FoCal 2.1 – Adds Full Nikon D5/D500 Support and New Dust Analysis.

This release adds full support for Nikon D5 and Nikon D500 cameras on all platforms and adds the ability to calibrate using pre-captured files from Canon 1DX Mark II and Canon 80D (full support for these two new Canon cameras coming soon!). A lot of changes, many internal as well as the introduction of FoCal Labs.

FoCal 2.1 Features

  • Nikon D5 and D500 support added – FoCal can now control the latest Nikon cameras.
  • Completely reworked Canon support on all platforms – allowing easier integration of new cameras (80D and 1DX Mark II support coming soon).
  • Ability to analyse pre-captured image files from Canon 80D and 1DX Mark II cameras.
  • Brand new Dust Analysis test – giving much more useful information about the state of your camera sensor and what it really means to your photographs.
  • More control in Fully Auto test – you can now limit the tested range and choose where and how many measurements are taken.
  • FoCal Labs – get early access to some of our under development functions (FoCal Pro only).
  • Added support for the Nikon D810A – we’ve had a few users requesting support for this camera, with their help it’s been added to FoCal, thanks!

New Dust Analysis

The Dust Analysis tool in FoCal has been completely rewritten to be quicker, more accurate and present the information in a much more useful and intuitive way than the original test.

Reikan FoCal Dust Analysis Version 2

Verification of your setup is performed when the test starts and you’re told if you need to change anything.  The test runs faster than the original version, and you’re presented with information about high-confidence dust spots – those which appear in the same place across multiple apertures.

With the new test, you can see:

  • Aperture Dust Profile – the number of detected spots across the aperture range
  • Dust Spot Aperture Range – each dust spot highlighted on the sensor, coloured by the range of apertures affected
  • Dust Spot Opacity – each dust spot highlighted on the sensor with opacity indicated
  • Percentage Area Affected – the percentage of sensor area affected across the aperture range
  • Dust Perception Factor – a metric indicating how likely it is the spots will be seen in a photograph
  • Potential Hot Pixels – each potential hot pixel highlighted on the sensor

More Control During Fully Automatic Calibration

For more advanced users, it’s sometimes desirable to have fine grained control over the range and step size for the AF Microadjustment/Fine Tune calibration test shots.  We’ve added functionality to the Fully Auto test which now allows you to do this.

Reikan FoCal - More manual control in Fully Auto

Most users should leave this on Auto and let FoCal decide, should you want a bit more control you can adjust:

  • Tested AFMA Range – The Tested AFMA Range is the extent of AF Microadjustment/Fine Tune that will be measured during the run of the test.
  • AFMA Step Size – this option allows you to specify the number of AF Microadjustment/Fine Tune points between successive measurements.
  • Shots per AFMA – this option allows you to specify the number of shots taken at each AF Microadjustment/Fine Tune.

FoCal Labs

We wanted to have a way of sharing pre-release features with more advanced and inquisitive FoCal users so we’ve introduced FoCal Labs.  By enabling an option in the preferences, FoCal Pro users can try out new features.

Please note:  This really is strictly for more advanced users.  We don’t provide support for FoCal Labs features, with no promises that they will even be further developed.

For this release, we’ve included an experimental Calibration Check test within FoCal Labs, to gain access you need to be a FoCal Pro user, enter “Preferences” > “Advanced” and check “Enable FoCal Labs features” at the bottom.

Canon 80D and 1DX Mark II Upcoming Support

Adding new cameras can be a journey into the unknown from a development point of view. A lot of the development effort in this release is to do with these new Canon cameras. Restructuring the internal design means we’re able to reduce the time between a new camera release and FoCal support. We very much want to add new cameras quickly and changes we’ve made will help.

This release allows users to analyse Canon 80D and 1DX Mark II image files, the ability for FoCal to control these cameras is coming soon!

