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Author Topic: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software  (Read 45532 times)

Old Shooter

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2012, 02:04:47 AM »
+1 Mt. Spokane!  Thanks for sharing your work with us!
5DIII, XSi, A2, 10s (x2), 20-35L, 24-70L II, 28-70L, 70-200L, 70-200L IS II, 85L II, 135L, 40 Pancake, 50 Macro, 100 Macro, 135 Soft-Focus, Crappy EF-S Kit Lens, 430EX II, Metz 45 CL-4, Metz 60 CT-4 (x2), White Lightnings, and lots of other junk...

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2012, 02:04:47 AM »

toto

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2012, 07:19:48 AM »
This software is available for Windows only?
Are we accountants or photographers?
It looks really good and I'll buy it if it was available for Mac.

japhoto

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2012, 09:17:53 AM »
This software is available for Windows only?
Are we accountants or photographers?
It looks really good and I'll buy it if it was available for Mac.

So you're saying that if one isn't using a Mac, one isn't a photographer?

The Mac version is coming btw...

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2012, 11:52:51 AM »
Does FoCal actually allow you to set an adjustment outside of the -20/+20 range, or does it just report that a greater adjustment is needed?  The latter would be simple extrapolation from the testing, whereas the former would seem to require modification of the firmware...

The larger adjustment range is a promised feature at some time in the future.

"And the following tests coming shortly after release:

Storage of test runs for comparison over time
Out of range testing - take the AF Micro adjustment value outside of the normal +/-20 range for problematic lenses.
Autofocus Performance Test
Autofocus Consistency Test
Lens profiling (sharpness at different apertures, field curvature and more)
As well as the above features, FoCal Pro will be the version that any new features are added to.  So if you want to get the new features sooner, FoCal Pro is the way to go.

So, if its a successful product, we will likely see these features.


The product is not for everyone, you need to be really careful with your setup, and to understand that some lens / body combinations work poorly and testing will show this.  Its nothing new, but we can now easily see it, and the new tools in the future will make even more info available.  I can see sellers providing a copy of the test curve to show how good their lens actually is.  The repeatability of a lens body combination is likely more important than the MA setting, unless its way off.

'

neuroanatomist

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2012, 12:09:34 PM »
The larger adjustment range is a promised feature at some time in the future.

"And the following tests coming shortly after release:  

Out of range testing - take the AF Micro adjustment value outside of the normal +/-20 range for problematic lenses.

Yes, I read that, too - that was the point of my question. When I read that, it suggests to me that the testing will be capable of going beyond the normal range, but it does not indicate that it will be possible to actually set an in-camera AFMA outside the normal range.  Do you think the latter would be possible without altering the firmware? 

Looking at the plots you posted, I'd bet the shape of the curves would be pretty similar for a given lens, or perhaps class of lenses. So, given sufficient data on those lenses, if a curve is 'trending up but starting to approach a peak' between, say, +14 and +20, but hasn't peaked yet, the software will extrapolate the curve and report that you'd need a +23 adjustment, even though it didn't test +23. Alternatively, since the software can measure the time between initiating focus and focus lock each time, and also the direction, it could apply a 'manual focus' adjustment equal to one AFMA unit for values beyond 20, and measure the sharpness at those expanded settings, providing real data for the plots.

But, I think the only way an out-of-range adjustment could actually be applied and used when the camera isn't connected to FoCal would be a ML-type firmware hack.  I'd be very interested to hear other opinions, or examples of other custom functions having their available parameters changed externally.
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2012, 12:51:59 PM »
The larger adjustment range is a promised feature at some time in the future.

"And the following tests coming shortly after release:  

Out of range testing - take the AF Micro adjustment value outside of the normal +/-20 range for problematic lenses.

Yes, I read that, too - that was the point of my question. When I read that, it suggests to me that the testing will be capable of going beyond the normal range, but it does not indicate that it will be possible to actually set an in-camera AFMA outside the normal range.  Do you think the latter would be possible without altering the firmware? 

Looking at the plots you posted, I'd bet the shape of the curves would be pretty similar for a given lens, or perhaps class of lenses. So, given sufficient data on those lenses, if a curve is 'trending up but starting to approach a peak' between, say, +14 and +20, but hasn't peaked yet, the software will extrapolate the curve and report that you'd need a +23 adjustment, even though it didn't test +23. Alternatively, since the software can measure the time between initiating focus and focus lock each time, and also the direction, it could apply a 'manual focus' adjustment equal to one AFMA unit for values beyond 20, and measure the sharpness at those expanded settings, providing real data for the plots.

But, I think the only way an out-of-range adjustment could actually be applied and used when the camera isn't connected to FoCal would be a ML-type firmware hack.  I'd be very interested to hear other opinions, or examples of other custom functions having their available parameters changed externally.

The FoCal software is the production version of the AF-MAC software.  If I read it right, the AF-Mac could not save a MA out of the -20 to +20 range, merely test for  it, which is likely done as you conjectured.  Apparently, that feature was less than production ready, so it was held back for a later date.

