Trying out Sony’s Lens Compensation App

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
  • Distortion
    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.

Sony Lens Compensation App Image #1

Sony Lens Compensation App Image #2

Sony Lens Compensation App Image #3

Sony Lens Compensation App Image #4

7 thoughts on “Trying out Sony’s Lens Compensation App

  1. Thank you for the article :)
    I was wondering for the pre-paid card, where did you purchased it? I’m also in Austria and can only find PlayStation cards available in the US…

    • I did purchase the prepaid card from gamecodeshop.de. I did buy the US one as it was cheaper, and simply set the Sony storefron to think I’m from the US. Worked without Problems. But I think they sell cards from all different countries, so just pick the one you prefer :)
      From your mail adress I guess you are from the UK, so have a nice holiday here and take some cool photos :)
      Markus

  2. Thanks for the article. I bought this app, but have not used it yet. There is a ‘lens correction’ function in the Lightroom. Do you know if it would be better to use the Lightroom’ lens correction or this app? Is there any problem with post-processing of imagines taken with this app in the Lightroom?
    Many thanks.

    • Thanks for your comment. At least currently, I am not sure which of the two gives better results. The lens profiles you can create with Lightroom will be more accurate in regards of vignetting and distortion, but what I have seen so far it can’t solve the problem with the colored peripheral shading I get with the rangefinder lenses. The lens correction app does have peripheral shading correction for color as well, however is it more difficult to get the settings right since you have to set them in camera. For a more accurate correction, you need to look into extra software like CornerFix or Adobes Flatt Field Correction Plugin. Both make the workflow much more complex, so right now I stick to the in camera app. And about using those images in Lightroom, the Jpegs and the RAWs created by the lens correction app handle exactly like normal ones. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
      Markus

  3. Thanks for the article. I bought the app.
    It did not get rid of the vignettes on my shots. Using a7ii with voigtlander 35mm 1.4.
    Does it get rid of the dark corners at 1.4?

    • Hello Cesar,

      I only have the VC 35/1.7, but it works well for it. I only adjusted for around f/4, so I still have minor vignetting wide open. The test I do in lightroom.

      Getting Markus

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