Canon lenses calibration

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 21,949
Re: Canon lenses calibration

CESA wrote:

Zeee wrote:

CESA wrote:

Zeee wrote:

J A C S wrote:

Why are you doing this? Do you see AF problems?

One of the mistakes people make is to do the calibration with the target too close. This would create more problems than it would solve - been there, done that.

This is very true. That is why I called that PDF link the most comprehensive document. I had lots of links to various Canon information. Some said 50X, others said at location, etc. Even the manuals say best to MFA at location. Then add all the home made versions, etc. There were just too many options which was one reason I never liked MFA. FoCal which follows the sensor parallel to target method made my life easier. I followed it's minimal distance recommendations.

Just use the lenses you normally would and inspect the shots carefully for AF errors. Do MA only if you see consistent front or back focus.

Hi both.

I have purchased the FoCal software to perform the AFMA to my lenses specially the 85mm f1.2.

I have done several tests including at different distances or in this case at 2.7m and 3.1m.

The AFMA returned AFMA value of +5. Nothing like the +17 that I was talking about. But there is a catch.

After performing this calibration, I went out to take some close shots or in this full body and some half chest shoots (what's that, 1m and 1.5m or so) and pictures were not perfectly sharp.

Changed the AFMA to +17 and bang on at those distances (half-chest and full body).

Followed everything they recommend with exception of using their target, the ones they sell which I am still waiting for delivery. to repeat the tests. I have printed the target at the local supermarket so it is what it is and don't know if it is suitable. But have repeated the test several times and it was more or less consistent in the sense that the AFMA that returned were pretty close +5 and one time said between +4 and +6 but then ended up in +5 after continuing the test.

Actually, before performing the tests I went out and had the AFMA set to +5 and pictures taken at say 2m or 2.5m were not 100% in focus/sharp f1.2 and f2.

Now, next time I am gonna take a walk will change the AFMA to +17 and will do some tests.

Will also perform the test at 1.5m and see if the camera will show the same AFMA that I got by doing real life tests.

That being said I question the efficacy of this software.

Well known Dustin Abbott has mentioned in one of his videos showing how to calibrate lenses that some of the setting FoCal came out after the test he didn't agree.

The testing conditions, lighting specially probably influence a lot the outcome as well.

I am wondering at which extend this software usefull or not. But had to get it to see by myself. Dustin teaches how to perform the test manually using their targets and the LIVE VIEW shot as starting point.

Additionally did the best aperture and also the AF consistency and they were not consistent as well. That is the best aperture for the sharpest aperture, it gave me different values test at different distances from the target (see above) and the AF consistency gave me slight differences but I was expecting to be the same.

Any comments?

Not sure what to say about that part. It has always been bang on for me. I took me 3 days to settle on +13 for my 7D2, 100-400 II and 1.4 @ 560mm. FoCal gave me +13 in 5 minutes. It took me 3 days because I always second guess myself. Maybe they can do a refund I you don't like the product.

On the other hand +17 is a lot IMO. I would not except that. I purchased a 70-200 2.8 II and it needed about +15 at 200mm without a TC on two bodies. I purchased FoCal specifically to verify it. Two Canon techs at New Jersey service told me that with high numbers like that use MFA to get by but it should be serviced. They found a mis-calibrated board.

Back to the 7D2, 100-400 II and 1.4. Without the TC it only needed +3. The TC on primes needed very little as well so it wasn't the TC and the lens was fine. I could only conclude that since the 100-400 II has many moving parts it could be in spec but some components are on one end or the other of said spec. I wasn't sure what Canon could so I decided to leave that particular lens TC combo alone. That was the only exception I have made to date. I know of one more person that had those same results.

Thanks for your valuable comment.

The 85mm was bought from an used shop - don't know if I have referred that in this thread. It has now passed the return date - however it has got a 1 year warranty on it.

Despite this, I called canon and asked to speak to a technician. Cutting the long story short he said to not worry about it. If it required +17 it is fine and that is way the AFMA exists. Another question that I did was that how likely would the existing AFMA range in the cameras be enough after the lens gets used more and more and he just said that this wouldn't happen.

That is not what they told me and I called them twice about it.

