- May 29, 2019
There certainly is room for more effective digital correction. A good example is lateral CA. The current approach is to simply mask the color fringing, which doesn't repair the resolution damage that is generated by CA. OTOH, given the known CA of a lens, the raw files could be jiggered by accurately scaling the R, G, and B channels to exactly the same dimension. That would noticeably improve the corner resolution of many lenses. AFAIK, there is no raw converter that currently goes to this level to fix CA, but it is certainly possible either in a raw converter, or in camera as the raw file is being created. Field flatness is not so easy, but all lens design is a balancing act, so building a lens that optimizes the characteristics that cannot be digitally corrected at the expense of those that can may well result in a better overall image.Always tradeoffs. A friend of mine used to tell his video clients "cheap, fast, good. You can have two of the three, but not all three. Now pick which two you want."
More seriously though, I do wonder if we are moving into an era where the next stage of innovation in optics is likely to come through software solutions. It seems that lenses still reside (mostly) in the analog era, while camera bodies live in the digital age. I wonder if, in the not too distant future digital solutions will become standard for many lens designs.