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Eriol
06-10-2005, 05:23 PM
How would one deal with barrell and pincushion distortion when taking shots, particularly with just point-and-shoot cameras? I have great problems with barrel distortions, because it often makes the subject look "fat."

I see a number of Photoshop plug-in tools on the web, but I do not understand optics and camera mechanics to make sense of the information.

dmk26
06-10-2005, 05:45 PM
How would one deal with barrell and pincushion distortion when taking shots, particularly with just point-and-shoot cameras? I have great problems with barrel distortions, because it often makes the subject look "fat."

I see a number of Photoshop plug-in tools on the web, but I do not understand optics and camera mechanics to make sense of the information.

Unfortunately I don't know of any ways to get rid of the distortion after the picture is taken. (I'm not a huge fan of post processing pictures in software). However, here's how to reduce the effect when taking the picture. Stay as far back from the subject, and zoom in as far as your camera will let you (optical rather than digital).

Another way to minimize the visual effect of the subject looking fat is to take the picture from a very low angle.. like get down on your knees etc. You'll still get distortion, but the legs are going to be closer to the lens than the torso and head, which may actually make your subject look thinner.

didjiman
06-11-2005, 03:34 AM
How would one deal with barrell and pincushion distortion when taking shots, particularly with just point-and-shoot cameras? I have great problems with barrel distortions, because it often makes the subject look "fat."

I see a number of Photoshop plug-in tools on the web, but I do not understand optics and camera mechanics to make sense of the information.

Most distortion comes in the far or wide end, so zoom to the middle length. The worse distortion comes in the wider end, so if you have to choose, step away to zoom in.

Eriol
06-13-2005, 12:47 PM
It looks like there are two different photographers experiences listed here.

I've read suggestions similar to didjiman's as well: don't choose the extreme ends of the optical zoom for your subject. However, this advice seems to be in direct conflict with dmk26's advice, where he moves away from the subject but he telescopes in all the way.

Is this a conflict or just different ways of photography?

dmk26
06-13-2005, 07:13 PM
It looks like there are two different photographers experiences listed here.

I've read suggestions similar to didjiman's as well: don't choose the extreme ends of the optical zoom for your subject. However, this advice seems to be in direct conflict with dmk26's advice, where he moves away from the subject but he telescopes in all the way.

Is this a conflict or just different ways of photography?

Depends on the quality of your optics. If you have medium to top quality optics / lenses, then you will not get distortion at extreme ends of optical zoom. In addtion, a lot point and shoot cameras end up doing additional digital processing at the extreme optical end to cheat and get a little more zoom. Best thing to do is to take 2 pictures, of the same subject, but trying the different techniques, to see what works for you and your equipment.

Eriol
06-14-2005, 11:58 AM
Depends on the quality of your optics. If you have medium to top quality optics / lenses, then you will not get distortion at extreme ends of optical zoom.

I'll have to study lenses and optics more.

In addtion, a lot point and shoot cameras end up doing additional digital processing at the extreme optical end to cheat and get a little more zoom.

I presume you are referring to the "digital zoom" cameras advertise. I agree that digital zoom is not good, since it is software extrapolation of the image to achieve "fake zoom." I turn digital zoom off.

I just have problems with the normal zoom range the camera has.


Best thing to do is to take 2 pictures, of the same subject, but trying the different techniques, to see what works for you and your equipment.

Good point.

didjiman
06-14-2005, 08:34 PM
It looks like there are two different photographers experiences listed here.

I've read suggestions similar to didjiman's as well: don't choose the extreme ends of the optical zoom for your subject. However, this advice seems to be in direct conflict with dmk26's advice, where he moves away from the subject but he telescopes in all the way.

Is this a conflict or just different ways of photography?

What DMK said. Remember I was answering specifically regarding digital P&S. In anyway, the distortion on the telephoto end is probably minimal, so it's generally a good advice to step back and zoom in.

Eriol
06-14-2005, 11:55 PM
Ah, I missed the last part of your sentence: "...The worse distortion comes in the wider end, so if you have to choose, step away to zoom in."

My mistake.