My google-fu is failing me on this, because I don't know the term I'm looking for.

At the edges of a simple group shot of five or six people taken with a smartphone, there is a tendency for the faces of people at the edges to look 'flatter' and 'wider', as though they've been smeared outwards with a thumb on wet ink. It's not significantly out of focus, not blurry within the uninspiring parameters of a phone lens, just 'spread out' more than it ought to be.

Conversely, if I use my DSLR with an approximation of the same lens length - 18mm or so - I don't see this effect.

What is it called & what causes it on one lens/camera, yet not another?

I can't really provide an example, as a) I tend to only take these when I have to & also tend to throw them out as soon as I've sent them to interested parties & b) they would all be a line-up of faces who wouldn't necessarily want to be in this question. I can't blank the faces as that's the whole point of the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I do see the same kind of thing with a wide angle lens on my DSLR (10mm since APS-C). See the shape of the white car. Yes, the picture is otherwise appalling :) \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Jul 17, 2022 at 13:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oooh, Regent Street - Piccadilly Circus end? I used to work just a way up from there, Conduit Street :) Does seem to be similar, but I've never used anything that wide - 18 is the widest I've ever owned, which just accidentally approximately matches what my phone sees. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 17, 2022 at 13:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, in November 2018. \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Jul 17, 2022 at 13:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ An image of a regular geometric pattern (a grid, say) may help to visualize and identify the distortion. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stan
    Jul 18, 2022 at 2:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this similar: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/53623/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Stan
    Jul 18, 2022 at 4:04


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