Lightroom 4 Users Shouldn’t Overlook PTlens For Lens Correction – It Has Some Benefits!

July 2nd, 2012

I had a pleasant Skype chat this morning with Simon Maxwell this morning (well it was my morning and his evening since I’m in Oregon and Simon is in London). Simon is a passionate Lightroom user and we talked about Simon making some more video tutorials on Lightroom.

I was telling Simon that despite the fact thatLightroom has a lot of lens profiles that if you consider wide angle lenses that real estate photographers use PTlens works for more lenses than Lightroom 4 works for.

Also, after promoting Lightroom 4 as the ideal real estate photography post processing software I had several readers express their disappointment with the fact that Lightroom 4 lens profiles only work on RAW files and not JPEGs.

Since I discovered that Lightroom 4 doesn’t have profiles for all popular wide angle lenses used by real estate photographers I’ve added a “LR Profile” and a “PTlens Profile” column to my lens table so when beginning real estate photographers are purchasing a lens they can consider availability of lens profiles as part of their lens purchasing criteria.

Simon pointed out to me that he’s as a two year old YT video on how to use PTlens from Lightroom (LR to PTlens interface works the same now as it did two years ago). Notice that this video has going on 19,000 views! I think this reflects both the quality of Simon’s tutorials and the wide usage of PTlens.

So if you have a Tamron 11-18mm or Tokina 11-16mm lens (check the lens page for others) or expect to work on JPEGs instead of RAW files PTlens is a Lightroom plug-in you should consider.

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6 Responses to “Lightroom 4 Users Shouldn’t Overlook PTlens For Lens Correction – It Has Some Benefits!”

  • Interesting. The lens I’m looking into (Pentax 15mm Ltd) isn’t listed for either. 🙁

  • The lens table is confusing. Tameron 17-35 for Nikon full frame says yes to Pt and no to LR. If you take the poll, the results come back and the sheet now say yes to both PT and LR.

    I use LR4 and I do not see a profile for it

  • Is everyone aware that with Lightroom you can download user created lens profiles for many more lenses than appear in the LR default list? You can also create your own profiles. Both the profile creator and downloader tools are available for free here:
    Also, it is not limited to RAW files. There are profiles for .jpgs as well as RAW. Although, as with any image editing your results will probably be better using RAW.

    While PTLens is a great tool I think the LR lens correction is just as good. Since you can avoid the round trip and extra file created for PTLens I would stick with the LR tools.

  • Larry : thanks for featuring the video! It was of course PFRE that alerted me to PT Lens in the first place. I’ve come to appreciate that RE photographers are shooting with many and varied wide-angle lenses (I started out with a 10-22mm Sigma in Canon mount) and it would be nice if Lightroom offered more comprehensive profiles. Scott : thanks for the link to the profile creator : I have downloaded the tool before and it involves printing out and shooting a checkered pattern presumably to see how the lens deviates from the “true” representation of the map. It would be nice if Lightroom added customer generated profiles submitted as a result of using the tool to its inbuilt list: maybe Adobe needs to verify these first before putting its name to them. Either way , sounds like PT lens have got a lot of these on board which, if you are after an immediate solution, is good to know. One thing I would say though is that Lightroom probably never will be able to have an off the shelf solution for tilt shift lenses once they are shifted : in Lightroom I have to use the profile for the 24mm canon lens as my 24mmm TSE is not listed : I still need to apply a little manual adjustment especially when head on to a building. PT lens will enable you to create a bespoke profile for a tilt shift lens at for example 12 degrees of shift : a little time consuming but good and precise although it’ll only work if you shift the lens to 12mm. So I agree with Larry that PT lens still has a place in our workflow. There’s no doubt that LR3 made a giant leap by including the lens distortion correction tools. I think I’ll keep PT lens available as a plugin option for a while yet if only to cover the requirement for shifted TS lenses. I’ll post another video soon about adding Plugins to Lightroom in general.

  • I use a Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8 & a Nikkor 16-35 f/4 with my D4 for real estate work. LR4 has an automatic profile for the 14-24, but my 16-35 doesn’t show up even though it’s supposed to be there. I have been using PTLens for this lens, but wonder if anyone has experience with the 16-35 and LR4?

    PTLens also is great for use with my Nikkor 24mm tilt/shift, I will continue to use it for that lens regardless if auto profile shows up for the Nikkor 16-35 f/4.

    Great post Larry, thanks!

  • Or do all this in lightroom using manual lens correction… No need for the extra program.

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