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Thread started 05 Feb 2017 (Sunday) 14:55
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Problems with FoCal. looks like its still unreliable after all these years.

 
digital ­ paradise
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Mar 15, 2017 10:36 |  #31

Canon finally released the interface libraries for Mac Sierra about a week ago. The latest version is slick. Locked on the target immediately. I only have about 1/2 the suggested minimal distance and my daylight balanced studio CFL's are at the lake. It warmed of those two things (poor lighting), I ran it and in less than a minute was done with a 98% fit. Good detailed full report followed.

Heading up to the cottage where I can get closer to the suggested minimum distances and I'm going to give my 5D4 and good run and re-check my 7D2. It has been over a year since the last time I ran it through focal.

I was checking out some local photo studios that offer 1200 square feet of space. If you set it up corner to corner there would be a good length to work with. $50 for 2 hours sounds good to me to tune in over $10,000 worth of gear. I may check into it. Get a few more people involved to cut the cost.


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Mar 15, 2017 11:14 |  #32

Regarding new capabilities, when I first purchased FoCal it could not perform the Turbo Calibration test on all Canon cameras, including my 7DII. The Turbo Calibration is an automated Dot-Tune type of process. The version I updated to last week (2.4.5) now states in the manual that Turbo Calibration is available for all Canon cameras. (It does not work with any Nikon camera, as those bodies do not report the necessary data.) When I get a chance I will try this out, and compare it to the regular FoCal test results. If if is consistent with the more involved methods, it would be a great time saver.


Digital EOS 7D Mark II Canon: EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, Life-Size Converter EF Tamron: SP 17-50mm f/2.8 DiII, 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII VC HLD, SP 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, SP 70-200 f/2.8 Di VC USD, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DiII VC HLD Sigma: 30mm f/1.4 DC Art Rokinon: 8mm f/3.5 AS IF UMC

  
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Mar 16, 2017 16:44 |  #33

I did a quick test at home at half the minimum recommended distance and poor lighting for my 5D4, 100-400 II and 1.4 III just to get familiar with the new version and I got +8 at 560mm. Today using it at the correct minimum distance, target in a bright porch with my 2 studio daylight balanced strobes lighting the target and it gave me +9. I repeated it 3 times.

My 70-200 2.8 II had higher numbers with my 5D3. I got + 5 at 200mm. I shot for a while and wasn't sure so did it again and it gave me the exact same numbers.


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Apr 24, 2017 10:42 |  #34

I would like to buy FOCAL. Here is my confusion. How much space (in feet) do I actually need to be successful with the program. None of the rooms in my house are terribly long.


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Apr 24, 2017 10:52 as a reply to  @ Larry20d's post |  #35

This can be a problem with telephoto lenses. If you have a laptop, you can set it up outdoors with no problems. It does not require an internet connection to work.

FoCal recommends the standard 50x focal length when using the program, but it also says that with telephoto lenses a considerably shorter distance (20x, approx) will work, due to the properties of these lenses. You can download the FoCal manual without purchasing the software and examine their recommendations.


Digital EOS 7D Mark II Canon: EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, Life-Size Converter EF Tamron: SP 17-50mm f/2.8 DiII, 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII VC HLD, SP 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, SP 70-200 f/2.8 Di VC USD, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DiII VC HLD Sigma: 30mm f/1.4 DC Art Rokinon: 8mm f/3.5 AS IF UMC

  
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Apr 24, 2017 11:08 |  #36

Larry20d wrote in post #18336936 (external link)
I would like to buy FOCAL. Here is my confusion. How much space (in feet) do I actually need to be successful with the program. None of the rooms in my house are terribly long.

Well according I need a minimum of about 36 ft for 560mm. However one of the top birders - Liquidstone does MFA at minimum focusing distance so go figure. FoCal will not work with minimum focusing distance.

Here is a good explanation of when a lens settles down (page 2) and Focal's distance calculator.

http://s449182328.webs​itehome.co.uk …20Test%20Distan​ce_1.1.pdf (external link)

http://www.reikan.co.u​k …e-target-size-calculator/ (external link)


Also we rented a fairly large studio a few years ago. Perhaps try to find one or an event hall not being used during the week. Maybe get a few others in your area to split the cost. It is not like you MFA every week. From their ad.

Exchange Studios is available for rent between 9AM to 12AM, 7 days a week. Times outside of this frame are subject to a premium of $50 / hr rate. To make rental appointments as customized as possible for you, there are currently no set time slots (ex. morning, afternoon, or evening). Bookings are available from as little as a 2 hour slot to an all day slot.

2 hours $50

+ hours $25 each

* unless otherwise stated, this includes the use of all lighting & accessories as well as furniture


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Apr 24, 2017 11:32 as a reply to  @ pknight's post |  #37

So, if I understand this correctly, if I have a 100-400 zoom, I would need (400x50) 20,000mm [65 feet] or (400x20) 8,000mm [26 feet] for the program to work properly?

I'm going to need a bigger house!!

As you suggested I will download the manual.


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Apr 24, 2017 11:36 |  #38

pknight wrote in post #18336951 (external link)
FoCal recommends the standard 50x focal length when using the program, but it also says that with telephoto lenses a considerably shorter distance (20x, approx) will work, due to the properties of these lenses.

This is surprising to me.

My Sigma 300-800mm is perfectly sharp at shorter distances, such as 80 to 100 feet.

When I start to have a problem at 800mm is when my subjects are far out, such as 200 to 250 feet away. At these distances, the lens often front focuses by a very slight margin.

