In photography (and cinematography), the perspective of your shot is determined by the distance between you and the subject. The field of view, on the other hand, is determined by the focal length of the lens. Lenses are available in all sorts of focal lengths, from ultra-wide to telephoto zooms. Telephoto lenses have a very narrow field of view, allowing you to “zoom” in and capture a very specific part of the scene. Ultra-wides have a very broad field of view, allowing you to capture more of the scene in your shot, or even exaggerate the amount of depth in the scene.

Photography Lens Distortion

An issue that affects nearly all lenses to varying degrees is distortion. There are several types of distortion, but one that affects many wide-angle lenses is called “barrel distortion.” This is when the curvature of the lens causes straight lines to appear curved, kind of like the “fisheye” effect you may be familiar with.

Building & Architecture Photography

This can cause significant problems when attempting to use wide-angle lenses to capture shots of buildings and other architecture, or even interior shots of rooms. Not only will distorted shots portray the scene inaccurately (you wouldn’t want the straight lines of your buildings to look warped!), but it can break the audience’s immersion as well – they’ll know something is amiss.

The Rectilinear Lens

This is where rectilinear lenses come in. These are lenses that are specifically designed to minimize or eliminate barrel distortion completely. At Vervocity we use rectilinear lenses to get shots of buildings and room interiors – allowing us to capture the entire view of the scene while also keeping walls, windows, and other straight lines completely straight. Another solution for correcting barrel distortion is to use imaging software to, essentially, bend the image so the lines are straight again. The downside to this approach is that, the more the image has to be bent, the more it has to be cropped, eliminating the edges of the frame and possibly defeating the purpose of using a wide-angle lens in the first place!

Lens Distortion Example Vervocity


Rectilinear Lens Example Vervocity


At Vervocity, we make sure to use rectilinear lenses and whatever other specialized tools are required for your project so we can create it exactly as you envision it! Contact us today to discuss options for your professional photography needs.