REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
DatacolorSpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid
 
4.3

(based on 143 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (79)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (38)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

91%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (63)
  • Lightweight (47)
  • Reliable (29)
  • Durable (28)
  • 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), Casual/ recreational (10)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (19), Business (8)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (92)
    • 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 143 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

Back to top

Previous | Next »

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Works as advertised

By Dmrsn1

from Florida

Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

I have not had much time to use it but it looks to be high quality and should work well.

Share this reviewHelp Icon

 
2.0

Not That Easy

By Mo Bo

from Bethesda, MD

Verified Buyer

Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

This product is not that easy to setup specially if you mount it on a tripod. Getting the target and camera to be parallel to each other is difficult and crucial. Other problem I had was for the recommend target distance I could hardly see any changes to make proper decision about front or back focusing so I had to move in closer. Support from LensCal is mediocre too. Price of this product for what it can do (if you can do it) is high.

Share this reviewHelp Icon

 
5.0

Easy to use

By JFH

from Midwest

Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

Well built, easy to use.

Share this reviewHelp Icon

 
4.0

Great cal tool once you review how to use it

By Jim

from Wisc

Verified Buyer

Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

No instruction other than picture on back of carton. Had to look up on Internet. Many conflicting ways to calibrate. Finally figured how to use it out. It does what it is supposed to do once you figure out how to use it

Share this reviewHelp Icon

 
5.0

Handy tool!

By Jon G

from Lancaster Co PA

Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

Works nicely to adjust camera to lens focus

Share this reviewHelp Icon

 
4.0

Well Made & Easy to Use

By SteveR

from Rochester, NY

About Me Casual/ Recreational

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • High price

Best Uses

    Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

    I used this lens calibration on all of my lenses and found a few that really needed some fine tuning. The LensCal is well made, easy to set up and easy to use. I decided to go with this one over the cardboard style ones for longevity. However, there is no reason that this tool has to be priced so high. I struggled with the decision to purchase it simply due to its high price. That is the only reason I couldn't give it 5 stars.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this reviewHelp Icon

    (0 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Did not help at all

    By Lucie

    from Ontario, Canada

    About Me Avid Adventurer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Don't Know How It Works

      Best Uses

        Comments about Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid:

        I wanted to calibrate my Canon EOS 100-400mm and try to follow the basic instructions, but I cannot see any difference on the chart in terms of focus. Perhaps I did not understand how it works but right now my feeling is that it was a total waste of money. If someone can help me understand the problem, please let me know.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

         
        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

            Share this reviewHelp Icon

            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            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

                Share this reviewHelp Icon

                 
                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 !

                Share this reviewHelp Icon

                 
                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.

                    Share this reviewHelp Icon

                     
                    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

                    Share this reviewHelp Icon

                     
                    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

                    Share this reviewHelp Icon

                     
                    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

                    Share this reviewHelp Icon

                     
                    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

                      Share this reviewHelp Icon

                       
                      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

                      Share this reviewHelp Icon

                       
                      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

                      Share this reviewHelp Icon

                       
                      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.

                      Share this reviewHelp Icon

                      (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.

                      Share this reviewHelp Icon

                       
                      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

                      Share this reviewHelp Icon

                      Displaying reviews 1-20

                      Back to top

                      Previous | Next »