Included Updates Period

FoCal 2.1 is the first release we’ve ever made that requires users to be within their Included Updates Period. If you’ve bought FoCal within the last 12 months then you will have free access to this release and you have unlimited and perpetual use of FoCal 2.1 going forward.

You can check the status of your Included Updates Period and renew if necessary by logging in to the LMS at lms.fo-cal.co.uk.

As a reminder, any new purchase or upgrade of FoCal will entitle you to 12 months of included updates, this gives you newest release at that time and all releases (major and minor) for the following 12 months.

Software Support Status

Mac

The following table shows the support for FoCal for Mac:

Operating System Camera Manufacturer Status
OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) Canon & Nikon Fully functional
OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) Canon & Nikon Fully functional
OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) Canon & Nikon Fully functional

Windows

The following table shows the support for FoCal for Windows:

Operating System Camera Manufacturer Status
Windows 7 Canon & Nikon Fully functional
Windows 8/8.1 Canon & Nikon Fully functional
Windows 10 Canon & Nikon Fully functional

How do I get FoCal 2.1?

FoCal 2.1 is available for Windows (Windows 7 and newer) and Mac (OS X 10.9 – 10.11) operating systems, for users who are still within their Included Updates Period today (19th July 2016).  If your Included Updates Period has expired, you can purchase another 12 months by logging in to the LMS at lms.fo-cal.co.uk.

If you don’t own FoCal, you can purchase the software as a download or boxed product, as well as Focal Hard Targets from the store.

The installation package contains the software, target images and a reference manual (also available on the Documents Download page).

Download FoCal 2.1 by logging in to the LMS at lms.fo-cal.co.uk.  You will see a download link to the software.

35 comments on “FoCal 2.1 – Adds Full Nikon D5/D500 Support and New Dust Analysis.

  • Can you tell me what does “last year or so” actually mean in the comment “If you’re bought FoCal within the last year or so”.
    Does this mean 12 months and 20 days?

    Reply
  • Michael Nott says:

    Good t see progress on the Canon front:”Completely reworked Canon support on all platforms – allowing easier integration of new cameras (80D and 1DX Mark II support coming soon).
    Ability to analyse pre-captured image files from Canon 80D and 1DX Mark II cameras.

    From the above (especially 1DII support coming soon” I assume that you cannot currently use Focal 2.1 with the 1DXII in “live” mode – but have to take images at various AFMA settings and then get Focal 2.1 to analyse them later as a block of image files?

    If so, when will the 1DII interface be fully functional?

    Reply
    • Michael Nott says:

      It would seem logical to only buy a 12 month extension once Focal is delivering a truly functional automatic system for your specific cameras (in my case 1DMarkII). Hence my question on “When will the Canon 1DII functional interface be fully automatic”?

      Reply
      • Hi Michael,

        I understand why this question comes up and we’d like further automation for the newer Canon cameras (and Nikon cameras too!).

        I will include some background information (from the supported cameras page)

        User Assisted Mode

        FoCal runs on your computer and connects to the camera using a USB cable (supplied in the box with new cameras). Using this connection it is able to operate the camera remotely, driving it to capture test images, download those images and analyse them for sharpness to determine the best AF calibration value for each lens. A series of proprietary image processing and predictive statistical algorithms mean that FoCal is able to calculate the best AF calibration for a particular lens accurately and easily, with minimal input from the user.

        Software control of the AF Micro Adjustment (or AF Fine Tune) setting on certain cameras (designated as “User Assisted”) is not possible from a computer. The features that can be controlled are dictated by the camera manufacturer, they expose the ability to adjust certain settings through a documented interface which FoCal uses to make all the necessary automated adjustments to the camera.

        What this means in reality is that FoCal provides it’s full automated calibration, determining which and how many AF Fine Tune points are needed for the calibration result. Other things, like setting mirror lockup and de-focusing between each shot, analysis of each image for sharpness / detail and graphs to determine the best AF calibration value work automatically. During the calibration process a number of AF Fine Tune changes need to be set on the camera and they have to be input by the user as directed by FoCal (so it’s “user assisted” in that sense).

