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Digital Data Files

Digital Data Files

Digital Data files contains the Image Adjustments for that camera; Hot Pixels / Horizontal / Vertical Shading, Dark Value, Hot Pixels, Image CMOS and more.  Saving the Digital Data files is even more important then saving Camera Data files because our software does not offer image adjustment features.

 

To Download and Save Digital Data

  • ‘Click’ Save.
  • Name the file - usually the camera’s serial number.  
  • Save the file you have just named.  You MUST name the file or you can not do a ‘save’.  The software will add the file extension - .dig.
  • The software will download and go through the save sequence … NOTE:  Interrupting this process can cause catastrophic failure to the Main Board. 

 

 

So ... Big Question - What do you do if you can’t recover the Data Files?

 

 

All our Canon Service Adjustment Software offers Help files linked to that Service or Adjustment Function!

 
Camera Data Files

Camera Data Files

Camera Data files contains adjustments for that camera, AE, AF, TTL and more.  If your camera has AF MicroAdjust, you can Save and Load your AF MicroAdjust Data files in this section of our Canon Service Adjustment Software.

 

To Download and Save Camera Data:

  • ‘Click’ Save.
  • Name the file - usually the camera’s serial number.  
  • Save the file you have just named.  You MUST name the file to ‘save’.  The software will add the file extension - .cmr.
  • The software will download and go through the save sequence … NOTE:  Interrupting this process can cause catastrophic failure to the Main Board. 

 

To Load the Camera Data:

  • ‘Click’ Load.
  • Find your file.
  • ‘Click’ Open.
  • The software will Load your original Camera Data.  NOTE:  Interrupting this process can cause catastrophic failure to the Main Board. 
  • Saving and Loading AF MicroAdjust data files follows the same procedure.  The software will add the file extension - .afm.

 

 

 

So ... Big Question - What do you do if you can’t recover the Data Files?

 

 

All our Canon Service Adjustment Software offers Help files linked to that Service or Adjustment Function!

 

How to Change Total Release Counts - Part 2

How to Change Total Release Counts

Part 2

 

Please read Part 1

 

The Release Count in the camera’s menu is a record of ‘All’ activations on that camera.  It is a record of current AND previous shutters releases, it also records additional ‘live view’ mirror activations.   It is the camera’s odometer - record of use!  As such it should not be changed!  But if you must:

 

The General Page will show you one of the following windows:

Early on, changing the ’Total Release Count’ was simpler and we were able to build that feature in the General section of our Canon Service Adjustment Software.  But as time passed, models became more complicated and we were forced to move the ‘Change Total Count’ feature into the Shutter Calibration plugin / Shot Count.  When that happened, we decided to included the Shutter Calibration plugin as a standard feature of every SPT Canon Service Adjustment Software.

In this example, the camera menu shows a Total Release cycles of 3600.  A quick look into the Shutter Calibration plugin / Shot Count shows the shutter had been replace at 24000.  So the first step is to clear the Shutter Replacement History by clicking 'Reset'.

Then use the Shutter Count window to put in the new shutter count.  In this case we used a good used shutter with a count of 12345 - click ‘Change’.  A popup window will ask you:  Would you like to update the Shutter History? - click ‘No’.

A check in the camera System status display menu shows the Release cycles has been updated to 13000 (rounded up).  And our Canon Service Adjustment Software shows the Total (Release) Count has also updated 12345.

 
Understanding Release Cycles / Total Counts

 

Understanding Release Cycles / Total Counts

Part 1

 

The Release Cycle count in the camera’s menu is often misunderstood.  This can cause you problems after a shutter replacement.  

 

 

Many believe that after the shutter is replaced the number of ‘Release Cycles’ should change.  This is because ‘Release cycles’ is often thought to be the shutter count.  

 

The problem is worsened by 3rd party software which claim to read shutter count but instead reads the Total / Release Cycle count.

 

Bottom Line:  You should not change the release cycles count, but we give you a way to do it if you must. 

 

 

 

After replacing the Shutter, the count should be changed to ‘0’.  This does not affect the camera’s Total / Release Cycle count.  Release Cycles is the number of ‘ALL’ releases .. which includes both old AND new shutter counts.

 

 

 

When you change the Shutter Count, the Camera FAX is automatically updated.  The update includes the Shot Count and Replacement History.  

 

Giving your customer the Camera FAX ‘Before’ and ‘After’ your service is an important tool for your business and customer satisfaction!

