DxO Optics Pro is designed to correct a range common lens distortions automatically, including distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting and edge softness. But the DxO Volume Anamorphosis option is less well known. It’s not enabled in the default DxO corrections, but it can make a big difference to super-wideangle shots and shapes near the edges of the frame.
• Note that the latest versions of DxO Optics Pro do not have perspective correction built in – you now have to buy the separate ViewPoint 3 application. Once installed, this integrates perfectly with DxO Optics Pro.
What happens with super-wide lenses is that shapes can become compressed and distorted. You may not notice straight away, confusing this effect with those of wideangle perspectives generally. But when you see how the corrected shapes appear compared to the original, you can see just how much distortion there is.
The reason it’s not enabled by default, though, is that like other optical corrections it does reduce the lens’s angle of view. That’s because the image has to be cropped afterwards to remove untidy edges (DxO will do this automatically). So it’s up to you whether you want an image with the widest possible angle of view – which is probably why you’re using a super-wide lens in the first place – or one which has a slightly reduced angle of view but is optically correct.
The Volume Anamorphosis option is really simple to use, and to show how it works – and the difference it makes – I’ve chosen this superwide-shot taken with a Sigma 10-20mm lens which has people at both edges of the frame.
01 Before and after view
If you want to see the difference the DxO correction has made to the original, you can simply simply hold down the mouse button when the arrow tool is selected – the original image is shown until you release the mouse button again.
For this correction, though, it’s better to be able to view the before-and-after shots side-by-side, and there is a button for this (circled) amongst the viewing options at the top of the screen.
02 Zooming in
I also want to be able to see certain areas of the image in close-up, and just to the right of the viewing buttons is a drop-down magnification menu. A setting of 50% is just about perfect because I can then drag on the image with the hand tool to show the woman standing at the head of the barge on the right-hand side of the picture.