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Author Topic: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III  (Read 9139 times)

revup67

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FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« on: July 20, 2012, 02:54:18 AM »
I opted to pull the trigger and acquire this much anticipated software.  At first glance, it can be a bit overwhelming in printing targets, lining up the camera so the targets are precise, installing software on a laptop (not a desktop) as you will more than likely need space to roam especially with Tele's zooms .  There are many things to keep in mind when setting up for this calibration though the software does a good job of pointing most of those out.

I noted however the software did a few unusual things to at least my 5D that weren't there before.  For one, the shutter release was reprogrammed to perform a different function other than to focus.  I found this out when I tried to focus on the printed chart and lost all AF capabilities.  I swapped out the 24-105 lens with a 100mm 2.8 L and nothing (still no focus).  I put the 24-105 on my 7D and it was fine so I had isolated it was in fact the 5D.  I then checked Custom Controls and found the 5D M3 was reprogrammed.  I also noted Spot Metering kept getting turned on as well as the Exposure was up by a +1.  On a few occasions I also found Custom White Balance toggled on and not AWB.  The printed 8.5 x 11 FoCal chart did not work with the 16-35mm 2.8 MK II lens.  It just simply wouldn't focus at 1 foot (MFD is .92 feet) or 5 feet which is perhaps due to the target being too small?  Not sure.  I ran the Aperture sharpness tests on the same lens (the 100mm 2.8 L) consecutively twice and got different results.  The camera nor the light did not change.  The first time is showed the 7.1 was the sharpest aperture then it showed on a second run that 4.5 was the sharpest aperture.  One would think it would be consistent - same test same camera, same lens.

Any one else have any comments on this or own this software with the 5D Mark III?  PS I found the Martin Bailey site had it on a promo for £45 British pounds or $73 US vs  £69.95 or $112.21 USD.

PS I did see the blurb on the web site:  "Does FoCal change my camera settings?"

"FoCal changes a number of settings on the camera while running the test (e.g. aperture, ISO, metering etc.).  Before each test is run, the current settings of the camera are stored on the computer.  When the test completes, the settings are restored so your camera is back exactly as you had it before running the test.

Should anything go wrong (e.g. a power cut, the camera battery running out, the cable being unplugged etc.), the next time FoCal is run with the camera connected it will offer to restore the settings exactly as they were."

The camera was not reset hence the documenting of the above issues. Perhaps this is specific to the 5D MK 3
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 03:10:39 AM by revup67 »
Thanks
Rev
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FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« on: July 20, 2012, 02:54:18 AM »

crash

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2012, 08:51:53 AM »
Yeah, I had FoCal crash on one of my tests with the 5d3 and left my settings all screwed up but to be fair it did warn me that it was not able to restore all my settings.  I missed fixing one or two that really messed with me for a day.

I did get different results on different test runs but when run with consistent lighting, distance, etc... they were in the same ballpark and I am definitely getting better shots having applied the recommended AFMA settings.  As I understand it we're talking about tolerances in manufacturing and such. From what I have read it is expected that in real world and controlled scenarios that there will be some variances from shot to shot.  As far as what the sharpest aperture is, I get different results on that, too, but overall the graphs of sharpness are pretty consistent.  I know what range to work in with each lens to get best results - good enough for me. 

I get the impression that this is definitely more of an art than an exact science at this point but I'm seeing it where it counts - my pictures. I wasn't getting anything near this sharp until I ran FoCal.  (Yes, the pic needs some work but I have a good sharp file to start with.)



My cousin is using FoCal on his Nikon and kit lens - that has been all over the place. 
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 08:53:31 AM by crash »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2012, 12:10:42 PM »
If you change lenses while its running on your PC, it will sometimes crash and fail to reset the camera to its original settings, sometimes it crashes for unknown reasons too.
This is covered in the documentation, and has not been a big issue for me, its happened twice over several months.
As far as setup goes, its basically the same process as for doing a manual AFMA, but the software guides you to do it right.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 12:12:44 PM by Mt Spokane Photography »

revup67

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 07:44:26 PM »
Crash and Mt Spokane thank you for the tips advice.

