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Archive 2012 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?
  
 
StillFingerz
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p.1 #1 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


First off, I've only just picked up a body with AF micro adjustment, the 50D, I mostly only use the AF center point and will be jumping into FF; a 5D3, next year, so I've never gone through this procedure, had to even consider doing so.

My collection of L glass is growing (70-200 and 300 f4L IS's in my current kit) with 100L mac, 17-40 or 24-105 and perhaps 400 f5.6L or 100-400L in the future. I also have several much liked/used lenses including a 20-35, 24-85 and 100 mac, along with a 50 f1.4...a 28 and 85 f1.8 might be in the mix as well.

I've read about several micro adjustment methods, devices, and FoCal seems the best, easiest to use. Computer n software do not scare me, I've been a designer/developer for over 30yrs. I've reviewed the info on Reikan's website, pricing is not an issue, but not having even attempted this adjustment, what version would you FMers that use it recommend?

I'm a hobbyist and shoot city/landscapes, close-up/macro and still life; flowers n such, on occasion some action; kids soccer games, racing and surfing...I do like sharp images and rely on AF a good bit, Live view and manual focus are used as well, I'm not a pixel peeper....I just love to shoot for fun...would like a better AF keeper rate via AF adjustment

Any and all advice/help is greatly appreciated!

Jerry



Aug 20, 2012 at 08:15 PM
svassh
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p.1 #2 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


I am also a hobbyist and have the Plus version. It does everything I would want including the automated setting of the MF on bodies that support it. I would recommend it to anyone.


Aug 20, 2012 at 08:39 PM
StillFingerz
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p.1 #3 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


svassh wrote:
I am also a hobbyist and have the Plus version. It does everything I would want including the automated setting of the MF on bodies that support it. I would recommend it to anyone.


Hi Svassh,

Off topic, but how do you like the 5D3, it's new AF in particular? I hear a lot about people missing the red AF confirm of older bodies. The 5D2's AF is close to the same as my 40 & 50D, should I have any concern's with the 5D3?

Thanks for your FoCal advice!

Jerry



Aug 20, 2012 at 08:54 PM
tdodd
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p.1 #4 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


I have FoCal pro and with four bodies (just added a 5D3) and ten lenses the cost per calibration is very small. I don't know which features are lacking in the lower offerings, but I'm very happy with the pro version and it keeps getting better all the time. I actually got my copy free, as one of the original beta testers, but I still think it offers cracking value if you have a lot of gear to sort out.

The favourite feature for me, apart from the simplicity of running calibration is the plot of IQ vs AFMA value, which can help identify poorly performing (inconsistent) gear as well as a simple calibration mismatch. The "sharpest aperture" graph is another nice feature too.



Aug 20, 2012 at 09:26 PM
StillFingerz
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p.1 #5 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


Thanks Tdodd,

Besides the auto MFA the sharpest aperture feature looked quite helpful indeed

I'll ask of you as well (and anyone who has a 5D3), how do you like the 5D3, it's AF, etc. so far?

Jerry



Aug 20, 2012 at 09:52 PM
tdodd
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p.1 #6 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


My current lineup is a 7D, 1D3, 5D2 and 5D3. If I could keep only one of them it would be the 5D3. It is a fantastic camera - very responsive and with a terrific AF system. I can't say I've been troubled at all by the absence of red AF point illumination.

I bought the 1D3 primarily for the AF system for shooting action including BIF. The 5D3 beats it. Sure the 1D3 is fast, but I don't need that speed or the build and weatherproofing, or the weight and bulk. Ergonomics aren't all that either. Too much stuff buried in menus instead of available at the blind touch of a button.

I bought the 7D for the AF system and the reach. In practice the reach is hard to leverage at anything other than base ISO. When shooting action you're caught between a rock and a hard place. You need the shutter speed up for crisp detail, but you need to raise the ISO, which destroys it again. By the time you've cleaned up I don't think you have the detail there which 18MP would have you believe. You need fast, sharp glass and great technique, or to be shooting slow moving stuff that doesn't strain the limits. I don't find it intersting to shoot stuff which oesn't move. It's not that the camera can't deliver lovely images, but rarely are they 18MP worth. The spec sheet is marvellous (for the price and age) and the ergonomics, features and speed are great, but the 5D3 beats it.

The 5D2 I bought for the IQ and DOF control, and those things it delivers in spades, but the AF system is abysmal anywhere but centre point and that just doesn't deliver reliable results with fast glass and fast shooting of moving subjects. The 5D3 delivers the IQ, the DOF control and everything else you (OK, I) could wish for. Again the 5D3 is way out in front.

