What is vignetting.

Vignetting Is the effect of darkening the corners of the image. Vignetting is often referred to simply as'vignette'



More broadly, vignetting is changes in the brightness of an image from the center to the edges of an image. You can also do 'vignetting in reverse', when the edges are lighter than the center of the image.

Vignetting example

Vignetting example

Above is an example of the vignetting that the lens gives. Nikon 50mm f / 1.8D AF Nikkor when using on a full-frame camera Nikon D700 and with the aperture fully open, the lens is focused on infinity, photographed White list from a tripod. At the corners of the image, a drop in brightness is noticeable, and the brightest part of the image is in the center of the image.

Given the fact that when using full-frame Nikon FX lenses, or any other lenses for 35 mm film on cropped Nikon DX camerasSince the matrix of the cropped camera captures only the central part of the image, the vignetting effect in this case is almost completely reduced to zero.

Aperture control reduces vignetting

Vignetting is directly related to the F number. The larger the F number (the more the aperture is closed), the less vignetting. Conversely, the lower the F number (the more the aperture is open), the more noticeable the vignetting is. How to control the number 'F' you can read in the section 'aperture'.

Diaphragm Vignetting

The dependence of vignetting on the diaphragm. On a closed aperture, the vignette is smaller.

I have never met information that focusing distance also affects vignetting. Different lenses exhibit different degrees of vignetting when focusing on infinity and on MDF (minimum focusing distance). I noticed this effect when using a cropped lens on a full-frame camera, when with MDF the lens did not give vignettes at all, and when focusing at infinity, the vignette was just awful. Below is an unusual example of a photograph that shows the relationship between focus distance and vignetting strength when using a full frame camera in normal operation and a cropped lens.

Unusual vignetting effect

Unusual vignetting effect. A crooked lens does not give a vignette with MDF on a full-frame camera.

Depending on the type of lens, the effect of the relationship between vignetting and focusing distance is manifested in different ways. Below is an example of varying degrees of vignetting when using a lens Nikon 28-105mm f / 3.5-4.5D AF Nikkor on camera Nikon D700, with MDF, vignetting is stronger than when focusing on infinity.

The difference in the degree of vignetting

The difference in the degree of vignetting

Also, zoom lenses with different focal lengths there is a different degree of vignetting. Usually the strongest vignette is noticeable at the focal length limits.

For example, for landscape photography, vignetting is often extremely undesirable, because in order to get images without vignetting, you need to shoot on covered apertures. And in portraiture, vignetting can often only be beneficial.

Lightweight vignette in portrait shot

Lightweight vignette in portrait shot

Vignetting is measured by the degree of brightness drop in the image in the center and at the corners of the image. For example, vignetting -1E.V. means that the edges of the image are darkened by 1 step or 1 stop stronger than the center of the image. One stop equals a fall exposure twice.

Another reason for the appearance of vignetting may be light filters and blends. Very often, vignetting appears in photographs that were taken on the lens with improperly clothed hood... Blends are usually 'tulip' shaped, and on one side the petals of the 'tulip blend' are smaller than the other, due to the rectangular shape of the matrix or film. If you mix up the sides of the lens hood or do not properly install the hood on the lens, you can ruin a whole series of photos. Sometimes it is simply impossible to compensate for vignette caused by a light filter or lens hood and you have to crop the image.

Vignetting is very easy to fix by editing RAW files. In the same way, the vignetting effect can be enhanced specifically to get an artistic effect, as in the picture below. Many cameras have a built-in processor for adjusting vignetting. For example, cameras have this function. Nikon D700, D5200 etc. For Canon cameras, vignetting is controlled by the 'control peripheral lighting'. Usually, vignetting is done specifically in order to highlight the key object in the photo, to create the necessary visual tension.

Specially added strong vignetting

Specially added strong vignetting

Personal experience

I don’t worry at all about the vignette effect, since I almost always shoot in RAW. The vignetting effect is very critical only when using cropped lenses on full-frame cameras, for example such a vignette is invalid. Several times I did not fully spin the tulip hood on the lens, and as a result received a vignette in the image. Many photographers often overdo it with a vignette, and the effect itself is found in almost every second portrait photograph.


Vignetting is a physical feature of lenses in terms of the distribution of light output from the center to the edges of the image. Usually, vignetting is simply understood as darkening image corners. To reduce the degree of darkening of the corners of the image should cover the aperture. Also on vignette focus distance affects. Vignetting is easily fixed automatically by the camera itselfor using software. When shooting in RAW, you can achieve almost complete restoration of the brightness of the edges of the image without loss of quality. Vignette can also serve as a good artistic effect, especially for creating portrait shots.

Like  - helping the project. Thanks for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 12, on the topic: What is vignetting.

  • Alexey

    Thanks for the article, Arkady! it happened because of inexperience that the lens was not screwed up properly and the vignette turned out, you need to be especially careful with the wide-angle lenses that you take off for the first time)

  • Eugene

    For the sake of completeness, it is worth adding that vignetting is the imposition of some template on the picture, and a defect in the frame caused by an improperly sized hood or lens design is a special case of such an overlap. The page of the school graduation album with oval portraits is also a vignette.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Thanks for the addition.

      • Eugene

        tell me which of the Soviet portrait painter gives a high degree of vignetting?

  • Eugene

    tell me which of the Soviet portrait painter gives a high degree of vignetting?

  • igor

    Good day, dear Arkady, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a huge and excellent quality photography material for everyone. I bought a NikonD800 camera in my old age. I’m very lucky that you are shooting on Nikon. The quality of the material is one of the best in Russia. The presentation is very clear and simple in form. There are very few such material explanators in Russian. I know only two more: Scott Kelby and the editor of the Bullying Element magazine. All the best to you and success in the most noble cause, bringing up a shift.

  • Nicholas

    Thank you Briefly and clearly. Thanks.

  • Valeria

    Hello, with what can you achieve vignetting on a canon 600d and is it possible at all except? If so, with which lens?

    • Dmitriy

      Sorry, I wrote the wrong way from the beginning

      Hello !!! For Valery. It is sometimes present at wide angles (but this is not good for the lens), photoshop to help you

  • Dmitriy

    Hello !!! For valentine. It is sometimes present at wide angles (but this is not good for the lens), photoshop to help you

  • Pavel VK

    As always, chewed and put in the mouth. Very accessible and interesting. Arkady thanks!

  • diamanta

    can I find out where in the menu the d700 has a function to remove the vignette? Thanks.

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