Sigma Calibration Pro Software/USB lens docking station to be released in 2013
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996gt2
Registered: Feb 19, 2009
Total Posts: 115
Country: United States

According to this video, the software will be free to download starting in early 2013, and the USB dock will be available for purchase at that time.

http://youtu.be/k8qSskjEaX8?t=5m11s


More here:
http://youtu.be/vU0WcpNAtl8?t=1m48s


This seems to be a brilliant idea. Some of the things it will allow you to do:

-Adjust the AF of each lens by focus distance and focal length
-Adjust the focus limiter on the lens
-Adjust the AF speed on the lens.
-Upgrade the firmware of the lens

In theory, if you spent some time adjusting a lens, you could have a lens that was 100% perfect in focusing, regardless of the focus distance. Since a significant part of perceived lens sharpness comes from focus accuracy, this could be a huge innovation in digital photography.



RCicala
Registered: Jan 09, 2005
Total Posts: 2939
Country: United States

That is brilliant. Could be a huge thing.

Thank you for the post, I'd missed that entirely.



Chestnut
Registered: Feb 02, 2005
Total Posts: 707
Country: United States

That sounds really good!

AF-finetune at the lens is awesome! And the ability to decide for yourself the trade-off between AF speed vs smoothness? Sweet!!
User serviceability, and customization at home! No need to bring or send any Sigma lenses in for service or AF update when new bodies come out and things are different, or when new lens firmwares are released.

I already have several Sigma lenses... now there's more reason to buy Sigma! (FYI, I've never had serious IQ or QC issues with ANY Sigma lenses I own) This even makes me feel better about saving up for a "new" 120-300 (DG OS HSM)!

Nikon should be taking notes, and changing their anti-loyal-customer practices.



996gt2
Registered: Feb 19, 2009
Total Posts: 115
Country: United States

I really hope that this dock/software works with recent Sigma lenses like the 50mm f/1.4. If the software only works with Sigma lenses released after 2013, that would be quite unfortunate.



TSY87
Registered: Jan 15, 2010
Total Posts: 689
Country: United States

They also need to have this type of feature for cameras. Cameras already have USB ports, why not make some sort of system where we can set them up via our computers and adjust things like focus settings etc.



996gt2
Registered: Feb 19, 2009
Total Posts: 115
Country: United States

TSY87 wrote:
They also need to have this type of feature for cameras. Cameras already have USB ports, why not make some sort of system where we can set them up via our computers and adjust things like focus settings etc.


Indeed. For cameras with live-view and contrast-detect AF, it shouldn't be hard to implement a system that compares the contrast-detect AF with the phase-detect AF and adjusts the phase-detect to match the contrast detect. By nature, contrast-detect AF will always be spot-on because it measures the contrast at the image sensor.

If Canon/Nikon and others implemented these features, they might even see a reduction in the return rate on their lenses due to fewer AF errors.

But with that said, I don't think that either Canon or Nikon will put these features into their cameras anytime soon, so for now this Sigma solution seems like the best we'll get.



Kerry Pierce
Registered: Feb 01, 2004
Total Posts: 3622
Country: United States

That is very welcome news, assuming that it will work as advertised. I have about half a dozen Sigma lenses that don't work with the latest Nikon generation of bodies. I've had most of them since around 2005, but all work fine with my d3s and earlier bodies. The d7k doesn't like them at all. Maybe a firmware upgrade would fix that and save me a bunch of shipping charges.

Kerry



Zebrabot
Registered: Aug 10, 2010
Total Posts: 918
Country: United States

I would not trust a lense, let alone any software from sigma.

they (or was it metz?) had some joke line of usb updatable firmware flashes too.



jerbear00
Registered: Jan 17, 2011
Total Posts: 666
Country: N/A

I think this is an interesting innovation



NathanHamler
Registered: Sep 25, 2009
Total Posts: 2368
Country: United States

Someone has been thinking, that's for sure!! It's a pretty sweet idea.....Maybe sigma got tired of all the AF problems with their lenses, and is putting this out as kind of a "Here, fix it yourself!!" type thing lol....



ecidi
Registered: Apr 22, 2004
Total Posts: 2099
Country: United States

Brilliant! But will this adjust sigma lenses only or will it adjust Zeiss, Nikon, Canon, tamron, etc lenses also



RCicala
Registered: Jan 09, 2005
Total Posts: 2939
Country: United States

Since there's a reprogrammable chip in the lens with this information on it, I wouldn't think it would work with other lenses. I also expect older (legacy) Sigma lenses would not have a rewritable chip, since when they stopped working with newer cameras, Sigma said they were "rechipped" not "reprogrammed".

