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Author Topic: What is there about Lightroom?  (Read 5828 times)
Farkled
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« on: May 17, 2008, 06:49:42 PM »
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I've been using the Lightroom 2 beta for the last 25 days and have come to some conclusions and have some questions.  I am a retired hobbyist on a budget.  I will produce 0 - 600  images a week with the average being about 200 - 250.  Out of this, there are usually less than 10 worthy of extensive work and printing.  I shoot in RAW and almost always convert each week's lot to JPG for giving copies to family (I only save the RAWs.).  Clearly I have not explored the in & outs of LR in less than 30 days.  I have ACR & DPP and ran DxO & Bibble for their free trials.

LR and ACR are virtually the same.  It is easier to go from image to image in LR.  I prefer the larger image view of ACR.  The batch processing features of LR are available in DPP, ACR, DxO and Bibble.  Conclusion:  I don't see $300 value in LR as a competitor of ACR

As already mentioned, workflow automation is available with other packages, maybe even with Bridge/ACR/PS.  Conclusion: no advantage for LR at 2X the price of DxO or Bibble.

Finally we come to image management.  So far, I've managed to screw up Elements 5 and LR 2 beta indexes.  Mostly by manipulating folder contents from outside the Adobe environment (other apps do such work far better.)  I like some of the ideas in LR as a DAM program but I'm scared of the reliability.  I tried IMatch but found insufficiently different or better than the ThumbsPlus which I've been using for a lot of years.  ThumbsPlus maintains its keyword indexes in a standard DB format - which is therefore accessible and exportable.  The downside to ThumbsPlus is that it is really slow to open a full screen image from a CR2 or DNG file.  Conclusion:  minus points for LR

As stated previously, I've only had a taste of programs other than DPP and ACR.  I like LR but I have to wonder what there is about that is worth an extra $150 over the likes of Bibble, DxO, Capture1, et. al.?  What am I missing?
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Schewe
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008, 07:23:58 PM »
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What am I missing?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196303\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


You've not really learned how to use Lightroom because if you did, you would already know the answers to your questions...either it would be your entire workflow (with the exception of a few images that need more extensive retouching in Photoshop) including organization, developing, web & slideshow and printing, or, Lightroom would have no particular use for you.

Camera Raw 4.x and Lightroom 1.4 (fill in the version number) ARE the same rendering engine (even if they both have different usability) and that should be seen as an extreme advantage not a point of competition because at any moment for any task, you can use either...as far as Bridge vs Lightroom for organization and selection editing, they are similar, course, you can't print from Bridge and Bridge doesn't know anything about any volume or folder that is not online...Lightroom can print (very well with a better usability than Photoshop) and it DOES know everything about all your imported images even if they are offline.

If you want an efficient and powerful workflow app, Lightroom is being designed to address that...if you don't need that, then, well, you don't need that, ya know?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 10:20:45 PM by Schewe » Logged
Samotano
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2008, 08:33:53 PM »
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Simply put what you are missing is knowledge.  You really really really have to take the time to _learn_ LR if you want to make it a powerful application.  If all you need is a RAW developer, then you are better off with ACR, DxO, Bibble etc.  If you need an workflow application then your choices are quite limited and LR is one of them.  

There are keyboard shortcuts (F5-F7) to make the view larger, possibly larger than ACR.  You can use the L key to dim the background and focus on the image and much much more.  

All it takes is to keep an open mind and don't rush to conclusion without first taking the time to learn a little about the application :-)
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picnic
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2008, 09:40:40 PM »
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SNIP
as far as Bride vs Lightroom for organization and selection editing, they are similar, course, you can't print from Bridge and Bridge doesn't know anything about any volume or folder that is not online...Lightroom can print (very well with a better usability than Photoshop) and it DOES know everything about all your imported images even if they are offline.

SNIP
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196309\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

For me, this is one of the biggest pluses of Lightroom.  I have archives from 2000 forward on a number of external harddrives--all keyworded (some better than others, but still 'findable').  I don't keep all drives connected (BTW, I named all my drives so  have no problems with reconnection), but when I find a file that I want to use for whatever purpose (through either keywording or metadata search), then I can connect that HD and continue to work with my RAW file from there.  Having all the images' thumbs available and being able to use them in Library (search, etc.) makes it very worthwhile for me--even discounting all the other pluses (printing, etc.).  I do, however, also have PSCS3, but find I don't need to do a roundtrip from LR to PS too often these days--I can deal with most images in LR these days.

