Reikan Focal

Started Oct 4, 2012 | Discussions
Nigel Ward 2
Regular MemberPosts: 107
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Reikan Focal
Oct 4, 2012

Has anyone used this PC program for calibrating their D800?

Is it a fancy way of going about what you can do with a pencil and paper?

Is it any good?  I can't find any reliable reviews...

I asked the advice from Nikon support about calibration, and they accidentally sent me 2 emails from different people...offering completely different advice on calibration methods!

Nikon D800
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bwheeler350
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Re: Reikan Focal
In reply to Nigel Ward 2, Oct 4, 2012

I have seen favorable comments from users with other cameras. My experience was not so favorable. This interchange below was on August 27. I haven't seen evidence of the issue being fixed yet.

> I have Nikon D800 and FoCal 1.6 with inability to use. My laptop is

> from before USB3 specifications. When I connect the camera with

> the cable that came with it, FoCal recognizes the camera and the lens.

> But LiveView does not display in FoCal windows, target set up is

> unavailable, and I am unable to use any of the FoCal functions.

> Another product, CameraRC, does communicate fully with the D800 over

> the same cable. What can I do to have FoCal function corectly?

>

We believe there is a bug which occasionally affects D800 and 5Dmk3 users related to Live View which we are looking into.  Keep checking on the website to be updated on progress.

Kind regards, and apologies for the problems you're having.

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Noirist
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Re: Reikan Focal
In reply to Nigel Ward 2, Oct 5, 2012

I've used Reikan Focal to calibrate the D4 autofocus for my lenses.  I found it a disappointing time-consuming highly-variable confidence-shaking experience. Previously I used lensalign and I wouldn't say that Reikan was a material improvement in workflow or results.

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Doublehelix
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Re: Reikan Focal
In reply to Nigel Ward 2, Oct 5, 2012

My results were similar and less than stellar. My biggest problem was that depending on the test, I would get different results at different times, which does not inspire confidence. It has its uses, but I am sorry that i spent the money on the program in its current state.

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James

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michaeladawson
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Re: Reikan Focal
In reply to Nigel Ward 2, Oct 5, 2012

I have had no issues with FoCal.  I have not gotten inconsistent results.  I have used it with a D4 and a D800.  I can't argue with others who say it hasn't worked for them.  It has worked wonderfully for me.  Given my experience with FoCal I wouldnever fiddle around with tools like LensAlign.

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Mike Dawson

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GodSpeaks
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Re: Reikan Focal
In reply to Nigel Ward 2, Oct 5, 2012

Nigel Ward 2 wrote:

Has anyone used this PC program for calibrating their D800?

 Yes, on my D800E
 

Is it a fancy way of going about what you can do with a pencil and paper?

 I suppose, but, to me, it takes the guess work out of trying to decide the correct setting. The program makes it's decision based on calculations from images it takes during the procedure. And, it is much faster than trying to do it manually (at least it would be for me). Finally, if you get the Pro version, it produces some very nice reports of everything it did. 

Is it any good?  I can't find any reliable reviews...

I think it's pretty good (not perfect, it does have it's quirks).  I will allow you to calibrate a bag of lenses in an afternoon, once you get familiar with the program and get everything set up properly (ie: lighting).I give it two thumbs up
 
 
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GodSpeaks
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Re: Reikan Focal
In reply to michaeladawson, Oct 5, 2012

michaeladawson wrote:

I have had no issues with FoCal.  I have not gotten inconsistent results.  I have used it with a D4 and a D800.  I can't argue with others who say it hasn't worked for them.  It has worked wonderfully for me.  Given my experience with FoCal I wouldnever fiddle around with tools like LensAlign.

I agree.  I did find when I first got the program that it took (me) quite a bit of time to sort out the quirks in the software before I started to get reliable and consistant results.

I also misunderstood the instruction manual, which a few emails with the author sorted out.

But once I figured it out, it became very easy to use.  Like you, I would not waste my time with products like LensAlign.

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michaeladawson
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Re: Reikan Focal
In reply to Nigel Ward 2, Oct 5, 2012

If you decide to buy the software I would say two things.

