Author Topic: Using PM in conjunction with Lightroom  (Read 5924 times)

Offline bazography

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Using PM in conjunction with Lightroom
« on: August 27, 2014, 05:20:46 PM »
With the demise of Nikon Capture NX-2 I've been checking out various alternatives and have some general questions for Nikon raw shooters using PM and Lightroom together.

I currently use PM for everything except editing; ingesting, adding IPTC info, browsing/selecting/tagging, running slideshows, resizing and converting to jpeg, and even exporting custom web pages. So I was using PM at the beginning and the end of the workflow, with NX-2 handling the editing in the middle. I would hate to change the way I use PM, but NX-2 seems to be unique in allowing edited NEFs to play nice with PM.

One possibility is converting my NEFs to DNG and using PM and Camera Raw (I already own it). Camera Raw updates previews within DNGs and therefore it plays nice with PM. Haven't used Camera Raw much but I haven't seen any way of doing batch edits, which could be a problem. Another downside is that some metadata from DNGs can't currently be read by PM, but hopefully that can be solved (as per another thread, the good folks at PM are looking into fixing this).

Another alternative is to use PM and Lightroom together, but I don't own Lightroom so I'm not sure how it handles files/previews/metadata etc. When editing NEFs, does Lightroom store edit info in a database, or in sidecar files, or in the image file itself? Is there a preview that PM can see after editing? I'm trying to determine if I can continue using PM after I'm finished editing my NEFs in Lightroom, or is it a case where once I'm in the Lightroom environment I'm basically stuck there? Does it make a difference if I was to convert to DNG prior to going into Lightroom?

Suggestions welcome!

Offline Hayo Baan

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Re: Using PM in conjunction with Lightroom
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2014, 01:21:07 AM »
Like many others I faced the same decision. Owning and knowing both Lightroom and Photoshop quite well, the switch was easy and I now use Camera Raw for all my edits. Lightroom works fine too, but I simply like the interface of ACR better (even though it looks outdated!). Besides it integrates better with Photoshop as it allows you to open your raw files as smart object, something which Lightroom doesn't let you do.

A while back I write a blog on exactly this issue. It contains some more info, but feel free to ask more questions here :)
Hayo Baan - Photography
Web: www.hayobaan.nl

Offline bstevent

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Re: Using PM in conjunction with Lightroom
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2014, 01:34:56 PM »
You might want to look at Jason Odell's offerings on moving from NX2 to Lightroom and on using PM and Lightroom together.
Bob

Offline bazography

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Re: Using PM in conjunction with Lightroom
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2014, 04:15:55 PM »
Like many others I faced the same decision. Owning and knowing both Lightroom and Photoshop quite well, the switch was easy and I now use Camera Raw for all my edits. Lightroom works fine too, but I simply like the interface of ACR better (even though it looks outdated!). Besides it integrates better with Photoshop as it allows you to open your raw files as smart object, something which Lightroom doesn't let you do.

A while back I write a blog on exactly this issue. It contains some more info, but feel free to ask more questions here :)

Thanks Hayo. I saw your previous write-up on the subject in these forums, which is what originally got me looking into the DNG workflow idea. Because a DNG holds the image, preview and metadata within a single file (the same way NX-2 handles NEFs) the workflow would stay basically the same. I could keep using PM for all the things I used to, so that's a big plus.

I would like to make sure I've looked at all the possibilities though. My goal is to continue using PM both before and after I edit my images, and with that in mind I'd like to determine if there is any advantage to using Lightroom over Camera Raw. So I have a few questions about the inner workings of Lightroom, specifically:

1. If I bring NEFs into Lightroom for editing, from what I understand Lightroom stores edit info, updated previews and metadata in a database (or in sidecar files?) and not in the NEF itself. I assume that means PM won't be able to see edited NEFs, meaning PM would not be much use after images are edited. Is this correct?

2. What happens if I convert my NEFs to DNG first, then import into Lightroom? Does Lightroom treat DNGs the same way Camera Raw does, where the edit info, updated previews and metadata are contained within the DNG?

3. You mentioned in the other post that you sometimes use Lightroom instead of Camera Raw for batch edits. Is that because certain things CAN'T be done in Camera Raw, or is it just a bit easier/faster in Lightroom? I ask because I already have Photoshop/Camera Raw but not Lightroom, so unless there is a real need/advantage, I wouldn't bother buying it.

Thanks for the help!

Offline bazography

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Re: Using PM in conjunction with Lightroom
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2014, 04:22:13 PM »
You might want to look at Jason Odell's offerings on moving from NX2 to Lightroom and on using PM and Lightroom together.
Bob

I watched his half-hour video on the demise of NX-2, which was quire interesting. I haven't seen anything specifically on using PM with LR, but I'll have a look for it. Thanks for the tip.

