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Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application

PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
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PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Thu 26-Jul-12 01:03 AM | edited Thu 26-Jul-12 01:07 AM by PeterBeckett

I'd like everyone to know that a small team of us is working very actively towards being able to report valuable results from testing the D800(and the D800E) with various lenses.

Eric Bowles has agreed that the topic needs a forum of its own - but until that has been sorted out, we should continue to post results and interpretations on this forum.

Please note that, from scrutinising results, it appears that FoCal can be used to compare the sharpness of lenses AND sensors!

*** Watch this space ***

With regards to all,

Pete

Greyscale

Freehold, US
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#1. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

Greyscale Registered since 12th Jun 2002
Thu 26-Jul-12 01:28 AM

Pete,FWIW, I think that this sort of forum really belongs on the the FoCal website not on Nikonians. The FoCal site states that in the future, test results will be displayed there in a database.
The customer support at FoCal is wanting, they (FoCal) need to setup a site with a FORUM in which users such as you and I can If we choose, submit various camera and lens test results. As well as a forum for getting direct support for users when issues arise.
If Nikonians is to have a FoCal forum, do you also wish to see a LensAlign and a SpyderLenscal forum?.

John
greyscale

PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
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#2. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 1

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Thu 26-Jul-12 02:56 AM

Hi John,
I respect and thank you for your opinion. I, too, look forward to there being a result database on the Reikan web site - but having "read the tea leaves" after several communications with FoCal's developer, I wouldn't hold my breath... Frankly, I hope that Reikan is going to fix all the bugs with the current version and add a little polish to it before attempting any major new developments. It's FAR from being a production-worthy application at the present time.

The forum thread that was started under this D800 forum, grew so large than the Moderators HAD to close it down after it reached 235 posts. Although I am not privvy to their detailed thoughts, it rather looks as if we might end up with a main "Testing" forum with some subsidiaries. I am guessing, but the subsidiaries might well relate to the particular tool/application used to gather data. Therefore YES, I definitely envisage LensAlign, FoCal and any other tools that become available, having equal billing. Eric Bowles was the first Moderator to get involved. He may be leading the effort to determine the best approach for the community. This data clearly doesn't belong under any one camera body, nor lens type.

Apart from using the tool(s) to help optimise my own body+lens combinations, my personal interest is in the general problem of defining test methodologies, that can be easily reproduced by fellow Nikonians, and used to arrive at reliably comparable results. Without result reproduceability, measuring tools are not viable - and the jury is still out regarding FoCal.

This isn't just about finding the best FT values for a particular lens on a given body. I feel that a large part is about you and I being able to quantify image sharpness with easy-to-run tests whose results are reliable.

Larry Jordan is by far the most experienced member of our little group but the rest of us are gaining speed. We are carefully scrutinising results that should be closely comparable and trying to understand how differences in test methodology affect results. We are testing the effectiveness of a detailed checklist that we can ALL use to minimise result differences for nominally the same hardware. Hopefully, we will be able to share some useful results quite soon.

Although, as someone observed, there may only have been around 20 regular contributors to the previous thread, I'd love to know how many Nikonians "subscribed" to it. I'd be surprised if that statistic isn't available to Moderators... Eric?

With regards,

Pete

nwcs

Knoxville, US
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#3. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

nwcs Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Landscape and Wildlife Photography Registered since 15th Jan 2006
Thu 26-Jul-12 02:22 PM

I'm looking forward to trying FoCal, too, as soon as the Mac version is released. Although I read that you really need thick paper to print the target out with?

PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
835 posts

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#4. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 3

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Thu 26-Jul-12 02:48 PM | edited Thu 26-Jul-12 02:48 PM by PeterBeckett

Hi Neil,
It definitely appears that Reikan is working hard towards releasing a Mac version ASAP as only a few days ago the leading developer indicated that was their highest priority.

With regards to targets: Whether-or-not the target is printed on heavyweight paper doesn't seem of great importance. I believe that it is more important to mount the print on something fairly rigid. In my own case, I have my targets mounted on 1/2inch foamcore. While I cannot rate the importance, it makes a great deal of sense to print the target(s) on a MATTE surface paper, with a fairly high resolution INKJET printer - ideally using a matte black ink.

FoCal seems to be pretty fussy about both the camera and the target being held as rigidly as possible. This is particularly challenging for users of Nikon camera bodies as the "operator" has to manually enter values for the FT adjustment settings after they have been requested on-screen by the application. It is very important that doing so does not move the camera! For Nikon bodies, FoCal is able to READ the current FT setting, but cannot SET it. This is due to Nikon not publishing an API (Application Programming Interface) for that function. Apparently Canon does - so more of FoCal's tests can be fully automated with Canon hardware than for Nikon.

Pete

ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#5. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 2

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Thu 26-Jul-12 03:41 PM

I agree with Pete re Reikan setting up a forum, blog or database. Reikan appears to be a one-man show with limited resources. I am not even sure that Rich, the developer, works on the project full time. His bio does not say so. The only responses I have seen from him regarding support is that he is heads down developing the Mac version.

Pete and I exchange lots of information about FoCal testing, including the test checklist Pete mentions. We have also exchanged detail test reports to see if we can come to a clear understanding of the variables and how they impact test results for the D800.

Until Reikan comes through with a support system, I would like to see posts here of significant findings that can help other D800 owners.

I will be receiving a D800E tomorrow (fianlly!), and I will start to test it side-by-side with my D800 on Saturday. I hope to able to report findings about those results. Even though they will represent only two camera bodies, the results may be informative for some D800 owners or those considering a purchase.

However, if you guys object to these postings, I will just exchange them with Pete and some other friends who are also participating in our FoCal test project.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#6. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 3

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Thu 26-Jul-12 03:54 PM

FoCal does a lot to tell you if your target is aligned properly with your camera/lens. It will also tell you if certain parameters such as the EV exposure of the target is too low. However, the software does not tell you everything you need to know to get the best results. You have to read and re-read both of the FoCal manuals to decipher that information.

I have run all FoCal tests with my D800...some of them up to four times with the same set of lens that you see listed below...with new targets and changes in lighting. I am just starting to really understand what environmental conditions and target conditions matter and which do not have much impact. Together, Pete other friends and I will figure what matters and hopefully let you know.

As to my own targets, I print them on the back side of thick photo paper because the back side is the matte finish the FoCal manul describes. However, I do the printing with my laser printer. One of the tests I plan to do on Saturday is to try a target printed with my wife's inject on regular paper to see if the printing really matters.

My conclusions so far is that a lot of these setup things matter in an absolute Quality of Focus (QoF) sense for the tests, but not in a relative sense. The AF fine tuning is comparing relative results to find the best AF fine tuning set point for a give lens. The Aperture Sharpness test shows you relative sharpness at each aperture for that lens. However, if I wanted to compare my test results with Pete's, then I have to start looking at the impacts of lighting, distance to target, white balance, etc on the highest QoF that I can get with my D800 with a given lens.

I hope that makes sense.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

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zumbado

North Potomac, US
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#7. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 4

zumbado Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2004
Thu 26-Jul-12 04:08 PM

I bought the FoCal Pro Version 1.5.0.121 software, and I'm trying to use the Parallels software, which is a virtual Windows application for the Mac that allows Windows 8 (and also 7 if you have a CD,) to work on the Mac. Focal supplies Window 8 free. I will start today to see if I can use FoCal Pro with the D800 camera. And will report here how it went. So far, I can get the Parallel's Desktop, where FoCal would run, but what I don't like is that it takes command go my mouse, and to get back to the Mac, I have to Force Quit Parallels. However, it should not hamper the testing with FoCal. We shall see. If Parallels works with FoCal, I'll buy it, about $80.

Juan

mfphoto1

Cincinnati, US
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#8. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 6

mfphoto1 Registered since 29th Oct 2005
Fri 27-Jul-12 03:03 AM

I remember reading somewhere in the instructions that one of the reasons for using the heavy weight matte paper is because the regular thinner paper may show fibers that would be seen by the telephoto lens and this could possible cause a problem with the programs reading of the target.

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#9. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 8

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Fri 27-Jul-12 09:14 AM

I believe the reason for using thick paper is to prevent it from curing up if you hang it on a wall without a frame. I have mine in a frame so I can hang it on a wall, but I still used thick paper. The fiber issue is when you get close to the target. I stay at least 2.5m from the target to prevent issues.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#10. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 28-Jul-12 12:29 AM | edited Sat 28-Jul-12 01:36 AM by ljordan316

OK guys, I have finished the first round of FoCal testing using the 24-70mm f/2.8 at 50mm with my D800 and new D800E (just out of the box this afternoon) side by side.

I did the following with both:
1. AF fine tuning first
2. Aperture sharpness test
3. AF consistency test
4. Multi point sensor test

Nikon did one of the following with my D800E:
1. They saw my ravings on Nikonians and made darn sure they sent me an incredible copy
2. They have significantly improved the AF sensors and their tuning since they fixed my D800
3. The D800E is actually a higher quality machine than anyone is telling you

My results using the exact same camera settings, lens, lighting and distance to target are showing about a 50-70% higher quality of focus for the E in the multi point test for all sensors and the same in the aperture sharpness tests at specific apertures for the center sensor. At f/22 the sharpness of the E is higher than at any aperture on the D800.

Nikon hit a home run with this baby!

Glad I bought the D800E and FoCal to test it. This is eye opening!

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
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#11. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 10

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Sat 28-Jul-12 08:17 AM

Thanks for the report, Larry. Looking forward to seeing and hearing more.

Eric Bowles
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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#12. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 10

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Sat 28-Jul-12 10:53 AM

>My results using the exact same camera settings, lens,
>lighting and distance to target are showing about a 50-70%
>higher quality of focus for the E in the multi point test for
>all sensors and the same in the aperture sharpness tests at
>specific apertures for the center sensor. At f/22 the
>sharpness of the E is higher than at any aperture on the
>D800.

Since the test is measuring (I presume) edge sharpness, is it possible the AA filter on the non-E is the difference, i.e. it is a more precise edge in general?

How do the saved images themselves look by eye? Can you see a difference?


Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#13. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 12

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 28-Jul-12 11:39 AM

I have not taken image shots with the D800E yet. I am still doing AF fine tuning with all of my lens and aperture sharpness testing. So far with three lens I am getting an average of 50% higher QoF with each lens than I am getting with the D800. Not sure what this means in an absolute sharpness of image measure. Someone with more MIPS than me will have to answer that question.

The AF fine tuning settings are coming out at about the same between the two bodies...good indication of mount consistency.

The tests on my 70-200mm have confirmed that VR does not work right. I am getting exactly the same scatter of points for both bodies when doing AF fine tuning with VR turned on but not when I turn it off. Huge difference.

Having two D800 bodies side by side show the clear consistency of FoCal testing because all settings are the same and all target conditions. It just comes down to the difference in the camera sensors.

If FoCal did not fail so much when doing the AF fine tuning, the testing would go faster. About 20% of the time the software goes off calculating at the very end of the AF fine tuning and never finishes the calculating. The predicted AF fine tuning adjustment is good based on subsequent testing, but it just does not finish. The developer is really insulting buyers by leaving this bug in the software.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#14. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 12

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 28-Jul-12 12:27 PM

So Ferguson, if AF fine tuning produces a ski slope going up to the right and just about levels off before you hit +20, has a setting of +18 or +19 actually corrected the focus point...or just improved it?

I had that happen with my 50mm f/1.8 and when I put the 1.4x TC on the 70-200. The adjustment for the 70-200mm without the TC was zero.

Interestingly enough, the QoF with the TC on the 70-200mm was actually a little higher than before I put it on (VR was off for both) after I did the AF fine tuning with it on. On my D800, the QoF stayed about the same with and without TC. Both results are a great endorsement for the 1.4x TC on a 70-200mm f2.8 lens. (Not so with the TC on a 200-400mm f/4 with the D800. That is my next test with the D800E.)

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#15. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 14

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Sat 28-Jul-12 12:42 PM

>So Ferguson, if AF fine tuning produces a ski slope going up
>to the right and just about levels off before you hit +20, has
>a setting of +18 or +19 actually corrected the focus
>point...or just improved it?

Just from a math standpoint I would say if still clearly ascending it means you have insufficient correction to make it the best - but if it's leveling off maybe you are close enough?

>I had that happen with my 50mm f/1.8 and when I put the 1.4x
>TC on the 70-200. The adjustment for the 70-200mm without the
>TC was zero.
>
>Interestingly enough, the QoF with the TC on the 70-200mm was
>actually a little higher than before I put it on (VR was off
>for both) after I did the AF fine tuning with it on.

I wish we knew more about exactly what those values mean. For example, if they are simply a measure of how clear the edges are on the target, then the 1.4x is magnifying them and so may by its nature give a higher value. Kind of like a person looking at a sparrow at 100 yards through a 600mm lens versus as 60mm. Do we really know if it's measuring pure focus or does relative size of the target matter. I just got home from travel, I plan to do some testing, if I get ambitious I may try two targets in otherwise identical situation, with different scale of the targets. Got to figure out lighting first for different distances.


Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#16. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 15

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 28-Jul-12 01:20 PM

I just finished all of my 200-400mm f/4 testing with the D800E.

I got the same results that I got with the D800 except higher QoF values across the board. VR made little difference at 400mm. When I put the 1.4x TC on (bringing the focal length up to 550mm), the QoF values dropped dramatically. Turing on VR brought the QoF values back up, but they were still 25% lower than shooting at 400mm with no TC.

Conclusions are the same as with the D800 and 200-400mm f/4:
- Use the TC only when desperate
- Always turn VR on when the TC is installed

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
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#17. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 15

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Sat 28-Jul-12 01:42 PM | edited Sat 28-Jul-12 02:57 PM by PeterBeckett

Hi Guys,
Due to my attention having to be focussed elsewhere for a while, I've done very little FoCal testing for the last few days. However, I did some yesterday - for a Pro photographer buddy who brought his D800 and several lenses to me for fine-tuning with his D800. In the hour before he arrived, I ran some Q&D tests to check that everything was working satisfactorily. A couple of those quick tests confirmed some suspicions that I had.

I believe I'm coming to the conclusion that the absolute numbers which FoCal calculates for each test may NOT be able to be used in an absolute sense. The numbers are affected by just too many factors. Actual illumination level of the target and how well the camera's WB matches the target illumination are just two of many.

