• Sigma USB Dock for Canon
  • Sigma USB Dock for Canon
  • Sigma USB Dock for Canon
  • Sigma USB Dock for Canon
Sigma USB Dock for Canon
Sigma USB Dock for Canon
Sigma USB Dock for Canon
Sigma USB Dock for Canon

Sigma USB Dock for Canon

SKU:HACBQ5YOS
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Dhs. 305.00
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Dhs. 508.00
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Expected Delivery: 21-28 days

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  • Customize: Autofocus, OS, Focus
  • Compatible with Global Vision Lenses
  • Sigma Optimization Pro software in order to connect a photographers lens to their personal computer to update firmware and other parameters such as focus, and for the Sports category
  • Compatible Lenses 35mm F1.4 DG HSM, 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM / 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO HSM, and 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM
  • The adjustment is processed with special software (SIGMA Optimization Pro).

Customer Reviews

Must have for Sigma Art Lenses I have the Sigma 35mm Art and the Sigma 50mm Art that initially were sharp and spot on as far as focus. After a year or so of use, I noticed that I was missing my focal point, even though the red box on my camera showed that it should have been spot on. Both lenses were front focusing. As a newborn photographer, this was causing me to have to cull lots of shots as my subjects are quit small and I shoot with a very shallow depth of field. Having heard this was a problem but could be solved easily with the Sigma USB Dock, I finally purchased one. Just to note, you will also need a cardboard lens calibration chart. Technically you could use the chart and make the adjustments in your camera but this is much easier. Check out YouTube for videos on the process. After calibration, my lenses are like new. 5Worked well to tune sharpness Sigma 18-300 zoom lense: Now I am happy! Q&A for you: This is a very useful tool for Sigma zoom lens, or for any Sigma lens if your DLSR does not have AF microadjustment. I will answer several questions which you probably are asking yourself:1. Which one to get? "Sigma USB Dock for Canon" means a USB dock for Sigma lenses with Canon mount, i.e, lenses designed to work with Canon cameras. If you own a Canon camera, buy a Sigma USB dock for Canon. If you own a Nikon camera, buy a USB dock for Nikon. Do not forget that this dock only works with Sigma lenses, and only with selected Sigma lenses.2. Does it work with all Sigma lenses? NO! It only only with most Contemporary, Sport and Art series lenses. Sigma web site has up-to-date list of compatible lenses. Search for for "Sigma USB Dock" on Sigma web site, or go to Sigmaphoto web site and navigate from Home to Accessories -> Lens Accessories -> Category: Miscellaneous -> Sigma USB Dock. There, you will find the list of about 26 lenses supported by the dock, a link to download the free software, and link to tutorials. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of that page, below the table with compatible lenses, to find the link to the manual.3. Does not work with Nikon or Canon brand lenses? NO WAY! The dock is just the means for the Sigma software to talk to the electronics in the Sigma lenses. It only works with Sigma brand lenses, and only with selected ones, which have this capability.4. What is lens autofocus (AF) adjustment? Most DSLRs, with the exception of mirrorless ones, have a separate sensor for autofocus. It is possible and happens quite often that due to tolerances in manufacturing of camera bodies (and lenses), the focus which appears to be perfect to the autofocus system turns out to be slightly out of focus on the image sensor. There are two way to adjust for it. High end DLSRs have a so called "AF micro adjustment" (the exact term for it depends on the DSLR brand). This adjustment in the camera itself can even be lens-specific, i.e., you can program your high end camera body with individual AF adjustments for each lens you own. Sigma went one step further, they included AF adjustment into software/firmware of their lenses and provided an option to use different adjustments for different focal lengths. This works great with long range zoom lenses, which may front-focus on low end of the zoom range and back focus on the high end, or the other way around. You get multiple adjustment points instead of a single one on a camera body.5. What does this USB dock do? It enables you to update lens's firmware and to program autofocus correction factors into the lens. It is just an interface between your lens and your computer. Basically, it is a dummy plug which matches your camera brand's mount with contacts to connect to contacts of the lens and with a USB interface.6. Is calibration done automatically? How long does it take? Unfortunately, it is a tedious manual work. The dock is just an interface between your computer and lens's firmware. You do all the work and then use the dock to upload updated parameters into the lens. The dock does not measure anything and does not calibrate anything on its own. You buy a focusing target, install the free Sigma software (free download from Sigma web site), connect your lens, write down the focal lengths and distances from the table provided in the software, then grab your camera, set it on tripod, set it to center point AF, single shot AF, center point metering, set up the camera at one of the four distances listed in the Sigma software (you cannot change those, they are given to you), and take picture of the focusing target for each of the zooms listed in the table (if applicable to your lens) and each of the distances. If it is a single focal length zoom, you will only take 4 images from different distances. If it is a zoom lens, you may have to take as many as 16 images, a matrix of four focal lengths and four distances from the target. Then, you download images from the camera and examine them closely on the computer screen. The AF target has a tilted scale (looks like a ruler) which enables you to make a judgement where the best focus is - is it right at the center, where the focusing plate is, or is it behind the area which you focused on, or in front of it, and by how much the center of the area which is in good focus is shifted relatively to "zero". It is fairly easy to see. Once you've done it, the next step is to enter some numbers into the table in Sigma software. The numbers are in focus units, not in cm or inches. They probably are just steps of the stepping motor in the lens. They do not directly correlate with distances and Sigma does not provide any guidance as to how to correlate what you see in the pictures with required changes to focus parameters. All you know that you should increase the focusing parameter in a positive direction, e.g., from 0 to 5 (the total range of adjustment is from -20 to +20) if your camera front-focuses and you want to move the focal plane further away from the camera, and reduce it (e.g., from 0 to -5) if your camera back-focuses and you need to bring the focal point closer to the camera. Basically, you end up doing bracketing through several iterations, first making large steps and then smaller steps to dial the focus in. With my lens (Sigma 18-300), a focus step was roughly matching 1/2 of a centimeter on the inclined ruler of the focusing target with shorter distances between the lens and the target, but this is a very rough guideline. If you see that focus is off center, change the parameter by 5 units in the proper direction and check in the next round of measurements if this was enough. If not, change again and take more pictures. If you went too far, take a smaller step back. Repeat until you are satisfied. In my case, with Sigma 18-30, it took about 5 hours for 6 iterations for my son and I to complete the task to a reasonable level of satisfaction.7. How do I know that I need to calibrate my Sigma lens? The indications are: soft focus across the whole range, or on the high or low end of the zoom range. Images come with sharp areas not quite where you focused on, i.e., on something a little closer to you or a little further from you than the focal point. Also, if your camera has "live view" (which is focusing using image sensor instead of autofocus sensor), you can compare images taken in live