What To Do When Lightroom Can’t Find Your Lens Profile

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Howdy everybody – hope you had a nice weekend. Now, let’s do some Lightroom stuff! 🙂

If you’ve ever had an image that needed a lens correction, but you went to the Lens Corrections panel; turned on “Enable Profile Corrections” (as seen above), and absolutely nothing happened, it’s probably because Lightroom wasn’t able to figure out which make and model of camera you used, so it couldn’t apply the appropriate lens profile to correct it.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Wait — right up under the Histogram it lists the lens, f/stop and other EXIF data — how could it not know which make and model of camera and lens I used — it lists the fact that I used a 14mm lens right there?” Ahhh, this is another of life’s great mysteries (and maybe one day somebody at Adobe will explain this to me [hint: the awesome Jeff Tranberry], but until then, at least I can tell you how to fix it.

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All you really have to do is click on the Profile tab at the top of the panel, and in the Lens Profile section, the Make, Model, and Profile are all set to None. All you usually have to do is to choose your camera’s Make (from the Make pop-up menu, as shown above) and that’s it — it now suddenly knows “Oh, you shot this with a Canon camera.” and then it not only suddenly knows the model camera you shot it with, but it now instantly finds the appropriate lens profile within Lightroom’s built-in collection of lens profiles, and the correction is applied. You choose the camera make — it does the rest. Pretty sweet.

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That usually does the trick, except sometimes it doesn’t actually have the exact profile for your lens (Lightroom has a huge built-in library of lens profiles, but it doesn’t have them all, especially if the lens you’re using is a relatively new lens and Adobe hasn’t had a chance to add it to the database during a free update), so it chooses one that it thinks is pretty close, and sometimes it works really well, and sometimes it’s a mess (especially when it applies a fish-eye correction profile, which is sometimes will do if you used a super-wide angle, like my 14mm). Read on.

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If Lightroom doesn’t have the right profile for your lens (and undoubtedly as some point this will happen), if you click on the “Model” pop-up menu, it lists the profiles it things are closest. What I do is try and find which of these profiles looks best for correcting my image. In this case, the one that looked best for correcting my lens problem was the 17-55mm profile. That’s not the lens I used (I used a 14mm prime), but the correction worked really well, so I’m set. Ideally, there would be a Canon 14mm profile for the lens I used, but until there is, this is the next best thing.

Hope you find that helpful. 🙂

Best,

-Scott

Author: Scott Kelby

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor of "Lightroom magazine"; Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books. You can learn more about Scott at http://scottkelby.com

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14 Comments

  1. Thanks for the article. When I apply lens correction in Lightroom and then go to “Photo” “Edit in Photoshop” the lens corrections never come up in Photoshop, while the rest of the changes do. Do you know how to fix this? Thanks so much.

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  2. Scott: This is a very helpful tip, but I don’t think your post is correct. Under “Make”, you select the make of the Lens, NOT the Camera. So for example, I use a Tamron 70-200 with my Pentax K-3. If I select Pentax as the Make, the only lens profiles are for Pentax lenses, and Adobe offers the 150-450. But if I select Tamron as the make, the Model is recognized as the Tamron 70-200, and the Profile adds that the Camera is a Pentax.

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  3. As a Nikon shooter who has moved into the Fujifilm X-world in the last year, I can report that Adobe ACR and LR do not have lens/camera profiles for the X-series cameras and lenses. All perspective, CA, and vignette correction is done in-camera via the proprietary “Lens Modulation Optimizer”. In LR you will get the message; “Built-in Lens Profile applied”.

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    • Thank you, just moved to the Fujifilm X series and was wondering how to proceed, you post helped. Again, thanks

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  4. Somewhere I read that this happens because some manufacturers use the same serial number format (that would explain why the software recognize the lens model after you choose the camera manufacturer) – but that don’t explain why Lightroom can figure the lens model everywhere else in the software. :/

    Anyway, if you use the same lens frequently, you can – after selecting the right model – click on that Setup menu and choose “Save New Lens Profile Default”… so you don’t need to repeat the process for that same lens again.

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  5. Here’s a question– I shoot a lot with my Nikon 16-35 f/4, and Lightroom has a profile to correct it, but ONLY for RAW files. When I shoot jpgs, there is no lens profile present for that lens. (Oddly, there are profiles for 14-24 f/2.8 and 24-70 and several others.) Why is that, and why can’t I have a lens profile for jpgs shot with this lens? It would sure help to have it, since I shoot jpgs for my real estate work (I like processing jpgs through Photomatix better than RAWs.)

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  6. Hey Scott, I’d like to point out another situation where this is useful. I’ve been shooting with a Sony body and Canon lenses, which confused Lightroom 100% of the time. To quickly fix this, I used the technique you outlined in this post and then saved a preset for each lens. Now it is an easy fix.

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  7. Remember to point out that Olympus and Panasonic embed the profile vie the lens firmware. Not a real option to alter in Lr. Supposed to be already done for you.

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  8. If I am doing an import that was shot with multiple lenses, can I create a preset that does the enable profile correction and will it correct based on the lens or do I have to go picture by picture?

    Do you have any comments on using DxO Optics for profile correction vs the Adobe corrections?

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  9. Thanks for that.
    I noticed in the past that LR didn’t have a lens profile for my camera \ lens combo if I shot in JPEG, whereas it did if I shot in RAW.
    It turns out that there are different profiles maintained for each file format.

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