Canon Vignetting Woes (pics included)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Macoltrane, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Macoltrane macrumors member

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    Apr 16, 2006
    #1
    So I got a Canon IXUS 60 (SD600) yesterday and thought that it would be a great camera based on price and some online reviews. I bring it home and decide to take some shots indoors. The flash turns out to be inadequate or the lens, I'm not sure, and leaves the four corners darker than the rest of the image. I read that this is quite common with ultra-compact digicams, but in no way was I expecting it to be this extreme.

    If anyone has used a camera from the Elph/IXUS series, please tell me if this is absolutely normal and within Canon standards. Apart from indoor shots, the camera does extremely well outdoors and dark corners are rarely if ever seen which leads me to believe that it may not be a defect.

    Anyway, here are the photos.

    1. Macro, no flash, in a room with decent amount of light
    2. Auto, no flash, shot of tiles in a shopping mall
    3. Auto, flash, shot of the wall with all lights turned off
    4. Auto, flash, same as above

    Thanks guys.
     

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  2. interlaced macrumors 6502a

    interlaced

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    #2
    I have the Canon SD550 and the S400. Most of my pictures look like that. I'm not a professional photographer in any way, so I just think those look normal to me. :confused:
     
  3. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #3
    Those are worse than I ever saw indoors with my older 4mp S400. I had some similar results with an S80 and posted them here and received some feedback that the level of fall off was abnormal (the reason they looked so poor to me was that I hadn't seen those results on my Elph). I returned that S80.
     
  4. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

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    #4
    They aren't. A properly lit photograph should have even lighting. Vignetting refers to a specific lighting problem, demonstrated in these photos: the light falling off at the corners. This can happen for a couple of reasons: maybe too many filters have been stacked on top of the lens (blocking the light at the corner); maybe the lens just can't supply that much light wide open (poor lens design, usually only exposed on full frame bodies like the 5D or 1Ds, although some EF-S and similar lenses can suffer from this problem, since they're designed for crop bodies); or maybe the flash doesn't extend wide enough.

    It's possible that the photographer deliberately chose to vignette the corners as an effect, but that sort of thing is usually (not always) done in post processing.
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    I asked an identical question regarding my wideangle lens and got great help by ksz, so I'll try to "pay it forward", so to speak.

    Try photographing an area where you KNOW the light is distributed evenly. The last 2 photos are hard to judge, IMO. Shoot the floor twice....once with flash, and once without. Do you get the same amount of vignetting if you zoom out completely? What about when you zoom in completely? If it was the flash, you'd think that the amount of vignetting would decrease as you zoom in, since you're photographing the part of the wall (or whatever) with even lighting (ie: somewhere in the middle), thus avoiding the vignetted areas.
     
  6. Macoltrane thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Bullseye. At least I think. When I zoom in, the vignetting does seem to decrease. It increases as I zoom out so this could be a problem with the flash. Is this normal for an ultra compact like the SD600? Are you supposed to zoom in everytime you use flash indoors? Ugh I think I got a defect on my hands.

    For the experts out there- how can you discern whether it is a problem with the flash or if it's vignetting?
     
  7. Linkjeniero macrumors 6502

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #7
    I don't really think the zooming is a good test for vigneting; it's normal that it disappears when zooming, because esencially, what the zoom does is taking a part of the image that the lens sees, and proyect it onto the sensor (or film). If the problem is that the lens isn't capable of capturing enough light at the corners, zooming it will make it look better, but that doesn't mean the lens is any better. FWIW, I made the experiment of putting my 18-55 Nikkor DX lens (not full frame) in my dad's F801 (or something. It's a film camera, and therefore, full frame). As I looked through the viewfinder, the vigneting at 18 was more than obvious, while at 55 it wasn't very noticeable; the results are similar to yours, but in my case there was no flash involved.
     
  8. Macoltrane thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    Can anyone tell me if this is acceptable by Canon standards? I don't have much time left to return/exchange this thing. Thanks
     
  9. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #9
    The ones without flash are fine to judge. Yes they have some vignetting, however what aperture were they shot at? It will get better when stopped down. Also software can correct for this so its not that big of a deal if you really don't like the effect.

