Bridge/Camera Raw: Settings applied to duplicated NEF are applied to original NEF

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I wanted to duplicate an NEF file, then crop the duplicate.  After doing that, the original NEF file "magically" showed the same crop.  I have Camera Raw set to save image settings in the Camera Raw database.  So I bet this happens because the crop is "done" in the database entry for the hash value that is the same for both NEF files.  And Adobe Bridge is smart enough, that when I scroll back up to the original NEF, it looks up the actions in the database for that hash value, and re-applies them to the contents of the original NEF and redisplays the (cropped) result.  Is this what's happening?

If so, one possible way to avoid this magic is to save image settings in sidecar XMP files temporarily.  But I only want a sidecar XMP to apply to the one duplicated NEF.  As soon as I change the Camera Raw preference back to "database" as my workflow has always been, the database entry for the common hash value again applies to both NEFs.  

I suppose I could use a disk file editor to change one bit in the duplicated NEF file, which would probably make the hash value different for the two NEFs, but this seems like such a silly hack.
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Craig MacKenna

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Posted 6 months ago

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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Try 'Save as DNG' in ACR to create the copy and see if the DNG copy and original NEF edits remain separate.
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Craig MacKenna

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Thank you, that works!  An easier-to-follow way to say this is "use the Save button in the lower left corner of the Camera Raw window to save the raw file as a DNG".  Of course, if you're starting with a DNG file, you need to convert the file to some other raw format that your ACR can handle.
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Glad to hear that works!

Of course, if you're starting with a DNG file, you need to convert the file to some other raw format that your ACR can handle.
You can  create another DNG and use the 'File Naming panel' in ACR to create a unique name for the copy. See if that also works to keep the edits separate.
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Craig MacKenna

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I'm running out of gas for further experimentation due to increasing honey-do's, but I would bet that it wouldn't,  because renaming leaves the image data identical in the two dng's.  Therefore it would not change the hash of the data that's used to look it (them) up in the database.  Which means two such dng's would be again magically tied together.
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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A DNG file copy is always smaller than the original raw file so they will have different file sizes. That's probably why it works with a NEF and DNG copy. It should work with an original DNG and DNG copy with different edits since the XMP data is different (i.e. file size different). I use XMP sidecars so can't test this right now either, but I'm guessing it works. If it does that means you can create multiple DNG copies with unique edits.
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Craig MacKenna

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Be careful of absolutes like "always smaller".  Sony's ARW files are considerably smaller than when they are converted to DNG.  (If file size is an important part of the DNG brand, Adobe could try to license the ARW compression scheme.)  I will try to find time to copy a DNG and see if it's tied to its parent, and report back here.
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Craig MacKenna

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You are correct.  I tried it, and the two DNG files are not tied.