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DatacolorSpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid
 
4.2

(based on 88 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (45)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (25)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

91%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (48)
  • Lightweight (33)
  • Reliable (25)
  • Durable (17)
  • Compact (16)

Cons

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

Best Uses

  • Portraits (8)
  • Macro photography (7)
  • Travel (7)
  • Landscape/scenery (6)
  • Sports/action (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro photographer (13), Enthusiast (11), Photo enthusiast (11), Professional (10), Pro photographer (10)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (19), Business (8)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (51)
    • 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 88 customers

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5.0

I should have bought this years ago.

By Jim

from Fremont, Ca.

About Me Semi-Professional

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy To Use
  • Lightweight
  • Reliable

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

      Not wanting to spend on a focusing aid, I only made more work for myself and spent too much time calibrating all my Canon camera's.Set up the SpyderLensCal and in minutes per camera, calibrated them all. I trust the calibration too, because the visual checks after the calibration were repeatable. I think the best part of this product is the main target, making sure the camera is focusing at a specific spot each time.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Great tool

      By Sky the blue

      from Los Angeles, CA

      About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Macro Photography
        • Portraits

        Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

        I used it to calibrate my 18-200 nikor lens with my nikon D300. It's a great tool and the fact that is collapsible, it fits in my bags very easy.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        Little over priced for what is

        By Jhwsfla

        from Orlando

        About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

            Works and need two tripods to get it. Folds up nice but with longer lens need lots of room to do it

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Works great!

            By Tim S

            from Macon, GA

            About Me Semi-Professional

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Easy To Use
            • Lightweight
            • Reliable

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Landscape Photography
              • Portraits
              • Studio

              Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

              I located a video by Matt Granger that gave specific instructions on distance from lens to the target. I made adjustments based on focus and my Nikon 85 1.8 is sharp tack!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Good concept, hard to execute

              By Ninety-nine

              from Wilmington, DE

              About Me Professional

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Lightweight

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                  It's not really the fault of the device, which is pretty easy to set up and use, but it's hard to tell which incredibly fine line is the sharpest when you look at it on your monitor. Still, it's better than the book and ruler I was trying to use before I bought this. My camera/lens combos are now sharper than they were so I'd say it was worth it.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Sturdy and folds flat when not in use

                  By Jared - Identity Crisis Studio

                  from Seattle

                  About Me Professional

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Lightweight
                  • Reliable

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Everyday use
                    • Landscape Photography
                    • Macro Photography
                    • Studio

                    Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

                    I like how this is designed. There is a 1/4-20 thread on the bottom, so you can attach it to a tripod.

                    It folds flat when not in use, and when assembled, it's solid.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (3 of 3 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

                          Share this review

                           
                          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!

                              Share this review

                               
                              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

                                  Share this review

                                  (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

                                        Share this review

                                         
                                        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

                                          Share this review

                                           
                                          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.

                                          Share this review

                                          (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.

                                          Share this review

                                          (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

                                          Share this review

                                          (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

                                            Share this review

                                            (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

                                              Share this review

                                              (2 of 2 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

                                                Share this review

                                                (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

                                                Share this review

                                                (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

                                                Share this review

                                                (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

                                                  Share this review

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