Marco, another user in another thread I think he said that sending the lens to canon to get serviced might do more harm than good. If it would be a problem with the board calibration and not related to moving parts or alignment probably that would not be a problem.

I have found Canon service quite good but that is for you to choose. I have my own views on this  which are basically I didn't spend $2,000 + to get a mis-calibrated lens.

In your case, the examples you are giving is related to telephoto lens, like big telephoto lens that in principle are used to shoot very far objects where the DoF is big anyway. So one would expect focal to work properly.

This is true. Perhaps the need for +17 and the shallow DOF may be a factor. I would contact FoCal. I have read they request different test results to analyze them, if you want to go through that.

But in my case what I am doing is calibrating a lens at a given distance that ok, I might use it, but will be likely to be used at smaller distances that the calibrated one.

I will repeat the test again when the targets arrive at the recommended distance of 3.5m and at 1.5m and see the outcome. If the AFMA setting comes out to be around the same +17 value then I would not be suspicious of the software but if it comes out different I will have to rethink if this software is somewhat useful with exception of telephoto lens.

I don't want to give you incorrect information and get to you spend your money on something you aren't happy with. When it first came out it was a little inconsistent but Version 2 (last time I checked) they put a lot of effort to improve accuracy. There are a lot of good reviews about it.  I have not come across too many negative ones.

Ideally it would be nice to test the lens on another body and see if it requires the same amount. Just out of curiosity has this happened to you? With other lens besides the one on the example you gave above? Is this even possible? If it is possible it means that the 'problem' is in the body?

No. My camera bodies and lenses have been pretty consistent only requiring a small adjustment. Fine tuning which is what I believe MFA is for. With the TC and that lens  both my 7D2 and 5D4 needed big moves. I would try it on another body if you can just to rule things out.

How likely would they accept to take in the lens to verify JUST if it is some mis-calibrated board? Provided every lens has got one?

I don't know if it has one or not. I don't know much about lenses.

Thanks in advance.

No problem. If I don't reply for a while we are heading out for supper.

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 21,949
Re: Canon lenses calibration

Zeee wrote:

CESA wrote:

Zeee wrote:

CESA wrote:

Zeee wrote:

J A C S wrote:

Why are you doing this? Do you see AF problems?

One of the mistakes people make is to do the calibration with the target too close. This would create more problems than it would solve - been there, done that.

This is very true. That is why I called that PDF link the most comprehensive document. I had lots of links to various Canon information. Some said 50X, others said at location, etc. Even the manuals say best to MFA at location. Then add all the home made versions, etc. There were just too many options which was one reason I never liked MFA. FoCal which follows the sensor parallel to target method made my life easier. I followed it's minimal distance recommendations.

Just use the lenses you normally would and inspect the shots carefully for AF errors. Do MA only if you see consistent front or back focus.

Hi both.

I have purchased the FoCal software to perform the AFMA to my lenses specially the 85mm f1.2.

I have done several tests including at different distances or in this case at 2.7m and 3.1m.

The AFMA returned AFMA value of +5. Nothing like the +17 that I was talking about. But there is a catch.

After performing this calibration, I went out to take some close shots or in this full body and some half chest shoots (what's that, 1m and 1.5m or so) and pictures were not perfectly sharp.

Changed the AFMA to +17 and bang on at those distances (half-chest and full body).

Followed everything they recommend with exception of using their target, the ones they sell which I am still waiting for delivery. to repeat the tests. I have printed the target at the local supermarket so it is what it is and don't know if it is suitable. But have repeated the test several times and it was more or less consistent in the sense that the AFMA that returned were pretty close +5 and one time said between +4 and +6 but then ended up in +5 after continuing the test.

Actually, before performing the tests I went out and had the AFMA set to +5 and pictures taken at say 2m or 2.5m were not 100% in focus/sharp f1.2 and f2.

Now, next time I am gonna take a walk will change the AFMA to +17 and will do some tests.

Will also perform the test at 1.5m and see if the camera will show the same AFMA that I got by doing real life tests.

That being said I question the efficacy of this software.

Well known Dustin Abbott has mentioned in one of his videos showing how to calibrate lenses that some of the setting FoCal came out after the test he didn't agree.

