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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 24 Jan 2017 (Tuesday) 16:41
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Using the Tamron console/Sigma dock with a zoom lens

 
pknight
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Jan 24, 2017 16:41 |  #1

This is not unique to Canon, but there is no third-party lens forum, so here goes.

I recently bought the Tamron 150-600 G2 with the Tamron Tap-in Console for $1099 from BuyDig. My camera body is a 7DII. I already had the Sigma USB Dock, which I used on a prime lens. Using either of these on a prime lens is pretty straightforward. However, when I started to figure out adjustment values for the G2, things got hairy. First, the Tamron console allows focus adjustment for 18 combinations of focus distance and focal length with this lens (3 distances x six focal lengths). I was trying to figure ballpark adjustment numbers by using the Dot-Tune method at each focal length/distance combination. However, this required me to choose between making adjustments in the camera at the wide end versus the long end. I figured that at 150mm the wide end made sense, and that at 600mm the long end would make sense, but what about the other focal lengths? It turns out that you do not get the same results with Dot-Tune when you separately adjust the wide end and the long end by the same amount. What to do at the four focal lengths between 150 and 600? Then there is the issue of whether in-camera adjustment values correspond to the values used by either of these lens systems.

Dustin Abbot used the Tamron console to adjust a prime lens (the 45mm, perhaps?), and used values from FoCal. However, I doubt that the FoCal target would work at the distances required for the G2 (2.2m, 20m and infinity). FoCal expects the target to be a certain distance that is a function of the focal length, not independent of the focal length, as these devices require.

The one sure way to use the Tamron console to adjust the G2 seems impractical to me. It would involve arbitrarily setting an adjustment for a single focal length/focus distance combination using the console. Then you remove the console, put the lens on the camera, and take a series of test shots at that particular FL/distance combination. You then put the lens back on the console, change the adjustment, take the lens off the console, and shoot some more tests at that FL/distance combination. You then compare the two sets of shots, and based on that comparison, try another adjustment setting, comparing those shots to the best of the first two sets. And so on until you find the optimal setting for that FL/distance combination. Keep in mind that there are 41 possible adjustment levels. Then you repeat the process for the remaining 17 combinations of FL and distance.

This seems daunting to me. So, has anyone used either of these devices to adjust focus on a zoom lens, and what was your procedure? Tamron only states that these adjustments are possible, not how they should be done.

(BTW, the lens itself is quite sharp and focuses well without adjustment. It's just that the console came with the lens, and I figured I would use it. Now I am determined to figure out if there is some practical way to do so.)


Digital EOS 90D Canon: EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, Life-Size Converter EF Tamron: SP 17-50mm f/2.8 DiII, 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII VC HLD, SP 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, SP 70-200 f/2.8 Di VC USD, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DiII VC HLD Sigma: 30mm f/1.4 DC Art Rokinon: 8mm f/3.5 AS IF UMC

  
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Jan 24, 2017 17:16 |  #2

pknight wrote in post #18254512 (external link)
This is not unique to Canon, but there is no third-party lens forum, so here goes.

I recently bought the Tamron 150-600 G2 with the Tamron Tap-in Console for $1099 from BuyDig. My camera body is a 7DII. I already had the Sigma USB Dock, which I used on a prime lens. Using either of these on a prime lens is pretty straightforward. However, when I started to figure out adjustment values for the G2, things got hairy. First, the Tamron console allows focus adjustment for 18 combinations of focus distance and focal length with this lens (3 distances x six focal lengths). I was trying to figure ballpark adjustment numbers by using the Dot-Tune method at each focal length/distance combination. However, this required me to choose between making adjustments in the camera at the wide end versus the long end. I figured that at 150mm the wide end made sense, and that at 600mm the long end would make sense, but what about the other focal lengths? It turns out that you do not get the same results with Dot-Tune when you separately adjust the wide end and the long end by the same amount. What to do at the four focal lengths between 150 and 600? Then there is the issue of whether in-camera adjustment values correspond to the values used by either of these lens systems.

