COMA in Camera Lens

COMA in Camera Lens

  • If you focus on a field of point light sources, such as the starry sky, you may discover the effect called coma - although the central points' image appear sharply, those out toward the frame edge show as short lines or teardrops, radiating away from the center; the farther away from the center, the greater the effect.

  • The effect may also be visible with any other subject that is richly detailed with a small pattern, whether regular or irregular. An enlarger lens with coma may produce this effect in the enlarged film grain, for instance. Coma may sometimes appear, also, when an otherwise satisfactory lens of normal focal length is used for close-up photography or photomicrography.

  • The effects of coma can generally be reduced by closing the lens aperture. In close-up work, reversing the lens, back to front, on the extension tubes or bellows will usually much improve the image, and the coma effect may disappear completely.

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