Sunday, June 27, 2010

Got a new Canon lens? Read this about peripheral illumination correction

Updated: 6/28/10 @ 9:05 AM

EU 2.8 PIC Data Menu

Are you using a newer generation Canon DSLR (i.e., Digic IV processor bodies like the Canon 5D Mark II or newer)? If so, then you have a great feature built into your camera called Peripheral Illumination Correction. What this feature does is take the known characteristics of your lens and automatically makes corrections for it’s natural vignetting. Canon has pre-collected data for many of their lenses, so if you are using Canon lenses (only – another reason to avoid 3rd party lenses) you can take advantage of this great feature. This correction is applied automatically your jpeg’s (and jpeg thumbnails in your raw images) when you enable this feature in your camera for the lenses you tell your camera you will be using.

If you develop your RAW images in Digital Photo Professional (aka DPP) 3.8 (which I HIGHLY recommend with Digic IV based systems as it is MUCH better than Adobe Camera RAW/Lightroom 3/Photoshop CS5), then even your RAW images can optionally take advantage of this feature with a simple click of a checkbox as shown in this article (mentioned earlier). While you are in DPP using this feature, you can also correct optical distortion and/or chromatic aberrations in the same dialog!

A few other points about Peripheral Illumination Correction:

  • When used in-camera, it is effective for both in-camera JPEGs and video clips, at any framing rate.
  • Peripheral Illumination Correction data is written to the file header for .CR2 files, but it does not alter the image data.
  • When correcting Peripheral Illumination Correction for .CR2 files in DPP, there is a slider with 121 increments (i.e., 0 to 120). The camera's Peripheral Illumination Correction is equivalent to a rating of 70 on the DPP Peripheral Illumination Correction slider.

There is insufficient memory in your camera to contain this data for every possible lens Canon has, so it is up to you to go into the EOS utility software and make a selection based on the lenses you will be or expect to be using (i.e., don’t forget rentals or friends lenses you may use).

Hey, I’ve got the new 100mm f/2.8L IS USM and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens and I don’t see them listed in the EOS Utility!!!!

Yeah, you and me both buddy! The reason why I am actually writing this article because I have the new 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM (first look, special offer) and it wasn’t listed on my version of the EOS utility, and I was noticing some vignetting when shooting at 200mm. Well good news, the solution for this is simple – just go to Canon’s web site and download the latest version of the EOS Utility (2.8. at the time of this writing) and it is updated with Canon’s latest lineup. You are missing out on a great feature if you don’t do this, so make sure you use it for all of your lenses today!

How do I do it?

The image at the top shows the Mac interface, and here’s the instructions how to do it courtesy of Chuck Westfall at Canon:

  1. Install the EOS Utility (EU) update on your computer.
  2. Connect the camera via USB interface.
  3. After EU self-launches, select Remote Shooting/Camera Settings from the main window.
  4. In the Remote Shooting/Camera Settings window, select the white on red camera icon below the shooting data, then select Peripheral Illumination Correction from that submenu.
  5. In the Peripheral Illumination Correction menu, select up to 40 supported lenses including the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, then click OK in the lower right corner of that window.
  6. Quit EU and disconnect the camera from the PC.

While you are there be sure to get the latest updates for DPP and your firmware too! Keeping your camera updated is the best way to get the best possible results, so don’t miss out on this very cool feature!

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Unknown said...

LR3 is also offering this, right?
I've used it in LR3 and it's avery helpful feature.

SUPERMHR said...

hi ron.
thanks for the tip.
i have one question though.
how can i fit DPP in my Lightroom workflow?
i mean...what would you do in your workflow consisting of both Lightroom and DPP? said...


ACR 6.x is better because they have collected some data to help with these issues, but I still think DPP is far better for Canon lenses. said...

Whoops, my last comment was for Martin.

SUPERMHR - To answer your question, what you need to do is view your images in DPP first, export them out as TIFF, and then import those TIF images into Lightroom. It's a headache, so only do it if you find that your getting better results that you feel will save you time. If you aren't then stick with just LR3. It does appear that the camera body and conditions you shoot in have a big impact on how well LR3 does versus DPP. The biggest advantage for me in DPP has been indoors when using a flash under low light conditions.