Jump to content




The above adverts really do help Fotozones. Please click on them if they are relevant to you. Not seeing them? Just exclude Fotozones from your ad blocker. Thanks!


Photo
- - - - -

LR Frustrations


  • Please log in to reply
91 replies to this topic

#1 afx

afx

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 5,416 posts
  • LocationMunich, Germany
  • Edit my pics?:Yes

Posted 21 January 2013 - 18:46

Hi,
warning, long frustrated rant follows....

I have been using Bibble and then AfterShot since 2005 and have been one of the core beta testers. It was the oldest independent raw converter and the first to show a decent work-flow concept.
Previous incantations of Lightroom never held my interest as they did not deliver any significant advance in image quality and the UI was always unappealing.
But now Corel is successfully turning AfterShot into a Zombie (no camera updates since the fired the original developers last summer) and the image quality of LR 4 has made a huge leap to the front.
I sometimes prefer the Capture One colors, but functionality wise, LR has more to offer.
So I started to look at LR again.

After a few weeks with Lightroom, I wonder how one can design such a counter-productive UI.
Looking at LR from a work-flow perspective, it is full of inconsistencies and deficiencies.
If it where not for the quality of the raw conversion and tonal control (which finally with v4 got to a very good state), I really would not want to deal with this showpiece of UI torture.

Looking at a standard work-flow starting with downloading from the CF card, there is already the first issue. Why does LR impose a policy on naming the directories? Why can't I have a decent structure with job names in the directory names instead of just an anonymous date?
So I either need to use another application for downloading or go through manual renaming to get to my usual structure (which has been working fine for me for a decade now):
/YYYY/MM/YYYY-MM-DD-JobName/JobName-YYYY-MM-DD-###.ext

Looks like Adobe thinks everyone still sits at an old 4:3 screen instead of the currently commonplace wide formats. Or why I can't I have a vertical thumb strip instead of wasting precious vertical screen height?

Next is going through the images for first culling. While I do like the SHIFT-X functionality, the use of P and X - which are wide apart on the keyboard - for Pick and Reject makes it impossible to work efficiently with the keyboard. Pick and reject keys should be next to each other so that one does not need to move the hand.

Speaking of hotkeys, they are generally quite inconsistent, and references to them in menus are sometimes shown and sometimes not. If there is a hotkey for a menu item it should always be shown in the menu. No matter whether that function is reached by a context popup in any of the modules or via the top menu bar. (for example the rotate function CTRL-[ and CTRL-], which do not even work on my German keyboard...)

And why do we have to endure a fixed keyboard layout instead of user definable hotkeys to fit the users needs? Especially as this is linked to a US keyboard layout which only a subset of users have anyway.
The keys do not follow any discernible logical scheme, so they have to be memorized explicitly.
Give the user a choice to set them up according the user's needs...

So Adobe thinks it is good to force everyone to use a library. Wouldn't be so bad if the library where functional complete.
But selections seem to miss simple things like NOT (ever tried to select a monstrous list and then exclude one entry, not really efficient).
How can I find all shots of Lions that where made neither in Tanzania nor Namibia?
Or things like scripting to automate tasks and a private metadata name space for metadata that is for internal use in contrast to the exported meta information (See iMatch hierarchical categories for example).


And why do we have the module switching on an extra wasteful bar at the top instead of in the top menu bar. Even folded away, it takes up valuable pixels of screen estate for no real gain.

The copy previous is quite useful as well as the sync functions, but why is there no simple copy&paste of image settings, only selective copy?
Yet another additional mouse movement and click or a move to the enter key.

And why do I have to press the shift key to paste image settings?


When adjusting sliders, why do I have to click on a slider to enable the mouse wheel? Just hovering should be enough. Yet another useless interaction requirement that slows the user down (if you do not hit the slider control precisely but somewhere on the slider, the setting jumps there, so the mouse needs to be positioned quite precisely, before the mouse wheel can be used)

And where are the thresholds for the auto functions defined?
Most of the time this function gives me extremes on the bright or contrasty side.
And if one follows the recommendation to work the sliders from top to bottom any clarity adjustment after auto will usually result in clipped blacks (D700 NEFs)


This whole artificial separation of Library and Develop module seems to serve only one purpose, to annoy the user.
Thumbs have different information and buttons depending on the mode instead of
being consistently configurable according to the users needs.
Of course, the actions that work on thumbs are also not consistent. Why?!
The left-hand panel should be consistent across all modules and the metadata management is just additional tools for the right hand panel.
Then the whole confusion would be gone.

