Thoughts? Lens Design and Software Corrections

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
edform Veteran Member • Posts: 6,292
Re: Thoughts? Lens Design and Software Corrections

RodneyCampbell wrote:

One of the “issues” raging on the Internet today concerns the use of lens designs that “require” the use of software corrections (in camera and/or in post) to “correct” the lens output

Lens corrections in software aren’t new. They’ve been around in software post processing packages to correct things like chromatic aberration, vignetting and distortion for ages. Typically however whether you apply these corrections or not, or to what degree, is entirely at the users discretion

What is new is that modern manufacturers of cameras and lenses are “baking in” and “relying” on these software corrections as part of the design process. Ultimately leading to them having to do less work in trying to do the corrections in the optical lens design itself. Whilst expecting that part of the work is done by the software correction that follows. This presumably allows for smaller, lighter, cheaper lens designs that don’t need as large and as complex systems inside the lens to deal with the issues

At the bleeding edge of this way of designing lenses you find the zooms built into the RX10-I/II and the RX10-III/IV. In both cases the engineers involved claimed that they used software correction of rectilinearity [and some aspects of Chromatic aberration and diffraction] in order to free constraints on the other parts of the designs that result from attempting to do it all optically. The outcome, they claimed, and it is borne out in the results these lenses produce, was better overall lens performance, after software correction, than could possibly be achieved with all-optical designs. The first such lens that I am aware of, was the one fitted to the original DSC-RX1, a lens that received rave reviews - actually it still does now when new people pick one up.

The engineers did not chose this approach because it is easier to design lenses this way but because it can produce designs of a performance level that cannot be achieved any other way.

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Ed Form

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