Lightroom: No standard settings for import

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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Hi guys. When I import a bunch of photos into Lightroom, a standard setting is beeing applied. When I afterwards click on a photo, it loads and I can see for a short time how it looks without these settings. After loading the settings get applied, but I dont like it. While loading it looks much better. Is there a way to tell LR not to change any setting?
I know how to change the standard settings when importing, but I dont want LR to change anything.
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OliverR

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Posted 6 years ago

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Gavin Farrington

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Hi Oliver. There are a few different ways this could be happening, but one that often gets overlooked is the image profile setting you have active in your camera. As a Canon shooter, I need to enable the "Neutral" profile. Your setting may be different, but you should be able to figure out which one basically means, "don't process anything."

You need to do this even as a RAW shooter. The profile will not impact the RAW data in the file, so many people assume it's not applicable, but in fact it DOES modify the preview image that your camera shows you. (Again, not the actual RAW data from the sensor.)

When the camera records a RAW photo to the card, it also embeds a JPG version of the data inside the RAW file itself. (The embedding is the reason you don't see two separate files on the card while importing.) This quick-n-dirty JPG is what you're actually looking at while previewing images on the back of your camera. (Think about it, your camera isn't actually doing full processing of the RAW data as you skim through - it's just too slow.)

This JPG is also used a couple other places. PhotoMechanic uses it, and is the reason it has a reputation for amazingly fast preview performance (it's not actually processing RAW data, either.) While doing an import in LightRoom, in order to preserve the appearance of speed, it shows you this quick-n-dirty JPG first, then rapidly starts building it's own previews and showing them instead.

(If you don't believe me about this file, here's a test you can do. Convert your RAWs to DNG with the preview JPG disabled, then try to open them in a contact sheet in PhotoMechanic. It looks like a disaster, even though the RAW data is perfectly intact.)

Here's where you run into your discrepancy.

If, like many shooters, your camera is using say, the Camera Standard profile, then that little embedded JPG preview is getting processed. Most likely it's getting contrast, sharpness, and saturation adjustments. While you may or may not like it better, it's not representative of the unprocessed RAW data.

For many photographers who I support, simply changing this one little setting in the camera eliminates the sudden "switcharoo" they experience while importing in LR. It also helps them to make more informed decisions about their shoot while chimping from the camera screen.

Give it a try and see if it resolves what you're seeing. If not let us know, and we'll consider some alternative causes.
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OliverR

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Hi Gavin. Thank you for your interesting reply. I use a Canon 400D and use the Adobe RGB settings, so probably the same as LR does.
I will try to live with the difference and find a setting, which I will copy over all other pictures as far as it looks okay.
BTW I am an aircraft photographer. And I noticed, that on sunny pictures there is quite no difference at all, they all look good. But at cloudy or backlit ones, I don't like the settings. Very pale and to bright. I will see what I can do.
Thank you for your ideas and explanations.
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Gavin Farrington

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Hi Oliver. You're close, but not quite there. On my 5d2/5d3 the setting is called "picture style." I don't know your camera very well, but if it's anything like mine it's probably somewhere in the red section of the menu.

Adobe RGB doesn't matter if you're shooting RAW. RAW is RAW. (To get technical, a RAW file always exists in the device space. sRGB vs AdobeRGB only matters when you're shooting JPG or some other "baked" format.)

You might also consider creating a generic preset that you like, and have LR apply this preset on import. The goal isn't to make one preset that looks great on all images, but one that eliminates some of the standard changes you always make. Be sure when you create this preset, that you leave the WB set to "as shot" or it will shift many of your images to something inappropriate.

If you REALLY want to get LR processing sync'd with what you see on your camera screen, go to the Camera Calibration pane of the develop module, and change the "Profile" to the same setting that you choose in your camera. In my example, "camera neutral." (Default is Adobe Standard.) Build this setting into the default profile you create, and it will give you great consistency.
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David Ellmrich

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For me the only profile I can put is embedded, and nothing more. Let me explain how I came to this forum:
I have a customer:

Pictures in Photoshop and Bridge were desaturated - but only JPEG and TIFFS
ppl were juggling around profiles, I was sure that they are not right because everything was allright.

I sugested to this guy to change the JPEG and TIFF support in Camera Raw (PHTSHP and Bridge) to disabled.

And teeeheeee, it worked, but....

Until this moment Lightroom was working correctly, now it does the same desat effect as Bridge/phtshp before. It takes few secs, after the pics (only JPEGS and TIFFS are affected again) are imported, the thumbnail is rerendered and it is desaturated after (so, CU wants this original version).

What is strange - when you return the settings back in Camera raw, nothing happens and all the programs are imaging crappy.

So, my opinion is that Lightroom after it was cut from those Camera Raw settings somehow got control over JPEGS and now we are not able to get rid of it. Could you, guys, help somehow? I would really appreciate it.