When looking at things like the compare view it becomes even more ridiculous. Why can I look at two images in comparison, but there is now way to edit one of them? (unless I have a second monitor which hopefully close enough in color to the prime screen to make comparisons meaningful)

Why is the image name only shown when the thumb strip is active?
How about using the window title bar? It already displays the module name, why not the image name?

After having read Jeff Schewe's book (highly recommended!!) it looks like I have to blame him for the crop panning madness ;-)
Why break existing UI paradigms for a crop tool? For people who routinely use a wide range of applications, this is an extreme slowdown as one constantly has to mentally switch the tool behavior.

And why is there no hotkey to directly activate the straightening tool?
Why no auto correct after a straighten adjustment? The auto adjustment of the crop works at the first use of the straighten tool, why not when one adjusts it?

ALT-Space N is disabled, so what is the alternative under Windows to iconify the app quickly?

Why can't regional adjustments be toggled on or off?
And why do I still need to branch out to an external editor when I want to clone out parts. Currently the clone facility is not even sufficient to effectively correct some of the more extreme sensor dust-bunnies that refuse to be contained in small spots let alone serious cloning out of distractions.

While some of the dual-screen functions are useful, being able to move all panels over as needed would help quite a bit to make it more efficient.
The setup of Capture One work-spaces is a much better example on structuring UI parts for multiple screens.


And when I finally want to generate output, why do I have to go through a hierarchy of menus instead of just hitting a hotkey for my desired output target?
And why do I have to buy a plug-in to generate output on a mirror path?
How hard is it to have some path name variables for the output definition?

Or when I prepare for print, why can't I soft-proof to CMYK? Which also brings up the question about the Blurb book module. Why is this castrated to sRGB? After all, Blurb does support proper PDFs with CMYK images.

Or the DPI settings for the printers, those are easily calculated values for the printers, that have been discussed on LuLa often enough, why not default to the appropriate values, after all, LR thinks it already knows how to sharpen appropriately with the available settings?

cheers
afx
"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious" - Oscar Wilde
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
My latest book: The AfterShot Survival Guide  
sRGB clipping sucks and Adobe RGB is just as bad  Still no clue how to take decent pictures though, see afximages.com ;-(

#2 HansC

HansC

    Advanced Member

  • POTW Committee
  • 1,383 posts
  • LocationThe Netherlands
  • Edit my pics?:Ask Me

Posted 21 January 2013 - 20:13

Andreas,

I haven't even tried LR myself, but reading around the internet makes me not want to try. I, too, am a refugee from the Bibble camp. I have switched to Capture One and they have brought options for a lot of things that seem to annoy you in LR. Like Bibble though, quite a learning curve. The videos on P1 website help. Not that they explain it all, but they give a good taste of the options (you'd have to watch most of them though).

Quality wise, C1 is at least on par with Bibble and now with version 7, on par with LR. There may be people doubting that, but it's never really comparable. The batch processing is also rather fast, much like i remember Bibble in the B5 incarnation.

Keep up the search, unfortunately it's something all Bibblistas have to go through in the coming time.

By the way, i am curious what the Photo Ninja people can bring to the table in the near future. I've read somewhere they're working on batch processing as well.
HansC, doin' life

#3 Alaun

Alaun

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 273 posts
  • LocationBonn

Posted 21 January 2013 - 21:06

There was a AS update to 1.1.0.30 in December, but not provided on the German Corel site (links did not seem to work properly, got it from the US site)

#4 peroo

peroo

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 165 posts
  • LocationStavanger, Norway

Posted 21 January 2013 - 21:11

Hello AFX,

I think you should read the manual or find some online training.
A lot of the "missing" features you describe are features that allready exist.

As a start.
You can create import preset that prompts you for job name and use this name for the catalog
Press the i key to see image name on screen
You can create export presets both for file and print outputs.

peroo

#5 afx

afx

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 5,416 posts
  • LocationMunich, Germany
  • Edit my pics?:Yes

Posted 21 January 2013 - 22:44

I have switched to Capture One and they have brought options for a lot of things that seem to annoy you in LR.

