Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.

Started Jun 17, 2012 | Discussions
GMack
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Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
Jun 17, 2012

Just spotted their Facebook feed (Here: http://www.facebook.com/ReikanFoCal ) and it mentioned the D800 and the differing focus point issues. Seems they are designing a test for all those AF sensors and see if they match up or not. Not yet in the beta build though as it appears they need a new target design.

http://www.reikan.co.uk/focal/mpft.html

Mack

Nikon D800
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SkyDreamer
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to GMack, Jun 17, 2012

Nice thank you. As a FoCal Pro user I will surely test my incoming D800 with that! Nikon service at least will eventually receive a thorough and professional report in case of AF issues.

Cheers!

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to GMack, Jun 17, 2012

A lot depends on whether - or not - the AF target used is suitable for accurate calibration.

The LensAlign right angle "ruler" rightly got shot down in flames at dpreview as being unreliable
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drifter605
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Jun 17, 2012

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

A lot depends on whether - or not - the AF target used is suitable for accurate calibration.

The LensAlign right angle "ruler" rightly got shot down in flames at dpreview as being unreliable
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Leonard Shepherd

99% of photo equipment is good or very good. The main thing to do with it is to learn to use it well.

So which one is reliable to use then?

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SkyDreamer
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Jun 17, 2012

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

A lot depends on whether - or not - the AF target used is suitable for accurate calibration.

The LensAlign right angle "ruler" rightly got shot down in flames at dpreview as being unreliable
--
Leonard Shepherd

99% of photo equipment is good or very good. The main thing to do with it is to learn to use it well.

Hic Rhodus, hic salta. Have a look at Reikan's target in the link above and tell us your opinion. BTW I'm using the FoCal AF targets and they work wonderfully.

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Frank D'Amato
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to SkyDreamer, Jun 17, 2012

I just wish the nikons could be fully controlled like the canons with having the program changing the fine tuning values during testing.

Wonder if we will manually have to change the focus points.

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Kerry Pierce
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Jun 17, 2012

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

The LensAlign right angle "ruler" rightly got shot down in flames at dpreview as being unreliable

Really? Who said it is unreliable, you, a dpr staff member or some of the "experts" in the fora? Why is it unreliable? Perhaps more importantly, why does it work fine for some, but apparently not for others?

Kerry

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Kerry Pierce
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to GMack, Jun 17, 2012

Thanks for the heads up. The new target looks interesting. I wonder how much higher the price will be for the new version. The current Pro version, at 70 pounds, doesn't seem too unreasonable, except that Nikons require manual inputs for some things.

Kerry

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MrWinnieThePooh
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to GMack, Jun 17, 2012

GMack wrote:

Just spotted their Facebook feed (Here: http://www.facebook.com/ReikanFoCal ) and it mentioned the D800 and the differing focus point issues. Seems they are designing a test for all those AF sensors and see if they match up or not. Not yet in the beta build though as it appears they need a new target design.

http://www.reikan.co.uk/focal/mpft.html

Mack

As far as I know Reikan is a one man company - so I don't think this indicates that there will be a shipping product soon. FoCal sounds a good product though - it shows what one person with passion and determination (and good market sense) can achieve.

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michaeladawson
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to Frank D'Amato, Jun 17, 2012

No, you won't. The only manual part of Nikon support is that the AF fine tune value can't be changed in software. All the other tests performed by the software are automated.
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michaeladawson
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to Kerry Pierce, Jun 17, 2012

Don't pay full price. I think his special link page is still there, do a search. You can get the Pro version for about $70 US, not pounds.

Kerry Pierce wrote:

Thanks for the heads up. The new target looks interesting. I wonder how much higher the price will be for the new version. The current Pro version, at 70 pounds, doesn't seem too unreasonable, except that Nikons require manual inputs for some things.

Kerry

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Mike Dawson

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Kerry Pierce
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to michaeladawson, Jun 17, 2012

michaeladawson wrote:

Don't pay full price. I think his special link page is still there, do a search. You can get the Pro version for about $70 US, not pounds.

Thanks for the tip, Mike. I'll see if I can come up with that link. Well, I figured that I'd see what I could find on any discount, before posting this message. I came up with this link, http://www.reikan.co.uk/focal/mbp45/ which is a special page on Reikan's site. As you say, it's a pretty hefty discount, 40 pounds instead of 70, which amounts to $62 US at the current exchange rate.

So, I bought it, figuring that was too good of a deal to pass up.

thanks again,
Kerry

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JediLight
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Jun 17, 2012

In this case I think you are wrong.

Due to the way focal works, the target could be a picture of one of DPRs many cats and it would still do the job. Focal works on taking a series of pictures of the target and statistically determining focus accuracy. This removes most issues around inprecise target and camera setup. (which in my view is why it is the most superior alignment tool out there by a mile). It would then be able to look at the statistical difference in focus accuracy across focus points. Seeing as the same target is used for all focus points this would give you a comparative view across points and then a clear view if you have a problem camera or not and a PDF report to boot for Nikon.

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

A lot depends on whether - or not - the AF target used is suitable for accurate calibration.

The LensAlign right angle "ruler" rightly got shot down in flames at dpreview as being unreliable
--
Leonard Shepherd

99% of photo equipment is good or very good. The main thing to do with it is to learn to use it well.

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Dick Lund
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to JediLight, Jun 17, 2012

Do you have to buy a version for each serial number?????

I have two cameras and third on order.

