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etbruns
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Lens Profile changes in ACR 6.2 update

Sep 3, 2010 5:42 AM

Before the update, I had perfectly aligned masks for hundreds of images using the Nikon 18-200mm lens.  However, when I now open their Smart Objects, make and change and close, a new distortion correction is being applied, ie. the masks are not longer aligned.  This is a major headache and it's not clear how I might go back to the original lens profile.  Even if it is worse, I am already invested in it with the masks.  Pushing out this change without due notice or way to ensure backward compatibility is a major shortfall.  I would be interested to hear how Adobe recommends I proceed?  Revert to ACR 6.1 and miss out on all future updates?  I highly recommend building legacy profiles into future updates.

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 3, 2010 7:23 AM   in reply to etbruns

    To be clear, did you create the masks using smart objects created using 6.1, or an older version of the plugin?

     

    Have you changed the camera raw defaults at all for your camera after installing 6.2?

     

    Thanks,

    David

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,514 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 3, 2010 10:39 AM   in reply to etbruns

    Just a mild curiosity...

     

    Are you using Smart Objects because you want to be able to take advantage of some unspecified future improvements in Camera Raw?

     

    I ask because on the one hand you've put your faith in Camera Raw only improving in ways that will be compatible with your "baked-in" masks, and on the other hand it actually appears it's been improved in a way that's incompatible with them.

     

    I guess what I'm asking is why you're using smart objects instead of just doing the conversion to high quality pixels (e.g., wide gamut color profile, 16 bits per channel, upsampled resolution) and just being done with it.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 3, 2010 5:19 PM   in reply to etbruns

    What ACR adjustments do you need to do to the image that can only be done in RAW format and cannot be done when ACR is editing a TIF after your initial ACR-conversion?  It seems as though you may need to modify your workflow to convert to TIF, and then re-edit that TIF with ACR and use that as the smart object on which to apply your masks.  TIFs only have relative WB adjustments, not absolute like RAW files, but if the WB is close you probably don't have to tweak things too much, although you'd want to be careful to create your initial set of TIFs with the same initial WB so you could tweak groups of images similarly with the same relative adjustments.

     

    For Adobe to accommodate what you're wanting they'd need to have the ACR version number where a profile came from as part of its name so ACR can match the specific profile used with old images.  I think Adobe messed up when they didn't do this, initially, but perhaps they feel it is still a beta period and don't want too many versions of each profile cluttering things until things have settled down.

    --

    You asked, earlier, how to get the old profiles back. 

     

    On my Windows Vista/Win7 computers the Adobe-supplied lens profiles for Nikon are duplicated in two different places:

     

    C:\ProgramData\Adobe\CameraRaw\LensProfiles\1.0\Nikon

    C:\Users\All Users\Adobe\CameraRaw\LensProfiles\1.0\Nikon

     

    I think additional users-supplied profiles would go to the following place, although I'm not sure because I don't have any user-created lens profiles:

    C:\Users\-your-user-name-\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\LensProfiles \1.0\Nikon

     

    The way to get your old profiles back would be:

    Find the current Adobe-supplied profiles on your computer and remove them.

    Download and install the ACR 6.1 update.

    Find the profiles installed with that in the same places you removed the other ones from and save all these 6.1 profiles somewhere else.

    Download and install the ACR 6.2 update.

     

    It may be sufficient to copy the old 6.1 version of the profiles for the lenses you use into your user-profile-specific location and those would override whatever Adobe-supplied profiles there are, but I doubt it. 

     

    And if not, then what you'd want to do is edit the XML in the LCP files for ACR 6.1 for your lenses that you have already put into your user-profile-specific location and change the name to have the ACR version in it, so when you run LR or ACR, you know which ones are your old profiles and which are the current ones that Adobe has supplied.

     

    The remaining task is to re-assign this relabeled ACR-6.1-specific profile to your underlying images that have smart-objects in them to be able to use your masks with the old correction in place.

