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Archive 2012 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...
  
 
AFC168
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p.1 #1 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


Hi all,

I'm looking into getting better at micro-adjusting my lenses ... was curious what your thoughts were of FoCal versus Lens Align ...

Also, it dawned on me ... assuming the 50x distance, couldn't I just place about 5 identical items (box, book, etc.) diagonally and MA from that?

Thanks!



Sep 17, 2012 at 04:56 PM
stanj
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p.1 #2 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


FoCal because it does it for you. LA is insanely expensive and lets you do the work yourself.

Placing an item diagonally will not work too well as you can't be sure what the sensor is focusing on. You have to focus on a flat surface.



Sep 17, 2012 at 05:09 PM
gfiksel
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p.1 #3 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


He means something like a "staggered battery" test http://cameralightlens.com/newsblog/?p=264
Flat 9V batteries will work better than round AAAs.



Sep 17, 2012 at 05:33 PM
AFC168
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p.1 #4 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


Yes ... FoCal seems cool and on that, but can't placing a row of 9 volt batteries at 45* work also?



gfiksel wrote:
He means something like a "staggered battery" test http://cameralightlens.com/newsblog/?p=264
Flat 9V batteries will work better than round AAAs.




Sep 17, 2012 at 08:21 PM
matt4626
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p.1 #5 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


Lens Align has worked well for me. Easy after you have used it a time or two.
Plus $79.00 doesn't seem all that "insane" to me



Sep 17, 2012 at 08:43 PM
sritri
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p.1 #6 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


+1 on Stan's comment above. I am extremely happy with FoCal Pro as I can save analytical data for future reference.

I also have to agree that LA is overpriced



Sep 17, 2012 at 09:24 PM
stanj
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p.1 #7 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


matt4626 wrote:
Lens Align has worked well for me. Easy after you have used it a time or two.
Plus $79.00 doesn't seem all that "insane" to me


For a piece of plastic which is a nuisance to set up and lets you do all the actual work, for a price that's almost identical to a piece of software that does all the work for you, hmm, I think it's insane. Not in absolute but in relative terms.



Sep 18, 2012 at 02:27 AM
bbasiaga
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p.1 #8 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


So, if you had a 5DIII, which is listed as manual adjustment on the FoCal website, would you still spring for the Pro version? Or the PLus or standard good enough at that point?

-Brian



Sep 18, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Mike Pearson
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p.1 #9 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


I have Lens Align and I have FoCal and I have in the past made my own set-up. Lens Align beats the home made set up as it provides a flat contrasty target and insures the plane of your sensor is parallel to the plane of your target and you are sure of just what the focus point is focusing on. For those reasons you can test a couple of times and get about the same answer more often with Lens Align than any home made set-up. However, both the home made and Lens Align require you to examine photos and determine which one is sharper at the point it is supposed to be sharper. That is easier said than done with some distances from the target and some lenses. Eye fatigue can be a problem.

I use FoCal exclusively since it came out. It is quick and easy, even for the 5D Mk III for which it is only semi-automatic (it prompts you to change the MA settings and tells you what to set them to). You can run the test a dozen times and get the same answer. The pro version is my pick since the cost isn’t much more and I find watching the points being plotted on the graph quite informative. You can see the extent of focus variation – though I believe it also has a specific test you can run for that now – and thereby get a feel for the lens and how the test is going. You can also see how critical the MA point is. On some lenses you can see that any MA in a 3 or 4 point range is about the same, while on other lenses if you are out more than a point there is a pretty big difference in the focus quality.

The real proof in the pudding for me is that I have yet to adjust with FoCal then find myself making an adjustment based on real life results. I have had to make adjustments to MAs set with Lens Align and home made quite often. Might be my poor skills determining which picture is sharper at the right point, but FoCal makes up for my weakness.



Sep 18, 2012 at 03:20 AM
stanj
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p.1 #10 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


bbasiaga wrote:
So, if you had a 5DIII, which is listed as manual adjustment on the FoCal website, would you still spring for the Pro version? Or the PLus or standard good enough at that point?

