Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Digital Cameras & Shooting Techniques => Topic started by: BJNY on October 22, 2012, 01:42:06 PM

Title: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: BJNY on October 22, 2012, 01:42:06 PM
Available soon according to:

http://michaeltapesdesign.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f8521fb2d193e9631d5ed79a&id=73c8ea5a33&e=d9eef36e7c
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: Ellis Vener on October 22, 2012, 04:14:25 PM
interesting.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: dwdallam on October 22, 2012, 06:16:14 PM
Sounds great. Can't wait to see a full explanation as t how this works.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: Rhossydd on October 23, 2012, 04:03:08 AM
Interesting, but..
"It does not require tethering to a camera"
So probably not a competitor for FoCal which I understand should automate this type of process.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: RFPhotography on October 23, 2012, 08:44:22 AM
Why wouldn't it be a competitor to FoCal just because it's not fully automated?  Seems that the two solutions are doing much the same thing.  One is more automated than the other so it then becomes the choice of the customer which approach they prefer.  Based on what I've seen here on LuLa wrt FoCal and some Nikon bodies, the process isn't fully automated anyway because Nikon doesn't allow full access to the programming of the camera through its SDK so users have to manually adjust the focus tune settings anyway when using FoCal.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: Rhossydd on October 23, 2012, 10:55:38 AM
Why wouldn't it be a competitor to FoCal just because it's not fully automated? 
That's exactly the reason.
From what I've read FoCal takes all the drudgery out of setting MFA.
If you're going to have to manually shoot loads of shots at different settings, it's not that much more trouble to wade through the images yourself to find the best settings.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: RFPhotography on October 23, 2012, 11:42:16 AM
Well, as noted with, at least, some Nikon bodies it appears the process is not fully automated anyway.

Aside from that, I guess there's no accounting for laziness.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: Rhossydd on October 23, 2012, 11:56:11 AM
Aside from that, I guess there's no accounting for laziness.
Laziness from whom ? the software developer for not utilising all the technology available ?
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: kaelaria on October 23, 2012, 10:15:01 PM
It should be a hit, its pretty much an exacy copy of FoCal running in manual mode from the description and screenshots.  The big upside, $80 cheaper!
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: Ellis Vener on October 24, 2012, 08:33:11 PM
FocusTune is now ready for downloading and trial from http://michaeltapesdesign.com/focustune.html

 If you already have a LensAlign Mark II (maybe the earlier versions as well) you can get a $10.00 discount at least for the first ten days.
There is also a free ten day  try it before you buy it test drive period.

I plunged ahead with a purchase ( it was only USD $19.95 as I have an LA Mk. II)   and will try it out tomorrow.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: francois on October 25, 2012, 06:09:44 AM
FocusTune is now ready for downloading and trial from http://michaeltapesdesign.com/focustune.html

 If you already have a LensAlign Mark II (maybe the earlier versions as well) you can get a $10.00 discount at least for the first ten days.
There is also a free ten day  try it before you buy it test drive period.

I plunged ahead with a purchase ( it was only USD $19.95 as I have an LA Mk. II)   and will try it out tomorrow.

I also took the plunge, at $19.99 it's a no brainer.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: bjanes on October 25, 2012, 08:47:59 AM
It should be a hit, its pretty much an exacy copy of FoCal running in manual mode from the description and screenshots.  The big upside, $80 cheaper!

FocusTune is indeed cheaper if one does not have to buy LensAlign. The Tapes web site does state that FocusTune can be used with a user printed target but implies that better results can be obtained with LensAlign. Can anyone elaborate?

Regards,

Bill
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: BartvanderWolf on October 25, 2012, 12:37:02 PM
FocusTune is indeed cheaper if one does not have to buy LensAlign. The Tapes web site does state that FocusTune can be used with a user printed target but implies that better results can be obtained with LensAlign. Can anyone elaborate?

Hi Bill,

I suppose that any high edge contrast target will do, but maybe Michael Tapes will chime in whether there are specific target requirements.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: MarkL on October 25, 2012, 01:43:33 PM
Well, as noted with, at least, some Nikon bodies it appears the process is not fully automated anyway.

It isn't but the only thing you need to do is change the fine tune setting when it prompts you and set the final value when the test in complete.

FoCal is great because it is mostly idiot-proof, you just set it going and follow the instructions. It will tell you if the target is skewed or at the wrong distance, eliminate statistically insignificant results, repeat more when results are inconsistent, warn you if the light level changes etc. which is a big part of the hassle with fine tuning.

