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09-11-2013, 12:30 PM   #1
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No Sigma USB Dock for Pentax?

Sigma has announced that they will make their new "Global Vision" lenses (like the 35mm f/1.4 and 18-35mm f/1.8) for Pentax, but there has been no mention of the Sigma USB Dock for Pentax. I asked Sigma America about this and surprisingly/unfortunately they are not planning to make the USB Dock for Pentax or Sony. Apparently several people have asked about this; Sigma America has forwarded the requests to the mother ship and hopes that somebody there is listening.

If you think this is as silly as I do, you might want to send Sigma a note and ask them to make the USB Dock for Pentax:
Contact Us | Sigma


If you don't know what I'm talking about: Sigma's new lenses have a software interface that allows, among other things, the setting of autofocus fine adjustments at 4 focal lengths (for zooms) x 4 focal distances. So the dreaded "my expensive zoom lens front focuses at the wide end and back focuses at the long end" is no more. It's supposed to be pretty nifty:
LensRentals.com - Sigma Optimization Pro and USB Dock
Sigma USB Dock quick review: Digital Photography Review

But without a USB Dock for a particular mount there's no way to interface the lens to the software.

EDIT 9/26: Sigma has decided to produce the USB Dock for Pentax! See below.


Last edited by baj; 09-26-2013 at 06:51 AM. Reason: new information
09-11-2013, 12:41 PM   #2
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Perhaps K-AF3 and Alpha mounts do not support bi-directional communication of focal distance, focal length, and/or micro AF control.

It doesn't make sense that Sigma would fail to provide a $5 part for $50 to anybody who wants one.
09-11-2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aegon Quote
Perhaps K-AF3 and Alpha mounts do not support bi-directional communication of focal distance, focal length, and/or micro AF control.

It doesn't make sense that Sigma would fail to provide a $5 part for $50 to anybody who wants one.
I don't know how the communication protocols of the camera makers differ. However, when these new lenses were first announced it was only for Canon, Nikon, and Sigma mounts. It would be a funny coincidence if the "afterthought" Pentax and Sony mounts coincidentally were the only ones for which this correction was not possible. Also, Sigma America didn't tell me they couldn't do it, just that they had not yet decided to do it. Of course the person responding to my message was probably not their chief AF engineer.
09-11-2013, 01:12 PM   #4
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Sony probably has the most complex AF system of them all and it's really modern and hi-tech, so I would be surprised if their mount couldn't handle it but Nikon and Canon can. It's probably the economic department that sketched some illogical chart.

09-11-2013, 01:42 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by baj Quote
I don't know how the communication protocols of the camera makers differ. However, when these new lenses were first announced it was only for Canon, Nikon, and Sigma mounts. It would be a funny coincidence if the "afterthought" Pentax and Sony mounts coincidentally were the only ones for which this correction was not possible. Also, Sigma America didn't tell me they couldn't do it, just that they had not yet decided to do it. Of course the person responding to my message was probably not their chief AF engineer.
Or more simply they designed the USB mounts for the biggest brands and their own mount and didn't bother with the two companies that probably make up 10% of their sales - it would mean working with each respective mount to implement proper adjustments and programming. Then let's say 10% of people who own the lenses that can use the dock - would you want to spend the time programming each of those dock mounts when the dock would effectively be sold to 1% of lens owners? Let's face it, there are plenty of people who would much rather send the lens back to the retailer for replacement than spend the time tinkering with focus adjustments via a $50 dock.
09-11-2013, 01:49 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by baj Quote
Sigma has announced that they will make their new "Global Vision" lenses (like the 35mm f/1.4 and 18-35mm f/1.8) for Pentax, but there has been no mention of the Sigma USB Dock for Pentax. I asked Sigma America about this and surprisingly/unfortunately they are not planning to make the USB Dock for Pentax or Sony. Apparently several people have asked about this; Sigma America has forwarded the requests to the mother ship and hopes that somebody there is listening.

