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Author Topic: AFMA advice sought  (Read 8047 times)

miah

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AFMA advice sought
« on: December 30, 2012, 01:28:55 PM »
I recently purchased a 5D3 after owning only Rebels. I would like to insure that my 5D's auto-focus is as accurate as can be with my lenses, present and future. With much talk of AFMA on this forum, I was hoping to get some advice on which tools are best. It seems Lens Align II and FoCal (I use a Mac) come up more frequently than homebrew solutions, but I'm not sure where to start. Can those of you with lots of AFMA experience offer any words of wisdom?
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AFMA advice sought
« on: December 30, 2012, 01:28:55 PM »

rpt

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2012, 02:15:33 PM »
I recently purchased a 5D3 after owning only Rebels. I would like to insure that my 5D's auto-focus is as accurate as can be with my lenses, present and future. With much talk of AFMA on this forum, I was hoping to get some advice on which tools are best. It seems Lens Align II and FoCal (I use a Mac) come up more frequently than homebrew solutions, but I'm not sure where to start. Can those of you with lots of AFMA experience offer any words of wisdom?
I have used the equivalent of the Lens Align method but I finally got FoCal pro and am very happy with the results.

neuroanatomist

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2012, 02:31:17 PM »
I wrote this tutorial a while back:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Photography-Tips/AF-Microadjustment-Tips.aspx

Since Reikan FoCal came out, I've been using that, and I highly recommend it (I've now sold my LensAlign Pro).
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miah

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2012, 03:43:25 PM »
Thanks for the link, neuro, I'll check it out. Do either of you have Macs? That is, do either of you use the beta Mac version of FoCal? And if so, is it stable enough to purchase the software license now or should I wait for the finished product?
T3i • 10-22 • 15-85 • 70-300DO *** 5D3 • 35 f/2 • 50 f/1.8 • 24-105L • 100L • 70-300L • 35-350L • 400L f/5.6

neuroanatomist

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2012, 04:51:32 PM »
I use a Mac, but haven't successfully used the Mac beta connected to a camera - it had a bug that prevented it from working for me, that has supposedly been fixed, I just haven't needed to use it since then. But I've used it for manual mode on the Mac (where you shoot a set of images with different AFMA values, then load them into FoCal for analysis, and that's fine.  I've also run the Win version on my Macs in both Parallels and VMWare virtual machines.

Be aware that with the 5DIII, fully automatic calibration isn't possible due to limitations in the Canon SDK.  You need to manually change the AFMA setting.
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miah

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2012, 05:00:37 PM »
Yeah, I read on Reikan's site the limits of Canon's SDK for the 5D3. Manual mode is fine, but tethering would be convenient, so I hope you're right and the bug's been fixed. Thanks.

So, am I clear in understanding that once you have FoCal you no longer need Lens Align? In other words, does FoCal's software determine your micro adjustment settings without any need for a pitched scale (FoCal's printed target is all that's necessary to get the job done)?
T3i • 10-22 • 15-85 • 70-300DO *** 5D3 • 35 f/2 • 50 f/1.8 • 24-105L • 100L • 70-300L • 35-350L • 400L f/5.6

neuroanatomist

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 05:42:07 PM »
So, am I clear in understanding that once you have FoCal you no longer need Lens Align? In other words, does FoCal's software determine your micro adjustment settings without any need for a pitched scale (FoCal's printed target is all that's necessary to get the job done)?

Correct.
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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 05:42:07 PM »

miah

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2012, 06:17:59 PM »
Great, thanks!
T3i • 10-22 • 15-85 • 70-300DO *** 5D3 • 35 f/2 • 50 f/1.8 • 24-105L • 100L • 70-300L • 35-350L • 400L f/5.6

Quasimodo

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2012, 06:28:46 PM »
So, am I clear in understanding that once you have FoCal you no longer need Lens Align? In other words, does FoCal's software determine your micro adjustment settings without any need for a pitched scale (FoCal's printed target is all that's necessary to get the job done)?

Correct.

A fem questions from me.

I bought the Lens something from spyder. Either my eyes are not good enough or....

1) do you have to buy a new program for each body ( their website asks you to order for a specific body). My camera is a 5D II, but I have and am still borrowing a 1Ds III for the last three years. Hence would I need two payments and two programs for those. The questiens becomes even more pertinent if I finally Get the 1Dx.

