half-face female headshot with chromatic aberration Photo by DarkMediaMotion on shutterstock

Ultimate Guide to Chromatic Aberration: How to Avoid | How to Fix

December 14, 2022

It takes more than just steadying the camera and focusing on the subject to achieve the highest quality image from your lens. Sharpness is only one component of image resolution, as you are undoubtedly already aware. Vignetting and distortion are frequent and obvious facets of image quality that may influence your purchasing choices.

This article explores what is chromatic aberration as a component of image quality. It will also go through ways to avoid and remedy it!

What is Chromatic Aberration?

Chromatic aberration is frequently referred to as color or purple fringing. The phrase refers to the ring-like patterns or halos of color that can appear in the margins or the interior of your photographs. Chromatic aberration is a sort of optical distortion that occurs when a lens is defective and doesn't concentrate all color wavelengths to a single location on the focal plane but instead focuses them to various locations. Dispersion is the term for this. It is the phenomenon wherein white light, as a result of refraction, expands into many colors.

image showing why chromatic aberration happens

Photo by Fouad A. Saad on shutterstock

Types of Chromatic Aberration

There are two different types.

1. Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration

It is also referred to as axial chromatic aberration. This kind of chromatic aberration happens when color wavelengths fail to converge at the same location after going through a lens.

Signs: If there is color fringing around the edges of your photograph, including the middle. If a blend of blue, red, or green hues or any other color appears.

2. Lateral Chromatic Aberration

It is also referred to as transverse chromatic aberration. It occurs when light waves are deflected and enter the lens at an angle, refocusing on various locations along the focal plane.

photo of keyboard with chromatic aberration

Photo by spacedrone808 on shutterstock

Signs: In a picture with lots of contrast, the blurring result is more obvious in the corners than the center.

How to Avoid Chromatic Aberration?

Chromatic aberration is a significant issue, especially with inexpensive lenses. The good thing is there are various techniques you may use to eliminate or significantly reduce noticeable chromatic aberration.

1. Use Lenses of High Quality

Investing in high-quality lenses is the primary way of minimizing chromatic aberration. The chromatic aberration will be less of an issue if you use a superior glass quality. This is so since light dispersion via the glass components is minimized in the best lenses. Consider purchasing lenses with low-dispersion components. These have a strong color fringing reduction design.

2. Avoid Shooting High Contrast Scenes

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High contrast scenes with intense shadows and brightness in one image exacerbate chromatic aberration. instances of high contrast include:

  • Harsh outdoor illumination.
  • Pictures of the sky, the ocean, or a white background, or other surfaces that reflect light.
  • Luminous indoor lighting.

Change the backdrop if you're photographing a dark subject against a white background to minimize chromatic aberration photography issues. Capture your subject against a background with colors that are close to its primary ones. Use a green background when photographing a purple blossom rather than a stark white one. Additionally, chromatic aberration will be immediately less of a problem.

3. Consider a Moderate Focal Length

When using a zoom lens for photography, chromatic aberration may become visible at its maximum zoom. The same holds true for fully zooming out. Therefore, when focusing, take a few feet forward or backward and maintain an appropriate field of view for the lens. By doing so, you can prevent chromatic aberration and prevent stretching the capabilities of your lens.

4. Use an Achromatic Lens

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An alternative is to utilize an achromat, commonly known as an achromatic lens. This lens makes the necessary corrections by focusing two wavelengths on one plane. The typical achromatic doublet consists of two distinct glass lenses with varying degrees of dispersion. Ultra-low dispersion glass is often one of the components of the doublet. Even stronger rectification for LoCA is provided by apochromatic lenses that have the ability to correct three distinct light wavelengths.

5. Increase the Aperture Value

While producing stunning bokeh, a shallow depth of field can also be your adversary when it pertains to chromatic aberration.

The widest aperture is when lenses typically exhibit longitudinal chromatic aberration. Therefore, to produce a cleaner image, close your lens by one or two stops. Make sure you don't open the aperture wider than f/13 because doing so significantly reduces the quality of the photograph. Take test photographs with your lens at various apertures and look at full resolution to determine its perfect balance.

6. Shoot in RAW

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RAW files are raw data that are directly from the camera's sensor, giving you complete editing freedom. Chromatic aberration is a case in point of this.

7. Think About Purchasing a New Camera

Numerous modern DSLR cameras have built-in technology that minimizes chromatic aberration photography issues. Leveraging on technology to minimize it is a wise option because there is no surefire method to remove it.

The majority of the time, aberration can be removed using post-production technologies, but if you're putting a lot of effort into it, it can be worthwhile to look into the newest cameras.

Step-by-Step Tutorial for Fixing Chromatic Aberration in Lightroom

Do you need help with Adobe Lightroom's chromatic aberration removal? Here are detailed directions on how to solve it.

  • Step 1: Zoom in on a region of your photo where you can clearly notice chromatic aberrations after opening Lightroom.
  • Step 2: Click to the ‘Lens Correction’ panel.
Operation tutorial for Fixing Chromatic Aberration in Lightroom
  • Step 3: To activate it, select the checkbox next to "Remove Chromatic Aberrations."

Operation tutorial for Fixing Chromatic Aberration in Lightroom

Following the completion of Steps 1-3, zoom out and review your image. This quick fix for chromatic aberration in Lightroom will work for the majority of photographs, allowing you to continue with further edits.

However, since Lightroom can't duplicate a lens perfectly, it could not be precise when adjusting CA in situations like high-contrast regions of the picture. After completing Steps 1-3 above, continue if any is still visible in your photograph. This will be carried out manually.

  • Step 4. Click on the manual area under the “Lens Correction Panel”

Operation tutorial for Fixing Chromatic Aberration in Lightroom

  • Step 5. Select the color picker tool and hover where the color (purple, green or magenta) is. Right click on it.

Operation tutorial for Fixing Chromatic Aberration in Lightroom

  • Step 6. Look at the color that is left. If you still notice a green border around the margins of your image, raise the amount by moving the slider to the right above the "Green Hue" option. If you are noticing a purple fringe, repeat this procedure for the "Purple Hue."

Operation tutorial for Fixing Chromatic Aberration in LightroomStep-to-Step Tutorial for Fixing Chromatic Aberration in Photoshop

Here is a guide for Photoshop chromatic aberration correction.

Step 1: Open your selected image in Photoshop.

Step 2: Open the image in camera raw and go to Lens Correction.

Operation tutorial for Fixing Chromatic Aberration in Photoshop

Step 3: Click on the “Remove Chromatic Aberration” and tick the checkbox.

Operation tutorial for Fixing Chromatic Aberration in Photoshop

This should do a great in correcting the anomaly. However, you may realize that nothing has happened or there is still some little color remaining.

Step 4: Navigate to the Manual mode.

Operation tutorial for Fixing Chromatic Aberration in Photoshop

Step 5: Hold the CTRL (Windows) or Command (Mac) and click on the fringe. All the color will be gone. If there is more color, repeat the process.

Operation tutorial for Fixing Chromatic Aberration in Photoshop


When we work so hard to capture the ideal image, it might be frustrating when chromatic aberration marred it. We are fortunate to have access to the newest technology and editing programs to solve this issue.

Your ability to deal with chromatic aberration when it occasionally appears in your photographs has improved since you learned everything there is to know about it. But in the end, if you want your photos to be of the highest caliber, spend money on high-quality lenses and equipment.

Lightroom Tutorial Image Credit: youtube.com
Photoshop Tutorial Image Credit: youtube.com

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