     

    Going forward it might be wise to also copy and relabel each profile for your lenses that have been updated...you may have to test things yourself to see if there are any differences.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,514 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
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    Sep 4, 2010 4:13 PM   in reply to etbruns

    Thanks for clarifying why you like to use Smart Objects.  Makes a lot of sense.

     

    FYI, separate from (and prior to) this discussion, I had come to the conclusion that I wanted to shut off the profile-based lens distortion corrections entirely in my Camera Raw defaults, though I do use the CA and some vignetting correction.  Moving the pixels around just seemed to me to be something I'd rather dial in manually when needed, or possibly later in the workflow.  This issue you have identified here - poor repeatability - just reinforces that decision.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 4, 2010 4:35 PM   in reply to etbruns

    On Windows the Adobe-supplied Lens Profiles are duplicated in two distinct locations, and if that also occurs on a Mac then there may be one more to replace.  The approach you tried should work if you find and replace all instances with the 6.1 profile at least as an experiment; however, putting your old profile in the Adobe-recognized user-profile-specific location would help keep it separate from the Adobe ones, and let you continue to use it even though you've updated ACR to 6.3 whenever that is.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 5, 2010 11:42 PM   in reply to etbruns

    To get it to forget the 6.2 profiles after removing them and replacing with 6.1 profiles, I forgot one thing:

     

    Delete the cache files that contain the compiled information from the XML lens profiles.  There is one for the lens profiles and one for the camera profiles, and one is an index.dat and one is something similar and they live one directory above all the profiles, I think.   They should get rebuilt when you start up a program that needs them.  Look in the places you've found profiles and they should be nearby.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,514 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
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    Sep 6, 2010 7:26 AM   in reply to etbruns

    These are primarily user-user help forums, but Adobe also monitors them from time to time.  It's a bit lucky that you have had some response from Adobe, and having seen a response I imagine you'll get another.

     

    You have no choice but to wait until you hear back, unless you've invented a time machine. 

     

    Keep in mind it's a holiday weekend.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Benjamin Warde
    64 posts
    Sep 8, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 8, 2010 12:44 PM   in reply to etbruns

    Hi etburns,

     

    The Nikon 18-200 lens profile was not updated between ACR 6.1 and ACR 6.2.  Further, when a new version of ACR does include an updated version of an existing profile, the installer does not overwrite the old profile.  The new installer will not install the old profile, only the new one, but if the old profile is already there, the installer will leave it in place, and install the new one next to it.  Any photos to which you had applied the old profile will still have the old profile applied.  New photos, assuming you let ACR automatically pick the profile, will get the new profile applied.  Therefore, I don't think that the problem you're seeing is due to an updated profile.

     

    Can you send me as detailed a description as possible of your complete workflow?  I'm looking for a specific series of steps I might be able to follow to repeat the problem.  Also, can you tell me what camera you were using to take the photos, and were you shooting raw or JPEG?  Also, can you confirm specifically what lens you were using?  I'm assuming it was the Nikon AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G  IF-ED, but possibly it was something else.

     

    Thanks,

    Ben

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 8, 2010 11:42 PM   in reply to etbruns

    It sounds a bit like auto-enlarging. When the image is corrected for geometric distortion, it produces blank areas around some of the edge. ACR will automatically enlarge the image to remove these blank areas. It's even more complicated when you introduce manual horizontal, vertical and geometric correction with a manual crop, and I won't pretend to understand what happens.

     

    If a lens profile is updated—especially in terms of geometric distortion—auto-enlarging will behave differently at certain focal lengths. Presumably there will also be a big knock-on effect with cropping and manual corrections too. Whenever I make small adjustments to manual corrections, any crops I have already made usually go out of the window and need to be done again, so you might be seeing something like this happening.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 9, 2010 8:06 AM   in reply to Yammer

    A safe haven until Adobe gets it's act together is either to do no correction until your masking is complete and you can flatten the file or to run DXO Pro and use only the Distortion, CA, Vignetting, NR controls from their software. DXO is in the lens software business, and besides the afore mentioned corrections, they also have lens sharpness correction and NR...for the lens/ camera sensor you are using. It is very complete and reliable.

