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Author Topic: About to start with Focal  (Read 12251 times)

RGF

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About to start with Focal
« on: June 10, 2013, 01:01:17 AM »
Hi

I am about to get Focal Pro (based upon the comments I have read on this forum).

Before I begin the journey, I was wondering if there are any suggestions, tips, hints, etc I should know about.

I will be AFMA 2 1Dx and 5DM3, with mostly zoom lens and few fixed (ranging from 14 to 500).

Thanks

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About to start with Focal
« on: June 10, 2013, 01:01:17 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2013, 02:00:45 AM »
Stable tripod on stable surface (concrete slab is better than hardwood or carpet).

Lots of light, you want EV's above 10.  Use tungsten/halogen, not fluorescent or LED.
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Velo Steve

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2013, 02:20:10 AM »
I just got the software a week or so ago.  Here are some observations.

  • Read the manual.  Maybe not every page, but there is some good information.
  • The "fully automatic" adjustment is quite tedious on the 5D III and any other camera without support for AFMA adjustments by software.
  • TurboCal is much faster than "automatic" - I can't say whether the results are consistently as good.
  • For the big lenses you are going to need a big indoor space, or the ability to work outdoors when lighting is consistent.  I had trouble with tree shadows moving across the target before I could complete a single calibration.  It might also work to have the camera outdoors and the target in a controlled indoor space with an open door or window.
  • My results were mostly similar to calibrations I had attempted by hand.  I'm taking that as a good thing - what the software says agrees approximately with my eye.  Probably the software is more accurate.
  • Speaking of accuracy (or really, consistency) I did some "semi-automatic" testing and it was surprising how much the results varied from one shot to the next under identical conditions.  There was often much more difference between consecutive shots at a single AFMA value than between two shots with an AFMA setting several units higher or lower.  This suggests that taking several shots and choosing the best (when you have the luxury of doing so) will make more difference than a perfect AFMA setting.  Of course what I saw with one lens/camera combination may not apply elsewhere.  By the way, this test was not done with the 70-200mm lens mentioned below.
  • The autofocus on my trusty 70-200mm 2.8L IS lens died while using the software!  I suppose it was ready to die after 7 years of use and who knows how many hours with the shutter button half pressed.  Still, it was a shock.  Both autofocus and manual focus are now unreliable.

If anyone else has tips about how big to print the target for various lenses and target distances, I'd like to hear them.  Also, target setup with TurboCal seemed different than with the other methods, and I'd like to understand that better.

dirtcastle

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2013, 02:42:26 AM »
Lots of light, you want EV's above 10.  Use tungsten/halogen, not fluorescent or LED.

What about indirect sunlight?

RGF

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2013, 02:44:59 AM »
Stable tripod on stable surface (concrete slab is better than hardwood or carpet).

Lots of light, you want EV's above 10.  Use tungsten/halogen, not fluorescent or LED.

Should iturn IS off?   Sounds like that you think that no IS is a good idea.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 08:47:59 AM by RGF »

neuroanatomist

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2013, 08:53:37 AM »
Sunlight is fine, as long as there aren't clouds changing the light levels.

Turn IS off.
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RGF

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2013, 08:58:40 AM »
Thanks NA

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2013, 08:58:40 AM »

Dylan777

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2013, 10:07:50 AM »
Stable tripod on stable surface (concrete slab is better than hardwood or carpet).

Lots of light, you want EV's above 10.  Use tungsten/halogen, not fluorescent or LED.

+1...be careful when you change AFMA values during test, since 5D III is not fully auto. Extra firm tight on tripod head. Long USB cable - from camera to PC - will help from accidently bump.
Body: 1DX -- 5D III
Zoom: 16-35L f4 IS -- 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Prime: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

MaxPower

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2013, 10:48:23 AM »
I bough Focal some weeks ago, to use it with my 6D.
But I don't made a print of the target image, instead I used the screen of my macbook pro retina as target,
so I had no problems with light indoor.
The Automatic Calibration worked fine with all my lenses.
6D - 15-85mm - 60mm Macro USM - 40mm f/2.8 STM - Sigma 35 1.4 - Canon 100mm Macro - 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM - 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM - 100-400mm L IS USM - some Speedlites...
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MaxPower

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2013, 10:50:51 AM »
Turn IS off.

