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01-21-2010, 07:03 PM   #1
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Post processing - particularly lens correction

I wasn't quite sure whether to put this in the post processing forum but decided it was probably more a beginner question than a post processing one so here it is.

In a nutshell, my question is whether there is PP software to automatically correct for lens distortion similar to what is done to the JPGs created within the camera (when shooting RAW+ or JPEG)?

The detailed explanation is as follows:

I am very new to DSLR photography (a recent K-x purchase is my first DSLR). I have tended to shoot in RAW+. I liked the "instant gratification" of the JPGs but was aware (though don't think I'd go so far as to say "fully understand") of the benefits of shooting in RAW.

My "workflow" was to use import the JPGs into Picasa, cull the ones I wasn't happy with and then do some basic cropping etc. I saved all the RAW files (except for absolutely terrible ones, i.e. unintentional blurred shots etc) in a separate directory.

I have been experimenting with some basic PP using the Pentax DCU 4 to see how I can improve upon the JPGs created with by the camera. This has been done on a one file at a time basis, and I compare the my new image with the original JPG from the camera. I am still an absolute beginner at this but am already convinced of the benefits of RAW.

I have decided shooting RAW+ creates too much work sorting with two copies of each shot. So I want to switch to RAW only. I have downloaded a trial copies of various PP software though I have only really used the Pentax DCU software so far. I know you can set up a batch process to apply to all the RAW files to create JPGs or TIFFs but one thing that I haven't seen in any software yet is an automatic lens distortion correction feature. I know this can be done manually on a one-by-one basis within many programs or the same correction parameters can be applied to all photos within a batch process. I think this is of little value in many situations, e.g. upon returning from a holiday on which I shot 500+ photos using differing focals lengths from (at this stage) my two kit lenses. Is there any software that can at least attempt to automatically correct lens distortion when processing raw files? Futhermore, if the K-x contains an automatic lens correction feature for (all?) Pentax DA lenses, it seems ridiculous the Pentax DCU software can't replicate this feature!

I found DxO Optics which seems to have something like this though I haven't tried the trial version yet. The automatic correction feature appears to be camera & lens specific and the K-x isn't in there yet.

I'm interested in how everyone else corrects for lens distortion - surely everyone doesn't manually correct each shot that they take?

01-21-2010, 07:37 PM   #2
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Take a look at this, although I haven't tried it myself.
PTLens
01-21-2010, 09:48 PM   #3
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Thanks. I will give that a try. I still find it absolutely bizarre that Pentax don't put something into their DCU software to at least replicate what the camera is capable of producing.
01-22-2010, 01:06 PM   #4
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The type of PP that you're looking for is processor- and memory-intensive, making it difficult to incorporate in-camera. As for Pentax not offering an OEM software solution for lens correction, I wouldn't want it. Third-party solutions like those mentioned above are almost certainly going to do a better job and cover more lenses than a camera manufacturer would provide. I'd rather camera manufacturers focus on what they do best and leave software solutions to software companies.

01-22-2010, 02:07 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GingerBeer Quote

I'm interested in how everyone else corrects for lens distortion - surely everyone doesn't manually correct each shot that they take?
there is one guy (Jonathan Wienke) @ LL who writes a wunderware - wants to correct everything and put DxO, PTLens & Co to their rightful place in the dust : New Lens Correction Software - Luminous Landscape Forum
01-24-2010, 08:05 AM   #6
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I'm also hunting around for information in this regard (DNG Processing).

I have also the alternate approach from film days (which I have been using as an experiment), which is to bracket for exposure in Jpeg, and/or use extended bracketing for high/low key (brightness). You do get three/nine images from each shot, but given that you can have aberration/lens corrections on (I presume that you are using DA lenses), it is just a matter of deleting the ones you don't want.

I don't shoot RAW+, but I hear you with respect to organising things. I'll be interested to see whether future firmware updates include pentax recording appropriate exif to DNG format, since the latest DNG profiles do contain a space for it.
01-24-2010, 03:32 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clarkey Quote
I'm also hunting around for information in this regard (DNG Processing).

I have also the alternate approach from film days (which I have been using as an experiment), which is to bracket for exposure in Jpeg, and/or use extended bracketing for high/low key (brightness). You do get three/nine images from each shot, but given that you can have aberration/lens corrections on (I presume that you are using DA lenses), it is just a matter of deleting the ones you don't want.

I don't shoot RAW+, but I hear you with respect to organising things. I'll be interested to see whether future firmware updates include pentax recording appropriate exif to DNG format, since the latest DNG profiles do contain a space for it.
Exposure bracketing is something I do use from time to time, but I have never set my k10 to JPEG only output. There is too much data loss going to an 8 bits per channel output compared to the original.
01-25-2010, 05:56 PM   #8
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Agreed - still, the K7 Jpgs are pretty good (especially with flash), and given that most of my shots are of people these days I find I can often shoot at 6mp or even 2 (on premium compression) and still get an 8x10 if I need. And it is back to the RAW button on the side when I need it.....

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