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24 May 2024

Chromatic Aberration

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Term: Chromatic Aberration
Chromatic aberration, abbreviated CA, refers to the green and purple fringing that can be seen in photographs around the edges of boundaries separating light and dark portions of a scene. A common instance where chromatic aberration is seen is around the edges of dark trees against a bright sky.It is a phenomenon produced by the lens when different wavelengths of light hit the sensor in different places. Higher-end lenses will generally produce less chromatic aberration than inexpensive lenses, as measures to counteract chromatic aberration are taken in the production of high end glass that drives up production expenses, which is passed on to the consumer. In most cases, the color fringing known as chromatic aberration is a simple fix in a post-processing software like Lightroom.

Understanding Chromatic Aberration: Tips for Photographers

Chromatic aberration is a common optical phenomenon that can impact the quality of your photos. If you’re a photographer looking to improve your skills, understanding what chromatic aberration is and how to detect and correct it can help you produce better images. In this article, we’ll explore the world of chromatic aberration in photography and provide tips on how to avoid it or use it creatively.

What is Chromatic Aberration?

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Chromatic aberration, also known as color fringing or purple fringing, is an optical problem that occurs when different wavelengths of light are refracted differently as they pass through a lens. This results in a blurred or distorted image with noticeable color fringes, especially around high-contrast areas.

There are two types of chromatic aberration: lateral chromatic aberration and longitudinal chromatic aberration. Lateral chromatic aberration produces color fringes at the edges of an image, while longitudinal chromatic aberration produces color fringes in front of or behind the subject.

Causes of Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration can be caused by several factors, including the quality of the lens, the aperture size, and the focal length. Cheaper lenses are more prone to chromatic aberration, while high-quality lenses with low dispersion elements can minimize this problem. Shooting at wide apertures or using telephoto lenses can also increase the likelihood of chromatic aberration.

How to Detect Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration can be detected by examining your photos at 100% magnification and looking for color fringes around high-contrast areas, such as the edges of objects. Some cameras also have a feature that can detect chromatic aberration automatically.

Effects of Chromatic Aberration on Photography

Chromatic aberration can have a negative impact on the quality of your photos, making them look blurred or distorted. However, it can also be used creatively to add a unique style to your images. Some photographers intentionally use chromatic aberration to create a dreamy or surreal effect.

How to Fix Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration can be fixed in post-processing using software such as Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, or Capture One. These programs have built-in tools that can automatically detect and correct chromatic aberration. Alternatively, you can use manual methods, such as using the Clone Stamp tool to remove color fringes or using the Hue/Saturation tool to desaturate the affected area.

To prevent chromatic aberration, you can shoot at smaller apertures, use lenses with low dispersion elements, and avoid shooting at extreme focal lengths. Additionally, you can adjust your shooting angle or position to reduce the impact of chromatic aberration.


Chromatic aberration is a common problem in photography, but understanding how to detect and correct it can improve the quality of your images. Whether you choose to fix chromatic aberration in post-processing or use it creatively to enhance your photos, it’s a tool that every photographer should know how to use. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can avoid or embrace chromatic aberration and take your photography to the next level.

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