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Thread: Reikan FoCal - Automatic AF Micro adjustment software

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    The camera knows you have the TC on, as long as it is a Canon TC.
    I always thought the same when using the TC with zoom lenses that the TC was to "soft". The 70-200mm II might be close to performing acceptable with the TC on but I have never had a need for it, really I have only found the 1.4x acceptable on the super telephotos and primes. Really it all depends on what you think is "acceptable" and my opinion may not match others.
    Thanks for the information... Yes, it is a Canon TC and I had a "Senior Moment" on the 70-200 issue... What I shoul have written in is the 100-400. As I gain more knowledge I am not so sure that taking the 100-400 and screwing on a TC might not be presenting a lot of variables in AF... maybe a bit too many. We'll see what happens... it should be interesting. Just ordered the FoCal Pro so I'm sure I will be back on asking more questions.
    Bill

  2. #52
    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_in_WA View Post
    ...I have long thought that both my 100-400 and 70/200 have been a bit soft with the TC (and the 100-400 by itself). FoCal may just be woth its weight in gold to a "non-techie" "sort-of techie" like myself. Thanks for any help or suggestions any of you may make.
    Bill
    Your 100-400 will not focus with the 1.4x TC attached, so I do not think FoCal will help you with that combo.
    5DS R, 1D X, 7D, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, 24mm f/1.4L II, 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.8, 100mm Macro f/2.8L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L, 580EX-II
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  3. #53
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    As Rick states, the camera is aware of the presence of the TC, and even records it in the EXIF data. I think the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II does pretty well with teleconverters. Here are links to three examples:
    Note that the two shots with the 7D are both at ISO 3200, which is pretty noisy, and the first shot was shot in heavy mist/drizzle (which is why I was using the 70-200+TC instead of the 100-400, since the latter is not weather sealed.

    Back to the point at hand, the EXIF for the middle shot, for example, shows the lens as "EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2.0x" and the focal length as 400mm.

    So, you have to calibrate each lens and lens + TC combination separately, and each combo counts against your max of 20 stored adjustments.

    FWIW, the 1D X will go a step further and actually associate adjustments with the serial numbers of the lens and/or teleconverter - useful for studios with multiple copies of lenses that require differnet adjustments, since other cameras wouldn't know my 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II from Rick's copy of the lens, and so would apply the set adjustment to any lens of that type.

    While I think the 70-200 II plus TCs delivers usable images, I was less pleased with the 100-400 + TCs, it just doesn't stand up to them that well (and as Pat states, unless you nave a 1D III, 1Ds III, or 1D IV, you can't AF with the 100-400 + 1.4x anyway, fo FoCal wouldn't be of any use...

  4. #54
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    Bill

    You had mentioned that you thought your copy of the 100-400mm is soft even without the TC. If your comparison is against a 70-200mm F2.8L II then I think indeed it would feel soft as the 70-200mm is a much better lens IMO. As mentioned your 7D and 5D II wouldn't focus with the teleconverter anyway. But that really shouldn't matter in your decision to get foCal because it is your camera that will not focus at F/8 no matter what type of system you use to set your AF adjustment. Another thing is shooting with a TC on the 100-400mm may not matter to you any way, because it may never produce the quality you are looking for. I suggest you test your 100-400mm to see if it is really soft, or it is another problem. Set it up on a tripod and take test shots using live view and focus on 10x. If you can't get what you believe is acceptable sharp IQ doing this, doing AF adjustments will not help.

    Good Luck
    Rick

  5. #55
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    I purchased this software the last time it was mentioned on this site. I've since calibrated all of my lenses with the exception of one very specific combination.

    I am using a 7D with the latest firmware.

    My Canon EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS USM lens and Canon EF 2x III Extender do not calibrate properly together, giving some weird error that nobody seems to know what it means. The lens calibrates properly by itself, and the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM calibrates properly with the extender, but I think the problem is that with that 400mm combination, the lens actually reports to the body that it's in manual focus mode (as seen in the quick menu), EXCEPT in liveview, you can still get autofocus to work in liveview. I'm assuming liveview uses a different AF method that is still working. I figured if you can AF using the shutter or liveview, Focal would still work, but I guess not. I have been in touch with Rich about the issue. He has tried to work with me over many emails, but ultimately just never responded to my last one. Benefit of the doubt, but I would have liked to hear the reason why from the people who write the software instead of me guessing... But that's neither here nor there.

    The software works really well. I calibrated all of my lenses within a few nights using the purchased target and my apartment with a couple of LED video lights on the target. It takes maybe 30-50 shots to calibrate normally, and the results are visually obvious. It also allows you to see how bad a lens may be as far as accuracy with AF. I calibrated each lens three times and a couple of the cheaper/older canon lenses had issues between the three tests, with very large variety in the scores. Re-stabilizing my tripod and testing again seems to have narrowed that gap to an acceptable window, to which I just took the average.

