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Thread: Beware - Lightroom rave follows

  1. #1
    mastamak's Avatar
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    Beware - Lightroom rave follows

    First I must make a disclosure statement. I have nothing to do with Adobe and to the best of my knowledge I have no financial involvement in that company

    Now that has cleared the air I feel a need to report on my post-processing progress with Lightroom and Photoshop in the hope that it gives heart to others.

    Twelve months ago I invested in the current version of Photoshop and, because it was relatively cheap, I also bought Lightroom 4.4 at the same time. As I am a reasonably competent intermediate user of Photoshop I saw no reason to rush into installing Lightroom and the disk sat in the drawer for 6 months, until, after some advice from this forum I decided to give it a go. Well, I have to say I am overjoyed with the result and have to admit I have turned into something of a Lightroom fanatic - as you will see from the rant below.

    The Lightroom catalogue is brilliant. It is, in my opinion far better than Bridge and has many useful features. You can quickly catalogue and keyword all your photos. You can also convert raw to dng on import and rename files and control the metadata. Filtering and finding individual photos is easy and super fast with the text and metadata filters. It is fascinating, for example, to see what photos were taken with a particular camera/lens combination and it all happens in seconds.

    The Develop module looks deceptively simple but it really is quite sophisticated. All edits are lossless and reversible and with the history panel you can go back to any early stage in the process and recommence if you are unhappy with the result. You can also create any number of virtual copies of a photo and try different edit techniques without changing the original image and without creating a number of large image files. All edits are contained in tiny sidecar files so hard disk space is not compromised. But, best of all the results can be astounding. I have compared photos that I have painstakingly edited in Photoshop with the same job in Lightroom. The work of 2-3 hours in Photoshop (creating selections, layers etc.) can be dome in minutes in Lightroom and, frankly, I can't see the difference. And you haven't got to guess what to do next, just work down the Develop module step by step.

    Then there are the added extras. The Map module allows you to geotag your photos using any available GPX file and nowadays you can create a GPX on your mobile phone. The Book, Slideshow and Print module give you endless different ways to display or share your photos and the Web module allows the creation of Flash and HTML galleries quite simply and quickly.

    OK, there are still occasions when I still use Photoshop, for creative work and where pixel manipulation and layering is necessary. But if you just want to catalogue and develop photos Lightroom is great - plus it is cheap. Sorry if I raved on somewhat but, as you can see, I am really happy that I finally discovered Lightroom.

    Grant

  2. #2
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Beware - Lightroom rave follows

    That's pretty much my take as well. Great results with a learning curve a fraction of that of Photoshop

  3. #3
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    Re: Beware - Lightroom rave follows

    I agree. I am able to do almost all of my editing, apart from focus stacking, in LR. I use photoshop so rarely now that I keep forgetting how to do things.

    However, I just upgraded to LR 5, and it has been rocky. Not as bad as the initial release of LR 4, which was essentially unusable, but bad nonetheless. The initial import of my LR 4 catalog failed to import over 1,000 images, scattered seemingly randomly across directories. Performance is in some instances slow, and the program hangs sometimes for no apparent reason. There are some serious bugs that have been known since the outset but have not been fixed--e.g., failure to keep output sharpening and noise reduction if images are exported at <1/3 of original size. I finally decided last night to throw out my LR 5 catalog and go back to LR 4 until the next update of LR 5 is released. It is unacceptable, in my view, that Adobe releases supposedly finished versions, and takes money for them, when they are in such rough form. I have not subscribed to CC yet, but it does make me wonder whether subscribers are going to get unfinished updates whether they want them or not.

  4. #4
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Beware - Lightroom rave follows

    OUch! I will receive my LR5 in the mail today, Dan. It was supposed to be a bit faster than 4, so that's disappointing too. I was looking forward to getting a healing/cloning brush that actually works- the one in 4 is mostly good for dust bunnies.

    Interesting that you mention the output sharpening. I was convinced I'd experienced the same thing in 4, and had too turn it off when posting to this site because so much was downright "crunchy".

    Adobe evidently intends to force us all into CC. My gut is to resist it and my logic says only I lose out with that approach. I'll have a play with 5. If not really satisfied, I might return it and weight with you in the revision line.

