Do wide angle lenses typically have much higher distortion on full frames than on crop sensors?

Started Aug 1, 2016 | Discussions
Kristada673
Kristada673 Forum Member • Posts: 96
Do wide angle lenses typically have much higher distortion on full frames than on crop sensors?

I have a Tokina 28-70mm f/2.8 lens, which I considered to be my best lens when I had my DX camera. It was sharp, and had very little distortion, and vignetting too. Here is a sample shot taken with my Nikon D70 at, well, not 28mm, but 31mm which is quite close, but since I can't find a shot I took at 28mm which also has 2 parallel lines at the edges to compare the distortion with, here it is:

Hardly any distortion. Well, I recently bought a D610, and since this is a FX lens, I put it on and took it for a ride. All the pictures at the widest angles produce horrible distortion! (And noticeable vignetting too, but that's manageable.) Here is a sample shot taken with the lens aligned to the centre of the board from a distance of 1m:

As you can see, its horrendous. Is this normal with all 24-70mm lenses? If no, if the distortion is vastly improved, I'd replace this with the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8. If yes, well, I don't know what to do then.

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(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Do wide angle lenses typically have much higher distortion on full frames than on crop sensors?

On DX camera's you only make use of the centre of FX lenses, which will show less distortion than you would notice when used on a FX body. Also because of the crop factor you shouldn't compare 28mm on a DX camera with 28mm on a FX body, but with 42mm on the latter camera.
Distortion can be dealt with in-camera with most recent body's, or in post-processing in programs like Nikon Capture NX-D or Adobe Lightroom, provided that a distortion correction profile for the lens used is included in the program.

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Jur

Kristada673
OP Kristada673 Forum Member • Posts: 96
Re: Do wide angle lenses typically have much higher distortion on full frames than on crop sensors?

Ok, I see.

But do other 24-70 lenses, some quite expensive ones, have this kind of ugly distortion too? Or is it considerably better?

 Kristada673's gear list:Kristada673's gear list
Nikon D610 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM Adobe Photoshop CS6 +2 more
romfordbluenose Veteran Member • Posts: 5,115
Re: Do wide angle lenses typically have much higher distortion on full frames than on crop sensors?

Yes if you use them both at the widest setting of 24mm. On FX you see the full distortion across the image. On DX you only see the centre of the image equivalent to 36mm which loses the distortion at the edge of the lens.

Also although you say the board was centred, it doesn't look so to me. If its centred then the centre of the board would still be in the centre of the shot, yous isn't.

Even if you centre the board in the shot and the camera is not aligned with the board then distortion will be increased on one side or more of the image. Not necessarily a bad thing as a lot of creative photography is done using this technique.

Looking at the picture then the image shows significant barrel distortion, i.e. the edges of the board are curving out, you will probably find that at the telephoto end the picture will suffer from pin cushion distortion, where the sides curve inwards.

This distortion is normal for these lens, some better than others. Nikon cameras do adjust the images for their own lens, for 3rd party lens you have to eliminate the distortion in post processing.

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Kristada673
OP Kristada673 Forum Member • Posts: 96
Re: Do wide angle lenses typically have much higher distortion on full frames than on crop sensors?

romfordbluenose wrote:

Yes if you use them both at the widest setting of 24mm. On FX you see the full distortion across the image. On DX you only see the centre of the image equivalent to 36mm which loses the distortion at the edge of the lens.

Also although you say the board was centred, it doesn't look so to me. If its centred then the centre of the board would still be in the centre of the shot, yous isn't.

Even if you centre the board in the shot and the camera is not aligned with the board then distortion will be increased on one side or more of the image. Not necessarily a bad thing as a lot of creative photography is done using this technique.

Looking at the picture then the image shows significant barrel distortion, i.e. the edges of the board are curving out, you will probably find that at the telephoto end the picture will suffer from pin cushion distortion, where the sides curve inwards.

This distortion is normal for these lens, some better than others. Nikon cameras do adjust the images for their own lens, for 3rd party lens you have to eliminate the distortion in post processing.

I see. I did look up how to correct this in photoshop, and this is much better and usable, although the image got cropped considerably:

And about the camera not aligning with the board, you're right, I phrased it a bit wrongly. I did focus on the centre, but was perhaps not equidistant from the left and right edges.

 Kristada673's gear list:Kristada673's gear list
Nikon D610 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM Adobe Photoshop CS6 +2 more
(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Do wide angle lenses typically have much higher distortion on full frames than on crop sensors?
1

Example of using an extreme wide-angle lens (14-24mm at 14mm) with automatic distortion correction in Lightroom.

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Jur

WIMorrison Senior Member • Posts: 1,846
Re: Do wide angle lenses typically have much higher distortion on full frames than on crop sensors?
1

You had the camera level  and square to the subject when you took the picture of the bottles whereas you have the lens pointed upwards and to the left on the image of the pin board.

to prevent distortions and perspective you need to keep the lens level and square to the subject - then lens correction profiles will work correctly

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Iain Morrison LRPS CPAGB
wimorrison.co.uk

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larrywilson
larrywilson Veteran Member • Posts: 7,033
Re: Do wide angle lenses typically have much higher distortion on full frames than on crop sensors?

WIMorrison wrote:

You had the camera level and square to the subject when you took the picture of the bottles whereas you have the lens pointed upwards and to the left on the image of the pin board.

to prevent distortions and perspective you need to keep the lens level and square to the subject - then lens correction profiles will work correctly

You beat me to this, yes the first ff image is shot tilting camera up at the cork board which will show extreme distortion.   Also any post processing to eliminate most of a badly distorted image will cut off the edges so a 16mm focal length may result in an 18mm focal length.

Larry

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Bob Wolf
Bob Wolf Regular Member • Posts: 437
Re: Do wide angle lenses typically have much higher distortion on full frames than on crop sensors?

Kristada673 wrote:

I have a Tokina 28-70mm f/2.8 lens, which I considered to be my best lens when I had my DX camera. It was sharp, and had very little distortion, and vignetting too. Here is a sample shot taken with my Nikon D70 at, well, not 28mm, but 31mm which is quite close, but since I can't find a shot I took at 28mm which also has 2 parallel lines at the edges to compare the distortion with, here it is:

Hardly any distortion. Well, I recently bought a D610, and since this is a FX lens, I put it on and took it for a ride. All the pictures at the widest angles produce horrible distortion! (And noticeable vignetting too, but that's manageable.) Here is a sample shot taken with the lens aligned to the centre of the board from a distance of 1m:

As you can see, its horrendous. Is this normal with all 24-70mm lenses? If no, if the distortion is vastly improved, I'd replace this with the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8. If yes, well, I don't know what to do then.

I ran these thru  DxO Viewpoint 2.  Since I didn't have the modules for the particular lens used, which would have helped with barrel distortion, etc.

Bob

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LMCasey Contributing Member • Posts: 852
Re: Do wide angle lenses typically have much higher distortion on full frames than on crop sensors?
1

Are you talking about barrel or pincushion distortion, or are you talking about converging lines (which isn't distortion at all, but is simply perspective). Pincushion and barrel distortion isn't affected by whether you are shooting APS-C or FF. Converging lines/perspective is simply a factor of whether you are square to your subject or not (and in which plane).

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