Dustin Abbot used the Tamron console to adjust a prime lens (the 45mm, perhaps?), and used values from FoCal. However, I doubt that the FoCal target would work at the distances required for the G2 (2.2m, 20m and infinity). FoCal expects the target to be a certain distance that is a function of the focal length, not independent of the focal length, as these devices require.

The one sure way to use the Tamron console to adjust the G2 seems impractical to me. It would involve arbitrarily setting an adjustment for a single focal length/focus distance combination using the console. Then you remove the console, put the lens on the camera, and take a series of test shots at that particular FL/distance combination. You then put the lens back on the console, change the adjustment, take the lens off the console, and shoot some more tests at that FL/distance combination. You then compare the two sets of shots, and based on that comparison, try another adjustment setting, comparing those shots to the best of the first two sets. And so on until you find the optimal setting for that FL/distance combination. Keep in mind that there are 41 possible adjustment levels. Then you repeat the process for the remaining 17 combinations of FL and distance.

This seems daunting to me. So, has anyone used either of these devices to adjust focus on a zoom lens, and what was your procedure? Tamron only states that these adjustments are possible, not how they should be done.

(BTW, the lens itself is quite sharp and focuses well without adjustment. It's just that the console came with the lens, and I figured I would use it. Now I am determined to figure out if there is some practical way to do so.)

If the lens works well without doing the adjustment, save yourself and sanity and just don't :p. You are correct that it is daunting to figure these things out, and there's not much to be gained if it's working well right out of the box. I've attempted, a couple of times, to adjust my Sigma 18-35 with the dock and now I have to go back and reset it because it's worse than when I started.


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Jan 24, 2017 20:21 |  #3

If you are going to use the lenses built in adjustments it won't matter if you use the wide or tele setting in the body, since once you have finished the process it will be turned off again. It is simply a matter of running the tests at each of the FL/Distance combinations and noting them down using the camera settings. I would then copy them all to the lens using the dock and then just run the wide/close and long/far tests and see what results you get. If they are the same I it's a case of how many others do you want to double check? If they are both out by the same amount I would shift all of the settings in the lens to try to compensate, again checking the two extremes first. Once you have the camera/lens settings matching at the extremes it is again just a matter of how many other settings do you feel you need to check.

I have to say that I have not seen any errors in focus with my Sigma 150-600 C and 50D when shooting normally. I did try the testing using ML and it's built in Dottune test. I ran into issues though with repeatability, every time I tried running the test, having reset the manual focus between tests using LV/10× zoom I would get a very different result. If I didn't touch the lens and just ran it the results would be a bit closer. I was using the default ML setting which averaged the Dottune result over ten runs. Often it seemed that even at MFD the AF system was showing an AF lock all the way out to both ends of the cameras adjustment scale. In the end I just gave up!

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Jan 25, 2017 02:53 |  #4

Sigma should be forcibly struck with a shovel for releasing such a tool with negligent guidance on it's use.

Emailing them results in non-committal vagueness.


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pknight
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Jan 25, 2017 08:01 |  #5

Gungnir wrote in post #18254849 (external link)
Sigma should be forcibly struck with a shovel for releasing such a tool with negligent guidance on it's use.

Emailing them results in non-committal vagueness.

Likewise Tamron, at least as regards guidance. This is their "instruction manual." http://tamron.cdngc.ne​t …pdf/TAP01inst_1​604_en.pdf (external link)
The online help that the manual refers to does not really explain how to use the thing.

I did send Tamron an email asking for guidance. We will see.


Digital EOS 90D Canon: EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, Life-Size Converter EF Tamron: SP 17-50mm f/2.8 DiII, 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII VC HLD, SP 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, SP 70-200 f/2.8 Di VC USD, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DiII VC HLD Sigma: 30mm f/1.4 DC Art Rokinon: 8mm f/3.5 AS IF UMC

  
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Jan 25, 2017 08:16 |  #6

BigAl007 wrote in post #18254684 (external link)
If you are going to use the lenses built in adjustments it won't matter if you use the wide or tele setting in the body, since once you have finished the process it will be turned off again.

Except that using the wide-end adjustment in the camera to determine the number to put into the lens gives different results than using the long-end adjustment. Sometimes dramatically different results. For intermediate focal lengths, using numbers derived from traditional in-camera focus adjustments as a starting point begs the question of which numbers to use. Back to trial-and-error.

