How to calibrate Sigma Lens Using Sigma USB Dock [on Sigma 18-35 f1.8]


So you got your sigma lens but your pictures are coming out of focus. well you can calibrate your autofocus using a sigma USB Dock. Although you can make slight correction using your camera’s inner AF adjustment; sigma gives you flexibility to micro-adjust some of their lens series. when I got my sigma 18-35 art series lens I knew that it has some focusing issue. So I bough sigma USB Dock and here is how I adjusted my auto focus. To calibrate your lens you will need a sigma USB Dock a steady tripod, a measurement tape a bubble leveler, and lens calibration tool. You can get one of this from amazon for 4-5$, I have a link in the description below. and yeah, you will need some patience. First decide your working area, put lens calibration tool on steady surface and level it. Now put your camera on a steady tripod and level it using your tripod leveler and adjust the height so it focuses exactly on the calibration tool surface where you will be focusing. Sigma software has four difference focus distances where you have to adjust your focus each difference can adjusted from values between negative twenty to positive twenty and if you have a zoon lens like me, you will have to adjust the same thing four times at different zooming range. yeah, you will need some patience…. before starting any process, download the software, connect your lens using a USB Dock and update your latest firmware. Now, use your measure tape and set your focal distance as accurate as you can from the film plane of the camera. And also use as much light as you can, so you can use lowest ISO of the camera. put your camera into Auto-focus mode, use your optical view finder and use only center focusing point. And choose the lowest number or widest aperture of your lens. And now we are ready to take our first picture. If you have a DSLR with a good LCD screen, you can zoom in on the ruler, and see whether your lens is focusing correctly or not. Here in my picture, it should be focusing exactly on zero, but it is front focusing a little. So now I will disconnect the lens from the camera, put it on the USB dock and I will adjust the values in positive numbers. I would suggest to start with plus or minus five intervals every time, and when you get close focusing values, start looking your pictures in computer and adjust the values from there. Choose a proper place for this procedure, as you can see, my tripod is here; my calibration tool is on my table, my USB dock is attached to my laptop; that way I can just take a lens, take my SD card, put it on my laptop attach my lens to the USB dock, see my images, calibrate my lens and put it back. Also work on one focal distance at one time, at different focal lengths that way, you don’t have to move your tripod everytime. Once you start to shoot at longer focal distance at wider focal lengths it gets little confusing since your baseline in my case zero will be in focus anyway. At this point start bracketing your adjacent lines and work with them If your upper line is more in focus and next below one is not, then lens is back focusing. Infinity is where things get little difficult since calibration tool is little difficult to use. I tried to focus distance houses but then I used longest distance around my working area and I made some cross-mark manually. Also I would recommend to work with one focal distance at one time and then take some test shots around. and then move to next focusing distance. Some people say its geaky, some say its nerdy, I would say its tiresome but rewarding.

78 Replies to “How to calibrate Sigma Lens Using Sigma USB Dock [on Sigma 18-35 f1.8]”

  1. If you have any questions, please drop me in the comment section and I will try to answer it as soon as I can…Thanks..

  2. I have a canon 80d and just got this lens. I think i'm having some issues too, can i use the same number you have for mine? would you recommend that? thanks for the great video!

  3. Podrias decirme si los valores que pones en el video son validos para una canon eos 70D?
    Tengo el objetivo sigma 18 35 ,, art y una camara canon 70 d que valorres deberia poner en cada distancia gracias

  4. ok pero supongo que canon viene calibradas todas de igual manera… entonces no sabrias que valores debreria ponerle para uin a canon 70 d?conoces de alguien que ha calibrado el objetivo sigma para una 70 d y que le vaya bien seria tan amable de mandarme los valores que puso con sigma optimizador pro…gracias y si el traductor de google traduce muy bien jejejeje

  5. Hi I just bought this lens to pair with my canon 80D and my auto focus and manual focus is off. The image is not sharp so I just ordered the USB dock. My question is: Can this be calibrated without having to use a calibration tool from Amazon? Also if you want to fix focusing for taking portrait would you minus or add in the focus adjustments?

  6. Hello my friend I have the exact lens. The only difference is I am using on a Sony A6300 and a Sony Adapter LAEA4. I have reached the limit of adjustment for the infinity range. I have ad +20 because my lens is back focusing and it's still not enough. Do you have any recommendation? Maybe I should take it to Sigma Service Center.

  7. i have the same lens and also the dock.
    But to make this clear, do i calibrate with focusing distance of 28cm, 35cm, 50cm and 2 meters? (same with the Sigma optimization software).
    Any help is appreciated. thanks

  8. hello i have sigma art 35mm new but i i get some back focus when i use 1.4 i drop the focus point in eye but i found the eye bluer did the dock fix the problem 100 %?

