Sat 09-Mar-13 03:03 PM | edited Sat 09-Mar-13 03:03 PM by Antero52
Brian is 99% sure and 100% correct. Raw data is raw data, ie, uncorrected, at least with Nikon cameras. The rationale is that cameras can do "quick and dirty" corrections to make good jpg files quickly. But if you use raw files, it's up to you whether you want to apply the lens corrections and to what degree.
Why would you not apply lens correction? If you mean lens profile corrections, consider a wildlife photo shot with a long lens. Long lenses typically have pincushion distortion. If you correct it, a target that's close to the image edge may become cropped. In nature shots it may be better to live with the distortions than having something cropped as a default action. If you do the correction in LR, you can adjust the degree of correction.
Plus, should you use Adaptive Wide Angle filter in CS6, it's better not to do any profile corrections beforehand. AWA filter uses the lens profile information and applies the corrections as part of the process. (Or this is what Martin Evening's CS6 book tells me.)
I agree with Antero -- do as little as possible (nothing) in the camera, assuming you are going to do any post-processing.
I just had a photo (taken on the fly at our Church) the other day where a part I really wanted would have been cropped out by distortion correction. So instead I cloned a bit onto the edge and then did the distortion correction. It would have been impossible to clone back in the subject matter I wanted.
To be a bit more specific, if you are going to do post-processing, I would shoot RAW - and if you really want that instant JPEG, shoot both, and use the RAW for any post-processing. It took me about 2 months to get there after getting my first DSLR, that was about 4 years ago, and I only do RAW now.
> "I have lens profile correction set as a Lightroom preset that gets applied to all imports of new pictures. Works great so far."
Absolutely. There's no harm in doing so. That's because all adjustments and corrections to raw images are non-destructive. In the rare event that you have a shot wherein lens profile correction has cropped out something you'd like to keep, it's simple to uncheck the profile correction.
Not so in jpg land wherein corrections are irreversible. What the camera has cropped out, let no man put back.
Keep in mind that in Lightroom, edits to jpegs are also non-destructive, so they're completely reversible. Similar to with raw files, nothing gets "baked in" until the images are exported from the catalog. Even then, the originals are still untouched. It's a new file that's exported.
Thank you so much for the informative replies, this was much more than I was hoping for. I have always shot in RAW since getting Lightroom 10 months ago but only because I was recommended to do so. It's only now that I'm starting to understand the benefits of doing so and I'm glad I made this choice. With my old D5100 I had Lightroom set up to make lens corrections when importing new photo's but after getting my new toy (D7000) I noticed the in camera correction hence my question. (I would guess the D5100 had this too but I never noticed it) I'll continue to shoot RAW and will use LR to do all the changes to the images, I just love the way you can't destroy the original in LR.
The original question was whether to apply lens corrections in the camera or in the computer. If the camera creates a jpg file with lens profile corrections, and crops out some pixels in the process (as a result of correcting pincushion distortion), there is nothing anyone can do in LR to restore the lost pixels. I admit that this is not a common occurrence, and I only mentioned this as an example of why it is not always desirable to apply automatic lens profile corrections.