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DatacolorSpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid
 
4.2

(based on 82 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (41)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (23)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

91%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (43)
  • Lightweight (28)
  • Reliable (22)
  • Compact (16)
  • Durable (13)

Cons

  • Poor instructions/manual (3)
  • Pricey / poor value (3)
  • Small viewing area (3)

Best Uses

  • Travel (7)
  • Landscape/scenery (6)
  • Portraits (6)
  • Sports/action (6)
  • Family photos (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro photographer (13), Photo enthusiast (11), Pro photographer (10), Enthusiast (9), Professional (8)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (19), Business (8)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (45)
    • Computer Platform:
    • Mac (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A Simple, Effect Focus Aid

The Spyderlnescal is a well-constructed, easy to use device to help fine tune the auto-focus systems on select DSLR's which have that feature. I found it very easy to set up and use with...Read complete review

The Spyderlnescal is a well-constructed, easy to use device to help fine tune the auto-focus systems on select DSLR's which have that feature. I found it very easy to set up and use with a Nikon D300. The scale was clear enough that I was able to make fine adjustments just using the camera's rear screen.

The kit is all self-contained. It is constructed of heavy plastic which folds into position or flat for storage. It has a built-in bubble level and a brass 1/4-20 thread for a tripod. There is a product manual and a video on the Datacolor site for suggestions on using the Spderlenscal.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good tool but not for everybody

SpyderLensCal is a good tool if you can get around the sales pitch, find the basic instructions and have a basic knowledge of technical photography. If you own one of the few cameras that...Read complete review

SpyderLensCal is a good tool if you can get around the sales pitch, find the basic instructions and have a basic knowledge of technical photography. If you own one of the few cameras that have the capability of lens to film plane adjustments and if you work a lot on location were you bump and bang your gear constantly, it can be very useful. If you are an average weekend shooter, this tool is not for you, unless you like to play with toys. The pros: Once the pieces are in the correct place the correction process is quick, straight forward and accurate! The cons: The equipment comes with no manual, you have to download it from their web site, then the link to the manual doesn't work, your best bet is to Google SpyderLensCal, this will take you to the site where you can download a printable manual. The video is nothing but a sales pitch, telling you how "easy" it's to calibrate your lens, you will not miss anything by skipping it. Your best choice for camera to target support is a long table or any long surface that will keep your target and camera on the same plane, if you have "plenty of time" in your hands, you can use two tripods or a tripod and a light stand. Follow the basic instructions to focus on the target according to the lens that you are calibrating, then, you have to use the most important tool, (not included in the kit) "a tape measure". To fine tune your focusing you have to measure the minimum distance of the lens in use from the film plane (marked in your camera body) to the focusing plane of the target (the vertical face) with a tolerance error of no more than 0.25" in. After this, everything else is peachy. I would have given this tool a higher score, but the lack of proper instructions and the deceiving "anybody can do it" took some of the bang from it. I will recommend this instrument to people that have a good technical grasp of lens to camera relation. Definitively not for amateurs or photographers with no knowledge on the subject, at list, until you read a few things before diving in to it.

Reviewed by 82 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Make sure to adjust correctly

By KVogelPhoto

from Gaithersburg, MD

About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

Verified Reviewer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

        When I bought this aid the highest liked positive feedback was someone who said he saw remarkable improvements in the number of photos that were in great focus. The result was he deleted much fewer photos. I have the exact same experience.I largely do wildlife photography and birds are challenging subjects to capture in photos. Getting proper focus on the first shot may be your only chance to get that bird. When I used this aid I found my 70D was focussing my 400mm prime lens 3 stops in front of the subject. After making the adjustment I'm amazed that focus is almost always right now and even with smaller birds at distances greater than 60 feet. I now have a confidence in my camera that it will focus properly on first try.The important thing I found out is that this aid needs to be used properly. Looking at other instructions the obvious things were - keeping target and camera at same level and square with aperture open all the way. What they tell you wrongly is to move the camera at a distance of 25x-50x the focal length of the lens. When I used 25x on my 400mm lens I first did the adjustment at 30 feet (just over 9 meters). I could barely tell the lens was out of adjustment using the slanted ruler on the aid and it seemed setting the microadjustment to +2 optimized it. Then when I tested this setting at 15 feet/4.5 meters (much closer to the minimum focusing distance of this lens) I could see it still was off slightly. The setting of +3 put it right on and there was no question since the depth of field was much easier to see at this closer distance.So my recommendation is to keep the camera slightly beyond the minumum focusing distance of the lens. This will narrow your depth of field making it much easier to see how you need to optimize focus. From further distances it is not so apparent and your adjustment settings become more approximate.Some people remarked they did not like the plastic construction of this aid. After I figured out how to open it up and set it, I like this construction and it suffices very well for this task. This has to be more rugged than the cardboard alternative I have seen.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Very Helpful! Images are sharp again!

