Help Center

General

No, We offer a nationwide courier service. It is fully insured, with our own GPS tracking. We use storm cases to transport your equipment in which are padlocked. Combination to padlocks are given to only you.

We appreciate this is not a cheap option as it involves 4 separate consignments but we do believe we have the most secure courier service in the UK.

Read a more detail explanation of our courier service 

Over the years we have honed our courier service offering to marry convenience and security. 

All consignments are fully insured through our own insurance. 

All consignments are GPS tracked by ourselves not the courier

All calibration consignments are packed in storm cases

All calibration consignments are padlocked with combinations only revealed to customer.


We know of no other company that goes to these lengths to ensure security of your equipment.

In addition to the protection offered by the virtually indestructible storm case, there is a soft-shell case contained inside, this inner shell along with compartments that can be configured to best accommodate your equipment. In additional we also provide bubble wrap so that your equipment so can be wrapped for additional protection.

Yes, our DPD partners are able to offer a range of time slots (in 1 hour increments),

In over three years of having offered this service we have yet to have lost a consignment, In the event of a case going missing / having been misdirected, we are able to track the case by way of our GPS tracking facility, this is independent of any internal tracking offered by the couriers. In the event that we are unable to retrieve the case a claim will be made against our insurers for the equipment (please note it can take up to 28 days for a claim to be settled / equipment replaced).

Calibration

It is not necessary to recalibrate your equipment unless your camera / lens receives a mild impact damage but is still usable

Depending on the filter brand and thickness of glass used, this can indeed affect the calibration process but the process itself will compensate for the thickness of glass of the filter accordingly. Unless otherwise requested we would always calibrate with the filter attached (Note if we have concerns with regards to the filter or experience problems, we will always contact the customer prior to calibration). Consequently once calibrated with the filter in place we would not recommend removal as this could affect the performance of the lens). 


The use of a filter CAN HOWEVER affect the overall sharpness of your images. As such you should ALWAYS use the best quality filter available, lower graded filters will noticeably affect your images. As such we are happy to recommend a suitable replacement. i

Yes, in addition to the detailed pdf reports provided by Reikan’s Focal software, we also provide a simplified pdf front sheet. These are considerably easier to understand with all the relevant information such as calibration values, lens optimisation results (if applicable) and any advisories notes.  We also provide post calibration images of the calibration target. 


This information is compressed / zipped and sent via our preferred internet delivery service WeTransfer.

This greatly depends on your location and the delivery service option chosen. If local the average service time is 48 hours. Further afield the average service time would be 72 hours. For extremely urgent servicing please contact us on 01798306599

Yes it is advisable to have your lenses calibrated separately to each body, often two or more camera bodies will perform differently with the same lens.

Currently we are only able to offer a calibration service for mid to top end Canon and Nikon DSLR bodies. Please refer to the Canon and Nikon calibration pages for a full list of compatible models.

Yes, we are able to calibrate non Canon or Nikon lenses, these include third party lenses such as Sigma, Tamron, Tokina etc.Sigma lenses benefit from a further calibration capability by means of a dedicated dock, please refer to the Sigma calibration page for more information.

Please refer to the Canon / Nikon and Sigma calibration pages for costs.

we are able to run specific tests to determine the best aperture to use with your calibrated lenses. Rarely do lenses perform at their best wide open and this is particularly applicable to zoom lenses. Our Lens Optimisation test determines the best aperture to shoot out and is specific to the camera / pixel count and calculated calibration value. A worthwhile add on in our  view.

   

 In addition, we are also able to advise on how best to configure your camera’s various settings (including auto focus) according to your chosen genre be it Wildlife, Sport, Portrait, Landscape etc.

I have a mirrorless camera do you offer a calibration service / is it necessary to calibrate my lenses to my mirrorless Sony camera?


A, At present we do not offer a calibration service using our preferred calibration solution (Reikan’s Focal). This is something we are working with Reikan to provide.


With the exception of specific Olympus and Sony mirrorless models, most mirrorless cameras do not provide the facility in camera to calibrate lenses. In most cases it is not actually necessary to calibrate a lens to a mirorrless body as the focusing system used in these cameras do not suffer from the same problems as can sometimes be found in a MIRRORED DSLR as in displacement of the camera’s internal AF sensor. Autofocus is performed directly from the capture sensor with mirrorless models and as such is not prone to the problems as described. If you are experiencing problems with front or back focus errors with your mirrorless camera / lenses this is due to possible lens optic misalignment and as such said lens should be returned to the manufacturer.