  5. #5
    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Re: Beware - Lightroom rave follows

    I have owned every version of LR since launch up to and including L5, and am pleased to say that I've never experienced any of the above mentioned problems.
    My photographs are all copied from the card and stored independently of LR in a 'My Pictures' folder (subfolders etc.) before final import into the catalogue choosing the option to leaves files 'where they are'. Maybe not the speediest workflow but it has proved trouble free so far (touch wood!!).
    Last edited by Clactonian; 17th July 2013 at 02:38 PM.

  6. #6
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Beware - Lightroom rave follows

    I just got LR5 today, and had the same problem Dan mentioned- only about 80% of the catalog shows up, and it doesn't have the same collection categories as I had generated for LR4. LR4 still works just fine. I may poke around a bit but I may also send it back and wait for a while for the patches to come out. I still love LR, and am sure these glitches will get fixed very shortly, so I don't want in anyway to dissuade anyone from LR- it's a great program, maybe with a few growing pains in its latest iteration.

  7. #7

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    LR -- Good for its intended purpose

    LR was originally introduced as an image database along with some basic editing features geared to those desiring quick edits of many images. Over time LR editing has bowed to user demands and become a bit more sophisticated (and slower). It certainly has its place, but its not Photoshop! Every thing that LR does can be done can be done with PS (+ ACR). PS does a much better job at selections, masking, layer-based edits, etc.

    That being the case, I use both products with great satisfaction. I use LR to catalog my photo-shoots, and for a first look at edited photos. I use PS (plus Plug-Ins) to get the very best from the (few) images I judge to be exceptional.

  8. #8

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    Re: Beware - Lightroom rave follows

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoc856 View Post
    I just got LR5 today, and had the same problem Dan mentioned- only about 80% of the catalog shows up, and it doesn't have the same collection categories as I had generated for LR4. ......
    I find these reports strange, as I had no such problems at all, and LR5 is indeed faster than v4. Th output sharpening glitch on images exported small is a bug that doesn't affect me or those of us who output to print where the sharpening routines are as good as ever. I'm on MacOS 10.8 and everything has gone perfectly: I updated the day LR5 came out of beta.

    Kevin, Dan: What is the common factor in your experiences? Are you both using the same operating systems? Which? Is there a bug that is active only in your OS environment?

    Tim

  9. #9
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    Re: Beware - Lightroom rave follows

    Tim,

    Based on experience but not technical knowledge--it seems to me that when software is very complex, and people's computers (not just the hardware, but the huge number of drivers, etc., loaded) are so different, it is not surprising that problems will arise on some computers but not others. I have three work computers, all running Windows 7, and they don't behave the same because of differences in the software running on them, as well as differences in hardware. That was certainly true of the problems with LR 4.0, which were very bad but did not all appear uniformly. Some are OS-specific (Adobe has publicized one LR 5 bug that affects only Macs, although I haven't yet seen any postings about one affecting only PCs), but many seem appear almost randomly.

    My computer is nothing special--a 2 or 3 year old (hence not terribly powerful) Dell running Windows 32 bit, with LR, the catalog, and the images all loaded on the primary internal drive.

    I encountered a bunch of other minor problems as well, but I did not keep a list. However, if you google, you will find plenty. Here's the short list of the ones Adobe considers most important:

    http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjour...ot-issues.html

    All in all, based on what I have read and my own experience, this release is nowhere nearly as much of a problem as 4.0, but it is still not quite ready for prime time. I'll leave it installed, but I will probably go back to using version 4 until 5.1 comes out. I installed it primarily for the free-form healing and clone tool, which is wonderful and means yet more of my images don't need to migrate into photoshop, but I can live without that until they clean the new version up.

    Dan

  10. #10
    Ady's Avatar
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    Re: Beware - Lightroom rave follows

    I have had the same experience as Tim.

    No issues with converting catalogues, no performance issues and the only listed bug I've noticed is the lack of noise/sharpening when exporting at less than a 3rd of original size.

    I'm running LR5 on Windows 8 (x64).

    Cheers,
    Ady

  11. #11
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    Re: Beware - Lightroom rave follows

    Here is a FYI about a 130 page ebook by Gavin Gough on setting up and using Lightroom. I haven't bought it yet (but will) but watched an excellent webinar by him on these and other subjects. I have no connection with Mr. Gough but am offering this info for other Lightroom users. There is an 18-minute video at this link to give you an idea what is covered in his ebook. I has gotten excellent reviews.

    Paul S

    http://www.gavingough.com/photo-workflow/

  12. #12

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    Re: Beware - Lightroom rave follows

    FYI...POTN has an ongoing thread specifically related to LR.
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=684360

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