Lightroom/Camera Raw: Why do my images change appearance after I import them?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 6 months ago
  • Answered
  • (Edited)
Hi guys, i'm new to the DSLR world and recently bought a D5300, the thing is i'm having difficulties to import the RAW (.NEF) files in Lightroom. When i try to open it the photo loads normally and then after like 2 seconds the contrast and saturation are bumped and i lose a lot of information. I've read that .NEF format has a .jpg embedded and maybe that's the picture that i'm seeing after the 2 seconds, but i can't access the original file anymore once it has been imported into LR. Any thoughts on why this may be happening and how to correct it? Below it's the same picture opened in LR and in ViewNX-i (which correctly shows the picture). The only workaround i've managed to do it is to convert the NEF into TIFF in ViewNX-i and then open in LR but the TIFF files are huge. I've already tried to convert the NEF to DNG without sucess since the Camera Raw software does the same thing to the NEF file. After hours trying to solve it this is my resource.
I use Windows 10 and Lightroom is updated (7.3.1)

Photo of Lukas Torquato

Lukas Torquato

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 6 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Robert Cullen

Robert Cullen

  • 157 Posts
  • 44 Reply Likes

Maybe you are seeing the effect as in this link-

https://laurashoe.com/2010/01/04/why-do-i-see-my-images-change-after-they-are-imported-int o-lightroom/

(Article needs slight changes re location of Profiles- Setting camera profiles has recently changed in LR-Classic version 7.3 to the Basic Panel of the Develop module.)

JPGs will immediately show colors as set by the camera.

'NEF' requires Lightroom to make a render of the photos, and as the previews are created (sometimes slowly) the rendered colors are determined by the default profile that LR uses. 

'Adobe Color' is now the default profile applied to raw files - unless you have changed it, and you should change it if you prefer a different render!! Find a profile you like and make it the default for all NEF file imports. Lightroom is very adaptable to show color the way YOU like it.

Another feature of the Import dialog is to use "Embedded Previews"- This option will show the 'camera JPG' embedded in a 'NEF' file and the render of the preview by Lightroom can occur a considerable time later when viewing the previews.

Photo of Lukas Torquato

Lukas Torquato

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Oh i see, thanks for the reply, where can i find these profiles for lightroom? And would recommend that i convert to DNG before start to edit in lightroom or it does not make any difference?
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 4427 Posts
  • 1637 Reply Likes
DNG conversion won't make a difference. It looks like you're using Active D-Lighting or similar in camera. This is additional processing done in the camera, which Nikon's own software understands and applies, but Lightroom and other raw processors don't understand. 
Photo of Lukas Torquato

Lukas Torquato

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Understood, thanks for the reply. Do you have any recommendation to where can i download additional Adobe profiles?