GRIII - Worried about distortion

Started Sep 1, 2020 | Questions thread
rc53 Contributing Member • Posts: 607
Re: GRIII - Worried about distortion

I agree with the other respondents here; what you are seeing is perspective, not lens distortion.

The Ricoh has a very well optically corrected lens; it doesn't need or have SDC — software distortion control — that other cameras use to keep the lens small; think of the Leica Q2.

Part of this perspective problem is "psychological"; we are quite used to converging lines when these are the classic horizontals. Think of the way railway lines disappearing into the distance appear to converge as if they are meeting.

We don't see this however when we look (up) at buildings; but the same effect is there, it's just that our brains don't expect square blocks to narrow at the top. The camera will record accurately; it's our brains giving the wrong impression. If the camera is tilted up a few degrees we won't see the converging verticals, but the camera will. When we see the final image on-screen or printed out, we then get "mixed messages".

Thus the only way to avoid the problem of the converging (or diverging) verticals is to ensure the camera is absolutely horizontal, either with a small spirit level or the built-in level indicator.

OTOH, if you tilt deliberately by many degrees, we will see converging verticals and they won't look unnatural. So, either have the camera level, or tilt a lot. Just don't tilt a bit, unless you want to correct that in Lightroom etc; and then, though the verticals will be parallel, the building will be narrower than in reality.

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Sláinte
Robert

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