Offline bstevent

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Re: Using PM in conjunction with Lightroom
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2014, 05:08:12 PM »
There is an eBook for sale at this link:
http://www.luminescentphoto.com/blog/lightroom-guide/

Workshop on PM and Lightroom:
http://www.luminescentphoto.com/blog/photomechanic-lr/

I'm not connected with Jason Odell but have found his publications helpful. In fact, his guide got me into NX many bears ago so now I'm hoping his news guides will help me get back out!

Bob

Offline Hayo Baan

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Re: Using PM in conjunction with Lightroom
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2014, 12:22:26 PM »
Like many others I faced the same decision. Owning and knowing both Lightroom and Photoshop quite well, the switch was easy and I now use Camera Raw for all my edits. Lightroom works fine too, but I simply like the interface of ACR better (even though it looks outdated!). Besides it integrates better with Photoshop as it allows you to open your raw files as smart object, something which Lightroom doesn't let you do.

A while back I write a blog on exactly this issue. It contains some more info, but feel free to ask more questions here :)

Thanks Hayo. I saw your previous write-up on the subject in these forums, which is what originally got me looking into the DNG workflow idea. Because a DNG holds the image, preview and metadata within a single file (the same way NX-2 handles NEFs) the workflow would stay basically the same. I could keep using PM for all the things I used to, so that's a big plus.

I would like to make sure I've looked at all the possibilities though. My goal is to continue using PM both before and after I edit my images, and with that in mind I'd like to determine if there is any advantage to using Lightroom over Camera Raw. So I have a few questions about the inner workings of Lightroom, specifically:

1. If I bring NEFs into Lightroom for editing, from what I understand Lightroom stores edit info, updated previews and metadata in a database (or in sidecar files?) and not in the NEF itself. I assume that means PM won't be able to see edited NEFs, meaning PM would not be much use after images are edited. Is this correct?
Yes, that's basically why I switched to using DNG; these files embed the metadata and a preview which reflects the edits so you can use PM as before (note, as mentioned in my blog: in LR you need to manually update the preview).

2. What happens if I convert my NEFs to DNG first, then import into Lightroom? Does Lightroom treat DNGs the same way Camera Raw does, where the edit info, updated previews and metadata are contained within the DNG?
Basically yes, though you need to tell LR to update the metadata (either manually or always by setting the corresponding option in the preferences of the Literoom catalogue), otherwise it only keeps it in its database. LR annoyingly never updates the preview automatically so you always need to do that manually.

3. You mentioned in the other post that you sometimes use Lightroom instead of Camera Raw for batch edits. Is that because certain things CAN'T be done in Camera Raw, or is it just a bit easier/faster in Lightroom? I ask because I already have Photoshop/Camera Raw but not Lightroom, so unless there is a real need/advantage, I wouldn't bother buying it.
Raw editing in LR is the same as in Camera Raw as they use exactly the same underlying engine. LR in some cases may not (yet) support some new functions though as these only get added with bigger releases. With Photoshop CC, you get these immediately when available.
I actually use LR less and less. The only advantage I sometimes see in LR is when correcting lots of images in one go with for instance a different whitebalance. In LR it is easier to add images to the set of images you want the change applied to. With ACR you are stuck with the selection you make in e.g., PM or Bridge. This is just a small convenience though, and I haven't used it in a long while ;)
As I mentioned in my blog, editing large volumes of images in one go is very well possible in ACR too. I have edited more than 100 images at the same time, without a problem (updating the previews when closing ACR, of course takes a lot of time then, but that is to be expected)

Which version of PS do you have? CS6? Because if you have CC, you get LR with your subscription for free (if you opt for the photogpraphy program that is)

Thanks for the help!

You're welcome.

Cheers,
Hayo
Hayo Baan - Photography
Web: www.hayobaan.nl

Offline Luiz Muzzi

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Re: Using PM in conjunction with Lightroom
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2014, 05:48:12 PM »
Hi,
Just for you to have a different idea, I will tell you what my workflow is.
I use PM and LR. LR just for editing. When I finish editing I export (convert) the file to jpeg high quality and that works really fine for me because I can "see" the original raw file in PM without the changes I have made side by side with the jpeg file (I use cmd+J).
If necessary, I can convert the raw file to DNG later.
Just my two cents.
Regards,

-Luiz Muzzi

Offline bazography

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Re: Using PM in conjunction with Lightroom
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 12:53:07 PM »
Thanks again Hayo for all the help. I guess it's time to start learning Camera Raw.

Offline bazography

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Re: Using PM in conjunction with Lightroom
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2014, 01:03:01 PM »
Hi,
Just for you to have a different idea, I will tell you what my workflow is.
I use PM and LR. LR just for editing. When I finish editing I export (convert) the file to jpeg high quality and that works really fine for me because I can "see" the original raw file in PM without the changes I have made side by side with the jpeg file (I use cmd+J).
If necessary, I can convert the raw file to DNG later.
Just my two cents.
Regards,

-Luiz Muzzi

That's an interesting way of doing it... thanks for the idea.