Curvature of Field in Camera Lenses

Curvature of Field in Camera Lenses

  • A lens that projects an image as a portion of a sphere demonstrates the aberration called curvature of field. The center can be sharply focused but not the edges, or vice versa.

  • Although curvature of field is not correctable, its effects can be minimized when photographing a flat subject (where it will be most noticeable) by focusing the image at a point a little out from the center, thus taking best advantage of the depth of focus of the camera.

  • Flat subjects are best photographed with a "flat-field" lens, which has been corrected in manufacture to be free of this aberration. Most macro lenses, and some wide-angle lenses designed for architectural photography, are especially well corrected for this fault.

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