Sony has a talent of making me think of their stuff both awful and awesome at the same time. It started when I got my A7, it’s an awesome camera but I find it awful that they were so cheap they they didn’t include a battery charger. Today I discovered that among the apps available for Sony NEX series is also a Lens Compensation App for 10 € /$. I immediately thought that would be awesome for all the people who use their manual (rangefinder) lenses on a NEX body and wanted to get it. However, while Sony does sell their apps in Germany, UK, USA and so on, they don’t sell them to anyone in Austria – and there we have the awful part again.
However, there are ways around the country limitation. I was able to buy a Sony Play Network prepaid card online, created an US account and finally could purchase the app. No as easy as I would have liked it, but doable. But it shows again while Sony does make great stuff, they also include some awful decisions.
However, back to the app. It allows you to register create lens profiles (not sure yet how many, but it seems quite a few) with lens name and then set various corrections for it. However, the lens settings aren’t recorded by EXIF (Sony, fix this). Corrections included:
- Vignetting / Peripheral Shading
Corrects brightness and the intensity of redish / blueish cast around the edges of photo
- Chromatic Aberration
Corrects red and blue lateral aberration
Corrects barrel and pincushion distortion
Sony made a small Youtube video to show what the app can do:
This seems more than enough for most lenses, but it can be quite difficult to make those adjustments since you have to do them with the camera monitor as reference. For more accurate setting, I have to take several photos with various settings and then judge them on the big computer screen to see which one is closest to perfect. For this quick test, I only used a translucent lens cap to get the settings roughly right, but you can already notice the difference. I’m not 100% satisfied yet, but pretty close.
Here are some samples with the Cosina Voightländer CV 21/4 Color Skopar, shot at f/8. All shot as RAW, and converted with Lightroom 5.3 to jpegs with standard settings. No changes were made to the image.Move the mouse over the images to see the shots with the app.