Lens Profiles

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Today’s Question: I’m using a lens for which there isn’t a profile available under Lens Corrections in Lightroom (or Adobe Camera Raw). Is there a way to obtain or create profiles for lenses that aren’t supported by Adobe?

Tim’s Quick Answer: It is possible to build your own custom lens profiles, but quite frankly you might find it easier to simply apply the Lens Correction adjustments manually, and perhaps even create a preset as a starting point for a specific lens for which a profile is not available.

More Detail: Adobe provides the free “Lens Profile Creator” software, which you can use to create profiles for your own lenses. The process involves photographing a series of photos of a target image with the specific camera and lens combination you want to profile, and then using the software to generate a profile based on those captures.

If you would like to learn more about the Adobe Lens Profile Creator, you can find links to a User Guide and downloads for the software for both Macintosh and Windows under the heading “Adobe Lens Profile Creator” about halfway down the Adobe Digital Negative (DNG) information page here:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/digital-negative.html

The profiles used by Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom correct automatically for geometric distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting. All of these attributes can be corrected manually using the various controls in the Lens Corrections set of adjustments. And because the behavior of a given lens is relatively consistent, you could even create a preset that provides a good starting point for your corrections.

To create a preset in Lightroom, for example, you can start by applying the adjustments for a sample image captured with the lens for which you don’t have a profile. Apply all of the various adjustments found in the Lens Corrections section, and when you’re happy with the results for the image click the plus symbol (+) to the right of the Presets section on the left panel in the Develop module.

To ensure the preset you’re creating will only apply the Lens Corrections adjustments to images you apply the preset to, click the Check None button and then turn on the checkbox for Lens Corrections, making sure that all of the individual checkboxes you want enabled are turned on below Lens Corrections. Then type a name for the preset that reflects the lens the corrections apply to, and click Create to create the preset.

This preset can then be applied to other images in order to add the same Lens Corrections settings to other images captured with the same lens configuration.