Friday, October 16, 2009

Photo Tip Friday - Dealing with Vignetting

Photo Tip Friday - Dealing with Vignetting

photo showing the effects of vignetting

Have you ever heard of the word or term, vignetting?

Well, if you look at the image above, I bet you can quickly figure out what it is.

This photo has come directly from the camera - no photoshopping, cropping, or adjustments of any kind (something you will very rarely find here).

The edges of the photo loose the brightness that composes the center of the image.

And what causes this, you may ask.

Well, sometimes it is intended, and there are filters available for getting that effect in a photo.

But in my case, it was not intended.

And it is something that you cannot see through the viewfinder when taking the photo.

In the above image, it was caused by a couple of things.

First, I used my wide angle lens at it fullest capability.

This is usually not a problem most of the time, but I like to keep a polarizer filter on my lens at all times.

And unless you specifically purchase a slim (very hard to find a quality one) filter, then the polarizer filter tends to be a rather "thick" piece with a wider rim.

The lens in the wide angle position can "see" the edges of the rim, and it shows in the image, darkening the corners.

Now, you can get around this by purchasing a step up ring, and getting a bigger filter so it sits out beyond the lens' edges.

Filters for wide angle lens are bigger and more expensive, and by using the above method, you need to purchase an even larger filter (and lens cap).

As I have found out, it is best to check this out before you purchase your filters so you don't end up with unused, expensive equipment.

Or you can use the square filters that fit on any size lens as long as you have the correct mounts.

When I finally get to processing this image, a simple crop will easily take care of that unwanted vignetting without taking anything away from the image.

I was lucky this time.


  1. Great information. I don't own a DSLR but have been pricing them as well as lenses and have noticed how expensive they are, I'm sure though like with anything else, you get what you pay for.

  2. I've never used a polarizing filter. The vignette is a downside, I see, but what is the filter for? (I'm still learning!)

  3. Hi Theresa - glad you asked! I will use your question for next week's Friday post. Polarizers are the best!

  4. I had a problem with vignetting when I used a lens hood from a third-party supplier, rather than the manufacturer. Took awhile to dawn on me that the lens hood was causing the problem. I replaced it with one from the lens manufacturer and the problem went away.

    And yes, thank goodness that we can crop digital images so easily!

  5. Kathy I have wide angle lens, and I love it. So cool effects, except when taking photos of group of people, the people on the edges become distorted - I had few, and didn't bother showing it off, this is how bad distortion was, especially of my sister who if fanatic how she looks on photos, lol. Thanks for the explanation. Anna :)


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