Thursday, June 26, 2014

Firmware V1.01 Update

Today I feel somewhat vindicated.  Sigma just released firmware Version 1.01 for the Canon mount 120-300 f2.8 Sports lens citing "improved the Auto Focus speed of “Standard” and “Speed-priority” modes" and (DRUM ROLL....) " improved the focus accuracy when it is mounted on Canon EOS-1D Mark III or Canon EOS-1D Mark IV".  WOOPIE!!!

I just finished updating the firmware in my lens and everything seems to have gone well.  When I plugged in the USB dock with the lens mounted and launched the Sigma Optimization Pro software I got the following screen:

Clicking on the "Detailed information" launched my web browser and displayed the following:

Funny that it only mentions the improved focus accuracy on the 1D Mark III and Mark IV though.  Clicking on "Yes" begins the update process that first displays the following "Caution" screen:

Clicking on "Agree" starts loading firmware update into the lens:

I didn't think to time the actual update process, but it only took about a minute or so.  When the update is finished the software lets you know:

Clicking on "Close" brings you to the main screen for the Optimization Pro software, where the "Lens Information" section should display the firmware as "Version 1.01":

So does it work?  My next post will have full details of my findings after I do a complete re-calibration of the focus, along with some field tests, so please check back soon.  However, here are my initial impressions.  Since I first got the USB dock I have been using the lens almost exclusively in the "Speed-priority" focus mode. As soon as I put my Mark IV up to my eye and activated the auto-focus I noticed immediately that the image "snapped" into focus faster than I am used to.  I can't put a quantitative figure on just how much faster it is, but it's enough that I took note of it immediately, that's for sure.  The lens also seems to be doing a lot less of the constant back-and-forth focus error-checking that it has always done when focusing on a static subject with the camera in "AI-Servo" focus mode.  It feels more like the Canon 300 f2.8 IS now in that regard, this is good.  As I said, I have not re-calibrated the focus or done any real testing yet, but with the zoom set in between 200mm and 300mm the focus does "appear" to be more accurate than before.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my extensive testing will prove that this firmware update is everything I need it to be, especially if the new firmware allows the same focus calibration settings for the 1D Mark III, Mark IV and all the other models too.   I do wish Sigma gave the option to save out the original firmware in case things do not go as expected, but I guess that's asking too much any more these days (how many of us wish we could roll our iPhones back to iOS 6 but can't?).  It's great that Sigma has released this update.  Too often camera and lens manufacturers claim to be "listening" to their customer's input, but never follow up on common complaints.  I have mentioned before about the fantastic service I have gotten from Sigma, and this just seems to fall in line with that.  Stay tuned...



  1. Looking much more positive. Hopefully your tests will confirm that the issues have been resolved. I'm looking to upgrade from my old non DG version to the new Sport version, but I was reluctant to commit after reading your problems and that of a few other users. Good luck with the tests and fingers crossed that the lens proves that it is worth the investment.

    1. Hi David,
      I am in the final stages of testing the new v1.01 firmware and will be adding a new post with full details soon. My early results are positive, so maybe an upgrade is in your future!

    2. Good job. I use my current lens almost exclusively for sports and it works well with the 1D Mkiv despite its age. I'd be hoping the new Sport lens could improve on its AF locking and tracking and offer a little more sharpness.

  2. I'm curious too, updated this morning, no time to test, tomorrow rain :( I'll be back :-)

  3. Finally, I found your post through Thank you so much. Using the 120-300S with 2x converter and a EOS 7D I really was going crazy about this lens shooting windsurf action. Most shots we not in focus. I already did send my lens with a 7D to Sigma Service in Germany to calibrate it: no effect! Now I know why and what to do. It is a shame, but my 28-300 L works so perfectly that I was not using the 120-300 S anymore. Thank you for your post. Do you have a focus setting table for your 7D that you would share with us? That would be wonderful and safe a lot of time! By the way, the Sigma 2x converter also looses screws at the bayonet connection to the camera. incredible! Also the bayonet lens connection is way too loose and shakes terribly.
    Thank you so much!

    1. Thanks Markus, I'm glad my blog is of some help. If you have the USB Dock (and are still on the original v1.00 lens firmware) you can try loading the custom parameters I used for the 7D, 5D Mark II and 50D listed in my first "Initial Rant" post. You will however have to figure out what in-camera AFMA value works best for your 7D with those settings. If you try that please let me know how it goes. I am in the final stages of testing the new v1.01 firmware, and so far things are looking positive. I will be adding a new post soon with full details!

    2. Canonrumors says there is or will be a new firmware for the usb-hub and also a new software-update for the 120-300 S. Do you already have some experience with the update? Will your focus tables still be needed or did Sigma fix the issue with this update?

  4. Hi Markus. As of today the latest version of the firmware for the 120-300 Canon mount is v1.02. The change from 1.01 is adding compatibility with the EOS Cinema cameras, which doesn't look like it will effect you. I am currently running the v1.02 firmware with no issues. The newer firmware you speak of is said to be v1.03 and is not released yet. It will add compatibility for the new Sigma converters. If you are not going to get one of the new converters then I don't see a point in upgrading since there is no word yet on how it may effect performance with the Canon converters. Also, I have already upgraded my USB dock to the latest firmware with no issues. My current lens still requires focus calibration from the default values, which is normal and expected. There were no changes in calibration for me from v1.01 to v1.02.