Quote
If you change lenses while its running on your PC, it will sometimes crash and fail to reset the camera to its original settings, sometimes it crashes for unknown reasons too.
This is covered in the documentation, and has not been a big issue for me, its happened twice over several months.  As far as setup goes, its basically the same process as for doing a manual AFMA, but the software guides you to do it right.

Though the software did crash, I was extra careful in fact not to change lenses without first a)powering down the 5D MK3 and b) shutting down FoCal and disconnecting the USB.  The disruption of specific settings was a bit troublesome but after I realized this was happening I would simply glance through the menus and be certain that the settings were the way the were.  Has anyone had any luck with the 16-35 getting calibrated?  for some reason the camera won't focus on the target.  Though two target pages were printed I have not used the other (without FoCal logo).  Still weeding through the instructions and it is good to see / hear that it does make a difference.  open to any other suggestions or comments on this app being the newbie that I am especially interested if you have lens aligned a macro or UWA lens ( I do realize no support for manual lenses i.e MP-E 65 as of yet) - thanks again
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 07:58:32 PM by revup67 »
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Rev
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 07:53:09 PM »
Crash and Mt Spokane thank you for the tips advice.

Quote
If you change lenses while its running on your PC, it will sometimes crash and fail to reset the camera to its original settings, sometimes it crashes for unknown reasons too.
This is covered in the documentation, and has not been a big issue for me, its happened twice over several months.  As far as setup goes, its basically the same process as for doing a manual AFMA, but the software guides you to do it right.

Though the software did crash, I was extra careful in fact not to change lenses without first a)powering down the 5D MK3 and b) shutting down FoCal and disconnecting the USB.  The disruption of specific settings was a bit troublesome but after I realized this was happening I would simply glance through the menus and be certain that the settings were the way the were.  Has anyone had any luck with the 16-35 getting calibrated?  for some reason the camera won't focus on the target.  Though two target pages were printed I have not used the other (without FoCal logo).  Still weeding through the instructions and it is good to see / hear that it does make a difference.  open to any other suggestions or comments on this app being the newbie that I am especially if you have lens aligned a macro or UWA lens ( I do realize no support for manual lenses i.e MP-E 65 as of yet) - thanks again
Usually, if there is a issue getting it to calibrate, vibration is causing it to fail.  Bright lighting is a absolute must, because it otherwise sets a slow enough shutter speed that images are too motion blurred to calibrate.  Do not walk around or move during the process unless you are on concrete.  I've had that happen to me on wooden floors even with very bright light.
You can use the larger target, or move the camera a little closer if that helps.
If any of the above tips apply, see if you get better results by being careful to use bright lights and see how long you can hold your breath :) 

revup67

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2012, 08:04:55 PM »
Quote
Usually, if there is a issue getting it to calibrate, vibration is causing it to fail.  Bright lighting is a absolute must, because it otherwise sets a slow enough shutter speed that images are too motion blurred to calibrate.  Do not walk around or move during the process unless you are on concrete.  I've had that happen to me on wooden floors even with very bright light.
You can use the larger target, or move the camera a little closer if that helps.
If any of the above tips apply, see if you get better results by being careful to use bright lights and see how long you can hold your breath

Ok may change the lighting and go full on bright vs. two bulb lights faced at the target fairly evenly.  camera was on a tripod and set on a concrete/porcelain floor in live view (mirror lock up).  Tried moving camera up to 1 foot on 16-35 but no such luck so suspect it is a)lighting or b)will try alt. FoCal target.

