Lightroom: RAW file conversion to DNG in another folder

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When converting my raw files to DNG, I also want to save my original files in a separate folder. In LR 3.6 I have to manually duplicate the files, move them to another folder, and then convert. It would be nice to have an option in the conversion dialogue box to save the originals to another folder.
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Jurgen Vogt

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Posted 7 years ago

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jdv, Champion

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Doesn't "Make a second Copy To:" in the import dialogue do what you want?
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Jurgen Vogt

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Thanks for the reply.

I would like to have this option after the import. When the images have been sorted, edited, unwanted images deleted and keywords applied. At this point I'm ready to convert to DNG. There's no point to my converting and keeping images I don't want.
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llmhmwgr

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You could do it the other way around (i.e. start off with the originals where you want them) and then use the Export to DNG option in the Export screen to create DNG's in a different folder.
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Jurgen Vogt

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This would be fine if I used the NEF files as my working files. But I work with the DNG files. It would mean importing all my cards to an NEF catalogue and then exporting them as DNG file to a DNG catalogue.

My workflow is;
- Import Images from cards to my DNG folder on my hard drive, this is the folder I use as my working catalogue.
- Edit, apply keywords and enter other meta data.
- Rename this final image edit.
- Copy all the files and move them to my NEF backup drive.
- Convert the NEF files which are left in my DNG folder to DNG format, which deletes the NEF files.

Lightroom 1.0 and 2.0 used to give you the option of keeping the original files.
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llmhmwgr

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Let me get a few things straight first...
1. When you say "catalogue", do you mean a folder or directory, or do you mean a separate LR catalog (.lrcat file)?
2. If I understand correctly, you only want to keep NEF backups of the files you want to keep, not of all NEF files imported from the card?
3. What is the advantage of working on the DNG's instead of the NEF's?
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Jurgen Vogt

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1. Both. My folder of DNG images is my .lrct file.
2. NEF files and their .xmp counterparts are used only as backups. If I at some time want to work with an application that does not support DND, I can pull the original RAW files.
3. Smaller files and no separate .xmp file that could get lost. Everything is in one neat package.
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llmhmwgr

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You are using a similar workflow to my own, except that I convert to DNG at the start of my workflow:
1. All photos from the card are copied to drive 1
2. All photos are imported into LR from drive 1 to drive 2, using the "Copy to DNG" option
3. All culling/editing/renaming/keywording is done on the DNG files only

That way, I have all my originals on drive 1 (including those I later delete from drive 2), plus my 'working' photos on drive 2. The metadata is stored in the LR catalog only; the DNG's are only used because in my experience they are smaller than most raw files, and because they offer some sort of future-proofing in case my original raw format stops being supported.

In the end, the only difference with your workflow is that I keep all my raw files, whereas you keep only the raw files for those photos you also keep as DNG. Since disk space is cheap, that's not really an issue for me, and I like having the option of going back to 'recover' something that was of no value to me in the past.

One final comment: keeping the xmp files with the NEF for backup purposes will only be fully useful as long as you don't edit your DNG's after you have created them (since any changes made to the DNG's won't be reflected in the xmp's).
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Jurgen Vogt

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Thanks for the reply.

I realize disk space is cheap but I don't see any value in keeping images that are out of focus, poorly exposed or are of no use to me for any other reason. These are images, that no matter what the situation is, will never get used by me. They are clutter. Hoarding is not my thing, even if the space were free.

As for the xmp files, the only purpose they are meant to serve is to have a backup of keywords, metadata, import presets and any other changes I might make to the image before I convert it to DNG.