Avoiding Chromatic Aberration

Photograph by Daniel Hancock

Photograph by Daniel Hancock

Because of the different wavelengths of light, no lens is able to focus all colors of light at once. Complex lens systems (this includes all camera lenses) display chromatic aberration when the various wavelengths of light travel through (refract) differently. This often results in colored fringes surrounding an object in an photograph. An example of this is a rainbow, where the sun is the light and the water droplets in the air are the lens. The water droplets refract the various light wavelengths differently, resulting in each color being displayed separately. Blue is the most frequent color found in chromatic aberrations followed by green and red light.   There are several methods to avoid or correct chromatic aberration (CA).   1. Correct CA in Photoshop or another program (For GIMP, you can install the GimpLensFun plugin.) While this creates a little more work off the field, it allows you the greatest amount of creativity by permitting you to skip the other two options. 2. Avoid high contrast situations High contrast normally results in increased amounts of visible chromatic aberration. Be especially careful about shooting objects backlit by the sun. 3. Stop down your aperture Instead of shooting wide open (e.g. f 1.8 on a 50mm f 1.8 lens), stop down you aperture a little smaller.

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