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Author Topic: My Review of the Reikan Focal Pro Lens Microadjustment System  (Read 28630 times)
texshooter
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« Reply #60 on: July 06, 2013, 06:42:30 PM »
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Granted, phase detection is wonky. That would explain the vertical spread of the data points, but not the horizontal spread. I followed the instructions to the letter. It doesn't make sense why the maximum quality focus that the software/camera can obtain for AFMA +0 would the same as for AFMA +1, +2, +7, +8, +10, +11, +13, and +17 with or without the shotgun phase detect effect.  Logic dictates that the maximum achievable quality focus should be parabolic. My results show a practically straight line. For comparison, see below my chart for the lens at 135mm. The same problem. The horizontal spread near peak focus is to broad and too flat.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2013, 06:49:06 PM by texshooter » Logged
BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #61 on: July 06, 2013, 08:12:00 PM »
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Granted, phase detection is wonky. That would explain the vertical spread of the data points, but not the horizontal spread.

Hi,

According to my independent analysis, there can be an effect from hysteresis, IOW depending on the focus approach direction (closer or farther focus position departure point).

I'm not informed about the Focal Pro specifics for each lens/camera body combination, so I'd have to guess about what's actually being reported. It's a pity they didn't choose quantifiable units that make sense, like I attempted in the free tool I made available here. Granted, it takes more work than an automated sequence, but isn't the usability of the outcome more important? My blur metric can also be utilized in most software to directly improve the post-processing quality.

Quote
I followed the instructions to the letter. It doesn't make sense why the maximum quality focus that the software/camera can obtain for AFMA +0 would the same as for AFMA +1, +2, +7, +8, +10, +11, +13, and +17 with or without the shotgun phase detect effect.  Logic dictates that the maximum achievable quality focus should be parabolic. My results show a practically straight line.

Just guessing, but it seems that the vertical axis, IOW the precision is not good enough to pinpoint the actual optimum (mind you, there may be good reasons, which I don't know, for that).

What I do know is that in principle it's possible to pin-point the actual optimal focus position quite accurately. 

Quote
For comparison, see below my chart for the lens at 135mm. The same problem. The horizontal spread near peak focus is to broad and too flat.

Similar issue, although it seems not as indecisive as for your other lens.

Cheers,
Bart
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texshooter
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« Reply #62 on: July 06, 2013, 11:03:13 PM »
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I ditched the software and went with the crude manual method, an inclined ruler, and finally got results that make sense to me. I believe that Focal's AFMA recommendation is ok after all, but the way it charts the results and averages bad averages is just not very intuitive. Shooting a ruler and seeing the background and foreground distance marks that fall within the depth of focus is much more convincing to me. Below is a test shot at 200mm with AFMA +0. Next to that is a shot at AFMA +5. The +0 shot reveals that my lens has a front focus issue.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #63 on: July 07, 2013, 03:36:06 AM »
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IOW depending on the focus approach direction (closer or farther focus position departure point).
I think the latest versions of Focal Pro allow you to test for this.

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texshooter
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« Reply #64 on: July 14, 2013, 12:25:55 AM »
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Similar issue, although it seems not as indecisive as for your other lens.


Maybe this means that the longer the focal length, the less effect a change in the AFMA has on focus quality. for example, a +/- 1.0 AFMA to a 200mm lens will have less of an effect on sharpness than a +/- 1.0 AFMA to a 135mm lens. That's what my experiment shows, but I was expecting the opposite.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #65 on: July 14, 2013, 06:17:02 AM »
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Maybe this means that the longer the focal length, the less effect a change in the AFMA has on focus quality. for example, a +/- 1.0 AFMA to a 200mm lens will have less of an effect on sharpness than a +/- 1.0 AFMA to a 135mm lens. That's what my experiment shows, but I was expecting the opposite.

Hi,

That's not how e.g. Canon implements its AFMA, where each point is a similar percentage of the DOF for any given lens. So different lenses will get similar DOF adjustment for a given number of steps. Of course, other implementations may follow different strategies. Longer focal lengths do have shallower DOF, and should allow more accurate AFMA optimization.

Cheers,
Bart
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digitaldog
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« Reply #66 on: July 14, 2013, 11:12:25 AM »
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I purchased the software last year, expecting a Mac version eventually (which has apparently appeared). Worked quite well despite my fumbling around on a Windows laptop (I'm not a very savvy Win users <g>). I haven't tried the Mac version because I adjusted my lens and they appeared to show improvement. I thought the product did a good job, was a pretty clever implementation compared to using just hardware to do this in the past. So I'm a satisfied customer. Not sure how long I need to go before trying the software on my Mac with the lens I adjusted last year.

As for the licensing: Got no problem with it. I can understand how someone writing such a product could worry their software will be purchased and someone would setup a service thus reducing sales. If they have some additional fee for a service oriented customer who will do this, fine. In some respects, this is akin to those of us who purchased a software product to build ICC output profiles and provide a service versus the EULA for someone going on site and calibrating a display. At least in terms of the tools I use, the EULA agreement differs depending on the kind of profiles being built and in the latest EUAL from X-rite, one can contact the company and end up with a custom EULA.

As for comparing this to Photoshop, I don't see it being the same. You can install as many copies of Photoshop on as many machines as you wish but you can only activate and thus use the software on two machines at a time with one license.

