Francis was a product of the British studio system, starting out as a camera assistant and working his way up to director of photography, The New York Times said.
He received Oscars for Jack Cardiff's 1960 adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's "Sons and Lovers" and for Edward Zwick's 1989 Civil War drama, "Glory." After winning his first Oscar for cinematography, Francis turned to directing, beginning a nearly 20-year career in horror films even though he admitted he didn't care for the genre.
His mastery of light and shadow techniques drew the attention of director David Lynch, who hired him to direct photography for his first big Hollywood project, "The Elephant Man," and later "Dune" and "The Straight Story."
Director Martin Scorsese hired Francis as the cinematographer for the 1991 remake of "Cape Fear." He also directed photography for Karel Reisz on "The French Lieutenant's Woman."
Francis, who died on March 17, is survived by his wife and three children.