Lightroom Denoise Tool Causes Distortions

Hi all. I’ve been using the Lightroom Denoise tool a lot lately. It’s really good however I notice that it tends to cause quite a lot of distortion to the images (particularly making the wheels of an aircraft have squared off edges). I have it set on default (50) with super resolution off. Am I doing something wrong? Here is a sample photo so that you can see the distortion for yourself.


I think it’s just limitations of a lot of AI algorithms. In your particular case it has no idea what to make of the heat haze so it just throws its best guess.

Limit yourself to no more than 20, turn the texture down and clarity up a little, seems to work for me usually 👍

Oh well then. It was quite hot yesterday (I didn’t know it was going to be THIS sunny considering that it’s literally autmn) but eh it’s fine. Most photos actually turned out fine. Thanks for your thoughts

Does 20 denoise it enough? And btw I usually up the clarity quite a bit since it’s my style

1 Like

Yeah, 20 should do the job and probably not cause too much distortion

1 Like

I’m kind of confused why you’re using Denoise on day shots. You do mean the AI denoise that makes a new DNG right? I’ve only found that to be necessary if my original shot is severely underexposed or it’s a night shot.

My DSLR is quite old and its shots are naturally pretty grainy so I really don’t have a choice

Alright. Thanks

Even on an old DSLR you can get some pretty awesome photos. Consider keeping your ISO low during day time (if you can handle the appropriate shutter speed) if you aren’t already and keep in mind that a bit of noise in the best lighting is unavoidable, even on the professional cameras like the canon R5, Sony A1, Nikon Z9 etc. Also, remember that nearly all applications/websites (including the ifc) compress your image by reducing the resolution, therefore lowering the amount of noise due to less pixels being shown.

Don’t be afraid of noise, it will exist in almost every photograph you take.

Thanks for the info. I keep my ISO on 125 on a sunny day usually. I think it’s really my lenses and camera, because when I mean old I mean 2011-old. The edges of the image tend to become soft, so I really don’t have a choice but it’s fine I guess.

This is completely normal. It’s a common misconception but the 737 actually has square wheels. for legal purposes this is a joke, an attempt at humour, just a bit of banter

Could be worth looking at Topaz as an alternative, it usually works quite well. Out of curiosity, what camera/ lens combination are you using? My old 550D from 2010 didn’t suffer from anywhere near this level of noise.


I’m using a nikon d5100 (2011) with the Nikkor 55-300. It was really hot that day so heat haze might be the issue (I don’t have a lens hood)

You shouldn’t really notice any noise issues at a low ISO. Nikon’s APS-C sensors are normally quite good with noise, you should only really notice noise at about 1600 ISO and above. The heat will have some effect on this though

Do you have any kind of noise reduction enabled within the camera, or anything that could be applying processing to the image?

Other than backlit mode, nope

The noise was ok on the fuselage area. Near the engines and landing gear is where it starts to really become obvious

Some of that is likely just down to lighting. The image overall is very bright excluding the lower areas of the aircraft. The sensor can struggle in those kind of conditions if it’s not exposed correctly, especially if backlit

And reading one of your earlier posts, in post, bumping up the clarity for example will create a lot of noticeable noise, especially in darker areas. Could be worth learning to mask your images, or perhaps adjust your editing process for these brighter images

Backlit mode definitely helped brighten the image. I don’t know if it’s causing the noise though

It’s more of the heat haze issue I think. On my other images from different spots the noise was quite subtle, and i barely had to do any denoising for this photo:

1 Like

Maybe I’ll reduce the clarity from now on. I always mask the aircraft to bring the light back out but yeah