    Secondly, the ones with flash. It should be immediately obvious that the point source like flashes on compact cameras are incapable of spreading the light out evenly especially when photographing things close to you like the door arch. Though the door arch suffered because there was some parts close to the flash which got a lot of light, and a lot that wasn't close so they didn't get any light. I'm not familiar with your camera, but I assume you are using the widest angle it has available. Try its telephoto setting, things will get better. But never expect your flash do magically act like the sun.
     
  10. Macoltrane thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    It should be noted, if it isn't apparent already, that I'm a newbie when it comes to digicams. All i want is a point and shoot camera that can handle indoor and outdoor shots decently. The SD series markets itself as a P and S so I thought "Auto" setting would do for most of the shots (it's worked in the past). I just don't know if these are acceptable for Canon ultracompacts.
     
  11. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #11
    Well I've left it for some time and nobody has stepped in, so I'm gonna go out onto a limb and say it is normal. I don't know that for a fact, but it doesn't look that bad to me.

    EDIT: Oh and since its on auto and its indoor its almost certainly wide open aperture. There isn't a lot of light indoors, even when you think there is.
     
  12. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #12
    Macoltrane - Normal or not, if its distracting to you (which it seems to be) - try another of the same model or a differnt Elph or a different P&S altogether. Read the reviews on dcresource.com or dpreview.com - they'll note when a model has vingetting issues. Of course, if you think you just have a dud copy, return it and try again - if your second one performs the same, chances are that it's operating to design.

    Good luck to you.
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #13
    Ok, here's what you should try. Post results if you can.

    1) Zoom out all the way, and turn on your flash. Photograph a wall that's getting even lighting. Take a photo from 5 feet away from the wall.

    2) Take another photo 8-10 feet away from the wall, with the lens still zoomed out all the way.

    If it's the flash, the amount of vignetting should decrease if you take a photo further away from the wall.

    It may only happen when you shoot flat objects from a very close distance. Does it happen if you shoot a clear blue sky? :confused:

    PS: I think it may be normal as well.
     
  14. Macoltrane thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    Update-

    Thanks for all the help, guys.

    I got a replacement on this thing and it works the same. Pretty disappointing for such an expensive camera. At least it takes excellent outdoor shots :(
     
  15. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #15
    Not that disappointing. You have to pay for having such a small camera. The issue will probably disappear in better light, so the camera can stop down some. But you shouldn't expect this little bitty flash to evenly lit something. Its not about price its about physics.
     
  16. FritzTheWonderM macrumors member

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    #16
    Here's a hack: put a piece of clear tape (like 3M Scotch Magic Tape, not the really clear stuff) over the flash. This acts as a diffuser and will even out the flash pattern. It will also cut the distance, so play around with it.
     
  17. Macoltrane thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    Wow that's pretty clever, I'll definitely give it a go sometime. Wouldn't this make the flash less powerful though since it's being covered by something semi-transparent?
     
  18. FritzTheWonderM macrumors member

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    #18
    Yes, the range (distance) the flash will cover will be shorter. But your medium and close shots will be more even.
     
  19. form macrumors regular

    form

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    #19
    Sometimes I need to diffuse light from the flash too (and especially extend it past a long lens), especially for macro shots. I use a tall glass for that purpose. Tape is probably fine for more even distribution of light from a distance.

    Built-In flash is a very limited device with many flaws, and most people would tell you that's why it's not found on professional cameras.

    Vignetting is commonplace, and one of my lenses has lots of it at its widest aperture. However, it's easily corrected in PS or another image editing app.

    There is no such thing as a compact digicam that does EVERYTHING well; you have to pick one based on what you need the most. Many have great image quality. Some have better low-light sensitivity with less noise, so you don't need flash (Fuji finepix f10, f11, f30). Some have image stabilizing features so camera shake doesn't result in blurred images at slow shutter speeds (just about every Panasonic cam). Some have a more powerful flash. Some have more manual controls (usually slightly larger cams). Some have better movie modes - higher quality and/or much smaller files.

    I went to dSLRs half a year ago; the performance difference is huge (and so is the price).
     

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