The testing conditions, lighting specially probably influence a lot the outcome as well.

I am wondering at which extend this software usefull or not. But had to get it to see by myself. Dustin teaches how to perform the test manually using their targets and the LIVE VIEW shot as starting point.

Additionally did the best aperture and also the AF consistency and they were not consistent as well. That is the best aperture for the sharpest aperture, it gave me different values test at different distances from the target (see above) and the AF consistency gave me slight differences but I was expecting to be the same.

Any comments?

Not sure what to say about that part. It has always been bang on for me. I took me 3 days to settle on +13 for my 7D2, 100-400 II and 1.4 @ 560mm. FoCal gave me +13 in 5 minutes. It took me 3 days because I always second guess myself. Maybe they can do a refund I you don't like the product.

On the other hand +17 is a lot IMO. I would not except that. I purchased a 70-200 2.8 II and it needed about +15 at 200mm without a TC on two bodies. I purchased FoCal specifically to verify it. Two Canon techs at New Jersey service told me that with high numbers like that use MFA to get by but it should be serviced. They found a mis-calibrated board.

Back to the 7D2, 100-400 II and 1.4. Without the TC it only needed +3. The TC on primes needed very little as well so it wasn't the TC and the lens was fine. I could only conclude that since the 100-400 II has many moving parts it could be in spec but some components are on one end or the other of said spec. I wasn't sure what Canon could so I decided to leave that particular lens TC combo alone. That was the only exception I have made to date. I know of one more person that had those same results.

Thanks for your valuable comment.

The 85mm was bought from an used shop - don't know if I have referred that in this thread. It has now passed the return date - however it has got a 1 year warranty on it.

Despite this, I called canon and asked to speak to a technician. Cutting the long story short he said to not worry about it. If it required +17 it is fine and that is way the AFMA exists. Another question that I did was that how likely would the existing AFMA range in the cameras be enough after the lens gets used more and more and he just said that this wouldn't happen.

That is not what they told me and I called them twice about it.

I have a few minutes. In fact they encouraged me to send it in but that was 5 years ago. Hard times for camera manufacturers because of phone cameras. Maybe they were told to tone that down a bit to keep costs down. That was Canon USA.

Marco, another user in another thread I think he said that sending the lens to canon to get serviced might do more harm than good. If it would be a problem with the board calibration and not related to moving parts or alignment probably that would not be a problem.

I have found Canon service quite good but that is for you to choose. I have my own views on this which are basically I didn't spend $2,000 + to get a mis-calibrated lens.

In your case, the examples you are giving is related to telephoto lens, like big telephoto lens that in principle are used to shoot very far objects where the DoF is big anyway. So one would expect focal to work properly.

This is true. Perhaps the need for +17 and the shallow DOF may be a factor. I would contact FoCal. I have read they request different test results to analyze them, if you want to go through that.

But in my case what I am doing is calibrating a lens at a given distance that ok, I might use it, but will be likely to be used at smaller distances that the calibrated one.

I will repeat the test again when the targets arrive at the recommended distance of 3.5m and at 1.5m and see the outcome. If the AFMA setting comes out to be around the same +17 value then I would not be suspicious of the software but if it comes out different I will have to rethink if this software is somewhat useful with exception of telephoto lens.

I don't want to give you incorrect information and get to you spend your money on something you aren't happy with. When it first came out it was a little inconsistent but Version 2 (last time I checked) they put a lot of effort to improve accuracy. There are a lot of good reviews about it. I have not come across too many negative ones.

Ideally it would be nice to test the lens on another body and see if it requires the same amount. Just out of curiosity has this happened to you? With other lens besides the one on the example you gave above? Is this even possible? If it is possible it means that the 'problem' is in the body?

No. My camera bodies and lenses have been pretty consistent only requiring a small adjustment. Fine tuning which is what I believe MFA is for. With the TC and that lens both my 7D2 and 5D4 needed big moves. I would try it on another body if you can just to rule things out.

How likely would they accept to take in the lens to verify JUST if it is some mis-calibrated board? Provided every lens has got one?

I don't know if it has one or not. I don't know much about lenses.

Thanks in advance.

No problem. If I don't reply for a while we are heading out for supper.

