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Archive 2013 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?
  
 
Kris Reiswig
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?


Loaded the software on another windows machine, in a differerent space, and it still craps out. Waiting for their customer support to chime in.




Feb 06, 2013 at 05:00 PM
ben egbert
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?


So far not impressed. I get started, do a couple shots and it says my camera is not registered. I started a ticket but they say it can take up to 2 days.

I suspect the payment was messed up, not sure about that. Paypal did not have sufficient funds in a strange currency for me but showed an automatic draw to cover it. This also takes several days. Go figure, my credit card gets billed in microseconds but when its for my benefit its like pony express.

Anyway. it looks like next week before I can start using it. I will probably use my old method for MA to get me through.



Feb 06, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Mitchell Carter
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?


Garrick L wrote:
Is the Mac version still in Beta or have they released it yet. Anyone using the Mac version?

Thanks,

-G


I'm using the Mac pro version; it's been updated but it's still beta. Works fine for standard calibration. Haven't tried any other features other than the F-stop test, which crashes the software. But no regrets -- glad I got it. (5D3, MBP 10.6.8).



Feb 06, 2013 at 07:57 PM
Garrick L
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?


Mitchell Carter wrote:
I'm using the Mac pro version; it's been updated but it's still beta. Works fine for standard calibration. Haven't tried any other features other than the F-stop test, which crashes the software. But no regrets -- glad I got it. (5D3, MBP 10.6.8).


Thank you Mitchel, I was wondering if anyone was going to answer



Feb 06, 2013 at 10:32 PM
ben egbert
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?


I have been reading the documentation while waiting for my issue to get resolved. It says use 50X the lens size for distance. Man that is close. I MA at 50 feet or more when I do it manually. I am a landscape guy and I need good infinity. When I MA indoors, I always end up with front focus until I go do it outdoors at longer distance.

My 16mm would need to be at 3 feet.

It also suggests using the long end of zooms and I bet it does not support two settings per lens as does my camera (short and long).

I did MA my 3 AF lenses today, 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200. The 24-70 was good at zero and the other two at +5. On my 1DS-mk3, I had some lenses over 10.







Feb 07, 2013 at 02:03 AM
Sven Jeppesen
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?


I have used it 3-4 months and like it.


Feb 07, 2013 at 03:16 AM
dgdg
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?


from what I recall, the recommended distance is just that, recommended. Apparently the optimal mfa can vary over focal distance, but I have not seen any real data to show that this said variation is of practical significance. I recall the manual recommended against getting extremely close where could be issues.

If you need infinity, I'd try 50x focal length and then go as long as you can with the test chart and see if you have any mfa variation. I would guess not, but that is why we do science experiments for critical work. Alternately, use auto focus for one landscape at infinity, then use live view. You can compare the raw images on your screen.

From a practical perspective, when I mfa my lenses at 50X, I did not see any issues with focus at other distances. Unless you are shooting narrow dof, I don't see your landscape images suffering with small mfa tolerances. I have had issues when using f2.8 - 2.0, or using a long telephoto at f4. That is where mfa can shine, if needed. So I'd repeat a famous phrase, "set it and forget it!". The bigger issue is to make sure your mfa 'sticks' during initial use. I have seen a few quirks.



Feb 07, 2013 at 01:57 PM
 

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ben egbert
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?


I already did MFA with longer distance, 50 to 100 feet between 16 and 200 mm. This has been my standard practice and I have been doing MFA since 2008.

When my licence for FoCal appears I will use the recommended distance and test at the long end of each zoom, IE 35, 70 and 200. I have not seen any sign that the zooms vary between short and long. In fact, compared to my older lenses and cameras they are well behaved.

At that time, I will compare the FoCal to my own settings and will know the differences.



Feb 07, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Dave Good
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?


ben egbert wrote:
I already did MFA with longer distance, 50 to 100 feet between 16 and 200 mm. This has been my standard practice and I have been doing MFA since 2008.

When my licence for FoCal appears I will use the recommended distance and test at the long end of each zoom, IE 35, 70 and 200. I have not seen any sign that the zooms vary between short and long. In fact, compared to my older lenses and cameras they are well behaved.

At that time, I will compare the FoCal to my own settings and will know the
...Show more

I measured my zooms at 3 different focal lengths and found them to be quite consistent, particularly with the 70-200/2.8 IS II on both bodies I use. 50X the focal length is probably the optimal distance for the software to properly recognize the target. Don't forget to print the larger target for longer focal lengths. Mine are mounted to one of my garage walls at a measured height and lit with several lights.

I have the Pro version as well and, rather than just use their "recommended" setting take a look at the charts for the tests performed and and evaluate/choose what I think would be the optimum setting. Often this is with a couple of points from their choice. I notice a higher keeper rate now, particularly with the 5DII shooting birds in flight (uhuh!).



Feb 07, 2013 at 05:58 PM
ben egbert
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?


My version of Focal sort of works until I try to run the actual calibration. It tries to aquire the target. But when I have the target prefectly centered using my view finder or live view and the proper distance, it shows up way off center in the Focal window. It shows the box centered around one of the the left most focus points. I did set it at center point focus.

I suspect it is just not properly recognizing my camera yet and does not have 5D-mkIII focus grid patterns in the data base.



Feb 07, 2013 at 06:56 PM
BeaverMan
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?


not to hijack the thread but just one question. For those of you who say you like it, how many of you are using it with nikon cameras?


Feb 07, 2013 at 07:28 PM
EGrav
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?


I had problems with FoCal (Mac version) and Canon 7D's initially. Too windy outside, but good light - inconsistent results. Found an indoor area big enough - still problems because of poor lighting. Borrowed some bright flood lights and bingo! Consistent results. Lenses calibrated were: 600 II f4, 300 2.8 I, 70-200 IS 2.8, all +/- a 1.4 TC and a 17-40 f4. Seems like lighting and good target setup is critical. I did test shoot afterwards with the 600 and 70-200 and there was a noticeable difference.
E
PS I had done MA prior to FoCal using DIY setup. Thought it was good until I did MA with FoCal.



Feb 07, 2013 at 08:01 PM
dgdg
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Who uses Focal and do you like it?


EGrav wrote:
Seems like lighting and good target setup is critical..


that is my experience exactly. And like you, no vibrations - be it wind, or micro vibrations with a slow shutter speed.



Feb 07, 2013 at 08:39 PM
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