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Archive 2012 · New FoCal believer
  
 
cputeq
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p.3 #1 · New FoCal believer


Well, all this talk of this stuff made me go out and buy the software

First I had to download and install the Parallels because apparently I'm too lazy to just reboot into Windows.

Installed the semi-pro version (the middle one) and had minor issue with the software telling me to "Select only centre point" even though I had already - but I thought perhaps it was freaking out because I had changed a point while the software was active, then back to middle....so, restarted the software and went fine.

My 50 1.8 II - 17!!! MA adjustment, which I had eyeballed at 10 initially. But, that little bastard is on-point now, even at f 1.8. Outer focal points are a wee bit back focused, but get in line at around f2.2 and frankly may be the result of field curvature or plain old blurriness at wide open. A visible improvement between 10 and 17 though.

24-105 - I eyeballed this one pretty accurately at "0", FoCal suggested 3 (at 105mm) so I went ahead with that one. I only tested this length, as frankly if I'm shooting 24mm it's more than likely stopped down anyway.
Very slight visible improvement using the software.

Zero crashes for me, using a pretty extreme setup of OS X running Parallels running Windows 7 64bit, with the camera connected to the USB port on my USB iMac keyboard





Jun 13, 2012 at 07:39 AM
PhilDrinkwater
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p.3 #2 · New FoCal believer


michaelnel wrote:
Mine crashes with "unexplained error" on the dust and sharpness tests. That is with the current release, but it also does it with the 1.5 pro beta version.

I'm pretty disappointed with the software. It fails to profile my Nikkor 18-105 every time. The software is unusable for me (and not inexpensive for the pro version), so I have asked for a refund, have not heard back from them yet.


To be honest, I'd stick with it if I was you. The guy knows there are bugs, but it has taken off much more than was expected I'd say. It's largely that he's so responsive that it's got to this "state" - he's been trying to give people what they've been asking for and the software has grown and become difficult to manage.

He's currently rewriting it from scratch to deal with this.

Personally, having spoken to him, I believe in him and I suspect the software will go from strength to strength and become the industry standard



Jun 13, 2012 at 08:12 AM
michaelnel
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p.3 #3 · New FoCal believer


He graciously issued me a refund. I will likely purchase the Mac version when it comes out. And when I do repurchase it for the Mac, I will have also returned to Canon. I didn't like the D7000 much and have returned it for refund.


Jun 13, 2012 at 03:11 PM
jerrykur
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p.3 #4 · New FoCal believer


What sort of differences in settings are people seeing when doing a manual calibration with a target(ex. Lens Align) vs. FoCal?


Jun 13, 2012 at 03:32 PM
stanj
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p.3 #5 · New FoCal believer


RobDickinson wrote:
Crashing is not user error.


I never said that.



Jun 13, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Imagemaster
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p.3 #6 · New FoCal believer


I will stick with the simple old method of placing three tins or boxes staggered slightly apart. With MA set to zero, I can easily see on the magnified lcd screen which item is sharpest.

I just purchased a used 300 f2.8 and it was apparent it was front-focusing. My second shot at MA +10 indicated that made the front-focusing less, and my third shot at -10 showed the front-focusing got worse. At that point, I knew the MA had to be adjusted in the plus direction more.

The fourth shot at +15 showed the centre box now getting sharper.

Finally the last shot at +20 appears good.

Quite a radical adjustment for this lens, but for a 300 f2.8 non-IS lens for $2,000 that appears in otherwise pristine condition, it should be no problem.

In the samples, I have cut and pasted portions of the test images together to more easily show the differences.





MA at zero







MA at +10







MA at -10







MA at +15



Edited on Jun 13, 2012 at 05:32 PM · View previous versions



Jun 13, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Imagemaster
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p.3 #7 · New FoCal believer


*





MA at +20



Edited on Jun 13, 2012 at 05:33 PM · View previous versions



Jun 13, 2012 at 04:55 PM
twistedlim
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p.3 #8 · New FoCal believer


jerrykur wrote:
What sort of differences in settings are people seeing when doing a manual calibration with a target(ex. Lens Align) vs. FoCal?



I have just done my 35L on 5d2 and 5d3. Both of my results are equal to what I had done with my own jig similar to the lens align. +3 on my 5d2 and +2 on the 5d3 I had to take a number of images to manually check it with my jig to get my MA setting. The fo-cal was kind of a no brainer allthough I had to experiment around with lighting so that I could get repeatable results. The rest of my primes are pretty close but I will check them with fo-cal when I have get time to set it up for longer distances. I think the key with any method is to set up a repeatable situation and you should be fine.



Jun 13, 2012 at 05:11 PM
mco_970
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p.3 #9 · New FoCal believer


jerrykur wrote:
What sort of differences in settings are people seeing when doing a manual calibration with a target(ex. Lens Align) vs. FoCal?


Most of my lenses MA at -5 to +5, some are +2, -2, etc. and I do see a difference for wide open shots after I have shot the lens for an event or two.

I cannot pick out this small of difference using a LensAlign, though. I tried it before FoCal and eventually sold the LensAlign. Looking at test charts on my monitor makes me crazy.

And being able to look at the graph that FoCal puts out that shows the sharpness curves, I can see why. The points tend to be clustered at the correct MA, but the correct MA is not necessarily the same as the sharpest shot. This is extremely misleading when you are trying to MA manually...



Jun 13, 2012 at 05:16 PM
RobertLynn
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p.3 #10 · New FoCal believer


I think I need to plunk down and buy this.

