FoCal 2.6 – Adds Auto Focus Calibration Support for Nikon D850 and High Sierra Support With Nikon Cameras

We’re delighted to announce FoCal 2.6 for Mac and Windows is ready for release! Nikon’s newest dSLR camera the D850 is now fully supported within FoCal. In addition we’ve made some handy improvements within FoCal, including to the lens comparison database generation. We’ve been busy working on full High Sierra support, it’s not a completely done deal yet sadly (at least with Canon cameras) more details below.

 

Nikon D850 Focus Calibration Focal 2.6 Release

FoCal 2.6 Key Features

New Features

  • Full Nikon D850 Support Added – automated D850 focus calibration with Reikan FoCal
  • macOS High Sierra Support with Nikon – All Nikon cameras are supported with Reikan FoCal and High Sierra (10.13)

Improvements:

  • Improvement during startup on Mac for Canon camera connections
  • Improvement for Canon with High Sierra in some cases (see section on High Sierra below)
  • Update to metadata analyser for better camera/lens recognition
  • Improvement to comparison data generation and use within FoCal

Nikon D850 Fully Supported

This release brings full support for the hotly anticipated Nikon D850 to Reikan FoCal.

The Nikon D850 runs in User Assisted Mode, most all the process is automated, users will be prompted a few times to change the AF Fine Tune during a calibration (see video showing Nikon D800 AF calibration to get an idea of what’s involved).

FoCal Comparison Data Improvements

One of the advantages to FoCal Pro is access to the FoCal camera/lens comparison database. FoCal users have been uploading calibration and test results for since 2012 (5 years!), the database contains tens of millions of data points across tens of thousands of camera and lens combinations.

As with all FoCal Comparison Data, display of compared results from other users takes the form of a red/blue/green overlay. The blue area indicates the point is within the typical range of results from other users (i.e. any points in this area neither poor or excellent), the red area is within the poorer end and the green area indicates it’s better than average.

Example of comparison data shown on the graph within a FoCal Calibration:

 

FoCal Automatic Calibration Typical Peak Quality Indicator

 

Generating information for display that’s based on a large amount of raw data presents its own challenges. We’ve been working on ways to refine our approach, ensuring users get fresh and accurate comparison data during their calibrations and tests. The comparison generation has been re-worked and we’ve added dedicated hardware at FoCal HQ in order to provide more regular updates. Previously updates were monthly now they are weekly (or better!).

macOS High Sierra (10.13) Support Status

A lot of work has been done on adding High Sierra Support to FoCal, good progress has been made but there are still some loose ends to tie up before full support across all cameras and all users is guaranteed(!)

A quick overview, FoCal 2.4 added macOS Sierra (10.12) support and with a lot further testing internally and valuable user feedback we can say both FoCal 2.4 and FoCal 2.5 may work for some users with High Sierra (10.13). Obviously “may work” is a long way from where we need to be!

High Sierra with Nikon Cameras (Supported!): After extensive investigation and the update to the most recent Nikon communications libraries we are confident all Nikon cameras are fully working with FoCal 2.6 (this release!) and can say “officially supported”. Some users may find that Nikon cameras are working with High Sierra and FoCal 2.4 and 2.5 as well.

High Sierra with Canon Cameras (some work required on our part): This is a less clear cut situation(!) We believe most users will find that Canon cameras are working with High Sierra and FoCal 2.6. To provide some background, we have 7 High Sierra development machines here and FoCal 2.5 and FoCal 2.6 work perfectly with Canon cameras. However, feedback from users leads us to believe there may be issues for some(!)

Huge thanks to Wolfgang and Tim and further users (too many to list by name!) there are still some rare cases where connecting Canon cameras with High Sierra may have issues. We have work left to do in order to declare “officially supported“. If you’ve already upgraded to High Sierra and have access to try FoCal 2.6 do please let us know how you get on, either Raise a Support Request or by adding a blog comment below.

We are working to make sure all Canon users find that FoCal is fully working with High Sierra, we don’t think we’re 100% there yet and adding full High Sierra support is our main development focus.