        We continue to try to get the camera manufacturers to add this software functionality and we’ve got some ideas on how to go about this so it’s not a done deal(!). In the shorter term we’ve worked on making the “user assisted” part of the process easier, fewer AF Fine Tune steps required and “Voice Prompt” along with the camera HotKey mean the process is very quick and simple.

        Watch a full overview of FoCal Pro running an automated calibration at YouTube: FoCal “User Assisted Mode” Calibration

        Best Regards,
        Dave

        Reply
  • Oh boy. Now that D5 and D500 are added I should buy a “new support period”! Getting to the update button shows nothing but an empty page. The only thing you can do is going to the store and buy a new release for the full prize. Honestly?

    Reply
    • Hi Rudi,

      You definitely do not need to buy a complete new FoCal, once you login to the LMS there’s an option “Purchase new Included Updates Period”. Clicking that should open the web store (make sure you have any type of advert blocking or similar software turned off). If it’s still not working can you raise a support ticket via the contact form

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Peter Clark says:

    Hi , i`m getting an error when trying to calibrate my tokina 11-16mm AT-X 116 stating i need to use the pro version on lens > 400MM , I didnt get this error on the previous version ?

    Reply
  • Ross Anderson says:

    Still can’t get Version 2.0/2.1 Manual Mode / File Mode to work with Nikon D7100.
    It was fine with version 1 of the software.
    After 30 days still no response to enquiry via ticket trying to solve this.

    Reply
  • Steve McCormack says:

    I just purchased a license update as I have a new Canon 1DX2, but have found now that the software cannot recognise or control the camera and have some questions.

    Reply
    • Hi Pierre,

      Thank you for your interest in FoCal.

      We have no plans currently to offer FoCal in other languages though it is something we have thought about and do think about.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • little bit dissapointed 🙁 Just bought new Nikon D500 and noticed that i have to purchase new software.
    I can use only version 2.0.x
    I have a strange feeling that when i bought your software, there was a notice that i have right to future updates ?
    Hmmm i think ill pass this and use some basic methods, cause the benefit is so little. I have to use semi auto method on my Nikons exept D3s. I hope all the best for Your future efforts.

    Reply
    • Hi Juha

      I’m sorry you’re disappointed about the need to purchase an extension to your Included Updates Period.

      We first release FoCal at the very beginning of 2012, and from that time we’ve released more than 20 updates which have been free to every user of FoCal! Right from the start we said that we would charge for “major” version upgrades (i.e. 1.x to 2.x). FoCal 2.0 was such an improvement over FoCal 1.x that we decided to release that version to everyone for free as well.

      Back in August last year we explained the new Included Updates Period model in this blog post, and we think it’s a fair model. You get upgrades for 12 months after purchase, and after this time you can continue to use the last version you were entitled to. If there’s a new update after your Included Updates Period expires, you have to purchase an extension which is a significant discount on the cost of the new product – this gives you upgrades for another 12 months.

      Rich

      Reply
      • I originally bought Focal 2/2015 and GP was strong then, converted to Euros was 96 € which was pretty expensive, but i thought it would be worth of the money. I have used Focal mainly for my long primes only for 3 Nikon bodies. Thats why im not willing to pay more, but understand Your point of view.

        Reply
    • Interesting……..Focal sent notification of this new 2.1 software to me just a couple of days after my licence expired……what a coincidence!!!!

      Reply
      • Hi Mike,

        It’s definitely not personal! If the development had been smoother with less bumps in the road this release would have easily been within your updates period, with the changes in this release (under the hood) adding new cameras is going to be a lot easier (might not be such a consolation but we do want to speed up the time between updates!).

        Best Regards,
        Dave

        Reply
  • I’m attempting to fine tune a Nikon D5 with a Sigma 85 1.4. It’s asking me to set it to -20, I have done this yet it still assumes it’s on -10… Please help.

