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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 03 Feb 2013 (Sunday) 16:33
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FoCal Calibration Software... A+ in my book

 
mannetti21
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Feb 03, 2013 16:33 |  #1

First and foremost, I have no affiliation with the FoCal software or developer, so this truly is an unbiased assessment.

Lots of users here claim that all they need is a real life target and a tripod to determine the best microadjust (MA) values for any given lens. I used to make the same claims, but in reality, there is a lot of guess work involved in that method. I'm not saying that you can't get good results, but it does require precise methods and a very good eye to determine maximal sharpness. Even with the LensAlign Pro equipment (which I am selling for anyone interested), it can be extremely difficult to determine which adjustment is sharper than the next.

A few months ago I broke down and purchased the Focal Pro software...best purchase I've made in quite awhile. The software helped me figure out that I had a malfunctioning 70-200II and 50 1.4. The 70-200II had been in my possession for almost 10months and using other methods, I could never get it to perform quite right. It always seemed as though the AF was inconsistent. Using the MA process and focus consistency with FoCal, I finally had a way to objectively analyze its performance. Sent it to Canon and they also confirmed that it was malfunctioning. Came back from them and is now FLAWLESS. Same with the 50 1.4. My main point is that it can be difficult to tease out tease out these problems without using some form of an objective measurement. Our eyes tend to fail at distinguishing minor and sometimes major differences in sharpness.

My latest experience with this software has been just as magnificent. I calibrated my 2.0X TC with my 70-200II....WOW. I was actually quite pleased with the sharpness prior to calibration, but now I'm thrilled. I was willing to sell the 2.0X a few weeks ago because I just didn't use it very much, but I had a definite change of heart after seeing what it can produce in combination with the 70-200.


Moral of the story: Take the guess work out of microadjusting and buy the FoCal software. If you've spent thousands on your camera and multiple lens, you owe it to yourself to get the most out of the equipment.



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Lichter21c
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Feb 03, 2013 19:48 |  #2

+1

I have has trouble with their Mac betas since they don't have a full version out. But for the most part it the program really helps me get the most out of my lenses




  
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Sacadelic
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Feb 03, 2013 20:36 |  #3

You guys are going to make me end up getting this software. I almost hit the buy button a few months ago, but hesitated. But the more I read, the more I am getting ready to do it. I performed a manual adjustment of my Sigma 70-200 2.8 and it helped, but I really want to try it with the software. I am pretty sure that my 24-105 needs an adjustment as well. Thanks for the heads up.


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kin2son
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Feb 03, 2013 20:44 |  #4
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Anyone using FoCal pro with windows 8 machine? It says on the site that it isn't officially supported yet?


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mrbtd
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Feb 03, 2013 20:54 |  #5

kin2son wrote in post #15569228 (external link)
Anyone using FoCal pro with windows 8 machine? It says on the site that it isn't officially supported yet?

I have with no problems.




  
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jemanner
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Feb 03, 2013 20:57 |  #6

Thanks for the favorable review. Have been undecided, and now it appears time to jump.


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bps
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Feb 03, 2013 21:07 |  #7

Thank you posting your experiences with FoCal. I'd've been intrigued by this software since I saw it several months ago. It makes perfect sense to use a program as precise as this to calibrate your lenses. If they has a finalized version for Mac, I'd buy one right now!

Bryan


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Lichter21c
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Feb 04, 2013 08:17 |  #8

The only thing that I wish they did was a pay per lens pricing.

When I first bought it I used it on all my lenses and bodies. Now unless I frequently refresh my lens assortment it just sits unused.

I do say that it's very accurate. And I am very glad I bought it




  
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catchquan
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Feb 04, 2013 08:47 |  #9

Lichter21c wrote in post #15570368 (external link)
The only thing that I wish they did was a pay per lens pricing.

When I first bought it I used it on all my lenses and bodies. Now unless I frequently refresh my lens assortment it just sits unused.

I do say that it's very accurate. And I am very glad I bought it

Really? I guess its different for FoCal Pro (unless you have Pro). I can do as many lenses as I need and up to 5 different camera bodies.


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Lichter21c
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Feb 04, 2013 09:04 |  #10

catchquan wrote in post #15570483 (external link)
Really? I guess its different for FoCal Pro (unless you have Pro). I can do as many lenses as I need and up to 5 different camera bodies.

I have the pro. I just wish I didn't have to pay 90 dollars to use it for 2 days now it sits. That's all. I feel I need to buy more lenses just to get the most out of my software




  
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agedbriar
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Feb 04, 2013 09:23 |  #11

FocusTune (untethered) is good too.

I got more accurate results than from the target-and-ruler method, although I'd performed the latter with utmost care.

A new version with an improved sharpness measuring algorithm has been announced, with the current one appearing already quite effective.




  
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catchquan
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Feb 04, 2013 10:18 |  #12

Lichter21c wrote in post #15570535 (external link)
I have the pro. I just wish I didn't have to pay 90 dollars to use it for 2 days now it sits. That's all. I feel I need to buy more lenses just to get the most out of my software

Oh I realize what you meant now. I still think its worth it, I'm sure a years from now you'll have more glass to take care of and at that point you'd end up paying more for a pay-per-lens option :p


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| AB800 (3) | 530EX (2) |

  
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joeblack2022
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Feb 04, 2013 10:22 |  #13

Lichter21c wrote in post #15570535 (external link)
I have the pro. I just wish I didn't have to pay 90 dollars to use it for 2 days now it sits. That's all. I feel I need to buy more lenses just to get the most out of my software

You could do a routine checkup every year or so?


Joel

  
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woodzy
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Feb 04, 2013 10:24 as a reply to  @ joeblack2022's post |  #14

Can I asked how you printed the chart? I really wish for a small fee, they would send you a really good quality chart?

Also - what did you use for lighting?


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jdetmold
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Feb 04, 2013 10:48 |  #15

Lichter21c wrote in post #15570535 (external link)
I have the pro. I just wish I didn't have to pay 90 dollars to use it for 2 days now it sits. That's all. I feel I need to buy more lenses just to get the most out of my software

lol thats great! I just tried but my wife said getting more use out of my software does not outweigh the price of an 85 1.2 :-(


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FoCal Calibration Software... A+ in my book
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