-Brian


Still FoCal, and I have a 5D3 and 1DX

But it's not manual. The only thing you need to do is set it to MA +5 when it tells you to set it to MA +5. It still does all the analysis for you. You don't have to be taking pictures and comparing them and guessing which one is better (trust me when you're really pushing it, it's guessing). So think that you're FoCal's bitch, but it still gets the job done mainly for you.

Or get a Mac as the Mac version can apparently do it automatically (I haven't tried because I'm currently afield).



Sep 18, 2012 at 03:30 AM
 

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Dave Good
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p.1 #11 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


I have been using FoCal Pro for a few weeks now, quite impressed so far. I must add though that I don't always choose the MA adjustment suggested, but rather will run the test a few times, examine the charts and choose the MA setting that provides the highest "Quality Measurement". This is usually only one or two "ticks" away from what is suggested by FoCAl.

All in all a very good software solution IMHO. There are other very useful tools as well for testing other aspects of your lens/body (sharpest aperture, focus consistency, accuracy of non-center focus points to name a few).



Sep 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM
AFC168
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p.1 #12 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


Thanks guys! I think I'm going to do FoCal Pro soon.

Just out of curiosity, I assume there is a connection between the computer and the camera, and I assume the connection isn't very long ... does it help to have a laptop and at least one tripod, if not two?



Sep 19, 2012 at 03:38 AM
carnac
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p.1 #13 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


Connection is a USB cable. Should have gotten one with your camera. Pretty universal - mini-USB to USB. I put the camera on a tripod and a laptop on a chair or portable table along side.

You should set the target (that you print out on matte paper) on a flat wall at 50 x the lens focal length. So, for a 50mm lens, set-up at 2.5 meters (about 8 feet). DIstance isn't critical, but should be within a foot or two. I found that you can't move back much more than the recommended distance - that computer generated target box gets bigger than the actual target and you get an error. For my 300mm lens, I set-up in the back yard to get to 15 meters away.

I have a Lens Align too - it is a nice accessory (and unlike some others, don't think it is overpriced or too paper like - it is nice plastic coated material with precision markings - assembles well and stores flat). However, the FoCal is very nice, much less work for me, and the results are repeatable.

Jim



Sep 19, 2012 at 04:09 AM
AFC168
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p.1 #14 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


Do you get different results at different focal lengths? Also, if you run it again a day later, do you still get the same results?


Sep 20, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #15 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


I just bought the FoCal. And did my first testing today. My first impression is that this software is a "beta test software". It's difficult to get it working so I get results. I tried with two of my bodies. The 1D4 and 1Ds3. The 1D4 worked better than the 1Ds3 that got error on most tests, especially with my zoom lenses. When it works I get different results from the same lens. If doing the tests five times without touching anything between the tests, I can get five different numbers.



Sep 22, 2012 at 02:20 PM
vsg28
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p.1 #16 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


Which version did you go with?


Sep 22, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #17 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


The plus version


Sep 22, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Vancouver47
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p.1 #18 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


The FoCal site suggests the Mac version will not be available until Q3 2012. Have you found the Mac version?


LensAlign isn't quite so expensive when you realize a FoCal license is only valid for one licensed body. That's a huge limitation for most people with several bodies. You could change the license but every time you buy a new lens you can only do MA on one body.



stanj wrote:



Sep 22, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #19 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


Vancouver47 wrote:
The FoCal site suggests the Mac version will not be available until Q3 2012. Have you found the Mac version?

LensAlign isn't quite so expensive when you realize a FoCal license is only valid for one licensed body. That's a huge limitation for most people with several bodies. You could change the license but every time you buy a new lens you can only do MA on one body.



It's valid for 5 different bodies



Sep 22, 2012 at 03:18 PM
AFC168
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p.1 #20 · Micro-adjusting lenses: FoCal vs. Lens Align vs. ...


Thanks Lars ... I was a little worried about something like that ...



Lars Johnsson wrote:
I just bought the FoCal. And did my first testing today. My first impression is that this software is a "beta test software". It's difficult to get it working so I get results. I tried with two of my bodies. The 1D4 and 1Ds3. The 1D4 worked better than the 1Ds3 that got error on most tests, especially with my zoom lenses. When it works I get different results from the same lens. If doing the tests five times without touching anything between the tests, I can get five different numbers.




Sep 23, 2012 at 12:21 AM
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