I'm pretty sure that converting to DNG does not cause the badge to appear; rather it is a preset being applied at import, and that's what you want to get rid of. (Either that or your default settings have changed from the Adobe default)
I have no import preset selected while importing to LR
Add photos to library without moving them
Import preset: None.
Compatibility:Camera Raw 7.1 and later
JPEG Preview: Full Size
Embed fast load data
Don't use lossy compression
Preserve Pixel Count
Don't embed original
I tried to import the original CR2 file and the converted DNG. On the DNG I go to Develop Settings - Reset. Then I compare the two in side to side view and see no difference before or after the Develop Settings - Reset. I know I can select all after import and reset the develop settings but it just adds another element in my workflow. Any ideas?
Are the sliders at zero in the Basic Panel (except for temperature and tint)? Also see Re: How do I control the default Develop settings in LR5?
What does the History Panel say when you import like this? It should say Import and a date and time, and nothing else.
All sliders at zero except for temperature and tint, history panel has import date and time.
Just tried to make another import With both RAW and DNG With the same result. All DNG has the +/- badge for photo has develop adjustments.
Over the years, have you changed any of the LR (or CR) Defaults to be different than the Adobe “Factory Defaults”? There is a bug in one of the recent DNG Converters that always converts DNGs to use the Factory Defaults, ignoring any existing XMP file (if one existed from previous editing) and ignoring any existing customized LR Defaults.
If the DNG Converter you’re using has this bug, then either there is some slight difference between your LR defaults and the Adobe Factory Defaults that’s not visually obvious – like a non-zero Sharpen Masking value, or the bug is messing with the metadata included in the DNG so that LR thinks there has been a settings change when there really hasn’t been, though my personal experience is the first situation.
To verify if this is the problem, check all the sliders, not just the ones in Basic Toning, and perhaps use either the previous or the next version of the DNG Converter and see if things are different.
And if you are using DNGC 8.6 then use DNG 8.7 RC from labs.adobe.com, because Adobe has acknowledged this bug and said it’ll be fixed in the next release, but I don’t remember which release had the bug and when it was fixed.
Wow another bug, this has put another hurdle in my mind to overcome if I am ever going to convert my raw files to DNG. And most definitely a critical reason to ensure you have your original raw files safely backed up.