I would like to know where this color aberration comes from in my pictures, so that I can avoid it wherever possible.

Here is a picture I took in the sunny afternoon with my 50mm 1.4G (nikkor) wide open at 100iso:


If this comes from the lens, how the professional photographers do to avoid it? (I assume my lens is quite good :-) but I may be wrong).

And here is a close up of the color aberration that I'm talking about :

color aberation

  • I had trouble inserting the first picture. Even though I drilled down our server said it wasn't a jpg. Also, I upvoted just so Jav can insert pictures. – Paul Cezanne Aug 18 '13 at 14:25
  • It's kind of a duplicate, but the linked question assumes you know what to ask for in the first place. In this case, he doesn't even know the term and I suspect that this is true of a lot people. It's almost a complementary question in that sense. – John Cavan Aug 18 '13 at 14:57
  • @John — agreed, but I doubt that many other people will get here by finding this question. Your edit helps. – mattdm Aug 18 '13 at 15:32
  • @mattdm - That was my intention. :) – John Cavan Aug 18 '13 at 15:38
  • In other cases haven't we closed duplicate questions without deleting the alternately worded question so that it points to the duplicate? – Michael C Aug 18 '13 at 15:41

That is chromatic abberation. From the wikipedia page:

In optics, chromatic aberration (CA, also called achromatism or chromatic distortion) is a type of distortion in which there is a failure of a lens to focus all colors to the same convergence point. It occurs because lenses have a different refractive index for different wavelengths of light (the dispersion of the lens). The refractive index decreases with increasing wavelength.

As for avoiding it, that's tough. It is an intrinsic property of your lens. This question goes into several ways of dealing with it.

  • The picture has been taken with a 50mm 1.4G from Nikkor. I assume that it is a very good lens, and I don't understand why even a good lens does that! – Jav Aug 19 '13 at 18:29
  • @Jav the 50mm 1.4G is a good lens but not a great lens, if you want a lens perfectly corrected for chromatic aberration you need something like the Coastal Optics 60mm uv-vis-ir lens, which is a bargain at only $4,650! – Matt Grum Aug 19 '13 at 19:24
  • @Jav That looks like axial chromatic aberration which will appear only at out-of-focus edges and should be less distracting than lateral chromatic aberration. In Lightroom or ACR, use the "defringe" option to remove it, not the "remove chromatic aberration" one. The program is not as good at removing it without leaving artefacts as it is at removing lateral CA. – Szabolcs Aug 19 '13 at 21:37

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