When you calibrated with FoCal, did you use the Canon 50x multiplier theory x the focal length of the lens or just sort of approximate beyond the lens' MFD to a reasonable distance that you might shoot with that lens? 
Thanks
Rev
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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012, 08:33:26 PM »
Quote
Usually, if there is a issue getting it to calibrate, vibration is causing it to fail.  Bright lighting is a absolute must, because it otherwise sets a slow enough shutter speed that images are too motion blurred to calibrate.  Do not walk around or move during the process unless you are on concrete.  I've had that happen to me on wooden floors even with very bright light.
You can use the larger target, or move the camera a little closer if that helps.
If any of the above tips apply, see if you get better results by being careful to use bright lights and see how long you can hold your breath

Ok may change the lighting and go full on bright vs. two bulb lights faced at the target fairly evenly.  camera was on a tripod and set on a concrete/porcelain floor in live view (mirror lock up).  Tried moving camera up to 1 foot on 16-35 but no such luck so suspect it is a)lighting or b)will try alt. FoCal target.

When you calibrated with FoCal, did you use the Canon 50x multiplier theory x the focal length of the lens or just sort of approximate beyond the lens' MFD to a reasonable distance that you might shoot with that lens?

I tended to use 25-30X due to space limitations.  When good weather came, I went outdoors and needed the larger target for 50X and FF.  As you noted, the 50mm f/1.4 is difficult to adjust, I also had difficulty with my 100mmL.
The best was my older 300mm f/4L, it was almost flawless very consistent and "0" AFMA on all my bodies.
Same issues or worse for my Nikon D800 and 24-70mmg.  Some lenses are not as good as others, but I do not know if its a individual lens thing or a lens model thing, except that I recall hearing that the 50mm is far from the best to calibrate.
I have a couple new bodies now, and have not yet decided about keeping them, so I need to do it all over again.  I'm waiting on the mirrorless to decide if it is a fit for my use.  I have a 7D, 5D 2, and 1D MK IV and only want to keep two bodies.  I do not plan to buy another 5D MK III or 1D X unless there is a significant price reduction, or at least a fix for the black AF points.

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012, 08:33:26 PM »

revup67

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2012, 11:26:48 AM »
Quote
I tended to use 25-30X due to space limitations.  When good weather came, I went outdoors and needed the larger target for 50X and FF.  As you noted, the 50mm f/1.4 is difficult to adjust, I also had difficulty with my 100mmL. The best was my older 300mm f/4L, it was almost flawless very consistent and "0" AFMA on all my bodies. 
Same issues or worse for my Nikon D800 and 24-70mmg.  Some lenses are not as good as others, but I do not know if its a individual lens thing or a lens model thing, except that I recall hearing that the 50mm is far from the best to calibrate.
I have a couple new bodies now, and have not yet decided about keeping them, so I need to do it all over again.  I'm waiting on the mirrorless to decide if it is a fit for my use.  I have a 7D, 5D 2, and 1D MK IV and only want to keep two bodies.  I do not plan to buy another 5D MK III or 1D X unless there is a significant price reduction, or at least a fix for the black AF points.

Thanks for the heads up on the 50mm..I have that lens but have not had time to calibrate that one just yet.  Good to see you are using multiples of 25x-30x as 50x can be a stretch especially with a 400mm prime or higher and space limitations.  That one would more than likely have to be done outside.  Speaking of the black AF points, I've not had that hinder my photo shoots as of yet though I did express concern via Canon support awhile back and as we know, no news on that as of yet or at least that I am aware.
Thanks
Rev
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RunAndGun

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2012, 06:23:37 PM »
I wish I would have known about or done a search for discounts... Oh well.  I'll forget about it soon enough.

To the OP, I had the same issue with my settings not being restored after a crash and I unhooked my camera.  Subsequent calibration sessions were fine and my settings were restored(except RAW on my CF card for some reason).

Something that has come in very handy is a USB extension cable that I bought last year for another reason.  It gives me about 10'-15' of extra cable so I don't have to move my laptop around as much.


revup67

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 02:48:03 AM »
Quote
I wish I would have known about or done a search for discounts... Oh well.  I'll forget about it soon enough.
To the OP, I had the same issue with my settings not being restored after a crash and I unhooked my camera.  Subsequent calibration sessions were fine and my settings were restored(except RAW on my CF card for some reason). 
Something that has come in very handy is a USB extension cable that I bought last year for another reason.  It gives me about 10'-15' of extra cable so I don't have to move my laptop around as much.