This is due to the fact that all calibration tests are undertaken at the widest aperture. Often lenses do not perform at their best wide open and normally have to be stopped down in order to ensure the best results. We would always suggest undertaking a Lens Optimisation test whilst we have your equipment for calibration as this test will determine the best aperture / sweet spot to ensure maximise quality.

Yes this is possible, caution however must be taken to identify each lens individually as in adding a two digit identifier. For example if you have two examples of an 85 mm F1.8 with both versions giving different results, it is possible to add one as Lens no 6 and the second as Lens no 10 (presuming this number has not be assigned to another lens). Further information via the following URL - https://nps.nikonimaging.com/technical_solutions/d4s_tips/af_fine-tuning/

I understand Canon have introduced something called Dual Pixels on the 5D Mk IV and this can help with focusing problems in the post production stage?The use of dual pixels was first introduced with the Canon 80D, it was only with the 5D MK IV that Canon have show-cased what looks to be a very interesting concept in helping with focusing issues.The Dual Pixel capability when coupled with the latest version of DPP allows for variants in focussing to be applied in post production. At present this adjustment is only equivalent to + or -2 in micro adjustment values. It is expected that Canon will expand this with new models as the technology is improved. In the meantime developments are being made to use this new technology to enhance the calibration process as used by our own methods. Reikan are expected to launch an enhanced version of their calibration software which will use this Dual Pixel technology to bring even greater accuracy to their results. In tests Reikan’s software is able to return a micro adjustment value which is within 1 value of that of Canon’s own DPP solution.

As with most mirrorless models, there is no need to calibrate your lenses to the Camera body as with mirrored DSLR’s. This is due to the fact that the AF is achieved directly off the camera’s sensor and not a separate AF sensor and thus not susceptible to AF displacement problems. In general, the new R series lenses tend also to be much more consistent. We are however able to run Lens Optimisation tests on your R series lenses to ascertain the best aperture to use 

All Canon’s latest middle to high end models allow for calibration at both ends of the zoom. This facility was first introduced with the Eos 1DX and 5D MK3. Earlier models such as the original 5D, 5D Mk2 and 7D only allow for either one end or other as opposed to both ends. (Note by default, we calibrate at both ends independently and provide both calibration values and advise how this can be changed).

The models that do not allow for calibration are now discontinued but these include the Eos 50D and Eos 77D.

If you are using a Sigma lens such as the 150-600mm F5-6.3 Contemporary or  Sport we are able to calibrate the lens to our studio calibrated 7DMK2 and then “tweak” the settings to your camera body. Can take quite a long time but the result have been very good.

It is possible to calibrate manually for interim focal lengths but there is no way for these values to be entered into the camera’s af micro adjustment menu, see below for further details.

I have heard that certain Canon models allow for linear calibration as in they are able to calculate for interim focal lengths with a zoom as in with a EF 100-400mm USM 200mm and 300mm settings, is that correct?


Yes this is correct, middle to high end models (7D MK 2, 5D MKIV, 1DX MK2 /3 are able to calculate the interim calibration values using a linear method. These interim calculated values can ONLY be viewed on playback in camera if the original image was taken in AI-SERVO mode. (Calculated interim values can also be viewed in Canon’s DPP software but again only if the original image was 

taken in AI-SERVO AF)

If I have a Sigma or Tamron lens than can be calibrated for interim focal lengths using their dock (Sigma) or Tap-in console (Tamron) and I am using one of the models as described above which would be more accurate, calibrating for each focal length using the dock or using Canon’s linear method?


 From our own exhaustive tests we have found calibrating for different focal lengths using the Sigma dock / Tamron Tap in console does result in more accurate results than Canon linear calculation as this is more a “guesstimate” than a proper calculation. For more information / comparison, (Blog- Canon Inrerim Calibration) Note manual calibrations for the Sigma / Tamron are 

calculated using Reikan’s Focal Pro software.

A Middle to high end Canon DSLR’s (7D MK2, 5D MK IV, 1DX models) have the ability for the user to add a serial number for the calibrated lens. This was if another version of the same lens is added to the body at the same time it will ignore the calibration values of the previously calibrated lens. Note the latest versions of Canon EOS bodies / lenses when used together will add the lens serial number automatically.