It might be best just to ignore the console (which I can do without guilt, since it was included in the price I paid for the lens), and adjust the wide and tele ends like I would any other lens, and forget about it. I could still use the console to update lens firmware, adjust the operation of the VC and distance limiter, etc.

Or, I was thinking that to at least check the focus accuracy without the hassle of initially making changes with the console at every step, set up the lens for each distance/focal length combo, take a carefully focused live view image of the target, and then take 3 or 4 AF images of the target, de-focusing between each. I could then compare the optimally focused image at each combo of distance and FL with the AF images at that combo, and decide if any additional adjustment would be worth the time and effort.

I think that these devices have the potential to optimize their lenses, but the time and labor involved in doing so is just not worth it.


Digital EOS 90D Canon: EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, Life-Size Converter EF Tamron: SP 17-50mm f/2.8 DiII, 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII VC HLD, SP 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, SP 70-200 f/2.8 Di VC USD, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DiII VC HLD Sigma: 30mm f/1.4 DC Art Rokinon: 8mm f/3.5 AS IF UMC

  
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Jan 25, 2017 09:28 |  #7

What was wrong with the lens that it needed adjusting?


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pknight
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Jan 25, 2017 11:00 |  #8

DreDaze wrote in post #18255015 (external link)
What was wrong with the lens that it needed adjusting?

Nothing at all. However, using the in-camera focus adjustments has always resulted in at least marginal improvements in focus on every lens I have owned, so I wanted to give this a shot. Also, I have been arguing on another thread that an honest evaluation of the true performance of this lens (and by extension any lens) can only be made if its performance has been maximized using the tools available. These would include the in-camera adjustments provided by the camera manufacturer for potentially any lens, and the use of in-lens adjustments for Sigma and Tamron lenses that are supported by the respective hardware. I figured I should put my money where my mouth is, until I realized what a chore this is with these devices and zoom lenses.


Digital EOS 90D Canon: EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, Life-Size Converter EF Tamron: SP 17-50mm f/2.8 DiII, 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII VC HLD, SP 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, SP 70-200 f/2.8 Di VC USD, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DiII VC HLD Sigma: 30mm f/1.4 DC Art Rokinon: 8mm f/3.5 AS IF UMC

  
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Jan 25, 2017 15:32 |  #9

Tamron was very quick (less than a day) to respond to my question. Their response follows. What is interesting is that they offer to perform the adjustment for you if you are willing to send in the lens with your camera. I assume that there is no cost involved, as none is mentioned, but I could be wrong. There is useful advice here for people who want to perform the adjustments, such as don't bother with charts, and don't bother with using in-camera adjustment numbers, which might not correspond to the degree of adjustment using those numbers in the console. I also like that they mean infinity when they say infinity. The hyperfocal distance for this lens at 600mm is over a mile and a half, so the two-mile recommendation seems right.

FWIW, I had watched the Dustin Abbott video that they mention, and I think he used Reikan FoCal to determine adjustment values, but as I said before, that is unlikely to help with this lens.

So it sounds as though it would be a trial-and-error process. I will probably eventually go through it as they suggest, with the added step of including a 10x-live-view-focused shot for comparison purposes at each setting combo. If and when I do this I will dig this thread up and report my experience.

Hello Patrick, and thank you for contacting Tamron. Have you seen this video how-to/explanation from Dustin Abbott?

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=8Vm-17Pq6Jc (external link)

He goes in depth in how to make the necessary adjustments to our prime lenses, but the same principle applies to our zoom lenses. You just have to repeat the same process for the different focal lengths. Think of the zoom lens as multiple prime lenses in one body. I would not bother buying focus tuning charts, as the measurements on the chart may not necessarily match the ones on the TAP-in Utility software. You can choose one focal length to start with (600mm for example), then shoot test shots on a tripod (VC turned off, mirror up or at least 2s timer) of high contrast subjects (street signs or anything that is unambiguously picked up by the camera/lens autofocus) at three separate distances: 2.2m (7.2’), 20m (65.6’), and infinity (anything beyond 2 miles for this lens). Once you have those images, evaluate them to see how much focus shift is present. The TAP-in Utility is very effective at making focus adjustments, so I suggest starting with small adjustments (+/- 5), re-shooting and seeing how those adjustments impacted the result. It is a trial and error process, but once it’s performed the lens would be perfect for your camera body. Some people may not mind the tweaking that must be performed, but if you do not feel this is something you would like to do, you are welcome to send your lens and camera to us, and we can make all the necessary adjustments to your lens. Below is our TAP-in Utility online help guide:

http://www.tamron.co.j​p/software/en/tapin/he​lp/ (external link)

Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Alberto Tanikawa

Customer Service Representative

Tamron USA, INC
10 Austin Blvd
Commack, NY 11725


Digital EOS 90D Canon: EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, Life-Size Converter EF Tamron: SP 17-50mm f/2.8 DiII, 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII VC HLD, SP 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, SP 70-200 f/2.8 Di VC USD, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DiII VC HLD Sigma: 30mm f/1.4 DC Art Rokinon: 8mm f/3.5 AS IF UMC

  
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Jan 25, 2017 15:59 |  #10

Considering they're charging $250 for a firmware update I'd guess there's a charge


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Jan 26, 2017 00:06 |  #11

pknight wrote in post #18254512 (external link)
This is not unique to Canon, but there is no third-party lens forum, so here goes.

I recently bought the Tamron 150-600 G2 with the Tamron Tap-in Console for $1099 from BuyDig. My camera body is a 7DII. I already had the Sigma USB Dock, which I used on a prime lens. Using either of these on a prime lens is pretty straightforward. However, when I started to figure out adjustment values for the G2, things got hairy. First, the Tamron console allows focus adjustment for 18 combinations of focus distance and focal length with this lens (3 distances x six focal lengths). I was trying to figure ballpark adjustment numbers by using the Dot-Tune method at each focal length/distance combination. However, this required me to choose between making adjustments in the camera at the wide end versus the long end. I figured that at 150mm the wide end made sense, and that at 600mm the long end would make sense, but what about the other focal lengths? It turns out that you do not get the same results with Dot-Tune when you separately adjust the wide end and the long end by the same amount. What to do at the four focal lengths between 150 and 600? Then there is the issue of whether in-camera adjustment values correspond to the values used by either of these lens systems.

Dustin Abbot used the Tamron console to adjust a prime lens (the 45mm, perhaps?), and used values from FoCal. However, I doubt that the FoCal target would work at the distances required for the G2 (2.2m, 20m and infinity). FoCal expects the target to be a certain distance that is a function of the focal length, not independent of the focal length, as these devices require.

The one sure way to use the Tamron console to adjust the G2 seems impractical to me. It would involve arbitrarily setting an adjustment for a single focal length/focus distance combination using the console. Then you remove the console, put the lens on the camera, and take a series of test shots at that particular FL/distance combination. You then put the lens back on the console, change the adjustment, take the lens off the console, and shoot some more tests at that FL/distance combination. You then compare the two sets of shots, and based on that comparison, try another adjustment setting, comparing those shots to the best of the first two sets. And so on until you find the optimal setting for that FL/distance combination. Keep in mind that there are 41 possible adjustment levels. Then you repeat the process for the remaining 17 combinations of FL and distance.

This seems daunting to me. So, has anyone used either of these devices to adjust focus on a zoom lens, and what was your procedure? Tamron only states that these adjustments are possible, not how they should be done.

(BTW, the lens itself is quite sharp and focuses well without adjustment. It's just that the console came with the lens, and I figured I would use it. Now I am determined to figure out if there is some practical way to do so.)

A lens variation may be consistent across the board, That was the case with my Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8. It worked almost perfectly with my Canon 60D, but it was way way off with my 7D Mark II. After hours of testing and modifications with the USB dock for all sixteen focal length/focus distance combinations I finally got the lens to focus sharply. The end results were between +12 and +14 for each setting. So, as an experiment, I reset the lens to the original 0 settings and used the camera's micro focus adjustment feature to adjust the camera +14 at the wide end and +13 at the long end. The end result was as good as what I achieved with the dock. This made sense to me because the lens had worked fine with my 60D. It was probably off on my 7D Mark II as a result of manufacturing tolerances. I suspect that most of the time that's the issue with why a lens works fine with body A and not as good with body B. The advantage using MFA was that since the Sigma lens itself was no longer modified, it can be used on my wife and son's camera's without having to undue the dock's modifications. The bottom line, unless the individual adjustments are all over the place, using your camera's MFA feature may be an equally good and a much easier process.


