Lightroom: Allow Lens Corrections to be Disabled for Fixed Lens Cameras (e.g. RX100M3)

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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Until I ran into this issue, I have been a die-hard Lightroom fanatic. However, after recently acquiring a Sony RX100M3, I was surprised to discover that there is no option to disable Lens Corrections for RAW files imported from my camera.

I can understand the logic of enabling lens corrections by default, but to remove the ability to disable lens corrections (or to dial in a less-than-default amount) is bewildering to me. I find the default lens corrections to be much too extreme for many of my photos and believe adding the option to disable these "forced" corrections to be critically needed within Lightroom. In the name of maximizing artistic control over one's photos, this seems like a no-brainer. That Capture One and Optics Pro allow for this most basic level of control only highlights Adobe's odd decision to cripple this feature.

I love so much about Lightroom, and find it to be the most well-rounded and polished of the photo editors available, but this single issue has me evaluating ways to move my workflow to another program. Thank you for your time and consideration -- and for all of the hard work you have already put into this amazing piece of software.
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Ron Blade

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Posted 3 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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You can adjust the Distortion slider on the Manual tab of the Lens Correction section to give some artistic bulge or pinch to your images although this will still be in addition to whatever Adobe's correction is.

I think Adobe's policy about always-on corrections is because originally camera manufacturers agreed to help Adobe in determining the lens corrections only if Adobe agreed not to allow users to see the uncorrected raw files--some lens distortion is really bad and from the manufacturer's point-of-view that would be a negative selling point when compared to other cameras that have little to no distortion:

Here is a Canon point-and-shoot raw file w/o any lens correction:


Here is the same thing in the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in:


Nowadays this is probably not as critical but the practice continues.

Of course, I don't disagree with your request to at least dial back the distortion correction to 0.
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Ron Blade

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Thanks for your response! I am aware that I can apply Lightroom's lens corrections ON TOP OFF the forced lens corrections, but that is suboptimal as it leads to even more loss of image along the edges of the frame, as well as what I perceive to be a slight loss of image sharpness. And of course, no amount of Lightroom tweaking can reclaim the detail on the sides of my wide angle shots once Lightroom has decided for me to stretch (and as a result, blur) those areas.

I suspected that Adobe might be have been "required" to force these corrections at camera manufacturers' requests, but considering that Sony's recommended image editor (Capture One) allows for the removal of lens correction on the RX100m3, it's difficult for me to believe thats what's holding this feature back in Lightroom.

I wish that Adobe would have an official response to this issue so that I could either expect a change in function in an upcoming release, or know that I will need to switch my workflow to a more flexible program.

Thanks again for any thoughts or suggestions!
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Adobe doesn't comment on upcoming releases, but one can always hope it might included at some point assuming it isn't precluded by legal contracts.
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Ron Blade

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Fingers crossed!

I wonder if I should change this thread from a "problem" to an "idea" to be listed with other feature requests...
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Hi Ron,

I understand and appreciate your request, but this is a deliberate design decision that we made in our support for the raw files of this camera model (and all models within this series). In light of your request, we may reconsider for future models, but we do not plan to make changes to already-supported models.

Cheers,
Eric
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Ron Blade

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Eric,

I appreciate a response from Adobe on this, I really do! And I am relieved to know that Sony is not requiring Adobe to force lens corrections of the RX100M3.

However, I am disheartened that Adobe independently feels the need to remove the user's ability to simply "uncheck" the corrections that Lightroom is applying by default. Surely, nothing would be lost by giving users this option -- but much would be gained, from the standpoint of creative flexibility.

I desire this feature so much that I wish there were a way to donate money for the inclusion of particular features, much like a kickstarter campaign.

I sincerely urge you to further consider this issue. Again, I do appreciate your response and am holding on to a sliver of hope that Adobe continues to factor in the needs and experiences of its customers.
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Ron Blade

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Perhaps I can best state my case with a photo...

I know this is an extreme example of a close-proximity portrait taken at wide angle, but with Lightroom forcing the lens corrections, the figure's head looks decidedly alien. It is unflattering and unusable within Lightroom, as there is NOT an option to disable these overblown corrections:


Using Capture One, I am able to able to apply 50 Percent lens correction, which results in an optimal balance between the proportions of the head while still maintaining somewhat straight lines for the bookshelves and door in the background. This cannot be achieved in Lightroom:


And if I choose to disable the lens corrections completely in Capture One, I have another usable version, with somewhat warped lines in the background, but still with a closer-to-accurate head shape. Again, not possible in Lightroom:


I have plenty more examples of photos that look significantly better with lens corrections disabled or dialed down a bit. Not just people pictures, but landscapes as well.