Partly. I am still playing with C1, after all, it has more pleasing default colors.
But thanks to C1 insisting on putting sidecars into a subfolder, integration with DAMs is nearly impossible.

Their I/O naming is also quite silly, different warts than LR, but still silly.

Quality wise, C1 is at least on par with Bibble and now with version 7, on par with LR.

Unfortunately not. LR currently is the king in tonal control.
LR can recover more and does not have an artificial counter contrast that then flips skin tones a bit too much when HR is used fully.
And LRs regional editing is already quite handicapped, C1 even more so ;-(

There may be people doubting that, but it's never really comparable. The batch processing is also rather fast, much like i remember Bibble in the B5 incarnation.

C1 is still the slowest of the three, but that is mostly irrelevant. Speed when working with the images is more important.

By the way, i am curious what the Photo Ninja people can bring to the table in the near future. I've read somewhere they're working on batch processing as well.

Yup. but as the core is quite slow, the working speed is currently not really exiting. Me thinks they are the only ones who have a chance to produce better details than LR.


There was a AS update to 1.1.0.30 in December, but not provided on the German Corel site (links did not seem to work properly, got it from the US site)

That was the relabeled beta version from October which did not include anything from Corel but a bit of tuning of OpenCL.
The sharpening fix as well as the camera support was already provided by the old team in Summer.


cheers
afx
"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious" - Oscar Wilde
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
My latest book: The AfterShot Survival Guide  
sRGB clipping sucks and Adobe RGB is just as bad  Still no clue how to take decent pictures though, see afximages.com ;-(

#6 afx

afx

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 5,416 posts
  • LocationMunich, Germany
  • Edit my pics?:Yes

Posted 21 January 2013 - 22:51

I think you should read the manual or find some online training.

Yes, I've watched a few. Not really brilliant (the payed stuff in German I looked at shows just basics, the Adobe TV is miles better, so why are people shelling out money for stupid videos...)
Reading Schewe was useful though. Definitely recommended.

A lot of the "missing" features you describe are features that allready exist.

Nope, of course I have done due diligence and checked it all out first.

As a start.
You can create import preset that prompts you for job name and use this name for the catalog

So how can I get my complete directory structure with only entering a job name?
LR has no provisions for that and if you google that problem you will see I am not the only one running into this.

Press the i key to see image name on screen

Not interested in disturbing overlays or pressing extra keys.

You can create export presets both for file and print outputs.

Sure. I already have done so.
But you can not use path name variables in the output, so telling LR that I want images from drive D on a subdirectory of drive R in the same structure is not possible without a plugin.

cheers
afx
"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious" - Oscar Wilde
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
My latest book: The AfterShot Survival Guide  
sRGB clipping sucks and Adobe RGB is just as bad  Still no clue how to take decent pictures though, see afximages.com ;-(

#7 Anthony

Anthony

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 2,628 posts
  • LocationLondon UK

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:46

I have given up on LR both for importing and for editing, and just use it as a catalogue now.

Photo Mechanic is far better for the former - here is Adobe guru Scott Kelby's views on its superiority over LR:

http://scottkelby.co...orkflow-so-far/

For editing I find Photo Ninja gives far better detail and colour than LR, and better shadow recovery too. It takes a bit of getting used to, is slow (taking back time saved by PhotoMechanic) and does not do batch processing. But the results are gorgeous, far better than I can get with LR. It really makes the most of the D800. I am gradually reconverting old raws and enjoying the results.

#8 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,649 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 22 January 2013 - 13:18

In addition, Photo Ninja has a voracious appetite for RAM and scratch disk capacity. It should never be run on anything than a 64 bit system with at least 16 GB RAM and sufficient scratch size. Open a couple of images and PN has happily consumed 10 GB RAM and the equal amount of scratch disk. Still, with everything in memory, its operates extremely slow, even slower than the glacially paced Capture NX2. And that is indeed a feat to achieve !

