FoCal 2.4 – Adds “Dual Pixel Raw” Analysis and New Target Setup

FoCal 2.4 is here! Lots of work with Canon’s 5D Mark IV camera, Dual Pixel Raw functionality is now part of FoCal. In addition, we’ve totally re-designed and re-written target setup, it’s much easier and faster to use and guides the user through the process. We’ve been busy working on Sierra support, it’s not a done deal yet sadly (at least on Canon), more details below.

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FoCal 2.4 Key Changes

New Features:

  • 5D Mark IV Dual Pixel Raw analysis – FoCal decodes and displays data based on Dual Pixel Raw analysis
  • Target Setup Complete Re-design – Easier and quicker target setup with more guidance for users
  • FoCal goes Imperial – US users will appreciate the option for distances in feet & inches
  • macOS Sierra support for Nikon – We’re half way there, Canon support planned next release (details below)

Enhancements and Fixes:

  • Nikon lens drive is faster and more accurate
  • Big improvement to accuracy of target distance estimate used in FoCal
  • AF Consistency test now determines approx peak quality for test points comparison
  • LiveView analysis functions improved
  • Improvements to Comparison Data quality
  • Improved File Mode operation for cameras with wide and telephoto adjustment
  • File Mode selection now includes both Raw and JPEG by default
  • Charts are easier to read in PDF reports
  • Improvements to Aperture Sharpness report
  • Chart point selection markers improved and implemented in all appropriate charts
  • Tab graphics display quality improved (Windows)
  • Improved target searching to detect target in a wider range of situations
  • Updated metadata processor
  • Improvements to 5D Mark IV raw processing
  • Voice prompts changed to be clearer
  • Target Setup now ensures Live View images are at correct aperture
  • Fixes relating to 1D Mark III and 1Ds Mark III connection
  • Improvements to formatting of some text results fields
  • Fix to stop occasional display of large fractional values on y axis of charts
  • Canon interface changes to improve reliability of startup on Mac systems
  • Fixed Mirror Lockup issue on 1D3 and 1Ds3 in some situations
  • Improvements to in-memory metadata parsing
  • Target detection calculations work in more situations
  • Fixed 50D zoom state issue when Live View AF Mode set to Face Detect
  • Fixed focus point checking in Canon raw mode
  • Fixed an issue autofocus occasionally used at incorrect times on certain Nikons
  • Improved handling of downloaded images from Canon cameras with certain lenses
  • Better information relating to focus failures under certain conditions
  • Improved Live View startup procedure on Nikon cameras

Known Issues:

  • Is FoCal Safe?: A small number of Windows anti-virus products initially flagged the FoCal 2.4 download. FoCal is safe to use and we have reported these false positives. Avast, Kaspersky and Norton were notified and have now added FoCal to their whitelist and removed any blocks (updated 15th December).
  • Focus Consistency: With certain Nikon cameras FoCal 2.4 will do two focus operations for each point during a Focus Consistency test. This can lead to better focusing results than a single focus operation. If comparing with previous Focus Consistency results please bear this in mind. It is the intention to return to a single focus operation in the next release.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Dual Pixel Raw Analysis

The 5D Mark IV is the first camera to bring the ability to process the data from it’s Dual Pixel sensor.  We spoke on the blog about the possibilities this could bring here and here, and FoCal 2.4 brings some of this functionality to FoCal.

Enable Dual Pixel Raw on your 5D Mark IV, choose Raw as the Image Capture Mode in FoCal and run a test to take advantage of this extra analysis.

Dual Pixel Raw with Reikan FoCal

Within the Fully Automatic Calibration test, FoCal now reports the calculated AF Microadjustment value as determined by Dual Pixel analysis.  This is still experimental so it’s just shown for information, but it can be used as supplementary information for the FoCal results to ensure you have the right calibration values.

Here’s an example, the black line shows the FoCal calibration result and the pink area shows the result of dual-pixel raw analysis. Both the calibration result and dual-pixel raw analysis are very close (less than 1 AF Microadjustment unit difference) so we can be very confident of the calibration result.

