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updated : thu 22 aug 2002 3:38am bst
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Correcting Barrel Distortion


Roof tiles

A local rooftop offers some interesting textures. But taking some shots with our new Fuji 4800Z digital camera revealed a problem: the camera (more accurately, the lens) has pronounced barrel distortion on some zoom settings, most noticeably with wide-angle pictures. That's what causes the 'bulging' effect. At focal lengths of less than about 50mm -- the camera offers 36-108mm -- this is quite annoying, though it only becomes really noticeable when you've got straight lines in the shots. Unfortunately the camera powers up at 44mm, which means most images suffer slightly.

Barrel distortion is inevitable with wide-angle lenses -- and can be used deliberately for dramatic effects -- but if necessary it can be corrected to some extent in Photodesk. Here's how.

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