Image output quality is, however, very good to excellent and the integrated Noise Ninja engine is better than anything else I've tried. So I got a PN license and try not to get too frustrated over its quirks and slowness. Since it had no idea of a useful GUI nor of a workflow/batch processing concept, I only use it for my UV files which it handles very well.
Bjørn

#9 HansC

HansC

    Advanced Member

  • POTW Committee
  • 1,383 posts
  • LocationThe Netherlands
  • Edit my pics?:Ask Me

Posted 22 January 2013 - 21:20

Well, it must be that my system doesn't have the performance "challenges" others may have. Not trying to brag, but processing RAW files is serious work (i know, i don't have to tell you), but many forget that you need to size your system accordingly.

I recognize that photo ninja isn't the fastest on the block, but on my system it's nothing to get upset about.

Of course, my needs are different than some other's needs in regard to processing large amounts of files, highlight recovery and such, but in capture one (V7) it hasn't been a problem for me.
HansC, doin' life

#10 Anthony

Anthony

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 2,628 posts
  • LocationLondon UK

Posted 22 January 2013 - 21:53

I run Photo Ninja on a 5 year old MacPro with 10 gig of RAM. To open a D800 image with a lot of detail in it, correct colour, tone, shadow/highlight, crop a bit, sharpen a bit and save as jpeg takes around 90 seconds. The slowest part is the opening, because PN carries out a lot of adjustments which actually get me 90% of the way most of the time. I would like it to be quicker, but the result is worth the wait.

I do recommend a trial run and taking the time to learn to use it.

#11 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,649 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 22 January 2013 - 22:11

In terms of speed, I've seen nothing to beat ASP on a fast multi-core machine running under Linux. It'll convert a D800 NEF to a 200 MB TIF in < 1 secs.
Bjørn

#12 schwett

schwett

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 1,224 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco
  • Edit my pics?:Ask Me

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:12

In terms of speed, I've seen nothing to beat ASP on a fast multi-core machine running under Linux. It'll convert a D800 NEF to a 200 MB TIF in < 1 secs.


that is very impressive. it takes adobe approx 3 seconds to do the same on my relatively mid-level machine (6 3.2ghz i7 cores, 16gb ram, boot/swap ssd, 6tb raid 0 array)
http://photo.sfmthd.org/ [under construction]

#13 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,649 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:19

I'd say anything <= 5 sec per D800 file is more than good enough. The main point is that the software has batch processing enabled. When batch runs in the background and is multi-threaded, you should ideally not be much bothered by its presence anyway. In practice, most systems have bottlenecks when you push them too hard. Still, if time for batch processing a decent number of D800 files, say 1-200, differs not more than the equivalent of consuming a cup of coffee, there isn't much to complain about ....

On a tangential note, 6 TB RAID-0 seriously? I hope you have a backup system as RAID-0 is like walking on thin ice and knowing you do.
Bjørn

#14 schwett

schwett

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 1,224 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco
  • Edit my pics?:Ask Me

Posted 23 January 2013 - 19:40

I'd say anything <= 5 sec per D800 file is more than good enough. The main point is that the software has batch processing enabled. When batch runs in the background and is multi-threaded, you should ideally not be much bothered by its presence anyway. In practice, most systems have bottlenecks when you push them too hard. Still, if time for batch processing a decent number of D800 files, say 1-200, differs not more than the equivalent of consuming a cup of coffee, there isn't much to complain about ....

On a tangential note, 6 TB RAID-0 seriously? I hope you have a backup system as RAID-0 is like walking on thin ice and knowing you do.


i agree that a few seconds is quite reasonable and no impediment to workflow. i don't batch process much, but doing so is quick and easy.

i back up all my important data to a pair of identical external usb3 drives, of which one is always off site (at the office) and never more than a few days out of date, which is sufficient for my purposes. my photos and personal documents are only around 2tb at the moment, but when it gets past the capacity of a single external drive (4tb) i'll replace the drives. no time or energy to deal with tapes.
http://photo.sfmthd.org/ [under construction]

#15 HansC

HansC

    Advanced Member

  • POTW Committee
  • 1,383 posts
  • LocationThe Netherlands
  • Edit my pics?:Ask Me

Posted 23 January 2013 - 21:48

In terms of speed, I've seen nothing to beat ASP on a fast multi-core machine running under Linux. It'll convert a D800 NEF to a 200 MB TIF in < 1 secs.


I agree Bjørn, i didn't change OS for nothing. Bibble is gone as we knew it. I also agree with your other remark that once a proper batch mechanism is implemented, the user shouldn't be bothered too much with the actual processing.

