Mr. Yamaki has transformed Sigma since taking over the company from his father, who passed away in 2012. What is remarkable is how quickly he was able to re-make Sigma in his image, pushing Sigma into a top-tier lens manufacturer, competing with the best of the best.
We had a wide-ranging and fascinating discussion on lenses and photography with him. Did you know it costs about US $1.5-2 million dollars in R&D to design a new lens?
In person, Mr. Yamaki is humble and gracious. In stark contrast to most other photographic executives, he is honest, open and unguarded. One can have a real conversation with him, without having to endure empty talking points and corporate speak. And he is the same in the media interviews he gives. Under that gracious exterior, we did sense someone who is driven and focused though.
If I were Zeiss, Angenieux, Fujinon, and Canon, I'd be worried. Sigma's coming for you.