V1 18.5mm Michigan Winter

Started Feb 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
MrPete
Regular MemberPosts: 136
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Re: V1 18.5mm Michigan Winter
In reply to BandofBrothers, Feb 19, 2013

Should you be doing lens correction in post processing? Difficult question to answer because of so many variables - some of them personal as opposed to equipment.

Lenses typically have distortion - wide angle lenses have "barrel distortion" while telephoto lenses have "pincushion" distortion. Vignetting often happens at large apertures like 1.4 or 1.8 - where the four corners darken. There are also chromatic aberrations where there can be color shadows (often purple fringes) seen in areas of high contrast like black lines against white areas. I had some purple fringing on the dark branches against the light sky. Other colors such as blue or red can also appear at times on some lenses in high contrast areas.

Most modern cameras can automatically reduce these distortions in the jpeg processing. More sophisticated cameras have menu options to turn these distortion corrections on or off. My Pentax K5 IIs can reduce these distortions automatically when shooting raw if I choose to turn this feature on. Typically though, automatic lens distortion correction when shooting raw has been rare. Panasonic started to use automatic lens distortion correction when shooting raw with their micro 4/3 cameras. This was controversial with some photographers who believe that raw files should be just that - RAW - with no software manipulation. But I digress

Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) - Adobe's raw converter software - also has many popular 'preset' lens profiles built in so automatic lens distortion correction can be done automatically if desired. When new lenses like the Nikon 18.5mm come out, Adobe (and Apple with Aperture) will update the program to include new lens profiles to handle distortion correction. I do not believe Adobe has updated for the Nikon 18.5mm yet.

I don't think iPhoto has built in lens distortion correction for raw files - for specific popular lenses. (but I may be wrong about that).

Personally, until I started to research lens performance and quality for future purchases - I didn't even know what lens distortions were!  In many ways, those were happy carefree days because if I didn't notice it - I wasn't bothered by it! But for me, post processing raw files has become a wonderful, intellectually stimulating, creative and challenging hobby that gives me hours of enjoyment - and hopefully some pride in turning average raw photo files into better or more creative art (at least in my eyes). I'll never have the talent to paint or draw - but I can express my personal creativity through processing pictures that I take. Digital photo processing has opened up a wonderful and creative world to many people - and you can spend a lifetime going deeper into it because these wonderful programs like ACR, Photoshop, and others - are in many ways limitless in in how they can manipulate a photo file.

So after all that - to answer your question directly, you shouldn't be correcting lens distortions in your post processing UNLESS YOU WANT TO!  In the end, it may be meaningless to you. Who knows - your creative mind may prefer the look of purple fringing on tree branches!

Pete

BandofBrothers wrote:

Love the sharpness of the branches and the pics in general

Is lens correction something that I should be doing too in my software whilst post-processing? At the moment I just import my raw files into iPhoto on the mac....and don't really use any other software. Many thanks

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