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01-04-2011, 10:25 PM   #16
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Francisco, California
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QuoteOriginally posted by ve2vfd Quote
Inferno, how well does the LensAlign work?

I've always been a little suspicious of charts (they are usually a little "busy" and I find shooting on an angle kind of odd).

I'm much more confident in my calibrations using this setup vs the printable focus charts, which I've used a lot in the past (I liked Jeff Friedl's version). With the paper charts, alignment can sometimes be tricky. I have to make sure the camera is at the right angle and that the paper is not skewed, both of which I'm not sure of. I also need a flat surface that I can place the paper onto. The LensAlign MkII has a pretty foolproof way of aligning the focal plane of the camera to the main target. First, you use the two thru-holes on the front and rear focus chart to aim it at the camera lens. Then you start moving the camera around to position it parallel to the focus target. If your camera isn't exactly parallel, the red bullseye on the rear target will not appear at the center of the front target. The ruler at the right is locked at the proper angle, so there's no need to guess what angle the camera needs to be once you've got the bullseye. Since the LensAlign has a standard tripod thread, I can mount it to a tripod or lightstand and calibrate almost anywhere.

I was almost going to buy the original LensAlign (a $180 product), but they released the cheaper MkII version ($80). It's hard to compare to a free focus chart, but I really do feel more confident that my calibrations are solid now.

- Jason


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