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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:59 pm 
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http://www.reikan.co.uk/focal/

This is something I've been monitoring and have been wondering if I should jump in. It is yet another tool to help you set up AF micro-adjust. Unlike the LensAlign and similar systems, this is primarily a software product, not just a physical target. To use you print off or buy their target, connect the body to a PC and let it go. Output is a chart showing relative performance with different settings. In short, it could be a big time saver if you want to do all your lenses, and even their full blown "pro" version is cheaper than the target assist products.

Currently they support 7D, 5D2, 50D and 1Ds3, with 1D3 and 1D4 promised soon before they start working on Nikon bodies.

It is interesting they're thinking of putting in more performance measuring capabilities in the software in future, so might be useful for quick checks if you suspect a lens is sub-par.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:01 pm 
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No OSX version....shame looks good.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:07 pm 
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from website:

What about Macs?
Originally, FoCal was planned to be PC only, but there has been so much demand for a Mac version that it's now on the plan. If you purchase a license for the PC version now, it will work with the Mac version also when it's released.


So Mac release is very soon ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:27 pm 
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It's not really a problem though Mark. you can always start VMware Player, make your own Win install and boot that on top of your OS X ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:02 am 
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I've heard elsewhere it runs in Parallels.

My biggest question which is stopping me from getting this is simply that, do I have enough of a problem for it to solve? I've already done a manual adjust of the lenses that needed it on my two supported bodies. I think it is good enough, but not necessarily perfect.

Also, like most software, it isn't perfect. So maybe I'll wait a little longer for existing quirks to be ironed out and see if they put in any more features that might elevate it to a "must have".

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:41 pm 
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yeah i might try it on a windows partition, just need to buy windows :-/

I'll possibly just wait.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:55 am 
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I recently read about this on a forum on a quiet nighshift, digital picture I think, like you said it still has flaws.

I can see the benefit, it seems a more scientific approach then using a chart.
I will wait till they develop it some more
The only lens that gives me trouble is the 50 1.8, its focusing point shifts depending on how far away the subject is.
I would be better served using some of that cash and getting a 50 1.4.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:37 pm 
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Now I have a bit of free time ahead, I've gone and ordered it. Will report again once I've got it and tried it.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:08 pm 
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Just gave it a test run with the three cheap primes on the 7D and 5D2:
EF 35mm f/2
EF 50mm f/1.8
EF 85 f/1.8

I have manually adjusted these previously.

Test environment was my spare room/store room/studio. I pinned a printed copy of the target to a wall and lit it with a continuous diffuse light as well as whatever normal room light is present. The software reported the light at the target was around 8-9EV. They recommend 10EV for more consistent results.

Starting with the 5D2, it went smoothly enough. The 50mm f/1.8 was always the awkward lens for me, and the software returned the same value I picked: 7. Good start. The other two lenses I decided the default value of 0 was "close enough" and I didn't tweak them further. FoCal determined a value of -2 for both. The differences were minimal though. I think the amount of longitudinal CA might be slightly reduced after adjustment, which is why it was "better".

Ok, let's do the same with the 7D. Here it started badly and went downhill. I started again on the 50mm f/1.8. My value here was 8, and the software picked 9. But it seemed to show a lot more variability. The 85mm f/1.8... the software gave up. I set a limit of 50 test shots maximum (default 30) and it hadn't converged by that point. The 35mm f/2 didn't go much better. I picked a value of 6, and the software picked a value of 0.

It was generally interesting running this software. The variability at each setting was quite significant. Also, even when converged, there's quite a flat top to the curve so there is some margin for "good enough" adjustment.

I should add one more point here. This testing I did at a target distance of 1.3m for all these lenses. This was simply how much room I had to play with. Canon recommend 50x focal length, so I was working much closer than that, but it does better represent my typical usage (close up indoor).

Other possible contributors to the poor performance may include slight high frequency flicker from the lights, and the tripod on carpet wasn't the stablest mount in the world, even with MLU enabled.

I'll try setting this up in natural daylight later, perhaps with a more solid surface and will give it another go then. I'm actually more interesting in how the longer lenses behave. Not looking forward to the 100-400L though, that works out at a recommended distance of 20m. Even going from my house to the far end of the garden wont be enough for that...

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:33 am 
Popo,

Just come into interest with this software and was interested to see if you re-tested the lens you had or gave up on the software. I know they are now up to version 1.5.2 now since Jan and will hopefully have a mac version coming out this month, which is what I am waiting for as don't want to really bootcamp my mac and put windows on it!

Anyone else had any comments or views on this software, or even better used it like Popo???


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:28 am 
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I've noticed they've significantly updated the software since I last tried it. I haven't used it since. A big flaw with the way I was testing is that I was very close to the target, closer than recommended.

I suppose there's two parts to this, getting good enough adjustment, and knowing what the lens does which is in the new version. Since I'm already at "good enough" I haven't been motivated to play with doing more.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:16 am 
Ok fair enough Popo. I've brought the software, just waiting for the mac version to be realised before I try it. I'll let you know my thoughts, should be version 1.6 out very soon too.


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