Lightroom’s Profile Issue with Nikon Z . Has Gotten Weirder

I have consistently been annoyed with the non-removable lens profiles in Lightroom when using Nikon Z cameras. But with some of the newer Z cameras and specific lenses, the issue (mostly) no longer applies. Here’s what I know at the moment.

The short version of the tale is that with the Nikon Z6 II and Nikon Z7 II specifically, the bias profiles can now be turned on plus off for at least these lenses:

  • Nikon Z . 14-24mm f/2. 8 S
  • Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2. 8 S
  • Nikon Z . 70-200mm f/2. 8 T
  • Nikon Z 20mm f/1. 8 S
  • Nikon Z 50mm f/1. 8 S i9000
  • Nikon Z 85mm f/1. 8 S

Whereas with at least the following lenses, it still applies, no matter what camera you’re using:

  • Nikon Unces 24-50mm f/4-6. 3
  • Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6. several
  • Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4
  • Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4

I no longer have most of the other Nikon Z lenses and can’t confirm which category everything falls under (crowdsourced tests would be appreciated! ) but the general idea are these claims. With the f/2. 8 zooms as well as most or possibly all Nikon Z prime lens, you can now turn off the distortion profiles in Lightroom – but only if you’re using the Z6 II or Z7 II. With other Nikon Z . cameras, the distortion information are still automatically applied, regardless of what lens you use.

Nikon Z Built-in Lens Profile Lightroom
Lightroom has non-removable lens profiles with most Nikon Z cameras and lenses.

So , that’s how the distortion profiles work now. But something of further interest – not totally new information but something that I don’t see stated that often – is that Lightroom is taking a strange method of the vignetting correction along with Nikon Z lenses.

Rather than the built-in zoom lens profile automatically applying a great amount of vignetting correction, Lightroom actually  reads how much in-camera vignetting correction you chosen . Puzzlingly, it takes your in-camera selection as the un-erring truth and applies it to your photos, without allowing you to change this value within the Lens Corrections tab.

Of course , the Effects tab further down in Lightroom has its own vignetting tool, but it tends to work better with regard to adding vignetting rather than precisely removing it. So , our recommendation for Nikon Unces shooters is to keep the vignetting correction in-camera turned to High, even if you’re shooting. NEF files. That signals Lightroom to apply full vignetting modifications as part of the built-in lens user profile. If the effect ends up looking too strong (a definite possibility), you can add back your desired level of vignetting in the Effects panel.

The vignetting weirdness is true regardless of the Nikon Z digital camera you’re using, as best as I can tell. Some documentation from Adobe or Nikon on how this works would be nice.

Uncorrected Vignetting Nikon 24-70mm f4
NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Unces 24-70mm f/4 S @ 24mm, ISO 1600, no time, f/4. 0
Uncorrected vignetting on the Nikon Unces 24-70mm f/4, shot within raw with in-camera vignetting turned off

I understand why Lightroom could have some built-in corrections that are automatically applied to certain Nikon lenses, especially a lens like the 14-30mm f/4 which has almost fisheye levels of bias. But the whole decision regarding non-removable profiles isn’t some thing I can get behind. Really want to just apply these modifications automatically (including vignetting – not tied to the level selected in camera) and then permit us to turn them away if we want? At this point, I don’t know if it’s Adobe or Nikon who is at fault, however the situation has gotten extremely strange.

We’ll be updating our Nikon Z lens reviews on the coming days to reveal the different behavior with the Nikon Z6 II and Z7 II. Meanwhile, if you happen to possess a Z6 II / Z7 II and any of the lenses I haven’t been able to check, I’d appreciate some information in the comments section so I can add to the lists in the beginning of the article!

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