Lens Correction Duplication


Today’s Question: If I set my camera (Canon 6D) to correct for the lens used and set this also on Lightroom, will the photo become “double corrected”?

Tim’s Quick Answer: For raw captures you don’t need to worry about a “double” correction for the lens corrections. For JPEG images this could be an issue, however.

More Detail: Various software tools (including Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw) enable you to apply corrections for the behavior of individual lenses. For example, vignetting caused by light falloff with a wide-angle lens can be corrected based on the actual measured behavior of a specific lens model.

More recently, some cameras have started offering in-camera lens correction, so that the behavior of the lens can be compensated for right at the time of capture. For raw captures the information about these changes is written to metadata, while for JPEG captures the image is directly altered within the camera.

If you are using raw capture, you would need to use the software from your camera manufacturer to process the images based on the in-camera lens correction information that was written to metadata. Note that this is “private” metadata, which means the software from the camera manufacturer can access it, but other applications such as Lightroom or Camera Raw cannot.

What that means is that if you are using raw capture, you don’t need to worry about applying the lens correction adjustment twice, since if you are working with the raw capture by definition it won’t have been modified by other software.

If, on the other hand, you are working with something other than a raw capture file, it is possible to double-process the lens corrections. For example, if you applied in-camera lens correction for a JPEG capture, you could apply additional corrections to the JPEG image that could be problematic. Similarly, if you processed the raw capture with the software from the camera manufacturer and saved as a TIFF or JPEG image, it would be possible to apply a double correction to that derivative image.

The bottom line is that for raw captures you don’t need to worry about duplicating the lens correction adjustments for the original image.