Nevertheless, the QoF values CAN DEFINITELY be used to compare two lenses at identical settings and evaluated in reasonably quick succession using the same body. Likewise for the same lens on different bodies (as Larry has been doing). Also, I think I can say that FoCal produces very consistent optimal AFFT values for the same lens when the target is illuminated differently - even tho' the QoF values can be at substantially different levels.

When I get back to "serious" FoCal testing next week, I plan to focus on the effects of different target illumination on the absolute QoF numbers. Yesterday, I had the target in bright sunshine, and made comparative runs with/without an umbrella shading the direct sun from the target.

Please note, I am not criticising FoCal in any way by doubting its use for absolute sharpness evaluation. That's not a claim the developer makes. It's merely a hope that I had/have, and will continue to evaluate a little more. Nevertheless, it is looking as if it may be impractical to control all the test variables well enough for FoCal to be used in that role.

Pete

*** EDITED to provide a clarification ***
In para 3 above, when I talked about comparing two lenses, I should have made it clear that my experience relates to two different versions of the same lens. i.e., two different "vintages". Specifically, My own 70-200 is the earliest model that had VR. My buddy's version is absolutely up-to-date. I believe there was at least one other version released in-between these two. Comparative measurements reveal what appears to be a major optical improvement. VR was NOT enabled in either case. I hope I'm not shooting myself in the foot by sharing this extra comment, 'cos I shall be viciously attacking my piggy bank to fund an upgrade "soon". Therefore, my existing 70-200 will find itself on the IWTS forum in the not too distant future!

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#18. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 15

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 28-Jul-12 02:01 PM | edited Sat 28-Jul-12 02:26 PM by ljordan316

I just shot real images with the 200-400mm f/4 set at 400mm and at f/5.6. Frankly, I cannot see a difference in the images at 100% zoom. I plan to do some test at different apertures to see if I can find differences that way.

This leads me to believe you are right about how FoCal is measuring the sharpness of contrast of a black and white image with hard edges. This also supports Pete's contention that the numbers probably cannot be used to measure the absolute difference between two cameras. Even though the calibration numbers look like one is sharper than the other with the same target, in the field the lighting and subject contrast make all the difference. It would be hard to do an absolute test in the field.

The FoCal numbers simply tell you that under some conditions the D800E will produce sharper results than the D800 if you use the same lens on both...and you have done the AF fine tuning for each.

I hope to shoot some horses and birds later today with both cameras. If I find a difference with those results, I will let you know.

Update:
When I moved the real shot images from ACR to PS6, and zoomed to 100%, I could see a slight difference in contrast and detail. The E has better contrast in detail areas. However, I would bet I can produce the same end results between the two using Nik Color Effects Pro. I may try that.

Update 2:
OK, I could not pass up the opportunity to try Nik on both images. I truly cannot tell the difference in 100% zoom crops of the two after doing my Nik thing on them...exact same Nik filters/settings.

Keep in mind these were taken with the 200-400mm at 400mm. Although I used f/5.6 on both of the final real images, it is still not my sharpest lens. The 24-70mm might show a difference.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#19. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sun 29-Jul-12 05:32 PM

The following table shows some consistency between camera bodies for the same lens using FoCal 1.5.1.

Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#20. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sun 29-Jul-12 10:55 PM

An interesting result of the FoCal testing of the D800 and D800E is that AF consistency for my D800 is higher than the D800E for most Nikon lens. Go figure!

Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#21. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Mon 30-Jul-12 11:48 AM

Based on the Aperture Sharpness test results I am getting with both the D800 and D800E, I have selected the following as the best aperture ranges for each of my Nikon lens:

Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

mgd7

New York, US
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#22. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

mgd7 Registered since 06th Mar 2012
Mon 30-Jul-12 12:50 PM

I finally tried out the latest official release version 1.5.0.121 (Pro), and my conclusion is that it shouldn't have been released. Long story short, I rolled back to the version I had been using, 1.4.3.105 (Pro), and the results were much more sensible.

My problems with 1.5.0.121 include:
- The software crashed twice (i.e. went into an endless loop and had to be shut down using Task Manager) when trying to calibrate my 85 f/1.8G (I noticed that the software had this mislabeled as a D lens).
- For the three 1.4 lenses it did at least complete the calibration process (24, 35, and 50), it had a tendency to over-correct, based on my interpretation of the graph results and my results using version 1.4.3.105.
- In my admittedly preliminary follow-up usage, calibrations based on version 1.4.3.105 are giving me better (i.e. sharper) real-world images than calibrations based on 1.5.0.121.

Has anyone else gone from 1.4.3.105 to 1.5.0.121 and had similar issues?

Mike

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#23. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 22

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Mon 30-Jul-12 01:06 PM


>- The software crashed twice (i.e. went into an endless loop
>and had to be shut down using Task Manager) when trying to
>calibrate my 85 f/1.8G (I noticed that the software had this
>mislabeled as a D lens).

Yes, me also, I was completely unable to get certain situations to work. In others if I moved things around slightly (light, distance) it would run. I've reported as well; they are closed for a week.

>- For the three 1.4 lenses it did at least complete the
>calibration process (24, 35, and 50), it had a tendency to
>over-correct, based on my interpretation of the graph results
>and my results using version 1.4.3.105.

I actually did not see it as giving worse results, it seemed consistent for me.

The other and rather large problem for me is that it will not work on a D300 (at lest my D300), as it can't read the AF fine tune and so keeps complaining it is set wrong in the MSC setting process. They did respond to this and "will look at it when we reopen".

I used it for many hours this weekend, and generally got good results, other than the repeated hangs. And it always seemed to hang at the end of the calibration.

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PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
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#24. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 23

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Mon 30-Jul-12 01:10 PM


Mike and Linwood,
Build 126 is the most stable of all recent "releases" - but it's still far from being a "production releasable" product. In several days of testing using 126, it has crashed much less frequently than previous builds.

Reikan's Licence Manager supports upgrading.

Pete

ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#25. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 24

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Mon 30-Jul-12 01:51 PM

I ran 12 AF calibrations with FoCal build 126 over the weekend. I had it fail twice during those calibrations. It never failed while doing 28 other tests.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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Ferguson

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#26. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 22

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Mon 30-Jul-12 01:57 PM

>I finally tried out the latest official release version
>1.5.0.121 (Pro), and my conclusion is that it shouldn't have
>been released. Long story short, I rolled back to the version
>I had been using, 1.4.3.105 (Pro), and the results were much
>more sensible.

I just realized you said .121, I am on .126.

I did not even see a .121. Not sure what is different between, but FWIW.

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mgd7

New York, US
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#27. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 26

mgd7 Registered since 06th Mar 2012
Mon 30-Jul-12 03:21 PM

Pete and Ferguson,

Aha! Now I see! I had downloaded 1.5(.121) a week or two ago when I got the alert that it was out of beta but didn't get around to using it until this past weekend. Lo and behold, in the meantime a new version with "bug fixes" became available--.126.

Thanks for the head's up! Now I'll know to check reikan.co.uk every now and again just to make sure I have the latest version. (Looks version 1.4.3 was pulled in favor of 1.4.4, too.)

Mike

Ferguson

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#28. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 27

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Mon 30-Jul-12 03:40 PM

>Thanks for the head's up! Now I'll know to check reikan.co.uk
>every now and again just to make sure I have the latest
>version. (Looks version 1.4.3 was pulled in favor of 1.4.4,
>too.)
>

If you haven't installed the new one yet, hit the "check for updates" and see if it tells you. Just curious. And that's a lot easier.

Linwood

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mgd7

New York, US
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#29. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 28

mgd7 Registered since 06th Mar 2012
Mon 30-Jul-12 07:24 PM | edited Mon 30-Jul-12 07:24 PM by mgd7

Linwood,

Using "Check for Updates" as you suggest also shows 1.5.1.126 as the latest version available. Good to know it's consistent!

Mike

aztwang

Avondale, US
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#30. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

aztwang Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Dec 2009
Mon 30-Jul-12 07:59 PM | edited Mon 30-Jul-12 08:04 PM by aztwang

So is my method of camera on a tripod and a yardstick on a lightstand at a 45degree angle down range, both camera and stick at the same height and distance between focal plane and bullseye on stick roughly 100x focal length totally in-accurate and a waste of my time?...Cuz so far I'm pretty pleased with the results....Or can I get better results with alignment tools or software??
.

"Technical aspects MUST be innate"



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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#31. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Mon 30-Jul-12 08:00 PM

I just sent Rich a note at FoCal asking him if the QoF results can be used as an indication of the "real world" image quality differences between two D800 camera bodies if you test both with all the same settings and shoot the same target with identical lighting and distance to target (side-by-side testing).

So far, my testing of my D800 and D800E show significant differences at all apertures and all lens...the D800E produces higher QoF results. However, I have to zoom images of the targets to above 100% to see any difference in them except contrast. If I do an extreme zoom to say 800%, I can see definite differences in edge transitions from black to white. It takes the D800 about 15-20% more pixel widths to transition from black to white.

If I zoom to 67% which is typical of what you would see in a 24" x 16" print hanging on a wall, I can see no difference in details after I process for contrast differences.

I don't know what zoom level FoCal is actually using for its testing, but it must be well above 100% for it to see the differences in the D800 and D800E test shots.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
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#32. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 30

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Mon 30-Jul-12 08:40 PM

Hi Don,
That's a perfectly OK way to do it - but one can learn rather more from the type of testing that FoCal (and maybe other applications soon) offers.

Pete

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#33. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 29

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Mon 30-Jul-12 09:06 PM

>Linwood,
>
>Using "Check for Updates" as you suggest also shows
>1.5.1.126 as the latest version available. Good to know it's
>consistent!

Good. I was worried as a lot of places he only shows the 1.5.1, and wondered if it showed the minor releases.


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PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
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#34. "***Open Question...***" | In response to Reply # 2

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Tue 31-Jul-12 12:16 AM

Is any of you able to confirm (or otherwise) that the in-camera sharpening function affects ONLY JPG files stored by the camera, and has NO effect on images stored as RAW?

I believe the above to be true, but am disconcerted by being unable to locate an authoritative source.

With thanks and regards,

Pete

ljordan316

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#35. "RE: ***Open Question...***" | In response to Reply # 34

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Tue 31-Jul-12 12:28 AM

Thom Hogan discusses Picture Controls starting on page 363. He says they only apply to JPEG and TIFF image quality (storage format) and to NEF if you use Capture NX2 to convert them.

I know from posts in one of our forums that Picture Controls also effect the way histograms are displayed because they control the JPEG image that is displayed/analyzed there.

Larry Jordan

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PeterBeckett

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#36. "RE: ***Open Question...***" | In response to Reply # 35

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Tue 31-Jul-12 12:33 AM


Thanks Larry,
To what publication does the "page 363" reference relate? It's obviously not the D800/E manual.

Tx,

Pete

ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#37. "RE: ***Open Question...***" | In response to Reply # 36

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Tue 31-Jul-12 12:35 AM

Thom's D800 book:

http://bythom.com/nikond800guide.htm

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
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#38. "RE: ***Open Question...***" | In response to Reply # 37

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Tue 31-Jul-12 12:41 AM


Guess I should get a copy for the iPad!

Thanks Larry.

P

ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#39. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Tue 31-Jul-12 12:28 PM

I just finished several FoCal Aperture Sharpness tests with the D800E to try and find what camera settings impact QoF results. I used a 24-70mm lens set at 50mm and f/2.8.

The tests were as follows with Picture Control (PC) and White Balance (WB) as shown:
- PC Neutral, WB 5200
- PC Standard, WB 5200
- PC Standard, WB 2800
- PC Neutral, WB 2800
- PC Neutral, WB 2800 with Circular Polarizer on

The only one that made a difference is with CP on. The Quality of Focus (QoF) went up by 6-7% with the CP installed.

This should make folks (like me) who almost never take their Nikon thin CP off feel better. It actually improved the quality of the image...well, it did here in my garage using a black and white target.

BTW, the actual target WB was about 2400 but FoCal only goes down to 2800.

Larry

Larry Jordan

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PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
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#40. "Use of FoCal's QoF values in an absolute sense..." | In response to Reply # 17

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Tue 31-Jul-12 01:25 PM

Larry and I have agreed on the following joint statement:

So far our test results indicate FoCal’s absolute Quality of Focus (QoF) metric is affected by so many variables, many of which we don’t fully understand, that FoCal cannot be used for any comparisons other than LOCAL (i.e., for a fixed test environment and the same operator). Automatic Focus Fine Tuning (AFFT) determination, Sharpness vs aperture and multipoint AF sensor testing appear to yield valid, repeatable results. Also lens csharpness omparisons and body comparisons appear reliable and valid in a LOCAL testing environment. HOWEVER, comparing absolute QoF values obtained by, for example, Pete in CA and Larry in FL, CANNOT be regarded as valid – even ‘tho many attempts have been made to duplicate test conditions and settings.

Larry & Pete

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#41. "D800 vs. D4" | In response to Reply # 0

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Tue 31-Jul-12 04:30 PM | edited Tue 31-Jul-12 04:40 PM by Ferguson

I have spent a lot of time now rerunning all of my D800 tests on a D4 to compare.

All of the lenses except my 85/1.4 are much better behaved -- less correction needed, but more importantly at different distances and focal lengths they are much more similar.

As a couple of examples, my 24-70 averages a -5 on the D4 but had values of (-1, -2, 3, 0, -5, and -15). That -15 (which I did 3 times!) was very different, but the QOF between -15 and -5 was only about 10% - very flat falloff.

Compared to the D800 they were -1-, +7, -8, and -19. IN that case the -19 compared to say zero was down about 35% in QOF, so it's a much steeper difference.

I don't want to clutter the topic with charts, but if you line them up and draw a line down them, the D4 charts are much more nicely centered around that line and much flatter (fall off less sharply) so it is easy to pick a good average value. IN fact on most lenses zero is not a bad choice -- not ideal, but not bad, and I understand why people might say "I never fine tune my lenses".

The D800 not so much, they vary more, and the fall-off is stronger so that any compromise value has (at some distance or focus) a fairly soft value. Will it be better if adjusted? Is the sharper falloff a natural side effect of more pixels? I have no idea.

The D4 also has a much more consistent set of focus points (though hardly perfect, and the worst point is bottom left (.61 on a 24-70, left/center is .76). But MUCH more green on it.

