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Author Topic: LR4 and DNG  (Read 4029 times)
wolfnowl
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« on: February 26, 2012, 12:32:53 AM »
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I've been having a 'discussion' with someone about LR4, specifically DNG; thought I'd ask the experts.  His argument is that "while Lightroom can specify older DNG compatibility, it automatically defaults to the newer DNG which cannot be opened via legacy apps." I've not heard anything to that effect, especially since legacy compatibility is one of the ideas of having an open-source RAW format.  Would appreciate your input.

Thx,
Mike.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2012, 02:36:31 AM »
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I'm not sure what he means, and a lot depends on how you define legacy compatibility and legacy, Mike, but the devil is always in the detail.

- In Lr4 I have just saved D700 and D3s NEFs with adjustments (b&w) as DNGs, specified ACR 6.6 compatibility and included the Fast Load data.
- Opened them in Lightroom 2.7 and still b&w, though I dare say other adjustments won't be as easily readable in earlier LR versions
- Opened in Capture One Pro 6.32 and readable

So I would dispute the "cannot be opened via legacy apps". We then get into tedious arguments about whether C1Pro 6.32 is a legacy app, which I'd argue it is since it was released before the possibility of DNGs with 6.6 compatibility. I'm pretty sure the D3s is newer than Lr2.7, so we would probably end up defining a legacy app as one which cannot open these newer DNGs and I'm sure we could find some.

John
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Gerry Walden
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2012, 11:25:36 AM »
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I find Johns answer above somewhat confusing as I have converted a number of images to the latest version of .dng in LR4 Beta, and find that they cannot be read by Capture One Pro 6.3.3 nor can they be read by Aperture. I don't know what you are doing John, but I wish you would tell me.

Best

Gerry
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Gerry Walden
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2012, 11:35:22 AM »
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Gerry, what were your original images? I've just checked on my Mac as well, and a DNG saved from a D700 with ACR6.6 was read in Aperture 3. And what options have you set for your DNGs - fast load, lossy, ACR version?

John
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2012, 11:40:21 AM »
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As a note, Aperture refuses to render lossy DNGs - but I don't think that variation on DNG is what we're talking about.

John
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Schewe
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2012, 01:29:02 PM »
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His argument is that "while Lightroom can specify older DNG compatibility, it automatically defaults to the newer DNG which cannot be opened via legacy apps."

Defaults are defaults that can be changed...that's why they put backwards compatibility options in the DNG conversions. You could save out a DNG in LR4 (with the correct compatibility) and open that DNG in Camera Raw 2.4 in Photoshop CS.

Where 3rd party apps will barf on v1.4 spec DNGs is adding additional complications such as lossy compression and fast load data.

Not sure what he's arguing for or against...DNG has gotten pretty deep and each version of the spec advances the capabilities of DNG. 3rd party apps need to keep updating their DNG support to remain compatible, but that's nothing new.
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Gerry Walden
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2012, 02:14:45 PM »
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I have saved my .dng files as 'Rapid Load' and I have a feeling that may be causing the problem. It is mid-evening here in the UK so I may try saving the file again as a 'straight' .dng file in the morning and see if that works.

Gerry
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madmanchan
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2012, 02:40:44 PM »
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If you're embedding the "Fast Load Data" then some non-Adobe DNG readers may be getting confused and thinking the embedded preview image is the main image.  (This shouldn't happen, as the preview image is clearly tagged as a preview IFD, but mistakes happen.)
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Gerry Walden
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2012, 05:49:48 AM »
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I tried doing a .dng conversion without the fast load setting enabled, but I still cannot read the file in Capture One Pro 6.3.3. This doesn't worry me unduly at the moment, and I may just wait for version 6.3.4 or whatever comes along. Maybe when LR4 goes 'legit' it will be corrected.

Gerry
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Gerry Walden
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sniper
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2012, 08:26:08 AM »
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Isn't the whole point of DNG thats it a universal format?  Now with what seems to be several different variations and compression it doesn't seem very universal if only the new versions of software will open the "new" DNG  (and even that seems dodgy from what I'm reading here) Heaven help in 30 years time by which we'll be on DNG version 25 or whatever.

