I have just learned about a wonderful new tool in Photoshop CS2 that is a life saver – or, to be more accurate, a picture saver. I’ve noticed dark corners in almost all of my pictures with my “bad” lens and in a lot of my super-wide pictures as well. What I have learned is that vignetting, as this is called, is a normal thing even for the most expensive of zoom lenses. Fixed length “prime” lenses do not suffer these problems nearly as much. This can be avoided [mainly minimized] by utilizing an F-stop value that is in the center of the lens’ range instead of one of the maximum or minimum values. I, of course, like to go to extremes, so this vignetting shows up in my work.
So – how does one fix it? In Photoshop there is a nifty tool to correct lens distortion – including vignetting. So – the pitures I took of my friend’s daughter now look ten times better since I’m able to smooth the exposure to the edge of the frame. They no longer look like I’m taking a picture through a tube.
It doesn’t do away with lens distortion, but really allows me to deal with what I have. It doesn’t compensate for the slow focus problem, but it will make some of my darkened pictures look a bit better. Actually, a lot better. I was quite surprised how much difference a little de-vignetting makes.