Overall I will say that doing the same calculation on a D4 has left me feeing both that my D800 does need adjustment, but also that Focal is perhaps not accurate enough in some cases, and it may be showing more problems than are real. See my other post on the 85/1.4 and how it seemed to misread heavy CA for better focus, and IMO just gave the wrong answer (on the D4 -- similar if not more erratic results on the D800).

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#42. "RE: D800 vs. D4" | In response to Reply # 41

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Tue 31-Jul-12 05:00 PM

My D800E AF consistency tests showed more erratic behavior than the D800 which lead me to believe the greater detail/contrast/sharpness the D800E captures, as shown by the tests results, caused the difference. Perhaps FoCal is more sensitive to sharpness/contrast/details than it should be...resulting in inconsistent results.

However, when I ran AF Fine Tuning with the same lens on the D800E on different days, I ended up with the FT adjustment either the same or within one point. FoCal must have factored in the inconsistency in its curve fitting to come up with basically the same adjustment.

Keep in mind that the software was originally developed with Canon camera bodies and before the 5DMIII and D4/D800 came out. I think the developer is still playing catch up with the newer cameras with larger pixel counts. Just a guess.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#43. "RE: D800 vs. D4" | In response to Reply # 41

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Tue 31-Jul-12 10:01 PM

Linwood, love your action volley ball shots!

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#44. "RE: D800 vs. D4" | In response to Reply # 43

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Tue 31-Jul-12 10:28 PM

>Linwood, love your action volley ball shots!

Thank you. Perrone Ford (who also posts here a lot) got me interested in it, and it's a lot of fun, just not enough opportunities.

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PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
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#45. "RE: D800 vs. D4" | In response to Reply # 41

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Wed 01-Aug-12 12:09 AM

Hi Linwood,
I, too, really enjoyed your gallery!

Hey, could you please spare a few minutes in order to check out something with your D4? If so, please take a look at my today's post in https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=147&topic_id=78337&mesg_id=78337&page=

I'm dying to know if the JPEG-only in LV is reproducible with D4s having current firmware. You'd not even have to fire the shutter! Nobody else has responded yet, but I guess most people have been at work for the day! Frankly, I'd prefer the answer to be "no", but with a suggestion-or-two about what might be wrong with my settings. One thing is for certain: The D800 "behaves"...

With grateful thanks,

Pete

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#46. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Wed 01-Aug-12 12:49 PM | edited Wed 01-Aug-12 12:50 PM by Ferguson

I think that Focal has some issues with CA.

These are screen shots from the PDF produced in a fully automated (MSC) run with an 85/1.4G and D800. The top shot is the one chosen by Focal as th ebest quality (1880), the bottom is the one I might choose from those images saved (1504).

Notice the top has a lot of CA fringe, the bottom less so. That lens seems to show CA badly when out of focus in the negative direction (as this measures it).

I looked back through numerous runs, and while this is one of the worst, that seems to be true in a lot of places, as though it is mistaking a CA fring for a sharp edge.

Do your eyes see it the same way?

Have you had this? (or is my lens just bad and the real problem is I have too much CA?).



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PeterBeckett

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#47. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 46

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Wed 01-Aug-12 01:26 PM

Linwood,
Frankly, I think FoCal came to the right conclusion - but it's not an easy call.

To my eyes, there seems to be more CA in the first image than the second, and I see that you have a CB setting that isn't a good match to the actual illumination (which is at a fairly low level of EV 6.2). The images I get with FoCal are black-on-white, sometimes with a blue fringe (almost certainly due to CA, and worse at some AFMA settings than others). However, Larry seems to have proven that CB mismatch has little or no affect on FoCal's determination of optimal AFMA.

Pete

cbrandin

US
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#48. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 47

cbrandin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Nov 2011
Thu 02-Aug-12 03:11 PM | edited Thu 02-Aug-12 03:41 PM by cbrandin

There are two forms of chromatic aberration – lateral and longitudinal. Lateral CA is caused by a difference in how colors are refracted (and thus appears at edges of images) and is easily corrected in post. Longitudinal CA is caused by colors focusing on different planes and appears equally over the entire image. It is also more difficult to correct.

The fringing you are seeing is the result of longitudinal CA. Ideally you want the AF system to focus perfectly at the center of the visible spectrum (i.e. green). At wide apertures this will result in red and blue channels being slightly out of focus in approximately equal amounts – thus you get the magenta, or purple fringing. Stopping down will largely eliminate this.

I think FoCal is handling this exactly right. When focus is “perfect” you will see the most apparent fringing. Even going slightly out of focus will make the appearance of fringing go away because the difference in focusing for the three colors (RGB) will no longer be apparent because all three colors are slightly out of focus.

In other words - when focus is nailed your camera will record, with maximum fidelity, exactly what your lens can produce - warts and all. With fast lenses wide open, that means reproducing longitudinal CA.

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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#49. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 48

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Thu 02-Aug-12 03:15 PM


>I think FoCal is handling this exactly right. When focus is
>“perfect” you will see the most apparent fringing. Even going
>slightly out of focus will make the appearance of fringing go
>away because the difference in focusing for the three colors
>(RGB) will no longer be apparent because all three colors are
>slightly out of focus.

That's something I had never heard. Thank you.


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PeterBeckett

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#50. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 48

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Thu 02-Aug-12 03:20 PM

Chris,
Thank you for such a helpful and intelligible post.

What would you expect if a primary colour filter were placed over the lens while a FoCal test was run? Preferably a green, as that is close to the centre wavelength of visible light? Might we see higher values for FoCal's QoF metric?

Would we expect different optimal AFMA results if a Red or Blue filter were used?

Pete

cbrandin

US
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#51. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 49

cbrandin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Nov 2011
Thu 02-Aug-12 03:30 PM

One thing occurs to me about how FoCal is capturing images. I think they are using JPEGs rendered with the "Standard" picture control. That picture control uses a fair amount of sharpening which will produce some "fake" detail. You might get more consistent results if you modify the Standard picture control to use the minimum amount of sharpening possible. True, it will probably make the absolute sharpness metrics look worse, but I think the relative sharpness numbers will be more accurate, which would improve the AF analysis. After all, we don't want an analysis based in part on the fake detail produced by in-camera sharpening.

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cbrandin

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#52. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 50

cbrandin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Nov 2011
Thu 02-Aug-12 03:33 PM | edited Thu 02-Aug-12 03:35 PM by cbrandin

I think the current version of FoCal already favors the green channel - which means putting a filter on wouldn't help anything; in fact, I think it would be detrimental. If you put on a blue filter, for example, I suspect it would probably kill FoCal's ability to work correctly. Older versions of FoCal were different, so it may have made a difference in the past - but I don't think it's an issue any more.

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
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#53. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 48

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Thu 02-Aug-12 03:36 PM

Good thought. Carried to the extreme in a common example, the IR spectrum viewed by itself is significantly off the focus of the visible spectrum.

There are lens designs with variations in the extent of spectrum related focus shift. Normally IR is about 10% off the visible spectrum and UV varies in the opposite direction, but with the Coastal Optics 60 f/4, UV, visible, and IR spectrum converge. That is a function of lens design. The Coastal Optics 60 f/4 is a manual focus lens, but it is optically superb. And should be at the bargain price of $4650.

http://www.jenoptik-inc.com/coastalopt-standard-lenses/uv-vis-nir-60mm-slr-lens-mainmenu-155.html

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PeterBeckett

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#54. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 52

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Thu 02-Aug-12 03:42 PM | edited Thu 02-Aug-12 03:48 PM by PeterBeckett

Chris,
Thanks. In fact, it is a bit difficult to know exactly which camera variables are affected by FoCal. It seems to me that FoCal sets up the camera, takes a shot and then restores the settings quickly afterwards.

One of the several things which Larry and I found we were "doing" differently was that he had his D800's picture control set to Neutral, whereas I had mine set to Standard - which causes a little more in-camera sharpening. Doing a direct NL vs SD test with a given setup is on my "to do" list, as well as running a test with sharpening set to zero...

Yes, FoCal uses only JPEG files and MAY even set the camera to generate only JPEG-fine.

If I can obtain a good, 77mm (or maybe a gelatin) primary green filter, I'll run a test to illustrate what you said.

Pete

cbrandin

US
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#55. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 53

cbrandin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Nov 2011
Thu 02-Aug-12 03:46 PM | edited Thu 02-Aug-12 03:51 PM by cbrandin

Actually, that is rather a bargain price. Achromatic lenses are corrected to two colors, apochromatic lenses are corrected to three colors and are much more expensive. Throw in IR and you'll need something like a "super-apochromatic" design corrected to even more points on the spectrum. That means more elements, stranger types of glass, etc... - and a ton more money! Throw in UV and your only customer might be Bill Gates.

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cbrandin

US
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#56. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 54

cbrandin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Nov 2011
Thu 02-Aug-12 03:51 PM

I believe FoCal sets the camera to use the "Standard" picture control, but does not make any adjustments to it. At least that's the way it worked the last time I asked a couple of weeks ago. Therefore, it shouldn't make any difference which picture control you select. FoCal will use whatever sharpness setting you have set in the Standard picture control - so changing that probably will make a difference.

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PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
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#57. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 56

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Thu 02-Aug-12 03:54 PM

Chris,
Thank you again! That will be simple to explore...

Pete

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
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#58. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 55

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Thu 02-Aug-12 03:57 PM

Here's a good review of the Coastal Optics 60. It's widely considered a reference lens.
http://diglloyd.com/articles/CoastalOptics60f4/index.html

As suggested - the Coastal Optics 60 is just as much (or more) of an exotic and more complex a design than the 400 f/2.8 or 600 f/4. Put in that context, $4650 really is not that expensive if you need the quality and performance the lens delivers.


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cbrandin

US
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#59. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 58

cbrandin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Nov 2011
Thu 02-Aug-12 04:03 PM

Come to think of it... I think correcting white balance (i.e changing FoCal's color temperature parameter) is probably also not a good idea. White balance correction shifts colors. We want to focus on actual green, rather than "corrected" green. Thus it would seem to be optimal to leave FoCal's color temperature setting at the default - irrespective of how the target is illuminated.

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#60. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 56

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Thu 02-Aug-12 05:41 PM

That certainly answer my question about why the aperture sharpness results were basically identical when I switched my D800E from Standard to Neutral. If FoCal is switching the camera to Standard every time, the results would be the same. I have been using Neutral for several weeks now because of its effect on the histograms. When I checked my camera a few days ago, it was set to Standard. FoCal must have set it to Standard and left it set that way...probably when one of the AF fine tuning procedures failed.

I feel better. I thought I was losing it...and had set it back to Standard by mistake.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#61. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 59

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Thu 02-Aug-12 05:44 PM

When I changed WB between 5200 and 2800 in the FoCal settings, FoCal produced the same aperture sharpness results using a target that was about 2400K.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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cbrandin

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#62. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 61

cbrandin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Nov 2011
Fri 03-Aug-12 01:15 AM

I guess the color temperature shift isn't enough to make a difference. Thanks, that's good to know.

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Tinkers Realm

Pacific Wonderland!, US
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#63. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 46

Tinkers Realm Registered since 24th Feb 2011
Fri 03-Aug-12 06:03 AM

I too am looking forward to the Mac version!





Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.



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gchappel

US
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#64. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 16

gchappel Registered since 07th Nov 2004
Sat 04-Aug-12 04:00 PM

Just started testing with FoCal and my d800E
Using the newer version of the 200-400mm I was surprised that there was only a very slight drop in sharpness values using the teleconvertors. VR was off. I did test at an iso of 400, as I never have enough light to shoot with TC's at 100iso.
Using the aperture sharpening test I got the following values:
200mm- 2800 @4.
400mm- 2900 @f5
550mm- 2500 @f8 using the 1.4x
650mm- 2800 @7.1 using the 1.7x
800mm0 2100 @ f8 using the 2.0
I could not get it to complete the focus testing on the 2.0- kept locking up. At least in testing the 1.4 and 1.7 look like winners here- need to go shoot more and find out. I was always reluctant to use these on the 200-400.
Dang, it is going to take a lot of time to adjust lenses and Tc's for 3 cameras.
Gary

>I just finished all of my 200-400mm f/4 testing with the
>D800E.
>
>I got the same results that I got with the D800 except higher
>QoF values across the board. VR made little difference at
>400mm. When I put the 1.4x TC on (bringing the focal length up
>to 550mm), the QoF values dropped dramatically. Turing on VR
>brought the QoF values back up, but they were still 25% lower
>than shooting at 400mm with no TC.
>
>Conclusions are the same as with the D800 and 200-400mm f/4:
>- Use the TC only when desperate
>- Always turn VR on when the TC is installed

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#65. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 64

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 04-Aug-12 04:39 PM

I may have damaged my 1.4x TC somehow. I have never dropped it nor even bumped it hard on or off camera. It may have just been a bad copy from the getgo.

I don't know anyone near me who has a 1.4x that I could try on my 200-400mm, but I do know a guy who has a 1.7x. Maybe I will borrow his and try it.

FoCal does open your eyes to things you never really considered before...good and bad.

All of you guys seem to get higher QoF than I get regardless of body/lens. Maybe I need to try printing my target again. It could be the target and not the camera bodies. However, I don't think the quality of the target results in QoF reduction when I put the TC on...but I have been surprised by other findings.

Regarding the amount of work to calibrate lens and TC combos, I was not paying attention to the number of clicks FoCal was making when I first started. If you do a full set of calibration/tests for every lens, you can end up with a pretty high number of clicks just in the calibration and testing. I was averaging well over 1,000 per body...partly because of the FoCal failures while calibrating...resulting in restarts.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#66. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 64

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 04-Aug-12 11:40 PM

I just ran a new series of tests today on another D800E. I printed a new target using an inkjet printer for the AF fine tuning and aperture sharpness tests. I found that the new target made no difference in test results (my old target was printed with a laser printer).

However, I did find that proximity to target made a big difference when running the 51-point multi point sensor test. If I use a single sheet of the multi point target and move the camera close enough to fill the screen with my 24-70 set on 70mm, I get much lower QoF numbers than I get if I move back to 3.4m and move the zoom to 50mm and use nine of the multi point targets tacked edge to edge on the wall (3x3 grid). The ratio test showed higher quality focus across the board...and more even results for the sensors. The sensors with the lowest quality focus were still the lowest...just not as much lower as they were close up.