        By Hawkins

        from Louisiana

        About Me Professional

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Macro Photography
            • Portraits

            Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

            I used this tool with my Nikon D610 and Nikon 105 2.8 Micro. I had noticed that at 2.8 my focus was off after a portrait shoot. I then used the Spyder to fine tune the focus and everything is sharp again! I did the test on all my Nikon lenses and made the adjustments. I found that my older lenses needed to be adjusted more than my newer lenses. I am very glad that I purchased this and would recommend it to everyone!

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            4.0

            Very Useful but Overpriced Tool

            By Fred

            from Portales, New Mexico

            About Me Professional

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Lightweight
            • Reliable

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                I used this tool to calibrate/recalibrate lenses for my D700/D800/D810 cameras. I used the instructions which were too breezy, so I found a demo on You-Tube that gave a bit more depth. The results seemed consistent from camera to camera and tied in with the results I had achieved with other methods. While over-priced for what it is, it is most likely a lifetime purchase that I will share with others when I do workshops, so the cost will level out over time.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                Hard to ensure perfect alignment

                By John

                from Sacramento, CA

                About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                      I found it difficult to ensure that the camera focal plane and the calibration aid were perfectly parallel to each other. Without the camera and the calibration device being perfectly parallel to each other I wouldn't think you would get an accurate calibration. I think if you want to ensure your camera and lens are perfectly calibrated to each other I would have them professionally calibrated.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      5.0

                      Simple, but good

                      By Stuart B.

                      from Greenwich, CT

                      About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Lightweight

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Macro Photography
                        • Portraits

                        Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                        The design works fairly well. I wish there was a more affirmative clicking into position at the point where the vertical and diagonal pieces intersect.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        4.0

                        Does the job

                        By Eric

                        from CT

                        Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                        Does what it is intended to do. Could use better instructions and quite pricy for some plastic. Not many cheaper options out there.

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                        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        1.0

                        Pretty flimsy for the price.

                        By CookieMonstersNemesis

                        from Ontario.

                        Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                        Doesn't seem to snap together and therefore doesn't sit straight. I found this lens calibrator to be more of a gimmic product. The instructions are pretty vague, too so you're best to search YouTube videos online to really understand how to use it. May not be the same for everyone, but I found the results of the calibration to be no different. Images are still a little soft.

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                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Simple and easy to use.

                        By Kaseyk13

                        from New London, Ohio

                        About Me Professional

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Durable
                        • Easy To Use
                        • Lightweight
                        • My Photos Are Sharper Now
                        • Reliable

                        Cons

                        • None

                        Best Uses

                        • One Time Calibration

                        Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                        I didn't even know my lens was front focusing until comparing shots from my 7d to my wife's 5d mkII. It's so easy use. My DIY project wasn't cutting it as far as being consistent. It's not cheap but not too expensive for the time it saves.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Good for primes

                        By unclemikey

                        from Richmond VA

                        About Me Professional

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Use
                        • Lightweight
                        • Reliable

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Calibrating lenses

                          Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                          Unit is easy to use and set up. Wish there was some way to calibrate zooms efficiently. All my prime lenses are now calibrated and I'm satisfied with the product but it does seem expensive for some plastic parts.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration

                          By Jallen

                          from Lees summit, MO

                          About Me Semi-Professional

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Easy To Use
                          • Lightweight
                          • Reliable

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Macro Photography
                            • Portraits
                            • Studio

                            Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                            Product works great, it does work best if you have 2 tripods, or at least it is easier.
                            When focus is an issue, if using a lens wide open it is really helpful ti check the cameras auto focus

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            3.0

                            Works like a charm but way over priced

                            By Dave

                            from Fort Collins, Co

                            About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Use
                            • Lightweight
                            • Reliable

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape Photography
                              • Macro Photography
                              • Portraits
                              • Studio

                              Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                              Would not be without one when unpacking that new lens. This is a $[$].00 product not $[$].00 plus! I will let all my photo friends us mine instead of them buying one.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Nice tool, but pricey.

