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Is it worth calibrating a new lens?


Hi everyone!


I am a total "noob" Smiley Wink (as my kids would say) to photography.  I am just getting into it as a hobby and because my son and I want to start doing stop-motion videos and general photography for fun.


I have picked up a Canon T4i with the 55-85 kit lens and I also picked up a Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM, lens for hiking etc. etc.


I have been doing a lot of reading on line (including this forum) and in magazines to learn as much as possible before eventually taking some courses.... and I have seen some people recommending getting your new lens calibrated? I assume that with anything that is mass produced sometimes there will be issues and that nothing is "perfect".


Is this something that most people do when they get a new lens or is this really overkill?


Thanks in advance for any help!


Best regards,





If the lens appears to be focusing correctly then calibration/adjustment shouldn't be nessecary. 

Rising Star

Most likely it is not necessary.


You might also being hearing that many photographers are self calibrating their lens which is referred to as AFMA (auto focus micro adjust).  Basically it allows you to fine tune the focus of the lens/body combo without sending it into Canon.   Your T1i body does not have this feature.   Current xD bodies have this feature.


Furthermore your 55-85 (I'm assuming 15-85) and 70-300 have very forgiving apertures and especially when used on a crop body like the T1i.  You should be getting good to excellent depth of field depending on the aperture setting and camera to subject distance.  This makes it easier to get sharp photos.


So to satisfy your suspicion, set up your camera on a tri-pod and take several shots of a well lit object with high detail to check for sharp focus.   Set a high shutter speed, then take several jpg shots at different aperture settings and different focal lengths.  Compare your images.   You should expect the sharpest images with apertures of f/5.6 to f/8.


BTW, the 15-85 is a very sharp lens.  I do not have any experience with the 70-300.


That's great guys thanks for your help!  And yes your right it was the 15 -85 lens...sorry about the typo.


I will try your suggestion about the tripod and taking the different shots to check.





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