What Is Barrel Lens Distortion?

While this effect can be appealing in some cases — such as with the artistic photograph shown here — there are many times that you will want to avoid it and have nice, straight lines. This is particularly true when documenting a building, and you need the lines of the architecture to be as straight as they are in real life.

The great news is that barrel lens distortion can be corrected, but first, it is essential to understand why it happens.

Barrel lens distortion is an effect associated with wide-angle lenses and, in particular, zoom wide-angles.

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