  9. Hi Kushagra,
    I am buying my first dslr, nikon d5500 and sigma 18-35 f1.8 DC HSM . IS this lens compatible with d5500 ? would it need to be calibrated with d5500 (d5500 does not have auto focus fine tuning)? quiet new to this, advise pls

  10. I'm a little confused…. I have done some tests, this only seems effect the autofocus through the viewfinder right? So if you focus through a magnified liveview doing this makes no difference? is that correct? So in other words you will still get accurate results without callibrating the lens if you use manual focus or autofocus through liveview mode, whereas if you calibrate the lens you get accurate results through all 3 (viewfinder/ liveview/ manual focus). Yes? Thanks in advance for your reply if indeed you do reply.

  11. I just calibrated my 35 1.4 today. Did you measure distance from target to sensor? I guesstimated sensor was 1/4 to 1/2 inch from camera back.

  12. This is one shitty lens but everyone is caught in its hype. It's heavy, it's big, has focus issues, doesn't zoom much, doesn't even have f/1.4. Pass.

  13. Thanks for the comprehensive data. It started fine but as the video progressed the speech got quicker and got a bit confusing.
    If you are kind enough to keep the sentences shorter and concise, so I could follow, I am sure.
    I like Sigma lenses. Please could you explain front and back focusing in very simple terms?
    What is the exact link that I need to download the software because there are many.
    Thank you
    Best of luck

  14. I just bought this lens, but refurbished so your video is really helpful in case mine needs som calibration. Although I mostly do video and I focus manually mainly.

  15. please at what distance should I place my camera from the focus target? do I keep same distance for all focus distance or measure differentones for each?

  16. Hello Kushagra. I have the sigma 18-35mm f1.8. I notice alot of Focus shift according to how much light there is. Do you notice this? I did a test at 18mm focal lenght with 6 batteries lined up diagnoally (im sure you know the test). Basically, what I find is at f1.8 (havent tested others).. it will back focus when there is less light, but it will front focus when there is more light. Can you do check with your lense? any advice there?

  17. If your software and camera support it, use tethering (I'm using D7200 + Lightroom). This way, you don't have to mess around constantly removing and replacing the SD card – your shots instantly appear on your screen.

  18. Hey very nice video!
    I have a little question:
    In my case the focusing is slightly off ONLY while using the viewfinder, while the LiveView is perfect.
    After fixing it using the Sigma USB Dock, will I then have the misfocusing on the Live View? Thanks!!

  19. How  about calibrating 85mm art . as my friend and I shooting with this lens a lot .I appreciate a lot for  construction and image sharpness but focusing problems. please can I get a step by step process . as we both are new to this system . Thank you  sir

  20. Thanks for the video, seems very helpful. Just ordered a calibration tool. Went on a trip with the lens, took a bunch of pictures, came back and found out it was almost every single one was backfocusing 🙁

  21. First of all, thank u for the informative video, nice job. First question: When i go to 0.5m+ (my 70D set one AF with 1point) it is not even focusing on the area anymore. it is quite far away for this lens. And the rest are all impossible to focus on point. Second question: even after i adjust 0.28&0.35m, when i taking pics, i still feel like it is not focusing on point. It got better but not perfect.(When I calibrate it, it was perfect) Would be great if u can help me.

  22. Hello. Is it normal for the lense giving almost the same focus results no matter what the changes I am doing. It keeps back focusing about 3 mm on 35mm / 0.35 meters. Thanks a lot

  23. Thank you for sharing the video, this is a very nice tutorial. I do however have a question regarding the distance to the focusing card. I need to calibrate by 150mm – 600mm lens. Setting the camera etc seems pretty straight forward i just can;t get my head around the distances i need to take the test shots. Any advice would be gratefully received. Thanks

  24. What if your focus is inconsistent? Say – the same shot at the same distance focused on the middle, but it front/back focuses by different amounts each shot?

  25. Thanks for your video..I have the sigma 18-35mm f1.8 and sigma 135mm f1.8 both with Canon EF mount but for use connected to my micro four thirds panasonic cameras using a Canon EF to micro four thirds speedbooster adapter (that retains autofocus etc).. is it necessary still to update the lens firmware (for use with non Canon EF cameras) or is it unnecessary and a waste of money/time doing so with such use? Thank you for any feedback

  26. very nice video. one question: I noticed that when you shoot, your measure tape showed 16 inches (about 40cm) which is the second minimum focal distance, but when you go calibrate into the software you changed the settings of the first focal distance (30cm) , why? also, I have a 30mm 1/4 (calibration distances are 30cm, 40cm, 60mm, infinity) how far (in meters) would you recommend to set your camera to calibrate infinity focus?

