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!

Nikon Capture NX-D returns with “U-Point” technology

The “U-Point” technology was invented by Nik Software and via collaboration with Nikon, the technology was implemented in what at the time was called Nikon Capture NX and later NX2. Nik Software was then acquired by Google in 2012 and further by DXO in 2017. That meant the end of NX2 and brought the birth of NX-D without the U-point technology, until now. If it is the actual U-Point technology that is back, I can not confirm, but it looks and feels like the old one.

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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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Tamron Tap-In Console, my experience

Tamron announced their Tap-In Console about two years ago, and the two main functions is to be able to update firmware without sending the lens into service, and the second is to finetune focus at three different focus distances and several focal lengths (for primes just one focal length). There are also some other features you may do in the Tap-In utility, such as behavior of the Vibration Control, adjust the focus limiter, sensitivity of the focus ring and so on.

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Ilhabela, Brazil

Officially named Ilha de São Sebastião (St. Sebastian Island), but commonly just called Ilhabela, the “Beautiful Island”, just outside the coast of São Paulo state. A short fifteen-minute boat or ferry trip brings you to the relatively small island with a population of about 32 000, witch during holiday season quadruples. For most people that comes to Ilhabela do it for the beaches, sailing and surfing, there is also a lot of hiking trails in the mountains where seven tops reaches above 1000 meters

Ilhabela also has a history of being a hiding place of pirates and privateers, and has the largest graveyard of shipwrecks in whole Brazil, making it a paradise for scuba divers. We visited the island about ten years ago.

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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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Life forms at the Oceanographic, Valencia, Spain

A couple of years ago we have visited Valencia, in Spain, a city with many cultural treasures and rich history. Interestingly it is not only preserving the past through architectonic, literary and art  jewels, but it also nurtures its future with modern buildings and attractions. One of them is the Oceanographic, the largest complex of its kind in Europe. The park is divided in 10 areas, with species from all around the globe, including not only fishes, but many other species such as birds and mammals.

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Curitiba to Paranaguá by train

One of the few scenic train routes in Brazil goes from Curitiba and winds its way trough the mountain range of Serra do Mar and down to the port city of  Paranaguá in the state of Paraná in southern Brazil.

We did the trip in 2007, but now it seems like the train stops at the historic city of Morretes, about two thirds on the way to Paranaguá. Highly recommended way to feel and smell the Atlantic Rainforest.

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Heddal Stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway

Heddal Stave Church is one of the most visited stave churches in Norway, located just next to the E138 in Notodden in Telemark county. The church is the largest of the remaining stave churches, reaching 20 meters in length and 26 meters in height, and was built in the beginning of the 13th century.

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