I really don't see a point in it, if your lens needs a +30 to correct it, it or your camera or both need to go in for adjustment.

http://www.reikan.co.uk/photography/blog/?p=1561

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2012, 02:53:40 PM »
I finished testing my lenses on my 7D this afternoon, I did not test with extenders.  I went ahead and tested my telephoto lenses at short range, I'll have to wait for spring or a warm day to test them outdoors.

Here are the results.

FoCal Lens Calibration Results
Canon 15mm FE         +2      
Tokina 17mm f/3.5      +4
Canon 35mm L            +4
Canon 50mm f/1.4      +4
Canon 85mm f/1.8      -12
Canon 100mm L          -1
Canon 135mm L          -10
Canon 300mm f/4 L IS +0
Canon 15-85mm EF-s   +0
Canon 24-105mm L      
24mm                          +0
50mm                           -3
105mm                         -2
Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS      
70mm                       -5
100mm                       -3
200mm                       -3

Canon 100-400mm L IS      
100mm                        -7
250mm                       +1
400mm                       +1

....
....
Thank you very much for your input!
A question please:
for a zoom lens ie 24-105 L IS,   it gives you 3 values at 3 different focal lengths, does the camera store all of them or do you have to choose one of them? 

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2012, 02:53:40 PM »

ddl

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2012, 02:59:19 PM »
When I was testing my 7D on the closed beta I ran one test to get an MA value with I believe my Sigma 85mm.

I thought I would try to immediately re-run the test again to see if it came up with the same value. For some reason the test never converged and the focus kept on getting worse.

I killed the test and the MA value on the 7D was something like -92; I had to reset it to 0 and then the test ran to converge back to the originally determined MA value (something like +10 to +15).

So the overwrite possibilty was in the Beta and I assumed it was still in the Pro first production release version (although I haven't tried to find out if it still works).
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 03:03:31 PM by ddl »

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2012, 03:05:08 PM »
Pro gives you more automated features, better reporting plus it allows you to write an MA value beyond the limit built into the camera (e.g. beyond +/-20 for the 7D and +/-30 for the 5D) should you need it.

Does your 5D MK II have a MA of =/- 30?  My 5D, 7D, and 1D MK III all have =/- 20.

It appears I screwed up as I thought one of the non-7D bodies went +/-30.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2012, 03:22:10 PM »
for a zoom lens ie 24-105 L IS,   it gives you 3 values at 3 different focal lengths, does the camera store all of them or do you have to choose one of them?

You have to choose one. I'd bias the choice toward the long end of the zoom, since that's where DoF will be thinnest and thus AF errors more obvious.

FWIW, the 1D X will store two AFMA values for a zoom lens.  I don't know what it will do with them, i.e. change from one to the other halfway through the zoom range, or progressively change from one to the other over the range.
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Chrisbrn

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2012, 03:36:40 PM »
for a zoom lens ie 24-105 L IS,   it gives you 3 values at 3 different focal lengths, does the camera store all of them or do you have to choose one of them?

You have to choose one. I'd bias the choice toward the long end of the zoom, since that's where DoF will be thinnest and thus AF errors more obvious.

FWIW, the 1D X will store two AFMA values for a zoom lens.  I don't know what it will do with them, i.e. change from one to the other halfway through the zoom range, or progressively change from one to the other over the range.

Thank you very much!  :)

japhoto

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2012, 04:23:09 PM »
...the MA value on the 7D was something like -92...

I ran into this value as well, but can't really tell if it actually overwrites the MFA - value or if it's just a glitch. It however was a bit of a surprise to find that value in the menu :)

So far I'm quite happy with the software, but as an "early adopter" there is problems with stability. Not while testing, that went fine, but the crashes still are pretty frequent. Hopefully that'll change with the future releases.

I did at least two runs on each focal length and on my 24-70 I tested it at 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 70mm and again all of them at least twice. So even though the process is pretty much automated, it still took a fair amount of time. I also saved the test analysis curves for each test and I'm going to do a writeup on my blog about my findings. I'll post a link once it's done, but that's going to take a while since I'm quite busy with other things than photography at the moment.

Anyway, here are the values I got:

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5:
- @10mm: -7, -7
- @22mm: -3, -2

All in all pretty consistent results. I had no MAF dialed in for this lens, so I went from 0 to -5. That's close enough of a compromise since DOF isn't really an issue. This may change when I get to try this new value in real life.

Canon EF 24-70mm L f/2.8:
- @24mm: -8, -6 (I wasn't sure about the -6 test run and did a third one, which came at -9)
- @35mm: -10, -5 (same uncertainty here, but I didn't run the third test)
- @50mm: -11, -11 (prediction was at -12, but -11 was the selection)
- @70mm: -14, -15 (I changed to the bigger target here, so I'm not sure about the values)

This again was pretty inconsistent which I did expect from this lens. Good news is that the results weren't all over the chart and it's consistently needing a minus adjustment. I'll have to do more testing with this lens, but since I didn't have anything dialed in, needless to say it's gotten way better. So this one went from 0 to -10. I'll fiddle with this in real situations and do more testing when I have the time.