    Reply
    • Hi Peter

      First off – when you set the AF Fine Tune on the D5, are you definitely pressing the OK button before continuing with the test? If you dial in -20 on the screen of the camera but *don’t* press the OK button, the AF Fine Tune value will not be changed.

      If you are definitely confirming the AF Fine Tune, then there may be a bug in the camera firmware. This has been seen before with some Nikon cameras (e.g. D300s) and third party lenses, where the reported AF Fine Tune from the camera is incorrect. If this is the case you can go to the Preferences window, Tests tab and tick the “Don’t confirm microadjustment (UA Mode)” box. But be careful – this will stop FoCal checking the set AF Fine Tune and will assume you’ve entered the correct value, so you need to make sure you really have selected the value FoCal asks for.

      I hope that helps. If you still have problems, could I ask that you raise a ticket via the contact form

      Rich

      Reply
  • Well, I too am beyond the one year limit. I am using the Pro version for two separate Canon 7D Mark II bodies. Will I gain anything by going to Version 2.1? I’m assuming that fully automatic mode is not possible on the Canon cameras?

    Reply
    • Hi Ron,

      Yep, the method for inputting the AFMA for the Canon 7D Mark II hasn’t changed between 2.0 and 2.1.

      In terms of the normal automated calibration itself it’s much the same (though there is now the option to set the range and number of shots). Further new features are as listed above, no one is forced to upgrade and you retain use of FoCal 2.0 and that will continue into the future. Personal choice really depending on needs / wants 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • I recently bought Reikan Focal Pro 2.1, made the adjustment of a zoom Nikkor 24-70 vr 2.8 and got a score of -17 (good) and -22 (excellent) out of range.

    These values would be acceptable for this lens or within the acceptable limits of their statistics?

    Reply
    • Hi Néstor,

      The answer to this might be “it depends” 🙂

      First step is to make sure you are getting accurate results, this mostly comes down to distance and lighting (support / tripod can be important also).

        Target Distance

      Best place to look is the target distance tool at http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/index.php/online-tools/test-distance-target-size-calculator/ this gives the recommended minimum target distance for calibration. Check also the document linked at the bottom of that page as it has additional background information. With zoom lenses you should treat each end of the zoom range as effectively different prime lenses, see the FAQ entry at http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/index.php/faqs/how-do-you-calibrate-zoom-lenses/

        Target Lighting

      Having plenty of light on the target is a good idea, this helps in two ways. First it enables the camera to focus more easily ensuring FoCal is able to determine how the camera/lens focusing normally behaves. The second part is that more light means a faster shutter speed, this reduces the chance of camera shake / shot vibration which can cause blurring of test shots. I tend to suggest to aim for a shutter speed of at least 1/125 second or faster.

      If you are seeing values outside of the -20 and +20 range consistently then it suggests the required calibration is outside of the possible range of adjustment and it might require a trip to Canon/Nikon to do some internal adjustment. Having said that it is always a question of degree, -22 is not that far out. If you see all / more of your lenses all require a minus adjustment and others are close to the -20 or over then it might be worth a trip to have it serviced.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Erich Linder says:

    I just installed the newest version of FoCal, and am getting a Mac firewall warning about CCI and PGCI2 wanting to accept incoming connections. What was just installed and what is it trying to do?

    Reply
    • Hi Erich,

      Those two FoCal processes are required with FoCal 2.1 for talking to Canon and Nikon cameras, note, they don’t connect out to the Internet and are used only local to the system to talk to the main FoCal process.

      With 2.2 (due out later today!) we’ve changed how these processes interact to avoid any type of message from the Mac/software firewall.

      PS, blog comments are welcomed but it is not a good support channel, raising a support request will be answered more quickly.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Ken Petersen says:

    Hello , I’m using an D500
    Mainly with Nikon Zoom lenses, 18-200 , 55-300,80-400, do I need to test each lense at the wide end Middle and Fully zoomed , then just average out the final adjustment value, or does the software account for this , Regards Ken

    Reply

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