 

 

 

Changing the Total / Release Cycle count:  

If despite this, your customer is dissatisfied and you have no other choice read:  Changing Release Cycles / Total Counts - Part 2

 

 

Understanding Auto Focus Target Size

Understanding Auto Focus Target Size

(Updated 20 softwares)

 

1.    Targets vary in size by model. Some are wider than others due to larger AF sensors and a larger field covered by the sensor.

 

 

2.    The grid graduations behind the AF chart is a ruler.  Each block should be exactly 10mm.  Count the number of blocks to find the correct target size.

 

 

Examples:  

  • A 5 D Mk4 target has 18 graduations making the target size 180mm (± 1mm)  
  • A 80D target has 16 graduations making the target size 160mm  (± 1mm)

 

 

As shown in Video #1:  The target size is measured across the width of the target and should fall within ±1mm.

 

Targets should be printed on Card Stock - 100gsm or thicker.

 

 

TEMPERATURE PLUGIN

TEMPERATURE PLUGIN

Understanding How and Why

 

 

 

Problems:

  • Camera displays an ‘Overheating’ warning - usually followed by a shut down.  This can happen as soon as the camera is turned ‘On’ or after several shots.
  • One or more camera functions (AF, exposure, Light meter, Flash, etc) are out of calibration or are intermittent.
  • This problem might happen before or after the Main PCB is replaced!

 

Possible Reasons:

  • Temperature Sensor failure in one or more circuts  (such as:  Memory Card, Shutter, CMOS, AF or AE Units). Or a connection failure between the Unit and the Main PCB.
  • Main PCB failure.
  • Data Corruption.
  • EEPROM Corruption.

 

Solutions:

  • Start by saving the data files ( .crm and .dig files ) from the original Main PCB if possible. Do this using the Canon Service Adjustment software for that model.

 

  • Open the Temperature Plugin in your Canon Service Adjustment software and check the temperatures in the different Units.

 

  • Replace the .crm data file on the original or new Main with ‘Known Good Data’ - SPT can help with this if necessary.  You can do this without any disassembly.

If this solves the problem you have corrupt data and you can use the know good .cmr data file.  BUT .. you should check the calibration in other camera functions (such as:  AE, AF, Shutter)   

 

  • Test the Temperatures again using the Temperature Plugin.

If the temperature is still badly out, its the Units temperature sensor / connection issue.  You should especially check the connection between the Unit and Main PCB.

 

If the Unit Temperature is only out by a few degrees, the EEPROM is probably corrupt.  You may need to send this to Canon for adjustment.

 
Understanding how to Update SPT Canon Service Adjustment Software

IMPORTANTDO NOT UPDATE SPT SOFTWARE WITH A CAMERA CONNECTED TO THE SOFTWARE

 

Updating Current SPT Software

 

Whenever a update is available, current SPT Canon Service Adjustment Software displays “Update ... is Available’ in the Opening Window.  When you want to Update your software click on ‘Update Software’ menu at the top of the page.  By clicking 'Yes' in the popup window the update will download and automatically update your software.  

 

  • Opening window / Update Software / Click ‘Yes’ in the Popup Window

 

 

Opening Window / Current SPT Software

 

 

 

Updating Previous SPT Software

 

In the Opening Window click 'Check for Updates' and follow the screen prompts.

 

 

Opening Window / Check for Updates 

 
 
Understanding the Canon 5D MK II Internal Shutter Count
Service Advisory from Canon regarding the Canon 5D MKII Shutter Count 
 
Problem
The shutter reading in the General Page of the software can be inaccurate by up to 2048 shots.  This is the camera’s  Internal Shutter Count.
 
 
Reason:
The 5D II has a firmware bug that limits the accuracy of its shot count and total count, read or written, to within 2048 of the actual value. Since the internal shutter count was never designed to display its count to the user, it doesn't have much effect on them until they come in for service.  Because of that Canon did not feel it necessary for an update to correct this defect. 
 
 
You can verify the shutter count:
SPT software are definitely reading and writing the count correctly. We have been able to verify this by comparing to the camera's own built-in shutter count, accessible under the factory menu (DATA CK > ERR), which gives exactly the same results as the SPT Software.
 
 
Technical:
The EOS 5d II stores the correct count until it gets above intervals of 2048 (800 in hexadecimal). Then it just fails to write the current count to Eeprom, until it gets to the next interval, which is 4092, and so on.  It updates an internal counter, so the camera is able to maintain a shutter count, and if you click the shutter enough times, it will start reading correctly again (It'll just jump up by 2048). 
 
 
Keep checking for Firmware Upgrades, Canon may address this issue at some point.
 
