We’re pleased to announce that Reikan FoCal for Mac Beta 2 has just been released for FoCal Pro users.
What is Reikan FoCal for Mac Beta 2?
FoCal is a software package originally intended for fully automatic AF Microadjustment calibration, but has grown to include features like the ability to check autofocus consistency, finding the sharpest aperture of your lenses, checking your sensor for dust and other tools.
FoCal was first made available on Windows in January 2012 supporting just the Canon 5Dmk2 and 7D, and has since gone through 6 versions adding more tests and support for all Canon and Nikon cameras that allow AF Microadjustment or AF Fine Tune (almost 20 cameras in total).
Today’s release is the second public release of FoCal for the Apple Macintosh computers running OS X.
What do you mean by Beta?
This is NOT the final version of the software. As this is the 2nd beta release which is now feature complete (except for Nikon support), we do hope that it’s very usable and doesn’t show any significant bugs. We are releasing this version so that people can try out FoCal and give us feedback, so we can improve the software. The software will run for a limited time – there will be a new release available before expiration of this version (either a new beta or the final release).
This second version (18.104.22.168) contains the following features:
- Target Setup utility
- Fully Automatic AF Microadjustment Calibration
- Semi Automatic AF Microadjustment Calibration
- Manual Mode Test
- Aperture Sharpness Test
- AF Consistency Test
- MultiPoint Focus Test
- Dust Analysis Test
- Report Generation
- Support for Canon cameras
What this means is that you can fully run AF microadjustment on all support Canon cameras (1Dmk3, 1Dsmk3, 1Dmk4, 1D X, 5Dmk2, 5Dmk3, 7D and 50D), as well as all the other tests listed above. The features in this version are fully functional, and we have been using it at Reikan to calibrate many lenses across a wide range of cameras for the last few weeks.
What’s not present (yet)?
The following features are not yet present:
- Support for Nikon cameras
Why is Nikon missing? It’s purely a time issue. The software development kit available from Canon fits very neatly into the OSX version of FoCal, whereas the Nikon interface requires some work, and rather than delaying the release of a functional and useful piece of software we thought we’d release without Nikon support. We know there are going to be some upset Nikon users, but please bear with us – we will have Nikon support as soon as we can.
What’s been fixed since the first beta?
A huge amount of changes have been made between the first and second beta, mainly related to getting all the functionality complete in FoCal. However, in doing so we have to run each and every test at a very low level, and analyse all the operational code, and we have found quite a few issues which have been fixed, ranging from occasional erroneous analysis results, incorrect value choice with focus consistency validation enabled, corrections to defocusing methods and a whole host of other fixes.
Specifically related to the Mac version, we hope to have addressed an issue which caused FoCal not to start with OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
Are there any known problems?
At present, the Canon interface files don’t work on Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8), so you need Lion (10.7) to run FoCal. The Canon website indicates that they will support Mountain Lion in early October, and we think that there won’t be any change needed to FoCal in order to run.
The report generation works in a completely different way to the Windows version. You still get a PDF but the internal generation is new, so there are a few things to iron out, for example there’s not much information on each page for some of the tests (so there’s a lot of blank space) and some of the margins need adjusting. All the information is there, but the report generation will improve over the next few versions.
On a minor point – the “Linear Chart” display in the Manual Mode test doesn’t operate at the moment, but we’ll fix this before final release.
How do I get it?
As with all our beta releases, we give FoCal Pro license holders the chance to get early access to the software, so you will need a FoCal Pro license in order to use this software. There is no extra charge for the Mac version, so if you already have a FoCal Pro license then you have everything you need to get the software and to get going.
You can download it from the License Management System – you’ll see the link to the download at the bottom of the page once you log in (as long as you have a FoCal Pro license).
The software is available as a disk image (DMG) file, and contains the target images and documentation. Note that the manual is an early release – it’s OSX specific but there are still some screenshots of the Windows version and some of the text may be slightly incorrect, but it contains all the information you need to use FoCal and we’ll be improving it along with the software over the next few weeks.
What can I do to help?
Please download the software and give it a go. Let us know how you get on:
- If you spot any errors, please let us know
- If you can make the software misbehave, let us know what steps you take to make it happen
- If it works perfectly we’d love to hear too (good news it always nice!!)
You can contact us through the contact form (please use the Mac Beta option) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s likely to be quite a high volume of emails, so we can’t reply to everyone but every bit of information we receive will be read and used to make FoCal better, so please let us know how you get on.
What about the Windows version?
We were hoping to get the Windows version of FoCal 1.7 Beta released today, but final testing has shown a few bugs which have now been fixed but require another test cycle in order to validate the operation. It’s almost ready, and should be a worthwhile improvement over FoCal 1.6.