FoCal 2021 Maintenance Release 1 available now

Reikan FoCal 2021 Maintenance Release 1 is available now, significant camera detection improvements on all platforms and fixes for a few bugs present in FoCal 2021.

Reikan FoCal 2021 Maintenance Release 1

What’s New?

[If you don’t need to read the details and just want to grab the release download info is here]

Headline Features

This is a Maintenance Release which is intended to provide fixes for usability issues in major releases (in this case FoCal 2021). This release addresses the following:

The blog post for the previous release of FoCal 2021 contains details of the big improvements that version brough.

The Release Notes contain the comprehensive list of changes for this maintenance release.

Camera Detection Improvement

Reikan FoCal camera connection page
Camera Detection is improved in FoCal 2021 MR1

FoCal 2020 included some clever functionality to detect information about cameras before connection, so more information could be shown to you before hitting the Connect button.

However, some reliability issues have come to light in this area, making connection to a camera – especially on macOS – a little hit-and-miss for some users.

We’ve reworked this area of the code to use a far more reliable method which is not only more stable but also much quicker. This should resolve issues people were seeing with long delays while “Detecting Cameras” and other similar symptoms.

One consequence of this change is that until the first time you connect to your cameras after installing FoCal 2021 MR1, the serial number will be shown as a blue question mark in the camera list.

Unknown serial number on first connection
Unknown serial number on the very first connection

Once you have connected for the first time, you should see the serial number shown each time:

Known serial number after first connection
After the first connection the serial number is known

Improved Camera Connection

If your camera contains a memory card with a lot of images on, connection to the computer can take some time (seconds to minutes!) and this was triggering issues within FoCal.

Camera with memory card partially inserted
Full/slow cards are better handled in FoCal 2021 MR1

We’ve improved the software to give better feedback if this issue is detected – we can’t speed up the connection (it’s down to the operating system – either Windows or macOS), but we have made the instructions clearer rather than just failing to connect in some unhelpful way.

Our recommendation is either have no memory card in the camera when using FoCal, or to have a newly formatted memory card in the camera for tests like Stabilisation Test which require a card.

Better Disconnect Detection

Although it’s an uncommon situation (and one we’d suggest to avoid generally), we try to make FoCal robust if the camera is suddenly disconnected for some reason – e.g. the cable is pulled, the battery exhausted etc.

Just to be clear – it’s much better to hit the Disconnect button in FoCal before removing the cable. But we have made improvements in this area to be more robust against unexpected camera disconnections.

Nikon Fixes

Nikon focus point on LCD

FoCal 2021 brought better detection of the camera focus point setup to catch situations where the camera is not set up correctly, but this has introduced an issue for some users with Nikon cameras when using Calibration Check and other tests that rely on Live View operation.

The symptom is an error message similar to this appearing during tests:

A shot was taken, but no focus points were reported active. You should ensure you are using single point AF mode.

but when the camera is set to single point AF mode.

This issue should now be resolved with FoCal 2021 MR1.

MultiTest Improvements

Reikan FoCal MultiTest lets you analyse across both aperture and focus adjustments to give a 2-dimensional view of your camea and lens performance. It operates in two different modes – one for cameras which support some form of AF Adjustment (e.g. AF Microadjustment, AF Fine-Tune etc), and another mode introduced in FoCal 2021 that is completely hands-free and doesn’t use the camera focus adjustment which allows operation on all supported cameras.

In this second mode, the test works by adjusting the focus position of the lens during the test, but this functionality is difficult to control as different cameras and lenses behave in different ways. The algorithms in FoCal are designed to remove the effects of these differences, but there are some situations where it has been failing to adjust the focus, showing this message:

Failed to adjust focus position

We’ve modified the operation a little in FoCal 2021 MR1 to try a little harder and longer to adjust focus on certain lenses, which should improve the reliability of the test without changing the results in any way.

Operating System Support

Reikan FoCal supports the following operating systems:

Windows (64-bit)

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008 R2_SP1

Mac

  • macOS Big Sur (11.0)
  • macOS Catalina (10.15)
  • macOS Mojave (10.14)
  • macOS High Sierra (10.13)
  • macOS Sierra (10.12)

More details…

There are more details in the changelog on the release notes for this release.

Get Reikan FoCal 2021 MR1

Download FoCal 2021 MR1 for Windows or macOS by logging in to the account system via lms.fo-cal.co.uk. Once logged in, you will see a download link to the software.

FoCal 2021 MR1 is available to all users that are within their Included Updates Period as of 4th December 2020 (i.e. everyone who can use FoCal 2021). You can get the software as below:

  • By logging in to the FoCal Account system via lms.fo-cal.co.uk.
  • Go to the About > Update Check option in the software. From here you can hit the Download button to get the software.

If the above does not apply to you, you can purchase 12 months of updates by logging in to the account system via lms.fo-cal.co.uk and going to the Included Updates Period section.

If you’re not yet a FoCal user, you can purchase the software as a download or boxed product, as well as Focal Hard Targets from the FoCal Online Store.

Reikan FoCal on Social Media

We regularly post news and updates on social media. You can keep updated, connect and follow us via:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.