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!

Tripod, heads and accessories

If you are new to photography or even a bit experienced, I admit that there is a jungle out there that can confuse the most determent ones. If you look a little bit closer you will notice that there is actually some kind of system in the mess, and there is a form of standardization of screws and threads, and quick release plates.

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Storage workflow, from preparing via on the road to backup when coming home

As we do most travel photos, we need to start with what photo gear to bring. That includes more than cameras and lenses, we also need to think about storage. We need to bring more memory cards than we need and external hard drives with more than enough space (make sure that they are all working!). For the camera with only one card slot, we never delete photos from the full memory card used with that camera, but for the camera with dual card slots (which the second card slot is set up to backup), I delete one of them after all photos are copied over to the external hard drive.

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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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