Lastly, comparing the time it takes to adjust your lens for ideal capture and instead just taking pictures, I don't see the connection. I paid good money for my lens and I'd prefer they preform as optimally as possible without regard to the image content. I might be taking a snapshot or an image I expect to be a 5 star pick I'll spend hours on. Why not have the best quality in terms of capture in either case?
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #67 on: July 14, 2013, 11:48:58 AM »
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I purchased the software last year, expecting a Mac version eventually (which has apparently appeared). Worked quite well despite my fumbling around on a Windows laptop (I'm not a very savvy Win users <g>). I haven't tried the Mac version because I adjusted my lens and they appeared to show improvement. I thought the product did a good job, was a pretty clever implementation compared to using just hardware to do this in the past. So I'm a satisfied customer. Not sure how long I need to go before trying the software on my Mac with the lens I adjusted last year.

As for the licensing: Got no problem with it. I can understand how someone writing such a product could worry their software will be purchased and someone would setup a service thus reducing sales. If they have some additional fee for a service oriented customer who will do this, fine. In some respects, this is akin to those of us who purchased a software product to build ICC output profiles and provide a service versus the EULA for someone going on site and calibrating a display. At least in terms of the tools I use, the EULA agreement differs depending on the kind of profiles being built and in the latest EUAL from X-rite, one can contact the company and end up with a custom EULA.

As for comparing this to Photoshop, I don't see it being the same. You can install as many copies of Photoshop on as many machines as you wish but you can only activate and thus use the software on two machines at a time with one license.

Lastly, comparing the time it takes to adjust your lens for ideal capture and instead just taking pictures, I don't see the connection. I paid good money for my lens and I'd prefer they preform as optimally as possible without regard to the image content. I might be taking a snapshot or an image I expect to be a 5 star pick I'll spend hours on. Why not have the best quality in terms of capture in either case?

+1  Well said.  

I am also very satisfied with Reikan Focal.  I just wish Canon would alter the SDK to allow automated operation on the 5D3.
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John
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« Reply #68 on: July 14, 2013, 01:29:28 PM »
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Andrew,

 I think in the interests of their shareholders it is imperative that Adobe should be able to assert copyright on any picture taken with their cameras. It just isn't reasonable that when a picture is reprinted zillions of times the camera manufacturer and tools author receive nothing. IMHO every image written by Photoshop should be ©Adobe Inc.   The fact that Adobe is not getting a royalty on image files, and Microsoft is not getting royalty on books written with Word is clearly an intolerable violation of the property rights of these companies. I mean, it is clearly ridiculous that after poor pimply developers have invested their youth, and underpaid MBAs, lawyers and accountants have slaved uncountable hours to create these huge businesses, a random writer should be rewarded for a few hundred hours at a keyboard, or a photographer who may not even be American will in the end profit from being in the right place for a few minutes and getting a picture.

Edmund

I purchased the software last year, expecting a Mac version eventually (which has apparently appeared). Worked quite well despite my fumbling around on a Windows laptop (I'm not a very savvy Win users <g>). I haven't tried the Mac version because I adjusted my lens and they appeared to show improvement. I thought the product did a good job, was a pretty clever implementation compared to using just hardware to do this in the past. So I'm a satisfied customer. Not sure how long I need to go before trying the software on my Mac with the lens I adjusted last year.

As for the licensing: Got no problem with it. I can understand how someone writing such a product could worry their software will be purchased and someone would setup a service thus reducing sales. If they have some additional fee for a service oriented customer who will do this, fine. In some respects, this is akin to those of us who purchased a software product to build ICC output profiles and provide a service versus the EULA for someone going on site and calibrating a display. At least in terms of the tools I use, the EULA agreement differs depending on the kind of profiles being built and in the latest EUAL from X-rite, one can contact the company and end up with a custom EULA.

As for comparing this to Photoshop, I don't see it being the same. You can install as many copies of Photoshop on as many machines as you wish but you can only activate and thus use the software on two machines at a time with one license.

Lastly, comparing the time it takes to adjust your lens for ideal capture and instead just taking pictures, I don't see the connection. I paid good money for my lens and I'd prefer they preform as optimally as possible without regard to the image content. I might be taking a snapshot or an image I expect to be a 5 star pick I'll spend hours on. Why not have the best quality in terms of capture in either case?
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 01:49:33 PM by eronald » Logged

Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
PeterGG
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« Reply #69 on: September 26, 2013, 10:56:51 AM »
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I'm please with FoCal 1.9.0 running on my Mac to calibrate my Nikon D4.
Unlike Canon, the micro-focusing test is not completely automatic. I have to manually set the focus adjustments in my Nikon. This is due to Nikon's limitations, not FoCal's. This is hardly an inconvenience. I just put in the settings that FoCal tells me to. Testing may take a couple of minutes more than if done on a Canon.
Unlike other systems, this does other focusing tests, too.
My "secret" to consistent accurate results is to: 1. Read the instructions. 2. Set up the camera and target on stable surfaces. Walking on a wooden floor during a test may be enough to alter test results.
I've get best results setting up on my garage's concrete floor. It's not hard to align the camera and target.
In earlier versions, I had some trouble. I got prompt replies from the FoCal folks and the problem was fixed in later versions. I have no problems with their registration system.
Cheers
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