No updating the camera’s firmware will not clear any previous calibrated lenses. However, you are updating the firmware on a 1DX series camera it would be advisable to back up all the camera settings to a storage card before updating the camera’s firmware. Should you experience any problems all the camera’s settings can be restored.

Yes, a copy of your calibration reports are kept on our servers.

This is dependant on the model of your camera body, Models from the 7D MK2 & 5D Mk 3 will read the serial number of the lens attached and add the serial number automatically. Earlier models have the ability to add these manually.

Q. I have a Canon 7D Mk2 with a 70-200mm / 100-400mm and 1.4 x attached attached that you calibrated. When I attach the converter and check the af micro adjustment menu it does not show the converter is attached in the lens infoA. This is because the font size used in the 7D MK’s menu is too large to display the full lens mounted to the cameras in 70-200mm F2.8 + 1.4x or 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 L + 1.4x. Please rest assured the camera does recognise the converter in use

Anything that helps bring attention and offers a solution to the problems associated with front and back focus is a benefit and for use in the field it is a welcome feature. Unfortunately the system is more of a working progress with improvements in the accuracy expected in later models. In tests we have found that the self calibration does not always yield consistent results and has to be performed a number of times. In our tests we found both the D500 and D5 returned calibration values that were very different from that using our own methods.

Unfortunately Nikon only allow for calibration of zoom lenses at either one end or another as opposed to modern Canon models which allows for calibration at both ends of the zoom range independently. Please refer to the Canon and Nikon calibration pages. In addition, Sigma lenses allow for calibration at different focal lengths throughout a zoom range, again please refer to the Sigma page here.

 Yes and this is where we at Cameracal are a little different as in we have devised a work around this problem. this is as follows:



  • We calibrate and provide test results for both ends of the zoom. For example if we are calibrating an AF-S 24-70 mm F2.8, we will calibrate for both the 24 mm and 70 mm ends. (We can if requested calibrate for any interim focal lengths, although there may be an additional charge depending on how many are required).

2. We will then in accordingly to the clients preference set the focal length preference as in 24 mm OR 70 mm  in the cameras’ AF FINE TUNE menu.



3. We then program one of the Fnct (Function) buttons on either the back or front of the camera (depending on the camera model) to display the AF Fine Tune menu once depressed.(We effectively add the AF -Fine Tune to the camera’s MY Menu facility as the first option).


4. This allows the user  to quickly access the AF FINE TUNE facility and to change from one Focal length setting to another.


Whereas this is not ideal, it does at least allow a user to bypass Nikon’s lack of ability of not being able to calibrate for both ends of the zoom. 




This function is being rolled out on their latest models as in D780 and D6

This is highly unlikely and is intended for future models only (we have had unofficial confirmation of this from Nikon UK).

When we calibrate your lenses to your camera body each lens is given a specific number as in 1, 2 etc. These numbers are listed in the List Saved Values which is found in the AF Fine Tune menu. We also also document these number on the calibration front sheet as part of your calibration documentation.

Yes, the maximum number of lenses that can be added to a Nikon body is 20.


Yes, converters are listed as separate lens in the AF Fine Tune menu once calibrated.


Over the last 3 years we have have constructed a database of each manufacturers lenses as in the most consistent / inconsistent, the entire list will be published in a future blog post. Sufficient to say though Nikon’s most inconsistent lenses include the following;

  1. Nikon AF-S 14-24 mm F2.8

        2. Nikon AF-S 24-70 mm F2.8


        3. Nikon AF-S  70-200 mm F2.8 G VR


        4. Nikon AF-S 105 mm F2.8 IF-ED (edited) 


        5. Nikon 85 mm F1.8 

Both the Z6 and Z7 models use a similar AF system to their mirrored DSLR counter parts, as such in order to ensure your lenses are perfectly matched it would be advisable to calibrate your lens to your body. Calibrated values are added to the camera’s AF Fine Tune menu and assigned lens numbers.

I have a Sigma lens which can be calibrated with the use of a doc. Do you offer this facility and if so, is this more expensive and what are the benefits to the use of the dock?


Yes, we do offer a calibration facility using the Sigma dock, this allows for calibration of multiple focal lengths within a lens range. One of the most  popular Sigma lenses we calibrate using the dock is the 150-600mm, using the dock we are able to calibrate for the following focal lengths 150mm, 250mm, 400mm and 600mm.  In comparison, we are only able to calibrate for two focal lengths (150mm and 600mm) with certain Canon models and only one with Nikon. In addition, using the Sigma dock we are also able to check and undertake any necessary lens firmware updates (this can, depending on the firmware version  increase focussing speed by up to 60%). We are also able to “tweak” the performance of the lens further in terms of focus speed and performance of the Optical Stabilizer. This service is more expensive, being priced at £139-00 per lens  and is priced accordingly as we perform multiple calibrations and spend additional time tweaking the lens accordingly.one with Nikon.