If you think this is as silly as I do, you might want to send Sigma a note and ask them to make the USB Dock for Pentax:
Contact Us | Sigma


If you don't know what I'm talking about: Sigma's new lenses have a software interface that allows, among other things, the setting of autofocus fine adjustments at 4 focal lengths (for zooms) x 4 focal distances. So the dreaded "my expensive zoom lens front focuses at the wide end and back focuses at the long end" is no more. It's supposed to be pretty nifty:
LensRentals.com - Sigma Optimization Pro and USB Dock
Sigma USB Dock quick review: Digital Photography Review

But without a USB Dock for a particular mount there's no way to interface the lens to the software.
It's been said that the dock isn't coming for Pentax. Might not really make sense given than many of the high-end lenses won't be made in the K-mount.

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09-11-2013, 02:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Might not really make sense given than many of the high-end lenses won't be made in the K-mount.
I think the 35mm f/1.4 and 18-35mm f/1.8 are fairly high-end lenses, no?
09-11-2013, 02:15 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by baj Quote
I think the 35mm f/1.4 and 18-35mm f/1.8 are fairly high-end lenses, no?
Yeah, but none of the S lenses are, and K-mount sales are comparatively low unfortunately.


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09-11-2013, 02:16 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
Or more simply they designed the USB mounts for the biggest brands and their own mount and didn't bother with the two companies that probably make up 10% of their sales - it would mean working with each respective mount to implement proper adjustments and programming. Then let's say 10% of people who own the lenses that can use the dock - would you want to spend the time programming each of those dock mounts when the dock would effectively be sold to 1% of lens owners? Let's face it, there are plenty of people who would much rather send the lens back to the retailer for replacement than spend the time tinkering with focus adjustments via a $50 dock.
Sure, you can make that argument. You could just as easily argue that they shouldn't bother to make Pentax and Sony (and especially Sigma! How many of those do they sell? ) mount lenses at all. Or you could just send a message to Sigma asking them to support Pentax.

Last edited by baj; 09-11-2013 at 02:27 PM.
09-26-2013, 06:50 AM - 1 Like   #10
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I got word from Sigma yesterday that they will in fact produce the dock for Pentax:

"If you are receiving this, it is because you had expressed interest in the past regarding a USB Dock for Pentax or Sony. Please know that we have received word from our parent company that we will indeed be making a Dock for both Pentax and Sony in the future. The bad news is that it probably will not be released until March of next year. But I did want to let you know that they have decided to go through with production and that it will be available next year."
09-26-2013, 06:57 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by baj Quote
I got word from Sigma yesterday that they will in fact produce the dock for Pentax:

"If you are receiving this, it is because you had expressed interest in the past regarding a USB Dock for Pentax or Sony. Please know that we have received word from our parent company that we will indeed be making a Dock for both Pentax and Sony in the future. The bad news is that it probably will not be released until March of next year. But I did want to let you know that they have decided to go through with production and that it will be available next year."
That's great news, and thanks for the update! But, what's this about a parent company? I thought Sigma was independent. They don't even have shareholders.

From Wikipedia:
QuoteQuote:
Sigma is the world's largest independent lens manufacturer and is a family-owned business.
09-26-2013, 07:10 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by scratchpaddy Quote
That's great news, and thanks for the update! But, what's this about a parent company? I thought Sigma was independent. They don't even have shareholders.
Maybe Sigma in the USA (or whatever country where the person wrote the email) referred to the Japanese company as a separate legal entity.


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09-26-2013, 07:37 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bassek Quote
Maybe Sigma in the USA (or whatever country where the person wrote the email) referred to the Japanese company as a separate legal entity.


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09-26-2013, 10:07 AM   #14
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The recent firmware update for the 17-70 lens released by Sigma apparently does nothing or little enough that I don't care about that accessory. My camera has AF adjustments built-in. In the rare occurrence where a lens will stop working, no amount of firmware update is likely to change that.
09-26-2013, 10:46 AM   #15
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Well, with the dock you can adjust the difference the different focal lengths independently.
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