Reikan FoCal 2021 is available

After just a few months of Focal 2020 out, there is a new version 2021 available. Unfortunately I never came around to even try the 2020 version, but I’ve spent some days playing with the 2021 release candidate around Christmas. For everybody that comes from version 2 and straight into 2021 version, there is a lot of new cool stuff to talk about. If you’ve read about my experience with version 2, you may remember that I had quite a few complains and wishes for improvements. Without going through all of those, I think most on my list has been enhanced or fixed if technically possible, although I see that calculated focus distance is still way off from the real distance.

One of my biggest wishes from version 2, was a more smooth and easy way of checking focus at different apertures, not only one at the time. On this point Reikan has come through with a very nice solution where you can test at all apertures at once, like here my Nikkor 24-120 f/4 at 24mm:

If you where familiar with version 2, you could only test one aperture at the time and get one best point for each one. Here each point on the chart above is the same as having run version 2 at all apertures and joining the best points all together in the end. It’s amazing! It also makes it easy to see the focus shift. The downside is that it takes about 100 photos to get the result on the chart above.

With that out of the way, there is more good news in the 2021 version. Apart from support for the latest cameras, you can also use photos taken from cameras without AF-fine tune, like many lower end cameras. As you can’t do any fine tune in-camera, I would guess it is most suited for 3. party lenses like Tamron and Sigma where you can add fine tune in-lens. I haven’t tried this feature.

Further there is a new stabilization test where you can test how many stops you and your in-camera and/or in-lens stabilization are able to get in somewhat real life. I found this test a little bit awkward, but anyway gives you some guideline to work from.

If you found this interesting, read more about it and the new features here: https://blog.reikanfocal.com/2021/01/reikan-focal-2021-stable-released/

Thanks for reading!

Summary, calibrating the Tamron Triple Crown

I’m so lucky to have the complete set of f/2.8 G2 zoom from 15 to 200mm from Tamron, some will call it the Triple Crown. This set includes the SP 15-30 f/2.8 VC G2, SP 24-70 f/2.8 VC G2 and the SP 70-200 f/2.8 VC G2. A triple set of magnificent glass that compete with the 1st party lenses for about half of the price.

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A beginner’s buyer guide for Nikon DSLR

There are probably hundreds of similar guides out there, so why not one more? Here is my take on what should be considered when buying a beginners Nikon DSLR. The great thing about DSLR is that you can mix and match camera body with a massive number of lenses, not only Nikon’s own Nikkor lenses, but also Tokina, Sigma and Tamron among others.

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Reikan FoCal 2, my experience (so far)

Reikan FoCal is not very known by DSLR users, so what is it all about? Copied from their info:

So what exactly is FoCal?

FoCal is computer software you install on a PC or Mac, and a special target you attach to a wall. You connect your camera to the PC with the standard USB cable and start the software.

FoCal guides you through the correct positioning of the camera and target, then you can run any of the tools at the touch of a button.

FoCal works with Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras that support AF Microadjustment/Fine Tune – see the Supported Cameras page for more details.

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Why and how you should use AF fine tune in your Nikon DSLR

What is AF fine tune and why should you use it?

AF fine tune is an option in the menu of your camera (if it’s supported by your camera, it was introduced with the D3 and D300, but it’s not supported by the D3000 and D5000 series). What it does is that it compensate that your camera and lens combination may be off by a little bit making the auto focus to miss to lesser or greater degree. Every camera body and lens is produced within a certain tolerances and if the body and lens are off to the same side, it will make the focus to miss. You might also be so lucky that they are off to opposite sides and by this cancel out the differences, but that’s not any guaranty. If you happen to own several lenses, I’m convinced that most of them need some minor fine tune and maybe a couple need considerable fine tune. Adding the correct fine tune will then compensate for any misalignment between the body and lens, making the auto focus focus correctly.

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Why is it important to calibrate your monitor or laptop?

So why is it important to calibrate your monitor while working with photos (and video) before publishing them online, selling them, giving them away or making prints?

The first argument against you will hear is that; no one else has a calibrated screen, so why should I care?

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Chargers

Apart from your passport and credit card, the chargers are probably the most important thing you bring on your travels. In this modern time with everything is running on battery, being able to charge is essential. We basically has two options, either in the car or the bus/train (if you are lucky), or in the place you are staying for the night. Most people will rely on the latter I guess, and that may bring a challenge in itself.  For us, we bring a laptop, a tablet, two telephones, rechargeable speaker and two to three cameras that sometimes all need to be charged for the next day.

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20 tips to improve your photography

As most of us, I guess you’ve come  home, uploading your photos to your computer, browsing through them eager to share some online and thinking…. “hmm, I don’t want to share any of these online, not even those I was sure would be great when I pressed the shutter button”. What happened? The camera does a very good job determining the white balance, exposure and focus, but the rest of it is controlled by the person who took the photo. So don’t blame the camera in the first place.

Here are some tips that will improve your personal skills to take better photos.

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Nikon/Nikkor wish list

Everybody likes to look into the crystal ball from time to time. Sometimes we like to predict what is coming, other times what WE like to be coming. Here is what I would like to be released from Nikon regards camera, and Nikkor regards lenses

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To filter or not to filter, that’s the question (many ask)

I’m not talking about ND, polarizer or color filters, but about clear or UV filters. Do we need them or not. Of course do we need them, but do we need them on all of the time and are they for everybody? Often do we come across arguments one way or the other online or in person about the pros and cons of using those filters. So to jump right into it, what are actually the pros and cons?

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What’s in our photo bags?

What to bring on a trip is always a question on how are you traveling and what you expect doing there, and of course your priorities. In most cases you can’t bring all your photo gear, so already there, your priority starts. After we acquired the phenomenal Think Tank Airport International v3 rolling bag, most of our problems did go away.

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Recommended Nikon Nikkor and third party lenses for DX and FX (F-mount)

The discussion about the “best” lenses is a debate that never ends and is also a personal choice. These are my recommendations based on my opinion and needs. As this is a photography blog with lots of travel pictures and some more personal photos, the recommendations reflect this.

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