Understanding Canon's USB 2 and USB 3 Connectors

Canon uses USB cables to connect their camera’s to PCs.  Although most Canon D SLRs use USB 2 cables known as a ‘micro-USB’,  newer Canon D SLRs have upgraded to USB 3. 

 

USB 2_‘micro-USB’

 

USB 3

 

An easy way to tell USB 3 from USB 2 is that the plastic tongue of the connector is always blue on a USB 3.

 

SPT Service Adjustment Software can use either USB 2 or USB 3 to connect SPT software to the camera …. with the exception of the Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R.

 

Canon 5D S using the USB 3

 

 

Canon EOS 5Ds and 5DS R

  • Use a USB 2 ‘micro-USB’ for the 5D S and 5DS R cameras.  

 

  • Or use a USB 2 extension from your PC, and then plug your existing cable into that. The PC will treat it as a USB 2 connection.

 

If you use USB 3 to connect your Canon EOS 5DS or 5DS R to SPT Service Adjustment software, they will not communicate correctly and will probably lock into Service Mode.  This can be fixed by connecting the camera to the SPT Service Adjustment Software using a USB 2 cable.

 

 
An Overview of Data Files

Always download and save the Camera and Digital data files, first thing.  If you own the Professional or Advanced version of the software; also download and save the Calibration data files.  Each link below will take you to an expansive explanation of that data file.

 

SPT’s Canon Service Adjustment Software enables you to download and save a total of five Data Files.  

Each backup function has its own objective.

 

Camera and Digital Data Files

The Camera and Digital data files are accessible with every version of our Canon Service Adjustment Software;  Essential, Professional and Advanced.

 

Rule 1:    Always Download the Camera and Digital Data files.  

 

 

Always download and save these data files; before you do anything to the camera, even if you do nothing to the camera.  Save these data files!  Get in the habit of downloading and storing these data files for your customers.

 

 

Calibration Data Files

The Calibration Data File is accessible with both Professional and Advanced versions of our Canon Service Adjustment Software.  You can download the Calibration Data Files when you use the Main Board Replacement Plugin.

 

Rule 2:    Download the Calibration Data Files whenever possible. 

 

 

 

If you own the Professional or Advanced versions of SPT’s Canon Service Adjustment Software, use the Main Board Replacement Plugin to download and save the Calibration Data file.  Do this after you save the Camera and Digital Data files, do this even if you are not replacing the Main Board.  Get in the habit of downloading and storing this data file for your customers.

 

 

 

Auto Exposure Calibration Data Files

The Auto Exposure Calibration Data file is accessible with both Professional and Advanced versions of our Canon Service Adjustment Software.  You should download the Auto Exposure Calibration Data file if you use the Auto Exposure Calibration Plugin.

 

 

When you use use the Auto Exposure Calibration plugin,  it opens in the Backup window.   Use the opportunity to backup the AE Data file.

 

 

 

 

Auto Focus Shift Data Files

The Auto Focus Shift Data file is accessible with the Advanced versions of versions of our Canon Service Adjustment Software.  You should download the Auto Focus Shift Data file if you use the Auto Exposure Calibration Plugin.

 

 

When you use use the Auto Focus Calibration plugin, it opens in the Backup window.   Use the opportunity to backup the AF Shift Data file.

 
Understanding Camera and Digital Data Files

Camera Data and Digital Data files SHOULD ALWAYS BE DOWNLOADED AND SAVED

 

 

Use SPT Canon Service Adjustment Software to backup the Data Files with every repair or service.  If your have the Professional or Advanced versions of our Canon Service Adjustment Software also use the Main Board Replacement plugin to Backup Calibration Data files.  Original Data files are Gold in future repairs! 

 

Camera and Digital Data Files allow you to:

  • Repair a camera using a Used Main Board.  After installing the used Main Board, upload both Camera and Digital data files from the original Main Board into the salvage Main Board …  This DOES NOT REQUIRE INITIALIZATION

 

  • Install the cameras original Data files into a New replacement Main Board.  This REQUIRES INITIALIZATION using our Canon Adjustment Software Plugin ‘Main Board Replacement’.  This plugin is part of our Professional and Advanced software series.

 

  • Return the camera to its original condition.

 

Saving Camera (.cmr) and Digital (.dig) Data files will allow you to build a library which you can use if your repair requires you to replace a Completely Blown Main Board.  

 

* Data files can only be used by cameras of the same model. 

 

With a library of data files you will be able to load known good Camera (.cmr) and Digital (.dig) Data files separately (mix and match) until you find a set which is a reasonable match for the the cameras original calibration data. 

