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| p.1 #9 · Sigma 120-300 (the new one) anyone using it for sports? |
I am on the list with Sigma media relations for the new 120-300 and dongle and a 500 f4.5. Both are out at this time, and I do not know which one I will get first (I am actually hoping for the 500 first since I am currently shooting soccer and football will be here very quickly, then use the 120-300 for hoops, but we will see).
1st, the USB Dongle thing and the in camera calibration are two different beasts. The in camera, for Canon at least, should honestly be used sparingly and in a pinch. You have to be set up perfect with a focus chart, squared to your camera at a specific distance with enough light. And it is one setting for each lens or one setting for all lenses. Typically if you have to adjust every lens and the adjustments are the same, you need to send your camera in to be properly calibrated. If each lens is different, or only a couple lenses need adjustment, you need to send those lenses in to have them adjusted. But if you are in a pinch, can not afford or have the time before a shoot to send your gear in, using the micro adjustment can be a band aid. Ideally, per both Canon and Sigma, and I am sure Nikon, no adjustment should be needed, but they know in shipping, banging around a store, banging around your camera bag and car, things happen. With the Sigma USB dongle, you get multiple adjustments. One at 120mm, one at 300mm and one in between. According to Sigma, no special focusing charts needed. They suggested to me to just go outside, find something like a sign, or a parked car, focus on it take a photo at the three focal lengths and download to you r computer. If any focal length seems front or back focused, make the adjustment, and try again. A couple people I have talked to who have used the Sigma dongle said it took about 15 minutes, and most only had to adjust one of the three focal lengths.
2nd, the Sigma can be used to update firmware. Back in the day, Sigma had a great 300 f4. But as newer bodies came out from Canon it would no longer work. You had to send it in to get it rechipped, and after so long, they stopped rechipping older lenses to work with newer bodies. Instead of a lens becoming obsolete when a new body comes out, the theory is that you should be able to update the firmware with the USB Dongle to continue using your lens. Also, if anything comes up from Sigma, like a new algorithm for autofocus speed, or if something across the line is not performing as it should, it may now be as easy as a firmware fix as opposed to sending it into Sigma for who knows how long.