Are all of you folks using a single sheet target for the multi point sensor test?

By the way, the 200-400mm with the TC on still showed much lower QoF values than when it was off (35% lower). I also ran that test at 400 ISO to get the shutter speed up; I also turned on VR. With VR turned off, the shutter speeds were too low to do the AF fine tuning (vibration from my hands touching the camera to change the AF settings...or Brownian motion maybe...who knows...cause I pausded after every AF change before hitting OK for the test to run).

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#67. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 64

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sun 05-Aug-12 12:25 PM

I decided to crank up the light on my target and increase ISO to 800 for my 200-400mm tests. I can now get good results with and without the TC on and with VR both on and off. I guess the D800E just captures so much detail that even a solid tripod/head cannot dampen the mirror vibration enough at low shutter speeds. If I keep my shutter speed above 1/320 with the TC and VR on, the results are about 70% of the QoF values with both off (about a 500 point drop).

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#68. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 48

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Sun 05-Aug-12 04:51 PM

>I think FoCal is handling this exactly right. When focus is
>“perfect” you will see the most apparent fringing. Even going
>slightly out of focus will make the appearance of fringing go
>away because the difference in focusing for the three colors
>(RGB) will no longer be apparent because all three colors are
>slightly out of focus.

Before posting it here, I had sent the sample to Reikan suggesting it was a problem. They seemed to concur (I don't think they would mind my posting it). Here FWIW:

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Thank you very much for your comprehensive information. It certainly looks like there could be an issue there. We specifically modified the analysis algorithm to try to avoid the effects of CA in FoCal 1.5, but there is one further step that we're look at for FoCal 1.6 which should allow us to identify the amount of CA present and adjust results appropriately.

It's good to see specific examples from you, and we'll be looking for this effect during testing (the Canon 85/1.2 shows this quite a lot).

At present, if you have FoCal Pro you can choose to stop FoCal changing the Exposure Compensation (which it sets to +1EV for the Fully Auto test), and ensure the camera is set to no exposure compensation. This can limit the effect of the CA to some extent and may change your results for the better.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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cosmicfires

Lynnwood, US
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#69. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 7

cosmicfires Registered since 22nd Nov 2011
Sun 05-Aug-12 07:43 PM

You need to install the guest operating system helper files in your windows os in Parallels, then it doesn't hold your mouse captive until you press ctl-alt (or whatever the keys are).

"It's not an adventure until something goes wrong." --Yvon Chouinard

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#70. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 31

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Wed 08-Aug-12 05:22 PM

Rich at Reikan Technology provided the following reply to me when I asked about comparing the quality of camera bodies using FoCal:

"Unfortunately, there's not really much use in comparing QoF across anything other than a tightly controlled single test. For more or less the same light level and same image content, you can compare and determine the best image quality (which is fine for what FoCal is intended for). However, if you change the image content (for example change lens, zoom or camera position) you can drastically affect the QoF so it's not really useful to compare across different cameras."

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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andrewwx

Ventura, US
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#71. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

andrewwx Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Aug 2008
Tue 04-Sep-12 05:00 AM

Hey Mac users here is the update on the Mac Version of FoCal

http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/index.php/blog/

Looks Promising

ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#72. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 71

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Tue 04-Sep-12 06:08 AM

The Mac version apparently will lack Nikon support in the first release. However, I like what they are describing as the 1.7 version for Windows. The overlaying panels are way to confusing in the current PC version.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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GaryPk

Bailey, US
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#73. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 72

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Wed 05-Sep-12 10:27 PM | edited Wed 05-Sep-12 10:39 PM by GaryPk

Is this software (Windows Version) now in good enough shape to buy for D800e lens AF fine tune ? Can I set it up, run it and adjust AF Fine Tune without an engineering degree in optics? Curious to know how a report on FoCal results from one camera/Lens can apply to a similar camera/lens. I thought we were fine tuning for the "out the spec tolerance build-up between a specific camera and lens combo".

I shoot primarily LV - manual mode - AF. I would like to set AF then switch to MF to get it "perfect" but I can't see the image on the LCD good enough. Just checking again before I buy ... Thanks ..

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#74. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 73

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Wed 05-Sep-12 10:52 PM

With each new release, FoCal gets easier to use and adds new and improved features. Version 1.6 still has some bugs in it, and sometimes fails to finish the AF fine tuning process. It does no damage and changes nothing in your camera when it fails; you just have to start the software again and finish the AFMA process to get a correct AF fine tuning adjustment

I understand that version 1.7 will be coming out soon. It will provide a better user interface for Windows users.

Until version 2.0 comes out, Rick of Reikan Technology says you cannot compare results between camera bodies. The software currently provides relative Quality of Focus results that allow you to do the AF fine tuning and determine relative focus quality between focus sensors and between apertures for a given lens. You can see how your 51 focus sensors compare with each other.

The Mac version has not been released...the last time I checked.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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klrbee25

Naples, US
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#75. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 74

klrbee25 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jun 2006
Fri 12-Oct-12 12:28 AM

Mac version is released and I used it with my D300 (D800 out of commission currently). After rebooting, the camera connected every time and tested well. I need to read the extensive FoCal manual, but I'm not sure why my AFMA changed when I changed the target distance. That doesn't reassure me when using any AFMA adjustments.


-Alex Rosen
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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#76. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 75

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Fri 12-Oct-12 09:46 AM

What was the target EV when you were testing?

I found that the lighting on the target made a big difference in consistent AF fine tuning. If my target illumination was too low, then moving away from the target would result in less consistent AF results.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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klrbee25

Naples, US
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#77. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 76

klrbee25 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jun 2006
Fri 12-Oct-12 04:37 PM

Target EV was 7.2. I read some of the manual now where Rich notes a few important things. First the AFMA will change with your target distance and it's best to be far from you lens' minimum focusing distance. Second, he recommends you test at your general shooting distance as the ideal AFMA value may vary with target distance even far from the minimum focus distance. So I need to set up my target a lot further away than 1.4m. Finally, zoom lenses are best tested at their longest focal length since this is where DOF is smallest and focusing variations most notable. We just need Nikon to follow suit with Canon and make AFMA values for both ends of a zoom lens and maybe even tie in subject distance to have a range of values for varying target distances. Now that would be sweet.


-Alex Rosen
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davidset

Los Angeles, US
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#78. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 77

davidset Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Registered since 29th Oct 2010
Thu 18-Oct-12 08:48 PM

Alex- I just downloaded and tried the Mac version. All seemed to go well testing my d800 with 50 mm 1.4g. Closed the program, changed to a 70-200 2.8, vr1 (vr off) and I can't get focal to find the camera again. Did you have any issues like that when you started? Just hoping to find someone who says- yes that happened to me and here's what I did.
Thanks
David S

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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5751 posts

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#79. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 78

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Thu 18-Oct-12 10:54 PM

>Alex- I just downloaded and tried the Mac version. All seemed
>to go well testing my d800 with 50 mm 1.4g. Closed the
>program, changed to a 70-200 2.8, vr1 (vr off) and I can't get
>focal to find the camera again.

Did you close all the way down and rerun? The PC version makes you go back to the camera selection screen if you turn the camera off, it can't pick up on one of the other dialogs.

I think the PC/Mac also plays a role if you turned it off, it has to "see" it again, at least on the PC. Does it? (At least on the PC it shows that it is attached).

Linwood

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Sventek

Perth, AU
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#80. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 73

Sventek Registered since 23rd Dec 2007
Sat 20-Oct-12 02:35 AM

>Is this software (Windows Version) now in good enough shape
>to buy for D800e lens AF fine tune ? Can I set it up, run it
>and adjust AF Fine Tune without an engineering degree in
>optics? Curious to know how a report on FoCal results from one
>camera/Lens can apply to a similar camera/lens. I thought we
>were fine tuning for the "out the spec tolerance build-up
>between a specific camera and lens combo".
>
>I shoot primarily LV - manual mode - AF. I would like to set
>AF then switch to MF to get it "perfect" but I can't
>see the image on the LCD good enough. Just checking again
>before I buy ... Thanks ..

According to Darrell's book (page 334), AF Fine Tune settings aren't applied in Liveview - so this may not be worth it for you if that's the mode you usually use.

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GaryPk

Bailey, US
543 posts

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#81. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 80

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Sat 20-Oct-12 12:14 PM

Well that's interesting ... Thanks. I will have to Manual focus when using live view.

By the way, I used an old fashioned black cloth to cover my head and the camera when using live view (worked great and looked pretty cool). Ran into a guy on a trail last week who had one of the Hoodman Loop things. Now that looks pretty dorky hanging around ones neck and I thought it gave the photographer a tourist look .. like the guy who wears black socks with sandals. Well I tried his and immediately bought one when I got home, got some black socks too. Should have got one a long time ago.

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klrbee25

Naples, US
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#82. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 78

klrbee25 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jun 2006
Sat 20-Oct-12 12:54 PM

I've had sporadic issues but rebooting always fixed them. They have a newer beta now that apparently addresses the intermittent connection problems.


-Alex Rosen
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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5751 posts

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#83. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 81

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Sat 20-Oct-12 01:01 PM

> Well that's interesting ... Thanks. I will have to Manual
>focus when using live view.

Are you referring to the AF fine tune not being used?

AF Fine Tune is to adjust between the difference in the imaging sensor and the focus sensor position. Since they are two different sensors, and a different light path, it's a very precise calibration to get them in sync.

IN live view there's nothing to synchronize, since the focus on live view (whether automatic or manual) is against the imaging sensor all the time, the focus sensor is not used, so there's nothing to fine tune.

It's not so much that it doesn't work, as it is not relevant.

Apologies if that's not what you were referring to.

Linwood

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

GaryPk

Bailey, US
543 posts

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#84. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 83

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Sat 20-Oct-12 03:08 PM | edited Sat 20-Oct-12 03:11 PM by GaryPk

OK, Got it .... I have had good results with live view focus.

Gary

www.GaryPackPhotography.com

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KJ8

US
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#85. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 84

KJ8 Registered since 18th Oct 2012
Sun 21-Oct-12 05:33 PM

I just bought a D800 I switched from Canon and I am trying to use FoCal Pro that I just bought and when I try to use the Target setup and enters Live view shows one image and then locks up unless I unplug my camera or force quit.


Windows 7 64BIT
FoCal 1.6 also Trying the beat but no luck.


Any ideas...

KJ8

US
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#86. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 85

KJ8 Registered since 18th Oct 2012
Sun 21-Oct-12 07:58 PM | edited Sun 21-Oct-12 08:56 PM by KJ8

Well I tried using it on my Mac instead and it worked with out any problems.

Here are some of my results with the D800 and 35MM 1.4

I get -7 for my fine tune

Best Aperture is F4
Aperture
f/4.5
Shutter Speed 1/40s
EV 8.6
Quality Measure: 1594


Consistency of Focus
95.1%


The test was done at 2.0M
I only own one lens as of now.

KJ8

US
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#87. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 9

KJ8 Registered since 18th Oct 2012
Sun 21-Oct-12 09:01 PM

http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h402/Kristian080/ScreenShot2012-10-21at25240PM_zpsd1d30ecd.png

What do you guys think of the multi point test. The right seems to be the problem here. Or am I reading this backwards and its the Left AF problem.

Let me know what yall think.

Thanks

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#88. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 87

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Sun 21-Oct-12 11:31 PM


>What do you guys think of the multi point test. The right
>seems to be the problem here. Or am I reading this backwards
>and its the Left AF problem.

You are reading it correctly, but it is worth noting that the center point is down at 0.82. Did you fine tune first? On the center point? Normally (if you are at the same distance and lens) I would expect a higher reading there, which might make the right either better or worse (unfortunately the MPFT doesn't tell you whether the focus is in front of or behind, just off).

Linwood

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KJ8

US
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#89. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 88

KJ8 Registered since 18th Oct 2012
Mon 22-Oct-12 12:32 AM

Yes I did the other tests first and that was at 2.0 Meters and Af Fine Tune was calling for -7. However I had to move in pretty close to fill all the focus points in for the multipoint test. I printed out two of the charts and taped them together. Maybe I need to print out a total of 5 or more to get back to my 2 Meter mark.

How close are you when you test a 35MM lens on the mulitpoint test?



I also did the test at .8 Meters and the AF fine tune called for -1.

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#90. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 89

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Mon 22-Oct-12 12:40 AM | edited Mon 22-Oct-12 12:41 AM by Ferguson

>How close are you when you test a 35MM lens on the mulitpoint
>test?

I didn't have one.

>I also did the test at .8 Meters and the AF fine tune called
>for -1.

And therein is the big problem I have. I did a shoot today, and my left/right vs. center are still quite different. Sure enough, shooting some full length portraits I focused on the face on the far right or left, and ended up back focusing about a foot, soft face. Sigh. I thought they had "fixed" it close enough, but not quite. Focus on the center was dead on.

I now have a whole series of them like this. Notice the belt (this was in an old factory), it is maybe a foot behind her. It's crisp and sharp in all these shots, and her face art is soft. Other head shots with the same lens but center focus were perfect.

Click on image to view larger version


Keep at it until you get it how you want it. It really does make a difference, despite the nay sayer's.


Linwood

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Attachment#1 (jpg file)

KJ8

US
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#91. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 90

KJ8 Registered since 18th Oct 2012
Mon 22-Oct-12 12:48 AM

Thanks for the thoughts I will keep playing around with it. However I honestly did notice a big difference with that -7 dialed. Even my Significant other said the photos look so much sharper and I did not even ask her opinion about that.

I will combine 6 photos together and check the 2.0M mark with my -7 and -1 to see what happens.

Thanks for your help.

Still not sure why it wont work on my PC but it will on my mac. I put a ticket in for help and will report back if I find out what went wrong.

SoCal Dave

Marina del Rey, US
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#92. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 46

SoCal Dave Silver Member Charter Member
Sun 28-Oct-12 03:45 PM

I had the same experience with the same lens! Of course the 1.4 primes especially the 85 experience a red/green shift either side of the focus point. In fact, you can use this to your advantage in calibrating the lens in that the correct AFMA (IMHO) is the one equally far from each shift. I found that FoCal "likes" the red shift of a positive AFMA number and tended to choose a result that was therefore in error when comparing actual photos.

If you apply the human brain to the results, I am finding FoCal to be a great tool for homing in on the best possible AFMA.

