LensAlign Focus Calibration System

January 7, 2009 | Mark Goldstein | Accessories | 0 Comments |

LensAlignThe new LensAlign Focus Calibration System makes it easy to test cameras for front or back-focus problems. Lens Align will be available in two different configurations, LensAlign Pro and the portable and less expensive LensAlign Lite. Both LensAlign models are comprised of a focus target and a companion depth-of-field ruler, together with a sighting system that ensures accurate parallelism between the LensAlign focus target and camera sensor/film plane. Lens Align ships with a companion DVD tutorial series and is available now for $139.95 (Pro) and $79.95 (Lite).

RawWorkflow Press Release

RawWorkflow unveils LensAlign™ for managing back and front focus issues

“Get the most from your fast glass!” - Michael Tapes.

The remarkable LensAlign Focus Calibration System from RawWorkFlow.com provides a unique and precision tool for testing cameras for front or back-focus problems when using “fast glass” (lenses with aperture openings of f4 or larger). Owners of today’s sophisticated DSLRs and modern lenses are quite aware of the potential front/back focus problem but, prior to LensAlign, have lacked access to a proper testing methodology. Without confirmation of proper AF operation, a purchaser of new or used equipment has no idea if it is working to its full potential. With LensAlign, a new lens purchase can be verified on one or more camera bodies from the photographer’s arsenal.

Release of LensAlign also coincides with the camera makers’ subtle but real acknowledgement of back/front focus problems. Beginning with Canon Mark III Series 1 cameras, almost all professional and enthusiast DSLRs are now equipped with an AF Microadjustment function that allows the camera body or individual lenses to be calibrated and focus problem neutralized. Yet to date no official calibration procedures have been announced by any of the leading camera makers. The release of LensAlign provides camera makers with a universal reference upon which to base at least one calibration procedure. Although LensAlign is not yet officially endorsed by manufacturer, Canon US and other camera makers have been kept in the loop during its development, and their feedback was implemented within its innovative design.

“In conceiving LensAlign, it occurred to me that there was no good way to communicate the range of focus problems that were being widely reported,” offers RawWorkFlow.com founder Michael Tapes. “Photographers could post test images, but they lack a common reference from which the performance of the camera or lens could be judged. I hope that LensAlign becomes that common reference, allowing specific camera/lens combinations to be profiled for their auto-focus performance. We plan to create a database of LensAlign images from camera/lens combinations so that a perspective buyer or new owner can compare the results that they get from their equipment against a profile of performance images stored in our database. Since there is no specific specification parameter for auto-focus, the best way to determine if equipment is offering its full potential is to compare it with identical camera/lens combinations being used by others.”

LensAlign will be available in two different configurations. The first is LensAlign Pro, which will ship Dec 16, while the portable and less expensive LensAlign Lite, will ship around January 10. Both models are comprised of a focus target and a companion depth-of-field ruler, together with a novel, custom-designed sighting system that ensures accurate parallelism between the LensAlign focus target and camera sensor/film plane. Having set up the camera and LensAlign using the sighting mechanism – all of which is explained in the accompanying video tutorials – the user takes an image of the target and ruler. Any front/back focus anomalies will be instantly revealed on resultant image of the angled ruler scale.

“If the focus is spot-on,” Tapes explains, “the ruler’s zero mark will be in perfect focus, with proper depth of field in front and rear of the mark. But, if the auto or manual focus system is off, then the ruler markings will show this instantly, either in front of or in back of the target plane - the ‘0-ruler’ marking). The entire process is easy to perform, accurate, and is entirely repeatable.

“Even photographers who focus manually can benefit from the regular use of LensAlign,” Tapes considers. “While not as complex as the AF system, manual focusing of DSLRs or rangefinder cameras utilizes a separate light path than the capture, which is the primary cause of the focusing problem.”

LensAlign ships with a companion DVD tutorial series and is available on-line from RawWorkflow.com for $139.95 (Pro) and $79.95 (Lite), both plus shipping. Because of the portable nature of the LensAlign Lite design, it is well suited for international purchase and is shipped in a Flat Rate postal envelope to minimize shipping costs outside of the US.

LensAlign™ is a patent pending design.

LensAlign



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