 
  • Business Promotion - having the original data files guarantees your customer that a camera can be restored to original condition.

 

 

So ... Big Question - What do you do if you can’t recover the Data Files?

 

 

All our Canon Service Adjustment Software offers Help files linked to that Service or Adjustment Function!

 
Understanding Calibration Data Files

Calibration Data files combines the Camera Data and Digital Data files so you can restore the camera to its original condition after replacing the Main Board.  You are able to download and save this data file with the Main Board Replacement Plugin which is part of SPTs Canon Service Adjustment Software. 

 

The Main Board Replacement Plugin allows you to:

  • Backup Calibration Data from the Original Main Board.  Calibration Data Files includes both camera and digital data.
  • Initialize a New Main Board.
  • Load the Calibration Data into a New Main Board.
  • Check and Change the camera Model and Serial number - if needed.

 

Under all circumstances - Always Backup and Save the Calibration Data Files.  Repairing a camera by installing a New Main Board is a common repair and the best and easiest ways to do that is to have the cameras original Calibration Data Files.  Original Calibration Data Files are gold!

 

The time you save will be your own!  The camera use save will be your customers!

 

 

To Backup Calibration Data:

  • ‘Click’  Save Calibration to PC.
  • Name the file - typically your cameras serial number.
  • ‘Click’ Save.  The software will add the file extension .cal.

 

To Load Calibration Data:  (After Initializing the New Main Board)

  • ‘Click’ on the Load Calibration Tab.
  • ‘Click’ on the Load Calibration to Main Board button at the bottom of the window.
  • Find your original Calibration Data File. 
  • ‘Click’ Open.  Your original Calibration Data File will load into your new Main Board.

 

We recommend Calibration Data Backup using our Canon Adjustment Software with all your customers.  We recommend that you be aggressive in offering this service!  Backup the Calibration data at every opportunity!  

 

 

insert camera data backup and load video .. under construction

 

 

So … Big Question - What do you do if your Main Board is damaged?

 

 

  • If your old Main Board has any life at all … TRY TO SAVE THE EXISTING CALIBRATION DATA!   

 

All our Canon Service Adjustment Software offers Help files linked to that Service or Adjustment Function!

 
Understanding Auto Exposure Calibration Data Files

Auto Exposure Calibration Plugin is part of SPTs Canon Service Adjustment Software.  The Auto Exposure Calibration section allows you to:

  • Backup AE Data
  • Check and Adjust the AE Temperature sensor.
  • Calibrate Auto Exposure.
  • Check the AE Sensor Outputs.
  • Adjust the AE Shift which combines the light meter reading and automatic exposure setting.

 

BEFORE you make any AE Adjustments Backup / Save your AE Data files.

 

 

The Backup Tab in the AE Adjustment Plugin saves the AE adjustment data Only!

 

AE Data Files allow you to:

  • Backup your current AE Data Files without effecting any other camera adjustment files.  
  • Return your camera to its original pre-adjustment condition.

 

 

To Backup / Save AE Data:

  • ‘Click’ Backup.
  • Name the file - perhaps the camera’s serial number.  
  • Save the file.  You MUST name the file or you can not do a ‘save’.  The software will add the file extension - .ace.
  • The software will download and go through the save sequence … NOTE:  Interrupting this process can cause catastrophic failure to the Main Board. 

 

 

To Restore AE Data:

  • ‘Click’ Restore.
  • Find your file.
  • ‘Click’ Open.
  • The software will Restore your original AE Data.  NOTE:  Interrupting this process can cause catastrophic failure to the Main Board. 

 

 

inset the AE Backup video

All our Canon Service Adjustment Software offers Help files linked to that Service or Adjustment Function!
 
Understanding Auto Focus Shift Data Files

The Auto Focus Calibration Plugin is part of SPTs Canon Service Adjustment Software.  The Auto Focus Calibration section allows you to:

 

  • Backup AF Shift Data.
  • Calibrate a Test Lens.
  • Check (AF) Sensor Outputs.
  • AF Calibrate automatically adjusts the camera body’s Auto Focus.  
  • Enable Sensors is used if you manually adjust camera body AF.
  • AF Shift is used with Enable Sensors if you manually adjust camera body AF. 
  • AF MicroAdjust is an automated procedure for finding the best AF Macro Adjust value.
  • Lens AF Shift adjusts Lens Auto Focus for models that do not have a AF MacroAdjust function.

 

AF Shift is the adjustment data for the Auto Focus Sensors.  BEFORE you make any AF Adjustments Backup and save your AF Shift Data.  

