There’s no catch. These are free resources for anyone who uses Adobe Lightroom or apps that support LUTs. All you have to do in exchange is supply your email address, so you can expect to get some emails from ON1 afterwards, but that’s no great hardship.
Some of these assets are created and supplied by ON1, some are from parter companies offering samples of their own products.
Surprised that ON1 would make free resources for a rival program? Well, ON1 does make Lightroom plug-ins too, notably ON1 NoNoise AI 2022, ON1 Effects 2022, ON1 Resize 2022, ON1 Portrait AI 2022 and ON1 HDR 2022. These are all components within ON1 Photo RAW, but ON1 has split them out so that they can be used individually as plug-ins and external editors with other software to extend their appeal to photographers who don’t want to use the full Photo RAW workflow.
How to get free ON1 LUTs and presets
Simply go to the ON1 website, click the drop-down Free menu on the top menu bar and choose Free Presets and LUTs from the menu.
You’ll be asked to supply your email address and accept the ON1 terms and conditions, and then just follow the instructions. The presets and LUTs will be downloaded to your computer – this only takes a few moments because these are just small data files, not massive images.
LUTs vs profiles in Lightroom
The ON1 LUTs have been supplied in the regular .cube LUT format for other software, but you’ll also see folders for Lightroom which contain versions specially converted to the Lightroom .xmp format, which can then be imported and used as profiles in Lightroom.
Images are automatically assigned a default profile in Lightroom. You don’t need to change the profile at all, but choosing a different one can give you a head start with a particular ‘look’.
Broadly, I use profiles to get the look I like then make manual adjustments with the editing tools to fine-tune the effect. I tend not to use presets much as I like to choose my own editing settings, but that’s just me – Lightroom Presets seem wildly popular in the photo community.
Free and paid-for LUTs
LUTs are less commonly distributed than presets but, like presets, are sometimes free and sometimes paid for. I’ve paid for a professional LUTs collection from Lutify.me, which supplies them in regular LUT format and as Lightroom profiles and Capture One Presets (the are applied as base setting profiles in Capture One with no other editing changes).
I’ve used these LUTs constantly ever since, across lots of different programs, and never regretted paying for them.
Using the ON1 LUTs in other software
A number of other photo editors can use LUTs directly, though more as additional filters rather than base-level profiles. ON1 Photo RAW and Exposure X have LUT panels, and you can use LUTs in the effects program CameraBag Pro.