view and in standard mode. If live view images are noticeably sharper, your AF requires tuning.8. Where to find more information on how to do it? Sigma has a manual for the software (fairly lousy, I must say) and a tutorial video. I found videos posted by Digital Goja very helpful. Those can be found by Googling for "Dijital Goja Sigma USB dock video". Finally, an article which can be found by its title, "Lens Calibration Explained" (just copy this into Google) was very useful to me to understand what I was supposed to do and why. This article does not explain the Sigma USB dock (instead, it discusses adjustments of AF on the camera body), but is very helpful to understand the rest of the process and tools needed.9. Do I need anything else, beyond the Dock? You need a DSLRKIT or any other lens focus calibration tool. You can get it from Amazon for $6 - $9, or even download drawings from the Internet and make a target from cardboard at zero cost. You need a tripod to mount your camera. You need a source of bright light to illuminate your target if you do it indoors (you can do it outside and use sunlight). You need a tape measure to measure distance from the target to the camera. Finally, for measurements with "Infinity" distance, you need to find something relatively small across the street, like a house number or something. With "Infinity", there is no inclined ruler on the focusing target to access where the focal point is, you go by sequential trial of several settings and comparison of images.10. How do I deal with measurements at "Infinity"? I just took pictures at several values of parameters entered into Sigma sofware (like 0 , 5, and 10) and compared the pictures, to find the sharpest. You cannot use the target at Infinity (they are too small - of course you can make your own giant one!), and might struggle at 20 feet, too. Just take pictures of something with sharp contrast and small to medium features at several focus correction parameter values, compare them, and identify the best sharpness setting.11. Is the process of calibration worth it? If you suspect that your lens is not a sharp as it should be, this USB dock will take your lens to the next level. The difference is between you being frustrated about your purchase and being happy. At least, this is how I felt before and after calibration. I changed from "I may have to return this lens, my cell phone shoots much sharper pictures" to "It works very well" within 5 hours. Some vendors sell USB Dock in package with Sigma lenses.12. What is in the box? USB dock, a USB cable, warranty card, and some kind of manual which I did not even open.13. How to set the camera for shooting test images? Very important! Single point (center) AF. Center point metering. Single shot AF. ISO set to a low value, e.g., 100 or 200 to reduce noise in the images (helps to see the sharpness level better). Shoot in Aperture priority mode with F-stop set to the lowest possible value allowed by the lens for a given focal length.14. Which Sigma lenses benefit most from AF tuning? Long range zoom lenses (which may back-focus on one end of the zoom range and front-focuse on the other end) and very bright lenses with very low values of F stop, like 1.2 or 1.5, which have a very shallow depth of focus.15. Do only Sigma lenses require tuning of autofocus? Apparently, no. Apparently, all lenses of all brands can benefit from it. All pro level cameras have a single-parameter AF tuning built into the DSLR bodies. Sigma is different in that it took one extra step forward and created a solution for tuning across the whole range of zoom. This increases the precision of tuning. No other manufacturer offers USB dock for lenses. Sigma dock does not work with any other brands of lenses. Not even with older Sigma lenses. It is a very new technology.16. Do I need to have a Pro level Camera to feel the difference, or need to use a USB Dock? As I learned it hard way, it is just the other way around: if you have an entry or mid level camera (I bought Canon Rebel T7i) which does not have a micro adjustment of autofocus, tuning of the lens with USB dock is the only option, short of replacing the lens over and over again until you find the best match to your body. It is a combination of body and the lens that determines sharpness. The same lens may be perfectly sharp on DSLR body A and not sharp on DLSR body B. Go figure.17. Is it just the lens that determines if focus needs be tuned? No, it is a combination of the lens and the body. The thing is, most DSLR (with the exception of mirrorless DSLRs, which never need focus tuning) have a separate sensor for autofocusing, with an additional mirror which redirects the light from the lens to the autofocus sensor instead of the image sensor. If the distance which light has to travel to the autofocus sensor is different than the distance to the image sensor, just by a tiny amount, the AF sensor will decide that the image is perfectly focused, but the image sensor will see a blurry image. Lens might also have manufacturing tolerances which could contribute to operation of autofocus. The end result depends on combination of individual parameters of lens and body. Lens A may be super sharp on body X but not on body Y.18. If I have a micro-AF adjustment on my DSLR, do I need to use the Sigma Dock with my Sigma lens in addition to adjustment on the body? MAYBE. The best way to find out is to try. If you can achieve good result with adjustment on the body, no need to bother with USB dock. With a zoom lens, you will find that you have more flexibility with tuning the focus for different focal lengths and for different distances to the target using a Sigma Dock.18. Final comments. Some vendors include USB dock in a package with Sigma lens. This way, one can get it at no or little added cost. It is beneficial to get a dock along with your compatible Sigma lens, then to find out that you need it as an after-fact. Tuning the focus with Sigma Dock does not void the warranty and is fully reversible. There is a button in the software to go back to factory defaults (which coincidentally are all zeros). Sigma Dock is also useful as it enables you to update lens firmware whenever a new version of firmware becomes available. You need only one dock for all of your dock-compatible Sigma lenses. 5Everything to calibrate your sigma lens.... Below description is everything to calibrate your lens. WATCH FULL RESOLUTION VIDEO ON YOU-TUBE PAGE.So, you got your sigma lens but your pictures are coming out of focus. Well, you can calibrate your auto focus using a Sigma USB dock. Although you can make slight correction using your camera s inner AF adjustment, sigma gives you flexibility to micro-adjust some of their lens series.I got my 18-35 f1.8 art series lens and I knew that it has some focusing issue, so I bought sigma USB dock and here is how I adjusted my auto focus. To calibrate your lens, you will need a sigma USB dock, lens focus calibration tool, you can get this from amazon for about 4-5$, a steady tripod bubble level, measurement tape and yeah..some patience.First decide your working area, put lens calibration tool on the steady surface and level it. Now put your camera on a steady tripod and level it using your tripod leveler and adjust the height so that it focuses exactly on the calibration tool surface where you will be focusing.Sigma software has 4 different focus distances where you have to adjust your focus, each distance can be adjusted from values between 1 to 20. And if you have a zoom lens like me, you will have to adjust the same thing 4 times at different focal length yeah, patience. Before starting any process, download the software, connect your lens using USB Dock and update your latest firmware.Now, use measure tape and set your first focal distance as accurate as you can from film plane, also use as much light as you can. Put your camera into AF mode, use your Optical View finder and use only center focusing point, choose lowest ISO and lowest number or widest aperture of the lens before taking a picture. Now, we are ready to take our first picture. If you have DSLR with a good LCD, you can zoom in on ruler and see whether your lens is front focusing or back focusing. Here in my picture as you can see, it should focus exactly on zero but it is back focusing a little. Disconnect your lens from the camera, attach it to USB dock and adjust