     

    ACR 6.2 is an improvement as I notice that the new lenses from 3rd party suppliers like Tamron are characterized in conjunction with Adobe than the manufacturers, which I believe not to be true of the first round. Should Adobe follow that path with the rest of their offerings, consistency and reliability will accrue as well. But for the moment, I get wildly different corrections for my Nikon vs DXO, and DXO is correct.

     

    The downside is DXO costs $150 or so and their color and luminance controls leave much  to be desired. Also, they are very slow in updating the collection of lenses, but that's understandable as I am told it takes about 50 hours of testing for each lens/camera combination. So I use a preset that is Distortion, NR, Sharpness ans Vignetting only. In the Distortion mode, a subset is available that corrects for spherical distortion in WA lenses, as desired. Nice! No more distorted faces at the corners of a WA group portrait!

     

    Some have objected to the disrupted work flow but I find if I minimize DXO to tray, I simply drag and drop an image to it's icon, it loads. In fact, you only need to do that once for a folder of images; DXO finds the folder and loads all the thumbs.in a new project.

     

    I use the dng output and if you have corrected in ACR first,the dng will use those corrections.

     

    All this can be avoided (except for the auto sharpness and noise) if Adobe does a class act about corrections which it appears is on the way. Unfortunately, if Adobe folks find that the corrections for lenses already in the system are wrong they face a problem!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 9, 2010 8:51 AM   in reply to etbruns

    Ben's reply seems to indicate that the profile for the lens he guessed you used didn't change, but also that if it had then the older profile would still have been around and used.  This suggests that ACR 6.2, itself, changed, and a quick test would verify this:

     

    To isolate whether ACR 6.2 is different or a profile that was included with it changed, fully install ACR 6.2 and all of its profilesthis may require installing 6.1 like it had been, then upgrading to 6.2, delete the profile cache files and have them rebuilt on first use with the 6.2 profiles in place, and look to see that your masked smart-object files are badthey still should be if you've reset things back to the state they were after you initially upgraded to 6.2.  Then replace just the ACR 6.2 plug-in file (the one with the .8bi extension) with the older ACR 6.1 version, and reopen the masked smart-object files, and see if the masks are ok or if they are still off.  If things are ok using the 6.1 plug-in then the 6.2 version of the plug-in is interpreting the lens profile differently and that is more of a problem that Adobe should explain--perhaps an internal numerical algorithm was improved that changed how the profile is interpreted.  If the masks are off in both 6.2 and 6.1 then the lens-profile must have changed, which doesn't seem consistent with what Ben said the Adobe policy is for upgraded profiles.

     

     

    I don't know how easy it is to re-link a smart-object to its underlying DNG on an new system, but if this is possible, then you might also consider uploading your DNG and PSD to www.YouSendIt.com to see if others can get the same thing to happen.

     
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  • Benjamin Warde
    64 posts
    Sep 8, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 9, 2010 1:22 PM   in reply to etbruns

    Eric,

     

    Thanks for the additional info.  As ssprengel suggests, could you select a photo that exhibits the problem, and upload the PSD, DNG, and original NEF to www.YouSentIt.com, and then post the link here?  If I can reproduce the problem in-house, we can work on a fix.  Also, can you tell me what version of Lightroom you're using?

     

    Thanks,

    Ben

     
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  • Benjamin Warde
    64 posts
    Sep 8, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 16, 2010 7:50 PM   in reply to etbruns

    Hi Eric,

     

    Sorry it's taken me a while to post back.  I originally posted here a couple hours ago, saying that I couldn't exactly reproduce the problem, but I've managed to do it now.  I see the problem that you're talking about, and I've filed a bug report in the Photoshop bug database.  I'll post here again if I hear anything regarding a resolution.

     

    Thanks,

    Ben

     
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