Diane
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Farkled
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2008, 01:10:42 AM »
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Of course I haven't really learned how to use LR - it's a 30 day trial and it's a powerful application.  When the trial runs out, I will have had maybe 16 hours of use.  Maybe I'm slow, but that's not enough to test all aspects of such a multi-faceted app.

What I need is for some folks to say it does A, B, C and D that the other apps do not do, or it does them better or something(s) specific  that I ought to look at in the couple days I have left.  I like this program.  I need some very specific help to spend $300 on software instead of on glass.

Thank you in advance

If this is not an appropriate forum for this question, I apologize and ask that the thread be deleted.
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Schewe
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2008, 10:45:54 AM »
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What I need is for some folks to say it does A, B, C and D that the other apps do not do, or it does them better or something(s) specific  that I ought to look at in the couple days I have left.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196339\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No, that's what you want....and you should have done that at the BEGINNING of your trial period, not the end. There's simply noway for others to make your decisions for you...you've had some people outline some of the differences and advantages, but unless you know a bit more, I doubt it will mean much at all.
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picnic
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2008, 11:45:41 AM »
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Of course I haven't really learned how to use LR - it's a 30 day trial and it's a powerful application.  When the trial runs out, I will have had maybe 16 hours of use.  Maybe I'm slow, but that's not enough to test all aspects of such a multi-faceted app.

What I need is for some folks to say it does A, B, C and D that the other apps do not do, or it does them better or something(s) specific  that I ought to look at in the couple days I have left.  I like this program.  I need some very specific help to spend $300 on software instead of on glass.

Thank you in advance

If this is not an appropriate forum for this question, I apologize and ask that the thread be deleted.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196339\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree with Jeff, but I'll still take a stab at it.  I've used PS since PS3 I think and have shot in RAW since the G1/D30 days.  I've used many (MANY) RAW converters, databases (Imatch was one I liked a lot), printing programs (including Qimage and PS for printing).  What I, and many , like about LR is that it approaches all of these as a photographer needs to as far as workflow (upload and edit for 'keepers', keywording,  find your archived files, convert RAWs or work with jpegs/tiffs with lots of creative possibilities, print easily and with color management) in one application (that's the biggie I feel)--plus slideshows which I have not used.  It still leaves you the choice of going outside to use PS or Elements, etc. for further processing if you want/need.  On top of that it pretty easily allows you to resize/export for emailing.  Oh, and all of this without 'saving' a file--done all with metadata so you don't have RAWs AND tiffs/jpegs unless you do a roundtrip  to PS--AND it maintains all your archived files as thumbs in the library--a big plus for me.  Many many more things that are just plain useful---but its very difficult for someone else to decide if these are YOUR needs, not mine.  I can only say that LR has become my 'go to' application, not PS/Bridge.

Diane
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dchew
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2008, 06:45:35 PM »
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What I need is for some folks to say it does A, B, C and D that the other apps do not do, or it does them better or something(s) specific that I ought to look at in the couple days I have left. I like this program. I need some very specific help to spend $300 on software instead of on glass.

What I love about LR is not what it does better than something else, but that it does almost everything I need to do in one program.  My workflow used to include the following programs:

Downloader Pro
Breezebrowser
Bridge
iView Media Pro
Photoshop

Now, for the majority of images it is all LR (yes, still some round-tripping to PS).  Just think of the time saved updating all those programs, let alone actually learning them all and keeping up with them.

Dave Chew
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2008, 09:57:16 PM »
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LR is a great one stop application that can help save a lot of time.

Unfortunately the more I play with C1 and Raw Developper the less I am convinced by the quality of the conversions done by LR in terms of detail and colors for my Nikon D3...

I haven't given LR 2.0 a look yet, but as of 1.4 I have basically stopped using it in favour of C1. I waste time in C1 and the interface is still clunky, but I just like better the tiff files it produces, and that's the only thing that really matters to me in the end.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
Sunesha
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2008, 05:28:55 AM »
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What I think differs with Lightroom. It is it excellent library function. I tried out bridge but I think Lightroom is a lot smoother experience.

The thing I havn´t found such good in another software is Lightrooms Library.

I love that I can use Metatags easy. I travel a lot. So I can easy sort my images from which country I shoot them. Down to which city and area I visited, down to location. For example if want to find my Florida Gatorland photos I can find them in less 10 seconds.

That makes me easy do prints or just show them other people.