the value to in positive values.I would suggest you to start with plus or minus five intervals every time and when you get close focusing value, start looking your pictures in your computer and adjust the values. If you cannot get your value in between 20 points, you might need to replace your lens but if you can t find the exact number, just give it one more try and there will be a closest number for every focal distance.Choose a proper place, you want to do this as comfortable as you can since it is boring and long. I would also suggest to do one focal distance at different focal length and once you complete one focal distance, take some test shots which you are familiar with in range of that focal distance. Use self timer or remote shutter for steady shots.Once you start to shoot at longer focus distance at wider focal length, it gets little confusing since your baseline, in my case 0 will be in focus anyway. At this point, start bracketing your adjacent lines and work with them. If you upper next line is more in focused and but next below one is not, then your lens is back focusing.Also, if you want to take a reference picture at long focal length, put your camera on manual mode, and adjust your focus using digital zoom and take picture. This will give you a good idea, how sharp your picture should be.Infinity is where things get little difficult since calibration tool won t be helpful much, I tried to focus distance houses but then I used the longest distance around my working with a big cross mark I made manually. Remember, always use as much light as you can and use lowest ISO you can.Test if after every focal distance and you will get your tunes lens ready to use. Here are some of my picture around me taken using AF after tuning the lens. 5Must have if you have one of Sigma Art series lenses. This thing is a must have with the Art series lenses. All three of the ones I own had TERRIBLE focus out of the box. They all either front or back focused so bad it was outside what my Canon 5D IV could calibrate for. After updating the firmware with this and make some very minor adjustments (+/- 3), all three lenses are amazingly sharp and my favorite lenses. Skip the Canon L glass, get an Art series lens, update the firmware, and get amazing photos.The only reason I only gave it four stars for easy to use is because of how it checks for updates every single time you put the lens on it. When you're going back and forth making micro adjustments this is really annoying. Not a huge deal, though. 5Does its job I am very happy that I have purchased it.I calibrated my Sigma 18-35 (Nikon mount) using this dock. It was very easy but, at the same time, quite tedious. Having a zoom lens you have 16 values to adjust. For me the whole process took 4 hours or so.To facilitate the calibration it is good to have a ruler or a measure so that you could determine how much off the focus of your lens is.Basically you need to take a test shots at 4 focal lengths at each of 4 distances determined in the software. For all distances except infinity I always took 2 shots for any of these settings: first one in live view and second one with viewfinder, so that by comparing them I could easily determine how much off the AF was (I, therefore, took 24 shots for one test - 12 in lv and 12 in vf).The most difficult to determine for me were the values at infinity. The best method is to autofocus on a distant subject using viewfinder. Then switch the focus to manual and using magnification in live view determine whether it is correct or maybe front- or backfocuses.Then you guess the values needed for adjustement, calibrate it and give it another test (24 shots + test at infinity). After the second test, by comparing the results from 1st and 2nd test, you pretty much know how the values adjusted in Sigma optimization software affect the autofocus. You do simple math and adjust the values again in the software. And take one more test. At that point, if you were accurate enough, you will not need any adjustement greater than +/-2. You repeat the whole procedure until you are happy with your results. Nevertheless, the whole process is not as tedious as some would say. Contrary to the all opinions I have read, I do not recommend to adjust only one value at any given time. It will take forever and is no more accurate. I adjusted all 16 values every single time I connected my lens to the dock (of course, as long as they needed to be adjusted). It depends on your lens but after the first calibration you may already get some correct values. After the second calibration almost half of them should be already correct. Basically, you should have perfectly calibrated lens after 5 connections to the dock.My lens was extremely backfocusing. It was simply unusable without calibration. I needed the following adjustements:For 18mm: -12, -20, -15, -10For 24mm: -8, -14, -15, -10For 28mm: -5, -14, -15, -10For 35mm: -4, -14, -15, -10This dock has redeemed my lens. It is not cheap but it has great value for what it does. Note that partially for the problem is resposible my camera which also backfocuses. It was not only the lens which had backfocus issue.EDIT:Unfortunately, even after calibration the problem was not solved completely. The dock allowed me to adjust focus at distances 0.28m, 0.35m, 0.5m and infinity. It works with these distances. However when shooting at most common distances (say 2-4m) it still backfocuses. To minimize the problem I adjusted the values at 0.5m from -15 to max -20. This way the lens frontfocuses slightly at 0.4m-0.8m and then backfocuses for subjects more than 0.8m away. For more distant subjects (more than 10m away) my settings work very well.I wish Sigma update their software or lens so that it would be possible to calibrate the lens at distances between 0.5m and infinity.EDIT2:After 4 months I upgraded my camera. Just as I suspected, the problem was my Nikon camera D5300, not Sigma lens. On my Nikon D7200 the lens works perfectly. It does not require any significant adjustement because pictures are so sharp. I reset all the values back to 0. 4Priced pretty cheap for what it offers! The USB dock is nothing short of incredible. I have been able to fine tune my new Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 lens to provide consistent and incredibly sharp photos at any aperture and any distance. The cost of this item, even for just 1 lens, is well worth it.Do to the quality of the new lens and the adjustments I've been able to make with the USB dock, I plan on purchasing more Sigma lenses in the future that will work with the dock. There are rumors of a 24mm f/1.4 Art--I plan on getting one if it the rumors are true. I have no doubt it will be great.NOTE: I noticed a slight quirk with my lens that doesn't seem to apply to other user experiences... Any adjustment, plus or minus, made to the furthest adjustment value can affect previously adjusted values at closer ranges. Due to this, I make the adjustment to the furthest allowed value FIRST, then adjust from there making sure the other values stay (which they do). I wonder if it's a software quirk, or that the max distance value affects how much adjustment the other distances need? 5Become a sharp shooter? This item was absolutely needed to correct the front/back focusing issue with my Sigma 18-35 f1/8 lens. I always knew the focus "looked" off, but wasn't able to correct the issue under purchasing the USB dock. Kind of pricey considering the investment of the lens itself, and the fact that I only own 1 compatible Sigma lens, but hey...the 18-35 is my go-to lens so it needs to be as sharp as possible.The calibration process can be pretty tedious if you calibrate all focus length ranges with varying distances from focusing target, but it's well-worth the effort. I'd say the most tedious part is having to take a photo, check image, calibrate, then take another photo...then repeat process 3-15 times more depending on how much you choose to calibrate.Overall, I'm happy but wish it worked with ALL Sigma glass.P.S. This is also needed in order to update the lens firmware. 