Sometimes the autofocus on your lenses may not be exactly where you want it. Fortunately, it’s an easy fix as most modern cameras offer “micro adjustment” or “fine tune” option that lets you calibrate autofocus of attached lenses. You do need a calibration tool to do it, though. However, Karl Talyor offers you a simple calibration method without buying (or making) a special tool for it. In this video, he’ll show you how to do it for $0 and in just a few minutes. All you need is a few items that you already have at home.
Whenever I buy a new lens, I have to calibrate it and AF fine tune five different DSLRs. Two are my primary stills shooters, and three are for video. But if I only have the video DSLRs out with me, and want to grab a few quick behind the scenes shots, I need to know their AF is spot on. So, I use the SpyderLENSCAL to calibrate every lens with every body. For me, it’s worth the cost.
If you’ve only got one camera and one or two lenses that you’ll only need to calibrate once, though, it might seem like a bit of a high expense. You buy it, use it once or twice, and then it just sits in a box. Well, there are other options. You can make your own. This video from Crafty Cams has been out for a while, but it’s recently become popular again and it’s well worth a watch.
When most of us are testing out new lenses, it’s often a very subjective thing. And our testing exercises are rarely very scientific. In fact, we may not even notice some issues until we’ve had a lens for a few months. Then, one day, the problem pops up, clear as day. For cinematographers that rely on a certain level of technical excellence in the equipment, though, it’s a big deal.
They want to know that a lens can stand up to the task. That multiple lenses used to shoot a scene from multiple angles are consistent. Rental houses also want to be sure that equipment comes back to them in the same condition as when it left. So, they take things a little more seriously. This video from Cinematography Database shows off some of the process, and what they’re looking for when testing.
We’ve all heard it right? Calibrate your monitor otherwise, your colours will be different from what they should be, and your photographic work will become a potential mess without you even knowing how badly.
I recently sold my ASUS 27″ 4K monitor and side-graded to a 27″ Dell U2713H 1440p one instead. The main reasons being a wider colour gamut, a resolution easier on my eyesight (4k panels in Photoshop are just way too small for me, and the 200% option makes them far too big), and a way to gain some cash back.
On setting up the Dell for the first time at my house, I immediately noticed the extreme difference between my old calibrated 4K monitor and this new uncalibrated one.
However, this was quite a shock just how badly it was off by. It came with a piece of paper from Dell telling me that it was factory calibrated and was “smack on the money”. After doing a factory reset the monitor went from interpreting every colour as a variation of green (people looked like the incredible hulk) to a somewhat “I could work with this, but I wouldn’t trust it”.
Forward a couple of days and a good friend of mine Maarten De Booer shipped over his XRITE i1 pro for me to use to calibrate the new Dell.
The embedded video above shows you just how badly a factory reset monitor can be with regards to colour. And despite any amount of paperwork telling you it’s perfect, any pre-calibration should be ignored.
When DataColor announced the Spyder5CAPTURE Pro package a few weeks ago, I had to get my hands on one. So we had a chat with DataColor and they sent one over for me to check out. The whole bundle includes four of DataColor’s popular calibration and profiling tools. There’s the SpyderLENSCAL, the SpyderCHECKR, SpyderCUBE and Spyder5ELITE.
My current workflow comprises a mix of X-Rite and Lastolite tools. A ColorChecker Passport, the i1 Display 2 and an Xpobalance. They’ve served me extremely well, so the Spyder5CAPTURE Pro suite has a lot to live up to. The DataColor setup does, however, offer some very distinct advantages over my current system, which we’ll get to throughout the course of the review.
So, let’s have a look at what’s in the box.
Bundles are good. We like bundles. Especially when they contain a bunch of items that are actually useful. One such bundle is the new Spyder5CAPTURE PRO kit by Datacolor. Based around the Spyder5ELITE monitor calibrator, it seems to offer a complete solution from capture to computer.
The kit also includes the SpyderCHECKR, SpyderCUBE and SpyderLENSCAL. Bought separately, this would cost around $425, and if you care about colour accuracy would be worth every penny. But right now, a special introductory price means you can everything for only $269. When you consider that the Spyder5ELITE costs $265 just on its own, that’s a hell of a saving.