(Also glad to find my D800 did not suffer issues with the left side!)

FYI, I also found the original pdf printed on letter size paper to be too small and did targets on 13x19 that worked better allowing more distance between target and camera. Also, setting up at LESS than the recommended distances in my experience definitely resulted in bad outcomes.

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KJ8

US
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#93. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 92

KJ8 Registered since 18th Oct 2012
Mon 29-Oct-12 12:00 AM

I have been finding that CA problems with the 35 1.4 as well and I did a few more tests with focal and I have come to find that my lens now sits perfectly at -1. The most important test to dun is in real world as well but with FOCAL it sets your out on the right track. All of my photos see to be sharper and more in focus. however that also has to do with my learning curve coming from Canon my whole life.

PS I am in love with this camera! It is helping me get back to the basics of photography and really work on my technical skill.

mawyatt1

US
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#94. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 86

mawyatt1 Registered since 11th Feb 2012
Mon 29-Oct-12 01:14 PM

Is FoCal now acceptable for use with the MacBook Pro Retina? I have a D7000 and D800 with various lenses I would like to calibrate.

Thanks in advance,

SirPuttsAlot

Poughquag, US
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#95. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

SirPuttsAlot Registered since 26th Sep 2011
Tue 30-Oct-12 06:15 PM

After experiencing some autofocus issues with a new lens I decided to purchase this application. At first I was very excited, ran through the tests, it indicated that I was -3 and good to go. I ran through the tests 2 more times expecting to get 2 of 3 either the same or close, but really it was all over the place. One test says -3 the next was -16 the next was +4. I then modified the setup to force more sample points and higher autofocus accuracy required as well as doing the test at both f/2.8 and f/4. Again, the results were all over the place.

I then went out and got high quality paper, ensured I was printing at 600 DPI, ran the tests again.... yup all over the place.

Basically, after running through this program on my 24-70 @ 70mm @ 3.5M approx 10 times I have no level of confidence in the results as they are completely not repeatable. Sure it could be my camera, setup, whatever, but basically, it's more like I donated $110.

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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#96. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 95

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Tue 30-Oct-12 06:39 PM


>Basically, after running through this program on my 24-70 @
>70mm @ 3.5M approx 10 times I have no level of confidence in
>the results as they are completely not repeatable.

Did you look at the results? I had that experience with one lens (200-400) that resulted in a very flat curve, i.e. going from -10 to +10 made very little difference. And indeed on the images it was very little difference. This flat curve means that, statistically, the results are a bit chaotic as small variations in each test run cause the peak (of a near flat line) to vary widely.

Other lenses had a very sharp peak, a clear maximum where +/- 5 made huge differences in focus.

I found I learned a lot by these curves, more so than the actual adjustment it called out.

Your experience may be quite different however, just offering one result.



Linwood

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SirPuttsAlot

Poughquag, US
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#97. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 96

SirPuttsAlot Registered since 26th Sep 2011
Tue 30-Oct-12 06:53 PM

If it was flat(ish) I probably wouldn't have worried about it, but same setup, same light, etc it was all over the place. Also another weird observation, this app messed with my shutter count. It increased it 600 actuations on one test. checked one report and it stated I had 927 and the next test I had over 1500, but only took like 60 shots for the test. It's not that I care, it was just something strange that I noticed.

Click on image to view larger version


Click on image to view larger version


Click on image to view larger version




Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)
Attachment#3 (jpg file)

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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#98. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 97

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Tue 30-Oct-12 07:00 PM


Those are the same lens at about the same distance and same target type? That's... useless.

Switching in and out of live view it does rack up the shutter counts, I did not check closely, that seems high. But I intend to get a few hundred thousand more, the few hundred I put on it fine tuning wasn't a big deal. Probably a few thousand with different lenses.

Linwood

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SirPuttsAlot

Poughquag, US
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#99. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 98

SirPuttsAlot Registered since 26th Sep 2011
Tue 30-Oct-12 07:08 PM

>
>Those are the same lens at about the same distance and same
>target type? That's... useless.
>

That was same target, same light, same distance, same.., same... same... they were basically 1 right after the other, each time setting it back to 0 before testing. I'm just not going to worry about it. Pictures look fine, I figured -2 when I first got the lens shooting at one of my daughters dolls and -2 gives me the best results all around. at least 1 of the 10 shots said -2 so I'm good, lol.

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SoCal Dave

Marina del Rey, US
290 posts

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#100. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 95

SoCal Dave Silver Member Charter Member
Tue 30-Oct-12 07:15 PM

I am having the same problems! Tried with three different lenses, letter sized chart, 13x19 chart, etc. Nothig is giving me repeatable results.

I am wondering about the checkbox in setup for the prior testing method. I have been using the latest beta which it says uses a newer process. Are you also using the latest beta???

Should we roll back?

Right now it is basically useless gibberish and I cannot trust the results.

>After experiencing some autofocus issues with a new lens I
>decided to purchase this application. At first I was very
>excited, ran through the tests, it indicated that I was -3 and
>good to go. I ran through the tests 2 more times expecting to
>get 2 of 3 either the same or close, but really it was all
>over the place. One test says -3 the next was -16 the next
>was +4. I then modified the setup to force more sample points
>and higher autofocus accuracy required as well as doing the
>test at both f/2.8 and f/4. Again, the results were all over
>the place.
>
>I then went out and got high quality paper, ensured I was
>printing at 600 DPI, ran the tests again.... yup all over the
>place.
>
>Basically, after running through this program on my 24-70 @
>70mm @ 3.5M approx 10 times I have no level of confidence in
>the results as they are completely not repeatable. Sure it
>could be my camera, setup, whatever, but basically, it's more
>like I donated $110.

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SirPuttsAlot

Poughquag, US
354 posts

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#101. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 100

SirPuttsAlot Registered since 26th Sep 2011
Tue 30-Oct-12 07:19 PM

Yes, I am on the latest Beta, using a Mac I basically have no choice. I got the closest results to actual good using the following settings:

Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)

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Gromit44

UK
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#102. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 98

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Wed 31-Oct-12 12:28 PM | edited Wed 31-Oct-12 12:29 PM by Gromit44

>..... Probably a few thousand with different lenses.


A few thousand shutter counts? Wow, that seems a lot. Have you worked out the average number per lens?

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5751 posts

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#103. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 102

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Wed 31-Oct-12 02:04 PM

>>..... Probably a few thousand with different lenses.
>
>
>A few thousand shutter counts? Wow, that seems a lot. Have you
>worked out the average number per lens?

No, not at all. I just remember once noticing the count was high. I also did each lens (5 lenses, one with TC = 6) on the D800 both before and after its repair, and did it before in numerous configurations such as different focus points.

It does add up. I just figure it doesn't matter much.


Linwood

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richardd300

Dyserth, UK
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#104. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 101

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Fri 02-Nov-12 04:45 PM | edited Sat 03-Nov-12 06:25 AM by richardd300

I am late pitching in here, but I have been reading some posts here with interest and have a question please.

I have just purchased and had delivered from the US LensAlign and I also bought the new Michael Tapes' FocusTune. It arrived this week and I am strictly following the instructions to the absolute letter. I will report back on that journey when I get satisfactory final results. At this early time I seem to be trusting the manually viewed LenAlign images more than the FineTune results. It's early days and I have a lot to learn. It still leaves me in a quandary about what to do with zoom lenses unless, I just test at the most used focal length as results are showing major changes of AF-fine tune settings between a focal length of 24mm and a focal length of 70mm on my 24-70mm f2.8 lens! My prime 300mm f4 and 50mm f1.8 both showed no adjustment was necessary on both LensAlign and FocusTune.

Reikan's FoCal Standard application seems a reasonable price and a lot quicker than any other method. Allowing that it's brand new technology, has anyone here experience of both LensAlign and FocusTune and if so which would you recommend?

Now, I have always been shy of AF fine tuning, but I do freely admit that my insatiable appetite for knowledge finds the various methodolgy interesting. I have dismissed LensCalc because of adverse reports. I haven't any issues with my lenses to my knowledge, but I am sad enough to while away the long winter evenings as part of yet another learning photographic exercise

Finally, I agree with Eric Bowles that the whole issue of fine tune could perhaps bear its own forum. I've gone from little interest to being totally fascinated by the whole issue. It must be the Instrument Engineer still in me and the quest for total accuracy coming out again after a few years break!

Your comments would be most welcome.

Thanks

Richard

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Sventek

Perth, AU
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#105. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 104

Sventek Registered since 23rd Dec 2007
Sat 03-Nov-12 12:17 AM

I have also just purchased FocusTune, and used it with my LensAlign Mk II. I found the process to be straight forward and easy - if a little time consuming because of the number of images I took. I've only used it for Autofocus Adjustment so far - but I plan to try all of the tests in due course. This was the result I had with my 24-120 f4 VR attached.

http://www.sventek.com.au/photos/i-Nnk7JRt/0/XL/i-Nnk7JRt-XL.jpg

I set it to +3, and also checked it against the LensAlign rule in the images. I think it did a good job.

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#106. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 103

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 03-Nov-12 12:23 AM

When I started doing FoCal for one of my D800 bodies, I had about 9,000 clicks on in. After two full series of FoCal tests with it for all of my lenses (not just AF fine tuning), I had about 14,000 clicks. I was surprised at the high number of clicks.

Does FocusTune produce the same number of clicks? I have the software, but I have not compared the click count required to run it.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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GaryPk

Bailey, US
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#107. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 105

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Sat 03-Nov-12 01:04 AM

I compared my Lens Align Results with my FoCal results and they were close but not identical but reasonably in the ballpark. There has been what seems like a lot of repeatability failures with FoCal discussed here recently. Is the consensus now that this software is unreliable ... fun to do but don't put much stock in the results? I am confused again ... Thanks

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KnightPhoto

Alberta, CA
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#108. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 107

KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006
Sat 03-Nov-12 01:46 AM

>I compared my Lens Align Results with my FoCal results and
>they were close but not identical but reasonably in the
>ballpark. There has been what seems like a lot of
>repeatability failures with FoCal discussed here recently. Is
>the consensus now that this software is unreliable ... fun to
>do but don't put much stock in the results? I am confused
>again ... Thanks
>

There is also talk in certain circles (DigLloyd plus some posters here too) about issues with non-repeatability of camera AF with f/1.4 lenses at middle/longer distances (and not limited to D800, I've seen mention of D3S, D3X for example). I am loathe to promulgate something I can't back up, as I haven't personally noticed this problem, but I raise it merely to mention it is possible there are two variables here, camera AF repeatability vs. software repeatability and just imagine if they interact Anyhow, I'm not trying to start a discussion on that topic, I just have an inquiring mind about it. I still want the self auto-tuning camera.

I don't own either software, have been a manual AF tuner to date. Two weeks in BTW and my D800 AF seems very good so far, haven't had a chance to tune it so far, but with my 24-70 it doesn't seem off at all.

Best regards, SteveK

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richardd300

Dyserth, UK
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#109. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 106

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Sat 03-Nov-12 06:43 AM

So far my clicks go like this,

First test at 0, -5,-10,-15,-20, 0, +5, 10, 15, 20 4 clicks on each = 40 tests done twice = 80. Then 10 clicks either side of the sharpest value = 20 clicks. Grand total = 100 clicks per lens. I've tried my 24-70, 300mm f4, 70-200mm, 50mm f1.8 G, 50-500mm Sigma OS. So that equals 500 clicks minimum. Quite a lot plus target setup shots.

I have dismissed the Sigma results which I did at 400 mm, because of distance conditions. The 300mm and 50mm were fine (0 and + 1). The 24-70 and 70-200 are a nightmare as the results between minimum and maximum focal lengths vary so much that the results are inconclusive in my view. Yet, I have total trust in the sharpness and focus DOF images I take with those lenses in the real world.

I'm going to have to repeat the 24-70/70-200 tests again so I guess it will be 700-800 clicks total testing minimum.

Richard.

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Gromit44

UK
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#110. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 105

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Sat 03-Nov-12 12:10 PM

John - how many shots did you take for each of the 41 AF adjustment values (-20 to 0 to +20)?

Page 9 of the user guide recommends 4 shots per value http://www.mediafire.com/view/?393tundt11namrf

Gromit44

UK
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#111. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 109

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Sat 03-Nov-12 12:14 PM | edited Sat 03-Nov-12 12:19 PM by Gromit44

>So far my clicks go like this,
>
>First test at 0, -5,-10,-15,-20, 0, +5, 10, 15, 20 4 clicks on
>each = 40 tests done twice = 80. Then 10 clicks either side of
>the sharpest value = 20 clicks. Grand total = 100 clicks per lens.

100 clicks per lens seems pretty reasonable. Did you repeat the test for different focal lengths with each zoom lens (e.g. 24, 50, 70 for the 24-70)?

Gromit44

UK
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#112. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 106

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Sat 03-Nov-12 12:55 PM | edited Sat 03-Nov-12 01:00 PM by Gromit44

>
>Does FocusTune produce the same number of clicks? I have the
>software, but I have not compared the click count required to
>run it.

For what it's worth, here's my quick calculation.

I've just looked through the FocusTune user guide and it recommends this procedure for AF fine tuning:

STEP A. Take 4 shots at each of these adjustment values: -20, -15, -10, -5, 0, +5, +10, +15, +20. That makes 36 shots.

STEP B. Analyse FocusTune results to establish which 5-value range is the sharpest (e.g. -10 to -15) then repeat step A for each value in the range (i.e. -10, -11, -12, -13, -14, -15) and choose the best value. That's another 24 shots.

A + B total 60 shots. So FocusTune needs around 60 clicks per lens to establish the best AF value.


With FoCal your shutter count went up by 5,000 clicks (14,000 - 9,000) for 5 lenses (14-24, 50, 24-70, 70-200, 200-400) - so that's 1,000 clicks per lens. You did two series of tests so that's 500 clicks per lens - but we don't know how many of those were used just to esablish the best AF value.

ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#113. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 112

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 03-Nov-12 01:07 PM

I had many clicks with my 200-400 until I figured out how to get the best AF Fine Tune value...by increasing ISO. I also used my 1.4x TC on the 70-200mm and 200-400mm in addition to doing them bare. I also had a number of software failures during tests because I was using a beta release. I ran the tests with VR on and with VR off. That also adds to the count.

If I was to rerun the tests now with all lens and one body, I am sure the count would be much lower.

