92 — My damn lenses keep vignetting — solving vignetting problems

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #92 talks about solv­ing vignetting which is the unwanted dark­en­ing around the edges or cor­ners in your pho­tographs. We talk about 2–3 very com­mon rea­sons why even pro­fes­sional lenses that cost a for­tune, STILL suf­fer from vignetting in cer­tain cases. ‚We also talk about why many peo­ple never notice the vignetting in their pho­tographs even though it’s often there.

Mechanical or filter vignetting

This is mechan­i­cal vignetting of a shot of the sky on my F2.8 24mm wide angle lens and is due to too many fil­ters in front of the lens. Shot at left at F2.8. Stop­ping down to F 5.6 (right shot) ‚helps slightly. A bet­ter solu­tion here is to sim­ply use less fil­ters, or wider ones.

Optical vignetting

Opti­cal vignetting on neu­tral sub­ject. Shot at left is at F-5.6 focused on infin­ity using the 300mm end of my 28–300 zoom. Shot at right is at F-11 focused on infin­ity using the 300mm end of my 28–300 zoom‚and the vignetting is almost gone. Both images shot with­out fil­ters of any kind. This type of vignetting can occur in some cases on almost any DSLR lens regard­less of price.‚Listening‚to the pod­cast explains why this happens.

Links /resources men­tioned in this podcast:

Cam­bridge in Colour arti­cle on lenses
Wider Cokin Z fil­ter hold­ers at B&H
Step up rings at B&H
Adapter rings at B&H
Emo­tion is the reg­u­lar assign­ment this month on our pho­tog­ra­phy forum
Back­light­ing is the level 2 assign­ment this month on our pho­tog­ra­phy forum

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Thanks to Jack Label and Sevenwords‚who posted a blog com­ment about our last pod­cast. Thanks as always to every­one that sent com­ments by email about our last pod­cast. Although ALL com­ments are appre­ci­ated, com­ment­ing directly in this blog is pre­ferred. Thanks as well to all the new mem­bers of the bul­letin board. Most of the links to actual the prod­ucts are affil­i­ate links that help sup­port this site. Thanks in advance if you pur­chase through those links.

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Happy New Year every­one and only the best for 2011 — thanks for lis­ten­ing and keep on shooting!


  1. kawarthabob says:

    In the last part of your pod­cast you men­tion that put­ing a cheapo lens meant on a full size sen­sor will cre­ate vignetting due to the light focus­ing on the cen­ter of the sen­sor. What is the effect of putting good glass in front of the cropped sen­sor? I even­tu­ally want L series 2.8 glass for my rebel.

  2. kat says:

    Another nice pod­cast. Lots of info on why that I know many wouldn’t even consider/know, espe­cially with the size of lens in rela­tion to the sen­sor. First time pur­chas­ing a cam­era that knowl­edge would not have be there what so ever!


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