 Adobe pushed DNG using the  "a publicly available archival format" for that to work it needs to be consistant and open in as many different softwares as possible, we also need to be able to open the old and new dng in the same software.
Just my 2c worth.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2012, 08:59:37 AM »
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I would broadly agree with you, and making DNG mean more than one thing is a risk, but I'd argue that the current state of play is more of a timing difference. Adobe have only just unveiled these uses of the format and you'd expect that support will broaden. 
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Schewe
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2012, 11:29:44 AM »
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Isn't the whole point of DNG thats it a universal format?

I don't think Adobe has ever called DNG "universal"...it's publicly documented and royalty free to use. Some camera companies have adopted it. Some software companies have adopted it. However, in either case, it's up to the 3rd parties to update their support when the file format gets updated and Capture One has failed to do that. As far as I know, C1 is still using the DNG 1.2 which is out of date. Whose fault is that? Adobe for moving the format forward and adding functionality or Capture One for failing to update their support for DNG?

In the case of DNG for Capture One, you'll need to select an earlier Compatibility such as Camera Raw 5.4 or earlier....and don't select the option for fast load.
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Gerry Walden
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2012, 03:26:57 AM »
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I think in fairness we must accept that the 'new' version of .dng is still only available in the Beta version, and is out there for other software developers to access to bring their software into line (if indeed they want to).

Gerry
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Gerry Walden
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madmanchan
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2012, 06:54:36 PM »
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DNG is basically a file format with multiple options, and not all readers support all the options.  We (Adobe) plan to produce an updated DNG specification (documentation) and SDK for developers, before long.

Same can be said (and is true for) for TIFF, JPEG, etc.  For example, not all TIFF readers accept LZW-compressed or ZIP-compressed TIFF images, even though it is part of the spec.
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tingyat
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2012, 11:20:44 PM »
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This may seem as something of a "Johnny come lately" response to all of the above.

While reviewing of my digital workflow I've just recently come back to take a "new" look at DNG. And, to be frank, I still can't be bothered - DNG and the rendering thereof - by whatever means or process - is nowhere near ready for the big time.

In response to some of the comments above. I've just used Adobe's DNG Converter 6.7 RC1 to create a set of DNG files. These DNGs work as expected in Bridge and CS5.

While C1 6.3.4 opens up the DNGs, it seems like the only tools I can use in C1 are those that are part of the Exposure set. Nothing in the Lens set seems to work - there, under 'Lens" you get "Unsupported file". In the "Color" set, nothing seems to work there either. As an observation, in trying to converter the image to black and white, only that image's thumbnail changes, not the main image. So, bye-bye to DNG.

As Jeff Schewe has pointed out in this discussion, Phase One may be a little slow in coming to the party. This may be the case. At the end of the day, its up to me to make a choice - Capture One or LR. I've given up on LR - as of version 3.6. My principle reason (and a very subjective one at that) is that LR is incapable of rendering my images to my satisfaction.

How so? Back in the days of film I stopped using Kodak in favour of Fuji. This was based in a series of images that I shot on 120 film. In all the images and on a hill some kilometres way, there were some pylons and power lines going over that hill. While I could see the power lines on the Fuji film, they were not there in Kodak images. More recently and on architectural shoot, I "captured" this high-rise building. At the main entrance there was a small notice - say 30x30 centimetres (a foot square for those not in the know). I was taking the shot from about 200 meters away from that entrance. I first rendered the image in LR3 at the time. For the life of me, I couldn't get this particular detail sharp and this really bothered me - as in, "is it me or the camera or the lens (a TS 24mm) or camera shake"?

Eventually I ran the RAW files through CPP (Canon PP). There I got this detail as sharp as I had seen and envisaged it. Sometime after this event, I went over to Capture One and more or less got the same rendering as I had got on CPP with obviously more controls at hand - this on C1. As a result, I have never bothered further with LR. To me, LR seems to add on "stuff" (for lack of a better term) that seems to "mush" up my images.