                              By hexhw

                              from NJ

                              About Me Semi-Professional

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Durable
                              • Easy To Use
                              • Lightweight
                              • Reliable

                              Cons

                              • Pricey

                              Best Uses

                              • See Product Description

                              Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                              I am very happy with this LensCal. It looks and works much better that the previous hand-made one. It folds for easy storage. Bubble level is a great help. The quality is good, and it does the job well. I think it's over priced considering the frequency of use. Overall, I am happy with the purchase.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Great tool

                              By Stephanie W.

                              from Jacksonville, FL

                              About Me Professional

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Excellent design
                              • Lightweight

                              Cons

                              • Difficult To Use

                              Best Uses

                              • All types of photography

                              Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                              I used the calibrator to adjust my lenses to my two bodies and even though my lenses were fairly close to perfect already the minor tweaks still made a difference in the final product I provide to my clients. Be sure to have the spyderlenscal at the correct distance away from your camera based on the focal length of your lens attached.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Works As Advertised

                              By PhotoNut

                              from USA

                              About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Durable
                              • Easy To Use
                              • Lightweight
                              • Reliable

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Lens Focus Calibration

                                Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                                Simple to use and accurate results. Helps to verify lens is focusing correctly.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Great Product!

                                By PJSM

                                from Caguas, Puerto Rico

                                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                Verified Reviewer

                                Pros

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                                      B&H were very quick to deliver the product ordered.
                                      This is a great product that's easy to use and gives the ability to make adjustments in your lens focus.

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                                      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      I would buy this product again

                                      By J Heck

                                      from New York

                                      About Me Casual Photographer

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Consistent Output
                                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                                      • Lightweight

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                                          great product and great price

                                          • Was this a gift?:
                                          • No

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                                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                           
                                          4.0

                                          Pricey plastic; does the job advertised

                                          By Jon

                                          from Driftwood, TX

                                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                          Verified Buyer

                                          Pros

                                          • Durable
                                          • Easy to Use
                                          • Lightweight

                                          Cons

                                            Best Uses

                                            • Expensive

                                            Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                                            I recently purchased a new body that provides the ability to perform AFMA (auto-focus micro adjustments). Naturally, I just HAD to put the camera through its AFMA paces with each of my lenses (3 zooms, one with a teleconverter, and 2 primes). To this purpose, I purchased a SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid.During testing, the only lens that needed adjustment was my 24-105 zoom (on the wide end), but since its max aperture is only f/4, the adjustment wasn't critical.The SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid performs exactly as advertised, and is an excellent tool for its intended purpose. I paid for mine with the B&H 2% Reward from the camera I had just purchased. Not sure I would have spent "real" dollars to buy one for more than [$]

                                            • Was this a gift?:
                                            • No

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                                            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                             
                                            3.0

                                            OK

                                            By JCHPIX

                                            from Ilulissat, Greenland

                                            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                            Verified Buyer

                                            Pros

                                            • Easy to Use

                                            Cons

                                            • Expensive

                                            Best Uses

                                              Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                                              It works as intended but it is the most expensive piece of plastic I've ever bought

                                              • Was this a gift?:
                                              • No

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                                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                               
                                              5.0

                                              Awesome service and delivery

                                              By tpatzalek

                                              from Burlington, Ontario, Canada

                                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                              Verified Buyer

                                              Pros

                                              • Compact
                                              • Durable
                                              • Easy to Use
                                              • Lightweight

                                              Cons

                                                Best Uses

                                                  Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                                                  B&H were very quick to deliver the product ordered. Exactly what was expect when ordered. I couldn't believe how fast this was delivered. They stand behind their word!
                                                  The product is great for properly testing the AF on all digital cameras. Other charts which only use an angle are inferior. This completes the job perfectly!
                                                  Would definitely use them again!

                                                  Great job! Thank you.
                                                  Tony Patzalek
                                                  Nortown Photo Service

                                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                                  • No

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                                                  (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                                   
                                                  5.0

                                                  Great Calibration Aid

                                                  By Peter 138

                                                  from Bonney Lake

                                                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                                  Verified Buyer

                                                  Pros

                                                  • Compact
                                                  • Durable
                                                  • Easy to Use
                                                  • Lightweight

                                                  Cons

                                                    Best Uses

                                                      Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                                                      this is very easy to set up and light wight.

                                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                                      • No

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