If the manual had contained more tips for software settings adjustments when the number of clicks gets excessive with AF Fine Tuning, it would have made the tests go faster and use less clicks.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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Gromit44

UK
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#114. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 113

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Sat 03-Nov-12 01:30 PM

Ok Larry - I've done a rough recalculation, making these allowances:

5 lenses (with VR off on the 70-200 & 200-400).
2 lenses with VR on and no TC.
2 lenses with VR on and TC on.
1 test run to establish ISO increase.
2 test runs (estimate!) aborted due to beta software errors.

Total equivalent lens runs = 12.
Shutter count increase = 5,000.
Clicks per lens/test run = 417.

If we halve the 417 figure (since you did two complete series of tests) it still amounts to around 200 clicks per lens.




ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#115. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 114

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 03-Nov-12 01:51 PM

Correct...and this included the following calibration and tests for each lens (with and without TC and VR for 70-200 and 200-400):
- AF fine tune
- Aperture sharpness
- AF consistency

I also did the 51 point AF test of the sensor twice for each D800/e body.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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Gromit44

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#116. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 115

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Sat 03-Nov-12 02:35 PM

That should mean we can divide the 200-click figure by somewhere between 3 and 4 - which brings it very close indeed to the 60-click figure of FocusTune.

ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#117. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 116

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 03-Nov-12 02:45 PM

That would make sense since you are testing for the same things with the same lens. However, keep in mind that the AF fine tuning takes more clicks than the other tests except the 51 sensor AF test. I don't believe I ever had less than 30 clicks to do an AF fine tuning, and sometimes had over 50 with the 200-400mm. The AF consistency test is usually 10 clicks unless you change the default. The Aperture Sharpness test depends on how many aperture settings your lens has.

Larry Jordan

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Sventek

Perth, AU
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#118. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 110

Sventek Registered since 23rd Dec 2007
Sun 04-Nov-12 01:42 AM

>John - how many shots did you take for each of the 41 AF
>adjustment values (-20 to 0 to +20)?
>
>Page 9 of the user guide recommends 4 shots per value
>http://www.mediafire.com/view/?393tundt11namrf

I actually took five shots at each point.

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mabuge

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#119. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 105

mabuge Registered since 18th Mar 2012
Mon 05-Nov-12 10:15 AM

Hi John,

You don't need to take so many pictures to find the sharpest AF setting (AutoFocus Adjustment or AFA in Michael Tapes terminology). Michael Tapes mentions a 5 step test shot session to get an overview, then a 1 step refinement at a smaller AFA range.

Depending on whether you have LensAlign or not, the number of required test shots differ. There are two examples explaining this in the guide (chapter Analysis Techniques, paragraph AFA Autofocus Adjustment).

I added the number of shots needed in the text (=>), based upon 4 shots per AFA, to get a better average.

analysis of the entire adjustment range => 60 shots when using flat target
• start with taking shots at AFA (-20 -15 -10 -5 0 +5 +10 +15 +20) => 36 shots
• supposing the Autofocus Adjustment Analysis says -10 to -5 are sharpest, proceed with extra test shots at -10 -9 -8 -7 -6 -5 (=>24 shots), and reprocess to find the best AFA value.

analysis of a part of the adjustment range => 45 shots when using LensAlign
• take a test shot at 0 AFA => 1 shot
• view the LensAlign® ruler picture to determine back or front focus
• in case of back focus, take test shots at AFA (-20 -15 -10 -5 0) => 20 shots
• in case of front focus, take test shots at AFA (+20 +15 +10 +5 0)
• narrow down with the help of the Autofocus Adjustment Analysis
• take a series of shots in 1 step increments and reprocess => 24 shots

If the graph is pretty flat, you can narrow down the analysis even more by removing the less sharpest AFA's in the FocusTune grid, as I did with the AFA step 1 demo file (removed -10, -4 and -3), and then reprocessed them once again.

The bump in the first graph, between -10 -5, suggests there are better values. The analysis tool does not make a prediction though, it is merely a way of connecting the dots with a smooth line*, a feature of the graphical tool being used. It doesn't mean that you will find a better AFA exactly between -10 and -5. You will only figure out by digging deeper by means of 1 step shots.

BTW, Michael Tapes announces a new guide in his posts, the current is a draft version as you may have noticed. Maybe this week?

To conclude, I found FocusTune easy and straightforward to use. I followed the recommendations as far as possible, thereby using LensAlign. Took my shots indoor, as the sunlight may fluctuate during a test session. The more stable the light on your target, the more trustworthy the result is.

Marc

* also straight lines from average to average produce a fake prediction. The smooth line is nicer, even if the line doesn't really matter. The line makes the graph easier to interpret.

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richardd300

Dyserth, UK
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#120. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 119

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Mon 05-Nov-12 12:36 PM | edited Mon 05-Nov-12 12:37 PM by richardd300

It seems most are conducting the tests as the manual states for FocusTune. However, I am still at a loss of how to handle my 16-35,24-70, 70-200mm lenses and for that matter my Sigma 50-500mm as I only have two choices which are

a) choose the focal length which is most commonly used, or....
b) test the lens at e.g. widest, then 25%, 50%, 75% then 100% zoom.

I have tried the 24-70mm as per a) above and the b) option. With the b) option the FocusTune readings are so far apart between focal lengths. On the basis that the final AF-fine tune value is the only value for that lens that can be set, then it makes it a ridiculous exercise!

For the life of me I don't see how a zoom lens can be accurately catered for across its range unless it's used at a set focal length, then it just becomes a prime!

Richard

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Gromit44

UK
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#121. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 120

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Mon 05-Nov-12 01:07 PM

You could ask Michael Tapes what method he recommends for zooms.

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
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#122. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 120

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Mon 05-Nov-12 01:09 PM

Richard

There are a couple of reasons for testing. Tests have shown the AF Fine Tuning adjustment is different at different focal lengths - even being positive at one focal length and negative at another for the same lens.

My guess is you will want to test at various focal lengths in order to understand the optimal adjustment. For example, you might find with a 24-70 lens that there are different values at 30mm, 50mm and 70mm. Not only is the value of the adjustment important, but it is important to understand what nearby values might produce. You are better off testing at multiple focal lengths and then evaluating the results of a single AF adjustment applied to all the focal lengths.

The other issue is the distance to the target. We've seen some variation in results based on distance to the target. Here is where you most common distance to the subject might make sense. LensRentals had a thread about the dramatically different results they got testing a macro lens at non-macro distances. Likewise a telephoto does not need to be tested at 25 feet when you use it for photographing large mammals at 150 feet.

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Gromit44

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#123. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 120

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Mon 05-Nov-12 01:58 PM

>
>a) choose the focal length which is most commonly used, or....
>
>b) test the lens at e.g. widest, then 25%, 50%, 75% then 100%
>zoom.
>
>I have tried the 24-70mm as per a) above and the b) option.
>With the b) option the FocusTune readings are so far apart
>between focal lengths.

Were the b) readings all negative, all positive, or a mixture of negative and positive?

If they're all negative or all positive, then at least you're better off fine tuning (as opposed to not fine tuning).

Gromit44

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#124. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 123

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Mon 05-Nov-12 02:12 PM | edited Mon 05-Nov-12 02:14 PM by Gromit44

Also, it may be wise to use the reading obtained at 70mm due to the more limited DOF at that end of the lens. For instance, the 24-70 manual (page 116) gives these DOF figures when focussed at 2 metres & f/2.8:

24mm - 1.58m to 2.79m (DOF = 1.21m)
70mm - 1.93m to 2.08m (DOF = 0.15m)



richardd300

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#126. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 123

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Mon 05-Nov-12 02:32 PM | edited Mon 05-Nov-12 02:34 PM by richardd300

Both. Let me show you 2 screen grabs of some results. The first is my 24-70. I took at 26mm by accident and at 70mm. You have helped me by explaining the differences that can be seen between the two focal lengths, which you must admit are extreme.

I will e-mail Michael Tapes and ask his opinion, but up to now I've been using the distance tool on his website for the two focal lengths i.e 2.1ft and 7.1ft.

Interestingly I did a test on my D7000 with the Sigma 50-500mm OS and the results were heartening especially at 35ft as per the distance calculator. See last screen grab.

I will report back.

Richard

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GaryPk

Bailey, US
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#127. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 126

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Mon 05-Nov-12 02:37 PM

Well, I hope the nice people at FoCal are learning from all of this so that when the "released" version is out I will be getting all the updates.

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Gromit44

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#128. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 126

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Mon 05-Nov-12 03:06 PM

-10 to +20 is certainly a big difference (although the sharpness reading for +5 is pretty close to the +20 reading). I'd be very interested to hear what Michael recommends - after all he's obviously done more research into all this than we have.

richardd300

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#129. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 128

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Mon 05-Nov-12 03:15 PM

I have e-mailed Michael in a bid to here what he thinks is the best way to arrive at an overall zoom lens setting. Michael is usually very quick at responding.

I'll let you know what he says

Richard

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richardd300

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#130. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 129

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Mon 05-Nov-12 04:00 PM | edited Mon 05-Nov-12 04:04 PM by richardd300

Michael has replied and has stated that this is discussed in the FAQ's, this is the link:

http://www.mtdhelp.com/kb/lensalign-how-to/i-know-how-to-test-and-adjust-a-prime-lens-what-about-a-zoom

It makes sense, as it basically boils down to three issues. Firstly, test at max focal length then at min focal length, if both the results are good then it's probably good to go across the range. Secondly, some may select a certain focal length where it's sharpest. Lastly and this is the one I don't like in my case, is that if both ends must be right, then the lens will have to be serviced by the manufacturer to bring the short and long end of the zoom into proper calibration. (Check with the service center to see if this is possible for your specific lens.

Looks like my lens may be off to Nikon

Richard

PS. This I didn't know and that is: "You should use an aperture of f8 (stopped down) during the setup and alignment of LensAlign with the camera. The greater DOF allows both the Rear Plate red ring and the Front Focus Plate to both be seen in reasonable focus, which makes aligning them easier and quicker".

Perhaps that's where I've gone wrong as I've been using F2.8!

See: http://www.mtdhelp.com/kb/lensalign-how-to/how-do-i-set-the-aperture-when-using-lensalign

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
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#131. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 130

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Mon 05-Nov-12 04:21 PM

That's helpful, but not necessarily precise enough. We know that the 24-70 in particular has required a different adjustment at 50mm than at 24mm or 70mm. I think you have to go beyond the minimum level that Michael suggests.


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richardd300

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#132. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 131

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Mon 05-Nov-12 04:30 PM

I agree, or one could blindly be under the impression that because it's good at 24 and 70, or in the example he gives 70 and 200mm, then it would be good everywhere along the focal length. That leaves me with my original concerns. However, I will retest my 24-70mm as I conducted it a f2.8. That is because of other lens checks I've done with e.g. LensCalc and the camera at 45 deg. to a card DOF target. I should have thought that through as f8 is around the sweet spots of most lenses.

It is misleading because the FocusTune manual Page 3 states " 2.............Shoot wide open (for example f1.4)

Richard

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mabuge

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#133. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 132

mabuge Registered since 18th Mar 2012
Mon 05-Nov-12 07:46 PM | edited Mon 05-Nov-12 08:12 PM by mabuge

Richard,

I noticed you took the test shots in AF-C iso AF-S, so I suspect your camera was still in "picture mode" iso "test shot mode" so to speak. Could it be that single focus point wasn't set either? With AF-C & multipoint, you don't know exactly where the camera focuses on, certainly if you didn't use single focus point. And, more importantly, the camera refocuses even if you use single point in AF-C mode. I had the same experience and took the shots again after setting the camera into calibration mode

Recommendation: use one of the memory banks for calibration purposes only. This will save quite some time, and avoid mistakes, like I also made.

You have to shoot wide open, otherwise the target will appear too sharp because of the larger DOF, even when it is not in focus due to a particular AFA. Michael recommends sharpness Off for the same reason (and contrast to max). Use f/8 only if it is difficult to see the alignment, and use it in color mode. I have set Vivid to a high sharpness, high contrast, and Monochrome to 0 sharpness and high contrast for taking test shots.

Marc

GaryPk

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#134. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 133

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Mon 05-Nov-12 08:14 PM

Re Post Title:
RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application

Perhaps this should be split into two posts. one re FoCAl and one re FocusTune. I have already committed to FoCAL and, perhaps like some others, I am most interested in FoCal testing and improvements.

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SoCal Dave

Marina del Rey, US
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#135. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 134

SoCal Dave Silver Member Charter Member
Mon 05-Nov-12 08:18 PM

>Re Post Title:
>RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application
>
>Perhaps this should be split into two posts. one re FoCAl and
>one re FocusTune. I have already committed to FoCAL and,
>perhaps like some others, I am most interested in FoCal
>testing and improvements.

I'm interested in both to see which will be the more reliable tool - if either!

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richardd300

Dyserth, UK
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#136. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 133

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Mon 05-Nov-12 08:32 PM

Thanks Marc, that is extremely useful. I should have remembered the essential "reset all, emphasis on ALL settings" before starting a new photo shoot! I had been out the day before shooting moving wildlife and had forgotten to restore AF-S.

I originally took the images in RAW and converted to jpeg. The problem with that was that the EXIF data that FocusTune needs was stripped out in the conversion. So, if I had uploaded the RAW images into FocusTune without any conversion there would be no picture controls to worry about. It isn't an issue anyway as I never shoot in JPEG when out on a shoot so no picture controls including contrast, sharpening etc are set in camera.

I will rerun the test tomorrow paying attention to ensure single point focus.

I'll report back with the results.

Richard

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richardd300

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#137. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 134

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Mon 05-Nov-12 08:35 PM

That sounds like a good idea and adds strength to those who suggest there should be a dedicated focus calibration forum

Richard

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mabuge

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#138. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 136

mabuge Registered since 18th Mar 2012
Mon 05-Nov-12 08:49 PM

Hi Richard,

Also note the sentence "JPEG straight from the camera", no post processing. And, because D800 JPEGs are quite large, use DX crop mode in the camera, which is another reason to use a separate bank for calibration. Success!

Marc

richardd300

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#139. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 138

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Tue 06-Nov-12 09:35 AM | edited Tue 06-Nov-12 09:46 AM by richardd300

OK, so after another 180 shutter actuations I believe I have a much more credible result.