I know on that price of 69.95 BP to 108.59 USD then PayPal tacks on another $4 and change.  I wanted to read more about the product and when searching I found the Martin Bailey site and get lucky.

I'm running the laptop on a fully charged battery when i start so have the freedom of moving around.  Watch those lengthy USB cables they can have a reduction in power and it is possible to loose connectivity.  There is a limitation with length on printers for this reason and I would imagine the same may apply to other USB devices
Thanks
Rev
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TC1006

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 10:20:14 AM »
So finally got a chance to play around with the software over the weekend and got some interesting results myself.

First, regarding the settings not being restored: Under Tools of the software there is an option for CAMERA SETTINGS. You can use that to backup your camera settings and restore them after done with your calibrations. This way you know that you are back to the previous settings.
Only caveat is that I dont think it stores every setting in the camera. My assumption is that it only backups the settings which FoCal will change.

Here is what it stored for mine:
4XXXXXXXXX1*1:LR|2:4|4:100|6:0|8:SingleFrame|9:Evaluative|10:MeteringAndAFStart|11:False|14:129|16:5200|15:0|17:1|

Secondly, I got some inconsistent results my self. Maybe the lighting was an issue as I was doing this indoors.

Last but not least..  for my 50mm 1.4 - The software recommended setting of +11. Does this seem pretty high?
I'm not sure if I have a bad copy of the lens.

The aperture sharpness test was some what inconsistent as well, but the results were fairly close to each other.

Thanks

neuroanatomist

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2012, 12:12:06 PM »
An 11 unit adjustment is pretty substantial, but not so much that I be concerned about the lens.

As for the inconsistent results, the software reports the light level in EV - what was yours?  I do most of my testing indoors, except when calibrating lenses at 300mm and longer.  But, indoors or out, I illuminate the target with a set of three 150W-equivalent gooseneck lamps - my light readings are usually around 12 EV, and I generally get very consistent results.
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TC1006

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2012, 12:36:30 PM »
An 11 unit adjustment is pretty substantial, but not so much that I be concerned about the lens.

For my 50mm 1.4 I noticed severe vignetting as well. I might just send it to Canon to get it checked.

Quote
As for the inconsistent results, the software reports the light level in EV - what was yours?  I do most of my testing indoors, except when calibrating lenses at 300mm and longer.  But, indoors or out, I illuminate the target with a set of three 150W-equivalent gooseneck lamps - my light readings are usually around 12 EV, and I generally get very consistent results.

From what I recall the EV value was around 7.2. I think I may need to illuminate the target a bit more.

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2012, 12:36:30 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2012, 01:48:49 PM »
For my 50mm 1.4 I noticed severe vignetting as well. I might just send it to Canon to get it checked.

The 50/1.4 has ~2.5 stops of vignetting wide open.

From what I recall the EV value was around 7.2. I think I may need to illuminate the target a bit more.

Should be at least EV 8 according to the manual, and the more light the better.  If your shutter speed is too low, and there's any instability in your setup (e.g. not using a cable release), that also results in instability.  With my bright lighting, I can shoot even f/5.6 lenses at 1/1000 s or faster without going over ISO 400.
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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2012, 02:27:45 PM »
If you are doing your tests indoors on a normal floor you will see different results.  The reason is any vibration in the floor impacts your camera.  I found that I couldn't run the test on the main floor of my house, I had to move to the garage with its concrete floor.  Concrete basement would have also worked.  I also use a double halogen work light to keep the target well lit.

When trying to test my 100-400 lens there was enough of a breeze outside to slightly vibrate the tripod, again that was enough to throw the test off (or more to the point the graph is all over the place making it hard to determine the right adjustment).

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Re: FoCal Pro version 1.5 and the 5D Mark III
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2012, 02:27:45 PM »