This here is super cool. A Sigma USB Dock that lets you microadjust your lenses. You just hooked it up to your computer, install the Sigma Optimization Pro software and you are up and running.
I first heard about Sigma’s innovative USB Dock last year at Photokina, and I’ve been dying to know how this amazing accessory works. Well now I have and let me tell you, it’s fantastic. This $60 gadget lets you connect your lens to your computer via USB, and then easily install new firmware and make autofocus microadjustments to tweak lens performance.
The idea of plugging a lens into a computer using a USB port might sound a little strange, at least it did to me. But Sigma’s new Optimization Pro software is very easy to work with and gives you access to parts of your lens that you didn’t have before. Once your lens is plugged into the computer, you can give it the latest firmware, but more importantly, you can also tweak the focus parameters of the lens itself. Pretty cool extension of the micro-adjustment feature offered on some DSLRs.
Sigma also released this video demonstrating how you use the USB Dock software to update and control your lens.
Usually the process of updating your lens firmware is an overly complex one. You have to download the firmware to your computer, install it on an SD card, and then run the card from inside the camera. This new dock and software provide a far more streamlined and easier approach.
The lens autofocus microadjustments also seem to be a major improvement. An untouched territory that will undoubtedly make many photographers lives easier. Not every DSLRs offer in-camera AF microadjustments although many do, and even those that do have confusing interfaces. Moving the process to your computer is a step that should have been taken a long time ago, it makes fixing minor focusing irregularities much much easier — though you’ll still need a focus calibration tool like SpyderLensCal if you want to do it properly.
4 Categories of customization for fixed focal length.
16 Categories of customization for zoom lenses (4 options for focal length) x (4 options for shooting distance).
AF Speed: 3 adjustment modes.
Focus Limiter: Customize auto focus range.
OS: 3 adjustment modes.
The Sigma USB dock is compatible with the following lenses:
- 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
- 30mm F1.4 DC HSM | Art
- 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM | Contemporary
- 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MARO HSM | Contemporary
- 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports
Here is more information from Wikipedia on Sigma
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