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Ken60 Senior Member • Posts: 2,282
Re: Canon lenses calibration

Forgive me if I repeat things, ( did not have time to read all back posts)

If you look at the Focal target it has a line of a very specific length at the top. It is important that whomever prints this target does it to the size as specified, and the target is the correct length.

If you have a mate with a good quality inkjet, that understands printing, buy them a beer ..... a good target is important, as is keeping it flat and true to the camera.  Next thing to do is remember that nothing beats good diffused daylight, no shadows or bright bits. Keep the light levels up, fluorescent flicker, led lighting and levels that require mid length shutter speeds are a problem. Read all the instructions and follow to the letter. Focal checks for your distance to target and warns you . I use the Pro version , has a few extra bits and will calibrate longer lenses.

This program diagnosed a fault in a lens I owned, it noted the change in the specifics of several tests and warned me to get it serviced ! Great bit of kit if you follow every instruction, waste of time if you are sloppy.

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OP CESA Regular Member • Posts: 477
Re: Canon lenses calibration

Ken60 wrote:

Forgive me if I repeat things, ( did not have time to read all back posts)

If you look at the Focal target it has a line of a very specific length at the top. It is important that whomever prints this target does it to the size as specified, and the target is the correct length.

If you have a mate with a good quality inkjet, that understands printing, buy them a beer ..... a good target is important, as is keeping it flat and true to the camera. Next thing to do is remember that nothing beats good diffused daylight, no shadows or bright bits. Keep the light levels up, fluorescent flicker, led lighting and levels that require mid length shutter speeds are a problem. Read all the instructions and follow to the letter. Focal checks for your distance to target and warns you . I use the Pro version , has a few extra bits and will calibrate longer lenses.

This program diagnosed a fault in a lens I owned, it noted the change in the specifics of several tests and warned me to get it serviced ! Great bit of kit if you follow every instruction, waste of time if you are sloppy.

Thanks for you input.

I was doing basically everything that focal requires with the exception using their target so I printed out the target on the supermarket close by and did some experiments.

3.7m, 3.5m, 2m and 1.5m.

The length of the line has been introduced on the software.

The lighting they say it really doesn't matter if it is daylight or artificia l light. I have used a room with very good lighting overall although have added an additional lamp close to the target not making it even across the target but don't thing this would cause any problem.

The shutter speed was around 1/250m. The target distance of 2m and 1.5m were done on top of a carpet floor but have used a 2kg weight on the tripod to make it more sturdy.

Conclusion that I have reached after the second attempt.

The software couldn't reach any conclusion at 1.5m.

at 2m came up with AFMA of +9.

at 3.5m +6 and at 3.7m +5. So, at the recommended distance the AFMA setting can be said to be around that +5/+6.

I left this setting and shot another photo at 2m and 1.5m they were out of focus.

At 3.5m and 3.7m the test shots I did were good.

Switched back the AFMA to +9 and did some test shots at the above mentioned distances 3.7m, 3.5m, 2m and 1.5m and all of them were very nice.

Didn't do any AF consistency where the quality of the focus is assessed (the best one was close to QoF=2050 can't remember with which setting) at all those distances with the AFMA setting at +9.

When the FoCal targets arrive I will perform again all these tests with a more even light around the target besides the ones on the ceiling (there are two) and will test the QoF at the given AFMA setting that the software comes up with and see what do I get. Probably will do it before any AFMA calibration just to check and have a baseline although based in previous tests.

The AFMA of +9 seems to fit all distances but need to do some real life outdoor shoots to assess this.

At that setting the QoF on some quick shots inside the house to a person at 1.2m, 1.5m and 2m seemed ok. Will have to try it at 3.7m as well.

In the past I was using +18 because I did it on the fly at the working distance and the QoF was excellent at 1.2m, 1.5m and 2m. Will make a comparison as well on this +9 vs +18. Don't know if it is a false perception or what. Need to check the eyelashes and eye.

Will probably use the software to make this comparison with the target +9 vs +18 and 1.5m.

I think that's it. Feel free to comment please.

Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 21,949
Re: Canon lenses calibration

CESA wrote:

Ken60 wrote:

Forgive me if I repeat things, ( did not have time to read all back posts)

If you look at the Focal target it has a line of a very specific length at the top. It is important that whomever prints this target does it to the size as specified, and the target is the correct length.

If you have a mate with a good quality inkjet, that understands printing, buy them a beer ..... a good target is important, as is keeping it flat and true to the camera. Next thing to do is remember that nothing beats good diffused daylight, no shadows or bright bits. Keep the light levels up, fluorescent flicker, led lighting and levels that require mid length shutter speeds are a problem. Read all the instructions and follow to the letter. Focal checks for your distance to target and warns you . I use the Pro version , has a few extra bits and will calibrate longer lenses.

This program diagnosed a fault in a lens I owned, it noted the change in the specifics of several tests and warned me to get it serviced ! Great bit of kit if you follow every instruction, waste of time if you are sloppy.

Thanks for you input.

I was doing basically everything that focal requires with the exception using their target so I printed out the target on the supermarket close by and did some experiments.

3.7m, 3.5m, 2m and 1.5m.

The length of the line has been introduced on the software.

The lighting they say it really doesn't matter if it is daylight or artificia l light. I have used a room with very good lighting overall although have added an additional lamp close to the target not making it even across the target but don't thing this would cause any problem.

As long as it isn't fluorescent or LED. Not sure about LED. It is in the manual.

The shutter speed was around 1/250m. The target distance of 2m and 1.5m were done on top of a carpet floor but have used a 2kg weight on the tripod to make it more sturdy.

Conclusion that I have reached after the second attempt.

The software couldn't reach any conclusion at 1.5m.

at 2m came up with AFMA of +9.

at 3.5m +6 and at 3.7m +5. So, at the recommended distance the AFMA setting can be said to be around that +5/+6.

I left this setting and shot another photo at 2m and 1.5m they were out of focus.

At 3.5m and 3.7m the test shots I did were good.

Switched back the AFMA to +9 and did some test shots at the above mentioned distances 3.7m, 3.5m, 2m and 1.5m and all of them were very nice.

Didn't do any AF consistency where the quality of the focus is assessed (the best one was close to QoF=2050 can't remember with which setting) at all those distances with the AFMA setting at +9.

When the FoCal targets arrive I will perform again all these tests with a more even light around the target besides the ones on the ceiling (there are two) and will test the QoF at the given AFMA setting that the software comes up with and see what do I get. Probably will do it before any AFMA calibration just to check and have a baseline although based in previous tests.

The AFMA of +9 seems to fit all distances but need to do some real life outdoor shoots to assess this.

At that setting the QoF on some quick shots inside the house to a person at 1.2m, 1.5m and 2m seemed ok. Will have to try it at 3.7m as well.

In the past I was using +18 because I did it on the fly at the working distance and the QoF was excellent at 1.2m, 1.5m and 2m. Will make a comparison as well on this +9 vs +18. Don't know if it is a false perception or what. Need to check the eyelashes and eye.

Will probably use the software to make this comparison with the target +9 vs +18 and 1.5m.

I think that's it. Feel free to comment please.

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Ken60 Senior Member • Posts: 2,282
Re: Canon lenses calibration

I had a lens that produced similar issues with varying results, cost me a repair bill for a rebuild and a couple of parts.

Lighting is relevant, if you are using a lens for landscape I would suggest calibrating in daylight..... the longer wavelengths of tungsten will make a difference.  As you are aware so are the issues with slower speeds induced by often lowish lighting indoors.  They also suggest working at the distances most used in practice...... so making a macro lens perfect at 15 feet is not the best plan.    Pray for a bright cloudy day , with a constant EV.

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OP CESA Regular Member • Posts: 477
Re: Canon lenses calibration

Ken60 wrote:

I had a lens that produced similar issues with varying results, cost me a repair bill for a rebuild and a couple of parts.

Does this mean that whatever the distance you calibrate the results should be the same?

Lighting is relevant, if you are using a lens for landscape I would suggest calibrating in daylight..... the longer wavelengths of tungsten will make a difference. As you are aware so are the issues with slower speeds induced by often lowish lighting indoors. They also suggest working at the distances most used in practice...... so making a macro lens perfect at 15 feet is not the best plan. Pray for a bright cloudy day , with a constant EV.

