Whether or not you have the "AF micro-adjustment" of the latest cameras, LensAlign can measure the focus accuracy of your current camera/lens combination(s) and allow you to determine if there are any front or back focus problems. It works equally well with auto or manual focus since the light paths for both types of focusing differ from the straight line light path used for actual picture taking (as opposed to focus). As such, the knowledge and techniques described here apply to both manual and auto focus systems.
Once you have used LensAlign and discovered how your focus system is performing, you then have the following options:
* If your system is on the money (not displaying back or front focus issues) – go about your sharp shooting with renewed confidence
* If the camera/lens combination(s) has front or back focus, then with this knowledge you can compensate when you shoot. For example, you can focus on an ear or nose rather than the eye in portraiture. Or you can stop down to trade off greater depth of field for speed. Or you can manually focus knowing when to back off.
* Using the photos you have taken using LensAlign as documentation, you can now have a more enlightened and productive dialog with the manufacturer as to whether your lens or camera body requires service.
* As you consider future purchases, the knowledge gained via testing with LensAlign help determine whether that new lens you have been eying is the way to go (assuming your “platform”, camera body is working well with current lenses) OR it’s time to upgrade that body.
*Personal note: LensAlign was conceived before the Micro-Adjustment feature existed in any cameras. My purpose in creating LA (in addition to helping to feed my family) was to provide a focusing reference system that could be used by both photographers and manufacturers to help both *sides* from wasting valuable time and resources involved in sending bodies and lenses back and forth for inspection and potential repair, when in fact it had not been established in a concrete manner that in fact there was a problem. Also when a photographer receives equipment back from an *adjustment* she needs to be able to determine if the problem has in fact been resolved. By testing both before and after potential service both the photographer and manufacturer gains, in that the goal is to keep the photographer shooting and not being without their equipment...Michael Tapes*