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Let’s talk about lens distortion. It happens to us all, even if we don’t realize it. It’s not complicated to fix, but it is a bit complicated to describe, so I will do my best to make it clear for you.

In barrel distortion the photo appears to bulge outwards from the center. In pincushion distortion the photo appears to shrink inwards towards the center. Barrel and pincushion distortion are common in photos that were taken with wide angle or zoom lenses. Can’t visualize it?

Here is your image distortion-free:

Now here’s an example of what a barrel distortion would do to that:

And pincushion:

But fear not — you can correct barrel and pincushion distortion. In ACDSee Pro or Ultimate, you have the option of manual correction, or lens correction based on your lens profile. This time, I’m going to talk about automatic correction, which is based on your lens profile. What’s a lens profile? It means you can select the make, model, and lens of the camera used and receive a correction that is lens-specific. It corrects the distortion inherent to the lens used. The Lens Correction tool contains a database of camera makes, models, and their possible lenses. The possible lenses for the selected camera will be available for you to choose from the Lens drop-down menu, unless there is only one possible lens, in which case, that lens will be pre-selected.

You can also map the correction specific to your lens, (the lens profile), to your camera make, model, and lens combination. Mapping the lens profile will enable you to apply the correction to all images with the same camera-lens combination that you open in the Develop mode Lens Correction tool, should you choose.

To Automatically Correct Lens Distortion:

1. Open your image in Develop mode, and click the Geometry tab.

2. Open the Lens Correction group.

3. Select the Enable Lens Profile checkbox.

4. Often, ACDSee detects the correct camera make and model. However, if it does not pre-populate, use the Make and Model drop-down menus to select the make and model of the camera used to take this particular photo.

5. Next, select the lens model from the Lens drop-down menu. If you’re not sure what the lens model is, you can refer to your EXIF information in the bottom right corner.

It’s probably worth mentioning that the lens value displayed in the EXIF information may not be reliable in the case of third party lenses, as the camera itself may only recognize the third party lens as an ID number. If possible, recover the correct lens value and select it from the Lens drop-down menu.

The correction will occur instantly. Tip: To observe the difference, toggle the Show Original button in the bottom left corner.

Some results are fairly apparent, depending on the amount of distortion:

Others, less so:

(Don’t ask me what that is a photo of. Sea creatures? Confectionery?)

Now you have the option of saving this lens profile as a default for future use on other images with this camera make/model and lens combination. This will save you a ton of time if you’ve got a bazillion photos with the same camera/lens combo. As this function relies on EXIF data, this can mainly be performed with JPEG, DNG, RAW, and TIFF images.

To Save Your Lens Profile as a Default:

1. With your desired camera and lens combination selected, press the Map Default button.

2. Optional: Select the Auto-apply this mapped profile when entering Develop mode checkbox to apply the mapped default to future images upon entering Develop mode.

3. Press OK.

You can also manage your saved defaults, should you decide later on that you don’t want certain lens profiles anymore.

1. Press the Manage Defaults button in the Lens Correction group.

2. In the Manage Mapped Defaults dialog, you can select any profile from the list and delete it by pressing the Delete Mapped Default button.

3. Press OK.

And that’s that! Happy perfecting your images!

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