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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: Rocguy on May 25, 2013, 09:29:49 PM

Title: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Rocguy on May 25, 2013, 09:29:49 PM
Took some pics with my 24-105L on my 6D today and the horizon was curved when I had the lens at 24mm. A LOT. Embarrassingly so. I'm not really sure what this is called to look it up. Lol Barrel distortion or field of curvature? All I know is it was a lot. Would doing afma on this lens help any? Is it pure user error?  :o Or is this just normal for this lens? Someone I know said it was because I used the "kit" lens, but this is an L lens I thought it would be better than this. I mostly am not using it at 24 so it really only showed up today when I was at the beach taking some pictures.

If I can figure out how I'll try to attach an example. Thanks for any info/help anyone has on this issue.
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Pi on May 25, 2013, 09:35:17 PM
First, the horizon is actually curved. This is more visible with wider angles.

Next, the 24-105 does have a considerable barrel distortion at the wide end. If you are using LR/ACR, they would correct it automatically, and you will never see it again. In DPP, you have to click here and there for that. In DXO, it is also automatic.
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Rocguy on May 25, 2013, 09:46:21 PM
First, the horizon is actually curved. This is more visible with wider angles.

Next, the 24-105 does have a considerable barrel distortion at the wide end. If you are using LR/ACR, they would correct it automatically, and you will never see it again. In DPP, you have to click here and there for that. In DXO, it is also automatic.

I use Aperture instead of Lightroom. Anyone have tips on correcting this in Aperture?
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: neuroanatomist on May 25, 2013, 09:49:39 PM
PTLens plugin for Aperture.

Personally, I use Aperture for image triage and library management. But I use DxO for RAW conversions.
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Rocguy on May 25, 2013, 10:05:23 PM
PTLens plugin for Aperture.

Personally, I use Aperture for image triage and library management. But I use DxO for RAW conversions.

Thanks. Currently I just use Aperture for everything. But I'm beginning to wish I had bought Lightroom instead. But maybe this DxO would help.
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on May 25, 2013, 10:19:27 PM
All lenses have distortions, but zoom lenses are the worst.  Usually wide angles have the most distortion, but the telephoto end does as well.
There are usually free trials of plug-ins, or Lightroom has one.
 
Canon DPP has even more sophisticated corrections for Canon lenses, and its free.  First develop the image in DPP and send it to Aperture for a final touchup and for library management.  You can setup DPP to export to Aperture automatically.
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Rocguy on May 25, 2013, 11:22:46 PM
After a little (ok, a lot  :o) of head scratching and figuring out I changed it to this. Which is much better than it was. I used the PTlens plugin for Aperture. FYI.

I feel like this should be easier to do? Lol So maybe I need a better workflow. But I have to admit I hate this part of this photography thing. I sort of want the images to just look great on the computer right from the SD card...
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: rpt on May 25, 2013, 11:43:34 PM
After a little (ok, a lot  :o) of head scratching and figuring out I changed it to this. Which is much better than it was. I used the PTlens plugin for Aperture. FYI.

I feel like this should be easier to do? Lol So maybe I need a better workflow. But I have to admit I hate this part of this photography thing. I sort of want the images to just look great on the computer right from the SD card...
In LR it is one check box that needs to be checked...
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: bdunbar79 on May 25, 2013, 11:59:54 PM
Hmmm.  I looked in my Camera RAW program and there are buttons and sliders to correct this for the 24-105L lens. 
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: dirtcastle on May 26, 2013, 12:26:23 AM
Another trick is to lower the camera and place the horizon closer to the center of the frame. Getting closer to the ground will also enhance the foreground, and make your friend look a bit more dramatic. ;-)

(http://thebreaksover.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Picture-31.png)
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: friedmud on May 26, 2013, 01:14:41 AM
In LR it is one check box that needs to be checked...

I agree with this.

But I'll also add something else here: optical perfection comes has costs.  Sure, we all want perfect pictures straight out of the camera, but you have to keep in mind a few things:

1.  Money.  As in $$$$.  Instead of spending $1000 on the 24-105 and getting this:

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/420-canon_24105_4_5d?start=1 (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/420-canon_24105_4_5d?start=1)

You could have spent $2000 on a 24-70 Mk II and gotten this:

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/773-canon2470f28mk2ff?start=1 (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/773-canon2470f28mk2ff?start=1)

How much is a straight horizon worth to you?

