Lens distortion: everything every photographer must know

    | Photography Tutorials | Tutorials | 12/10/2012 11:30am

    Types of lens distortion


    Below are examples of common types of lens distortion illustrating how they affect your composition.

    Barrel Distortion

    Barrel Distortion

    Barrel distortion creates an image in which lines bow outwards towards the edges – making rectangles appear barrel-shaped.

    Pincushion Distortion

    Pincushion Distortion

    Pincushion distortion makes lines appear to bend inwards towards the centre – making rectangles appear like the outlines of a pincushion.


    Chromatic Aberration

    Chromatic Aberration

    Chromatic aberration (or achromatism) is usually seen through the colour fringing it creates on lines and edges in the image.




    All lenses create an image that’s darker at the edges than in the centre – this is known as vignetting, and can be used as a stylistic device.


    No Distortion

    No lens distortion

    No lens distortion, where lines are as straight as in reality. There’s no darkening at the edges, and all the colours are focused at the same point.

    PAGE 1: Common questions about lens distortion
    PAGE 2: Types of lens distortion
    PAGE 3: Why does chromatic aberration occur?
    PAGE 4: Learning the lingo


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    Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2012 at 11:30 am under Photography Tutorials, Tutorials.

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