I wish manufactures would profile their bodies and lenses before they leave the factory and code them in the firmware so they will play nicely so all this stuff was not required.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: telyt on October 25, 2012, 09:44:26 PM
I wish manufactures would profile their bodies and lenses before they leave the factory and code them in the firmware so they will play nicely so all this stuff was not required.

+1!!!  The need for this kind of product is inexcusable.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: Rhossydd on October 26, 2012, 01:39:32 AM
+1!!!  The need for this kind of product is inexcusable.
It's perfectly excusable if you want affordable cameras.
I'd guess that more than 95% of users never bother using MFA as the standards of manufacture are so high the tiny inaccuracies of AF performance aren't noticeable.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: JohnTodd on October 26, 2012, 10:08:54 AM
I still wonder when the camera makers will build this into the body and truly automate it. If I put the camera on a tripod and aim it at an appropriate target, the camera can flip between phase and contrast as often as it wants (without my hands touching the camera and introducting vibration!) and calibrate itself. It can tell me if the target isn't high-enough contrast or if the target distance isn't great enough. If it's a zoom lens, it can ask me to run the process twice, once at each end of the range. If it's a manual focus lens, it can throw up a 100% live view and ask me to focus it manually, then compare phase mode itself - a slower iterative process, but all still in-camera.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: kaelaria on October 26, 2012, 01:38:43 PM
That's EXACTLY what I was thinking after my first time trying to do a calibration!  What i didn't realize was that the live view contrast detection was perfect every time.  So all my test shots looked the same I thought I was going crazy!  That would be a 100% simple software addition to the firmware they could all do right now to fix the problem for sure!
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: MarkL on October 26, 2012, 07:39:12 PM
I still wonder when the camera makers will build this into the body and truly automate it. If I put the camera on a tripod and aim it at an appropriate target, the camera can flip between phase and contrast as often as it wants (without my hands touching the camera and introducting vibration!) and calibrate itself. It can tell me if the target isn't high-enough contrast or if the target distance isn't great enough. If it's a zoom lens, it can ask me to run the process twice, once at each end of the range. If it's a manual focus lens, it can throw up a 100% live view and ask me to focus it manually, then compare phase mode itself - a slower iterative process, but all still in-camera.

I have also wondered this, it seems like a very easy solution.

Anyway I will be glad when contrast detect gets good enough that all this fine tune stuff and poor focus repeatability is over. Even after fine tuning, yesterday I shot 10 frames in low light of a static model at 1.4 with my D800E and just 2 were in focus.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: Ellis Vener on October 26, 2012, 09:37:07 PM
+1!!!  The need for this kind of product is inexcusable.
If they did that nothing would ever leave the factory. Also cameras and lenses do get bumped around and there is the possibility that what worked at the factory might not still be good a year later. 
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: Ellis Vener on October 26, 2012, 09:47:47 PM
I've now tried it with one lens - but not withthe exact method Tapes recommends: no dark background, didn't check to see if JPEG sharpening and all other settings except "high contrast were zeroed out   and did not defocus slightly between shots. The results were better and far faster than doing it by eye but still needed some very slight hand tuning. The software recommended +11, but real world shots look better at +8).  I used my Lens Align Mark II target.

I just did a quick shot at each AF micro-adjust setting and not a more complex set of tests that are needed for the other features in in the software.

No problems downloading  but had to let OS X 10.8.2 security system (sandbox?) know that it was okay to run the software even though it was not an  Apple approved app or from an approved developer. Once installed there were no problems with FocalTune  on an i5 iMac running Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8.2)  Camera: EOS 1D X and 135mm f/2.

The manual is at http://www.mediafire.com/view/?393tundt11namrf if you are interested.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: francois on October 27, 2012, 07:22:38 AM
I've nopw tried it with one lens - but not withthe exact method Tapes recommends: no dark background, didn't check to see if JPEG sharpening and all other settings except "high contrast were zeroed out   and did not defocus slightly between shots. The results were better and far faster than doing it by eye but still needed some very slight hand tuning. The software recommended +11, but real world shots look better at +8).  I used my Lens Align Mark II target.

I just did a quick shot at each AF micro-adjust setting and not a more complex set of tests that are needed for the other features in in the software.

No problems downloading  but had to let OS X 10.8.2 security system (sandbox?) know that it was okay to run the software even though it was not an  Apple approved app or from an approved developer. Once installed there were no problems with FocalTune  on an i5 iMac running Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8.2)  Camera: EOS 1D X and 135mm f/2.

The manual is at http://www.mediafire.com/view/?393tundt11namrf if you are interested.