5D Mark 4 Auto focus calibration with FoCal

The AF Consistency test uses the Dual Pixel data to determine the focus offset at each point.  Not only can this give you an idea of the distance and direction that the camera’s focus is out by for each shot, but can give you an immediate view as to whether your camera is calibrated well or not – if your phase-detect test shots are a long was from the Dual Pixel “Perfect Focus”, you know you need to calibrate!

Aperture Sharpness uses the Dual Pixel data to show your initial focus offset at the start of the test, and also helps you gain an insight into the focus shift exhibited by your lens – that’s the shift in focus point that happens purely by closing down the aperture.

There’s more work to do in the Dual Pixel analysis area, but to do that we need to analyse lots of test results.  We’re hoping to be able to start to integrating Dual Pixel analysis into the actual results calculations, and also use it to very quickly profile your lenses.

New Target Setup

With the release of FoCal 2.4, the Target Setup utility has been completely overhauled to be easier and faster to use. It’s an area that has caused confusion in the past and now the process is more guided with straight forward text to explain any issues that might need correcting.

Target Setup Overview

To begin, click “Start”. FoCal will focus, take a shot and then provide results in the Check panel. You will also see a live image from the camera in the large panel so you can easily move the camera to ensure the target is lined up correctly.

The Check panel gives straight forward information about the test conditions for the user to correct if needed. There are different levels of conditions that will be notified to the user.

Target Setup Warning Icon Warning: Condition that should be corrected before running tests
Target Setup Untested Icon Advisory: Condition that is unusual and should be checked to ensure it is intended
Target Setup OK Icon Untested: Not all settings can be checked. Check these manually
Target Setup Advisory Icon OK: Checks passed without issue

Clicking entries in the right hand panel opens each one to reveal more information. In the example below Target Setup Advises the target distance is not ideal. Information that includes the suggested target distance is provided based on the focal length of the lens (and with FoCal 2.4 you can change to display this information in Feet & Inches in Preferences > Tests (tab))

Target Setup Example Distance

We’re interested in user feedback on the newly designed Target Setup, we hope it will make FoCal easier to use. If you love it let us know, if not still let us know! 🙂

macOS Sierra Support Status

We’ve made progress in this area but not as much as we’d like or expected at this stage. All supported Nikon dSLR cameras are fully working with macOS Sierra with this 2.4 release.

Canon unfortunately is a different story, we thought Apple were moving to roll back some of the changes they made when they released their 10.12.2 update, indeed some users found they could get up and going with Canon cameras even with FoCal 2.3. However this is far from consistent or reliable and not something we would even suggest will work at this stage.

After much effort trying to work-round the problem with Sierra and Canon it has come back to waiting for Canon to update their interface libraries. Canon’s basic position is they aren’t yet ready to support Sierra, through various channels we think this will happen later this month or early next. Canon’s official position is provided on their OS compatibility page

As it stands, FoCal 2.4 is working and supported for Nikon dSLR cameras with Sierra but will not control any Canon cameras when running on Sierra based systems.

We will provide an update as soon as Canon is able to release their updated software libraries (hopefully soon!)

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
OS X 10.12 (Sierra) Canon Not Supported
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 2.4?

Download FoCal 2.4 by logging in to the LMS at lms.fo-cal.co.uk. Once logged in, you will see a download link to the software.

FoCal 2.4 is available for Windows (Windows 7 and newer) and Mac (OS X 10.9 – 10.11 with 10.12 support for Nikon only) operating systems, for users who are still within their Included Updates Period today (7th December 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 FoCal store.

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

49 comments on “FoCal 2.4 – Adds “Dual Pixel Raw” Analysis and New Target Setup

  • OpenDNS is currently blocking access to some of the FoCal re-directs. I’m going to contact them to see if they will supply more detail on why they have blocked the sites.

    Reply
    • Hi Greg,

      Thanks for the heads-up, we saw this happen briefly a few months back as it seems OpenDNS can be a little over zealous. The downloads are hosted on a server that hosts other software (not just FoCal). OpenDNS approach is to block the whole server (since they can’t filter by url).

