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06-24-2015, 05:25 AM   #1
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Landscape photos corner sharpness and lightroom vignette

Hi guys, I know one of the most important aspect of landscape photography is to achieve good corner to corner sharpness....but I can't help noticing that some "pros" on youtube suggest that one of the workflow in landscape shot is to post vignette the photo to "draw" the viewer into the photo. I do agree that this is very effective to enhance the photo. So my question is....for landscape photographer at least....is it that important to lust for a lens that has great corner sharpness? The DA14 and DA15 and to some degree DA21 all do not have great corner sharpness unless they are stopped down...but does it matter if these do not (assuming the interest is in taking landscape)?

Just wondering......

06-24-2015, 05:48 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I think it really depends on the image. Some images have a central point of focus, in which case doing some vignetting can enhance that focus, while some images the point is to have edge to edge sharpness. I find that most images do best at f5.6 or f8 due, not so much to border sharpness, but due to the fact that you need adequate depth of field for most image to work.

This is one where I tried for edge to edge sharpness:



while this one, I chose to put lighten the rocks in the left lower corner and darken the upper edges.

06-24-2015, 05:49 AM   #3
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i don't always add vignetting to my landscape pictures, i deside for every picture what looks best in my opinion.
QuoteOriginally posted by raider Quote
The DA14 and DA15 and to some degree DA21 all do not have great corner sharpness unless they are stopped down
i have neither of these lenses but for landscape pictures i usually stopp down between f8 - f11 (f16 or higher if i need the DOF), so i suspect corner sharpness is not so bad for these lenses then.
06-24-2015, 06:12 AM   #4
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According to dxomark, by f/11 there is very little difference between center and edge on the DA21. Typically, I am stopping down to gain sufficient depth of field and rarely find the corners to be weak. I am pretty sure I have never used this lens at f/4 for a landscape.

Tests and reviews for the lens Pentax HD DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited mounted on Pentax K-5Measurements - DxOMark
(click on "Field Map" then select aperture.

06-24-2015, 06:13 AM   #5
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Since you are likely to want to stop down anyway, using any of the mentioned lenses should not be much of a problem, as they give decent (though not necessarily fantastic) border sharpness at smaller apertures. Rather than changing lenses, you perhaps need to make sure you have a tripod with you so you have the option to stop down without increasing ISO or risking camera shake. Choosing your focusing distance carefully is also important for best edge/corner sharpness, as these lenses tend to have quite strongly curved focal planes.
06-24-2015, 07:08 AM   #6
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@Rondec. those are great shots.

Thanks guys for your comments. Certainly food for thoughts for me....
06-24-2015, 07:48 AM   #7
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Also corner sharpness is often related to field curvature. This means that the corner focal points are closer to you than the center points. This actually help for.depth of field when your closest object is near the corner of the frame like in rondec wonderful image and you use hyperfocal focusing. Flat field test subjects dont account for this and i wonder if lens testers just focus at infinity and say "this lens is soft in the corners"
06-24-2015, 09:52 AM   #8
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I've seen many awesome landscape photos shot with film without vignetting,the real key is to have a strong interesting focal point to begin with.Vignetting may help spice up a dull photo but a great photo comes straight from the camera and not from post processing.Get it right through the viewfinder.

06-24-2015, 11:31 AM   #9
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I often vignette landscape images. Sometimes I use the graduated filter in the corners or along an entire edge instead, depending on the relative values and composition.

---------- Post added 06-24-15 at 11:34 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bschriver11 Quote
I've seen many awesome landscape photos shot with film without vignetting,the real key is to have a strong interesting focal point to begin with.Vignetting may help spice up a dull photo but a great photo comes straight from the camera and not from post processing.Get it right through the viewfinder.


It is difficult to get a bright sky "right through the viewfinder".
06-24-2015, 11:35 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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Sometimes vignetting happens sort of naturally in a photo because there is central light with fall off in the corners and that often works pretty well...

06-24-2015, 11:38 AM   #11
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Lenses with strong corner performance are preferable for landscape, but make the comparison at apertures usually used for landscape: f5.6-16. Even if you darken the corners, you want them sharp [usually].
06-24-2015, 12:09 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bschriver11 Quote
I've seen many awesome landscape photos shot with film without vignetting,the real key is to have a strong interesting focal point to begin with.Vignetting may help spice up a dull photo but a great photo comes straight from the camera and not from post processing.Get it right through the viewfinder.
while i support your first sentence i don't agree with the second one.
i think vignetting is/was a characteristic of a lens while shooting film, beside stopping down to hide it somewhat there wasn't a lot you could do against it, beside using another lens or lens/hood combination (i never developed film myself so i don't know what is possible in the darkroom). on digital on the other hand you can either remove it fully or add more to the image, vignetting has become a stylistic device. it can help leading the viewers attention to certain areas of the image, it can spice up a photo as you put it or it can ruin it depending on the image, that's a question of taste and i certainly wouldn't use vignetting for every image i shoot, but i don't think of vignetting as bad as you do.
moreover i don't think a great photo has to come straigth from the camera, instead it usually is a combination of good field work and skillful post processing - i think a lot of pictures are overprocessed these days but again thats a question of taste and/or uncalibrated screens, my screen included
besides some pp is already done with the camera presets you are using (e.g. camera presets for colors: bright, natural, portrait, landscape, monochrome,...)

Last edited by othar; 06-24-2015 at 12:28 PM.
06-24-2015, 11:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by othar Quote
while i support your first sentence i don't agree with the second one.
i think vignetting is/was a characteristic of a lens while shooting film, beside stopping down to hide it somewhat there wasn't a lot you could do against it, beside using another lens or lens/hood combination (i never developed film myself so i don't know what is possible in the darkroom). on digital on the other hand you can either remove it fully or add more to the image, vignetting has become a stylistic device. it can help leading the viewers attention to certain areas of the image, it can spice up a photo as you put it or it can ruin it depending on the image, that's a question of taste and i certainly wouldn't use vignetting for every image i shoot, but i don't think of vignetting as bad as you do.
moreover i don't think a great photo has to come straigth from the camera, instead it usually is a combination of good field work and skillful post processing - i think a lot of pictures are overprocessed these days but again thats a question of taste and/or uncalibrated screens, my screen included
besides some pp is already done with the camera presets you are using (e.g. camera presets for colors: bright, natural, portrait, landscape, monochrome,...)


When I printed from film, I usually burned in [with negatives] the corners to darken them, so the vignetting produces by the lens was often not enough not give the desired effect. Usually the aim is not to make vignetting obvious, but to make the composition work better. Obvious vignetting is a stylistic choice, one that can become trite easily.
06-26-2015, 04:24 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
When I printed from film, I usually burned in [with negatives] the corners to darken them, so the vignetting produces by the lens was often not enough not give the desired effect.
good to know. still using film from time to time, i might try it someday.
QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
Usually the aim is not to make vignetting obvious, but to make the composition work better. Obvious vignetting is a stylistic choice, one that can become trite easily.
nothing contrary to my statement, i deside for every picture if vignetting enhances the image or if it is unnecessary.
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