5A brilliant idea by Sigma This is equivalent to reviewing a movie. The details of the delivery media (say a DVD) is much less interesting than the movie itself. The hardware, in this case the USB Dock you're considering purchasing, just works as expected. You attach it to your supported lens and plug it in to your computer. Settings you make in the software is transferred to your lens. End of story.This review focuses on the entire solution, particularly the software - its design and how well it addresses the problem at hand.Top camera bodies from Nikon and Canon (and possibly others) support lens focus fine-tunning. Notice that, due to fabrication tolerances, this fine-tuning is necessary to match a particular lens to a particular camera body. I have tunned all my lenses and can attest that it does make noticeable difference in image quality.The problem is: You can only set one value per lens.Say your body/lens combination backfocuses. You set a negative value, essentially telling the camera to front focus a bit to compensate. That works well for a prime lens, but not for zooms. What if the zoom back focuses at the short end of the range but front focuses at the long end?Sigma had a brilliant idea: move the tuning process away from the constraints of the camera and into a computer where it can be done properly. Not only it allows fine-tuning the focus, it also allows one to customize a (supported) lens for different behaviors. In the case of my Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 there are 2 variables, namelyAutofocus={speed priority (fast, a bit jumpy), accuracy priority (smooth but slower), default (somewhere in between)}andOptical Stabilization (OS)={heavy, light},for a total of 6 possible combinations. You'll need this dock and the accompanying software to set your preferred custom behavior into the lens.There is a third function: one can update the firmware in the lens using this dock. Firmware in a lens... that's a first for me. The fact that they had to put microprocessors in a lens to implement this in-lens customization (and thus needing firmware updates) should be transparent to the user. So I won't count this firmware update function as neither a pro nor a con.It must be noted that Sigma's solution surpasses the current state of the art (from Nikon/Canon/etc), in that you can set not only one but at least 4, and up to 16 values, depending on whether the lens is a prime or a zoom. The price for this much flexibility and control is the escalating amount of trial and error steps (set in computer, test on camera, repeat...). It's almost overwhelming and addictive. And I like it.The software (not supplied with the dock, but it's a free download) is well executed, with a simple and intuitive presentation.There are some defects here and there, mostly text that get truncated because they don't fit in a window panel that can't be resized. Fortunately, one can bring up the help and read the message in its entirety there. I'd say the software is so intuitive that there's really no need for help at all. Most of the text in the help is a copy of the text you see in the software anyways. It would've been nice if they elaborated/reworded what you see on the software panels. For example, when setting the OS customization, you can pick from Dynamic View Mode ("This mode offers a recognizable OS effect to the image in the viewfinder. This helps to ensure the composition of images quickly.") or Moderate View Mode ("This mode offers an excellent compensation of camera shake, and achieves very smooth transition of the image in the viewfinder. The composition of the image remains natural even when the angle of view keeps changing."). The explanation in the help is exactly the same as in the software. Can you tell which mode has more OS and which has less? I used the terms "heavy" and "light" above, which are more descriptive than "Dynamic" and "Moderate". If you want to know... Dynamic View=heavy and Moderate View=light.The one con that I can think of is this: while the software automatically recognizes which Sigma lens you docked, it has no knowledge of which camera you intend to use the lens on. The software stores only one setting for each lens. It would be nice if Sigma were to add the ability to memorize several settings for a particular lens (each corresponding to different cameras) so that they can be easily and quickly recalled and loaded into the lens.On the whole, I'd say this USB Dock is likely a must have item if you want to get the most out of your Sigma lens, especially a zoom lens (like the 120-300mm f/2.8).This is the best tutorial on how to use the Sigma Optimization Pro software that I know of.http://vimeo.com/64665246Update 4/01/2014: Sigma has since introduced 7 new lenses (including the 3 for mirrorless cameras) and none of them support/use this dock. I don't know why they've chosen that route, but the end result is that, at this time the value proposition of this dock isn't what Sigma suggested it would be.I'm changing my review from 5 to 4 stars until I see more lenses compatible with this device.Update 9/14/2014: Per Sigma's website[...] all 8 (A, C, S) lenses support this dock. Only the mirrorless series of lenses don't support this dock (I don't know why that must be the case; it seems like it'd be a good idea for all lenses to be focus fine tune-able, mirrorless or not).They must have forgotten to update that site last time I checked, which led me to my conclusion in the previous update. Their site has been corrected now.I'm changing my rating back to 5 stars. 5Recommended companion to Sigma's newer lenses I got the 30mm f/1.4 Art and while the focus seemed okay at first, it was clear after a couple of outings my keeper rate was pretty low. When it was in focus it was sharp, it just was usually a bit blurry.After some research, my options were either to send the lens in to Sigma (some folks say they need your camera too) or get this thing. Even though the focus issues are covered by warranty, you still have to pay for insured shipping each way. With that in mind, the dock seemed a little less unreasonable in price. Besides, I like tinkering with things.It took me about an hour and a half of work to dial in the right values, though an hour of that was pretty ineffective. The thing is, they just give you the dock and you download the software, and there is no official recommended way to come up with the adjustment values. I recommend browsing around for focus calibration tutorials. What ended up working the best for me was to be in a bright room at relatively high (but not too grainy) iso, and have a tape measure leaning against a wall at an angle. Then I focused in at the 1ft marker at various distances. After several iterations of trial and error I was happy with the focus at all the adjustable distances, I ended up with +1, +10, +8, +9 from closest to furthest. There are specialized devices, which have a ruler at an angle and something to aim at, and can even be mounted to tripods, but they are pretty expensive for what they do.What would bring this dock up to a 5 star, must have is if Sigma threw in a focus calibration device to accompany it and a guide on how they recommend you do it, a video on the website at least!There are other comments about the choices of adjustable distances (in this case .3m, .4m, .6m, and infinity), but that is how lens focus works, if you look at the range finder, those distances are spaced equally apart. It seems weird, but gives you the best coverage for the entire lens range. 4Bundle it with the ART lenses! This is such a useful accessory for anyone that's purchased high end Sigma lenses. I've been using the 35mm F1.4 ART lens on my D750 & D700 with the micro adjustments in the camera. However, the lens was useless on my F100 film body. Also, if you have a digital body that doesn't have adjustments, you're out of luck. Not to forget, making adjustments on multiple bodies is a pain! With this dock, the adjustments are written into the firmware, which means, it should work well on all your bodies! 5
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Description
  • Customize: Autofocus, OS, Focus
  • Compatible with Global Vision Lenses
  • Sigma Optimization Pro software in order to connect a photographers lens to their personal computer to update firmware and other parameters such as focus, and for the Sports category
  • Compatible Lenses 35mm F1.4 DG HSM, 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM / 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO HSM, and 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM
  • The adjustment is processed with special software (SIGMA Optimization Pro).
