Tweaking Your Canon Lens Performance
September 12, 2011 13 Comments
Whether you’re shooting with Canon, Nikon, Pentax or Lumix DSLRs, the lenses we use have optical characteristics that are imperfect. Some of these perfections we hate, some we love – and some we love just some of the time!
Take the wide-angle lens. Most wide-angles, including the 24mm Canon TSE used to take the photo here, exhibit some light falloff towards the edges. This is only to be expected when you apply the laws of physics. Sometimes the ‘vignetting’ is a useful compositional tool, but on other occasions, you’d prefer an even exposure across the frame.
You can also find some barrel or pin-cushion distortion (curvature) in most wide-angles, especially zoom wide-angle lenses.
Image with no Lens Correction
Neither of these ailments are difficult to fix. In fact, in Capture One they are extremely easy to fix – simply visit the Lens Correction Tab and slide the Distortion and Light Falloff controls until the image appears correct.
Image with Lens Correction
It doesn’t take much to make the correction, but given that every photograph shot with this lens will have the same light falloff and distortion, it would be great to have an easier way to fix it.
And there is. For your Canon DSLR (or any DSLR, actually), you can make a series of lens adjustments and save them as a user preset. In addition to Distortion and Light Falloff, you can correct Purple Fringing, Sharpness and Chromatic Aberration, and all these adjustments can be saved into a single preset.
Once you’ve made the adjustments to one photograph, go to the presets icon at the top of the Lens Correction tab (second from the right). When you click it, a list of presets is displayed. At the top of this drop down menu is the option to Save User Preset… Click on this menu item and give your preset a name – I used ‘Canon24mmTSE’ for this lens so it’s easy to recognise. No point being too tricky with your names!
Now when I open a photo taken with my 24mm Canon TSE, I can simply click on the preset and my adjustments are made automatically. And, if I have taken an entire shoot with the one lens, I can apply my preset automatically to every image as I import the files into Capture One 6.
There really is a lot of power and automation built into Capture One 6 for the DSLR user.