2.  Utility.  Instead of having image stabilization, autofocus and a huge zoom range you could have spent $1,700 and gotten this:

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/713-zeiss25f2eosff?start=1 (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/713-zeiss25f2eosff?start=1)

Do you want to walk around with a bag full of primes and change lenses every 10 minutes to get a perfectly straight horizon?



My point here is that every lens has its tradeoffs.  Some trade performance for cost.  Others trade utility for ultimate image quality.  What lens is right for YOU is what you need to work out.

If you're going to be taking nothing but pictures containing tons of perfectly straight lines (ie architecture photography) you might want to invest some cash in some primes that have as little distortion as possible.

If you're going to be taking casual travel photos that occasionally show distortion effects (like your shot here) it's probably better to err on the side of utility (like you've done with the 24-105).  What good are perfectly straight lines if your dog runs off while you're trying to change lenses??

Finally, a tip: learn the strengths and weaknesses of your gear and keep that in mind while you're shooting.  Don't try to force a tool to do a job it wasn't made for....
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Eli on May 26, 2013, 03:05:03 AM
Is it me or is the curve only on one side only, and more visible vignetting on the other side..
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: bitm2007 on May 26, 2013, 03:53:05 AM
Rocguy.  Specking as a pro landscape photographer who lives near the coast, I think you've gone a little to far with the distortion correction in the dog image.  As Pi stated in the first reply to your post 'the horizon is actually curved'.  You should therefore leave a small amount of curvature in your landscapes, especially when using a wide angle lens.  If you visit the coast, try holding a ruler or other straight edge up to the horizon at arms length, you will plainly see what Pi and myself are getting at.  Basically there should be some curvature but it shouldn't be obvious like in your original.




Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: lol on May 26, 2013, 05:15:33 AM
Is it me or is the curve only on one side only, and more visible vignetting on the other side..
The curve appearing on one side is probably due to a slight tilt of the camera. The vignetting looks about the same both sides to me. Be careful as the image is cropped on my forum view, so you have to move the slider to see all of it.
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Eli on May 26, 2013, 06:19:47 AM
Is it me or is the curve only on one side only, and more visible vignetting on the other side..
The curve appearing on one side is probably due to a slight tilt of the camera. The vignetting looks about the same both sides to me. Be careful as the image is cropped on my forum view, so you have to move the slider to see all of it.

Ahh that makes sense, on my iPhone it only showed the left side of the image..
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Pi on May 26, 2013, 08:44:45 AM
In LR it is one check box that needs to be checked...

I agree with this.

But I'll also add something else here: optical perfection comes has costs.  Sure, we all want perfect pictures straight out of the camera, but you have to keep in mind a few things:

1.  Money.  As in $$$$.  Instead of spending $1000 on the 24-105 and getting this:

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/420-canon_24105_4_5d?start=1 (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/420-canon_24105_4_5d?start=1)

You could have spent $2000 on a 24-70 Mk II and gotten this:

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/773-canon2470f28mk2ff?start=1 (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/773-canon2470f28mk2ff?start=1)

How much is a straight horizon worth to you?

Is not so much matter of cost - what we have here are different lens designs due to different FL ranges. It is not like the designers of the 24-105 did not get paid enough to reduce the geometric distortions even more.  :)

I remember reading an interview by one of the Samsung representatives - his point was that the ability to correct geometry with software allows to design sharper lenses, even after software corrections, since optical distortion corrections come at a greater IQ cost.
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Spiffyinferno on May 26, 2013, 09:25:49 AM
Is not so much matter of cost - what we have here are different lens designs due to different FL ranges. It is not like the designers of the 24-105 did not get paid enough to reduce the geometric distortions even more.  :)

I remember reading an interview by one of the Samsung representatives - his point was that the ability to correct geometry with software allows to design sharper lenses, even after software corrections, since optical distortion corrections come at a greater IQ cost.