 

 

 

The Backup Tab in the Auto Focus Calibration Plugin saves the AF Shift Data ONLY!

 

AF Shift Data Files allow you to:

 

  • Backup your current AF Shift Data Files without effecting any other camera adjustment files.  

 

  • Return your camera to its original pre-adjustment condition in case you make a bad adjustment or if the camera becomes disconnected during AF adjustment.  

 

 

To Backup / Save AF Shift Data:

  • ‘Click’ Backup.
  • Name the file - perhaps the camera’s serial number.  
  • Save the file.  You MUST name the file or you can not do a ‘save’.  The software will add the file extension - .afb.
  • The software will download and go through the save sequence … NOTE:  Interrupting this process can cause catastrophic failure to the Main Board. 

 

 

To Restore AE Data:

  • ‘Click’ Restore.
  • Find your file.
  • ‘Click’ Open.
  • The software will Restore your original AF Shift Data.  NOTE:  Interrupting this process can cause catastrophic failure to the Main Board. 

 

Insert AF Shift Backup video .. under constuction

 

All our Canon Service Adjustment Software offers Help files linked to that Service or Adjustment Function!

 
 
Replacing the Main Board

When a repair requires you to replace the Main Board, your first step is to download the Calibration Files from that camera using the Main Board Replacement plugin / Backup Calibration - if the camera still powers up.  

IMPORTANTThe original Calibration Files are so important that you should make it a habit of saving these files from every camera you service for any reason .. it is a simple one step process using our Canon Service Adjustment Software.  You can even offer this as a 'service' to your customes.

But repairs also involve cameras that are completely dead - bricked!  When you decide that the cause is a blown Main Board you need to know the things you can do / steps you can take, to get the camera to work like a new camera.  

 

You can work the steps in order or you can vary you’re technique depending on circumstances.  However, Step 1 is always you’re preferred choice!

 

 

Step 1:    Use the Original Data Files

  1. Retrieve the data files the you saved on your PC before the camera crashed - bricked.
  2. Upload the original Calibration Data File (.cal) into the new Main Board after Initialization.
  3. Or upload the original Camera (.cmr)  and Digital data (.dig) files sepearately into a good Salvage Board.

 

 

Step 2:     Retrieve what you can

If the Main Board is able connect to our Canon Service Adjustment Software, you may still be able to retrieve some of the calibration data. The backup and restore tabs on the Main Board Replacement plugin allow you to save and load all of the calibration data at once for convenience, but you can load separate chunks of data elsewhere:

  1. Save / Load Digital data (Main window) 
  2. Save / Load Camera data (Main window) 
  3. Backup / Restore AF Shift data (Auto Focus plugin) 
  4. Backup / Restore AE data (Automatic Exposure plugin) 

As an example, it may be the case that you can save camera data but not the digital data.

 

 

Step 3:     Rescue the Eeprom

If the Main Board can NOT connect to our Canon Service Adjustment Software, you can still retrieve some data. 

 

Unfortunately, the flash ROM cannot be removed from the main board without very special soldering equipment.  But .. the Eeprom is relatively easy to desolder. It is a small 8 pin package located near the main processor, usually labelled 514E or similar. 

 

CAUTION the Eeprom is heat sensitive, overheating can corrupt its data. If you are successful you can then swap the Eeprom for the Eeprom in the replacement board

 

Note:  This procedure requires some skill, and that the Eeprom itself may be faulty - a common cause of main board failure. If the Eeprom is faulty, transferring it to the new Main Board will cause the new board to appear faulty. But on the positive side, you will have diagnosed the fault of the old board, and can get it working again by inserting a good Eeprom, saving $$$.

 

 

Step 4:     Use data from other cameras as a template

Every time you get an EOS DSLR to repair, it's a good idea to save the camera and digital data using our Canon Service Adjustment Software. As well as 'fingerprinting' the camera for future repairs on that specific camera, this will allow you to build up a library of calibration data that you can use to load into New Main Boards in different cameras / same model.  This works well more often then you would think.

 

*  If you don't have any saved data for that model, contact SPT - someone will email you known good Data Files.

 

  • If you are using a brand New Main Board, you must initialize the new Main Board first using the Main Board Replacement plugin that is part of our Professional and Advanced Canon Service Adjustment Software.  After Initialization you can upload data files. 

 

  • If you are using a known good Salvage Main Board, you can proceed with uploading your data files.

    

  • Load the Camera (.cmr) and Digital (.dig) Data Files separately from other cameras until you find a set for which the camera operates reasonably well. 
  • Check that the image looks reasonable, especially noise in dark. 
  • Check that the camera doesn't hunt too much on AF. 

