Effect of perspective control lens without the cost

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Frederick Williams, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Perspective control lenses are, I fancy, rather expensive. Is there
    software available that will allow the digital manipulation of jpg's to
    get the same effect? I suspect that the answer is 'yes', but does it do
    the job well, and is it free?
    Frederick Williams, Jan 15, 2012
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  2. Frederick Williams

    Savageduck Guest

    Some perspective manipulation is available in Photoshop and ACR with
    the "Lens Correction" filter. It is not a miracle worker and will not
    be a replacement for a tilt/shift lens, but it does a reasonable job
    within its limitations.
    Naturally CS5 is not free.
    There might be other Photoshop plugins available to do this, but I do
    not know of them.
    Savageduck, Jan 15, 2012
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  3. Frederick Williams

    Pete A Guest

    It depends... Three situations spring to mind:

    1. If you are referring to a tilt/shift lens for the sole purpose of
    keystone elimination then the software is cheaper than the lens. The
    downside to this method is reducing the number and quality of JPEG
    pixels left after correction, but it's not necessarily a show-stopping
    limitation. I've no idea if the software is free, but I do wish my
    bought software included this feature.

    2. Requiring a tilt/shift lens for the purpose of, say, maximizing
    depth of field for someone playing the piano, taken at an oblique
    angle: no software can possibly help.

    3. Software is cheaper than buying a tilt/shift lens solely for the
    purpose of creating some of the weird perspective effects that are
    becoming quite popular. Don't know if the software is free, but I've
    seen effects that go far beyond the limits of perspective control
    lenses. I didn't like the effects, but have to say I was very impressed
    (although not impressed enough to save the URLs for future reference
    such as this). The "miniature effect" is currently popular and is
    included as a feature on some recent cameras.

    Caveat: For those who earn good money from their photography, hardware
    is usually cheap compared to the cost of time spent researching then
    learning how to use possibly equivalent software.
    Pete A, Jan 15, 2012
  4. GIMP has shear and prospective tools.
    It works quite well and is free.
    Paul in Houston TX, Jan 15, 2012
  5. Frederick Williams

    Pete A Guest

    Would that be just sheep shearing prospective tools or does it also
    include gold and diamond mining?

    Sorry, Paul, no offence intended :)
    Pete A, Jan 15, 2012
  6. Hahahha! Good catch!
    I need a grammar correction tool...
    The one in my brain does not work very well any more.
    Paul in Houston TX, Jan 16, 2012
  7. Frederick Williams

    Tim Conway Guest

    PT Lens will correct lens distortions, etc. I forget the cost, but it's not
    very much. It's available as a standalone program and also as plugins for
    photoshop, etc.
    Tim Conway, Jan 16, 2012
  8. Frederick Williams

    Whiskers Guest

    Technically, the only way to control perspective is to move your
    viewpoint. Legs or wheels, not lenses or software ;))

    If you want to emulate a 'rising front' or 'sideways shift', the cheapest
    solution is probably a wide-angle lens; simply keep the film plane
    parallel with the subject and select a viewpoint that lets you keep the
    whole subject in the picture. There could be a lot of picture area to
    discard to produce the final image.

    For example, to photograph a tall building, keep the camera upright and
    stand well back, then crop out the unwanted foreground before printing.
    This does expose any abberrations at the edge of your lens's field of
    view, of course (but so does using a 'shift lens'). You'll almost
    certainly get better results using a 'prime' lens, ie one with only one
    focal length - not a 'zoom'.

    Emulating a 'swing' movement is more difficult. You can effectively extend
    the depth of field by "focus stacking" after taking the pictures - you'll
    need as many photos as it takes to get every part of the subject in focus,
    then you merge the sharp bits into a single image in the dark-room or on
    your computer. Obviously, this only works with a static subject.
    <http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/focus-stacking.htm>. You
    could then use the 'shape changing' tools in your image processing
    software (or the traditional darkroom methods of tilting the enlarger head
    and/or easel) to get any distortion you want.

    If the job is important enough, you should try to hire or borrow the
    'right' equipment.

    (Incidentally, even if your camara or scanner can only produce .jpg files,
    don't use that format for saving any of your intermediate edited or
    manipulated images; use a lossless format, ideally whatever is the 'native'
    format of your image processing software).
    Whiskers, Jan 16, 2012
  9. Frederick Williams

    PeterN Guest

    True. Also JPEG is not the way to go for any sophisticated manipulations.
    PeterN, Jan 16, 2012
  10. ....your grammar was fine.
    Yes GIMP is a real prospective tool for your sake.
    OK the shear correction won't help much, the perspective correction will
    do better.
    For gold and diamond mining you'd better use prospection tools... or
    some sexy lingerie if you are a woman.

    Laszlo Lebrun, Jan 16, 2012
  11. Laszlo Lebrun, Jan 16, 2012
  12. The older PC lenses had only "shift". This is easy to correct in
    software, and the GIMP can do it (as can Photoshop of course, but
    youasked about "free"). I use this quite frequently, even in snapshots;
    sometimes the convergence looks bad and I want to fix it fully or
    partially .

    More modern lenses for perspective control are of the "tilt-shift"
    variety. The effects of tilt (changing how the plane of focus cuts
    through the real world) are NOT really achievable in software.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 16, 2012
  13. Frederick Williams

    Whiskers Guest

    Whiskers, Jan 16, 2012
  14. Frederick Williams

    martin Guest


    Filter > Distort > Lens Correction
    Select area or building and go to edit > transform

    best wishes
    martin, Jan 24, 2012
  15. Well, you *could* use a lightfield camera and software for it
    to create tilt-effects --- even use layer masks with them.
    You might need to write said software, though.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Jan 29, 2012
  16. Frederick Williams

    Paul Furman Guest

    Doing it in post means cropping so yeah, you lose resolution though
    panorama stitching can overcome that. Shift lenses might even have less
    resolution due to having to make a larger image circle and use the poor
    edges of that when shifted. The big advantage to perspective shifting
    with the lens is you can see what you are composing.

    Focus stacking software will help though it's not clean or simple.
    Paul Furman, Feb 6, 2012
  17. Frederick Williams

    Pete A Guest

    Focus stacking won't work when the subject is moving, hence my example
    of someone playing the piano :)
    Pete A, Feb 6, 2012
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