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Archive 2013 · Lens distortion Argh!
  
 
beanpkk
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Lens distortion Argh!


This photo came out of a 5Diii with the 17-40 lens at 17mm. The problem I'd like to solve (beyond that of complete lack of skill as a photographer) is the distortion of the lighthouse in the corner. I tried Photoshop (CS5) ACR's distortion removal tool but it did nothing at all for the lighthouse.

Is the lesson here that I can't use the Canon 17-40 at 17 with square objects in the corner and get away with it? Or is there a technique that I can use to easily fix the problem.

Thanks much!

EDIT: Oh crud, I accidentally erased the photo on Flickr. But you can see the photo in subsequent postings...



Nubble Light by beanp, on Flickr

Keith

Edited on Jul 01, 2013 at 11:47 AM · View previous versions



Jun 30, 2013 at 07:52 PM
Charlie K.
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Lens distortion Argh!


Kinda tough with such a small file, but here is a quick go at it in LR5





Quick shot at it




Jun 30, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Lens distortion Argh!


There are numerous ways to fix this. Most ways will attempt to correct the distortion in the entire image and you will then need to crop. To me everything looks good except for the lighthouse and buildings. I would use the distort-liquefy brush in Photoshop. Select the correct size and straighten the structures. Note, using the liquefy tool will cause a problem with the sky on the upper left. I would just clone in some additional sky.

Note with Charlie's method there has been some cropping needed. The building still slants considerably and you could not do an additional global fix without serious cropping.



Jun 30, 2013 at 09:44 PM
beanpkk
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Lens distortion Argh!


Thanks Charlie and CamperJim. Lesson learned -- don't put anything square into the corner with that lens (or maybe any other?) at 17mm. I'll play with liquefy and some of the transform tools in PS and see what I can do.

Thanks much again.
Keith




Jun 30, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Lens distortion Argh!


Great advice guys...something that bites all of us sooner or later.

Regards,

Bob



Jun 30, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Guari
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Lens distortion Argh!


It's not a problem that the house was at the corner of the lens, but rather, that the len tilted down. Try shioting it with the camera perfectly level and most of the "distortion" will dissapear. You may find that then, the composition is not as strong as with the camera tilted down. And that is the reason why tilt shift lenses help a lot...



Jun 30, 2013 at 11:22 PM
beanpkk
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Lens distortion Argh!


Aha -- thanks Guari for the tip. Yes, the lens pointed down. Perhaps better would have been to get lower so achieve the same composition without having to point the lens down. I'll try that --

Thanks!



Jun 30, 2013 at 11:28 PM
 

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Camperjim
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Lens distortion Argh!


You guys are making way too much out of this issue. I love the effect of shooting a wide or ultrawide angle lens pointed down. Sure you could spend a fortunate and get a tilt shift but then you need to work hard to get everything aligned and in focus.

Anyway, I invested less than one minute of Photoshop time in this and did not have to do any cloning or cropping. I probably should have spent more time to align everything perfectly but I think you will get the idea.







Jul 01, 2013 at 01:40 AM
beanpkk
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Lens distortion Argh!


CamperJim, you did a nice job on the edit. It took me longer than it took you, but here is one I did using the transform tools....


CX0A0070_nubble_edit by beanp, on Flickr

I was really hoping that the distortion removal tool in Adobe Camera Raw would fix this. It's a much easier task than de-fishing a fisheye which that software does pretty well.

I will try it from a lower viewpoint, just to see if it works any differently, but the bottom line here is that there is no automatic way of getting rid of that distortion. I'm going to play with it some more and see if I can make mine look as good as yours.

Thanks very much,
Keith



Jul 01, 2013 at 01:53 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Lens distortion Argh!


Distortion can be a good thing. It can add interest and feeling and emphasis. Of course, slanted buildings need to be fixed.

I recommend spending some time playing with liquefy. I should probably take my own advice. It has been quite a while since I used liquefy. BTW, it seems to have very little effect on the image quality. You can add a lot of distortion before the IQ seems to degrade.



Jul 01, 2013 at 02:12 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Lens distortion Argh!


Edit skew and some liquify filter with some tweaks?







Jul 01, 2013 at 02:17 AM
beanpkk
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Lens distortion Argh!


Aunti - you're better than I am since you got skew to work -- I tried transform->skew and that didn't work: I had to use transform->warp.

CamperJim -- I played with liquify and I couldn't make it do what I want. You mention distortion->liquify and I don't know where to find that option. I only have CS5 -- perhaps that's a CS6 feature?

Thanks for all the tips and examples.
Keith



Jul 01, 2013 at 02:56 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Lens distortion Argh!


+1 @ level, square and plumb (technique) for UWA focal lengths ... and shift lenses if you got 'em.

+1 @ skew ... I haven't learned to use liquify or warp yet.

Sometimes it takes a couple rounds with skew when it doesn't want to achieve my goals in a single tweak. Patience and a deft hand is key. Trying to fix it in "one click" usually just trades one problem for another.




Jul 01, 2013 at 04:25 AM





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