 

 

Step 5:     Use SPT Advanced software to calibrate AE, AF shift, and Shutter timing

  • Once the camera is operating reasonably well, you can perform the important adjustments with SPT software. Be sure to perform AE adjustment first - This will affect the histogram for shutter timing.

Even if you only follow steps 4 and 5, you should be able to get the camera to perform as well as, if not better than, it did before the fault.

Image with Good Digital File

 

Image with Bad Digital File

 

All our Canon Service Adjustment Software offers Help files linked to that Service or Adjustment Function!

 
Understanding How to Evaluate Lens Sharpness

The measure of a lens is optical sharpness!  Often taken for granted with new lenses, often questioned with used lenses.  There are numerious methods to test sharpness but most are time consuming and therefore expensive.  Testing Lens Sharpness is a great service you can provide for customers.  It is also your first step in creating a Test Lens for Canon Auto Focus Calibration.  It is an easy entry into the world of Canon Auto Focus Adjustments and Canon AF MicroAdjust. 

 

SPTs Canon Service Adjustment software gives you a quick and easy way to test sharpness.  With our software you can electronically measure sharpness, display the measurement as an easy to understand graph and give your customer a screen shot of the graph (Alt + PrtSc).

 

New Lenses

Expensive lenses are better, true.  Lenses cost more because they have better glass and have tighter tolerances.  But expensive or moderate in cost, every lens is different.  In any group of lenses some are better then others.  And your customer may be perfectly satisfied with a lens of moderate price if he knows that … The lens is sharp enough.   Our Canon Adjustment Software allows you to evaluate a single lens or pick the best out of a group ... quickly.

 

 

Used Lenses

Used lenses can be a great purchase or they may have focus problems!  When you are buying a used lens you want to know which is which.  SPTs Canon Adjustment Software lets you evaluate the mechanics of a lens without disassembly... quickly.

 

 

Sharpness relies on two factors:

  • Lens Sharpness.  The combined optical quality of the lens elements.
  • Focus Consistency.  The combined tolerance of the mechanics.

Lens Sharpness and Focus Consistency are combined into a single test, done simultaneously.   You will rapidly gain experience and be to Evaluate Lenses Sharpness using our Canon Service Adjustment Software.  And as importantly you will be able to do the test quickly and present it to your customer in a easy to understand format - Screen Shots with Focus Point Graph.

 

TESTING LENS SHARPNESS

 

 

The Tools You Need to Test Lens Sharpness:

  • SPT Canon Service Adjustment Software.
  • 3D Target mounted on a 30 degrees bracket. 
  • Sturdy mount for your camera.
  • Canon EOS Camera Body - preferably your test body.

The 3D target is part of our Canon Service Adjustment Software package.  The 30 degree bracket is self made.  We recommend a professional copy stand, new or used, as your camera mount.  Your test body or your customers camera body and our Canon Service Adjustment Software - Advanced version.  

 

 

Here is the Procedure:

  • Set the camera to ‘M’ with lens wide open.
  • Put the Camera and Lens on your Camera Mount.
  • Set the lens to manual focus.
  • Align your 3D Target.
  • Set your Lens to near the closest focus for that lens. 
  • Adjust the height of your camera accordingly.
  • Manually focus on ‘0’
  • In the Software:  Use Auto Focus Calibration / Calibrate Test Lens / Start
  • Use your Focus Tool and Focus Graft to measure sharpness.
  • Shoot a Screen Shot of the active picture window for your records.

 

Insert video link ‘focus testing’ here .. under construction

 

The directions might sound complicated but doing it is not.  Its like reading directions for tying your shoes .. long explanation for a simple process.

 

Some Notes

  • Setting your lens to wide open (F/Fo) and lens to its closest focus has one objective - limit the field of focus!  
  • It may take you several shots to manually focus on ‘0’ - remember Image focus is what counts NOT the focus in the viewfinder. 
  • Manually focus your lens while taking test shots until the ‘O’ in the Image is your sharpest point of focus.

Look at the three screen shot below.  The first image is a entry level kit lens, the middle image is from a good EF lens and the bottom image is from an EF L lens.  For your information the EF lens would be called ‘sharp’.

 

You can use a simple rating; soft, good or great.  You can also measure degree and depth of focus (front and back focus) in millimeters.  

 

No matter how you decide to rate a lens your customer will have a visual ‘easy to understand’ graft of their lenses sharpness.  Something that is quick to do and very easy to understand

 

 

Soft

 

 

Good Sharpness

 

 

Best Sharpness

 

 

Click here for:  Testing Focus Consistency … under construction.