Yes, it is possible to calibrate your Sigma lens yourself, however please not that there are many factors to consider, these include:-

: The need to use a suitable test target for the calibration process.

: The target needs to be illuminated correctly and evenly, changing lighting  conditions especially if used outdoors can DRAMITICALY affect the accuracy of  the results.

: Sufficient space and distance, for calibrating focal lenses of 600mm a required in line of sight distance of 16m is required.

: Calibrated results need to be converted to Sigma’s proprietary values before being added to the lens. This is necessary as Sigma do not use the same values as Canon and Nikon and thus need to be converted.

: Caution must be taken when writing these values to the lens via the dock,  interruption of the writing sequence can result in damage to the lens which is not  covered by Sigma’s warranty. Read Blog on Sigma Firmware Updating

Q. I own a Sigma prime lens which is also compatible with the Sigma dock, does the 

     same cost apply?


A. No we offer a different pricing category for Sigma prime lenses. This is priced at 

     £99-00 per lens, in addition to a standard calibration using our Focal calibration    

     Solution. We also check and perform any necessary lens firmware updates 


   Price is simply a single body and single lens which can be booked here

We would normally recommend calibrating any converter if it is to be used with a lens HOWEVER we have previously had issues with calibrating converters with this lens, this is mainly due to contrast / lighting issues. Having spent considerably time attempting to calibrate 1.4 x converts with this lens (and introducing additional measures to overcome these problems as in additional lighting, smaller calibration target etc) we feel that is is not possible to provide accurate results. Using this converter requires such good lighting conditions outdoors and a “solid” technique that is often counter productive in terms of its use.

In theory YES, HOWEVER due to inconsistencies in terms of in-camera AF sensor displacement between different camera bodies it is possible that the results will not be the same if used on another body. When choosing the Calibrate Using The Sigma Dock option please take into consideration this is ONLY to be used with one specific camera in order to ensure the best possible results as in a PERFECT MATCHED RESULT, this is often as unique as a finger print.

Converters tend to take considerably longer to calibrate due to various issues including additional lighting, distance and targeting requirements. We also tend to bracket calibration results and compare these manually (longer Tele lenses) and as such these are more labour intensive, often taking 2-3 longer than a normal lens.

Q. I have converters that i used with my tele / zoom lenses, is it worth getting these calibrated? 


A. Yes it would be worth getting your converters calibrated with your lenses, converters in general tend to increase the possibility of any front / back focus errors occurring, this is particularly applicable with long tele lenses.

Additional Services

Generally speaking on average it takes about 20 minutes. This obviously depends on how dirty the sensor is and what contaminants are present.


When booking a sensor clean the appointment slot does take into account how long an average sensor clean takes.

There are two important things to ensure. Please ensure you battery is in the camera and fully charged.

Secondly that you have not tried to clean the sensor yourself. If you have please ensure that you inform us when making the booking. We may ask for test images before agreeing to clean the sensor.

We generally see more problems with 2 x converters as opposed to 1.4 x and 1.7 x (Nikon converters). as previously mentioned if a 2 x converter is used with a long tele lens it is more likely that front / back focus errors will be seen, especially if they are used wide open as this is where any problems will be more noticeable.

This applies equally to Canon and Nikon.

All our sensor cleans start and finish with a test shot that shows contaminants on the sensor. This, combined with a detailed report will demonstrate the process and detail. We have no doubt that our sensor cleaning process in a market leader including the likes of Canon and Nikon.

We cannot guarantee that your camera’s sensor will not need cleaning at a later stage or become re-contaminated, this is due to many factors beyond our control as in the conditions the camera is used how your camera is used and stored. 


We do however ensure that before your equipment leaves our studio your camera’s sensor is as clean as it can physically be. Our rigorous standards include cleaning the mirror box and sensor chamber (this is seen as preventative medicine as in preventing problems in the future), test firing the shutter numerous times followed by creation of a Dust Delete Data Refence (Canon models) / Dust Reference (Nikon). This reference point allows for automatic batch processing /deletion of any dust problems that make occur at any time in the future. 

