Lightroom Classic 7.2: Moving between photos either at normal or loope view still way too slow (macOS)

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  • Updated 5 months ago
  • (Edited)
Since updating to Lightroom CC (version 7.0) moving between photos in either normal or loope view has slowed down significantly on all my Macs (including an end of 2005 27" iMac with 24 GB RAM and Core i7), much slower than in previous version. Version 7.2 doesn't address this issue. (to be more precise: it's not the moving which is slow but it takes 1-2 sec to render the image on the screen and even preloading an image and then going forth and back doesn't speed up the process... oh and i forgot to mention that this affects 24 MP NEF images taken with a Nikon D750 but again LR 6.0 did not choke on the same files, only the 36 MP taken by a D800 caused a noticeable slowdown during the same manoeuvre.)

Adobe software unfortunately has never been really responsive (try scrolling through a library and compare this to buttery smooth flying through libraries in Apple's Photos) but what is surprising: (a) it is slower than in previous versions and (b) at two occasions has Adobe promised that this particular aspect would see increased performance (at the launch of LR 7.0 and at the 7.2 update).

My preferences are set to "use graphics processor" and to "use smart previews instead of originals for image editing". I also tried various combinations, switching them off but alas to no success so far.

I also reported this (and other issues) to Adobe help in Germany (since November) but i didn't receive a fix so far (despite multiple requests by email and telephone).

Please advise.
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Steffen Borrmann

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Posted 5 months ago

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Rick Baumhauer

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(Steffen - I think you meant to say "2015 27" iMac", not 2005)

I'm experiencing this issue on a 2017 4k iMac (3GHz quad-core i5, 16GB of RAM), which surprised me, given the supposed speedup in 7.2 with multi-core machines with >12GB RAM. I didn't notice any speed improvement in browsing in Library, with the preview area going completely blank for a second every few frames even when just dealing with 20MP jpegs with Smart Previews and 1:1 previews already rendered. My catalogs and all previews are on a 2xSSD USB-C RAID.

But then a funny thing happened: I popped into Develop to crop a panorama and forgot to go back to Library before advancing through the rest of the day's shots, but there were no pauses/blank screens when browsing in Develop. Completely contrary to previous versions, it's now faster/smoother for me to advance through a shoot in the Develop module than Library. I know there are some reports of slow metadata loading, so I'm wondering if there is a connection here.
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Steffen Borrmann

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Hi Rick,

Thanks. Yes, it's a 2015 model.

How do you browse while in Develop? I thought this can only be done in the Library module...
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Rick Baumhauer

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Sorry, I should have been clearer - I just meant moving from shot to shot in Develop (via the arrow keys, or shortcut buttons on my Wacom tablet) was more responsive than in Library. Scrolling in Grid View in Library is quite slow most of the time for me, with a lot of lag between input and response, and has not improved in 7.2.
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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I'm finding 7.2 a faster than 7.1 on my Windows 7 system with 12GB and quad-core CPU. Try pausing all background tasks as shown below and see if that improves performance.

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Steffen Borrmann

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Thanks for that hint.

I'm already a purist when using LR (no integration with CC library etc), there should be no zero background task as far as i can tell.

I've recorded the screen while switching forth and back in LR CC Classic 7.2 between two shot taken by D750 (24 MP), you'll probably have to download it to see the per-pixel details:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/wkask95pbexs58y/LR%20CC%207.2%20switch%20forth%20and%20back%20in%20loope.m...

I'm also attaching my performance preference setup. Playing with these setting doesn't change the slow rendering when switching from photo to photo.


(Edited)
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Steffen, it looks like you're using the Secondary window or Full-Screen mode in that video. Both of these modes will slooooooow down scrolling through image files. Try this:

1) Adjust your Catalog Settings as shown below with 'Standard Preview Size' set to 'Auto.'



2) Next go to the Library module and select ALL of the image files in the folder you are trying to scroll through and review. Next go to the menu Library> Previews> Build Standard-Sized Previews.

3) Once complete try scrolling through image files using only the Main Window (NOT Second Window) screen on a single display WITHOUT Full-Screen mode and using 'Fit' Zoom View. If this isn't clear let me know!

This works with no performance issues on my Windows 7 LR 7.2 system.
(Edited)
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Steffen Borrmann

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Hi Todd,

Thanks. Indeed, my catalogue settings weren't at auto (2150px) but at 2880px. I changed that and re-imported the two files. Unfortunately, the delay when rendering is still the same (perhaps slightly less pronounced).

However, i don't have a second monitor (it runs on my iMac, see initial description above) and i'm only working in Develop (if looks like full-screen in the movie, that may because all panels are hidden (easy to achieve) - i would expect this to even speed up the process (less calculation for displaying image plus panels).
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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i'm only working in Develop
The Develop module builds its Loupe previews real-time and even with GPU support scrolling will always be slower than in the Library module. This is because the Library module uses already rendered preview files (i.e. Build Previews). These preview files are only used in the Library module and NOT in the Develop module. That's why you didn't see any improvement when scrolling in the Develop module after building Standard-Sized Previews.

if looks like full-screen in the movie, that may because all panels are hidden
When "scrolling" between images in the Develop OR Library module the time it takes to update the Loupe preview is directly proportional to the size of the Loupe window on-screen. With all panels hidden the Loupe preview is much larger and will render slower than with the all panels expanded. This is a very CPU intensive operation so speed is dependent primarily on your CPU performance and NOT the GPU. In addition the display resolution affects the speed with higher resolution displays (Retina) causing slower rendering. The GPU is only supported in the Develop module and of no help with speeding up the Library module.