When I use my 1, 1DIV, I can pop my 24-70 on it, set up three batteries, and consistently have +5 backfocus sharper than any other setting (by hand). However, my other 1DIV is perfect.

It's just frustrating. I shoot wide open about 70-80% of the time (given how many sporting events I shoot) and when you're already shooting and focusing center mass on a fighter, an inch either way is a ruined photo.



Jun 20, 2012 at 12:19 AM
 

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Emile Gregoire
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p.3 #11 · New FoCal believer


Robert, you do. I've been using it ever since it came out and finally MA is working out for me the way it should. Hoping for the Mac version to come out soon.


Jun 20, 2012 at 08:21 AM
chez
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p.3 #12 · New FoCal believer


cputeq wrote:
Cool, that means they have almost caught up with How Olympus does MA on their E5 ( and maybe others?)

Now all Canon needs are scaling MA dependent on zoom setting (not just wide and long) and per-focus point MA capability to catch up

I think I will have to give this software a go.

Hehe, soft-ware. A bit fitting pun considering it is for MA.



Or better yet Canon could build to a tighter tolerance and we would not need MA at all. Paying $10,000 for a lens and then still needing to MA it does not sound right. Especially when you have to choose a distance for the MA as the amount of MA changes with subject distance. Personally I expect more for my hard earned dollars. MA is a crutch allowing camera and lens manufactures to loosen up their design and production tolerances. Just my humble opinion.



Jun 20, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Jeffrey
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p.3 #13 · New FoCal believer




Or better yet Canon could build to a tighter tolerance and we would not need MA at all. Paying $10,000 for a lens and then still needing to MA it does not sound right. Especially when you have to choose a distance for the MA as the amount of MA changes with subject distance. Personally I expect more for my hard earned dollars. MA is a crutch allowing camera and lens manufactures to loosen up their design and production tolerances. Just my humble opinion.



That's crap. Every manufacturing process has a tolerance. That's reality. It is impressive how tight these products are made. I've owned 4 pro bodies and about 15 lenses and never really felt the need for MA. Sure they CAN be built to tighter standards, but then we could never afford them.



Jun 20, 2012 at 04:10 PM
RobertLynn
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p.3 #14 · New FoCal believer


Emile Gregoire wrote:
Robert, you do. I've been using it ever since it came out and finally MA is working out for me the way it should. Hoping for the Mac version to come out soon.
this upsets me though. You've got to do it for the distance you think you'll shoot at.

Well, how tight is that tolerance? 5 ft? 20ft? You know what I mean.

I will more than likely get it. My 24-70 looks soft on my 1-1d4, but is spot on, on my other 1d4.



Jun 20, 2012 at 05:14 PM
WalnutPond
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p.3 #15 · New FoCal believer


No mac version still.... got my new 1dx and want to use this. Kinda a pisser.



Aug 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM
dgdg
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p.3 #16 · New FoCal believer


I am pleased with the 5dii and my 50 mm 1.8, 400mm f.4 calibrations. Low light (it was not recommended) initially gave poor results on the 50mm. I encountered several 'crashes' during full auto testing with both lenses, but was able to achieve good results without much extra effort.


Aug 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM
jwp721
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p.3 #17 · New FoCal believer


RobertLynn wrote:
I think I need to plunk down and buy this.

When I use my 1, 1DIV, I can pop my 24-70 on it, set up three batteries, and consistently have +5 backfocus sharper than any other setting (by hand). However, my other 1DIV is perfect.

It's just frustrating. I shoot wide open about 70-80% of the time (given how many sporting events I shoot) and when you're already shooting and focusing center mass on a fighter, an inch either way is a ruined photo.


Old post I know.... But this really does not make any sense at all as for a reason to buy FoCal. You already know the best MFA setting for one of your 1DIV's is +5 and the best setting for another camera is 0. That type of information is why you would buy FoCal to begin with and you already have that info. FoCal does not fix back/front focusing... it just determines what the best MFA setting is. No need to confuse other readers into thinking the software does something that is doesn't do.

Satisfied FoCal user by the way.....

John



Aug 30, 2012 at 12:28 PM
retrofocus
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p.3 #18 · New FoCal believer


...and you had to start a new post for this personal experience and not adding it to one of the several FocalPosts in the recent past. But I am glad you made the same experience which I did regarding FocalPro, congrats!


Aug 30, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Alek Komarnits
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p.3 #19 · New FoCal believer


I posted here about my experience/testing FoCal with the Canon 7D (LINK FIXED) ... a few quirks, but overall pretty happy.

One interesting tidbit is doing aperture testing is that most of my various lens (10-22, 17-55, (bare) 70-200/2.8ISv2, and even the 18-200) were "as-sharp" wide-open ... but the 55-250 (and that 70-200 *with* the 2xII TC) both lost some sharpness at the last click ... but F6.3 was about as good as F8.0.

Edited on Aug 30, 2012 at 02:46 PM · View previous versions



Aug 30, 2012 at 01:29 PM
pKai
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p.3 #20 · New FoCal believer


Imagemaster wrote:
I will stick with the simple old method of placing three tins or boxes staggered slightly apart. With MA set to zero, I can easily see on the magnified lcd screen which item is sharpest.


Of course manual works just as well. It just takes longer. With Focal, I can do a lens in 5 minutes while watching TV. That's what you're paying for... speed and convenience.



Aug 30, 2012 at 02:02 PM
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