Photo App Focus: OlloCorrect – A great new tool for fixing lens distortion
One of the most popular accessories for the iPhone camera is new glass — that’s those combination Wide Angle/Macro and Fisheye lens kits. With the exception of the iPro Lens System by Schneider Optics, all of the wide angle lenses create optical lens distortion. OlloCorrect is a new utility that quickly compensates for this distortion and fixes it. If you shoot with a clip-on wide angle or fisheye lens, you need this utility. >>>
OlloCorrect reduces the optical distortion of add-on photo lens for any iPhone, including the iPhone4/4S. If you shoot with an OlloClip, the Gizmon ICA rig with clip-on lenses, the Photojojo-style magnetic mount lenses (also found all over eBay and other online retailers), or the OWLE BUBO rig, you’ve seen that all of those add-on lenses create a “barrel distortion” in the image which curves straight lines. With a few clicks, OlloCorrect compensates for this and uses geometric correction to fix this “barrel effect.”
The app is easy to use. The lean user interface was designed by iPhoneographer by Andrew B. White. Match the image to one of three lens types. It fixes both the highly visible wide angle and fisheye lens distortion as well as the harder to detect macro pincushion distortion.
In my tests, OlloCorrect did a great job of returning the image to how it should look. Unwanted curves were restored to nearly the original straightness. It trims off a little of the edges, but still leaves plenty of extra field of vision that the lenses add. There is also a setting that reduces the unwanted vignetting that some of the wide angle lenses add. There’s a great sample page on the developer’s website. I got similar results in my test images as well — see my samples below.
Amazingly, the app does not cause pixel loss. It interpolates and upsamples pixels so that your images retain their original size. According to the developer, this can make image noise appear worse than in the original image. I could not see visibly pronounced image noise in any of my test images, however. Noise may be more pronounced in low-light images.
OlloCorrect is a cranky app. Crashtastic is a word I’d use to describe it’s stability (or lack of), so I would only import images from your iPhone’s photo library and not use the app’s built-in camera. The app crashed on me often enough to be annoying.
I personally like the lens barrel distortion effect and use my wide angle lenses to achieve that look. There are times, though, when you need a non-lo-fi image with the wider field of view that these lenses offer. No other app does what OlloCorrect does. OlloCorrect helps restore your image to what you shot without the added distortion. Despite its memory issues and instability, this is an essential tool for anyone who shoots with the lo-fi wide angle lenses.
OlloCorrect is available for free for limited time as a promotion for the HiLO Lens – a right angle lens for iPhone. Check out the HiLO Lens website. The accessory will be launching on Kickstarter soon. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.
OlloCorrect is developed by the makers of the HiLO Lens and is not associated with the OlloClip.