Hi, I got an offer I couldn’t refuse on a fisheye lens and I was wondering if I can handle defishing with Photolab 6.1 (which I own) or if I would need to use ViewPoint 4 (which I don’t own) or Perspective Efex from Nik 5 (which I own, but seems to be a bit of a mistake to have purchased to use with Photolab).
There is great information about what the differences are generally in the support section, but I’m getting a bit muddled trying to figure out the fisheye stuff specifically, because the answer I get from Google are sort of vague, contradictory and/or based on older versions. I don’t have the lens yet to test for myself, and I’d like to have some idea of what I need to plan for.
This is all good.
The correction of the optics is a domain of PhotoLab … included in ViewPoint.
I don’t understand what you’re saying.
It have found it somewhat problematic to completely de-fish an image in the past, but I have not tried doing it for a few years and don’t know if PhotoLab and Viewpoint are now more capable of doing it.
PhotoLab 6 doesn’t require a ViewPoint license or any other software to handle lens distortion corrections. The Distortion palette is where this is done. If PhotoLab recognizes your camera and fisheye lens combination and offers an optics module for it, then you can select the automatic option and the fisheye image will be instantly converted into a rectilinear image (extremely wide, with straight lines but appearing very stretched toward the edges).
Whether you have an optics module or not, manual fisheye distortion correction is available to you. You have three types of correction to choose from: barrel, pincushion, and fisheye. You can select the one you want in the Distortion palette and then adjust the sliders to get the amount of distortion correction you want. If you have a ViewPoint license (can be ViewPoint 4 or an earlier version), you also have an adjustment called Volume Deformation. You can use this adjustment to reduce the stretching of the image at the edges or adjust other aspects of image distortion that regular distortion correction either can’t handle or introduces as a consequence.
I hope that helps.
Perspective Efex is a clone of ViewPoint that you can also use with PhotoLab, but you’d have to make other adjustments first in PhotoLab and export the image to Perspective Efex (as a TIFF or JPEG file) for further edits.
Awesome, thanks. That put everything I had read into a coherent order.
Some additional advice: if you don’t like how a fisheye image looks when generically converted to a rectilinear perspective (I usually don’t like it), there is other software that lets you specify what projection to use: for example, converting from any given type of fisheye perspective (stereographic, circular, or something else) into any other kind of projection (rectilinear, panini, orthographic, cylindrical, mercator…). My favorite projection from a fisheye perspective is Panini, which keeps vertical lines straight but allows curved horizontals and doesn’t distort the left and right edges so much. Here’s a good overview of the process:
Fisheye to Pannini projections (paulbourke.net)
I usually use the free program Hugin on Windows to perform such conversions. As a panorama stitcher, Hugin used to be good but I can’t get it to work well anymore. Nevertheless, it still has a great selection of projection options.