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Must have for Sigma Art Lenses I have the Sigma 35mm Art and the Sigma 50mm Art that initially were sharp and spot on as far as focus. After a year or so of use, I noticed that I was missing my focal point, even though the red box on my camera showed that it should have been spot on. Both lenses were front focusing. As a newborn photographer, this was causing me to have to cull lots of shots as my subjects are quit small and I shoot with a very shallow depth of field. Having heard this was a problem but could be solved easily with the Sigma USB Dock, I finally purchased one. Just to note, you will also need a cardboard lens calibration chart. Technically you could use the chart and make the adjustments in your camera but this is much easier. Check out YouTube for videos on the process. After calibration, my lenses are like new. 5Worked well to tune sharpness Sigma 18-300 zoom lense: Now I am happy! Q&A for you: This is a very useful tool for Sigma zoom lens, or for any Sigma lens if your DLSR does not have AF microadjustment. I will answer several questions which you probably are asking yourself:1. Which one to get? "Sigma USB Dock for Canon" means a USB dock for Sigma lenses with Canon mount, i.e, lenses designed to work with Canon cameras. If you own a Canon camera, buy a Sigma USB dock for Canon. If you own a Nikon camera, buy a USB dock for Nikon. Do not forget that this dock only works with Sigma lenses, and only with selected Sigma lenses.2. Does it work with all Sigma lenses? NO! It only only with most Contemporary, Sport and Art series lenses. Sigma web site has up-to-date list of compatible lenses. Search for for "Sigma USB Dock" on Sigma web site, or go to Sigmaphoto web site and navigate from Home to Accessories -> Lens Accessories -> Category: Miscellaneous -> Sigma USB Dock. There, you will find the list of about 26 lenses supported by the dock, a link to download the free software, and link to tutorials. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of that page, below the table with compatible lenses, to find the link to the manual.3. Does not work with Nikon or Canon brand lenses? NO WAY! The dock is just the means for the Sigma software to talk to the electronics in the Sigma lenses. It only works with Sigma brand lenses, and only with selected ones, which have this capability.4. What is lens autofocus (AF) adjustment? Most DSLRs, with the exception of mirrorless ones, have a separate sensor for autofocus. It is possible and happens quite often that due to tolerances in manufacturing of camera bodies (and lenses), the focus which appears to be perfect to the autofocus system turns out to be slightly out of focus on the image sensor. There are two way to adjust for it. High end DLSRs have a so called "AF micro adjustment" (the exact term for it depends on the DSLR brand). This adjustment in the camera itself can even be lens-specific, i.e., you can program your high end camera body with individual AF adjustments for each lens you own. Sigma went one step further, they included AF adjustment into software/firmware of their lenses and provided an option to use different adjustments for different focal lengths. This works great with long range zoom lenses, which may front-focus on low end of the zoom range and back focus on the high end, or the other way around. You get multiple adjustment points instead of a single one on a camera body.5. What does this USB dock do? It enables you to update lens's firmware and to program autofocus correction factors into the lens. It is just an interface between your lens and your computer. Basically, it is a dummy plug which matches your camera brand's mount with contacts to connect to contacts of the lens and with a USB interface.6. Is calibration done automatically? How long does it take? Unfortunately, it is a tedious manual work. The dock is just an interface between your computer and lens's firmware. You do all the work and then use the dock to upload updated parameters into the lens. The dock does not measure anything and does not calibrate anything on its own. You buy a focusing target, install the free Sigma software (free download from Sigma web site), connect your lens, write down the focal lengths and distances from the table provided in the software, then grab your camera, set it on tripod, set it to center point AF, single shot AF, center point metering, set up the camera at one of the four distances listed in the Sigma software (you cannot change those, they are given to you), and take picture of the focusing target for each of the zooms listed in the table (if applicable to your lens) and each of the distances. If it is a single focal length zoom, you will only take 4 images from different distances. If it is a zoom lens, you may have to take as many as 16 images, a matrix of four focal lengths and four distances from the target. Then, you download images from the camera and examine them closely on the computer screen. The AF target has a tilted scale (looks like a ruler) which enables you to make a judgement where the best focus is - is it right at the center, where the focusing plate is, or is it behind the area which you focused on, or in front of it, and by how much the center of the area which is in good focus is shifted relatively to "zero". It is fairly easy to see. Once you've done it, the next step is to enter some numbers into the table in Sigma software. The numbers are in focus units, not in cm or inches. They probably are just steps of the stepping motor in the lens. They do not directly correlate with distances and Sigma does not provide any guidance as to how to correlate what you see in the pictures with required changes to focus parameters. All you know that you should increase the focusing parameter in a positive direction, e.g., from 0 to 5 (the total range of adjustment is from -20 to +20) if your camera front-focuses and you want to move the focal plane further away from the camera, and reduce it (e.g., from 0 to -5) if your camera back-focuses and you need to bring the focal point closer to the camera. Basically, you end up doing bracketing through several iterations, first making large steps and then smaller steps to dial the focus in. With my lens (Sigma 18-300), a focus step was roughly matching 1/2 of a centimeter on the inclined ruler of the focusing target with shorter distances between the lens and the target, but this is a very rough guideline. If you see that focus is off center, change the parameter by 5 units in the proper direction and check in the next round of measurements if this was enough. If not, change again and take more pictures. If you went too far, take a smaller step back. Repeat until you are satisfied. In my case, with Sigma 18-30, it took about 5 hours for 6 iterations for my son and I to complete the task to a reasonable level of satisfaction.7. How do I know that I need to calibrate my Sigma lens? The indications are: soft focus across the whole range, or on the high or low end of the zoom range. Images come with sharp areas not quite where you focused on, i.e., on something a little closer to you or a little further from you than the focal point. Also, if your camera has "live view" (which is focusing using image sensor instead of autofocus sensor), you can compare images taken in live view and in standard mode. If live view images are noticeably sharper, your AF requires tuning.8. Where to find more information on how to do it? Sigma has a manual for the software (fairly lousy, I must say) and a tutorial video. I found videos posted by Digital Goja very helpful. Those can be found by Googling for "Dijital Goja Sigma USB dock video". Finally, an article which can be found by its title, "Lens Calibration Explained" (just copy this into Google) was very useful to me to understand what I was supposed to do and why. This article does not explain the Sigma USB dock (instead, it discusses adjustments of AF on the camera