I created a dedicated bank and set the camera to Single point AF, JPEG Large, ISO400, illuminated with 200 watts of halogen lighting. Leveled the LensAlign and tripod, switched camera to Manual, MUP, Set distances just over recommended distances with a remote trigger. For 24mm took 40 shots from 0 to +20 and 0 to -20 all at 1/100 @f2.8. Loaded in to FocusTune overall result = +15.

Then exactly the same at 70mm to the set distance. Result = +10.

Then I repeated it at 45mm. Result = +5

Finally, conducted a further test at 45mm from +10 to +5 and +15. Result = +5

I perhaps will repeat the test at about 35mm. It all puts me in a bid of a dilemma really as this is my favourite lens and the results I have achieved on both my D700 and now D800 of landscapes and portraits have been in my view sharp at all focal lengths. However, the focus tests have now put doubts about its focus accuracy in my mind

The results pdf's are shown below.

Your help and advice on the results would be appreciated. I am minded at this stage to set a AF-fine tune at +10?

Richard.

At 24mm f2.8

Click on image to view larger version

At 70mm f2.8
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At 45mm f2.8
Click on image to view larger version

At 45mm between +5 to +15
Click on image to view larger version


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Attachment#4 (jpg file)

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Gromit44

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#140. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 139

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Tue 06-Nov-12 01:51 PM


This seems good news to me Richard - the readings are all on the positive side of zero, so if you use a setting of say +5 you'd be better off than you are now at all focal lengths.

The second 45mm test (+5 to +15 range) shows +5 is the sharpest, but +7 is so close to it you probably wouldn't see any real difference. A setting of +7 might be the best bet overall.

I think I'd re-run the 45mm test though, just to confirm the +5 result - things would be much neater if it came out closer to +12!

---------------------------

For ease of reading, these are the results from the charts above:

24mm - sharpest value in range -20 to +20 = +15
45mm - sharpest value in range -20 to +20 = +5
70mm - sharpest value in range -20 to +20 = +10

45mm - sharpest value in range +5 to +15 = +5 (and +7 is very close)

richardd300

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#141. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 140

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Tue 06-Nov-12 02:06 PM | edited Tue 06-Nov-12 02:39 PM by richardd300

<<things would be much neater if it came out closer to +12!>>

Thanks for both your comments and help and I tend to agree. I shall run the 45mm test again in a few days time and see what happens. Thom Hogan recommends LensAlign in his D800 book and I have asked him what are his thoughts of FocusTune are, as I think his opinion would be interesting.

Anyway, I was surprised and pleased in equal measure regarding the results. I have also looked carefully at the LensAlign images and think +7 is the best overall setting.

Anyway, busy for a few days but will rerun the test at 45mm. I also need to do my 16-35mm f4, 50mm f1.8G and 60mm f2.8 micro.

Had A reply from Thom Hogan says "Variability of results is one of the issues everyone is having with the Nikon D800 lately". I wonder if that refers to user error or camera focus error!.

Richard

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mabuge

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#142. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 141

mabuge Registered since 18th Mar 2012
Tue 06-Nov-12 03:34 PM

The results look much better indeed. I presume you defocused slightly into the same direction each time between shots. There is an indication that your pictures will be better anyhow with a setting between +10 and +15. Your graphs at 24 and 70 mm are still in step 5, so inconclusive at this moment.

Marc

richardd300

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#143. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 142

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Tue 06-Nov-12 03:46 PM

I'm going to repeat some in between 24 and 70mm tests. Also and out of interest I am going to conduct the same tests on my D7000. I want to know if I need to worry that there's still a problem with the D800, but I really don't want to open that can of worms again. I have have posted my concerns on another forum:

"I must admit and I’m not trying to be controversial, but how did we ever survive without Lens AF-Fine tune! Until a year ago and the Nikon D800 left focus problems I’m willing to bet most photographers whether amateur or professional blissfully ignored fine tuning. Now everyone, me included, is having bouts of paranoia that their copy of a camera has focus problems, then testing it to satisfy their own fears and finding cause for concern"

I do so hope I'm wrong in my beliefs.

Richard.

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SoCal Dave

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#144. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 143

SoCal Dave Silver Member Charter Member
Tue 06-Nov-12 03:55 PM

>I want to know if I need to worry that there's still a
>problem with the D800, but I really don't want to open that
>can of worms again.

This was the one area I feel confident about using FoCal. The automated testing of each and every sensor shows a color/weighted map that would show more red on the left side if you had a problem.

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#145. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 141

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Tue 06-Nov-12 04:55 PM

Richard - I replied to your PM but I can't find my own reply now (I've no idea where to look) so I hope you got the message?.

richardd300

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#146. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 145

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Tue 06-Nov-12 05:08 PM

Thanks Simon, I have responded to your e-mail.

Richard

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#147. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 146

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Wed 07-Nov-12 12:49 PM

I got your reply Richard but it arrived in an email entitled "Nikonians.org : You have a new private message" - but when I go to 'My User Menu / Inbox tab' on the forum, the PM isn't there.

I'm confused!



richardd300

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#148. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 147

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Wed 07-Nov-12 01:34 PM

May be worth asking the question on "the English Cafe", I haven't got an outbox either, so I guess there isn't one, which is strange as then we have no records of sent e-mails as you say.

Richard

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Gromit44

UK
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#149. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 148

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Wed 07-Nov-12 01:43 PM

I asked here yesterday - https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=134&topic_id=10323#10325 and it seems the forum doesn't let you keep PMs at all (like the vBulletin system does).

richardd300

Dyserth, UK
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#150. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 149

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Wed 07-Nov-12 01:55 PM

Seems a bit daft to me, but as Brian Tilley said, best copy the text into another file.

Richard

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Mako

US
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#151. "Reikan test on 70-200VR I and D800" | In response to Reply # 0

Mako Registered since 02nd Apr 2009
Thu 28-Feb-13 07:54 PM | edited Thu 28-Feb-13 07:55 PM by Mako

(Apologies if this is not the right place to post this question. But wondering if other Reikan users are coming up with similar results for the Nikkor 70-200mm VR I)

I am using Reikan FoCal Pro for the first time. Using D800 and Nikkor lenses. Still much to learn, but so far I'm fairly pleased with the results. Tested two primes and two zooms with expected and approximately repeated results. My challenge is with the my fifth lens, the Nikkor 70-200 VR I. Here is the result at 3 focal lengths:

70mm = AFMA +4
130mm = AFMA +9
200mm = AFMA -1

Sharpest Aperture = f2.8

QUESTIONS:

1) I didn't expect AFMA at 130mm to be so far off relative to the AFMA at 70mm and 200mm. I can actually see a bit of difference too in actual use when comparing AF vs manual focus at 130mm. Is this typical of this lens? Are the results fairly acceptable? Or should I send it in for recalibration?

2) Sharpest Aperture at f2.8 surprised me. All other lenses tested came in anywhere between f4 to f13. Again, is this typical or do you think I have a bigger problem?

Oh, I'm assuming I'm using FoCal correctly. That could be another issu )

Thanks much...

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#152. "RE: Reikan test on 70-200VR I and D800" | In response to Reply # 151

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Fri 01-Mar-13 02:41 AM

>1) I didn't expect AFMA at 130mm to be so far off relative to
>the AFMA at 70mm and 200mm. I can actually see a bit of
>difference too in actual use when comparing AF vs manual focus
>at 130mm. Is this typical of this lens? Are the results
>fairly acceptable? Or should I send it in for recalibration?

Maybe. I never did it at 130. My 70-200 on a D4 varied from -3 to -13 at medium distances between 200 and 70. On the D800 at medium distance it was +2 and +10 between 200 and 70.

Then I did it at longer distances (maybe 30m) and got +5 and -4 from 200 to 70.

>2) Sharpest Aperture at f2.8 surprised me. All other lenses
>tested came in anywhere between f4 to f13. Again, is this
>typical or do you think I have a bigger problem?

But that is really strange. One way that might happen is if you have focus shift, though that lens is not one I've heard of having it. The 85/1.4 for example shifts focus (I think back) as the aperture closes, so the sharpest focus point at F1.4 moves at F2.8, etc. That's one way this can happen as you fine tune at F2.8, and if it shifts then higher F-stops are softer. But it would take a heck of a shift to cause it to get less sharp at (say) F8, as usually the DOF increase catches up with focus shift in 1-2 stops.

Look at the images it captured -- are they really sharper?

Set up a tripod and forget Focal and do the test yourself and we what happens.


Linwood

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Mako

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#153. "RE: Reikan test on 70-200VR I and D800" | In response to Reply # 152

Mako Registered since 02nd Apr 2009
Fri 01-Mar-13 06:40 AM

Linwood - thank you for your response. Yes, I think I need to do more testing, varying distance to target, and testing without Focal.

jherrel

Elgin, US
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#154. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 150

jherrel Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Apr 2007
Fri 01-Mar-13 01:21 PM

I have also just started testing with FoCal. I have done several tests and am now trying to standardize my testing protocol before testing again. I have a D800 and a D4. My preliminary results show consistency of focus for all camera/lens combinations ranging from 97.6-99.8% which seems good.

My tests with my 70-200 VR1 also show the sharpest aperture at f/2.8 on both the D4 and D800. Actually, my 70-200 has an unexpected inverted bell curve.

Here are some questions that I have regarding the testing protocol. I am using FoCal Pro version 1.7.0.250.
1. Should Target Optimization be turned on? I think so.
2. Does Color Temp really matter? I am testing with two Elinchrom studio strobes using the modeling lights at max setting. I am now setting the color temperature in FoCal at 3000K vs 5200 originally.
3. Should I be using mirror lockup? I haven't been.
4. I left the battery grip on my D800, is that OK?
5. I have the illumination consistently between 8-9EV using my studio lights. I check it with a light meter. Is the variability between 8 and 9 significant?
6. I printed the targets on 8X10 Luster paper. I know they recommended matte. I don't see any reflections or luster with my setup. What are your experiences using different paper?
7. I have been using the default AF Consistency Constraint of 6%. Is that what you are using or should it be tighter?
8. I have done one set of tests allowing non-centered alignment to test the left, center and right focal points. Has anyone else done this? My first test results on my D800 with 24-70mm showed -11, 1, -14. Yikes! I want to finalize the protocol before retesting.
9. What distances are you testing various lenses at? FoCal suggests the 25-50X the focal length.
10. For 200-400mm lenses what target size are you using?
11. My optimization tests normally peak around 2000. What is focal measuring? What is this number?

Thanks in advance for your input.

John Herrel
Nikonian from South Carolina
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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#155. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 154

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Fri 01-Mar-13 02:08 PM

Below is what I have done. I offer no indication it is "right":

>Here are some questions that I have regarding the testing
>protocol. I am using FoCal Pro version 1.7.0.250.
>1. Should Target Optimization be turned on? I think so.

I did so, except for long distance or very wide angle when it couldn't "see" the target.

>2. Does Color Temp really matter? I am testing with two
>Elinchrom studio strobes using the modeling lights at max
>setting. I am now setting the color temperature in FoCal at
>3000K vs 5200 originally.

There was a posting around here somewhere indicating it made a big difference. I've done some of mine with daylight, some with incandescent, I do not know. I was surprised by the posting saying it did.

>3. Should I be using mirror lockup? I haven't been.

No. I don't even think it woudl work.

>4. I left the battery grip on my D800, is that OK?

I can't imagine why it would matter.

>5. I have the illumination consistently between 8-9EV using
>my studio lights. I check it with a light meter. Is the
>variability between 8 and 9 significant?

I don't know. I did some testing outside, and if a cloud rolled by it would sometimes abort the test, but when a light cloud rolled by that was not enough variation to abort the test, the test did not work well. I think in any given series (where it is comparing image A to B to tell sharpness) you need really consistent lighting. Blue sky and in the shade seemed OK for me, and often better than incandescent as it was brighter (I do not have studio lights, I have been using two 100w bulbs with reflectors and it is barely bright enough).

>6. I printed the targets on 8X10 Luster paper. I know they
>recommended matte. I don't see any reflections or luster with
>my setup. What are your experiences using different paper?

I have had trouble on regular laser printer paper with reflections from the lights, and have to fiddle around to make sure that the area around (not just on) the target does not have any glare. And I think it is very important that it not change at all during any one run (or any runs you desire to compare to another), as the contrast difference makes a large difference in the focus quality number. In fact in general I think comparing two separate runs in terms of absolute numbers that were not at the same time/place without moving anything is almost pointless.

>7. I have been using the default AF Consistency Constraint of
>6%. Is that what you are using or should it be tighter?

DIdn't do anything there.

>8. I have done one set of tests allowing non-centered
>alignment to test the left, center and right focal points. Has
>anyone else done this? My first test results on my D800 with
>24-70mm showed -11, 1, -14. Yikes! I want to finalize the
>protocol before retesting.

That's not terribly diffreent from some of mine, I don't recall off hand whether it was that or the 14-24. The D800 even post repair still has quite a difference, and yours is similar to mine -- right and left match each other, and are off from center.

>9. What distances are you testing various lenses at? FoCal
>suggests the 25-50X the focal length.

I have taken to doing each lens at portrait distance, at kind of a normal "interior" distance where I might be in a building, and at about 20-30m distance (whereever I can find a usable target outside to simulate sports-distances). And see how they vary. Some (like the 200-400) I also did at very close up distance.

That's a lot of testing for a zoom, as it's at least 3 runs at each distance times 2 for min/max zoom.

>10. For 200-400mm lenses what target size are you using?

I have been printing the target zoomed slightly and using it for all the tests. For the 200-400 up very close I used the macro target. For longer telephotos I've been trying several different non-target targets - insulators on a light pole against blue sky, mortor joints in a building across the way, textured tree trunk bodies. None of these are great (and you have to make sure they aren't MOVING), but of these the higher contrast work best, something that at 1:1 still has strong horizontal and vertical, high contrast transitions in the focus point. I now make sure I do at least two different ad hoc targets to make sure they give similar results (sometimes they do not, I discard that as a target and keep looking for two more).

It's not that I can't print a multi-page target blown up, but I can't find places out of doors to MOUNT such a target 30m away from where I have the computer/camera.

>11. My optimization tests normally peak around 2000. What is
>focal measuring? What is this number?

I think it's an arbitrary edge sharpness number related to the entire scenario and only meaningful in comparison to other images taken at the same time. Others have tried to compare but I think it's questionable at best.