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
macOS 10.12 (Sierra) Canon & Nikon Fully functional
macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) Nikon Fully functional
Canon Not 100% Officially Supported (see above text)

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 2.6?

Download FoCal 2.6 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 2.6 is available for operating systems Windows (Windows 7 and newer) and Mac OS X 10.9 – 10.12 (with macOS 10.13 officially supported for Nikon only at this time), for users who are still within their Included Updates Period today (15th November 2017). 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).

Find Us on Facebook and Twitter

We regularly post news and updates on social media. You can keep updated, connect and follow us via Reikan FoCal on Facebook and FoCal Twitter Page.

 

70 comments on “FoCal 2.6 – Adds Auto Focus Calibration Support for Nikon D850 and High Sierra Support With Nikon Cameras

    • Hi Marc,

      Glad you’re enjoying using FoCal πŸ™‚

      On older Nikon cameras the hotkey function is to press the “AE-L/AF-L” button to the right of the viewfinder.

      Nikon HotKey on newer Nikon cameras (D850 included) is the “AE-ON” button.

      Once pressed the camera sends a message to FoCal (a short delay allows the camera to settle) and from there calibration will continue with no need to click the dialog window on the computer.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      (edited – thanks Dennis!)

      Reply
      • Dennis Racicot says:

        Hi Dave,

        On the D850 there is no β€œAE-L/AF-L” button, only an “AE-ON” button. Would that be ok or should we use a different button?

        Reply
        • Hi Dennis,

          Sorry, my fault (I’ve been mostly using the D800 recently!).

          Yes, it’s as you say,

          Nikon camera HotKey on the newer Nikon cameras (D850 included) is the β€œAE-ON” button.

          Just press that button for 1/2 second or so and FoCal will voice / say “Continuing” and the calibration will proceed πŸ™‚

          Best Regards,
          Dave

          Reply
          • Hi Dave,

            on my D850 there is no AE-ON Button, just AF-ON which is not working as hotkey. I tried pressing longer and shorter times, the camera is focusing but nothing happens in Focal.

            Thanks for your help,
            Marc

          • Hi Marc,

            Not sure why that might be, it could be perhaps the AF-ON button has been re-assigned and FoCal is not seeing the expected input? Would it be possible to raise a support request and one of the support team should be able to help (blog comments can be tricky to provide support and aren’t monitored in the same way!).

            Best Regards,
            Dave

  • Bought Focal yesterday and quickly set up and calibrated my Nikon D850 with 600mm F4E as well as my D500 with 500mm F4E. Works well and hope my calibrated camera and lens will be put to good use when I travel to Thailand in two days’ time to capture photos of the migratory shorebirds.

    Reply
    • Hi Benny,

      Thanks for your feedback!

      Glad you’re enjoying using FoCal and wish you an amazing time away in Thailand (slightly jealous!) πŸ™‚

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
    • It is a pity that the lens is sharp only at the distance you set. At another distance it will not be sharp. You have to calibrate on different lengths and manually adjust it in the Nikon 850 Menu.

      Reply
      • Hi Roberts,

        It’s not quite that bad, essentially there’s a sweet spot. If you were to calibration ‘very close’ you might end up with a calibration that works great for that distance but less well for further distances. What we recommend (as does Canon/Nikon) is to use a ‘reasonable distance’, once calibrated at that distance the calibration is good for that distance and further distances.

        The Target Distance Tool (also part of FoCal itself) provides a suggested minimum calibration distance along with further information.

        Best Regards,
        Dave

        Reply
  • Alan Horten says:

    Still using El Capitain
    Canon 1Dx mark 2 requires manual adjustment.
    Is this still the case.
    Unfortunately the tethering cable with this cable is very short and the mark 1longer cable is a different fitting.
    This makes it impractical mohave it close enough to the computer and be able to fiddle with the controls; particularly when on a tripod.
    Will total auto be available?
    Alan Horten

    Reply
    • Hi Alan,

      Sadly the 1Dx mark 2, like most newer Canon cameras remains “user assisted” at this time (most all the process is automated, users will be prompted a few times to change the AF Fine Tune during a calibration). That’s a limitation imposed by Canon in their provided camera communications software which FoCal relies upon.