body), but is very helpful to understand the rest of the process and tools needed.9. Do I need anything else, beyond the Dock? You need a DSLRKIT or any other lens focus calibration tool. You can get it from Amazon for $6 - $9, or even download drawings from the Internet and make a target from cardboard at zero cost. You need a tripod to mount your camera. You need a source of bright light to illuminate your target if you do it indoors (you can do it outside and use sunlight). You need a tape measure to measure distance from the target to the camera. Finally, for measurements with "Infinity" distance, you need to find something relatively small across the street, like a house number or something. With "Infinity", there is no inclined ruler on the focusing target to access where the focal point is, you go by sequential trial of several settings and comparison of images.10. How do I deal with measurements at "Infinity"? I just took pictures at several values of parameters entered into Sigma sofware (like 0 , 5, and 10) and compared the pictures, to find the sharpest. You cannot use the target at Infinity (they are too small - of course you can make your own giant one!), and might struggle at 20 feet, too. Just take pictures of something with sharp contrast and small to medium features at several focus correction parameter values, compare them, and identify the best sharpness setting.11. Is the process of calibration worth it? If you suspect that your lens is not a sharp as it should be, this USB dock will take your lens to the next level. The difference is between you being frustrated about your purchase and being happy. At least, this is how I felt before and after calibration. I changed from "I may have to return this lens, my cell phone shoots much sharper pictures" to "It works very well" within 5 hours. Some vendors sell USB Dock in package with Sigma lenses.12. What is in the box? USB dock, a USB cable, warranty card, and some kind of manual which I did not even open.13. How to set the camera for shooting test images? Very important! Single point (center) AF. Center point metering. Single shot AF. ISO set to a low value, e.g., 100 or 200 to reduce noise in the images (helps to see the sharpness level better). Shoot in Aperture priority mode with F-stop set to the lowest possible value allowed by the lens for a given focal length.14. Which Sigma lenses benefit most from AF tuning? Long range zoom lenses (which may back-focus on one end of the zoom range and front-focuse on the other end) and very bright lenses with very low values of F stop, like 1.2 or 1.5, which have a very shallow depth of focus.15. Do only Sigma lenses require tuning of autofocus? Apparently, no. Apparently, all lenses of all brands can benefit from it. All pro level cameras have a single-parameter AF tuning built into the DSLR bodies. Sigma is different in that it took one extra step forward and created a solution for tuning across the whole range of zoom. This increases the precision of tuning. No other manufacturer offers USB dock for lenses. Sigma dock does not work with any other brands of lenses. Not even with older Sigma lenses. It is a very new technology.16. Do I need to have a Pro level Camera to feel the difference, or need to use a USB Dock? As I learned it hard way, it is just the other way around: if you have an entry or mid level camera (I bought Canon Rebel T7i) which does not have a micro adjustment of autofocus, tuning of the lens with USB dock is the only option, short of replacing the lens over and over again until you find the best match to your body. It is a combination of body and the lens that determines sharpness. The same lens may be perfectly sharp on DSLR body A and not sharp on DLSR body B. Go figure.17. Is it just the lens that determines if focus needs be tuned? No, it is a combination of the lens and the body. The thing is, most DSLR (with the exception of mirrorless DSLRs, which never need focus tuning) have a separate sensor for autofocusing, with an additional mirror which redirects the light from the lens to the autofocus sensor instead of the image sensor. If the distance which light has to travel to the autofocus sensor is different than the distance to the image sensor, just by a tiny amount, the AF sensor will decide that the image is perfectly focused, but the image sensor will see a blurry image. Lens might also have manufacturing tolerances which could contribute to operation of autofocus. The end result depends on combination of individual parameters of lens and body. Lens A may be super sharp on body X but not on body Y.18. If I have a micro-AF adjustment on my DSLR, do I need to use the Sigma Dock with my Sigma lens in addition to adjustment on the body? MAYBE. The best way to find out is to try. If you can achieve good result with adjustment on the body, no need to bother with USB dock. With a zoom lens, you will find that you have more flexibility with tuning the focus for different focal lengths and for different distances to the target using a Sigma Dock.18. Final comments. Some vendors include USB dock in a package with Sigma lens. This way, one can get it at no or little added cost. It is beneficial to get a dock along with your compatible Sigma lens, then to find out that you need it as an after-fact. Tuning the focus with Sigma Dock does not void the warranty and is fully reversible. There is a button in the software to go back to factory defaults (which coincidentally are all zeros). Sigma Dock is also useful as it enables you to update lens firmware whenever a new version of firmware becomes available. You need only one dock for all of your dock-compatible Sigma lenses. 5Everything to calibrate your sigma lens.... Below description is everything to calibrate your lens. WATCH FULL RESOLUTION VIDEO ON YOU-TUBE PAGE.So, you got your sigma lens but your pictures are coming out of focus. Well, you can calibrate your auto focus using a Sigma USB dock. Although you can make slight correction using your camera s inner AF adjustment, sigma gives you flexibility to micro-adjust some of their lens series.I got my 18-35 f1.8 art series lens and I knew that it has some focusing issue, so I bought sigma USB dock and here is how I adjusted my auto focus. To calibrate your lens, you will need a sigma USB dock, lens focus calibration tool, you can get this from amazon for about 4-5$, a steady tripod bubble level, measurement tape and yeah..some patience.First decide your working area, put lens calibration tool on the steady surface and level it. Now put your camera on a steady tripod and level it using your tripod leveler and adjust the height so that it focuses exactly on the calibration tool surface where you will be focusing.Sigma software has 4 different focus distances where you have to adjust your focus, each distance can be adjusted from values between 1 to 20. And if you have a zoom lens like me, you will have to adjust the same thing 4 times at different focal length yeah, patience. Before starting any process, download the software, connect your lens using USB Dock and update your latest firmware.Now, use measure tape and set your first focal distance as accurate as you can from film plane, also use as much light as you can. Put your camera into AF mode, use your Optical View finder and use only center focusing point, choose lowest ISO and lowest number or widest aperture of the lens before taking a picture. Now, we are ready to take our first picture. If you have DSLR with a good LCD, you can zoom in on ruler and see whether your lens is front focusing or back focusing. Here in my picture as you can see, it should focus exactly on zero but it is back focusing a little. Disconnect your lens from the camera, attach it to USB dock and adjust the value to in positive values.I would suggest you to start with plus or minus five intervals every time and when you get close focusing value, start looking your pictures in your computer and adjust the values. If you cannot get your