      I checked all the re-directs this morning via OpenDNS and it all seems ok now, hopefully just a glitch on their part(!) 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Love the new target setup, old version was always a little tricky to use especially with longer lenses. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
    • Hi Robert.

      It depends when you bought FoCal as to whether this update is included. If you raise a ticket we can check or you can find out by logging into the LMS at lms.fo-cal.co.uk. At the top of the LMS page it will give details once logged in.

      Note that all FoCal users have access (without charge) to use FoCal 2.0 which is a significant upgrade from the 1.9 version you’re using. FoCal 2.0 is available near the top after you login where it says “Click here to Show or Hide Older Downloads”. Pick either “FoCal 2.0 MR2 for Mac” or “FoCal 2.0 for Windows”.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Why are Canon Cameras in macOS Sierra not supported? Was the release a big surprize for you? Do you know, that Apple provide a BETA-Program for developers?
    Isn’t it necessary for you, to maintain your software timly?
    I don’t have understanding for this behavior!
    Regards, MArko

    Reply
    • Hi Marko,

      Understand the frustration. We tried to lay out why we are where we are (see the section above titled “macOS Sierra Support Status”) it’s not fun waiting for software updates and we are waiting as well(!)

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Heather Morgan says:

    Trying to upgrade. My update period has expired and I’m trying to purchase an extension but it’s not letting me complete checkout. Getting an error message “Please correct the highlighted fields”. There are no highlighted fields and all info is accurate.
    Help..?

    Reply
    • Hi Heather,

      We’ve seen this a couple of times recently, it’s due to the change in the form design and browser interaction.

      Essentially it’s an old cookie that’s being applied wrongly. If you can use an alternate browser that should resolve it (a different browser generally won’t have access to the old cookie).

      Alternative is to use the private browsing option, this will prevent the old cookie being used. Different browsers have different ways to select private browsing as below:

      Firefox menu pick “New Private Window”
      Chrome select “New incognito Window”
      Safari menu “Private Browsing…”
      Internet Explorer you can select “Safety > InPrivate Browsing”

      Private browsing makes sure no old cookies will be used when you try to check out.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
      • Heather Morgan says:

        Thank you! The ‘new private window’ didn’t work for me but I was able to complete the transaction in IE.

        Reply
  • I have the same “correct the highlighted fields” error message problem as Heather. Just tried all your suggestions, and none of them work. Do you have any other ideas to get around this problem so customers can buy more updates?

    Reply
  • John Barrett says:

    Norton Security blocks the update, the only way I could update was to turn it off. Can you clear it with them as many well give up!

    Reply
    • Hi Monte,

      It’s one of those things we’d love to provide. Canon has opened up the 5D Mark IV by allowing users access to the dual pixel raw file format from the camera. No other Canon cameras (so far) allow access to the direct raw from the dual pixel sensor. That being the case, it’s not possible to do any extra analysis on image files from the Canon 1DX Mark II.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • After instalation (windows version), double click on shorcut ends up with “problem with shortcut” pop-up that says: “The parameter is incorect”. And there is no other shortcut in the program folder.

    Reply
    • Hi Rolly,

      It might have been related to problems with anti-virus software incorrectly flagging FoCal. Kaspersky and Avast now agree there is no issue with the FoCal download so it might be worth trying to re-install. If you’re still seeing an issue can you raise a ticket and we can investigate.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Manfred Winter says:

    Looking forward to use the next version to start using Fokal again on my Mac. But I am also contemplating to roll back to El Capitan as Sierra is almost as disastrous as Windows 10. Give me Mountain Lion, and Windows 7, please!

    On another note: Do you guys have a suggestion on how to use Fokal on Sigmas Art Lenses which can be calibrated perFocus distances with the Dock? Fokal gets irritated when using it at the distances the Sigma Software needs. Especially the Infinity setting needs to be used without the Fokal Test chart, and it seems that Fokal cant really cope here. Suggestions anyone?

