Best Vintage Lightroom Presets of 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

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Have you ever flipped through an old album from the 50s or the 60s and felt like you were born in the wrong era? The photos have a kind of magic about them. They have a distinct character that makes them stand out from a mile away. With soft fades and sepia tones, these are images that have aged like fine wine. 

The world today has gone digital, but very often we feel like our hearts still belong to the past. Though the era may be lost, with Lightroom presets, it is possible to recreate this vintage vibe for the modern age and to turn back the clock a bit. So, read on to find some of the best vintage Lightroom presets of the year.

Comparison of the Best Vintage Lightroom Presets

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Immediately available for download
  • Offers a lovely fade that clients will love
  • Customization is easy, even for beginners
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  • Includes 3 themed presets
  • 125 Lightroom presets for perfect customization
  • Great for editorial photos
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  • Best for the Money
  • Gives photos intense color
  • Includes exclusive bundles for more customization
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  • Can be adjusted
  • Compatible with Lightroom 4, 5 and 6
  • Available for instant download
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  • Gives photos a vivid and vibrant color
  • Perfectly suited to portrait photography
  • Comes with 5 color adjustment tools
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What Can I Expect From Vintage Lightroom Presets? 

The word vintage means ‘denoting something of high quality, especially something from the past or characteristic of the best period of a person's work.’ A vintage Lightroom Preset will, thus, give images the highest quality with a touch of nostalgia. These presets will turn back the clock for you. So, here is what you can expect from a Vintage Lightroom Preset.

The Vibe

When you think vintage, some images are a bit hazed or faded - the blacks, no longer perfectly black, the shadows, now with a more blueish tint and the highlights, yellowing with age. Unlike the crisp clarity and lifelike quality of modern photography, vintage images ebb and fade over time as a reminder of a time long gone.

Vintage Lightroom presets encompass this essence and then attempt to recreate it. Different presets work differently. Some vintage presets play into the more hazy, romance of the past while others may bring out the more moody and dramatic side of the vintage feel. So, whatever your aesthetic, you are bound to find the perfect vintage match. 

Inspiration

When editing, you want your images to exude that classic, vintage look, the options are limitless and there are a ton of ways to go about it. Lightroom presets are extremely varied and can help you achieve the vintage vibe that best suits you. They also act as a great foundation for your editing process that you can further adjust and tweak it to perfection.

Quick Take - Best Vintage Lightroom Presets

Before we dive into our review, here are the best vintage lightroom presets:

  1. Insta Fade Lightroom Presets
  2. MCP Flux Lightroom Quick Click Presets
  3. The Brodt Collection

Review of the Best Vintage Lightroom Presets 

Vintage Lightroom presets are diverse, each one bringing out a different shade of the past. Given the sheer variety, selecting the perfect preset can be a bit of a struggle. So, here are some of our favorite Vintage Lightroom Presets to help you make your decision.

PROS

  • Versatile and fully adjustable
  • Very well-priced and easy to use 
  • Compatible with both Mac and PC
  • Works on RAW, TIFF and JPEG images
  • Comes with instructions on how to install and has an instant download

CONS

  • None

Why it Stands Out to Us

With 20 gorgeous presets, InstaFade Lightroom Presets by Lightgram embodies the classic vintage look. Add retro effects and create charming vintage images with just a single click.

Easy to use and navigate, InstaFade is perfect for photographers at all skill levels. The presets are versatile and can make any kind of image look good. Gorgeous for portraits as well as landscapes, these presets are transcendental. Whether you are looking for deeper tones or a moody black and white, the InstaFade Lightroom Presets have got your back.

These presets are also a great base to work off of. They are inspiring, simple, and a lovely way to give your editing abilities the creative push that they need. These presets can give your edits a consistent and unified look and set them apart from all the rest.

With faded effects and beautifully warm skin tones, these presets emulate the nostalgia and charm of classic film.

PROS

  • Has extremely diverse presets
  • Works with RAW and JPEG images
  • Completely customizable and easy to use
  • It is an affordable and a value for money purchase
  • Great for studio environments and commercial photography

CONS

  • Might be best suited to more intermediate and advanced users 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The MCP™ Flux Lightroom Quick Click Presets by MCPactions has everything you could possibly need to turn good photos into great ones. 

The fifty tonal and color space presets included in this collection were designed to enhance the mood of your normal photographs and can help you achieve that gorgeous vintage look. From the Flat Sepia to the Wintergreen, these presets will imbue your photos with a timeless feel of retro magic. 