Your mileage may vary, I think Focal added some science to this but it's still heavily in the art and trial and error arena.

Linwood

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#156. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 0

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sun 24-Mar-13 02:55 PM

For those of you interested in AF fine tuning, you might like the series of articles I am posting on the NANPA forum at the following link:
http://www.nanpa.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=36

The Equipment Calibration and Testing forum category was just added after the NANPA Summit earlier this month.

I use a D800e for the current testing I talk about. I used a D800 and a D300 for calibration testing last year. I sometimes refer to those tests as well.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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Gromit44

UK
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#157. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 156

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Sun 24-Mar-13 04:34 PM

Larry - your post of 24th March in the NANPA forum shows FoCal v1.8.1.

I've got v1.6.0 (pro) but when I click the 'Update Check' button it says "Your software is up to date" (which it clearly isn't!).

I can't find the download link for v1.8.1. If I login to the License Management System there's a link to this page - http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/index.php/2013/03/focal-1-8-1-released-for-windows-and-mac/ - but it doesn't have an actual download link.

Can you help?

hujiie

US
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#158. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 157

hujiie Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Apr 2009
Sun 24-Mar-13 05:03 PM

It is simple. Do not press "Here" but to press FoCal for Window or Mac 1.8.1.

See below.



Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)

www.hitoshiujiie.com/photography.html

Gromit44

UK
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#159. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 158

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Mon 25-Mar-13 08:56 AM

Yes, I found it. Thanks.

ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#160. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 157

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Mon 25-Mar-13 08:06 PM

Reikan does not make it easy to keep up with their software updates. I got the same message when I checked through my version 1.6 for updates. I had to go to the site and search for the new one. As I said in both of my NANPA articles about version 1.8.1, it does have bugs in it. I had it fail to do AF fine tuning three times on the first image capture. I found that switching from the new RAW analysis mode to JPEG fixed the problem. FoCal kept running out of memory with the BIG NEF files.

The good news is that it takes far fewer clicks now to determine the AF set point than it did with earlier versions.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#161. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 157

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Mon 25-Mar-13 09:02 PM

I can see that many Nikonians members went over to read my testing articles on the NANPA site, but no one comments on the articles there (except you Eric). I can't believe all of you guys agree with everything I write there. I know you better than that.

What other testing and calibration topics would you like to see me post there?

I have a few more topics in mind, but I would like to know what you are trying to do with the testing or what you cannot figure out. I may not be able to address all testing and calibration questions, but I can take a stab at it...or start the dialog I have done enough testing and development of testing applications over the years to understand a lot of what is going on behind the scenes.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#162. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 161

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Mon 25-Mar-13 09:38 PM

>I can see that many Nikonians members went over to read my
>testing articles on the NANPA site

I suspect a lot of us aren't members.


Linwood

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

SoCal Dave

Marina del Rey, US
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#164. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 162

SoCal Dave Silver Member Charter Member
Mon 25-Mar-13 11:00 PM

Agreed! I think if the discussion was here rather than on Nampa you would get comments and feedback.

"Content is King"
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briantilley

Paignton, UK
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#165. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 161

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Tue 26-Mar-13 07:52 AM

As Nikonians is a Global community, perhaps you might share your experiences directly here, rather than only on a US-focused site?

Thanks!

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

ljordan316

Inverness, US
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#166. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 165

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Tue 26-Mar-13 09:41 AM

I believe Eric Bowles suggested a Calibration and Testing forum for Nikonians, but the idea did not stick. Thus, we are doing it for NANPA.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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Clint S

Chula Vista, US
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#167. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 161

Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011
Wed 27-Mar-13 01:26 AM

Larry,
I went and read all of your post. also wanted to see your attached results for the 70-180mm lens, went to sign-up, but at $100/yr I decided to pass.

Might I suggest you revamp your materials into -
- What is micro focus tuning?
- Who is micro focus turning for?
- What tools are available for micro focus tuning?
- The Pros and Cons of Micro Focusing
- More about Lensalign
- More about FocusTune
- More about FoCal

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Clint S

Chula Vista, US
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#168. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 161

Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011
Wed 27-Mar-13 02:26 AM

Larry, since you asked!

I've followed your and others focusing tools trial and tribulations since July 2012. I'm still not a fan of generally using focus tuning and think that FoCal is charging for beta testers. From everything I've read it is simply to buggy to product for the masses. However if people are willing to buy the buggy stuff it does provide funds for them to develop a better tool.

I was taught that once focused on a spot, abut 1/3 of the area in front of and 2/3 behind the focused spot would be the depth of field. But I don't see people setting up their focus points that way and not sure if it is taken into consideration into the software programs. But I will admit this would be critical for only some situtaions.

I have not spent nearly the time you or others have in testing but my experiences demonstrated to me that focus adjustments are only valid:
- at the distance tested (more on this in the post)
- for temperature tested at (tested at 35 depress difference in temperature with significantly different results)
- and the lighting conditions for the test (from test done in bright shaded area to inside using tungsten)

And zoom lenses would tend to significantly complicate matters unless that lens is used for a pretty specific purpose. All of my zooms are used throughout their focal range and distance anywhere from the closest point of focus to infinity. None of the lenses have a setting that I use enough to dedicate focus tune for that one setting.

I have an 85mm f/1.4 lens that I know is off and was kind of tired of dealing with it. So I bought FocusTune. Under the same conditions I can duplicate the same results. And with AF Fine tune set and on for portrait, it is spot on. To me that validates the software, my procedures, and the equipment issue. Here are the results, and what should I use for my final AF Fine tune setting?
@ 3 ft = 0
@ 7 ft = -20
@ 10 ft = -20
@ 14 ft = -10
@19 ft = -10
@23 ft = -5

- If I set it at -10, I would have better results for everything past 6 feet.
But at 7 ft and maybe 10 feet the setting might not fall within the depth of field and not achive what I'm after.
And if shooting anything at minimum focus distance, focus would be significantly worse.
I did not see where -10 would be an issue past 20 feet as the depth of field would hide the focusing error.

But my biggest issue was with portraits, so I set AF Fine Tune at -20 and turn AF Fine Tune on for portraits and then off when I'm finished. This is livable and better.

Either I don't seem to understand how AF Fine Tune is beneficial for zoom or it is pretty complicated
- Since I use my zooms across the spectrum I would test at 3 zoom settings at 3 different distances for each setting. So now I've got nine sets of test to balance out!

And for something like the 70-180 Micro, between macro shots and normal zoo, woah. But when I get time I will test it at a macro setting because I really want to know how much I lose when shooting at f16 and above.

Anyway, that's my two cents worth. So even though I'm not a fan I'm seeing some benefit.

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Gromit44

UK
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#170. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 168

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Wed 27-Mar-13 08:39 AM

>And zoom lenses would tend to significantly complicate matters

They appear to be working on a version with a feature for calibrating zooms - http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/index.php/2013/03/calibrating-a-zoom-lens/.

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#171. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 168

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Wed 27-Mar-13 10:03 AM | edited Wed 27-Mar-13 10:10 AM by ljordan316

>I've followed your and others focusing tools trial and
>tribulations since July 2012. I'm still not a fan of generally
>using focus tuning and think that FoCal is charging for beta
>testers. From everything I've read it is simply to buggy to
>product for the masses. However if people are willing to buy
>the buggy stuff it does provide funds for them to develop a
>better tool.

I agree that Reikan is charging folks for beta testing their software. I started last year with version 1.5.1 and have used all versions except 1.7 since that time. With each new major release, the application usually contains bugs that cause the software to either lock up or not finish a procedure in a random pattern. The failures almost always center on the AF fine tuning module, and they usually have to do with improper memory management. I believe the software is written in the C language which is prone to memory management errors. However, good software quality assurance would find those errors before buyer have to experience them. The good thing is that Reikan often publishes a bug-fix version soon after they publish the buggy version.

I do admire the developers of FocusTune for doing better quality control. I was a beta tester for them last summer and fall before they released the product. Even in beta test mode, the software was bullet proof. It may be a tribute to the Sweds, but it is what it is.

>I was taught that once focused on a spot, abut 1/3 of the area
>in front of and 2/3 behind the focused spot would be the depth
>of field. But I don't see people setting up their focus points
>that way and not sure if it is taken into consideration into
>the software programs. But I will admit this would be critical
>for only some situations.

I also used the rule of thirds for focusing downrange when doing landscape work. I switched to hyperfocal distance focusing a few years ago. However, neither of those focusing rules work/apply when doing autofocus shooting of birds in flight. You aim at the bird's eyes as best you can and fire away...hoping you get 1 out 2 in focus. I am getting better and better at it with practice, but without AF fine tuning, I would not get that many.

>I have not spent nearly the time you or others have in testing
>but my experiences demonstrated to me that focus adjustments
>are only valid:
>- at the distance tested (more on this in the post)
>- for temperature tested at (tested at 35 depress difference
>in temperature with significantly different results)
>- and the lighting conditions for the test (from test done in
>bright shaded area to inside using tungsten)

I kinda think of AF fine tuning as I would winding and setting a watch. If you never wind it, the watch will be right twice a day. If you wind the watch, and adjust the time setting, the watch will give you approximately the right time 24/7. If you spend more money on the watch, buy the best, and have it fine tuned by an expert, you might be able to get the exact right from it at all times. AF fine tuning is the watch expert for me.

>And zoom lenses would tend to significantly complicate matters
>unless that lens is used for a pretty specific purpose. All of
>my zooms are used throughout their focal range and distance
>anywhere from the closest point of focus to infinity. None of
>the lenses have a setting that I use enough to dedicate focus
>tune for that one setting.

I use Bridge in CS6 to analyze the focal length that I use most frequently with each lens, and I do AF fine tuning at that focal length. If Nikon supported more than one AF fine tuning point (as Canon does with some models), I would probably do that for some lenses.

>And for something like the 70-180 Micro, between macro shots
>and normal zoo, woah. But when I get time I will test it at a
>macro setting because I really want to know how much I lose
>when shooting at f16 and above.

I performed AF fine tuning with my newly acquired 70-180mm micro, and the setting came out +1 at 180mm zoom. I am happy with that result for hand holding and macro shooting. I do not use the lens as a normal zoom. However, I am becoming addicted to the new CamRanger. I use it to drive my D800e and the 70-180mm micro in LiveView mode and do focus stacking of as many as 30 frames using CS6. I love the results, and I don't have to worry about the accuracy of phase detect AF. I can increase my DOF from less than 1 cm to at least 5 cm at f/9. Great stuff!

Now, if we can get the CamRanger folks to build an AF fine tuning module using their incredible expertise, we would have an iPad alternative to FoCal and FocusTune. Now that would be a win-win.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5751 posts

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#172. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 168

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Wed 27-Mar-13 10:05 AM


>I was taught that once focused on a spot, abut 1/3 of the area
>in front of and 2/3 behind the focused spot would be the depth
>of field. But I don't see people setting up their focus points
>that way and not sure if it is taken into consideration into
>the software programs. But I will admit this would be critical
>for only some situtaions.

The assumption is that while there is a DOF that people tend to think of as "in focus", that the midway point you mention is more-sharp than other areas in that DOF range, and so by locating it the asymmetrical DOF just follows along. So I'd suggest in FoCal your question is handled automatically because it doesn't look at the DOF range, but seeks the critical best focus at a single distance.

In manual adjustments with something like Lens Align that's a bit different, as I think people by eye are seeing the whole DOF range and estimating the mid-point. So in a real sense you are watching the DOF "bubble" of Focus, and moving the fine tune amount until you like where the bubble appears on the ruler. If one doesn't position it so that more is behind than in front, then you aren't really at the best AF value. Of course with a very fast lens this distance is so thin as not to matter much.

>>I have an 85mm f/1.4 lens that I know is off and
>>was kind of tired of dealing with it....

I feel your pain -- I just switch back and forth whether I'm using for portraits or sports, it's a real pain. I'm thinking of sending it to Nikon and see if they can address, but I suspect it's the nature of that lens. Add in a bit of focus shift and there's just no right answer for it.

Linwood

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
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#173. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 167

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Wed 27-Mar-13 12:56 PM

Clint - You can register and post as a non-member - no charge for that.

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KnightPhoto

Alberta, CA
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#174. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 168

KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006
Thu 28-Mar-13 10:47 AM

Sure Clint we were all taught this back in the day:
"I was taught that once focused on a spot, abut 1/3 of the area in front of and 2/3 behind the focused spot would be the depth of field. But I don't see people setting up their focus points that way and not sure if it is taken into consideration into the software programs."

HOWEVER if you run a DOF app or any of the online DOF calculators you will find this 1/3 2/3 "rule of thumb" is rarely the case. I believe the front/back focus zone ratio varies by focal length and subject distance and appears to be most commonly 50/50. Certainly Lens Align guidance is to AF fine tune on a 50/50 basis. I believe you can find this topic on the Lens Align website. Len Align also has a calculator on their site, for use in calculating the distance to tune a given focal length.

Anyhow based on what I've come across in the last few years, I believe that old 1/3 2/3 rule is best left back with the film days

Having said all that, I have sometimes been tempted to bias my fine tuning such that the additional DOF is mostly behind my selected AF point. For example in Theatre, that might work very well for me. But for portrait it would be distracting I think if the subjects nose became out of focus. Maybe for portrait a 2/3 1/3 strategy (i.e. reverse the old rule) could be effective. Tough one to decide and overall a tough subject to wade into

Best regards, SteveK

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Clint S

Chula Vista, US
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#175. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 171

Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011
Thu 28-Mar-13 11:25 PM | edited Thu 28-Mar-13 11:25 PM by Clint S

Keep those FoCal reports coming! Thanks for all the comments. One of these days I'll believe!

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steveZ

Englewood, US
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#176. "RE: Testing of D800 with Reikan's FoCal application" | In response to Reply # 174

steveZ Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2007
Sat 06-Apr-13 04:16 AM

finally did my reiken focal tests. kinda tedious. wish nikon would let them remote control the fine tune settings. anyway, i learned what i feared: optimal settings vary at different zoom focal lengths, and different distances too. I settled on some best compromise numbers, and shots from the field were coming in about 90-95% accurate. much better than my previous numbers at ~60-70% accurate focus, meaning i dont always have to shoot 2 or 3 for 1 anymore. i keep fine tune numbers with me for special lens spaces like macro close, macro far, etc.
Steve Z
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