Objects of Desire: SpyderLensCal

October 2, 2010

By Dan Havlik

Properly calibrating your lenses can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience. The new SpyderLensCal is designed to make the process a whole heck of a lot easier and more convenient, i.e. you don’t need to send your camera and lens back to the manufacturer to get them fixed.

SpyderLensCal, which is basically a black-and-white target with a scale and shooting boxes, takes advantage of the lens micro calibration feature in many of the latest digital SLRs that lets you store autofocus correction right in the custom camera settings. The result is fewer incidents of front focusing or back focusing on your subjects and greater sharpness all around.

Here’s how it works. Take a picture of the SpyderLensCal target and zoom in on where your camera and lens are focusing. The ruler-like scale in the target will show you how much back or front focusing you have. Then use the camera’s lens micro calibration to adjust to compensate for front or back focusing. Shoot another photo and if you’ve now got it right, lock it in for that lens. Then continue the same process with the rest of your lenses.

SpyderLensCal is lightweight and relatively compact so it should fit easily into your camera bag. It comes with a built-in level and can be mounted on a tripod for greater accuracy. It’s built out of durable, rigid resin which should prevent the target from wearing down over time.

Cost: $59

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