Distortion correction in LR5

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kallisti, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. kallisti macrumors 65816

    kallisti

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #1
    I've used both Aperture and Lightroom. Some things I like about both programs.

    Recently became much more aware of the distortion in my photos. I usually use a 35mm prime for most of my photos. Never really noticed the distortion before (I think my brain just corrected it for me and I wasn't able to "see" it in my photos).

    I've tried to correct it in PS (or LR4) and often wasn't happy with the results. Possible just lack of experience. But my corrections seemed "off" somehow.

    Just upgraded to LR5 and played with it some today. One of the touted new features was distortion correction. It seems to really work. Doesn't require any futzing around, just click a button and it's fixed. Haven't used it enough to know how often it's a hit versus a miss.

    Subway in NYC near the Cloisters that I shot this weekend.

    [​IMG]
    No distortion correction. Did the B&W conversion with Silver Efex Pro 2 from Aperture.

    [​IMG]
    Auto-distortion correction in LR5. Then used Silver Efex Pro 2 for the B&W conversion.
     
  2. twitch31 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    #2
    That picture is a great illustration for what LR5 can do. I agree, it's a fantastic feature that doesn't get much mention, everyone talks about lens corrections but IMHO perspective correction is at least as important if not more so. The CA/PF correction is killer too, especially for someone shooting older lens designs on a modern digital camera.
     
  3. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #3
    I'd like to see what DXO Optics would do compared to LR5.
     
  4. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #4
    So did LR5 actually create more image (e.g. pixels in front of the "190")? I would have expected the distortion correction to have cropped or taken away stuff.
     
  5. kallisti, Jan 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014

    kallisti thread starter macrumors 65816

    kallisti

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #5
    No, it didn't add more pixels. Here is the original image:

    [​IMG]

    The 190 was actually straight when I shot it. But the horizon was off. I rotated the image in Aperture to make the elements in the distance straight (the door) and also the vertical columns on the right, but in the process the numbers became skewed and pixels were cropped. I probably over-rotated the first image in Aperture, but I find its straightening tool is much worse than LR. Not enough guidelines. Very hard to make precise adjustments.

    LR5 fixed both problems though with one click. The numbers are straight and the door is straight. As are the columns on the right side of the photo.

    Should mention that this was taken with a 35mm lens (Leica 35mm f/1.4). The lens itself has minimal distortion, but the (relatively) wide focal length can introduce considerable distortion as shown here.
     
  6. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #6
    Thanks. That makes sense. IMHO, it would have been more accurate to have compared this original with the corrected version. The way you've presented it makes LR look magical. At any rate, it looks like a handy feature. How do you think it works? Is it looking for what should be vertical and horizontal lines and correcting them?
     
  7. kallisti thread starter macrumors 65816

    kallisti

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #7
    You are correct. I was so excited when I corrected this image that I jumped to start a thread. Posting the original image puts the results into perspective and is something I should have done initially. My bad. I still think this tool qualifies as pretty magical and pushed me over the edge to start using LR routinely.
     
  8. kallisti, Jan 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014

    kallisti thread starter macrumors 65816

    kallisti

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #8
    A picture from Naples, looking down on a street.

    [​IMG]
    No distortion correction.

    [​IMG]
    Auto-distortion correction tool in LR5

    I think the bottom one is better, but my brain is used to adjusting for distortion in photos created by a wide angle lens and seeing it as "normal." So I don't find the first one objectionable. Though I think the second one is closer to what my eye saw at the time of capture.
     
  9. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #9
    Yeah, that's great. Do you think this is something the PTLens plug-in might correct in Aperture? Did you ever play with that?
     
  10. kallisti thread starter macrumors 65816

    kallisti

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #10
    Haven't used that plug in. LR5 can do lens corrections based on the lens you use. This tool uses lens information but goes way beyond that--it isn't just lens correction, it is distortion/perspective correction independent of the lens used. I usually shoot with either a 35mm or 24mm lens. Almost every photo I take has distortion related to the focal length I use. Sometimes that distortion is pleasing and adds to the image. Sometimes it doesn't. Aperture has no tools to correct distortion. LR4 and PS have tools, but I've found them a PITA to use. I'm not always sure that my corrections are better than the original. LR5 introduced a tool to fix this that seems to "just work" with one click. The older tools are still there to use if the auto-button doesn't work for an image.

    I'm *really* loving LR5. Enough that I think I'm going to be using it as my primary editing software (along with the various Nik softwares).
     
  11. twitch31 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    #11
    I used Aperture and PTLens to do this. The lens correction is a matter of selecting your lens from the drop down list (from memory it took a reasonable guess anyway), however perspective correction is not automatic, you have to use the vertical and horizontal sliders and "guess" the best settings. Aalso there is the problem of round tripping creating a big TIFF

    As was said above, the beauty of LR5 is a single click seems to fix perspective correction well probably 90% of the time.
     

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