    All in all, I'd recommend the software without batting an eye. I think Rich is great but maybe just a bit overwhelmed over there. For the price, this software adds a very valuable modification to my kit. A lens that cost me $6500 was -15 off on the AF micro-adjust after three consecutive tests!! That's simply huge and extremely obvious on a 1:1 crop.

    Hope this helps, and I hope that I've been fair and honest in my review, as I've definitely tried to be.

    I just wish that my 7D could do stepped AF microadjust. I'd love to get settings for my 70-200 throughout the range.
    Last edited by MeHoo; 02-22-2012 at 03:44 PM.

  6. #56
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    Welcome MeHoo.

    I wouldn't expect that combination to work. An f/4 lens with a 2x extender will act as an f/8 lens, which won't autofocus on your body. Microadjust only adjusts values used in phase-detection AF (non live view, or live view Quick mode), so the contrast detect AF used by the regular live view mode can't be adjusted by the software.

  7. #57
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeHoo View Post
    I am using a 7D with the latest firmware....My Canon EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS USM lens and Canon EF 2x III Extender do not calibrate properly together...
    David is correct, and the only puzzling thing is why Rich @ FoCal didn't pick up on this immediately...

    As Canon states, "With most EOS cameras, the maximum aperture of the compatible EF lens/EF extender combination must be f/5.6 or larger to support autofocus. With EOS-1 class digital SLRs, autofocus with the center focusing point is supported for compatible EF lens/EF extender combinations with maximum apertures of f/8 or larger."

    Your 7D is 'most EOS cameras' and since an f/4 lens with a 2x Extender becomes f/8, phase detect AF is disabled (and that's what AFMA adjusts, so the calibration fails). Contrast-detect AF (what Live View uses) is not affected by the aperture limitation.

  8. #58
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    I know about the f8 limitation, but I didn't know if foCal used liveview's AF or not because it does have to be in liveview in order to work for my setup. That told me that maybe it was using that combination, and thus, might still work. Now I know.

    Makes me wonder if when the camera is on a tripod and I'm using liveview to focus, that it's actually a really bad idea and less accurate.

  9. #59
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeHoo View Post
    Makes me wonder if when the camera is on a tripod and I'm using liveview to focus, that it's actually a really bad idea and less accurate.
    Live View (contrast-detect) AF is very accurate, it's just a lot slower than phase-detect AF. Phase detect measures the difference between the separated contrast peaks from the incoming light, and calculates the magnitude and direction of change, then tells the lens to move X amount in Y direction, and that's it. Contrast detect essentially checks contrast, moves lens, checks contrast, moves lens, etc., until maximum contrast is achieved (which isn't known until contrast peaks than starts to go back down).

  10. #60
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    Hi all,

    I have been running the software now and I have done most of my autofocus lenses, I still have the 500mm f4L to do as well as the 100-400mm at 400mm when I get some time to setup for a long distance. I used approx 50x the focal length for all the testing and this was done using the Pro version of the software. One thing that is critical to getting good calibration, or at least for me, is to have a well lit target. I ended up setting up with led video lights to illuminate the target, this helped a lot, and also it really needs a place that is out of the wind, etc. running was pretty straightforward and I am overall happy with the results. Here are some of the numbers I got, all lenses are Canon EF lenses unless noted, the quality is the quality of the curve fit.

    1DMarkIV 5DMarkII
    Lens AFMA quality AFMA quality
    50mm f1.4 6 ex 5 ex
    100mm f2.8L macro 2 ex 2 ex
    180mm f3.5L macro 3 ex 1 ex
    85mm f1.8 -8 acc 13 gd
    100-400mmf4.5-5.6L @100mm 0 ex 0 gd
    70-200mmf4L @70mm 5 ex -4 ex
    70-200mm f4L @200mm 4 ex -5 ex
    17-40mm f4L @17mm -4 ex -7 gd
    17-40mm f4L @28mm -4 ex -7 gd
    17-40mm f4L @35mm 0 gd -1 gd
    17-40mm f4L @40mm -3 ex 3 gd
    24-105mm f4L @24mm -7 gd 6 ex
    24-105mm f4L @105mm 3 gd 5 ex
    Tokina 16-28mm f2.8 @16mm 3 ex 1 ex
    Tokina 16-28mm f2.8 @28mm 11 ex 7 ex
    300mm f2.8 L IS 3 ex 7 ex
    35mm f2 -4 pr 0 pr
    50mm f1.8 II 7 gd 11 ex

    At least I am getting repeatable results, I have a lensalign that I never got real repeatable results with so I never trusted it, but overall I am very happy with this software solution.

    Alan
    Alan Smallbone
    Orange county, CA

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