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Jan 26, 2017 09:46 |  #12

mwsilver wrote in post #18255647 (external link)
A lens variation may be consistent across the board, That was the case with my Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8. It worked almost perfectly with my Canon 60D, but it was way way off with my 7D Mark II. After hours of testing and modifications with the USB dock for all sixteen focal length/focus distance combinations I finally got the lens to focus sharply. The end results were between +12 and +14 for each setting. So, as an experiment, I reset the lens to the original 0 settings and used the camera's micro focus adjustment feature to adjust the camera +14 at the wide end and +13 at the long end. The end result was as good as what I achieved with the dock. This made sense to me because the lens had worked fine with my 60D. It was probably off on my 7D Mark II as a result of manufacturing tolerances. I suspect that most of the time that's the issue with why a lens works fine with body A and not as good with body B. The advantage using MFA was that since the Sigma lens itself was no longer modified, it can be used on my wife and son's camera's without having to undue the dock's modifications. The bottom line, unless the individual adjustments are all over the place, using your camera's MFA feature may be an equally good and a much easier process.

You may be right. I am only running one body, but your point about using the lens on different bodies is a good one. One big difference between an 18-35mm (a not-quite 2:1 zoom ratio) and a 150-600mm (4:1 ratio) is that there is more room for intermediate differences in focus. I suspect that it comes down to the optics and mechanics of the zoom functions, and whether the changes that would affect focus are linear over the 4x zoom range. For that reason, I am now thinking that I will start this process by taking an in-focus live-view image at each combo to compare to AF images and see if the lens is off consistently, if at all. If so, the in-camera adjustments will probably suffice. If not, then the console may be the answer.


Digital EOS 90D Canon: EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, Life-Size Converter EF Tamron: SP 17-50mm f/2.8 DiII, 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII VC HLD, SP 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, SP 70-200 f/2.8 Di VC USD, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DiII VC HLD Sigma: 30mm f/1.4 DC Art Rokinon: 8mm f/3.5 AS IF UMC

  
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Jan 26, 2017 09:47 as a reply to  @ DreDaze's post |  #13

Hmm. I had the firmware updated on my 150-600 G1, and all I had to pay was $4.00 return shipping. Of course, firmware updates for the G2 are free if you have the console.


Digital EOS 90D Canon: EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, Life-Size Converter EF Tamron: SP 17-50mm f/2.8 DiII, 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII VC HLD, SP 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, SP 70-200 f/2.8 Di VC USD, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DiII VC HLD Sigma: 30mm f/1.4 DC Art Rokinon: 8mm f/3.5 AS IF UMC

  
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Jan 26, 2017 10:27 |  #14

pknight wrote in post #18255894 (external link)
Hmm. I had the firmware updated on my 150-600 G1, and all I had to pay was $4.00 return shipping. Of course, firmware updates for the G2 are free if you have the console.

Yeah, it's mainly the older lenses that are no longer working with the newer bodies...also it would have to be out of warranty supposedly for the charge


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Jan 26, 2017 14:08 |  #15

DreDaze wrote in post #18255922 (external link)
Yeah, it's mainly the older lenses that are no longer working with the newer bodies...also it would have to be out of warranty supposedly for the charge

That makes sense, I guess, to charge for older lenses. With 6-year warranties in the US, I haven't gotten to that point yet!


Digital EOS 90D Canon: EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, Life-Size Converter EF Tamron: SP 17-50mm f/2.8 DiII, 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII VC HLD, SP 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, SP 70-200 f/2.8 Di VC USD, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DiII VC HLD Sigma: 30mm f/1.4 DC Art Rokinon: 8mm f/3.5 AS IF UMC

  
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Using the Tamron console/Sigma dock with a zoom lens
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Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.