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DatacolorSpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid
 
4.3

(based on 136 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (77)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (35)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

93%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (63)
  • Lightweight (46)
  • Reliable (29)
  • Durable (27)
  • Compact (16)

Cons

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

Best Uses

  • Portraits (11)
  • Studio (9)
  • Macro photography (8)
  • Travel (7)
  • Landscape/scenery (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Enthusiast (15), Professional (13), Semi-pro photographer (13), Photo enthusiast (11), Pro photographer (10)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (19), Business (8)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (90)
    • Computer Platform:
    • Mac (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Make sure to adjust correctly

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...Read complete review

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.

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 136 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Lens's gotta be accurate

By photocop

from Conroe, TX

About Me Military/Law Enforcement

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

      I recently sent my Nikon D750 in for the shutter recall and while I understand the imperative of accurate lens to sensor correlation I thought it a good time to by a scale. I've made my own in the past but the Spyder Lenscal makes it a little easier. Mount the camera and Lenscal on a couple of tripods, take some shot, make a few adjustments if necessary and have some accurate focusing fun.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Works good

      By Phil

      from Seattle

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Precise

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

          I used this to calibrate my Canon 5D-III & 7D-II to Canon's new 100-400 IS-II Zoom, which did need a bit of tweaking. I set it on a light stand at the same level as the tripod-mounted cameras, at about 10 feet distance, and calibrated both ends of the zoom range, using magnified live view. The provided user guide is a little sparse, but using the Canon camera user's manual, plus a few YouTube tutorials, the procedure wasn't difficult to accomplish. The 100-400 IS-II zoom is now tack sharp! Definitely worth the investment to keep my gear tuned-up.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Great Product Works Well !

          By Mike

          from Upstate NY

          Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

          A little tricky at first but once figured easy and fun !

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          5.0

          Does an amazing job

          By SueD

          from Moorestown, NJ

          About Me Avid Adventurer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

              I have never thought of calibrating my lenses to my camera before I saw a video on the internet. Now that I have calibrated all my lenses my pictures come out so much crisper than before. It is as though I purchased a new camera.

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              5.0

              i would buy this product again

              By orrie

              from kansas city, ks

              About Me Avid Adventurer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Easy To Use

              Cons

              • None

              Best Uses

              • To Calibrate A Lens

              Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

              I use this product to check and calibrate my lenses. it is simple to use. I could not find anything negative about the Spyder Lens Cal product

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              4.0

              Now my favorite body and lens work together, at last.

              By Hal

              from WA

              About Me Avid Adventurer

              Verified Buyer

              Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

              Precise, durable, functional. Made my $$$premium super telephoto lens work like it should and solved a very frustrating problem. As mentioned, the instructions are very scanty.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              4.0

              Simple but Confusing

              By Huck

              from North Carolina

              About Me Professional/Guide

              Verified Buyer

              Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

              I wanted to focus in 2 telephoto lenses. There was not any guidelines on how to do this with the product or online. I did email them and received minimal instructions. I gave up on the directions and just set up my own guidelines. I did not use the distance formula that they have you use. I zoomed to the max on the lenses and then set the distance so the LensCal filled the frame. The results helped to micro-adjust the focus.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Great Way to Calibrate your Lenses

              By Joyce

              from Denver

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Calibrating Lenses

                Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                The SpyderLensCal worked super to calibrate my lenses. I only had one lens that needed to be changed and I had an idea that it wasn't focusing correctly. The rest of my lenses were fine.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Made calibrating lens to camera easy!

                By Artman

                from Indianapolis

                About Me Casual/ Recreational

                Verified Buyer

                Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                I used the SpyederLensCal to calibrate my Canon 400mm f2.8 and Canon 70-300 IS L Series to my camera. Very quick and easy and the shots are now spot on.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Easy to use, quality product; essential product

                By Mal

                from Macungie, PA

                About Me Professional/Guide

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy Use Quality Design

                Cons

                • Plastic Somewhat Fragile

                Best Uses

                • Camera Maintenance

                Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                Easy to use, quality product; essential product for all DLSR photographers.
                Focus adjustments were necessary on my Nikon D7000 Lenses (70-200 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 85 f2.8, 70-300 f4.5-5.6, 18-105 f3.5-5.6) Some were front focusing & others were back focusing to varius amounts. Still need to chech my 50mm & 10-24.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Not sure

                By Alex

                from Oregon

                Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                It took me quite a while to figure this thing out even with the instructions. The distance and focal lengths recommended make it so you can't even see the lines, I had to get close but I was able to see a difference and dial in a few lenses. Not sure if it will make a difference or not but it seems durable and will last a long time so could be worth the money.