In addition to being amateur-friendly, the collection is also great for photographers looking to explore some of the more technical aspects of photography. It is a great base to work with and can help you take your creativity to the next level.

Best for the Money:
The Brodt Collection

PROS

  • It is a great value for money
  • Works with RAW and JPEG images
  • Great for all kinds of photography
  • Completely customizable and easy to use
  • Has some of the most diverse and dynamic presets

CONS

  • None

Why it Stands Out to Us

There is a lot to love about The Brodt Collection by MCPactions beginning with the sheer volume of presets that it has to offer. From old-school retro to modern and artistic, there is nothing that you can’t do with this collection.

The Retro Road Trip and Vintage Camera Vol.1 which Brodt Collection Exclusives are not your ordinary Lomography bundles. Vintage Cameras Vol.1 strives to replicate the distinct nature of film as well as the characteristics of retro cameras. The Retro Road Trip bundle, on the other hand,  tells modern stories through the lens of grainy and off-colored images, making these collections exactly what you need to get that quintessential vintage feel in your photos. 

The Brodt Collection is a great buy if you really want to explore the range of what Lightroom is capable of. Great for beginners and pros alike, there is a lot to learn from this collection.

PROS

  • Helps streamline the digital workflow
  • Great for creating a charming retro effect
  • Super easy to understand and saves time
  • Creates pro-looking portraits with a vintage finish
  • Presets provide a lot of range and flexibility in use

CONS

  • Limited to the use of portraits

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Faded Portrait Presets by Lightgrams allows you to add a splash of the classic, vintage film look-and-feel to your modern portrait photography of the digital era. With this collection of 20 stunning presets you can recreate the various nuances and peculiarities of the old-timey photography from an era long ago with ease.

This collection has an extensive variety which makes it extremely adaptable to all kinds of photography styles. With a single click, you can achieve an authentic, age-old vintage look. From the soft, faded film styles to deep matte tones, fill your photos with a  sense of nostalgia and longing. 

PROS

  • Mobile and desktop compatible
  • Includes five color adjustment tools
  • Acts as a great base for VSCO editing
  • Perfect for portraits, lifestyle and travel photography
  • Incredibly diverse presets that provide great flexibility

CONS

  • None

Why it Stands Out to Us

Travel bloggers and Instagram influencers are in luck. With a chic set of 30 VSCO presets, the Orange and Teal Lightroom Presets by Lightroom Masters enhances orange and teal tones and reduces saturation levels to create a bright, retro, summery vibe perfectly suited to travel and lifestyle photography. 

The presets from the Orange and Teal set offer a lot of flexibility and control over editing and also take away the hours of tedious trial-and-error that go into perfecting the famed VSCO vintage look. With a multitude of diverse presets, split between two separate packs, these cater to a range of photography styles and vibes. With these presets by your side, your Instagram feed will look better than ever

Are Vintage Lightroom Presets Hard to Learn? 

Like any new skill, editing on Lightroom comes with its own set of challenges and obstacles.  With photography jargon and unfamiliar technicalities, a beginner to digital editing may find the learning curve a little steeper than someone with more experience. 

To help you master Lightroom and become a pro at editing, there is a huge repository of online resources and tutorials specifically designed to teach you the various tools and effects of Lightroom. Lightroom presets are also a great way to learn the software and really understand the nuances of editing. These presets are a predetermined set of settings that can be directly applied to images rather than you having to spend hours editing them manually. 

Vintage Lightroom presets, like any other, are fairly easy to learn and understand. Quite a few of these presets come along with tutorials on how to install and use them as well. With a single click, you can get a wide array of edits in various styles. This will not only help save time but can also help you find an aesthetic that you like.

The more that you know, however, about the software and its tools, the better it gets. Having more information about Lightroom as well as the vintage aesthetic can help you better edit your vintage photos and perfect your images even after applying the preset. 

Many also use these presets as a source of inspiration to take their skills to the next level which makes Lightroom presets a great tool to have in hand.

Conclusion 

Vintage presets are designed to make your photos look like they have come straight out of a darkroom. With soft colors and a realistic film grain, these images throw it back to the good old days. 

Our top picks for vintage Lightroom presets are versatile, adaptable and great for photographers across the spectrum. They are easy to use and super fun to play around with while exploring your photography style. They also work well with all kinds of photos and settings to give your images an effortless vintage vibe.

From soft, faded film styles to deep matte tones, this vast variety of presets can merge the past with the present and add a touch of analog to your photos.

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