A photograph with lens distortion can create inaccuracies within a photogrammetric solution. Due to the curved nature of a camera’s lens(s), the light coming through the lens and onto the image sensor can have varying degrees of distortion. There are commercially available software titles that rely on a library of known cameras, lenses, and configurations for removing lens distortion. However, to use these software titles the camera lens manufacturer, model, and focal length must be known.
Accident reconstruction relies on physical evidence that is visible in photographs such as tire marks, gouge marks, and vehicle rest positions. Photogrammetric methods such as photo rectification, projections, and camera matching can be used to analyze and visually represent information contained within photographs. Photogrammetry can be used to determine the size, shape, position, and orientation of objects within photographs. However, due to the curved nature of lenses, the light coming through the lens is refracted in varying amounts based on the area of the lens, resulting in a shift in location on the pixel matrix. As a result, when using an uncorrected image for photogrammetric purposes, the size, shape, and position of the object of interest may be misrepresented. This paper examines some of the distortion types common in camera lenses and quantifies the effect of lens distortion on camera match photogrammetry… Read more