is even smaller and [has] a lighter weight…’

The Japan-made lens features claimed close-focus shooting down to 39cm and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.

The newcomer is designed to deliver the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 27-300mm zoom.

Optical Stabilization is included in the Canon, Nikon and Sigma-fit lenses, but not in the Sony or Pentax versions.

Sigma has also unveiled a new 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens, as part of its Art series.

Asked how the new 50mm lens differs from the previous version, a Sigma Imaging UK spokesman told AP: ‘The new lens has a different optical construction and higher resolution glass, so is better for newer digital cameras with higher resolution sensors.

‘It’s also cosmetically different and is compatible with the Sigma USB Dock.’

Features include a minimum focusing distance of 40cm and a nine-blade diaphragm.

UK prices and availability had yet to be announced at the time of writing.