For maximum speed when reviewing images (i.e. scrolling) use 'Fit View' in the Library module with all panels expanded. Make sure 'Standard Sized' previews have been built and if reviewing at 1:1 Zoom view make sure '1:1 Previews have been built for all image files being reviewed. Please try it and let me know your results.
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Steffen Borrmann

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Hmmm. Todd, you definitely seem to be a super smart person.

If you'll find some additional time, you can also read my initial post: "Since updating to Lightroom CC (version 7.0) moving between photos in either normal or loope view has slowed down significantly on all my Macs." Translation: on the same hardware, no delays when moving between photos in Develop occurred before updating to version 7 (with Nikon D750 files).

To your points:
1. Scrolling in Develop? How do you do this?
2. I don't understand.
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Steffan, did you see any improvement in the Library module performance following my suggestions?

Translation: on the same hardware, no delays when moving between photos
in Develop occurred before updating to version 7 (with Nikon D750
files).
GEEK WARNING (Long-Read!)
I can't explain why this occurring and don't have an Mac system to confirm the behavior. I have suggested settings to try and get a performance baseline as to your systems performance compared to mine. My display is 2560x1440 (3.7Mp) and I'm using Canon 5D MKII 21 Mp raw files both of which are lower in Megapixels. Your 2015 iMac 27" has a 5K display with 5120x2880 (14.8Mp) resolution and the Nikon D750 is 24.3Mp. Running the math:

14.8Mp ÷ 3.7Mp = 4.0
24.3Mp ÷ 21Mp = 1.16
Total Difference = 4.64x

This means your iMac system needs to have 4.64x the processing power of my system to exhibit the same performance. I'll assume your iMac has the highest performance i7-6700 processor and my system has a i7-860 processor. The relative performance using PassMark Score: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=2598&cmp[]=6

10038 CPU Mark i7-6700 ÷ 5028 CPU Mark i7-860 = 2.0x

Relative Performance = 2.0 ÷ 4.64 = .43 = 43%

So LR's performance on your system  is only 43% the performance of mine, which means when reviewing images it will take 1/.43 = 2.33 times longer to fully render. Given these specs it's hard to believe your system was running well with any previous version of LR. Most likely something else has changed!

I suggest installing the previous version that ran well, which can be installed side-by-side with LR 7.2. Use the CC app and select 'Other Versions and 'Install' that version. Launch the old version, Import some of the same image files into a new catalog, and compare the performance.


1. Scrolling in Develop? How do you do this?
By scrolling I mean moving from one image to the next using the arrow keys. On my Windows 7 system the LR 7.2 Develop module takes about 1 sec. for the next image file to appear and then another 1 sec. for it to become fully-sharp with 'Fit' Zoom View and all panels fully expanded. In Full-Screen mode it  takes about 3 sec. for the next image file to appear and then another 2 to 3 sec. for it to become fully-sharp. So you can see the Loupe Window size has a dramatic affect on image review speed.

In the Library module with 'Standard-Sized Previews' built takes about .33 sec. for the next image file to appear fully-sharp with 'Fit' Zoom View and all panels
fully expanded. In Full-Screen mode it  takes about 1 sec. for the next image file to
appear fully-sharp. This is with a 2560x1440 display and 21 Mp raw files.

Your system should exhibit times ~2.33 longer than the above. Two possible work-arounds:

1) Use Smart Previews for editing and reviewing. https://petapixel.com/2016/09/20/adobe-lightroom-cc-now-smart-previews-faster-performance/

2) Set your iMac 5K display to 2560x1440 Pixel-Doubled mode. This should be the default setting, but check it!
(Edited)
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Steffen Borrmann

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Dear Todd,

Thanks for your input, this is all good and well.

However, i don't think that this discussion gets us anywhere. As you can see also from Rick's comments (another Mac user), this is a specific 7.x issue. To be more precise: I've bought into CC subscription because of Adobe's promises of improved performances, particularly in this specific area (it was highlighted by Adobe in the material for 7.0 and 7.2).

As a paying customer, i don't think it is my job to experiment (i'm doing this already as faculty member at the university). Fact is that one very important area of my workflow has substantially deteriorated when switching to 7.x and i'm actually paying for it.

Some other areas are better, for instance, i do use the new dehaze brush quite extensively. But the purpose of my post wasn't to sing the praise but rather to highlight one particularly vexing issue. I.e., no question LR continues to offer high quality tools - but it could be better (or at least as good as the previous versions). ;-)
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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As a paying customer, i don't think it is my job to experiment (i'm doing this already as faculty member at the university).
Steffan it's called "trouble-shooting" not experimenting! Also, I'm not paid by Adobe for providing my assistance here. I've offered some trouble-shooting steps to try and determine what's wrong, but you haven't replied with your results using a single one.

There are numerous things that can go wrong when updating LR to a new versions, including graphics drivers incompatibility, OS incompatibility, Preferences file corruption, installation corruptions, catalog corruption, etc. There have been some reports of performance issues like you are seeing with LR 7.1 and 7.2, but not a huge number! If this were truly a screw-up with the LR 7.1/7.2 update I would expect to see a deluge of complaints. So it's most likely some issue specific to your system that is causing what you are seeing.

It sounds like you have no desire to try and resolve these performance issues through trouble-shooting. I'll offer my last suggestion, which is to uninstall LR 7.2 and reinstall the last version that exhibited better performance on your system. Wait for the next release and then
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Steffen Borrmann

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Trouble shooting had already been  done since November last year with Adobe hotline in Germany. Thanks for your opinions and lectures.
(Edited)