Aperture - Lens correct or not?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by LV426, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    #1
    I got a Nikon D800 not so long ago, and a 24mm 1.4 wide angle lens. The camera has an option to perform lens distortion correction if you have a suitable lens.

    Clearly, the camera can apply this correction if you are shooting JPEGS, but my understanding is that when shooting RAW, the raw image is left untouched and additional metadata is added to the RAW file.

    OK, if my understanding is correct, a suitable editor like Capture NX can then use the embedded information to modify the image accordingly.

    However, I've read that Aperture is blind to this information so cannot do this.

    But the really strange thing is that when I load RAW images into Aperture from my camera taken with the wide angle lens, they very briefly appear in what appears to be a mildly distorted form. Then after a short instant, the distortion goes away and the image pops into place, with apparently perfectly straight lines and no bowing.

    What's going on here, do you think? Am I imagining the image 'popping' and getting fantastic results from the (admittedly expensive) lens? Or is Aperture actually aware of the lens correction in some situations?
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #2
    I think what you see is that Aperture first loads the jpg which is embedded in the RAW (that has the lens correction applied to it, I assume) and then renders the RAW file (with no lens correction applied). There are third-party Aperture plugins to apply lens corrections, though.
     
  3. MCH-1138, Jun 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013

    macrumors 6502

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    Jan 31, 2013
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    California
    #3
    There is a setting in the Aperture import preferences to choose between using the camera-generated preview or an Aperture-generated preview upon import. Like OreoCookie notes, it sounds like you are seeing the camera-generated preview, because Aperture does not currently handle lens correction. I suspect that when you open the image in the viewer and Aperture renders the RAW file, it will snap back to the "distorted" view.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/PH7828

    Unless/until Aperture adds lens correction as a feature, you'll need a plugin like PTLens or DxO Optics Pro to handle those duties. [EDIT: That is, if you want/need lens correction -- not everyone does.]
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    #4
    I have the Nikon 24 1.4 and use aperture. PT lens has a trial so you can install it and see what you think. I chose to not buy it. It really depends what kind of photography you are using the lens for, but I decided the uncorrected image was fine.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

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    Jan 31, 2013
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    California
    #5
    Good point. I should have said you'll need a plugin IF you want/need lens correction. Which is not to say that everyone needs it.

    I believe Photoshop is another option for lens correction, if that is part of your workflow.
     
  6. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #6
    Lightroom will do lens corrections out of the box with the proper profiles, improving and speeding up your workflow.

    In camera lens corrections on the D800 (a camera I own) are only on the JPEG, not the RAW.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    #7
    Thanks for the above replies. Yes, it does seem like the brief rendering that happens the first time is generated from the RAW's inbuilt JPG.

    I used to have a D300 and often used an 18-200 super zoom, for convenience. The distortion on that was quite dramatic on wide angles and really noticeable. At that time, I also had Lightroom on a PC, and made use of its lens correction capability.

    However, the distortion with the D800/24mm lens is far less, and I would think that it's acceptable without correction in most situations. I took some extreme close-up shots of a test grid on a monitor this morning, and its clear that the RAW images in Aperture do have minor distortion, whereas JPGs do not.

    Indeed, you can get Aperture plug-ins to correct for lens distortion, but I'm not keen on the way that this is implemented in Aperture. I hope that when they play catch-up with Lightroom, lens correction will be a simple non-destructive checkbox in the adjustments section. Simple perspective adjustment, as in Lightroom, would be a bonus.

    Having talked up Lightroom, I much prefer Aperture all round, though.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

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    Apr 3, 2013
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #8
    I think it's more apparent to us as photographers when we can immediately flick backwards & forwards between the corrected & uncorrected image. But unless the distortion is fairly extreme, most people probably won't even notice it in real-world photographs.

    A great photo will still be a great photo regardless of whether or not it has a tiny bit of lens distortion.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #9
    I was mulling this over last night. What did we do when we shot film? Nuthin'.... You couldn't fix lens distortion, chromatic aberration, etc.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    BTW: I love your user name... especially on this topic. ;)

    i generally agree... lens correction is not needed for most photos... and it is readily available via plug-ins when needed.

    I think the reason lens correction is talked about so much is because it happens to be one feature that LR4 has and A3 does not have. Some people just like to find "relatively insignificant" differences and then "amplify the minutia".

    Sometime in the future... A3 will have this feature... and the discussion will shift to something else that is as insignificant.

    /Jim
     
  11. carlgo, Jun 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013

    macrumors 68000

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    Dec 29, 2006
    #11
    It would be terrific if PtLens was part of Aperture. Great for shots of architecture, not needed so much for portraits and landscapes.
     

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