The Sigma USB dock is a device which attaches to the lens mount of certain Sigma lens and connects to a USB port on a computer to allow programming (PC or MAC) of the lens. Using the software supplied with the lens, the lens firmware can be updated and various lens parameters can be set. All lenses allow firmware updates and front/back focus correction. For single focal length lenses focus can be adjusted at 4 focus distances. For zoom lenses focus can be adjusted for 4 distances at each of 4 different focal lengths.
Some lenses allow the speed of manual focus (i.e the amount of rotation needed for a given change in focus) to be adjusted. This includes the 20mm F1.4 DG HSM, 24mm F1.4 DG HSM, 50mm F1.4 DG HSM, 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM and 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM.
The Sports lenses (150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM "S" and 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM), along with the 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM "C", allow modification of AF speed, Stabilization and focus limit settings to be changed and stored as custion options which can be selected by a switch on the lens.
The USB dock is available for the following lens mounts: Sigma, Sony, Canon, Pentax and Nikon.
The USB Dock can be used with the following lenses. [S] - Sports, [C] - Contemporaty, [A] - Art
Sigma have placed a number of videos describing the operation of the USB dock on YouTube. Here's the first video, which is an introduction to the system:
There are 6 other videos showing how to adjust the various lens settings such as focus, focus range, stabilization etc. You can find links to all the bideos on the Sigma Website Sigma USB Dock Videos (links will open in a new window)
I've used the USB dock myself and it's easy to install and use. While the Sigma lenses I have tested with it did not require any correction of front/back focus, I did adjust OS and focusing parameters and the system operates as advertised. What settings are best for you depends on you and how you like to shoot.
The whole system seems like a very good idea. It certainly beats shipping a lens back to the manufacturer if firmware updates are needed or if you discover your camera seems to front or back focus with a lens. I wonder if Canon or Nikon will ever have this ability with their lenses? Canon can update lens firmware via the camera body and a download, and front/back focusing can be adjusted somewhat (in the body) for Canon lenses, but it doesn't offer the flexibility of the Sigma system.
As I write this (12/15) you may not need to purchase the USB Dock since Adorama have a number of specials which include the USB Dock when you but certain lenses! For example the USB Dock is supplied at no charge with the , the and the . There's also currently (12/15) A $100 rebate on the 150-600 "C" lens and a $200 rebate on the 150-600 "S" lens. The free USB dock (and/or rebates) may not last long and may not be in effect at the time you are reading this, but if that's the case, the price of the is only $59, so it's a pretty affordable lens accessory.