curvilinear distortion

Definition: Defect of a lens' projection of an image onto the focal plane that causes straight lines to appear curved and conversely which tends to straighten out curved lines. * Caused by variations of magnification over the image - which may increase or decrease depending on position. * Usually regarded as undesirable but may be specifically designed into e.g. fish-eye lens to allow an ultra-wide angle of view or an even light distribution of the projected image.

Related Terms: pincushion distortion, barrel distortion

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