I'm afraid I struggle to get round to selling my old gear - I've still got my 30D from 2006 sitting boxed up - but if I could be bothered I'd happily get rid of all the the older cameras, my redundant WFT-E3 and my 17-55 and buy a second 5D3 with change to spare.

The only downside of the 5D3 - it doesn't make me a better photographer, so while it is a joy to use I am still shooting the same old sh!t, but loving it.



Aug 20, 2012 at 10:28 PM
svassh
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p.1 #7 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


StillFingerz wrote:
Hi Svassh,

Off topic, but how do you like the 5D3, it's new AF in particular? I hear a lot about people missing the red AF confirm of older bodies. The 5D2's AF is close to the same as my 40 & 50D, should I have any concern's with the 5D3?

Thanks for your FoCal advice!

Jerry


I went from a 7D/1DIIn to a 5D II for better IQ but really missed the better AF of the 7D/1DIIn. The 5D III leaves nothing to be desired and is a fantastic all around body. Sure the red AF confirm would be nice but its easy enough to work around. Every body is likely to have some compromise but the 5D III has fewer compromises than any other body currently available for me anyways.

Good luck you can't go wrong with any version of Focal. I might recommend the Plus as your first purchase as you can always upgrade to the Pro if you find you need it for only the difference price.



Aug 20, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #8 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


How is FoCal's update policy? Updates for free with upgrades at a discount to current users?

How often do they seem to offer software upgrades?

Thanks.



Feb 10, 2013 at 04:53 AM
 

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stanj
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p.1 #9 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


The updates are so infrequent that I would not worry too much about having to pay for them


Feb 10, 2013 at 04:57 AM
scalesusa
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p.1 #10 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


If focal supports the 50D, I recommend the Pro Version. I pre-ordered it when it was announced in December 2011. Updates are fairly frequent, there have been 5 or 6 in the last year. It has really changed and improved with each upgrade.

So far, the upgrades are free. At some point, they might start charging for them, but not yet. As long as they get a lot of new customers and cash is flowing in, they are able to keep updating it.

I love it, but it does require some care to get good consistent results. A stable tripod on a stable floor, bright light, and careful target alignment. I have a laptop platform mounted to my tripod, and that works really well.



Feb 10, 2013 at 05:44 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #11 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


tdodd wrote:
I actually got my copy free, as one of the original beta testers, but I still think it offers cracking value if you have a lot of gear to sort out.


Today we are all beta testers. Even if we pay for it

I like it. But the software is still not ready to be sold as a finished product



Feb 10, 2013 at 05:47 AM
PhilDrinkwater
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p.1 #12 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


I don't know which are available in other versions, but I use the sharpest aperture test to understand my lenses better but also the one which tells you have consistent your focus is on a lens. It's led to me used my 35L more for certain shots in dark conditions because I know it'll get it..

I used the sharpest aperture test to confirm my new 24-70 ii was one of the good crop - and it was



Feb 10, 2013 at 06:31 AM
lukeb
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p.1 #13 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


Lars Johnsson wrote:
Today we are all beta testers. Even if we pay for it



+1



Feb 10, 2013 at 06:33 AM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #14 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


Thanks for the feedback - to be honest, I was shocked at the price of the Pro version.


Feb 10, 2013 at 07:04 AM
Kathy White
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p.1 #15 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


StillFingerz wrote:
Thanks Tdodd,

Besides the auto MFA the sharpest aperture feature looked quite helpful indeed

I'll ask of you as well (and anyone who has a 5D3), how do you like the 5D3, it's AF, etc. so far?

Jerry


Jerry, I went from a 40D to a 5DII and shot with it for over 3 years. Backup and for extra reach I have a 7D. In my opinion the 5DIII is by far miles ahead of both of them. The AF of the 5DII I found frustrating with the limitations. I gave up on trying to shoot moving targets and thought I just couldn't do it. Now, I shoot more sports than any other thing and am amazed at the difference. The AF system just works. I LOVE mine and would highly recommend it to anyone camera shopping. It is good at everything. I don't shoot just portraits, or sports, or wildlife, or landscapes, I shoot a little of them all so for me it is the perfect camera. With the lower MP and doing alot of large sports posters, I don't think I would even trade up to a 1DX. I look at glass and think about what to buy or sell, and want to eventually upgrade the 7D for a 1D4 but my 5DIII is not going anywhere.



Feb 10, 2013 at 07:15 AM
twistedlim
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p.1 #16 · FoCal, what version do you suggest?


Which one to get---none. I do not find it repeatable nor do I find it all that accurate. I wish i had not purchased one. I do better with my manual set up and then shooting in real life situations and make adjustments if needed.


Feb 15, 2013 at 07:56 PM





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