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D800 AF testing & calibration software


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ljordan316

Inverness, US
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ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sun 01-Jul-12 02:09 PM

This is a review of the FoCal auto focus software that you can use to test your D800/D800E for auto focus issues and to fine tune the focusing for each of your lens.

Software type: Auto-Focus Fine Tuning Software

Vendor: Reikan Technology

Price: US$71.82 with Internet discount

Website: http://www.reikan.co.uk

Current Version: 1.4.4

Beta Test Website for Pro owners: http://www.reikan.co.uk/rtlwebmain/ipn/license.aspx

System Review:

I am providing review information below for the Pro beta version 118 of the software because I believe this will be more useful for D800/D800E owners than the current commercial release version 1.4.4.

Pros:
- Supports both D800 and D800E
- Provides individual sensor focus testing of all 51 D800/D800E sensors
- Provides accurate AF Fine Tuning calibration for Nikon lens 14mm thru 200mm
- Provides aperture sharpness testing with graphs that can be saved/printed
- Provides auto focus consistency testing with graphs that can be saved/printed
- Provides sensor dust analysis

Cons:
- AF Fine Tuning procedure not accurate for Nikon 200-400mm f4 lens
- Out-of-memory errors sometimes requires test re-start
- Documentation is not clear for D800/D800E owners
- Proper target printing and lighting are critical to successful use of the software
- Only supports manual AF Fine Tuning change mode for D800/D800E
- Beta versions expire requiring re-installation of a new beta or commercial release version
- Only available for Windows users

Conclusions:

If you are willing to contend with documentation that is unclear for D00/D800E owners and software errors that cause you to start over with some tests, you can test and compare the focus accuracy of all 51 sensor points. Determining the relative accuracy of sensor points will help you:
- Decide whether you need a Nikon repair AF repair
- Select the focus sensors you will use when capturing images (this will change the way you focus)

You can also get really accurate AF Fine Tuning for Nikon lens up to 200mm. The AF Fine Tuning you save in the camera for each lens will help you get much better image capture results because the focus point will be where you select and in the center of the depth of field you choose through aperture selection.

You can also get a great indication of the image quality you can capture at various lens apertures. For each lens you test you will know the price you will pay in image quality as you increase f-stop to increase depth of field with that lens. Comparing the image quality you can capture with each lens can also help you select a specific lens to match your subject.

Finally, you can see how much dust you have on your sensor and the likelihood that it will cause image capture 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/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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