True.

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 21,949
Re: Canon lenses calibration

CESA wrote:

Ken60 wrote:

I had a lens that produced similar issues with varying results, cost me a repair bill for a rebuild and a couple of parts.

Does this mean that whatever the distance you calibrate the results should be the same?

Distance effects MFA results. That is why it is recommended

1. At Location

2. Distance you normally shoot at

3. 50X

Lighting is relevant, if you are using a lens for landscape I would suggest calibrating in daylight..... the longer wavelengths of tungsten will make a difference. As you are aware so are the issues with slower speeds induced by often lowish lighting indoors. They also suggest working at the distances most used in practice...... so making a macro lens perfect at 15 feet is not the best plan. Pray for a bright cloudy day , with a constant EV.

True.

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Qimmiq Regular Member • Posts: 138
Re: Canon lenses calibration

I tried several times using a print out from the web at a 45° angle but was never happy with the results. I then used the Dot Tune method and it worked much better for me.

My lenses didn't need too much adjustment:

15-85 (-4 / -3)

24 (-1)

40 (+2)

70-200 (-4 / -4)

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Ken60 Senior Member • Posts: 2,282
Re: Canon lenses calibration

On a good lens it should be very similar.... I am sure the circle of confusion thing will allow for small changes , as does aperture induced DOF..;... however if you have huge variations there is a good chance of an issue.   In the Pro version of Raiken  you will see a way of checking the variations and doing a report on the lens.  Have a try at this and see the suggestions they make.

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Ken60 Senior Member • Posts: 2,282
Re: Canon lenses calibration

Reikan Focal is quite different to the 45 degree method, in most instances it is almost automatic. There are however several hugely important requirements, firstly follow every instruction to the letter. Like all forms of scientific testing , crap in crap out ! Simple things like a poor tripod, with the slightest movement, not blocking the rear eyepiece, using the wrong lightsource , working at shutter speeds where mirror slap is more important to stability , leaving the battery grip on the camera. or a lot of other almost miniscule things in our minds, will make a change to the results..... If you make a different mistake each time the result will differ each time.

Blaming yourself is the obvious path for the perfectionist..... don't forget lenses wear, and poor ones lack accuracy!

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 21,949
Re: Canon lenses calibration

Qimmiq wrote:

I tried several times using a print out from the web at a 45° angle but was never happy with the results. I then used the Dot Tune method and it worked much better for me.

My lenses didn't need too much adjustment:

15-85 (-4 / -3)

24 (-1)

40 (+2)

70-200 (-4 / -4)

The Dot Tune is a decent method but I found it inconsistent which were environmental conditions I think. Last time I chatted with the  author he was doing MFA at infinity so I did that. Using roof tops and street signs. It is usually windy where I live which is why it was probably giving me different results on different days. There was atmospheric distortion to consider and winter so I couldn't use it for 3 months.

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 21,949
Re: Canon lenses calibration

Zeee wrote:

Qimmiq wrote:

I tried several times using a print out from the web at a 45° angle but was never happy with the results. I then used the Dot Tune method and it worked much better for me.

My lenses didn't need too much adjustment:

15-85 (-4 / -3)

24 (-1)

40 (+2)

70-200 (-4 / -4)

The Dot Tune is a decent method but I found it inconsistent which were environmental conditions I think. Last time I chatted with the author he was doing MFA at infinity so I did that. Using roof tops and street signs. It is usually windy where I live which is why it was probably giving me different results on different days. There was atmospheric distortion to consider and winter so I couldn't use it for 3 months.

For to say. As I said before 45 degrees was a "thing" when MFA first came out but eventually the consensus was not to use it. A target parallel to the sensor is recommended. Even Lens Align has an angled ruler but uses a flat target to focus on.

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Gridlock347 New Member • Posts: 24
Re: Canon lenses calibration

I've had FoCal for a few years, but since never had any focusing issues, and after reading instructions, it seemed too tedious for me. Then I got a 5DsR and the 50 1.2 L, and started thinking about testing this combo with FoCal. Still haven't gotten around to it, but I was wondering:

Why not simply set up camera on tripod, etc., then take one photo with Live View using the sensor to directly focus the image at max aperture. A $1,000 bill would make a good, detailed subject. Then, take another photo with the mirror down, which will determine focus via the mirror/focusing screen. Then compare the two images. If they are identically sharp, then the mirror-down focusing system is working properly. If the images' sharpness is noticeably different between the two, then an MFA tweek may be needed.