With IS on, I got an error from focal in auto mode.
6D - 15-85mm - 60mm Macro USM - 40mm f/2.8 STM - Sigma 35 1.4 - Canon 100mm Macro - 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM - 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM - 100-400mm L IS USM - some Speedlites...
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2013, 12:53:35 PM »
Stable tripod on stable surface (concrete slab is better than hardwood or carpet).

Lots of light, you want EV's above 10.  Use tungsten/halogen, not fluorescent or LED.

Should iturn IS off?   Sounds like that you think that no IS is a good idea.
You should be mounted on a very sturdy tripod, so IS is not wanted or needed, it will tent to jitter the image if its on..  Just in case your IS does not recognize the tripod and shut itself down automatically, turn it off.  You can sometimes get away with it being on, but why risk wasting time.

Rienzphotoz

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2013, 04:08:58 AM »
I used the screen of my macbook pro retina as target, so I had no problems with light indoor.
Good tip ... thanks for sharing.
Canon 5DMK3 70D | Nikon D610 | Sony a7 a6000 | RX100M3 | 16-35/2.8LII | 70-200/2.8LISII | 100/2.8LIS | 100-400LIS | 40/2.8 | 50/1.4 | 85/1.8 | 600EX-RTx2 | ST-E3-RT | 24/3.5 T-S | 10-18/4 OSS 16-50 | 24-70/4OSS | 55/1.8 | 55-210 OSS | 70-200/4 OSS | 28-300VR | HVL-F43M | GoPro Black 3+ & DJI Phantom

Maxaperture

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2013, 05:15:22 AM »
Morning all, I'm a CR virgin poster.

I've recently purchased and used FoCal for my 5D3 and small amount of lenses.
Incredible difference to the clarity and sharpness of my 70-200mm 2.8 IS II, just by a small MFA of Wide+2 and Tele+4.

My Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC was seriously difficult at the wide end, but only for one reason, I didn't read the distance chart.  :-\
So, please allow me to offer this tip........
Use the FoCal distance chart found here https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11469157/FoCal/Docs/FoCal%20Test%20Distance_1.0.pdf

5DIII  -  500mm f/4 IS  -  70-200mkII -  Tammy 24-70 2.8 VC  -  Siggy 150mm 2.8 OS macro and the stunning 2x MkIII TC

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2013, 05:15:22 AM »

Rienzphotoz

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2013, 08:07:08 AM »
Morning all, I'm a CR virgin poster.
Hmmm? that sounds suspicious, you sure you virgin? coz anyone named "MAXaperture" with a "500mm" prime tool oops I mean lens, cannot be a virgin ... just kidding, welcome to CR
So, please allow me to offer this tip........
Use the FoCal distance chart found here https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11469157/FoCal/Docs/FoCal%20Test%20Distance_1.0.pdf
Thanks for sharing
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 08:14:31 AM by Rienzphotoz »
Canon 5DMK3 70D | Nikon D610 | Sony a7 a6000 | RX100M3 | 16-35/2.8LII | 70-200/2.8LISII | 100/2.8LIS | 100-400LIS | 40/2.8 | 50/1.4 | 85/1.8 | 600EX-RTx2 | ST-E3-RT | 24/3.5 T-S | 10-18/4 OSS 16-50 | 24-70/4OSS | 55/1.8 | 55-210 OSS | 70-200/4 OSS | 28-300VR | HVL-F43M | GoPro Black 3+ & DJI Phantom

Viggo

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2013, 09:07:10 AM »
Take care with the setup, and make sure your doing all things right, target, sturdy surface, do not move the cam, keep it around 10 ev, no less and not a lot more.

I used Focal for the 24-70 II yesterday and it's the first time it has been way off! It said -5 at 70mm and +5 at 24mm, but it's clearly best at "0" at all focals. I've adjusted a lot of lenses and Focal has always been right, so I'm doing a retest today.

On a happy sidenote this copy is both sharper and more accurate AF (2012) than the 2013 copy.
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

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Re: About to start with Focal
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2013, 09:07:10 AM »