How can I see if my lens is off center?

Hello everybody,

Is there a way to see if the lens is crooked and not perfectly centered on the camera? My GH5 dropped twice and ever since the first time I have a feeling that the lens is set a little bit inwards. However, I have no idea how I can test that. Sometimes it looks straight, most times it looks off but sometimes that has to do with the lighting as well I guess.

So basically: GH5 got dropped twice, fell lens first, lens looks bent inwards, how can I tell?

Thanks guys!

Ouch sorry to hear that.

You could make a target and shoot what you pecieve to be the center, then check to see if it is actually the center in gimp or similar.


I’m going to try that!

This can’t be right though, I must have done something wrong lol.
I took two photos. One on 12mm and one on 60mm (GH5).

The camera and object are like 11m apart from eachother. I calculated the middle of the lens (the dot) on the middle of the wooden floor (from left and right sidelines). I did the same with the object.

What did you focus on? Nothing in this looks sharp :frowning:

Lol, try replicating this… you’ll see it’s not easy and I’m short on time since I’m getting ready for work.
The object that I was aiming at, is the little box in the background. I was hoping that the point of center would be in the center of that box.

When I dropped my camera, a quick search came up with the following.

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Thanks, but it says nothing about checking to see if the housing is sitting crooked on the camera.

Maybe something useful for you here?


Yes, it does:

If the lens is in proper alignment and pointed directly (lineup isn’t critical, you can eyeball it) at the star, the white and black circles remain circular as they blur. But if the lens is decentered or significantly tilted the center blur will ‘flare’ out in one direction or another as you defocus.

Claes in Lund, Zweden

Thank you. A very interesting article with great information. Best way for me will be to bring it in for repairs I guess. Just to make sure. Pictures seem to turn out fine, but I can’t get rid of the feel that it looks as if the lens is pointing inwards a bit.

Do you have a Spirit level at home?

Put a lens onto the camera body.
Place the camera on a flat and level surface,
with the lens pointing downwards.
Place the spirit level on the back of the camera body.
Any deviation? Rotate the spirit level clock-wise.
Check again. Any deviation? Repeat until you have
checked half a circle (180 degrees).

Yeah I could test this. The lens isn’t tipping over when it’s flat on the lens. I’ll try it out before I send it in for repairs! So you’re saying that if the spirit level is level, the lens isn’t off by any means?

Besides soft edges due to inner components being broken? Cause like I said, everything feels fine, lens isn’t making funny noises, camera isn’t, focus works perfect, I can zoom in and out with no friction etc. It just seems from the outside to be a bit off haha

The spirit level will tell you if it is the camera or if it is your imagination.
Also: pay attention to this sentence But if the lens is decentered or significantly tilted the center blur will ‘flare’ out in one direction or another as you defocus (from a post above, focusing on a Siemens Star).

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I’ll fiddle around with it some more tonight before I send it in. Thanks, I’ll let you know.

Here are the results.
I used to have a smaller one, but couldn’t find it lol.

Looks slightly off, no?


When I have it on the lens, it looks a little bit off. However, moving the spirit just a tiny bit puts it right in the center. We’re talking mm’s here.

The one in which I have the spirit set on the lens, shows that it’s way off.

Guess I should take it in for repair huh…?

a) Is the table/floor level?
b) Have you found a Siemens Stern to focus on?

  1. Absolutely
  2. No, I have no idea how to operate/use it. I’m not a professional photographer. I read the article, I understand what it says but I don’t have the ability to test all that.