 

All our Canon Service Adjustment Software offers Help files linked to that Service or Adjustment Function!

 
Understanding Auto Focus Sensors

With SPTs Canon Service Adjustment Software you can see and test each AF Sensor.  Watching the AF Sensors live output gives an easy test and understanding of how AF Focus Sensors work and why.  

 

AF Points and AF Sensors

  • AF Points are the AF brackes you see in the viewfinder.  

Looking at viewfinder image below, we can count 19 AF Points in the viewfinder for this camera.  These are the Auto Focus positions choosen by the photographer using their eye or Selector.  Different models use more or less AF Points .. depending on design.

 

 

 

  • AF Sensors are the Sensors under the mirror box used by the camera for Auto Focus.

We will explain in this article why this camera has 49 AF Sensors for those 19 AF Points.  Different models use more or less AF Sensors .. depending on design.

 

 

How Auto Focus Sensors Work

  • AF Sensors are electronic rangefinders.  
  • Each AF Sensor has two separate cells to create an electronic rangefinder.
  • Each AF Sensor is covered by a beam splitter that splits the image into two; one for each cell.

  • Each cell is photovoltaic.  Light produces a voltage.

Image contrast is needed to produce a wave.  The highlight creates the top of the wave and the shadows create the bottom of the wave.

  • Since there are two cells in each AF Sensors, two separate waves are created.

 

Types of AF Sensors

 

Now lets take a look at a camera using SPTs Canon Adjustment Software.  What we see is the 19 AF Points + 5 Sensor Groups.  The camera uses the different AF Sensors Groups in the same AF Points for focus targeting.   

  • Sensor Group #1 is the Horizontal Line Sensing Group, f5.6 for all sensors.
  • Sensor Group #2 is the Vertical Line Sensing Group, f5.6 for all sensors.
  • Sensor Group #3 is the Horizontal Line, Extreme Defocus Group for the center sensor.
  • Sensor Group #4 is the Diagonal LR ( Line) Group, f2.8.
  • Sensor Group #5 is the Diagonal RL ( / Line) Group, f2.8.

 

There are two or more AF Sensors on all AF Points, a total of seven in the center AF Point.  Typically cameras place the most AF Sensors in the center.  

 

For this camera there are a total of 47 different sensors used by 19 AF Points.  Different models use more or less AF sensors, AF Points and AF configurations.  Notice that the center AF Sensor has twin sensors in one group.  Other positions also twin sensors.

 

insert  70D AF sensor video .. with sensor waves on  .. under construction

 

 

The camera checks the focal length of the lens, the active AF sensor(s), identifies the type of target (Horizontal, Vertical, Diagonal) and the F/stop when it calculates focus.  This is the same math taught in Photography programs, without the hassle of doing the math yourself.

 

 

Phase Shift

Each AF Sensor has two individual cells covered by a beam splitter.  The beam spitter divides the image into two parts, one for each sensor.  The defocus split creates what is known as Phase Shift.  

 

SPTs Canon Service Adjustment software displays the voltage from each cell as a line, one red / one blue.  

 

 

 

Focus Direction

Its well know that when a lens is defocused highlights and shadows blur into each other.  The direction of the blur (highlight into dark and the opposite) depends on if the lens is focused too near (back focus) or too far (front focus).  

 

Because the AF Sensor is measuring a split image, the Phase Shifts right or left telling the camera which direction to move the lens.

 

 

Lens is Front Focused

 

 

Lens is Back Focused

 

Focus

The camera uses all the information mentioned and calculates the direction and rotation of lens.  After Auto Focus is finished, the camera rechecks focus by looking at the Phase Shift and does adjustments if necessary.

 

 

 

 

inter video .. lens focusing while watching phase shift .. under construction

 

 

We will cover other aspects of Auto Focus in other later Technical Notes.

All our Canon Service Adjustment Software offers Help files linked to that Service or Adjustment Function!

 
Understanding How to Evaluate Lens Focus Consistancy

A lens can have good optical quality, but a lens also needs to focus consistently to be sharp?  Are the tolerances in the lens loose or is the lens tight?  The tighter the tolerances in the lens, the more reliable its focus.  To check consistency you will need to do dynamic testing - test the image after the lens Auto Focuses.

 

SPTs Canon Service Adjustment software allows you to test Focus Consistency quickly and easily.  With our software you can electronically measure the focus point on a series of test shots after AF, display the measurement as an easy to understand graph and screen shot the series of test shots for your customer. 