So I need calibration only when focusing at long distances........this is why it confuses me that it would work best at 50x focal length, or even only 20x the focal length, because I have no front or back focusing issues at those distances. My focus issues with this lens start at around 80x the focal length.

.


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Apr 24, 2017 11:36 |  #39

digital paradise wrote in post #18336978 (external link)
Well according I need a minimum of about 36 ft for 560mm. However one of the top birders - Liquidstone does MFA at minimum focusing distance so go figure. FoCal will not work with minimum focusing distance.

Here is a good explanation of when a lens settles down (page 2) and Focal's distance calculator.

http://s449182328.webs​itehome.co.uk …20Test%20Distan​ce_1.1.pdf (external link)

http://www.reikan.co.u​k …e-target-size-calculator/ (external link)

Also we rented a fairly large studio a few years ago. Perhaps try to find one or an event hall not being used during the week. Maybe get a few others in your area to split the cost. It is not like you MFA every week. From their ad.

Exchange Studios is available for rent between 9AM to 12AM, 7 days a week. Times outside of this frame are subject to a premium of $50 / hr rate. To make rental appointments as customized as possible for you, there are currently no set time slots (ex. morning, afternoon, or evening). Bookings are available from as little as a 2 hour slot to an all day slot.

2 hours $50

+ hours $25 each

* unless otherwise stated, this includes the use of all lighting & accessories as well as furniture



Thanks for the link !! I just printed out FoCal distance chart and it's explanation


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Apr 24, 2017 11:38 |  #40

Larry20d wrote in post #18337014 (external link)
So, if I understand this correctly, if I have a 100-400 zoom, I would need (400x50) 20,000mm [65 feet] or (400x20) 8,000mm [26 feet] for the program to work properly?

I'm going to need a bigger house!!

As you suggested I will download the manual.

Yes. 26 ft minimum @400mm. 35 ft with a 1.4 TC.


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Apr 24, 2017 11:40 |  #41

pknight wrote in post #18336951 (external link)
This can be a problem with telephoto lenses. If you have a laptop, you can set it up outdoors with no problems. It does not require an internet connection to work.

FoCal recommends the standard 50x focal length when using the program, but it also says that with telephoto lenses a considerably shorter distance (20x, approx) will work, due to the properties of these lenses. You can download the FoCal manual without purchasing the software and examine their recommendations.

Wind is a killer which I found out using Dot Tune. Gotta make sure clouds are not interfering. Outdoors is tougher to work with but not impossible.


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Apr 24, 2017 11:51 |  #42

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18337019 (external link)
This is surprising to me.

My Sigma 300-800mm is perfectly sharp at shorter distances, such as 80 to 100 feet.

When I start to have a problem at 800mm is when my subjects are far out, such as 200 to 250 feet away. At these distances, the lens often front focuses by a very slight margin.

So I need calibration only when focusing at long distances........this is why it confuses me that it would work best at 50x focal length, or even only 20x the focal length, because I have no front or back focusing issues at those distances. My focus issues with this lens start at around 80x the focal length.

.

At first Canon recommend 50X. Then the manual and other documents said best at the location you are shooting. Lens Align and others said 25X. I may even have a Canon document that says 25X but I can't back it. I'll have to look in the vault. I know I have other documents (besides the manual) that say best at the location and 50X.

If you read the entire article you find this. That is what originally tuned me off to MFA. "If you think you can do better". I hope the person servicing the engine of the jet I will fly does not come up with a better method that Boing's service manual :-) Canon - you engineered it - you tell me how to do it correctly ;-)a

http://digitaljournali​st.org/issue0812/tech-tips.html (external link)


Last but not least, there is no "official" Canon method for setting AF microadjustments, so this procedure is unofficial. If you think you can do better, then by all means, go for it. Towards that end, be advised that some independently made tools are designed to help you set AF microadjustments accurately. One of these is the LensAlign kit, due out soon from RawWorkflow.com:


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Apr 24, 2017 12:36 |  #43

digital paradise wrote in post #18337027 (external link)
Yes. 26 ft minimum @400mm. 35 ft with a 1.4 TC.

I could borrow (free) space from where I work. It's a new building with large spaces and plenty of light. However, the ceiling lights are all LED. Is this (LED) a no-no?


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Apr 24, 2017 14:02 |  #44

Larry20d wrote in post #18337104 (external link)
I could borrow (free) space from where I work. It's a new building with large spaces and plenty of light. However, the ceiling lights are all LED. Is this (LED) a no-no?

Instructions do warn about LED.

Do use a light level on the target of EV8 (equivalent to 1/30s at f/2.8, ISO100) or above

It is recommended that you use incandescent lighting (e.g. halogen lights), or even daylight (diffused or direct)
Use an EVEN light source which does not cast any pattern on the target

Do NOT use fluorescent lighting or mains powered LED lighting as these can flicker and cause analysis issues

Do NOT use daylight on a partly cloudy day when clouds are passing over the sun and significantly changing the light
level

Do NOT backlight the target – for example, don’t attach it to a window or lightbox to raise the light level.


Perhaps you can block it. Put it in a box and use incandescent to light the target. I purchased 2 studio, daylight balanced CFL's to light the target.


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Apr 25, 2017 16:48 |  #45

Okay. Bear with with me. I'm a little slow.

My basement is 30 feet from wall to wall. Will I have enough distance to provide satisfactory calibration on my 100-400 lens?


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Problems with FoCal. looks like its still unreliable after all these years.
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