This!  I will say that the 24-105 has been my go-to for landscapes due to limited budget (though I'm interested in the 14mm Samyang 2.8, which is known for really ugly mustached-distortion... also fixable!)--  I've shot a lot on the Washington coast and, as others have said on this, the Lightroom correction is one button.  If you're still kicking yourself for using Aperture instead, you can download a 30-day trial of Lightroom from the Adobe site.  Definitely worth tinkering with.

I know you mentioned you hate the technical editing piece of photography but these days that's where a lot seems to really come together.  If you get a great shot, simple non-destructive enhancements really let it shine.  I dove into photography again after a 10 year hiatus because it's the only hobby where I felt art was truly co-dependent on science in every way.  Embrace the tech if you can, or just get really fantastic, perfect light on all your outings.  Cheers!
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Pi on May 26, 2013, 09:34:59 AM
[...] the Lightroom correction is one button.

Once an year, if I may add, when you upgrade LR (actually, if I am not mistaken,  the new version uses your old preferences so it maybe one click in a lifetime!).  You set up LR to auto-correct the lens distortions and forget about it. 
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Rocguy on May 26, 2013, 09:38:05 AM
In LR it is one check box that needs to be checked...

I agree with this.

But I'll also add something else here: optical perfection comes has costs.  Sure, we all want perfect pictures straight out of the camera, but you have to keep in mind a few things:

1.  Money.  As in $$$$.  Instead of spending $1000 on the 24-105 and getting this:

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/420-canon_24105_4_5d?start=1 (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/420-canon_24105_4_5d?start=1)

You could have spent $2000 on a 24-70 Mk II and gotten this:

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/773-canon2470f28mk2ff?start=1 (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/773-canon2470f28mk2ff?start=1)

How much is a straight horizon worth to you?

2.  Utility.  Instead of having image stabilization, autofocus and a huge zoom range you could have spent $1,700 and gotten this:

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/713-zeiss25f2eosff?start=1 (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/713-zeiss25f2eosff?start=1)

Do you want to walk around with a bag full of primes and change lenses every 10 minutes to get a perfectly straight horizon?



My point here is that every lens has its tradeoffs.  Some trade performance for cost.  Others trade utility for ultimate image quality.  What lens is right for YOU is what you need to work out.

If you're going to be taking nothing but pictures containing tons of perfectly straight lines (ie architecture photography) you might want to invest some cash in some primes that have as little distortion as possible.

If you're going to be taking casual travel photos that occasionally show distortion effects (like your shot here) it's probably better to err on the side of utility (like you've done with the 24-105).  What good are perfectly straight lines if your dog runs off while you're trying to change lenses??

Finally, a tip: learn the strengths and weaknesses of your gear and keep that in mind while you're shooting.  Don't try to force a tool to do a job it wasn't made for....

This I understand. And for my purposes I wouldn't have want to spend double on a lens for the few landscape type shots I do. I would count this as learning the strengths and weaknesses of my gear. I will definitely be more careful in the future of using this lens at 24mm, and know from the get go that I would have to run it through some PP afterwards.
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Rocguy on May 26, 2013, 09:40:40 AM

This!  I will say that the 24-105 has been my go-to for landscapes due to limited budget (though I'm interested in the 14mm Samyang 2.8, which is known for really ugly mustached-distortion... also fixable!)--  I've shot a lot on the Washington coast and, as others have said on this, the Lightroom correction is one button.  If you're still kicking yourself for using Aperture instead, you can download a 30-day trial of Lightroom from the Adobe site.  Definitely worth tinkering with.

I know you mentioned you hate the technical editing piece of photography but these days that's where a lot seems to really come together.  If you get a great shot, simple non-destructive enhancements really let it shine.  I dove into photography again after a 10 year hiatus because it's the only hobby where I felt art was truly co-dependent on science in every way.  Embrace the tech if you can, or just get really fantastic, perfect light on all your outings.  Cheers!

I think I will end up doing this Lightroom trial. And possibly buy in the future. And I know you're right in that I have to embrace the tech a bit more. I'm not so much afraid of the tech as I am of the learning curve at the beginning of using it. But I can't get past that if I don't start it...
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: neuroanatomist on May 26, 2013, 10:51:50 AM
Perhaps if I ran Windows, I'd use LR exclusively.  But I'm not a fan of Adobe's UI on the Mac.  I tolerate it for CS6 because there's no other option.  I prefer the native UI of Aperture. 