 

Sharpness relies on two factors:

  • Lens Sharpness.  The combined optical quality of the lens elements.
  • Focus Consistency.  The combined tolerance of the mechanics.

 

Factors that Effect Focus Consistency

  • The AF Sensor.
  • The combined mechanical tolerances of the Focus Cams.
  • Lubrication. 

 

Insert video Link ‘Testing Focus Consistency’ here .. under construction

 

 

The Tools and Procedures are the same as shown in Understanding How to Evaluate Lens Sharpness / Testing Lens Sharpness.

  • Select the Center AF Sensor using the camera’s Mulit-Controller (Custom Function) or by whatever method your camera uses.  This should eliminate AF Sensor variations.

 

  • Take a Series of Test Shots using your 3D Target and the softwares Focus Tool.  Does the lens focus to the same point each time?

Defocus between shots so the lens has to Auto Focus for each test shot.  You can repeat the test at several distances.  Your concerntration should be on the consistancy of the point of focus, even if it is not on '0'.

 

Lens Sharpness and Focus Consistency are combined into a single test, done simultaneously.   You will rapidly gain experience and be to Evaluate Lenses Sharpness using our Canon Service Adjustment Software.  And as importantly you will be able to do the test quickly and present it to your customer in a easy to understand format - Screen Shots with Focus Point Graph.

 

 

 

Series of Test Shots using the Focus Measurement Tool

All Shots focusing at '0'  + / - 1mm

 

 

All our Canon Service Adjustment Software offers Help files linked to that Service or Adjustment Function!

 
Understanding Shutter, Mirror Counts and Histories


Shutter Count records the number of activations of the ‘current Shutter’.  Each time the Shutter is replaced the Shutter Count should be reset to the new shutter count.  Changing the Shutter Count automatically updates the Replacement History and Camera FAX.  Changing the Shutter Count does not change the Release Count displayed in the camera menu. 

 

To change the Shutter Count:

  1. Type in the new count number …  ‘0’ or other number.
  2. ‘Click’ Change and the new Shutter count will be written into the camera.
  3. Changing the Shutter Count automatically records the last replacement in the Shutter History and Camera FAX.

 

Mirror Count records the number of activations of the ‘current Mirror Unit’.  Each time the Mirror Unit is replaced the Mirror Count should be reset to make the count accurate for the new Mirror Unit. Changing the Shutter Count automatically updates their Replacement History and Camera FAX. 

 

To change the Mirror Unit Count:

  1. Type in the new count …  ‘0’ or other number.
  2. Click ‘Change’ and the new Mirror count will be written into the camera.
  3. Changing the Mirror Count automatically records the last replacement in the Mirror History and Camera FAX.
 
 
All our Canon Service Adjustment Software offers Help files linked to that Service or Adjustment Function!
 
Understanding Crosspoint Screwdrivers used in Camera Repair

Screwdrivers for Japanese lenses and cameras are crosspoint screwdriver blades manufacutred to meet JIS (Japanese Industry Standard).  JIS crosspoint screwdriver blades are designed to fit the crosspoint screws used in cameras and lenses.  Cameras and lenses use the following crosspoint screw bit sizes:  1.7mm2.0mm and 2.5mm.

 

Back to Screwdriver Blades and Handles

 

Although a ‘search’ for screwdrivers for camera repair will turn up other sources, a close look at the heads of the screwdriver blades show that most are really Phillips 00 or 000 blades.  They are NOT crosspoint screwdriver blades!  It will drive you crazy when you strip the screw head and spend hours trying to get the it out … NOT FUN!  This will happen sooner or later if you don't buy good JIS bits.  

 

Phillips bits have a tendency to round out the centers of JIS screw heads because their design will not allow them to fit all the way into the cross slots.  You can why through these illustrations:

The crosspoint tip and the temper of the blades are important if you don't want to damage the screws.  The fit of the blade must feel perfect, ‘fits like a socket’.  The temper must be hard enough to be durable but not so hard that the blade is brittle.  

In the past we all bought NIWA JIS screwdrivers … but NIWA has been out of business for many years.  At first we tried to make due with screwdrivers available in the general market.  Most were actually Philips bits which damaged the screws, the few that fit did not have the necessary temper and broke quickly.    

 

SPT manufactures JIS crosspoint camera screwdriver blades to meet the needs of professional camera technicians who were dissatisfied with the camera repair screwdriver blades available on the market.  For over 10 years professional camera technicians and business rank our JIS camera repair crosspoint screwdrivers and blades‘Best Camera Screwdrivers’ becuase of their fit and durability.