I contacted them but have had no response and it has been a week

Thank you

dick

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chashertz
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to Dick Lund, Jun 17, 2012

No, you can have up to five registered bodies.

Dick Lund wrote:

Do you have to buy a version for each serial number?????

I have two cameras and third on order.

I contacted them but have had no response and it has been a week

Thank you

dick

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michaeladawson
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Re: Reikan FoCal to address D800 multipoint AF sensor discrepancies.
In reply to Dick Lund, Jun 17, 2012

Supports up to 5 serial numbers at any one time. You get 10 free serial number changes after that. So get all your cameras registered when you order.

Dick Lund wrote:

Do you have to buy a version for each serial number?????

I have two cameras and third on order.

I contacted them but have had no response and it has been a week

Thank you

dick

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Mike Dawson

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carauction
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Re: Reikan FoCal results same as Lens Align?
In reply to MrWinnieThePooh, Jun 18, 2012

Has anyone done a comparison of FoCal numbers tested on the same body, lens, focal length to that of Lens Align? And then checking the bottom line in real world shooting?

Of cause the readout for Lens Align is manual like reading an Eye chart, vs. FoCal software. But theoretically if you have good eyesight, lens align becomes second nature after awhile. Quite frankly, I find Lens Align pretty easy with the Long Ruler...once you get the hang of starting in the ballpark! Of cause for a zoom you need to check a few different lengths, and render your own decisions where to set AF Fine Tune(Canon, Olympus where r u?).

Mike

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carauction
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Re: Reikan FoCal results same as Lens Align?
In reply to carauction, Jun 18, 2012

carauction wrote:

Has anyone done a comparison of FoCal numbers tested on the same body, lens, focal length to that of Lens Align? And then checking the bottom line in real world shooting?

Of cause the readout for Lens Align is manual like reading an Eye chart, vs. FoCal software. But theoretically if you have good eyesight, lens align becomes second nature after awhile. Quite frankly, I find Lens Align pretty easy with the Long Ruler...once you get the hang of starting in the ballpark! Of cause for a zoom you need to check a few different lengths, and render your own decisions where to set AF Fine Tune(Canon, Olympus where r u?).

Mike

Anyone?

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chashertz
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Re: Reikan FoCal results same as Lens Align?
In reply to carauction, Jun 18, 2012

Well, I won’t pretend this is a scientific study, but I’ve done a little testing. Using the most recent version of FoCal Plus, I found significant discrepancies between FoCal and LensAlign results (e.g. with the D800E and AF-S Micro Nikkor 105mm VR, FoCal recommended +4, and LensAlign -11).

I then upgraded to FoCal Pro, and installed the latest beta version, and with this the numbers became much closer. In the example above, FoCal now recommended -10.

The latest beta version is not said to fix any errors like this, so it may have been user error on my part during the first attempt, though I read the manual very carefully, received confirmation of proper target alignment, had the camera on a good tripod, under steady outdoor lighting, VR turned off, etc. etc.

As for “real world,” I consider LensAlign to be “real world,” if assembled properly, lined up carefully, and so on. I mean, you can actually see if you’re front or back focusing, probably more accurately than simply picking a random object and photographing it with various fine tune settings.

Anyway, based on my most recent experience, I’m sticking with FoCal, and relegating LensAlign to the closet.

Plus FoCal has neat extra features, like graphing a lens’ sharpness against aperture; and, hopefully, the upcoming MultiPoint Focus Test.

carauction wrote:

Has anyone done a comparison of FoCal numbers tested on the same body, lens, focal length to that of Lens Align? And then checking the bottom line in real world shooting?

Of cause the readout for Lens Align is manual like reading an Eye chart, vs. FoCal software. But theoretically if you have good eyesight, lens align becomes second nature after awhile. Quite frankly, I find Lens Align pretty easy with the Long Ruler...once you get the hang of starting in the ballpark! Of cause for a zoom you need to check a few different lengths, and render your own decisions where to set AF Fine Tune(Canon, Olympus where r u?).

Mike

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Charles Hertz

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GMack
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Re: Reikan FoCal results same as Lens Align?
In reply to chashertz, Jun 18, 2012

chashertz wrote:

..... the upcoming MultiPoint Focus Test.

I see Reikan posted an alpha test of their multitest setup here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kbwlv1ektnaamy4/MPFT_7D_Alpha.pdf

I guess it is a Canon 7D (from the file name) and 19 AF points being used. I don't recall much of my math statistics, but the Q values must be related somehow? Ideally, I'm guessing they all should be the same Q value (in an "ideal world")?

I can see this as a big headache for the manufacturers as it appears the numbers differ and some may be thinking they should be an exact match. At best, if the AF sensor unit is bad, then the numbers may show an adjacent AF point to be far away from the ones surrounding it - sort of a QC on the sensor itself? If all around it waver, then possibly a lens aberration (e.g. astigmatism) is influencing the sensor.

If the Canon 7D Q-numbers shown are representative, then using the D800/E - if the alignment is indeed whack in some bodies - then how far the Q numbers go before determining it is "Out of Factory Specs" will be something that Nikon or Canon will need to address at some point.

This should get interesting though...and maybe a big headache for Nikon and maybe Canon too.

Noticed that he now suggests "Covering the eyepiece as it influences the metering" which, I guess, could cause issues in the way the software reads the targets (shades of gray?). I did mine in 'manual mode' outdoors so the exposure was locked, and then read in indoors on the computer for the analysis in the software's manual mode.

Mack

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