value in between 20 points, you might need to replace your lens but if you can t find the exact number, just give it one more try and there will be a closest number for every focal distance.Choose a proper place, you want to do this as comfortable as you can since it is boring and long. I would also suggest to do one focal distance at different focal length and once you complete one focal distance, take some test shots which you are familiar with in range of that focal distance. Use self timer or remote shutter for steady shots.Once you start to shoot at longer focus distance at wider focal length, it gets little confusing since your baseline, in my case 0 will be in focus anyway. At this point, start bracketing your adjacent lines and work with them. If you upper next line is more in focused and but next below one is not, then your lens is back focusing.Also, if you want to take a reference picture at long focal length, put your camera on manual mode, and adjust your focus using digital zoom and take picture. This will give you a good idea, how sharp your picture should be.Infinity is where things get little difficult since calibration tool won t be helpful much, I tried to focus distance houses but then I used the longest distance around my working with a big cross mark I made manually. Remember, always use as much light as you can and use lowest ISO you can.Test if after every focal distance and you will get your tunes lens ready to use. Here are some of my picture around me taken using AF after tuning the lens. 5Must have if you have one of Sigma Art series lenses. This thing is a must have with the Art series lenses. All three of the ones I own had TERRIBLE focus out of the box. They all either front or back focused so bad it was outside what my Canon 5D IV could calibrate for. After updating the firmware with this and make some very minor adjustments (+/- 3), all three lenses are amazingly sharp and my favorite lenses. Skip the Canon L glass, get an Art series lens, update the firmware, and get amazing photos.The only reason I only gave it four stars for easy to use is because of how it checks for updates every single time you put the lens on it. When you're going back and forth making micro adjustments this is really annoying. Not a huge deal, though. 5Does its job I am very happy that I have purchased it.I calibrated my Sigma 18-35 (Nikon mount) using this dock. It was very easy but, at the same time, quite tedious. Having a zoom lens you have 16 values to adjust. For me the whole process took 4 hours or so.To facilitate the calibration it is good to have a ruler or a measure so that you could determine how much off the focus of your lens is.Basically you need to take a test shots at 4 focal lengths at each of 4 distances determined in the software. For all distances except infinity I always took 2 shots for any of these settings: first one in live view and second one with viewfinder, so that by comparing them I could easily determine how much off the AF was (I, therefore, took 24 shots for one test - 12 in lv and 12 in vf).The most difficult to determine for me were the values at infinity. The best method is to autofocus on a distant subject using viewfinder. Then switch the focus to manual and using magnification in live view determine whether it is correct or maybe front- or backfocuses.Then you guess the values needed for adjustement, calibrate it and give it another test (24 shots + test at infinity). After the second test, by comparing the results from 1st and 2nd test, you pretty much know how the values adjusted in Sigma optimization software affect the autofocus. You do simple math and adjust the values again in the software. And take one more test. At that point, if you were accurate enough, you will not need any adjustement greater than +/-2. You repeat the whole procedure until you are happy with your results. Nevertheless, the whole process is not as tedious as some would say. Contrary to the all opinions I have read, I do not recommend to adjust only one value at any given time. It will take forever and is no more accurate. I adjusted all 16 values every single time I connected my lens to the dock (of course, as long as they needed to be adjusted). It depends on your lens but after the first calibration you may already get some correct values. After the second calibration almost half of them should be already correct. Basically, you should have perfectly calibrated lens after 5 connections to the dock.My lens was extremely backfocusing. It was simply unusable without calibration. I needed the following adjustements:For 18mm: -12, -20, -15, -10For 24mm: -8, -14, -15, -10For 28mm: -5, -14, -15, -10For 35mm: -4, -14, -15, -10This dock has redeemed my lens. It is not cheap but it has great value for what it does. Note that partially for the problem is resposible my camera which also backfocuses. It was not only the lens which had backfocus issue.EDIT:Unfortunately, even after calibration the problem was not solved completely. The dock allowed me to adjust focus at distances 0.28m, 0.35m, 0.5m and infinity. It works with these distances. However when shooting at most common distances (say 2-4m) it still backfocuses. To minimize the problem I adjusted the values at 0.5m from -15 to max -20. This way the lens frontfocuses slightly at 0.4m-0.8m and then backfocuses for subjects more than 0.8m away. For more distant subjects (more than 10m away) my settings work very well.I wish Sigma update their software or lens so that it would be possible to calibrate the lens at distances between 0.5m and infinity.EDIT2:After 4 months I upgraded my camera. Just as I suspected, the problem was my Nikon camera D5300, not Sigma lens. On my Nikon D7200 the lens works perfectly. It does not require any significant adjustement because pictures are so sharp. I reset all the values back to 0. 4Priced pretty cheap for what it offers! The USB dock is nothing short of incredible. I have been able to fine tune my new Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 lens to provide consistent and incredibly sharp photos at any aperture and any distance. The cost of this item, even for just 1 lens, is well worth it.Do to the quality of the new lens and the adjustments I've been able to make with the USB dock, I plan on purchasing more Sigma lenses in the future that will work with the dock. There are rumors of a 24mm f/1.4 Art--I plan on getting one if it the rumors are true. I have no doubt it will be great.NOTE: I noticed a slight quirk with my lens that doesn't seem to apply to other user experiences... Any adjustment, plus or minus, made to the furthest adjustment value can affect previously adjusted values at closer ranges. Due to this, I make the adjustment to the furthest allowed value FIRST, then adjust from there making sure the other values stay (which they do). I wonder if it's a software quirk, or that the max distance value affects how much adjustment the other distances need? 5Become a sharp shooter? This item was absolutely needed to correct the front/back focusing issue with my Sigma 18-35 f1/8 lens. I always knew the focus "looked" off, but wasn't able to correct the issue under purchasing the USB dock. Kind of pricey considering the investment of the lens itself, and the fact that I only own 1 compatible Sigma lens, but hey...the 18-35 is my go-to lens so it needs to be as sharp as possible.The calibration process can be pretty tedious if you calibrate all focus length ranges with varying distances from focusing target, but it's well-worth the effort. I'd say the most tedious part is having to take a photo, check image, calibrate, then take another photo...then repeat process 3-15 times more depending on how much you choose to calibrate.Overall, I'm happy but wish it worked with ALL Sigma glass.P.S. This is also needed in order to update the lens firmware. 