      Short lead, what might be worth trying and may help. It’s possible to get something like a USB extension cable for a few dollars/pounds/etc and use that to extend the reach between camera and computer. We tend to suggest not to go too crazy on the extension length as it can occasionally cause issues (especially very long/5m+ extensions) but a normal length USB extension should be good.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
    • There’s a fair amount of data across ~5 years, not so long ago it took a little over 1/2 day to generate, thankfully it takes much less time now! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • This is great news! I have been so busy I have not had time to make logs for you with high sierra, but is the 6d and 5dmk4 supported? πŸ™‚ if so I’m well chuffed and I know what I will be up to this week! if not I will try and log something for you guys!

    Reply
  • Good news. When High Sierra came out I only updated my iMac, not my Macbook. I didn’t really need FoCal as I didn’t acquire any new gear in that time period but I left my options open.

    Reply
    • Good stuff, we try to be a little cautious on what might work until we’ve had chance to really investigate and do a lot of testing with a lot of cameras(!) Theory being, it’s “safer” to start with saying “not supported” until we can be sure! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Because you asked us to try out the new version.
    Just checked Version 2.6.0M with High Sierra and my 6D Mark II. It still does not work.
    If I can help with further information/logs, feel free to ask.

    Best regards
    Kai

    Reply
    • Hi Greg,

      Thank you for your interest in Reikan FoCal.

      I’m thinking you’re asking about the Tamron TAP and the different target distances required by the TAP system? (if not please correct me!)

      Note the following was written for the Sigma Dock and indeed the references largely refer to the Sigma Dock, the Tamron TAP is essentially the same and the process is almost exactly the same (just insert the words “Tamron TAP” whenever you see “Sigma Dock”).

      FoCal can be used with the Sigma Dock (and Tamron TAP). Easiest way to think of it is this: 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 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. The end goal is the camera set AFMA ends up at 0 when the camera/lens is calibrated using FoCal and all the adjustment is entered instead within the Sigma Dock settings and held inside the lens itself.

      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.

      PS, Dustin has some useful background on Tamron TAP calibration in his video linked from Reikan FoCal Calibration Videos πŸ™‚

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • I’ve got a lot of problems with the Nikon D850 and Nikon Prime lenses.
    The results are very inconsistent. Do you have any recommended Settings for the D850?

    Kind regards Kirsten

    Reply
    • Hi Kristen,

      We definitely expect that FoCal provides accurate (and therefore consistent) results across calibration runs.

      Blog comments are not tracked in the same way as support requests, do please raise a support request with any questions or if you’re experiencing any problems and we can help.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
    • It is a pity that the lens is sharp only at the distance you set. At another distance it will not be sharp. You have to calibrate on different lengths and manually adjust it in the Nikon Menu.

      Reply
      • Hi Roberts,

        It’s not quite that bad, essentially there’s a sweet spot. If you were to calibration ‘very close’ you might end up with a calibration that works great for that distance but less well for further distances. What we recommend (as does Canon/Nikon) is to use a ‘reasonable distance’, once calibrated at that distance the calibration is good for that distance and further distances.

        The Target Distance Tool (also part of FoCal itself) provides a suggested minimum calibration distance along with further information.

        Best Regards,
        Dave

        Reply
  • Bought a new license for 2.6. Tested two lenses with the D850. First error which I never saw before:
    “The following error occured while trying to process the raw file: Out of memory”!

    Disconnected the camera and reconnected. While setting up a strange error message came up (in German so I try to translate it correctly):
    “Developer Tools Access has to take over stearing of of another process to continue the developing process. Enter your password to allow it”!

    OK, I allowed and after that Focal crashes.

    macOS 10.13.1 with MacBook Pro retina 2012. 8Gb memory. Would have provided the screenshots but does not work here.

