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September 17, 2012

Sigma modernizes lenses with new software and USB dock and new MTF system

Sigma is feeling the winds of change in Berlin, years later, but better late than never, as they decide to modernize and technologize their lens line-up. On the practical side of the changes, Sigma has developed new quality control measures and measurements, has new Optimization Pro software and is also developing a USB dock for your new Sigma lenses (why didn't they call them iSigma? ;-)

The new software + dock combo will allow firmware updates and focus parameter fine-tuning via computer. This definitely sounds promising for photographers who want to make the most out of their lenses! You can see a giant picture of the new USB dock at Optyczne.pl.

The dock is obviously only compatible with new lenses that can be USB-docked. I do not know if there are any plans or if there is a way to retroactively enable this feature on older Sigma lenses, or whether this means another refresh of the Sigma lens line-up is in the works. Only time (and Sigma) will tell...

Along with the above comes project code named "A1", a new MTF (modulation transfer function) measuring system that will help improve shipped lens quality. Something else that is badly needed. Just look up Sigma lenses in various photography forums to see why :)

On the more gimmicky side of things, they are re-organizing their lenses in three broad categories. Art, Sports, and Contemporary. And if you get caught using the wrong lens in the wrong category, well, nothing will happen :)

These are mentioned at the top third and bottom third of the new Sigma press releases that also announced three new lenses. We have a separate post for the new lenses since these new Sigma developments deserve attention on their own merits and they are actually bigger news than the lenses themselves.

Press release parade at dpreview and Seer of Omaha Wire.

Opinion on the new Sigma strategery at CNet.com and dpreview forums.


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