We also, for clarity, provide evidence that your camera’s sensor is clean by way of a test image, this is taken at the smallest aperture (F22).

The service we offer here at Cameracal goes above and beyond a normal sensor clean, 


1. Experience – We have over 15 years’ experience in cleaning camera sensor and in that time have cleaned many thousands of cameras.

2. We use only the best tools when performing sensor cleans be it dry cleaning, wet cleaning products. Your camera is cleaned in a filtered air cabinet (cabinet contains heppa filters). These tools have been selected as a result of many years of testing / using different products.

3. We start by producing a Pre Clean Test image to ascertain the degree of contamination present.

4. This is followed by cleaning of the mirror box (preventive medicine)

5. We then inspect and clean the sensor chamber, removing any debris that my be present.

6. We inspect the sensor glass using a powerful sensor loupe.

7. This is followed by a dry clean of the sensor chamber using a filter air blower we dislodge / eradicate any free-floating dust / contaminant present.

8. We further inspect the sensor and if salt / sand granules are found these are delicately removed using a specialist dry tool. (This is particularly important as failure to do this will result in scratching of the sensor glass when a wet clean is performed).

9. Further inspection is then undertaken using the dedicated sensor loupe.

10. A test shot is taken to determine if the sensor is clean.

11. A wet clean is undertaken using swabs and the appropriate cleaning fluids (please note swabs are not re-used, once a swab has been used it is discarded).

12. Further inspection of the sensor is undertaken and if required a further wet clean is undertaken (note we may use a combination of different fluids depending on the contaminate present).

13. Once the sensor has been cleaned and all contaminate / drying marks eliminated we then test fire the shutter several times, this action ensures that no further debris is transferred from the shutter box to the sensor chamber area.

14. The sensor is inspected once again and if clean we conduct record a Dust Delete data (Canon) / Dust Off Reference shot in camera. This is a reference shot that is stored within the camera and enables any future contamination to be eradicated as a batch process automatically by way of the camera Software (Canon’s Digital Professional Pro / Nikon’s NX-D software). Instructions are provided on how to perform this.

15. Once this has been performed, we record a Post Sensor clean shot as evidence the sensor is now clean of contaminate.

16. A full report is provided (in the form of a pdf) as to the procedure above (stating the above protocols have been undertaken, number of swabs used etc) and also any advisory / problems found as in scratches or any marks found.

17. We also provide a user guide which describes best practise going forward to prevent further problems (pdf form).

Although the sensor can be cleaned, it is likely that the oil / grease spots will return at some time in the near future. Detection can depend on the aperture used to record shots (as in these spots main not be apparent if shot at wide apertures but more noticeable at smaller apertures i.e F11, F16 etc.

This problem is caused by excessive oil / grease present in the shutter / mirror mechanism and was present from manufacture. This can only be eradicated by changing the mirror / shutter unit (depending on where the excess grease / oil lies) and should only be undertaken by the manufacturer.Here at Cameracal we are able to support any claim you make to the manufacturer by way of an additional set of tests which can be presented as evidence (note there is an additional charge made for this service, please require as to cost).


 The problem can partially be eradicated by the creation of a Dust Delete Data (Canon) / Dust Off (Nikon) reference which is performed once the sensor has been cleaned. This allows any evidence of oil / grease to be eradicated automatically in images as a batch process using the proprietary software supplied by the manufacture (Canon’s Digital Professional Pro / Nikon’s NX-D software).

Yes all the products we use for sensor cleaning are available for sale in the studio. We can also provide training as a group or individual 1-2-1 basis


DSLR Workshop How To Clean Your Sensor

1-2-1 Training - How To Clean Your Sensor

In theory yes, the fact that that mirrorless cameras lack a mirror and shutter mechanism which providing barriers to prevent dust / contamination reaching the sensor mirrorless cameras are theoretically most susceptible. However, with the crop sensor / micro 4/3rds models the sensor glass tends to considerably thicker than the glass found on full frame mirrorless / mirrored DSLR’s. As such dust and other contaminant is less likely to show up in captured images. Great care should still be taken with changing lenses. We have found though that the full frame mirrorless models do need more frequent cleaning than their mirrored counter parts.

Unless your camera is a full frame model and you are shooting at smaller apertures (F16, F22 etc) it is unlikely these scratches will

show in any images. The marks will however greatly affect the resale value of your camera.