5A brilliant idea by Sigma This is equivalent to reviewing a movie. The details of the delivery media (say a DVD) is much less interesting than the movie itself. The hardware, in this case the USB Dock you're considering purchasing, just works as expected. You attach it to your supported lens and plug it in to your computer. Settings you make in the software is transferred to your lens. End of story.This review focuses on the entire solution, particularly the software - its design and how well it addresses the problem at hand.Top camera bodies from Nikon and Canon (and possibly others) support lens focus fine-tunning. Notice that, due to fabrication tolerances, this fine-tuning is necessary to match a particular lens to a particular camera body. I have tunned all my lenses and can attest that it does make noticeable difference in image quality.The problem is: You can only set one value per lens.Say your body/lens combination backfocuses. You set a negative value, essentially telling the camera to front focus a bit to compensate. That works well for a prime lens, but not for zooms. What if the zoom back focuses at the short end of the range but front focuses at the long end?Sigma had a brilliant idea: move the tuning process away from the constraints of the camera and into a computer where it can be done properly. Not only it allows fine-tuning the focus, it also allows one to customize a (supported) lens for different behaviors. In the case of my Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 there are 2 variables, namelyAutofocus={speed priority (fast, a bit jumpy), accuracy priority (smooth but slower), default (somewhere in between)}andOptical Stabilization (OS)={heavy, light},for a total of 6 possible combinations. You'll need this dock and the accompanying software to set your preferred custom behavior into the lens.There is a third function: one can update the firmware in the lens using this dock. Firmware in a lens... that's a first for me. The fact that they had to put microprocessors in a lens to implement this in-lens customization (and thus needing firmware updates) should be transparent to the user. So I won't count this firmware update function as neither a pro nor a con.It must be noted that Sigma's solution surpasses the current state of the art (from Nikon/Canon/etc), in that you can set not only one but at least 4, and up to 16 values, depending on whether the lens is a prime or a zoom. The price for this much flexibility and control is the escalating amount of trial and error steps (set in computer, test on camera, repeat...). It's almost overwhelming and addictive. And I like it.The software (not supplied with the dock, but it's a free download) is well executed, with a simple and intuitive presentation.There are some defects here and there, mostly text that get truncated because they don't fit in a window panel that can't be resized. Fortunately, one can bring up the help and read the message in its entirety there. I'd say the software is so intuitive that there's really no need for help at all. Most of the text in the help is a copy of the text you see in the software anyways. It would've been nice if they elaborated/reworded what you see on the software panels. For example, when setting the OS customization, you can pick from Dynamic View Mode ("This mode offers a recognizable OS effect to the image in the viewfinder. This helps to ensure the composition of images quickly.") or Moderate View Mode ("This mode offers an excellent compensation of camera shake, and achieves very smooth transition of the image in the viewfinder. The composition of the image remains natural even when the angle of view keeps changing."). The explanation in the help is exactly the same as in the software. Can you tell which mode has more OS and which has less? I used the terms "heavy" and "light" above, which are more descriptive than "Dynamic" and "Moderate". If you want to know... Dynamic View=heavy and Moderate View=light.The one con that I can think of is this: while the software automatically recognizes which Sigma lens you docked, it has no knowledge of which camera you intend to use the lens on. The software stores only one setting for each lens. It would be nice if Sigma were to add the ability to memorize several settings for a particular lens (each corresponding to different cameras) so that they can be easily and quickly recalled and loaded into the lens.On the whole, I'd say this USB Dock is likely a must have item if you want to get the most out of your Sigma lens, especially a zoom lens (like the 120-300mm f/2.8).This is the best tutorial on how to use the Sigma Optimization Pro software that I know of.http://vimeo.com/64665246Update 4/01/2014: Sigma has since introduced 7 new lenses (including the 3 for mirrorless cameras) and none of them support/use this dock. I don't know why they've chosen that route, but the end result is that, at this time the value proposition of this dock isn't what Sigma suggested it would be.I'm changing my review from 5 to 4 stars until I see more lenses compatible with this device.Update 9/14/2014: Per Sigma's website[...] all 8 (A, C, S) lenses support this dock. Only the mirrorless series of lenses don't support this dock (I don't know why that must be the case; it seems like it'd be a good idea for all lenses to be focus fine tune-able, mirrorless or not).They must have forgotten to update that site last time I checked, which led me to my conclusion in the previous update. Their site has been corrected now.I'm changing my rating back to 5 stars. 5Recommended companion to Sigma's newer lenses I got the 30mm f/1.4 Art and while the focus seemed okay at first, it was clear after a couple of outings my keeper rate was pretty low. When it was in focus it was sharp, it just was usually a bit blurry.After some research, my options were either to send the lens in to Sigma (some folks say they need your camera too) or get this thing. Even though the focus issues are covered by warranty, you still have to pay for insured shipping each way. With that in mind, the dock seemed a little less unreasonable in price. Besides, I like tinkering with things.It took me about an hour and a half of work to dial in the right values, though an hour of that was pretty ineffective. The thing is, they just give you the dock and you download the software, and there is no official recommended way to come up with the adjustment values. I recommend browsing around for focus calibration tutorials. What ended up working the best for me was to be in a bright room at relatively high (but not too grainy) iso, and have a tape measure leaning against a wall at an angle. Then I focused in at the 1ft marker at various distances. After several iterations of trial and error I was happy with the focus at all the adjustable distances, I ended up with +1, +10, +8, +9 from closest to furthest. There are specialized devices, which have a ruler at an angle and something to aim at, and can even be mounted to tripods, but they are pretty expensive for what they do.What would bring this dock up to a 5 star, must have is if Sigma threw in a focus calibration device to accompany it and a guide on how they recommend you do it, a video on the website at least!There are other comments about the choices of adjustable distances (in this case .3m, .4m, .6m, and infinity), but that is how lens focus works, if you look at the range finder, those distances are spaced equally apart. It seems weird, but gives you the best coverage for the entire lens range. 4Bundle it with the ART lenses! This is such a useful accessory for anyone that's purchased high end Sigma lenses. I've been using the 35mm F1.4 ART lens on my D750 & D700 with the micro adjustments in the camera. However, the lens was useless on my F100 film body. Also, if you have a digital body that doesn't have adjustments, you're out of luck. Not to forget, making adjustments on multiple bodies is a pain! With this dock, the adjustments are written into the firmware, which means, it should work well on all your bodies! 5
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