PTLens software, budget alternative to shift lens kit

Photography is an important tool for any architectural practice. It is used during all the stages of the development of a project, also very often architectural images are the last remaining record of a building after its demolition.

Not always there is enough time and budget to take proper (professional) pictures of all projects and we might end having hundreds of casual pictures taken with mobile phones or point and shoot cameras. Also the expense of buying shift lens might not be justifiable in small projects.

Typically, using any photo editor these images might be acceptable for web publishing, however not all photo editors offer a good solution for fixing lens distortion.

One useful tool we found to fix lens distortion is the software PT lens. This software can be used as a plugin tool for many brand photo editors (Aperture, Photoshop, etc.) and also has a standalone version which has a very small memory footprint and is easy to use. The package has lens calibration profiles for main SLR camera lens and can even fix mobile phone pics like the one posted here.

PTLens correction example

Tokyo Marine HQ (1974) . Original pic on the right. Edited with PT lens on the left.

The building in the image is the Tokyo Marine Insurance HQ by Maekawa Associates (1974) and the pics were taken with an Iphone 4 camera. Good weather helped to take a nice perspective of the building, however the camera lens distortion was too strong. Using PT lens the image was adjusted easily. Now we just have to fix hundreds of images that might benefit of such a treatment.

Link to the PT lens page here.


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