    Reply
    • Hi Manfred,

      On the Sigma Dock calibration (this approach should also work for the Tamron TAP calibration as well) I’ll include some notes we put together 🙂

      FoCal can be used with the Sigma Dock. Easiest way to think of it is this (I have simplified it a little) the normal camera/lens calibration is a fine tune setting held in the camera and FoCal can be used to work out the best value for this setting. With the Sigma Dock you now have a lot more points of adjustment and they must be set inside the lens rather than inside the camera.

      To get an idea of what is involved I’ve linked to some posts where users describe calibrating using the Sigma Dock with the help of FoCal, http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3809354 and the related thread linked by tektrader where they talk in more detail about the steps. More threads which talk about dock calibration using FoCal are https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4031928 and https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4052613 and another more recent thread at https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4083573

      We don’t have an official written down procedure or tutorial video (yet!) but from what we understand FoCal can be useful for Sigma lens calibration. We’ll need to do our own tests and more research using multiple different Sigma lenses before we’ll have an official procedure that we guarantee will work in all cases.

      Different Sigma lenses require difference calibration distances and are given in the Sigma Dock software. The distance, especially for the close in distances should be fairly accurately measured (measure to the sensor plane usually indicated on the top of the camera).

      FoCal generally expects the target to take up between 20%-90% of the vertical frame. With nearer distances you might find a the standard printed target works fine for this, if the target is taking up most or all of the screen you can re-print the target smaller as needed to ensure that it still fits inside the 90% with the closest distance.

      With further distances and indeed with the ‘infinity’ setting it’s unlikely you can print a FoCal target large enough for this calibration. The “infinity question” as I’m calling it is an interesting one(!)

      I think the best way round is to find a natural or environmental target and use that instead. So turn off the function where FoCal expects a target (“Preferences” > “Tests” you can tell FoCal not to look for the specific target design at all by setting “Target Validation” to “No Target Validation”).

      A ‘natural target’ would be anything with high contrast edges in both the vertical and horizontal axis. Perhaps a large road sign with text on it, or a high rise apartment block that has strong defined lines (say window frames).

      This is the approach we’ve come up with as a suggestion for now, one of the things we want to do is provide more information to users and this will be happening soon.

      Essentially the expected process would be the calibrate (using FoCal) the lens at a specific distance (as given by Sigma in their user interface) and then try to dial out that adjustment such that the AFMA ends up at 0 and the adjustment is entered instead within the Sigma Dock settings.

      It’s hopeful (and there is some evidence to suggest) that once a relationship is found between AFMA / camera fine tune value and Sigma Dock calibration units that relationship holds true for further adjustments on that same lens.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Michael Dearden says:

    I note that under the Mac heading above, running Sierra, it says that Canon is “not supported”?
    Will you be issuing an update that will allow Canon users/Mac 10.12 (Sierra) users to use the new software please?
    I am using IOS 10.12.1 and a Canon 7D Mk11.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Michael,

      Yes, we will definitely be providing an update. Some notes on likely timescales in the text above in the section titled “macOS Sierra Support Status”, we’re hopeful Canon will release their update soon.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Thanks for the update. Unfortunately Norton av treats the msi file as a virus and deletes it before I can get it installed. Will have to look into turning the av off for a moment. Looking forward to the target setup, always a problem with lenses over 500mm

    Reply
    • Hi Rich,

      Thanks for the heads up. I can say for sure that FoCal is not a virus. Unfortunately it seems Norton (and Kaspersky) are currently flagging the release, this is a false positive and FoCal is safe to install and use.

      We’ve contacted both companies and they should soon(?) add it to their whitelists.

      One way round until the anti virus updates is to mark the file as excluded which would allow it to be installed.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Kim Biledgaard says:

    I can’t install Focal 2.4. I’m using Windows 10.
    My antivirus program (Kaspersky) will not accept the file “Focal.msi” and deletes it when scanning the downloaded zip-file. I haven’t had this problem with earlier versions af Focal.What to do??

    Best regards,
    Kim Biledgaard

    Reply
    • Hi Kim,

      Thanks for the heads up. I can say for sure that FoCal is not a virus. Unfortunately it seems Norton and Kaspersky are currently flagging the release, this is a false positive and FoCal is safe to install and use.