Canon EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS II:
- @70mm: -2, -2
- @200mm: -2, -2

As consistent as they come, I had this at -3 before, so I'll leave it at -2 and see if it's better.

Canon EF 300mm f/4:
- @300mm (duh): -8 (the only good run)

This focal length combined with the 15m testing range proved problematic to say the least. This would have been better if I had better lighting on the target. I'm guessing there were too much vibrations to get decent readings, so I'll have to do this again with far better light. For the record I was using daylight balanced fluorescent lights on both sides of the target to get an even lighting, but to get a decent shutter speed for the 300mm it wasn't enough.

Sigma 30mm f/1.4:
- @30mm: -2, -2

This one is interesting since I had it at +3 before and +1, +2 and +3 are higher on the chart than -2, but they are way off of the predicted MFA curve. So I was "right" to set it at +3 since it's a sharper option, but it's probably been an inconsistency in the AF - motor. So hopefully this setting of -2 gives consistent results even though it's not as sharp as +3. Will have to try it out in real life.

In conclusion, even though the software makes the testing easy and at least somewhat repeatable, there still are decisions to be made when it comes to setting the "optimal" value for MFA. I can say I'm pleased with the software since it does what it promises and at least gives us a point of reference and the means to do an educated guess about the right value (if there ever is one).

When looking at the testing from a bit further away, there's consistency about every lens needing a minus adjustment, so there was no wild measurement errors or seriously whacked lenses. I'll probably end up doing more testing with much brighter lighting on the target and see if that makes a difference, but so far I'm happy to be pushed in the right direction.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2012, 05:08:57 PM »
I finished with my 5D this morning.  The full auto gives repeatable results every time I've tried it.  As you can see, there is no direct corelation between settings on the 7D and the 5D MK II.  I measured the zooms at 3 different focal lengths, but picked the one I most often used to put in the camera.  By looking at the bell curve, its easy to select a value that will do well for all.  Even the 100-400mm L has a very wide bell curve and should be fine at 100mm with it set to +4.

Only my od 300mm f/4L was at zero on both bodies.  Thats a beatup lens that I expected to be off, so you can't tell by the looks.  The 15mm FE also seems to be a ananomoly, I tested it three times, moving the camera and re-aligning, but it always came out the same.

FoCal Lens Calibration Results
         7D      5D MK II
Lens            
Canon 15mm FE      +2      -15
Tokina 17mm f/3.5      +4      +2
Canon 35mm f/1.4      +4      +5
Canon 50mm f/1.4      +4      -8
Canon 85mm f/1.8      -12      -14
Canon 100mm L         -1          -5
Canon 135mm L         -10        -3
Canon 300mm f/4 L IS   +0      +0
Canon 15-85mm EF-s   +0

Canon 24-105mm L      
      24mm   +0      -6
      50mm   -3      -7
      105mm   -2      -2
(Set to -4)

Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS      
      70mm   -5      -3
      100mm   -3      -3
      200mm   -3      -3

Canon 100-400mm L IS      
      100mm   -7      -5
      250mm   +1      +4
      400mm   +1      +4
(set to +4)

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2012, 05:08:57 PM »

japhoto

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2012, 05:44:50 PM »
Hey Mt Spokane Photography,

I'd like to ask you if you could give your opinion about my testing and especially about the conclusions I made about it. This was my first run and I haven't done much MFA fiddling this far, so I'd like to know if I'm going in the right direction.

Also, what kind of target illumination system did you have?

Thanks in advance,

Janne

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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #44 on: January 15, 2012, 04:38:22 PM »
Hi guys,

Purchased the "Pro" version over the weekend as well and just had a chance to play with it this evening. I installed it onto Windows 7 via Parallels on my iMac, seems to work absolutely fine! I was concerned that running the virtual machine would mean very slow test times but I was pretty impressed with the performance of the software. I should point out that I'm blessed with a very nicely spec'd machine.

The software is intuitive and easy to use, and like others on here I got repeatable results using the fully automatic calibration. I've only been able to test out a few lenses on my 7D, will get through the others and the 5Dii too sometime this week! I've never microadjusted my lenses before, so I'm interested to see what the real world results will be like. My results are below for anyone interested.

Body: 7D. Distance to target: 3.1m. Measured EV between 9 and 10, target was lit by a continuous video lamp (Redhead).

Lens    Focal Length    Test 1    Test 2    Test 3    MA Value set   
EF 85mm f1.885mm+17+17+17
EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS17mm+1+10+5*
35mm+5+5+4
55mm+5+7+6
EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS (mk1)70mm-1-1+7
100mm+6+6+5
135mm+7+8+8
200mm+10+10+9

* the instructions recommended turning IS off when testing - I forgot to do this so will have to retest this lens!

As you can see, the MA varies across focal lengths for the zooms, I guess this is expected (interested to hear other peoples experiences). I've set the MA biased towards the longer end, where DOF is more critical. I find most of my shots with the 70-200mm on the 7D are at or below 135mm so it makes sense to optimise for this focal length.

Overall highly recommended :)




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Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« Reply #44 on: January 15, 2012, 04:38:22 PM »