  27. Very good information. I can tell you from doing this process, with this lens, I had to break it across several days because it took so long. Now all I need to do is figure out how to set the "infinity" distance – which does not make a lot of sense to me. Anyone know why Sigma bunched up those distances: 0.28m (min focus distance), 0.35m, 0.5m, and then infinity?

  28. can you elaborate on your method for setting the infinity values. I see from video and your comments you did it around 20something feet with a hand drawn target to give you something to focus on which is fine. but when the target is so small how are you able to tell if one adjustment is better than another

  29. Hello, this is a dumb question but when buying the dock, do you buy canon if you have a canon camera, or sigma because you have a sigma lens? I thought this is a "sigma dock for canon" so.. I would imagine I would want the "sigma lens" since my lens is sigma but want to double check! Thank you for this video omg!!!!! I had no idea why I was having focus issues but I think this will really help.

  30. Hi Kush, I know you mean well, but your video is a near total fail. Know why? Because you never explain how to derive the exact focal distances. Without knowing the focal distance(s), you can't go any further. It's a full stop, bro. To know the focal distance, one must interpolate the distance(s) from the app's depiction of the lens focus ring. Do you know what the word "interpolate" means? To interpolate means to derive an exact measurement that is presented on an analog scale. When you read a thermometer, you are interpolating. When you measure a length with a ruler, you are interpolating. This is in contrast to a digital thermometer that has a digital readout. Since you are presenting yourself as the expert, you should have explained the interpolation task, and maybe even linked to a chart containing interpolated focal distances for Sigma's most popular lens. It's not all your fault, though. I'm giving Sigma a couple of fish slaps for making us have to interpolate from their app in the first place (instead of just stating the exact distances). I might also add that you could have improved your video by explaining how critical (or uncritical) those focal distances are.

  31. In your video, you measure 16 inches from your camera to the target. 16inches equals 0.4 meters which is not one of the distances you had highlighted in the video. How did you get that number? Thanks

  32. Well done. Helped me get this job done. Only thing I would suggest is that the tape measure should not be used. Just look at the lens dial to see where it is in range and move your target back and forth until it matches with the picture in the calibration software. This method gets it exact distance required.

  33. Hey there! I have a Sigma 20mm f1.4 lens and get some blur in the far left side of my photos, so I just wondered if this can be fixed using this method. Thanks

  34. sir i live jaipur, it seems like you are in india. could i get my lens calibrated from you or i could take the calibration tool on rent from you and calibrate myself. if you are not from jaipur i can come to you if you are not too far. please tell me and reply pls

  35. hi. thanks for the video. i brought all the gear u recommended and replicated you video completely but i wasn't (as far as im aware) getting any blurriness on any focal length? Id that the case with some lenses or am i doing something wrong. i can send my test pics if that helps. cheers.

  36. Please let me know.. for every single point of adjustment you have to remove lens, correct value, rewrite, remount, shot retest and so on??? All this for everyone of the 16 settings available?
    And it works only for a single camera all this fine tuning? And you need to buy a usb dock, so more money after you buy a lens to let work it properly? This is totally wrong…

  37. This was very helpful. Had to do this last night, and although it took a long time it was fairly simple thanks to your video! THANKS

  38. Thank you, sir, for the excellent walkthrough and clear explanation of how to perform this task. I had a Sigma 50mm ART that was front focusing, I collected all of the tools you suggessted and it is now focusing correctly! Appreciate your time. And yes, it takes a lot of patience! 🙂

  39. Hi what is the correct distance from camera to card board. And do you need to change the distance? I have the 25mm art.

  40. I fkn love you,.. hahahaha,.. you said, "Yes you will need some patience!" hahaha sounds like you were just as irritated as I AM just calibrating ,.to funny, but I know you feel my pain,..lol

  41. My suggestion is to temporary adjust in the camera first to find the right value in each of the 16 positions first and then connect the lens to the dock. It is a bit faster and doesn't require 16 programming's of the lens. It is not a got idea as the number of program sessions are limited. It isn't critical but when you can collect all data first, the savings is 15 times and that is beneficial.

  42. Hi, please can you explain how to do it in the infinity range? Is not to far to see the focusing chart?

  43. Does this process work on the SL2/200D? I'm hearing the process is different based on some of the limitations of the camera body.

  44. bought a used sigma usb dock in japan for less than $20. couldn't be happier. I sold it for $20 profit in my home country after calibrating my lens.

  45. I have a problem, Noone has explained what distance from the camera do i put the target. you explained how to measure, but not WHAT DISTANCE . I have the dock and 18-35. but how far away do i put my camera. do i have to move that distance for each focal length? i am so confused

  46. Since there are no dumb questions… What should the distance between my sensor plane and my tripod be for infinity?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *