How to remove distortion on a Fisheye image


I recently bought the Canon 15mm f2.8 Fisheye for my new 5D Mark II. It’s extremely wide angle and gives the characteristic fisheye distortion.

Here’s a gallery of images shot with that lens:

In some images you want the fisheye distortion, but in other images you might want to remove it.

15mm Fisheye Original

And there are several applications that can help you with that. Regardless of what fisheye you’re using.


The most common way to remove the distortion is to squeeze the image in the middle. Something like what PTlens will do for you. In addition you can adjust perspective, rotation and a couple of other settings.

But this leaves you with an image that has to be cropped and if there are people along the edges of the image they will look very distorted.

Another program called Fisheye Hemi aim to fix that problem. And will try to remove the fisheye distortion using advanced algorithms to keep as much as possible and do the adjustments but keeping people and other details in the image without distortion.

I’ve made a simple flash animation to show the different images. Click the buttons below the image to change from original, to the one corrected with fisheye hemi to the one corrected with PTlens.

[kml_flashembed movie=”” height=”400″ width=”500″ /]

There are a lot of programs that is made to help you adjust lens distortions. I’ve also tried DxO, but simply found it too difficult to use. For people using Windows I’ve heard positive remarks of RectFish.

Please leave a comment if you have a favourite that I haven’t mentioned.

How to remove distortion on a Fisheye image

5 thoughts on “How to remove distortion on a Fisheye image

  1. Eirik, I don’t think DxO is supporting your camera body (5D MarkII) yet but the lens yes (15mm). I’ll be a few months before they do the tests I suppose.

    they do WONDERS for optical and chromatic aberration correction. Just so much worth the price of the sofware (compared to your optical gear ;).

    Here’s a review by Ken Rockwell (a trusted source in photography) :

    I’ve tried DxO. 2 main comments :
    – you have to develop your RAW files with DxO before importing them into your photo manager. I’ve read about scripts to automate this with Lighroom; haven’t found the right ones for Aperture.
    – you need a lot of PROCESSING power for this, hence a desktop MacPro with 8 core might help ;) on a laptop, it’s just impossible, unless you leave it working at night. but the results are SO worth it.

    Rather simple to use I’d say. The most complicated part is setting up the workflow right :
    – external storage for your pix
    – backup storage
    – development software
    – management software
    – publication platform…

  2. OK. I guess DxO will be easier to use when it supports my camera. It should be possible to do adjustment of the 15mm Fisheye still, but when DxO didn’t find a setting for the combination Canon 5D MkII + 15mm Fisheye things got more complicated.

    Guess I have to check it out again when they add 5D MkII support. My main image-handling machine is a 24″ 3 GHz iMac. Not an eight core, but should manage DxO…

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