Edited by HansC, 23 January 2013 - 21:48 .

HansC, doin' life

#16 Ann

Ann

    Professional Photographer

  • Life Member
  • 10,160 posts
  • LocationNew York State
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:12

I disagree very strongly with the premise: "once a proper batch mechanism is implemented, the user shouldn't be bothered too much with the actual processing".

Every correction which you can possibly do while working with the full data from your RAW file should be done at that stage and not after conversion.

I do use Batch settings but I then adjust those settings independently as warranted for each file in the Batch before opening those converted files in other applications.

I also make extensive use of ACR's ability to open the data in my conversions in Photoshop as Smart Objects for further non-destructive editing.



#17 Colin-M

Colin-M

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 1,704 posts
  • LocationBristol, UK
  • Edit my pics?:Ask Me

Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:01

I have given up on LR both for importing and for editing, and just use it as a catalogue now..

Yes Anthony, despite my efforts to settle on a single tool, I too seem to have ended up just using LR to maintain my catalogue, after doing PP with other tools.

To pick up the starting point of AFX in this thread, obviously LR *can* be successfully used for PP because so many people do. However for me some aspects weren't as intuitive as I expected and I lost patience when I could do the job as easily with other tools. That may reflect a problem with me rather than LR however!
Colin
--------------------------------
http://www.pbase.com/celidh

#18 afx

afx

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 5,416 posts
  • LocationMunich, Germany
  • Edit my pics?:Yes

Posted 24 January 2013 - 14:54

.. obviously LR *can* be successfully used for PP because so many people do. However for me some aspects weren't as intuitive as I expected and I lost patience when I could do the job as easily with other tools. That may reflect a problem with me rather than LR however!

Every tool has its own way of doing things. In many cases a bit of adjustment is needed and then it works out fine.
For me the image manipulation controls of LR4 are quite different from what I am used to, but here I have the least problems adjusting.
It is the rest of the handling that drives me nuts.

cheers
afx
"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious" - Oscar Wilde
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
My latest book: The AfterShot Survival Guide  
sRGB clipping sucks and Adobe RGB is just as bad  Still no clue how to take decent pictures though, see afximages.com ;-(

#19 HansC

HansC

    Advanced Member

  • POTW Committee
  • 1,383 posts
  • LocationThe Netherlands
  • Edit my pics?:Ask Me

Posted 24 January 2013 - 19:52

I disagree very strongly with the premise: "once a proper batch mechanism is implemented, the user shouldn't be bothered too much with the actual processing".

Every correction which you can possibly do while working with the full data from your RAW file should be done at that stage and not after conversion.

I do use Batch settings but I then adjust those settings independently as warranted for each file in the Batch before opening those converted files in other applications.

I also make extensive use of ACR's ability to open the data in my conversions in Photoshop as Smart Objects for further non-destructive editing.


I think we agree, Ann. But, it may be that you give a different meaning to batch processing than i do. I mean processing, nay, rendering, the previously added manipulations to the RAW file to obtain one or more chosen output formats. I agree that you should be working with the actual RAW file as long as possible.
HansC, doin' life

#20 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,649 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 24 January 2013 - 20:03

Batch processing does NOT imply every image file is treated alike. On the contrary, individual images can have any special treatment necessary. The term does however imply you put the stuff away and don't bother about it while it is being processed in the background separately, might even be on another machine. Since processing a large number of files can take time even on today's speedy computers, you don't want your machine tied up for a long time. That is where batch processing comes in handy.
Bjørn




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users





The above adverts really do help Fotozones. Please click on them if they are relevant to you. Not seeing them? Just exclude Fotozones from your ad blocker. Thanks!


An appeal to all Fotozones visitors: please help me to keep this site going by starting your gear purchases using any one of the affiliate links shown below:

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Adorama.com | thinkTank Photo | DigitalRev.com | OWC | B&H or Donate via PayPal

Starting your shopping here doesn't cost you anything more, but by using the links above (or any others found on the site) you are advising the affiliate that you support this website. This results in a small commission that helps with the running costs. If your preferred outlet isn't among those listed above you can also support the site by making a donation of any amount via PayPal (no PayPal account required). Any donation will be most appreciated.