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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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Post edited over 2 years ago by digital paradise. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 07, 2017 11:29 |  #16

pknight wrote in post #18266921 (external link)
Sigma and Tamron are the only ones who actually instruct you to try to focus at what is essentially infinity. 50X is nowhere near infinity, even with a 600mm lens. I don't believe that the Dot-Tune guy was focusing at street signs two miles away.

I have, and use, FoCal, and with primes or zooms where I am adjusting just the ends of the focal length range, it works fine. However, I wonder if there is enough of the target in the image for the program to work when I am focusing at the shortest distance (7.2 ft) and the longest focal length with my Tamron 150-600. Likewise, if I am at the intermediate distance (22 yards) at 150mm, the target will be far to small for FoCal to properly do the analysis.

The developer of Dot Tune is not doing this at 2 miles. The way way I understood this was at infinity but as close as you can. He found the best results at infinity but I can't verify since this is passed on information. I know I asked and he responded at Fred Miranda a few years ago. It might have changed since.

I hit the same value with Dot Tune at infinity as I did using FoCal but I could not repeat using Dot Tune. That would be unfair to Dot Tune as I was outdoors and it was pretty windy when I tried using it again.

I still hate judging and prefer something to tell me how much to apply.


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Feb 07, 2017 18:18 |  #17

pknight wrote in post #18266853 (external link)
I wonder if it has to do with the distances necessary to use the console. FoCal expects the target to be at a certain distance/size on the sensor. There is no way to meet those requirements when testing at (with my lens) 18 different distance/focal-length combinations. In fact, the Tamron rep I spoke with said that the infinity adjustments should be made (for this lens) with a target at least 2 miles away. They are apparently serious about infinity!

Sorry I'm not sure if I made it clear, but I am not using Focal, but the ML automated DotTune system. I think we might have got ourselves at cross purposes here. I have not as yet tried FoCal, I have never felt that the AF for any of my lenses was that far off that I would actually benefit from spending money on an MFA tool. I only tried the ML DotTune simply becsue it was already on my camera since I use some of the other ML goodies like DualISO and the ability to lock the EV in manual mode.

Alan


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Feb 12, 2017 10:25 |  #18

In my experience MFA makes a very good lens great. My 400/2.8, for example, is very sharp at MFA 0 but incredible after MFA adjustments. YMMV.


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Feb 22, 2017 12:24 |  #19

Just got an email. Mac Sierra is now supported.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Tom Reichner. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 03, 2017 09:47 |  #20

kirkt wrote in post #18265954 (external link)
I will just add that you probably do not need all of that fancy automated software to calibrate your lenses unless you have to calibrate a LOT of lens/camera combinations. Have you tried using the "DotTune" method:

http://testcams.com …uning-in-under-5-minutes/ (external link)

watch the video on that page.

I just watched the video that you linked to.

It seems that the difficulty is in Step #2: Establish critical focus in Live View

This requires that I use my eyes and brain together to look very closely at the LCD to determine when something is in the sharpest focus. Therein lies the problem - Dot Tune is asking the user to make a value judgement, and users like myself are often not able to look at something and tell when it is at its sharpest and when it is not quite as sharp.

I need a focus tuning program that will tell me when something is sharp, and not depend on me to be able to look at something and tell when it is sharp and when it isn't.

Is there any way to use Dot Tune in a way that does not depend on me using my eyes to tell if something is at its sharpest?

Or, failing that, is there any other focus calibration system that does not rely on the user looking at images on computer monitors or LCD screens and scrutinizing them to see when the image is at its sharpest?

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Mar 03, 2017 12:28 |  #21

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18290631 (external link)
I just watched the video that you linked to.

It seems that the difficulty is in Step #2: Establish critical focus in Live View

This requires that I use my eyes and brain together to look very closely at the LCD to determine when something is in the sharpest focus. Therein lies the problem - Dot Tune is asking the user to make a value judgement, and users like myself are often not able to look at something and tell when it is at its sharpest and when it is not quite as sharp.

I need a focus tuning program that will tell me when something is sharp, and not depend on me to be able to look at something and tell when it is sharp and when it isn't.

Is there any way to use Dot Tune in a way that does not depend on me using my eyes to tell if something is at its sharpest?

Or, failing that, is there any other focus calibration system that does not rely on the user looking at images on computer monitors or LCD screens and scrutinizing them to see when the image is at its sharpest?

.


Tom you have to remember that when establishing critical focus LV, you should also be using the 10× magnification option that Canon provides. In that situation, when working with a focus chart of some kind, if you cannot easily tell when you have achieved critical focus I sincerely doubt that you will be needing to use MFA, since you won't be able to tell that the lens missed focus in the first place. Your other option is to simply use the CDAF system in LV to set the initial focus for you, although you do have to remember to turn the AF on and off as required. Generally though I think that MF in LV with ×10 Mag is going to be the simplest, quickest, and most reliable method of setting the initial focus. If you really want the process to be fully automated for you then you still have the option to purchase Riken's FoCal system. The great advantage with Dottune is that it can be very accurate, and it is FREE!

