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Archive 2012 · Reiken Focal - Your Experience
  
 
Bruce n Philly
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Reiken Focal - Your Experience


Hi,

I purchased Rieken's Focal tool for micro focus adjustment (MFA) on my 5D Mk II body. I chose their cheapest, non-automated software set. I am having the darndest time getting consistent results. To be fair, they do say that auto focusing systems have big variability, but I am having a hard time finding even an average result set.

Question: What is your experience and do you have any tips? Should I just upgrade for 20 more BPs and get the automatic tool that averages for you? Does anyone have the manual version and what is your experience with it?

While the documentation is plenty, the actual instructions for manual use is actually only about a few short paragraphs long and I am wondering what I can do to improve my technique. One thing I did do, was have the target professionally printed on thick matte paper both in regular size and a much larger target for my 500mm lens (which consistently back focused a ton). I shot with the target lit with both ambient sunlight as well as a few incandescent bulbs. I shot at various distances both longer, spot on, and shorter than Canon's recommended 50x. I also shot at various lens mm such as long, short, and mid zoom and even populated an excel spreadsheet with my results. My results were all over the map. Then as a test, for my 24-105, I had what I thought was a good average of say +3 MFA, I would shove the stetting to -6 MFA and got almost the same high QoF. Sheesh!!!

I purchased Reiken's Focal tool for MFA because.... well... I like gadgets and what the heck. Before Focal, I used focusing targets on my monitor at 100% and used focus/live view to adjust MFA (using moire pattern). This method worked really really well with generally consistent results. Of my 4 lenses and 1.4x teleconverter (equals 6 combinations), only 70-200 2.8 IS II lens was spot on and needed no adjustment. This also proved itself in the field where shooting say ducks in the water, I could see consistent rear focusing on one of my lenses out of the box. In short, MFA has improved my keepers no doubt about it.

Any help you can provide would be appreciated.

Bruce in Philly
www.TravelThroughPictures.com

PS: Own one watch, you know the time. Own two, and you have no clue what time it really is.



Dec 08, 2012 at 10:11 PM
sjms
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Reiken Focal - Your Experience


should just got the pro makes life a bit easier. I use it with the D4 and D7000.


Dec 08, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Strobo
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Reiken Focal - Your Experience


Bruce n Philly wrote:
Hi,

I purchased Rieken's Focal tool for micro focus adjustment (MFA) on my 5D Mk II body. I chose their cheapest, non-automated software set. I am having the darndest time getting consistent results.


I initially bought the cheapest version too and also had all sorts of problems with it. The visual adjustments did not correlate at all with the graph, the results were all over the place, and I ended up wasting a lot of time with it.

Do yourself a favour and upgrade to the Pro version. It works much better and the results are consistent and repeatable.



Dec 09, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Bruce n Philly
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Reiken Focal - Your Experience


Thanx guys (gals?):

I kinda figured I would have to do that. Your comment about consistency and repeatability put me over the edge... just ordered the upgrade.

Given that I am a geek, I will compare the results with the target/moire method.

Bruce in Philly

www.TravelThroughPictures.com



Dec 09, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Waki
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Reiken Focal - Your Experience


I don't how about Focal. I checked it out but wound up with MTD Focus Tune. I have a Lens Align already so it just worked and the price was right.

I had a few similar issues right off like getting consistent results with it though. But I read their forum and "developed " my technicque and things just fell into place. Maybe you just need to suffer through use and do something similar?

I'm still pondering my results. I own a mix of new and older Nikon glass and one Tokina lens. The Tokina needed the most adjustment on my D800 but every lens I put through the tests could use some adjustment, what's weirdly consistent is that my older AF-S D glass all yielded the exact same results in terms of adjustment value. All my G glass also fell into the exact same value range. The G glass was not far from zero and the D glass only a bit more. I did repeated tests and got the same results. Have people using Focal seen this sort of behavior as well?

And, sample pictures so far have shown the Tokina adjustment to matter, the others "seem" sharper, more defined but I don't have d800 samples for every lens, only a few.

Shot to shot variance reports do show interesting data too....but this is pretty far off topic already.



Dec 09, 2012 at 04:43 PM
 

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753951
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Reiken Focal - Your Experience


I just did MFA with FoCal Pro today. 50 f1.8, 16-35 Mk II f2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 Mk II f2.8. I left 100-400 and Canon 1.4 Mk II extender for later, when Canon releases firmware update for 5D III.

All in all, took me 90 minutes. Most time is taken by moving tripod (target was fixed on the wall) to correct distance (50 times focal length). Took me 3 minutes to align target properly first time. Less than 30 seconds after that. Too bad 5D III works only in semi-automatic mode (I did not use target optimization). Once you memorize buttons, changing MFA value is quite fast (Menu+OK+Info+OK+Roll to specified value).

As expected, plastic fantastic needed largest adjustment +13. 16-35 Mk II was sent two years ago to Canon for adjustment and didn't need any additional adjustment (left at 0 on both ends). 24-70 needed -1 on wide end, and +1 on tele end. 70-200 Mk2 ended up with +2 on wide and 0 on tele end.

I used latest Windows beta version on Windows 8 x64. Checking real images after adjustment I can only see obvious improvement with 50 f1.8. Rest is mostly academic, or just feeling good about it.

I have yet to get familiar with other tests (other focus points, aperture tests, etc.).



Dec 10, 2012 at 01:16 AM
IsleofGough
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Reiken Focal - Your Experience


I found the plus version not very helpful for manual zeiss lenses. The instructions are not especially good.


Dec 10, 2012 at 02:34 AM
vsg28
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Reiken Focal - Your Experience


You don't mean manual focus Zeiss lenses, surely?


Dec 11, 2012 at 06:05 AM
IsleofGough
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Reiken Focal - Your Experience


Yes, ZF.2 lenses. Adjusting the viewfinder to match the liveview is important on manual lenses too. You just cannot use the fully automatic settings on Focal.


Dec 11, 2012 at 02:32 PM





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