I am assuming that the Live View image would be the best possible sharpness since there is no mirror, etc. between the lens and the sensor that could get out of adjustment.

Any reason this wouldn't work?

 Gridlock347's gear list:Gridlock347's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM +14 more
OP CESA Regular Member • Posts: 477
Re: Canon lenses calibration

Gridlock347 wrote:

I've had FoCal for a few years, but since never had any focusing issues, and after reading instructions, it seemed too tedious for me. Then I got a 5DsR and the 50 1.2 L, and started thinking about testing this combo with FoCal. Still haven't gotten around to it, but I was wondering:

Why not simply set up camera on tripod, etc., then take one photo with Live View using the sensor to directly focus the image at max aperture. A $1,000 bill would make a good, detailed subject. Then, take another photo with the mirror down, which will determine focus via the mirror/focusing screen. Then compare the two images. If they are identically sharp, then the mirror-down focusing system is working properly. If the images' sharpness is noticeably different between the two, then an MFA tweek may be needed.

I am assuming that the Live View image would be the best possible sharpness since there is no mirror, etc. between the lens and the sensor that could get out of adjustment.

Any reason this wouldn't work?

Depends on what lens you are calibrating I guess. It would be interesting to see what results do you get after calibrating.

That's indeed another method in which Dustin Abbott suggests in one of his tutorials. I didn't do it like that but the problem here that I am facing with FoCal is that at the recommended distance I get +5. At the minimum working distance I get +18. An in between I get around+10.

Problem is, which distance do you use? If I was shooting say at the minimum distance of 3m, then calibrating the lens at 3.7m wouldn't be an issue and wouldn't see any problem in million years and that's is probably what people in here are saying when they refer that don't see any problems. The question I would have for them is: Do you calibrate at the recommended distance and have you shot at the minimum distance?

This prissily what I am facing. With AFMA setting at 0, at all distances from minimum working to 3.7m (recommended) images are soft. When I calibrate at recommended distance when I go and take pictures at the minimum working distance 1.2m to 1.5m the images are soft. When I calibrate the lens at 2m the images are good and ok going to 1.5m. With that same setting at 3.7 images are all right. Of course at 3.7m I am not getting the full potential of the lens because FoCal says it is +5. But +5 at 1.2m images are not really sharp/focused 100% so not taking full potential of the lens.

At 2m which is the sort of middle ground I get +9 and that reveals to be an ok compromise but never will take the lens full potential at the minimum wokring distance neither at recommended testing distance which is more or less the limit for full body type of shot.

I don't know if this is a problem with the AF of my 6D, which I got used from an used shop with 1 year warranty. Maybe it is the nature of the lens.

Calibrating at 2m and using it at 1.2m the images are not at full potential but are ok now going to 3.7m and shoot at that distance with the AFMA setting from the 2m calibration probalby shouldn't be a problem as well. That one haven't tried yet - shooting at 3.7m with the 2m calibration value.

It would be interesting to see what you get with your 50mm f/1.2 which I plan to get as well at some point in time.

Using live view, although slow, it is bang on.

If I have the time will try to do that, manually calibrate the lent even if I have to go one AFMA step at the time (from 0 to +20 since the lens isn't back focusing) at 3 distances. Curious to see if the results will be the same as FoCal. But for now will have to go with what focal is telling me.

BTW, at 1m to 1.5m the ideal AFMA value is +18. Images are tack sharp. Eyelashes don't lie. But I guess all this thing with the mirror used for AF is all ambiguous and it shows their flaws at big aprtures: f/1, f/1.2 and f/1.4. That's is why mirrorless are the future although it will take some time for Canon RF glass price get to the current EF price point.

Using live view probably hould suffice in cameras like the 6DMK2 in which the screen is fully articulated with face detection where shots with this lens are tack sharp or any other like the 5DMK3 and MK4.

Cheers

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