Since this thread is about distortion, I'll point out one more DxO advantage - volume anamorphosis correction.  Both barrel distortion and the normal corrections for it alter the shape of common objects at the edges of the frame.  It's often very noticeable with people - very few subjects appreciate the 'weight gain' from barrel distortion correction at the edges.  You can dial down the distortion correction to restore their proportions, but then you're back with curved lines.  That's where DxO's volume anamorphosis corrections come in. The presets are very good, and as presets, just one click to use.

Worth noting that while LR can't perform that sort of correction, DxO offers a subset of geometric corrections, including volume anamorphosis, as DxO ViewPoint - and it's available as a plugin for LR.
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: Rocguy on May 26, 2013, 11:34:23 AM
Perhaps if I ran Windows, I'd use LR exclusively.  But I'm not a fan of Adobe's UI on the Mac.  I tolerate it for CS6 because there's no other option.  I prefer the native UI of Aperture. 

Since this thread is about distortion, I'll point out one more DxO advantage - volume anamorphosis correction.  Both barrel distortion and the normal corrections for it alter the shape of common objects at the edges of the frame.  It's often very noticeable with people - very few subjects appreciate the 'weight gain' from barrel distortion correction at the edges.  You can dial down the distortion correction to restore their proportions, but then you're back with curved lines.  That's where DxO's volume anamorphosis corrections come in. The presets are very good, and as presets, just one click to use.

Worth noting that while LR can't perform that sort of correction, DxO offers a subset of geometric corrections, including volume anamorphosis, as DxO ViewPoint - and it's available as a plugin for LR.

I appreciate this input. I have to say as a Mac user I really would like to stick with Aperture as it is native to my OS. I'm sure you know. It really is why I chose it over LR. I am having moments of regret since there are a few things that LR can do that I cannot in Aperture. Plus LR seems to be so pervasive there is much more help and info available on it which is appealing. But your input makes me think again. Lol I like the idea of an all in one program but I might go with a DxO + Aperture route after all.
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: privatebydesign on May 26, 2013, 11:46:47 AM
I started off with Aperture, and still have it, but migrated to Lightroom at version 2. The one feature I really like in Aperture that Lightroom still doesn't have is the AF point display, trouble is it is not intelligent and doesn't move with the crop.

My main reason for moving was speed, Lightrrom worked much faster than Aperture on the same computer with the same image file library, also the Aperture catalog was huge compared to the same Lightrrom catalog.
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: anthony11 on May 26, 2013, 11:55:02 AM
My point here is that every lens has its tradeoffs.  Some trade performance for cost.  Others trade utility for ultimate image quality.  What lens is right for YOU is what you need to work out.
And of course the 24-105 is much superior to the 24-70 from 70-105mm ;)  I rarely shoot from 24-35, so the extra reach is valuable to me.  ymmv.
Quote
If you're going to be taking casual travel photos that occasionally show distortion effects (like your shot here) it's probably better to err on the side of utility (like you've done with the 24-105).  What good are perfectly straight lines if your dog runs off while you're trying to change lenses??
This factor is oft-undervalued.  My son is always in motion and rarely looks directly at me, so I personally need responsive AF and short shutter-lag, neither of which I get on my 5D2 :-/

Quote
Don't try to force a tool to do a job it wasn't made for....
That sounds like a country song ^_^
Title: Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
Post by: privatebydesign on May 26, 2013, 12:58:51 PM
As an aside, like most things, you can dig deep and actually do volume anamorphosis adjustments in Photoshop, but it takes a bit of trial and error and a little more time than the DxO one button solution.

The basis of the adjustment is in the Filter drop down menu go Distort-Spherize in that menu under Mode choose Horizontal Only (or Vertical Only) then move the slider, when you have done that select all and go free transform and change the width percent to around 90%, click the arrow and you are done. Now most times it helps if you increase the canvas width first as this moves where the spherize bands adjust within the frame, like I said a bit of trial and error but good results and cheaper than the plugin if you have PS.

Spherical anamorphosis adjustments are easily done in the lens correction panel with the distortion slider.