In my workflow, I always start with lightroom. First I import my photos. I metatag country, city, area/state and location. Then I whitebalance and set my white and black points. The thing I like with Lightroom is that I can easy export my photo to other application that I need. I use some lens distorotion software, focus, superresolution software. Then photoshop for printing. But many times I just use lightroom for all above.

But be able to have all my photos searchable and findable with easy clicks was what made Lightroom my favourite application.

Before Lightroom I spent a lot off time naming folders. Many off my photos was forgotten somewhere in my harddisc. Nowdays I find myself going around and looking for old shoots.

I shoot around the same amount off photos like you around 200-300 a week. Sometimes more if I travel.

Just beeing able to sit on a hotelroom and sort my photos fast and easy. Before lightroom it was such hassle for me I often just dumped the photos in a folder and took care off it when I came home.
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Daniel Sunebring, Malmoe, Sweden
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Non-native english speaker and dyslexian, so excuse my mistake in grammar and spelling."
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2008, 01:52:47 PM »
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Lightroom's targeted adjustment tool is a real gem, and Michael and Jeff cover it in their Lightroom Tutorial video.  It allows me to adjust the tone curve, hue, saturation, etc. by simply hovering the cursor over part of an image, pressing the up & down arrow keys and watching the results on-screen.  I find this much easier than making the same adjustments in PS3.

For example, yesterday I was soft-proofing a portrait and the skin tones looked too red.  Hovering the Hue & Saturation targeted adjustment tool over the subjects' faces, I saw that it had selected the Orange color range.  I simply adjusted this up & down with the arrow keys to get the appearance I wanted.  It was not only simple, but educational; I'm not nearly as accomplished as many participants on this site, and in PS3 my first inclination would have been to adjust the Reds or Magentas.  Lightroom allows me to get the results I want in less time and with less frustration, and the color knowledge I gain by using it is a bonus.
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Aloha,
Scott
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2008, 04:55:03 PM »
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What I need is for some folks to say it does A, B, C and D that the other apps do not do, or it does them better or something(s) specific  that I ought to look at in the couple days I have left.  I like this program.  I need some very specific help to spend $300 on software instead of on glass.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196339\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There are only a couple of things it does that other apps do not do.  That's not the point of Lightroom.  Its about the workflow, ease of use and speed with which you can work.  It is tailored for photographers not graphic designers.  

The GUI designer for Lightroom should have a statue erected to honor his contribution to photographers.
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
Ron[/span][/span][/span][/span]
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2008, 06:05:36 PM »
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I've been using the Lightroom 2 beta for the last 25 days and have come to some conclusions and have some questions. 

As stated previously, I've only had a taste of programs other than DPP and ACR.  I like LR but I have to wonder what there is about that is worth an extra $150 over the likes of Bibble, DxO, Capture1, et. al.?  What am I missing?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Check this thread out. Ask someone for an "invitation" and you can use the Beta 2 until August.

[a href=\"http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/webforums/forum/messageview.cfm?forumid=72&catid=678&threadid=1358963&STARTPAGE=1&enterthread=y]http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/webforums/for...1&enterthread=y[/url]

p.s. since you are retired, visit the various Lightroom forums. Its really hard for others to tell you what you're missing!
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David
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2008, 09:39:12 AM »
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Lightroom's targeted adjustment tool is a real gem, and Michael and Jeff cover it in their Lightroom Tutorial video.  It allows me to adjust the tone curve, hue, saturation, etc. by simply hovering the cursor over part of an image, pressing the up & down arrow keys and watching the results on-screen.  I find this much easier than making the same adjustments in PS3.

For example, yesterday I was soft-proofing a portrait and the skin tones looked too red.  Hovering the Hue & Saturation targeted adjustment tool over the subjects' faces, I saw that it had selected the Orange color range.  I simply adjusted this up & down with the arrow keys to get the appearance I wanted.  It was not only simple, but educational; I'm not nearly as accomplished as many participants on this site, and in PS3 my first inclination would have been to adjust the Reds or Magentas.  Lightroom allows me to get the results I want in less time and with less frustration, and the color knowledge I gain by using it is a bonus.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196624\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

And this is why I want LR to have soft proofing: The TAT would be great for getting those tweaks in.

-Lars
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rdonson
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2008, 01:10:49 PM »
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And this is why I want LR to have soft proofing: The TAT would be great for getting those tweaks in.