Hopefully the more recent lenses will be doable, not just the future releases.

I find it interesting that third-party companies seem to be trying to be consumer friendly. This is very cool from Sigma and they've been working to improve repairs and service. Tamron's got a guaranteed 3 day turnaround on service. Maybe they see an opportunity.



Next39
Registered: Dec 30, 2010
Total Posts: 310
Country: United States

996gt2 wrote:
I really hope that this dock/software works with recent Sigma lenses like the 50mm f/1.4. If the software only works with Sigma lenses released after 2013, that would be quite unfortunate.


In the 2nd video they explain that every new lens from now on will be compatible with this device, so no, it's not going to be backwards compatible.



ecidi wrote:
Brilliant! But will this adjust sigma lenses only or will it adjust Zeiss, Nikon, Canon, tamron, etc lenses also


I hope you weren't being serious. lol











huddy
Registered: Oct 19, 2010
Total Posts: 1826
Country: United States

RCicala wrote:
I find it interesting that third-party companies seem to be trying to be consumer friendly. This is very cool from Sigma and they've been working to improve repairs and service. Tamron's got a guaranteed 3 day turnaround on service. Maybe they see an opportunity.


I think you are right here Roger. Nikon and Canon are both leaving holes in the market in terms of service; what an open door for the 3rd party companies to compete!



ryankarr
Registered: Sep 25, 2009
Total Posts: 1009
Country: Canada

I'm very excited for this and the 35mm 1.4

I love my Nikon 35mm 1.4 optically, but AF speed is king for me.



Yakim Peled
Registered: Nov 18, 2004
Total Posts: 16903
Country: Israel

That's a great idea. I still remember how I sold my Sigma 50/1.4 just because of its AF accuracy problems.

Happy shooting,
Yakim.



Mark_L
Registered: Sep 28, 2010
Total Posts: 2504
Country: United Kingdom

It's a great idea and further highlights the poor level of innovation by nikon (and canon for that matter). Nikon is leaving the door wide open for sigma to take a chunk of the market in terms of innovation, price and service. The new 180mm macro looks stunning.

Unfortunately as I understand it I'm not sure there is a real system behind the focus calibration, it is a case of just entering fine tune values at specific distances.



NathanHamler
Registered: Sep 25, 2009
Total Posts: 2368
Country: United States

Mark_L wrote:
Nikon is leaving the door wide open for sigma to take a chunk of the market in terms of innovation, price and service.



The fact is that Nikon won't ever lose sales to sigma or tamron....for beginners with a dslr, like moms and dads who think their photos will all of a sudden get better than with a point and shoot or super zoom, they aren't buying sigma and tamron lenses, b/c they dont know they exist....

Pros aren't buying sigma and tamron, except for maybe one or two different models.....50 1.4, 85 1.4, 30 1.4 , 120-300, etc....

I find that most enthusiasts who try sigma or tamron end up buying nikon glass after all is said and done, when sigma or tamron fell short in performance....

Just my experience with friends and colleagues, etc...



BenV
Registered: Jan 01, 2008
Total Posts: 8158
Country: United States

to say Nikon won't lose sales to Sigma or other 3rd parties is just crazy. The second people choose to buy the Sigma, Nikon just lost sales. People do know they exist. When they walk into a Bestbuy to purchase their new camera, they have a few 3rd party lenses on display.



BenV
Registered: Jan 01, 2008
Total Posts: 8158
Country: United States

Zebrabot wrote:
I would not trust a lense, let alone any software from sigma.

they (or was it metz?) had some joke line of usb updatable firmware flashes too.



Well that sucks for you. Sigma makes some excellent gear for a fraction of the cost of Nikon.



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