Lightroom 4, chromatic aberration correction and a few grumbles.

Owning things is

  1. good
  2. more trouble than its worth
  3. very bourgeois

You can choose your own answer. Today I voted for number 2.  Don’t worry, I will get to CA correction shortly but I need to rant. My wife’s Fujitsu Lifebook had to be collected from the repair shop for the 4th time in 3 years and we needed to resolve an argument about online registration of the warranty. The thing expires in 2 months anyway, which may or may not be before the Fujitsu expires again but next time we will buy a nice little MacBook. Whilst it may be good that the company has repaired the thing free each time I despair that this should be necessary. I have to expend time and money getting to the repair centre each time and to save money and irritate the customers all these firms put their repair centres in the back of beyond or, as the German expression goes, where the fox and the hare say goodnight to one another [Wo sich Fuchs und Hase “Gute Nacht!” sagen]. I’m sure it is the right thing to do economically but as they sell the products from glitzy malls they might conclude that that is where the customers are most likely to find it convenient to return the faulty items not in some rundown, scruffy old building in the hinterland of some seedy district.

In terms of computers there seems to be a built-in acceptance that the things will go wrong and ultimately die on you. They cost a fair chunk of change and frankly it is a huge achievement on the part of the industry that people are willing to buy something they know will need repair and has a life expectancy of about 3 years max. I noticed that the rather expensive Fujitsu has a hard drive of 125GB and that puts it firmly in the dinosaur category to start with. We paid over HK$13k for it in May 2009 so that is over one thousand British pounds at today’s FX.

Driving home afterwards a heavy goods vehicle threw up a stone and cracked our car windscreen. Aargh! But wait, we are insured! Hurrah. But the paperwork will take an hour or so to fill in as they need everything from my last DNA sample to my dental records before we can even submit a claim. A stone hit the windscreen for heaven’s sake. It was an accident. That’s what insurance is for. It is not to send people into the slough of despond trying to second guess exactly what those awfully nice chaps at Bank of China meant when they designed the forms we have to fill in. And naturally there is an excess to pay. I was not intoxicated, high on LSD or whatever the youth of today take to escape from reality, I was not exceeding the speed limit nor was I using my mobile phone at the time. I do however need to submit photographs of the damage and sketches of the road where it happened. I dread to think what I would need to do if there had been more damage or heaven forfend somebody had been injured.

I arrived home determined to try out the CA correction feature in LR4.  I had a hard job finding any images with bad CA because normally they get deleted straight away. However I found something that is pretty bad. Taken with a 24mm Summilux on an M9. For the techies it was at ISO400, F 4.6 (??), and at 1/250s. I checked the tutorial video online and off I went. The good news is that LR4 immediately recognized the lens profile. So I offer you know a before and after clicking the Correct CA button, or more correctly, checking the box.

So the upper image is without correction and the lower image is with correction. Can you tell the difference? I’m blowed if I can!! Unless of course maybe the proud owner of this Sai Kung house really does have a  purple TV antenna and purple fringed brickwork. Hmm. Seems unlikely to me. These are crops from a much bigger frame and possibly they are simply too extreme even for LR4. This is though a fairly typical HK sky. So I am disappointed but frankly not overly surprised. I guess there are ways of dealing with this as we did before but to be honest after the trials and tribulations today of being a laptop and car owner I was rather hoping that LR4 would cheer me up a bit.

On the bright side it has stopped raining and we can just about see across the bay now. Sadly tomorrow the other car has to go in for a service for 2 days and as we are a little remote where we live it will either be spending another day close to home or using shank’s pony. Much greener of course and hopefully the pony won’t break down. If so, I will have only myself to blame and I don’t have an online warranty.