1. You need to print the target big.  You need 13x19 prints of the target.  And print on matte paper.

2. Run the calibration at appropriate distances.  50x focal length for shorter lenses and 25x fl for telephoto lenses.  This is why you need to print the target big.

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Mike Dawson

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rgolub
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Re: Reikan Focal
In reply to michaeladawson, Oct 5, 2012

I'd have to agree - it's a bit fiddly to set up; any sort of repeatable high accuracy testing rig will be.  The results actually are quite repeatable, I've taken the several camera and lens combinations and tested them several times.  The actual AF fine focus value hasn't changed more than +/- 2 points.  The other values seem to be pretty repeatable as well and the results in general agree with my Lens Align set up.

I have not had much luck using the focus pre adjustments - can't recall the exact terms he use and I don't have the program with me at the moment, but FoCal can estimate where the best fine tune value will lie - I've found it much more accurate to just set the value in the camera and recheck.  It's a bit tedious but this isn't something one does on a regular basis.

You certainly don't NEED FoCal to set up AF fine tuning - you can do it very simply with a tripod or two and a decent target, but it's fun to get the extra info.  It seems like the program is better tuned to Canon's since they allow the fine tune value to be set automatically.  But that's not Reikan's fault - It's Nikon's.  I've been using Imatest for the past 3 years so it's obvious that I'm into serious gearheadedness.  FoCal really strikes a chord for me, YMMV.

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RG www.lostrange.com

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1greyscale
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Re: Reikan Focal
In reply to rgolub, Oct 5, 2012

FWIW, just saw this ,

http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/index.php/2012/10/focal-nikon-support-update/

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greyscale

PS: works fine for me on Windows Vista Pro, cant wait for the Mac version to be finalized.

D700 and D800E

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samjstern
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In regards to calibration
In reply to michaeladawson, Oct 5, 2012

Canon recommends that you use X 50 the focal length for calibration

The LensAlignPro says that you should the test at run X 25.

FoCal says you can also run the test at a distance where you take most of your shots.

Below is the chart I use, I use the X25 focal length.  For the X50, just double my chart

Lens

Distance

24mm

2ft




28mm

2.5ft




35mm

3ft




50mm

4ft


105mm

9ft


135mm

11ft


150mm

12ft




200mm

16ft




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Sam
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Nigel Ward 2
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Re: In regards to calibration
In reply to samjstern, Oct 5, 2012

samjstern wrote:

Canon recommends that you use X 50 the focal length for calibration

The LensAlignPro says that you should the test at run X 25.

FoCal says you can also run the test at a distance where you take most of your shots.

Below is the chart I use, I use the X25 focal length.  For the X50, just double my chart

Lens

Distance

24mm

2ft




28mm

2.5ft




35mm

3ft




50mm

4ft


105mm

9ft


135mm

11ft


150mm

12ft




200mm

16ft




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Sam
www.samjsternphotography.com

Those figures are really handy! Thanks!

I had 2 emails from Nikon support...one said to set my lens at the widest setting...the other email said to stop the lens down to it's best centre performance (usually 5.6) I'm confused!

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samjstern
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Re: In regards to calibration
In reply to Nigel Ward 2, Oct 5, 2012

Calibration is relatively new.  Everyone does it differently.

I usually set the aperture to its widest and calibrate that way.

Then I double check by stopping down to f4 or so and just checking.

At 5.6 , i think you could get a false reading, that is really off at f 2.8.

Make sure your target is parallel to the focal plane of the camera, on a tripod, and at a low ISO, and a fast enough shutter to get no shake.

I can then zoom in on the target,( on the LCD) and see what it looks like.

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Sam
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CarlC
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Re: Reikan Focal
In reply to Nigel Ward 2, Oct 18, 2012

Thank you for the thread.  Excellent feedback and just what I was looking for.  Bookmarking but I do appreciate all the excellent feedback.

Just an amateur http://www.moosehead.smugmug.com

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John Harrison
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Re: Reikan Focal
In reply to Nigel Ward 2, Oct 20, 2012

It has always given me inconsistent results. After the latest update for some reason it will not run at all.

I opened a support ticket with Reikan and had that ticket closed twice with no help offered.

I feel it was a waste of money could be better spent elsewhere.

I had hoped for better but I keep returning the AFMA back to zero.

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