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                Couldn't figure this out

                By James G

                from Los Angeles, CA

                Verified Buyer

                Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                The reason that I am giving this product is because there is little to no explaination as to how to accurately use this product to it's full potential. It came with the box and no explanations. I did attempt to calibrate my lenses but to no avail. I could barely see any difference after researching how to get the best results. I am unsure if this product is worth buying or not because I could not see the difference in my images after attempting to use it based on the instructions that I had to search for. The 3 stars is based solely on the lack of instructions and support and not so much as to the value of the product. I willing admit that my results are based most likely on user err because of the lack of instructions.

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                5.0

                Very easy to use

                By Mike

                from Central Florida, USA

                About Me Professional/Guide

                Verified Buyer

                Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                Very easy to set up and use right out of the box. I was able to calibrate 3 of my lenses in about an hour. I glad I purchased this.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Great Tool, Easy to use

                By James O

                from Los Angeles, CA

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Durable
                • Easy To Use
                • Well Built

                Cons

                • Haven't Found Any

                Best Uses

                • Home Or Studio

                Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                Very easy to understand and use. Very easy set up (all one piece) folds flat for storage. Mounts easily to standard tripod, or will sit flat on a table. All of my AF lenses had at least some minor tweaks. Even the new pricy glass. Good to know they are spot on now.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                It does the job.....

                By Scott B. in Los Angeles

                from Los Angeles, Ca.

                About Me Professional/Guide

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Bright
                • Durable
                • Easy To Use
                • Quick Set Up

                Cons

                • None

                Best Uses

                • Dead On Focus

                Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                After looking at all the various options for focusing tools available, I choose the Spyder Len Cal due to the build quality. Lets face it... All the different brands do the same thing, but most are made of cardboard of some type. I`m in for the long hall and want a tool that I can use for years to come and am willing to pay extra for it.

                When I got my new D810 body I noticed it was forward focusing quite a bit with my AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens. This lens works perfect with my D700 body, but was not happy on the D810. Set up takes just a couple of minutes, and the process is pretty simple. One thing I have found however... Calibration of primes is the easiest, with shorter zooms coming in next like the AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Lens. Longer zooms like the 80-400 lens was a bear to nail down due to different readings at different focal lengths. +18 @ 400mm, +14 @200mm, and +12 @ 80. You have to decide where to set an average as there is no way (yet... do you hear me Nikon ?) to set multiple focal length settings for a single lens. But that is a camera issue, not this focus tool.
                Overall this is a product that works well, easy to use, and is built to last.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Easy to use

                By 93airstream

                from Northeast PA

                About Me Casual/ Recreational

                Verified Buyer

                Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                It's the perfect tool and super easy to adjust all my lenses. Everyone was off slightly, but they are right on now.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Handy Tool

                By Cole

                from Dalton, Ga.

                About Me Casual/ Recreational

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Lightweight
                • Waterproof

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                    I was surprised at how much some of my lenses were off. My Nikon lenses weren't off to bad, 3 to 4 points front or back focusing. My Tokina 100mm 2/8 macro was back focusing quite a bit, about 12 points. You can use cheaper methods to tune your lenses but this tool is much more convenient and will last a life time.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Terrific Product

                    By Russ G

                    from Phoenix, AZ

                    About Me Casual/ Recreational

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Bubble Level
                    • Tripod Mountable
                    • Well Constructed

                    Cons

                    • None

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                      After a disastrous trial with the FoCal 2.0 Pro product (read my review), for which B&H graciously issued an RMA, I decided a more straightforward approach to lens focus calibration was required. The Spyder product did the job perfectly. This is not a cheesey cardboard product, but very well constructed with plastic. It includes a bubble level and a threaded receiver for mounting on a tripod. I was able to calibrate three Nikon lenses to my D800E in about half an hour. It was a simple and intuitive process with results that were easily verifiable. Highly recommended

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                      • No

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                      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Unsure

                      By AllenR

                      from Cincinnati OH

                      About Me Professional/Guide

                      Verified Buyer

                      Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                      Still trying to determine if it has improved anything.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      4.0

                      Great Product

                      By Bilymac

                      from Auburn, CA

                      About Me Casual/ Recreational

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy Setup
                      • Lightweight
                      • Quality materials

                      Cons

                      • Instructions Lacking

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                        Up until I received this product, I had never calibrated my lens' before. It's a neat little device, and very easy to set up. I would of given it 5 stars, but the included instructions could use a little work. You should be able to figure it out on your own, but a few more details would be nice. You Tube is a great source for pointers.

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                        • No

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