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FORUMS Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Lenses 
Thread started 19 May 2010 (Wednesday) 08:58
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New Lens Help

196 posts
Joined Feb 2008
Location: Plano, TX
May 19, 2010 08:58 |  #1

Good morning everyone, I need some advice on a new lens. I work for a furniture manufacturer and for the last year or so I've had the opportunity to do the photography work for our catalog. It's been a great learning experience and my bosses have really given me cart blanch on the supplies I've needed to do a good job for them. One of the things I've struggled with is the distortion I've been getting on the wider shots I've been taking. I'm using a 17-40mm L lens on a 7D and start to see a lot of distortion in the photos. I can straighten a lot of them in PP but would like to eliminate this step.

The image below is a quick example of what I'm seeing. This shot was taken at 21mm, you can see where the cabinet starts to lean back. Can anyone recommend a lens or a change in the way I'm doing things that will eliminate this issue? I need a lens that gets pretty wide angle for larger collections of product.

Thanks in advance,


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May 19, 2010 11:19 |  #2

i might be entirely wrong here...but i think the distortion comes from how close you are at the wider focal length...there's no way to step back right?...for the shot above could you possibly do each piece on it's own, and then combine them later on?...this would allow you to use a longer focal length which i think would get rid of some of the distortion...if i'm wrong i'm sure someone will be in here to correct me soon...

i mainly just wanted to suggest shooting each one on it's own

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196 posts
Joined Feb 2008
Location: Plano, TX
May 19, 2010 11:24 |  #3

Thanks for the response DreDaze, I'm pulled back from the product by about 15' or so and have room to get back a little more and will try that, however this was just a sample shot showing my issue, a lot of the time I'm shooting classroom or product configurations that I can't shoot individually and was hoping there was a better wide angle lens out there that would minimize this issue.

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Location: Woodlands, MB, Canada
May 19, 2010 14:15 |  #4

Try get the lens height right in the middle of the scene... If you go above the middle, (where you're looking slightly down on your subjects) the tops of the objects will appear to tilt away from each other.. If you go low, (where you're looking slightly up at your subjects) the tops of the objects will appear to tilt towards each other. The higher or lower you go, the more dramatic the effect will be. In the shot you attached, it appears that the camera/lens was a bit high.

With wide angle lenses there will always be a little bit of perspective exaggeration and in some cases, barrel distortion.

There are several perspective correction packages out there that will allow you to straighten things up in post processing.. If you Google for 'perspective correction software" you'll get a bunch of hits.. Here is one such package:

http://www.colorpilot.​com/perspective.html (external link)

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289 posts
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May 19, 2010 14:22 |  #5

3 choices:
1. place the subject in the center of the frame. The distortion is around the edge of the frame.
2. use a lens with longer focal length like 50mm or above.
3. use software like Photoshop to make the correction in the post processing stage.

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New Lens Help
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