    Despite this Focal is really slow. I understand that it might be because of the big raw data so will it work in raw medium mode? Does it make sense to use jpg?

    Reply
    • Hi Rudi,

      Sorry you’re seeing issues.

      We tend to suggest JPEG, it’s much faster and it’s the default, there’s no advantage to using RAW (the calibration results will be the same!).

      If you’ve been using FoCal for a while it’s possible some of the settings have changed (or at least their defaults). I might suggest you try re-setting any preferences under

      Preferences > General (tab) > Restore Defaults (button)

      That will put FoCal into a “known state” and may help.

      PS, blog comments are not tracked in the same way as support requests, do please raise a support request with any questions or if you’re experiencing any problems and we can help.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Hi Reikan-Team!
    Thanks for the Update for High Sierra on Mac. But when i connect my Camera (Canon 5D MK III) the App crashes everytime (like before the Update on High Sierra). Any Tipps or am i doin’ something wrong? Without the Camera-Connection everything ist fine and stable – but with the Connection it works until i hit “Automatic Calibration” or “Semi-Automatic-Calibration”. Would be fine to get some help. I need the App (some of my Sigma Art-Lenses are a bit off Focus).
    Best Regards and Thanks a lot,
    Marco

    Reply
    • Hi Marco,

      Sorry about that, we know some users see a problem connecting Canon cameras on High Sierra.

      Please check out the new blog entry Reikan FoCal 2.6 Mac MR1 – Adds Full macOS High Sierra Support For Canon Cameras as we believe it will resolve the issue you are seeing.

      PS, blog comments are not tracked in the same way as support requests, do please raise a support request with any questions or if you’re experiencing any problems.

      PPS, we always suggest users go with the Automatic Calibration (not Semi-Automatic) as the Automatic Calibration is more accurate and much much easier to use. The Semi-Automatic is really the old method of calibration and uses liveview images rather than full resolution images.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Preston Jordan Jr. says:

    I definitely shouldn’t have updated to this version on my computer(MacBook Pro, High Sierra). It now continually crashes when my 7DII Canon is connected. Wont allow any type of test to be done. As soon as I try to do the target setup or any analysis, the program immediately shuts off. Frustrating.

    Reply
  • Hello,

    I am running High Sierra and my Canon 5D Mark IV (with 85mm 1.4L IS lens) does not appear supported via v2.6. It recognizes the initial camera body/lens configuration but then abruptly closes when I click to start autofocus calibration.

    Any help is appreciated…

    Mike

    Reply
  • Gary Spires says:

    Hi

    Any news on support for Canon cameras in High Sierra? I have installed the program, I connect my 7D Mk2, it see’s the camera, shows the model, serial number and firmware version. When I click yes to add to license the program just closes.

    I have it installed on my Win 10 PC and it works fine, however I struggle with light upstairs.

    When are we going to see a fully working version?

    Reply
    • Hi Gary,

      We are working on adding High Sierra support for all Canon users (no issues with Nikon and most Canon users don’t see an issue). Timeline is always a little tricky to predict but plan is the release goes out early/mid January.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Not working for my EOS 70D on High Sierra. The program just quits in some moments, for instance when I want to get camera info.

    Reply
  • Alan Waddington says:

    Just downloaded and installed FoCal 2.6, my imac is running High Sierra 10.13.2
    When i try to connect my Canon 1dxMk2, the FoCal software recognises the camera make and model, but none of the other fields fill in. The timer just spins forever. πŸ˜₯
    Is there a known workaround for this issue, or am i stuck until further updates are released ?

    Reply
  • Bjarke E. Petersen says:

    High Sierra 10.13.2 (USB driver AppleUSBXHCILPTH) + Canon 5D IV.
    Now we are in late January – still no fix πŸ™

    Reply
  • Focal Plus, the latest update for MacOS.
    Camera – Canon 6D Mark II.
    MacBook Pro, OS 13.2

    Used to work fine and I have calibrated 3 lenses a few weeks ago with great results, thanks!