-Lars
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What's exiting about LR and softproofing for me is the way the Develop module is setup with before and after views.  If LR impliments softproofing in that way along with TAT and presets it could really make softproofing so much easier that everyone would be doing it and LR would be a defacto standard for photogs that print.
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
Ron[/span][/span][/span][/span]
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2008, 06:17:24 PM »
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And this is why I want LR to have soft proofing: The TAT would be great for getting those tweaks in.

-Lars
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Yes, I should have clarified how I was using Lightroom to help me with soft proofing.  After creating some garish adjustments in Photoshop due to my lack of experience, I decided to use Lightroom's targeted adjustment tool get the tone curve and saturation close to what I wanted.  It was a slow process, going back & forth between Lightroom and Photoshop, but at least I was able to to do it.  I thought I might use Lightroom to copy these settings to the next photo I'd like to soft proof, to use as a starting point.  Although I hope to eventually learn to make these adjustments in Photoshop, I agree with you and rdonson that soft proofing entirely within Lightroom would be a dream.  The TAT's user interface is simply inspired.
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Aloha,
Scott
John Camp
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2008, 07:59:27 PM »
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I'm also an amateur, and for me it's the consistent one-application workflow that's the most important thing (I do some trips in and out of Photoshop, but not so often any more.) If you have to use three or four apps to replace Lightroom, not only do you have to learn those apps, you have to relearn them every time they upgrade; and you may have growing compatibility problems with them at some point -- really, how can you predict what's going to happen, given the history of photos aps in the lasst few years? Using one app from a major company seems to me the least risky thing you can do with your photos and with your time...

The mosty troubling criticisms come from people like Bernard who are not only experienced, but have a good eye and sometimes have problems with the RAW conversions. But having hung around here for a while, and having used different converters, my feeling is that these problems often come down to a matter of taste. I have no problem with LR conversions, but somebody else may have, and the problem may be legitimate...but it's a legitimate matter of taste, rather than strictly one of function.

JC
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Wally
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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2008, 09:15:22 PM »
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For me lightroom is a workflow tool that happens to also do RAW conversions, there in lies the beauty of it. I also shoot quite a bit of film and I can use the same workflow with my film scans, as the RAW files from my DSLR, and the JPEGs from my phone, and the jpegs from my little point and shoot. All happily sit side by side waiting to go.

I got Lightroom free because I had purchased RAWshooter which was acquired adobe and each registered user got a free upgrade. At first I really did not like it at all because much like you I already had a bunch of different programs that did the same things. I really did grow on me and now I can't imagine not using it.

A really overlooked feature of Lightroom is how well the tools work with B&W Film Scans, you just have to make sure they are in RGB not Grayscale to get them all to work.
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« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2008, 10:37:49 AM »
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Farkled, I feel your situation, having been there myself.  You did not mention if you are on the Mac or PC platform, so I assume its a PC.  May I offer a small suggestion?  Go to the nearest Mac company store and have them demonstrate iPhoto.  OR - go to the Apple website and look at the online demos of iPhoto there.  Same goes for Apple's Aperture program. Its direct competition to LightRoom but $100 less expensive.  

A lot of what you want to do is built into iPhoto.  But, if you have Canon Digital Photo Professional, a lot of the capabilities you want are there as well between the RAW converter and the browser-catalog program and the print manager program. Its just that they are not integrated to one another and are kind of funky alone and together.

I'm expecting a few "flamers" on this, but take a look at the Apple stuff and I think you will (1) like it and (2) be concerned about the cost of switching computer platforms.  It most likely only makes sense if you need to upgrade or replace the PC anyhow.

All the Best,

GoodListener
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sojournerphoto
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« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2008, 01:00:20 PM »
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I'm with Bernard here - I like the LR integration having the DAM in the same application as a raw converter and the other modules, but I get results that I prefer from some other raw converters (though ACR4... is actually a whole world better than 3.6). I converted my CR2s to DNG for a while as the ability to retain the adjustments within the file is really attractive, but I'm now just using a CR2 based workflow as I use other raw converters and then import tiffs into LR as a separate file. What would be good would be if I could send Cr2s from LR to other raw converters and get a tiff back.

I was talking to someone today who hates the 10000 pixel limit (gone in LR 2) and the fact that it won't recognise CMYK tiffs.

Among the raw converters I use as well as acr are DPP, DXo and silkypix. I'd like to try raw developer, but don't have a mac (though apparently you can get a dell laptop to run OS) and I've not seen a trial version of capture 1 yet.

Mike
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