Actually if you have Magic Lantern installed on your camera then Dottune can also pretty work in a fully automatic mode, once you have set that initial focus. Which of course could also still be done with the CDAF system, achieving maximum contrast is pretty much how both the LV focusing options work, although the Mark One Eyeball coupled to the 10× magnification, is in this case usually the more accurate method.

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Tom ­ Reichner
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Mar 03, 2017 20:32 |  #22

.

BigAl007 wrote in post #18290769 (external link)
Tom you have to remember that when establishing critical focus LV, you should also be using the 10× magnification option that Canon provides. In that situation, when working with a focus chart of some kind, if you cannot easily tell when you have achieved critical focus I sincerely doubt that you will be needing to use MFA, since you won't be able to tell that the lens missed focus in the first place. Generally though I think that MF in LV with ×10 Mag is going to be the simplest, quickest, and most reliable method of setting the initial focus.

I'm sorry, Al, but when I am using an 800mm lens on a 1.3 crop body, and then zooming in to 10x on the LCD, the image just doesn't stay perfectly still - especially when I am turning the focus ring ever so slightly. It's just an entirely different ballgame than doing this stuff at easy focal lengths like 400mm or 500mm.

BigAl007 wrote in post #18290769 (external link)
The great advantage with Dottune is that it can be very accurate.....

Maybe I am misunderstanding what you said about using DotTune, but I still have this idea that DotTune is only as accurate as my eyes' ability to tell what is in sharpest focus and what isn't.......in which case, sadly, it wouldn't be very accurate at all. But perhaps I have misunderstood, and this is not the case......which would be awesome!

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Mar 03, 2017 21:11 |  #23

Our power lines are underground. As a result, I have two transformers about equal distance from our driveway. I set up my tripod and focus on the printing of each one @ 400mm... take a few shots with different MFA numbers, then compare after I upload the images. It seems very easy to see which photograph is the sharpest.

I don't know if this method is good or bad, but my photos are coming out sharp. ;)

I do the same thing using street signs at 100mm, this on my 100-400ii


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Mar 04, 2017 03:03 |  #24

I use a Siemens star print as the focus chart. It's easy to tell on which picture the blurred central area is the smallest while toggling between pictures taken at different MFA settings.


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Mar 04, 2017 08:07 |  #25

Tom is correct that with Dot-Tune you have to establish good focus via live view before you can use the procedure. If he has difficulty doing that, then Dot-Tune is not for him. Also, he is correct about difficulty at long focal lengths. I have taken shots of the Moon at 600mm, using a heavy tripod and live view at 10x. The lens movement from turning the focus ring sets the image on the screen jumping quite badly, and it does make it difficult to judge focus sharpness. It s certainly not as easy as with shorter focal lengths.


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Mar 04, 2017 11:05 |  #26

agedbriar wrote in post #18291328 (external link)
I use a Siemens star print as the focus chart. It's easy to tell on which picture the blurred central area is the smallest while toggling between pictures taken at different MFA settings.
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I tried this method of MFA before and no matter how much I read about it I'm never really sure of what I'm looking for. Like other methods where I have to make the call I second guess myself.


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Mar 04, 2017 13:41 |  #27

digital paradise wrote in post #18291568 (external link)
I tried this method of MFA before and no matter how much I read about it I'm never really sure of what I'm looking for. Like other methods where I have to make the call I second guess myself.

Instead of trying to asses the achieved sharpness directly, here you compare the size of the blurred area around the target center, which is easier. The smaller the blurred area, the sharper the picture.

Like this (top image is sharper):


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Mar 04, 2017 14:03 as a reply to  @ agedbriar's post |  #28

Thanks for the explanation. Blurred always threw me off. So basically the more detail you can see the sharper it is. Makes sense.


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Mar 15, 2017 09:33 |  #29

Picture North Carolina wrote in post #18265897 (external link)
Reminds me of the old joke. The guy goes to the doctor, slaps himself on the face really hard and says "Doc, every time I do this it hurts!" The doc looks at him and says "So, stop doing it!"

If the program is full of bugs and/or doesn't work properly, has been "unreliable" "for years," and hasn't been fixed, it should be evident it probably is not going to be.

So the same response would apply to you. Stop inflicting pain upon yourself and move on.

Its not a joke when you have paid for something to work as advertised and it doesn't.

Why should i hand over money and then move on?

Your post adds nothing to the thread and sounds condescending, although i do get the point.


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Mar 15, 2017 10:06 |  #30

dave_bass5 wrote in post #18301547 (external link)
Why should i hand over money and then move on?

Because with many things, it is only after we have bought something that we learn that it is not right for us.

It's like if you get a bad meal at a restaurant - you don't try to eat it anyway, if it's terrible, just because you spent money on it. It's already bad that you spent the money for something useless - that's one bad thing. Now if you go ahead and waste time hopelessly trying to get the useless thing to become useful, you will have wasted time and effort. That would be two bad things - wasted money and wasted effort. Better to stop while you are only a little behind than to keep falling further behind.

I think PNC's suggestions and insights do add value to this thread, because they offer a perspective that you seem not to have seriously considered, and that perspective seems to be the most realistic one to adopt.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

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