      We’ve contacted both companies and they should soon(?) add it to their whitelists.

      One way round until the anti virus updates is to mark the file as excluded which would allow it to be installed.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Just downloaded FoCal for my 7D MKii and have used it on my first lens (24-105 F/4) and had good results. Is the new target only for use with the 5D MKiv? or can it be used with my 7D ii?
    would I get better results with the new target?

    Reply
    • Hi Gary,

      Glad you’re enjoying the new Target Setup. The new process works with any supported camera so it’s good to go on both the 7Dii and the 5D mark iv 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
      • Thanks Dave…not really the Target Setup (which was great) rather the actual target images, would I get better/different results using one target over the other?

        Thanks again
        Gary

        Reply
        • Hi Gary,

          The target design hasn’t changed that much I think(?) at least not for 2-3 years. In either case it won’t make much difference, main thing for a good target is that it has well defined edge transitions. In terms of picking between a large hard target and smaller target it doesn’t make much difference now as the target search code has been improved 🙂

          Best Regards,
          Dave

          Reply
    • Hi Pete,

      Same answer really as to Monte above. It’s one of those things we’d love to provide. Canon has opened up the 5D Mark IV by allowing users access to the dual pixel raw file format from the camera. No other Canon cameras (so far) allow access to the direct raw from the dual pixel sensor.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Hi, I am a new user of FoCal, and very happy so far in adjusting my Canon 6d using Windows 7. I am puzzled by one screen though. In the Aperture Sharpness test the program tells me to ensure the target is perfectly focussed, but there seems little to no guidance around this screen. I can click on the phase detect or contrast detect button and a column appears on a graph below but there are no markings on the graph. Is a taller column or a smaller column in better focus? What does the update button do? Takes a new measurement apparently, but if it doesn’t refocus the lens, why would the new measurement be different? And without knowing what the columns mean, how do I know anyway? Baffled!

    Reply
    • Hi Ian,

      Glad you’re enjoying using FoCal 🙂

      On the focus controls section of Target Setup (when opened via Aperture Sharpness test) the scale is relative so there aren’t numbers on the left hand side. Essentially higher up the scale is better / more in focus, the “update” is as you say a way to take a reading without doing a focus operation. The reason the “update” button exists is for rare situation where you might have a manual focus lens / are moving the physical focus ring manually on the lens itself, in most cases it is not used.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
        • I had some more questions but I found all the answers in section 9. Should have read that first (RTFM!), but to be fair, the section on Aperture Sharpness refers only to 12.1 to get the target into perfect focus – very sparse info there, but Section 9.4 is far more detailed, so a pointer to there would be better. Happy now, and thanks for an excellent system.

          Reply
  • Hi

    Latest FoCal 2.4 doesn’t show EOS 5D mark IV:s shutter count on Camera info. Status is “Unavailable”

    5Dmk4 firmware is 1.0.3

    Hope, this will be fixed soon…

    Reply
    • Hi Ari,

      Unfortunately it’s something FoCal can’t currently obtain from the camera. Canon is in control of what data can be accessed from the camera itself across the USB connection. At this time the newer Canon camera’s do not provide this information (Canon 1DX Mark II, 5DS/R, 5D Mark IV and 80D do not allow shutter count information to be read).

      It’s not impossible for Canon to make this change and allow shutter count information, whether and when this happens will depend on them to provide the update.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Hi,

    I have just purchased FoCal. I want to calibrate my Canon 6D and EF85 1.2LII lens. Though I cannot pass through Target Setup. It’s always coming back with “Failed to Focus” even though I have checked all required setups. I have printed the target on A4 and A3 sheet (175 mm).

    I have OSX Sierra but I have checked on my old PC as well without success.

    Thanks for any suggestion.

    Reply
    • Hi Yves,

      Thank you for your interest in FoCal.

      Sorry to say at the moment FoCal is English only. We have considered adding more language support and it’s something we will review (but no fixed plans as yet).

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply

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