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Post Production Tips

How to Correct Distortion and Lens Vignette with the Lens Corrections Panel in Lightroom 4

By Pye Jirsa on April 21st 2013

Introduction

In this video from our Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD, we will demonstrate how to use the Lens Corrections Panel in Lightroom 4 to correct the distortion and lens vignette of an image. The lens vignetting of an image naturally occurs from the camera lens used when shooting. In the Lens Corrections Panel, there are 2 options for correcting distortion and lens vignetting: Profile and Manual. In this article, we will also go over these two options and demonstrate how to use these options to correct the distortion and lens vignetting of an image.

Watch the video or continue reading the article below!

Watch the Video

Correct Distortion and Lens Vignetting via Profile

To expand and collapse the Lens Corrections Panel, press “Ctrl + 6.” Here, we see our 2 options: Profile and Manual. First, we will go over how to correct distortion and lens vignetting via Profile. Below, we have selected Profile.

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Enable Profile Corrections
When we check the box next to “Enable Profile Corrections,” Profile automatically detects from the metadata, which camera and lens were used when the image was shot. Based on this information, Profile will then correct the distortion and lens vignetting on its own. Under “Lens Profile,” “Profile” is the profile used to correct the distortion of the image.

Below, it shows that our image was shot on a Canon with a 24-70 mm lens and it will use the Adobe profile to correct the distortion of the image.

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If Lightroom 4 does not find the correct make and model of your camera and lens, you can choose the correct gear from the dropdown menus. Profile Corrections will then adjust your image based on the gear chosen.

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Below is our image before we have enabled Profile Corrections.

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This is what our image looks like with Profile Corrections enabled. After we have enabled Profile Corrections, we can see that this has flattened out the horizon line and straightened up the pulls on the sides of the image. Profile Corrections has also corrected some of the lens vignetting as well.

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Amount of Distortion and Vignetting
We can have additional control over distortion and lens vignetting by making adjustments to the Distortion slider and the Vignetting slider. You can also reduce chromatic aberration in your image by checking the box next to “Remove Chromatic Aberration.”

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Correct Distortion and Lens Vignette via Manual

The next option we have to correct distortion and lens vignette is Manual. Before we switch over to Manual, turn off “Enable Profile Corrections.” After you have unchecked the box next to “Enable Profile Corrections,” click on Manual in the Lens Corrections Panel.

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Transform
In Manual, we have controls for all of the different adjustments to transform and correct distortion from our lens. With the Distortion adjustment, we can drag our image from left to right. The Vertical adjustment corrects vertical distortion while the Horizontal adjustment corrects horizontal distortion. We can use the Rotate adjustment to rotate our images as well as correct the rotation of our image. The Scale adjustment shrinks down our image.

Constrain the Crop
If you are adjusting your image and you start to see gray edges appear in your image, you need to check the box next to “Constrain Crop” in the Lens Corrections Panel. The gray edges that you see in your image will be printed out, so constrain the crop so that you will not see those gray areas when you export your image. As you can see below, there are some gray edges at the top and bottom of the image. When you print out this image, those gray edges will be included in your image. Therefore, remember to constrain the crop.

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Lens Vignetting
Before we adjust the lens vignetting of an image, we will reset the settings for Transform. To reset the settings, hold down “Alt” and click on “Reset Transform.”

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There are 2 different types of Lens Vignette adjustments. One is a post-crop vignette. The second is a Lens Corrections Effect, which we can control in the Lens Corrections Panel. The Lens Vignetting effect in the Lens Corrections Panel is good for correcting natural vignetting and for creating artistic lens vignetting effects as well. For artistic purposes, we use the Lens Vignetting effect because this effect is very subtle and is designed to correct the natural lens vignetting that occurs when shooting. This effect will brighten and darken the edges of your image. The Amount controls the strength of the effect; when we pull the Amount slider to the right, it will brighten the edges of our image and when we pull the Amount slider to the left, it will darken the edges of our image. When we pull the Midpoint slider to the left, it will pull the center of the vignetting effect all the way into the middle of the image. When we pull the Midpoint slider to the right, it will only affect the edges of our image.

Defringe
In Manual, we also have the option to correct Defringing. Defringing is the dark and black areas we get along highlight edges, which occurs when you apply too much clarity to an area of the image. From the dropdown menu, we have the option to correct defringing along the highlight edges or along all of the edges of your image. This is a nice tool to use to fix the defringing that appears in your images.

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To reset all of the Lens Corrections settings of your image, simply press “Ctrl + Shift + R.” we can also reset these settings by clicking on the Reset button, located at the bottom right of Lightroom, under the panels.

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NOTE!

This tutorial video was recorded in Lightroom 4.0.  More recent updates to Lightroom 4 have created a whole new section for COLOR Lens Corrections, which will allow you to remove color fringing and chromatic aberration!

Conclusion & Learn More!

Lens vignetting naturally occurs because of the lens used when shooting. However, you can easily fix this problem with the two options available in the Lens Corrections Panel. You can automatically make corrections to your images via Profile or manually make corrections via Manual.

We hope you enjoyed this article and video excerpt from the Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD. Stay tuned for our next article and episode!

The Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD is a 14 hour video workshop turning any Lightroom novice into a complete master of Lightroom 4 in no time! The Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop can be purchased by itself, or within the Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection which also contains our award winning and industry standard Lightroom 4 Preset System, as well as the Lightroom 4 Workflow System.

About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for posting.

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