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12-15-2009, 09:02 PM   #1
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Focus Magic Software?

I just came across this thread and found that it mentions a program called Focus Magic.

Has anyone had real experience with it? I downloaded the trial program, but I've already used up the quota (10 actions). From preliminary evidence it does seem to work well for slightly those slightly out-of-focus images.

Thanks.

12-15-2009, 11:28 PM   #2
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I think you have the answer.

You say that you've found that FocusMagic helps with slightly out of focus images. That's been my experience. There have been a couple of occasions when I just didn't get a crisp shot and have been able to make my shots usable with it. I also use the Topaz Labs Detail Photoshop plugin. Sometimes that gives better results, sometimes FocusMagic does. I think it's certainly worth the reasonable cost.

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12-16-2009, 04:03 AM   #3
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I have used it for couple years now. Works fine without any major effort to about 5 pixels OOF blur width, about the same effect with motion blur. More than that and the job turns into a forensic adventure.
Very seldom I use it as a stand-alone, works well as a photo shop plug-in, actually I find the interface easier in photo shop, ends up being one of my most used tweaks in post processing.

Cheers, Mike.
12-16-2009, 04:37 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by iht Quote
Has anyone had real experience with it?
I haven't used it for OOF shots (I don't do these ) but it works small wonders for shots with blur from camera shake (please Pentax, give us the ever-ready SR so that we don't miss the SR initialisation time period by a fraction).

From my experience Focus Magic can turn a shot ruined by blur into an acceptable one. It may not look entirely natural when pixel peeping but with typical print/view sizes the image will look much better than before.

Although it cannot do a perfect job with a night sky shot since the motion blur isn't linear, the result from applying it to a shot of mine which was a little too long exposed to yield dots rather than tiny streaks for the stars was quite impressive. Suddenly I saw a lot more stars since the contrast of a single dot against the black sky is better than the same amount of brightness spread over a comparatively faint streak.


Last edited by Class A; 12-16-2009 at 05:53 AM.
12-16-2009, 05:19 AM   #5
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I have it as a plug-in and have found it useful from time to time (for oof--I haven't tried it for motion blur.)

You know: you've got a shot that has some intrinsic values (subject, pose, composition, light) but is just over the line in terms of focus. FM can often save it from the Delete button. It can't turn your bad shots into museum pieces but it can salvage a few.
12-16-2009, 06:30 AM   #6
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Focus Magic is magic indeed.

I've used it with great success for minor focus and motion correction.

But really, it is Math not Magic; what it does is to mathematically return out of focus disks of light into points of light by a process called deconvolution. This process is fundamentally different from other "sharpening" methods which mask rather than correct focus errors.

In principle Focus Magic can turn a soft lens into a sharp one. In practice it actually does that - it can't correct a coke bottle of course, but it does a fine job for minor softness. Here's an example from a wide open Soligor 200:2.8 lens:

And another snagged from the web.


I use it both stand-alone and as a plugin to Paint Shop Pro.

Dave
12-16-2009, 09:21 AM   #7
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This plug-in/software is great!
I don't suppose it's free?
12-16-2009, 01:16 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
Here's an example from a wide open Soligor 200:2.8 lens:
What are you thinking posting examples, replacing our two thousand words with two images?

QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
I don't suppose it's free?
Almost. At $45 it's not really expensive.

12-16-2009, 04:13 PM   #9
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I have it and it works very well.
12-16-2009, 05:10 PM   #10
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QuoteQuote:
What are you thinking posting examples, replacing our two thousand words with two images?
Whoah !!! That is magic indeed! Look at those eyes on the bee! I thought the original image was already in decent focus, but the result was...wow! Was that a focus correction or motion correction or both?

As for me, whilst my manual focus skill improves, this tool might just come in handy.

Thanks for the post. I think I'm sold....almost. Are there alternatives out there before I fork out the $45?
12-16-2009, 05:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by iht Quote
Whoah !!! That is magic indeed! Look at those eyes on the bee! I thought the original image was already in decent focus, but the result was...wow! Was that a focus correction or motion correction or both?

As for me, whilst my manual focus skill improves, this tool might just come in handy.

Thanks for the post. I think I'm sold....almost. Are there alternatives out there before I fork out the $45?
Both cases were simple focus correction.

I've not found an alternative as easy to use or as effective.

I'm convinced that Focus Magic can make a soft lens better; no matter how good your skills are, FM can help.

Dave
12-16-2009, 05:28 PM   #12
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The software does a good job without having to put in a major effort. Worth 45 bucks in my opinion.

Cheers, Mike.
12-16-2009, 05:33 PM   #13
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Yes, try and do a 1 pixel focus correction on a perfectly good image, just makes it crispy`er .

Cheers, Mike.
12-17-2009, 06:29 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
I have it as a plug-in and have found it useful from time to time (for oof--I haven't tried it for motion blur.)

You know: you've got a shot that has some intrinsic values (subject, pose, composition, light) but is just over the line in terms of focus. FM can often save it from the Delete button. It can't turn your bad shots into museum pieces but it can salvage a few.
An addendum:

I'm in the midst of processing shots from my daughter's basketball game this afternoon. It was one of those dim gym situations so I've had to go pretty heavy with the NR. On a whim, I gave one a light shot of FM (about 50%): it really helped to restore some of the detail I lost to Neat Image.
12-18-2009, 12:54 AM   #15
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Alright guys...I pulled the trigger! Thanks for all the tips. I'll use the Paint shop plugin, which doesn't seem to strip away EXIF like the standalone program does.
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