For the life of me, I have tried fathoming a digital workflow that will flow. At the moment I see DNG as being nothing more than another time wasting "obstacle" that's getting between me, my camera and taking the next picture. Currently I go from CR2 to TIFF. The originals are archived, the duplicates are renamed and rated. The selects are then converted to 16-bit TIFFs and I work on these at my leisure. These then are my masterfiles and from here, create JPEGS or whatever is required for uses further down the line.

While the concepts of DNG are laudable - as in keeping all the meta and other data together with the RAW file, the present implementations seem to be nothing more than beta fodderware are best. The day that DNG proves to be a suitable alternative to TIFF and just as stable and resilient, is the day when I may come back to review this format - and I can't see this happening any time soon though.

Hmm, my life for a image on film - at least it is tangible and real. Thanks for indulging me...
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Schewe
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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2012, 11:43:34 PM »
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As Jeff Schewe has pointed out in this discussion, Phase One may be a little slow in coming to the party. This may be the case. At the end of the day, its up to me to make a choice - Capture One or LR. I've given up on LR - as of version 3.6. My principle reason (and a very subjective one at that) is that LR is incapable of rendering my images to my satisfaction.

Look, I've tried to be as politic as I can...but Capture one is stuck on using DNG spec 1.2. Currently LR 4 is using DNG spec 1.4 (which to be honest hasn't been published yet–will be in the not too distant future). So, the question of using DNGs in a C1 workflow is a question to direct to Phase One. It ain't a DNG problem, it's a problem of fully supporting DNG (or not).

As far as getting what you think is the best out of your images, that's another question entirely...being pretty good in both programs, I can tell you C1 does a better job at "default than LR or ACR in terms of color (really, it's only color at this point given LR4). LR4/ACR 7 will beat C1 in terms of tone mapping, noise reduction and sharpening. I think even C1 guys would admit that.

Can you get excellent color and tone out of LR/ACR? Yes...if you know how. Can you get the most image quality out of C1 in terms of sharpening and noise reduction? Well, compared to LR4/ACR7, I would say no. Does that matter for your workflow? That all depends...if you are shooting huge MP captures and end up downsampling for the client, prolly not.

But, you really need to separate the DNG/Not DNG from the evaluation...DNG is merely a file format. Has zero to do with image processing.

BTW, you may as well dump your film analogy experience...doesn't apply here. Fuji vs Kodak? Is Kodak even still in the biz? Oh, wait, they just quit making chrome film...sorry, doesn't apply here.

:~)
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sniper
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« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2012, 03:09:36 AM »
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.but Capture one is stuck on using DNG spec 1.2. Currently LR 4 is using DNG spec 1.4 (which to be honest hasn't been published yet


So how exactly are capture one going to keep up if the spec isn't published yet?
Herein lies the problem.  For dng to work it needs to be adopted as widely as possible by other companies, if it keeps changing (meaning cost and time to the various companies) others will either be  "behind" or they'll simply not bother adopting it at all if theres little advantage v cost benifit.
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sandymc
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« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2012, 06:55:47 AM »
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It's really not a matter of versions of DNG. Fact is, C1 doesn't really implement V1.2 of the DNG spec completely, or any other version. Neither does Aperture, or any of the other raw processing apps, other than Adobe's. What all of C1, Aperture, etc do is to support specific cameras - E.g., Leica's M9, etc. In fact, to my knowledge, no-one other than Adobe have ever claimed to support any version of the full DNG spec. Of course, maybe I missed one..... Smiley

Sandy


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Schewe
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« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2012, 12:09:22 PM »
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So how exactly are capture one going to keep up if the spec isn't published yet?

The DNG 1.3 spec has been out for a while...and would offer the opportunity to do some things like LCCs for DNGs made from C1. But Sandy is correct, they don't completely support the 1.2 spec. And shortly we'll have the 1.4 spec so they'll be even further behind.
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