I tested with a couple of lenses on my 1Ds3. I had no dark background but defocused the lens between each shot. For those two lenses, I came to the same settings I got while using LensAlign. I must say that using FocusTune was much faster and more convenient than LensAlign.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: Ellis Vener on October 27, 2012, 02:23:09 PM
I sent Michael  Tape's an email summarizing what I did and that I should have RTFM first.

He wrote back with following quick set of instructions for doing it properly:

1. Setup target (LensAlign if possible) and camera.

2. Set camera settings as recommended.

3.Shoot 4 shots each at +20, +15, +10, +5, 0. -5, -10, -15, -20 (defocus slightly to the same direction between shots.

4. Run through FocusTune.

5. Based on results now shoot around the best AFA value (if -10 and -15 were top) shoot -9 through -16 (or whatever seems appropriate.

6) Run through FT.

7. Pick best value...look at LensAlign source shot to see how DOF lays, and select best value for your shooting style.

You must shoot 4 or more shots per AFA setting as the cameras are not consistent enough to judge by 1 shot. And FT will show you the averages and individual values together on the one graph.

Please watch the video. it is VERY rough and will be replaced in the next day or 2, but the concepts are shown. You can skip to 4 minutes if you like.


Video link: http://vimeo.com/52093690

All info is discussed at the info center link below.
http://mtd.forumatic.com/viewforum.php?f=12
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: telyt on October 28, 2012, 05:56:28 AM
It's perfectly excusable if you want affordable cameras.

What good is affordable if it's not usable?  How much is your time to fix the problem worth?




Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: Rhossydd on October 28, 2012, 06:04:31 AM
What good is affordable if it's not usable?
I've never heard anyone say their camera is "unusable" without MFA.
Most DSLRs don't have MFA and people have been happy enough with them.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: Ellis Vener on October 28, 2012, 01:51:37 PM
What good is affordable if it's not usable?  How much is your time to fix the problem worth?
Every cinema quality rental house I know of spends the time to check and calibrate lenses to camera bodies before they go out for rental.

Your question about time is valid but if you are that busy or your day job pays you that much your assistants should be doing this for you.

I think a far better question is: "How much is knowing how your gear is actually performing worth to you as a serious or professional photographer?"
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: MarkL on October 31, 2012, 01:31:09 PM
I've never heard anyone say their camera is "unusable" without MFA.
Most DSLRs don't have MFA and people have been happy enough with them.

The ones that don't are either low end or old and therefore having less resolution. Try explaining to a client why every shot wider than f/4 is out of focus.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: stever on November 03, 2012, 09:39:29 PM
thanks Ellis, sounds worthwhile.  a whole lot of images, but given the inacurracies of AF for many (most?) lenses and many cameras (Roger's lensrentals.com AF test is very interesting and consistent with what i have seen but not understood) this is probably a minimal sample to get results more useful than just doing it by eye.

it's still important for the user to decide which aperture should be optimized for lenses with significant focus shift like the Canon 50 1.2 and 1.4 - and then realize that the same focus uncertainty applies with AF in any image (probably only noticeable at larger apertures).

i have a theory that hand held, AI servo and multiple images should be shot with Canon cameras for highest probability of at least one critically sharp image (hoping there will be re-focus from image to image).  haven't yet figured out an efficient test to verify this

of course, if you're using a tripod for still subjects, forget the whole thing and use liveview and CD AF, or even better magnify and focus by eye

Unfortunately, Canon and Nikon have a fair amount of catch-up to do on lens servo tolerances (and probably design) before PD AF matches the capabilities of the latest high resolution cameras
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: Ellis Vener on November 03, 2012, 10:53:08 PM
Imaging-resource.com just reviewed FocusTune and they like it but also outline a different use methodology. See http://www.imaging-resource.com/SOFT/focustune/index.htm for the review and details.
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: stever on November 03, 2012, 11:15:28 PM
sounds a bit like a work in progress, but probably worth $19.95 and a reasonable amount of time
Title: Re: FocusTune AF Micro Adjust software
Post by: walter.sk on December 08, 2012, 08:56:35 AM
Thanks, Ellis, for the links to info on FocusTune and the summary of Michael Tapes' instructions.  For me, the problem will be deciding the most useful focusing distances, especially for my longer zooms.  I use a Canon 100-400mm, and my shooting at both ends of the zoom vary from 6-10 feet as well as 50 feet to infinity.

I also use a 100mm macro, most often for macro shots, but sometimes as  a mild telephoto.  I suppose setting it for macro would really throw it off for greater distances.