If you’re a photographer, it’s essential to know the basics of your craft. One term that every photographer should be familiar with is chromatic aberration. This article will explain what chromatic aberration in photography is and how it affects images.
What Is Chromatic Aberration in Photography?
Chromatic aberration is a type of distortion that happens when a lens fails to bring all wavelengths into focus at the same point. It occurs because different wavelengths (or colors) bend as they pass through glass or air.
Reds and blues will focus in one place while greens shift away. This can happen throughout the entire image area. Most commonly, however, the shift appears along edges where there’s a significant difference between color values. For example, when you see dark objects against a bright sky.
Chromatic aberration affects sharpness by discoloring an edge rather than blurring in the border. This issue can make areas seem “glowing” instead of just out-of-focus. Sometimes people refer to chromatic aberration as “purple fringing” because of the purplish color that it can give to an image.
How to Fix Chromatic Aberration
There are several ways to remove chromatic aberration in post-processing. However, the quickest and easiest is by using a tool called “Lens Correction.”
You can find this filter under:
Filter -> Camera Raw Filter within Adobe Photoshop
The feature will automatically detect when there’s chromatic aberration present along an edge. Then it will eliminate it for you with just one click.
You can also use this same technique (minus the automatic aspect) in other image editing software like GIMP or Paint Shop Pro .
You can avoid chromatic aberration if your lens has special coatings that help refract all wavelengths of light at once. Always purchase your gear from reputable brands because cheaper lenses tend not to offer these kinds of elements.
The Cause of Chromatic Aberration
The leading cause of chromatic aberration is the design and construction of a lens. The cheapest lenses are less complex than more expensive ones, so they do not always offer multi-coating on all air-glass surfaces.
This issue can happen even with certain brands because it’s dependent upon the specific glass used in each unit. It all comes doesn’t to how that glass was ground and polished into its final shape.
Most modern lenses will produce images without chromatic aberration if they’re designed properly. You don’t have to worry about this problem unless your camera body has been around for decades (and therefore uses older technology).
When Should You Worry About Chromatic Aberration?
Most modern lenses are designed to avoid chromatic aberration whenever possible. This issue is usually only present in older cameras.
Let’s say you’re working with an image that has significant amounts of color bleeding along high-contrast edges. You might see something like black lines against a brightly lit sky. Your best bet, in this case, would be to use a tool like Lens Correction or Photo Ninja to remove it. There’s no reason for you to spend hours upon hours trying to fix this distortion yourself when there are other options available!
There isn’t any point where chromatic aberration could ruin an entire photograph. But what if the problem becomes too noticeable within your picture? Then post-processing will probably provide better results than not.
Your images will be fine if you don’t mind making some minor tweaks to your photos. You can then work around most chromatic aberration issues with ease.
How To Avoid Problems With Chromatic Aberration
Suppose you want to avoid chromatic aberration in your pictures. In that case, you should purchase a lens that has multi-coating on all air-glass surfaces. It will help cut out issues. It will refract colors at once rather than focusing separately. This happens as they pass through different kinds of glass, including glass elements.
It’s essential to make sure that all these coatings come bonded together with non-reflective metal. This will help protect them from damage over time. If you’re looking for a high-quality piece of glass, then it would be wise to look into using Zeiss lenses. Don’t try to save a few bucks with a model from a lesser-known brand.
Chromatic aberration is a common problem that you can quickly fix in post-processing. If you have color bleeding along high-contrast edges, then use the “Lens Correction” filter, so it doesn’t affect your final image! Avoid chromatic aberration by purchasing lenses with multi-coating on all air-glass surfaces. This will prevent any distortion from occurring within your photograph.