How to Use Lens Profiles in Lightroom

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No matter how advanced or precise your photography gear is, there will still be some irregularities introduced by your lenses. These irregularities can show up in the form of distortion, vignetting, or chromatic aberration. One advantage of choosing Lightroom as your post-processing tool is that it contains a huge database of camera and lens information. With this database, you are able to correct issues that your lens has brought into your photos. These differences are usually subtle, but they do make a difference in your photography!

What issues can Lens Profile Corrections solve?

All camera lenses are different and they all have their own optical characteristics, benefits, and shortcomings. The Lens Profile Correction adjustments can remove issues like vignetting, distortion, and chromatic aberration.



Vignetting is a darkening of the corners of the image, and it is caused by the physical dimensions of a multiple element lens. Rear elements in the lens are shaded by elements in front of them, and this is what causes the gradual decrease in light intensity towards the corners of an image.



Distortion makes the image appear as though it has been wrapped around a sphere, and can be divided into two types: barrel distortion and pincushion distortion.

Barrel distortion occurs when the magnification of the image decreases towards the edges of the frame. It makes vertical and horizontal straight lines appear as convex curves and curve inwards. This is a common issue in wide-angle lenses. Pincushion distortion is the opposite. Straight lines in your image are curved outwards from the centre. This is commonly seen in telephoto lenses.

Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration appears as a colour fringe along the edges of objects in your image. It is caused by the failure of the lens to focus different colours to the same spot, or aberrations in sensor microlenses, or flare. With lens profile correction in Lightroom, you can automatically correct blue-yellow and red-green fringes.

How to Apply Lens Profile Corrections

Now that you know what issues Lens Profile Correction can solve, you can see how important it is in editing your images and making sure they look their best! The next step is to apply the corrections and add them to your editing workflow.

Luckily, applying Lens Profile Corrections is pretty simple, because Lightroom does most of it automatically. To apply the corrections, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Go to the Lens Corrections Menu in the Develop Module. This can be found on the right side of your screen, underneath the Basic Panel and the other editing tools. Just keeping scrolling down until you see it, then expand the menu if it isn’t already!

Step 2: Select “Enable Profile Corrections”.

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Step 3: Select your camera’s make from the drop down menu.

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Usually, Lightroom will be able to detect everything else automatically, as the program will read the EXIF info embedded in the image. However, if Lightroom does not automatically select your lens and make the appropriate changes, you can manually select the lens you used from the next drop down menu. Once you select it, Lightroom will know which adjustments need to be made.

Once you have completed those steps, you should see an immediate difference in your photo. Distortion will be corrected and the light distribution will go back to the way it was when you captured the shot.

If you are editing a batch of photos, you can also apply these Lens Corrections in batches, just like any other edits you might make in Lightroom. To do this, do the following:

Step 1: In the Library Module, select all the images you want to apply the changes to.

Step 2: Go to the Develop Module. There is now a “Sync” button in the bottom right corner, and this button has a toggle switch. Click the toggle so the button is now labelled “Auto Sync”. Now, every change you make to the photo displayed in window in the Develop Module will be applied to all the photos you have selected. You can also make lens profile correction part of your import preset so everything is done right away!

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Making Lens Profile Corrections part of your editing workflow is a smart thing to do, and it is pretty painless, too, since Lightroom does almost everything for you! Even though the changes that are made are very subtle, they really do make a different in how your photo looks and will help you achieve an amazing end result.