2) does the program do the callibration for you? (Of course you need to set it up and so forth) But will it set the appropriate values for you in the camera, or would you still have to go through with shooting many shots,to narrow the gap down as with the solution i have today?
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Matt

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2012, 07:22:13 PM »
I use focal on my mac with very little issues. Occasionally it will freeze up and I just restart the program and it will work fine.

So far I have used it on my 5diii with my 16-35L, 24-70L, 85L and 100L. When I get the time and figure out the space I will adjust my 70-200.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2012, 08:39:35 PM »


I bought the Lens something from spyder. Either my eyes are not good enough or....
I have that Issue, I can not see the fine differences once the setting gets close.

1) do you have to buy a new program for each body ( their website asks you to order for a specific body). My camera is a 5D II, but I have and am still borrowing a 1Ds III for the last three years. Hence would I need two payments and two programs for those. The questiens becomes even more pertinent if I finally Get the 1Dx.
 
Your purchase allows you to use FoCal on 5 different bodies.  You can add or remove bodies a limited number of times, which is to prevent users from cheating, but you can have five at a time.

2) does the program do the callibration for you? (Of course you need to set it up and so forth) But will it set the appropriate values for you in the camera, or would you still have to go through with shooting many shots,to narrow the gap down as with the solution i have today?
The answer depends on the camera body.  The 7D and 5D MK II are full automatic, but the 5D MK III and the 1D X cannot have full automatic calibration due to limitations in the Canon SDK.  So far, a way to make the calibration fully automatic for those bodies has not been found.  You have to follow on screen instructions and change the AFMA value manually between shots, otherwise, its automatic.  This actually goes pretty quickly, since they have improved the ability of the software to find the right value with a minimum number of shots and AFMA settings.


rpt

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2012, 08:40:23 PM »
So, am I clear in understanding that once you have FoCal you no longer need Lens Align? In other words, does FoCal's software determine your micro adjustment settings without any need for a pitched scale (FoCal's printed target is all that's necessary to get the job done)?

Correct.

A fem questions from me.

I bought the Lens something from spyder. Either my eyes are not good enough or....

1) do you have to buy a new program for each body ( their website asks you to order for a specific body). My camera is a 5D II, but I have and am still borrowing a 1Ds III for the last three years. Hence would I need two payments and two programs for those. The questiens becomes even more pertinent if I finally Get the 1Dx.

2) does the program do the callibration for you? (Of course you need to set it up and so forth) But will it set the appropriate values for you in the camera, or would you still have to go through with shooting many shots,to narrow the gap down as with the solution i have today?
For #1, you can use up to 5 cameras with 1 license of FoCal. See their FAQ under purchasing.
For #2, FoCal will compute the value and tell you after checking out various settings.

There are important things to note regarding tripod stability and non-usage of fluorescent or LED lights. These have been covered in detail on various AFMA threads on this forum. I suggest you search for them so that you don't trip on the same issues...


neuroanatomist

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2012, 08:48:10 PM »
1) do you have to buy a new program for each body ( their website asks you to order for a specific body). My camera is a 5D II, but I have and am still borrowing a 1Ds III for the last three years. Hence would I need two payments and two programs for those. The questiens becomes even more pertinent if I finally Get the 1Dx.

2) does the program do the callibration for you? (Of course you need to set it up and so forth) But will it set the appropriate values for you in the camera, or would you still have to go through with shooting many shots,to narrow the gap down as with the solution i have today?

You can have several bodies, I think up to 5 of them at a time, and you can remove ones you don't have anymore and add new ones later.

Depends on the body. For newer ones (2012), you have to make the AFMA changes yourself, due to Canon's SDK, but FoCal tells you the next value to set as it iteratively refines the calibration (far fewer shots that I'd do manually), and gives you the final value(s) to set. For older bodies it does fully automatic calibration, including setting the final value if you choose.
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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2012, 08:48:10 PM »

ScottyP

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2012, 11:03:09 PM »
Not to hijack the thread, but am I correct in understanding that FoCal does not yet support Canon 6D?
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curtisnull

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2012, 11:16:31 PM »
1Dx••5D3••300/2.8L IS II••135/2L••100/2.8L IS Macro••24/1.4L II••70-200/2.8L IS II••24-70/2.8L II••17-40/4 L••600EX-RT••lots more Canon stuff.

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Re: AFMA advice sought
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2012, 11:16:31 PM »