Nov. 7, 2012 at 4:58 PM ET
Sigma, a third-party camera company generally known for offering lower-cost lenses, has added a new feather to its lens cap: a USB mount that lets photographers adjust and update the lens from their computer.
The new $899 35mm F/1.4 DG HSM lens from Sigma hits the usual points necessary for a good prime lens, and many photographers may consider it as a more affordable alternative to similar high-peformance lenses from Canon and Nikon.
Only careful testing can show how it performs, but in addition to its cost advantage, the lens is the first of Sigma's new line to take advantage of a potentially useful accessory that connects the lens directly to a computer and special optimization software.
While lenses are manufactured to incredibly precise specifications, tiny variations between shipped units still occur, leading to things like minute differences in focus or exposure. While some cameras include onboard tools to adjust for these things, many photographers would no doubt welcome a more user-friendly and robust solution.
Right now the mount will only work with this particular high-end lens, but it will be compatible with all the others in Sigma's new Global Vision line, which will include more popular lenses like wide-angle zooms. The lens is available now, and the USB mount will be available soon.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.