Vertical Transform needs more work done!

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Vertical transform does a generally OK job, but sometimes its doesn't in seemingly easy to read/analyze images. There are clear vertical lines in the images and the results are poor. As a property/architectural photographer this is a function I use a lot and it has had this particular issue for a very long time. With every update I hope it will be fixed, but no luck so far.


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Petko Slavov

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Posted 4 months ago

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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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I am guessing in each case the uncorrected is on the left and the corrected is on the right?
Are the problems you are seeing vertical edges near the right and left boundaries or is it a problem with vertical edges in the middle of the image?
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Petko Slavov

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Hi, yes the corrected image is one the right. Depends, sometimes works perfectly with more complicated/busy images, and sometimes it fails in simple photos like the empty one for example, where there are not a lot of details to confuse the software. I will attach a few more examples in a bit.
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Bill

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One might suggest that you use the correct tool for the job, i.e. a tilt shift lens or a view camera. While in simple cases, Lightroom can correct for perspective distortion, this is a very difficult problem for cases like yours. 
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Petko Slavov

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Hi Bill. No, I use a DSLR and an ultra wide angle lens (non tilt-shift) for my property shoots. They are for estate agents and they need as wide angle as possible so I use Nikkor 14-24 f2.8. My issue here is that the software works perfectly with most images, and it fails with very simple images like the empty room I have given as an example. Photo 1 is the original, and Photo 2 is supposed to be vertically corrected. As you can see the verticals are ALMOST perfect, but the software overcorrects them in the opposite direction.
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Petko Slavov

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Here is another example from today:

The bottom photo is supposed to be with fixed verticals. Clearly the software fails depsite having clear vertical lines on the edge of the photo as guides.

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The function works very well in the bedroom shot given below, despite not having clear vertical lines to be guided by (bottom photo is with the vertical correction applied). The kitchen shot is corrected perfectly too:

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(Edited)
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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In these cases, where Auto fails, you would need to revert to the manual tools provided. The Camera Raw team is tuning algorithms continually so there is hope. 
(Edited)
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Petko Slavov

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Thanks Rikk,

if this can be brought to their attention, that would be great. Apprecaite your help. 
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Bill

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Look closer, they are not perfectly applied because it is not possible. Look at the perspective distortion of the kitchen table and the doors. There are 2 issues here:
  1. distortion due to the misalignment of the camera body with the scene
  2. perspective distortion due to the difference between what the eye sees and what a wide angle lens sees
Number 1 can be partially corrected on a computer, depending on the severity. If the distortion is one dimensional and centered, such as pointing a camera up while shooting a building AND if the camera is parallel to the front of the building then software can mostly correct it. If however the distortion is in two planes, vertical and horizontal, then some correction is possible but it won't look natural. 
 
Number 2 is not correctable. Wide angle lenses stretch an image (example: big noses when used for a portrait), long lenses flatten a perspective (the background appears closer to the foreground). Some perspective distortion is usually desirable for certain situations such as portraits, hence 75-85mm (FF equivalent) is usually preferred. 
 
Recommendations:
  1. get a level for your tripod and always level it though this only helps the verticals
  2. shoot parallel to your subject, look at the parallelogram shape of the doorway
  3. if the whole scene will not fit in the view, get a wider lens (of course this does not address perspective distortion which will be worse)
  4. ideally, also shoot with a normal focal length lens, 45mm equivalent on a full frame camera though visually up to 55mm is usually acceptable 
So sadly, you are asking for the impossible though I too would like it. 
 
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Petko Slavov

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Hi Bill,

I understand what you are saying, but as you can see, the automatic correction of the verticals is done automatically and it works absolutely fine with most of the photos (kitchen shot and bedroom) and fails in others, seemingly easier to correct photos.
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Bill

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This is a VERY hard problem. How is Lightroom going to know what you want corrected when you click Auto? It's a guessing game. My recommendation to Adobe is to remove all the Transform settings except Off and Guided. It is just like using Auto in the Basic panel, sometimes it provides a nice starting point, other times the results are horrible. Except for Transform, the success rate is much worse. I suggest that you practice with Guided. 
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Petko Slavov

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Hi,

I can easily get it done with guided. Also my issue is not with AUTO but VERTICAL correction. I shoot handheld as the photos are for estate agents and they upload them at 700px at the long side so quality is not an issue anyway. Having to submit 60-100 photos a day, the auto vertical correction is very useful and time-saving.