    Yesterday tried to calibrate yet another lens and Focal would not connect. The camera brand is recognized – the top line in the connection dialog, but then the connection process stalls and the spinning wheel keeps spinning. The camera connection is fine from the Laptop System Report.

    It might have happened since an update to 13.2 from the previous version but I”m not 100% sure.

    Please advise,

    Thanks

    Reply
  • Fernando GonΓ§alves says:

    I bought FoCal yesterday and I use it without problems with a Canon 7D an High Sierra. Today I can’t connect to the camera.

    Reply
  • I have FoCal 2.0.8.2500 Pro purchased. Update expired. Cheaper to update or purchase full download (69). If I understand correctly, it appears to be cheaper to upgrade to Focal Pro 2.6.5.3996 (28) and I good for 12 months

    Reply
    • Hi Alex,

      It’s always great to hear from early adopters of FoCal.

      Definitely better option to purchase the “included updates” (rather than buying FoCal again from the start) πŸ™‚

      The option is available after logging in to License System and scroll down to where it says “GET NEW INCLUDED UPDATES PERIOD”.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
    • Thanks Scott,

      It’s been a lot of work to completely replace the Canon supplied code but will make things better going forwards! πŸ™‚

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
      • Hi Dave,

        “It’s been a lot of work to completely replace the Canon supplied code …”

        Does this mean Canon bodies finally get fully automatic calibration with no user input? It’s been years since I last calibrated my equipment, I haven’t been shooting as much as I used to but I thought I wanted to revisit your software to give the bodies and lenses a tuneup. I’m using the non pro version.

        Reply
        • Hi Jan,

          That was definitely one of our hopes and we spent a lot of time trying to make it happen. Sadly we’ve had to concede defeat, it remains as it was, cameras which don’t allow “Hands Free” are still “User Assisted”.

          There are a few things we’ve been able to do that we couldn’t do before, news on those will have to wait till the release! πŸ™‚

          Best Regards,
          Dave

          Reply
    • Hi Pat,

      This is not a problem we’d ever expect to see so something strange is happening.

      It’s somewhat tricky to offer support via the blog, please do contact Reikan Support and they will be able to help πŸ™‚

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Waldemar says:

    hello FoCal team i using your software FoCal 2.5 for some time now and I am very happy with it.
    Unfortunately i having problem with one of my lenses its NIKKOR 50mm f1.4.
    When i try to calibrate this lens set AF Fine Tune to zero all works well till I am asked to change it to -20 I constantly getting error message as “last shot was taken with an AF Fine Tune of 0” even if i set it to -20 like i was asked.Never had that problem with nay other lenses and i tried everything restart software, laptop unplug and pul camera again (its Nikon D810 and OS Mac High Sierra ) but nothing changing>
    Maybe you could help me with my problem.

    Thank you
    Waldemar

    Reply
    • Hi Waldemar,

      We can definitely help!

      This problem comes up occasionally, it’s to do with the design of the camera menus which can be confusing(!)

      Key thing to double check the AF Fine Tune adjustment is made to the lens specific “Saved Value” setting rather than “Default” setting on the camera menu.

      The “Saved Value” should show up as -20 once the adjustment have been made and saved to the camera.

      The line below “Default” should not be used, it’s only applied when there is no lens specific setting and should be left at 0.

      The full sequence is shown in this linked video from around 2 minutes 15 seconds (this isn’t a video we’ve made but if you watch it shows the menu steps)

      https://youtu.be/-4jUXryI8Jk?t=2m15s

      Hope that helps.

      PS, It’s somewhat tricky to offer support via the blog and if you get stuck please do contact Reikan Support and they will be able to help πŸ™‚

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
    • Hi Issac,

      Thank you for your feedback, some good news on this. We are in the process of making new videos, we can’t promise they won’t be in english but we are going to try and add ‘closed captions’ which youtube should be able to translate to different languages πŸ™‚

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply

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