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Archive 2013 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!
  
 
Lasse Eriksson
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p.5 #1 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


Photonic wrote:
I have done my best to share what I think have proven to be valid concerns about the dock with those who have interest in this feature. I am growing weary of being constantly placed on the defensive and will politely exit this thread. To those who purchase the dock with hopes of fine tuning focus, I hope you find it a rewarding use of your time.


But you have not even used or seen a Sigma dock !! When you have used it you can share some valid concerns.



Jun 07, 2013 at 08:03 PM
austin.grant
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p.5 #2 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


Okay guys and girls, I couldn't wait! I setup an impromptu test of my Sigma USB dock and 35mm f/1.4 with the gear I had on hand, and I thought I'd share some of my results. In fact, lets put those first:

My findings support the notion that the Canon body MFA and Sigma lens MFA increments are linked in a 1:1 ratio. I ran several tests at 3 different focus distances, including inputting and changing USB dock lens settings 5 times. All Focal recommendations were eventually input directly as-reported into the Sigma lens, with the result being a new Focal retest with an offset recommendation of zero each time. Impressive!

Here's my methods: I used 2xAB400s for lighting, simply putting the modeling lights at full blast. They were close enough to the Focal target to put me at a 9.2EV. I used my 5D Mark III on a sturdy Manfrotto tripod with a geared head. All test shots were taken at ISO 100, using mirror lockup, most-stringent test settings and target optimization (more on that later.) I chose to bundle the ~MFD and ~.4 meter distances, as they were simply too close for me to justify two sets of tests. Maybe when I've got more time. I ran initial Focal tests at distances of .4m, .85m and 5.4m.

Initial recommendations were: +17 at .4m, +16 at .85m and +2 at 5.4m (approaching infinity.) The +2 recommendation at 5-plus meters fit well with my shooting around the house, as I'd decided off the cuff that +3 worked best for those distances.

I did all the focal recs first, finishing at the 5.4 meter distance. From there, I plugged the lens into the USB dock and put the setting at the recommended +2. Having read the earlier post about the possible correlation between body and lens MFA, I didn't really know what to expect. It came back with a best value of (0). Sweet!

From there, I moved into the .85m distance. The focal recommendation was for +16, but just to test the system I put +11 into the USB dock. After running Focal, it recommended that I put the MFA at +5. Well, 11+5=16, so that's pretty good. Put it at the correct +16 and ran it again, and got a best value of (0). Double Sweet!

Then, I put the camera back to the original .4m distance, plugged in +16 again, even though Focal called for +17. Again, it called my bluff and recommended a +1 MFA. I'm really impressed with the consistency of the Focal system here.

All in all, I couldn't be more enthusiastic about the possibilities of this little setup. As mentioned earlier, many lenses have a large swing of MFA numbers between MFD and infinity, and this tool helps account for that. Here's what I didn't like:

-I only tested one body, lens, and dock. And, only in one type of lighting.
-I've not had time to extensively shoot with the lens after calibration
-Outliers had to be manually rejected, as Focal gave some obviously wrong scores. Even using optimization, which accounts for any shift, some obviously misfocused shots were scored very high. It's easy to just right-click them during analysis, but it is annoying.

I'm sure there are plenty of other issues with my data, and just like the other report, mine is simply one more data point. It proves nothing, but it does support the theory that Sigma hooked us up with a 1:1 ratio.

I'll get some pics up at some point. Thanks for playing!



Jun 08, 2013 at 03:56 AM
austin.grant
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p.5 #3 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


Few Pics





The Setup







Good Lighting







5.4 Meters Focal Results







5.4 Meters After putting Focal Results directly into Sigma USB Dock







Example Curve from this Lens. Not bad, but it's Not a Canon!




Jun 08, 2013 at 04:14 AM
Lasse Eriksson
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p.5 #4 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


Austin Grant, thanks for the tests and pics. Great that it support the theory that Sigma hooked us up with a 1:1 ratio. (as expected)


Jun 08, 2013 at 06:14 AM
mcd0nald
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p.5 #5 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


did all af tweaking yesterday
i had focal software myself but i prefer to use dot-tune method and i can tell you that this USB dock really works so well....

with my 5dmk iii, here is my result
+14 0.3-0.4m
+13 0.4-0.6m
+5 til 1.4m
+2 til infinity

now im relieved i nail every AF in every focal distance so accurately open wide....




Jun 08, 2013 at 12:06 PM
Sven Jeppesen
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p.5 #6 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


Photonic wrote:
Regrettably, I think Sigma is going to get hammered for marketing a feature which in practice cannot be used.


That's a funny comment Considering everyone that have used it say it's helpful and works. Please explain why the dock can't be used



Jun 08, 2013 at 01:03 PM
myron lee
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p.5 #7 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


The thought the sigma USB port might be a waste of money for me since I got a pretty darn good copy of the 35. Zero MA was best. However, since I bought it, I had to use it. I found it odd that the fixed distances you must calibrate to is : 12", 15" , 26" and infinity. Seems that the adjustment is skewed towards MDF. I adjusted mine to +4, +6, +3, +0. Now with this lens, phase detect focus is just as good as contrast detect at all distances. That's pretty impressive. Kudos for sigma here. Now if they can make the lens to be interchangeable with Nikon , I'll be very very impressed.


Jun 08, 2013 at 02:19 PM
jimmy462
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p.5 #8 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


austin.grant wrote:
Snip

My findings support the notion that the Canon body MFA and Sigma lens MFA increments are linked in a 1:1 ratio.


Snip

It proves nothing, but it does support the theory that Sigma hooked us up with a 1:1 ratio.

Hi Austin,

First, let me say thank you for taking the time and effort in performing these tests, they certainly provide some actual user experience with these new developments from Sigma which are very useful. Your results make for a great jumping-off point and it will be interesting to see how well these initial correlations between Canon and Sigma MA values hold up as more testing results show up. Again, thank you!

Second, let me say, "Hooray!" If nothing else your results have hopefully brought an end to 5-pages of repetitive badgering. Kudos to you for your kindness and patience in dealing with all of that...I'm more of a "If you want to know so badly, then get your own dog in the hunt!" kinda guy. But, hey, that's me...

What will be interesting to see, as this story develops over the next few months, is how the focusing comparisons between non-dockable and dockable lenses shakes out. I currently own an ensemble of Sigma glass, including the 120-300mm OS v.1, and I've been considering the Focus Limiter feature a worthwhile-enough feature to consider going for an upgrade...improved focusing performance with MA adjustments on this already stellar lens (both OS versions share the same optical design) would be all gravy.

Of course, as with any new technological developments, there will be the expected kinks to be worked out...so, again, thank you for being so generous with your time and resources out there on the cutting edge!

Best to you,
Jimmy G



Jun 08, 2013 at 02:25 PM
 

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Lars Johnsson
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p.5 #9 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


Austin,

Thanks for posting your tests and pictures. I'm glad that you could confirm the dock works good together with your Canon camera and FoCal. And that the MFA ratio was 1:1 between those.



Jun 08, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.5 #10 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


Austin,
Thanks for posting your results. The 1:1 ratio is great news indeed.
My Sigma 35mm f/1.4 needed only +4 and was tack sharp at MFD and close distances. However, results were not so great at longer distances. The new dock seems to gives us the tools to fix that now!



Jun 08, 2013 at 05:44 PM
austin.grant
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p.5 #11 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


Thanks everyone! I'm going to calibrate the lens to my 1DIV tomorrow, so I'll have more, hopefully similar, data.


Jun 08, 2013 at 06:25 PM
myron lee
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p.5 #12 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


austin.grant wrote:
Thanks everyone! I'm going to calibrate the lens to my 1DIV tomorrow, so I'll have more, hopefully similar, data.


this is going to be interesting. hopefully you can just use the camera MA and leave the lens alone. This makes the most sense to me.



Jun 08, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Helen Oster
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p.5 #13 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


Arob1000 wrote:
Is Adorama going to carry this? I have some $$ there and would rather go through them.


Yes, we are. Going through the process of getting it uploaded to the website - but if you contact me: Helen@adorama.com, I can hook you up with a rep and he can help you right away.

This is the SKU# SGUSBDCA

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador
Helen@adorama.com



Edited on Jun 10, 2013 at 07:09 PM · View previous versions



Jun 10, 2013 at 05:41 PM
badlydrawnboy
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p.5 #14 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


Just curious... are those using FoCal using TurboCal (their version of Dot Tune), or the full method?


Jun 10, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.5 #15 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


I just got my Sigma Dock. And I will test it this weekend. It asked me if I like to update the firmware in my Sigma 35 as soon as I connected it. Only that is rather cool.
For people living in Europe, I bought it from Amazon.de for 45 euro



Jun 28, 2013 at 09:14 AM
TeamSpeed
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p.5 #16 · Sigma USB Dock in Stock for $59!


Shoot, I wish this would work for older lenses, or that I could send my Sigma lenses in and they would rechip them to fit the dock.


Jun 29, 2013 at 02:34 AM
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