Lightroom/Camera Raw: Display camera focus information

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  • (Edited)
Nikon cameras stores the focus point that was in focus and the exposure was taken. This would be extremely valuable to see for a sports/action/wildlife photographer.
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Photographe

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  • frustrated

Posted 7 years ago

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Rob Cole

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Photographe - You come up with more good ideas than I do! ;-}

I have a Lightroom sidekick app that displays the focus points of the most-selected photo (presently works for Nikon D300 compatibles only, but will be user adaptable for other mfrs & models), unfortunately its not anywhere near ready for prime-time.

So, I don't know whether to vote for this or not. I think native focus-point display functionality would be good. So good that I've solved this problem for myself - and will be sharing when finished.

And yet, I acknowledge that not everyone will want to run the sidekick, and put up with its "seams"...

I wish there was a 0-10 voting scale, because I like this idea a lot, and would like to show support, but its not anywhere near top priority for me, because I've already got the aforementioned workaround for myself.

Cheers,
Rob
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Photographe

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I generally vote on something that I think would make LR a better product, regardless of whether I personally need it at the time.
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Rob Cole

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I'm voting far more liberally now than I was at first.
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Rob Cole

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1 thing that might tide you over:

ExifMeta can display the IDs of which focus points were active. So, you can make a cheat sheet for yourself: shoot a bunch of photo with different focus points selected, and use ViewNX or CNX2 to display the focus points and draw them, labeled, on the cheat sheet. After a while you won't need the cheat sheet anymore - or you can shoot it and import into Lightroom for reference...
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Photographe

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I am testing Nikon Capture NX2 right now; it works much better with Nikon RAW files and does everything I want except it's not as good at going through 500 files at a time. My guess is that I will transition to Capture NX2 or Capture One over time, and rely on Bridge and/or Expression Media for browsing and/or cataloguing.
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Butch_M

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There is no doubt that NX 2 does a great job with NEF files ... but after all it should, it was developed by/for the camera manufacturer ...

I have been a lifelong Nikon shooter (since 1974) and have turned my back on Nikon software ... other than the fact NX2 does a really good job with fine detail out of the box and the U-Point technology ... from a workflow standpoint ... I haven't found a Nikon software option that didn't suck ... working with 500-1,500 images from a wedding or 3,000-5,000 images from an all-day sports tournament is a total nightmare ... whereas, Lr handles these jobs quite well ...

With the advent of the v2010 process and judicious use of custom Camera Calibration profiles ... I don't see much difference, if at all, when comparing images processed in NX2 or Lr3 ... though YMMV ...
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Rob Cole

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"I am testing Nikon Capture NX2 right now; it works much better with Nikon RAW files" - other than support for in-camera settings and metadata, I'm not so sure about that statement - how do you figure?

Also, C1 noise reduction is not nearly as good as Lightroom.

Not trying to change your mind, but sometimes the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence...

Best to ya whichever way you go...
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Butch_M

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On the focus point issue ... I'm all for it ... however ... the Nikon SDK can be quite convoluted and Adobe has had a habit of not crossing certain lines that others will in accessing certain data points in proprietary image files ... why? ... I'm not sure ... just sayin' ...
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Rob Cole

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I just checked the Nikon SDK: focus points are *not* provided directly via SDK and must be read from Exif metadata. Also, the focus point info is different for different cameras and is not documented in the NEF doc included with the SDK. Its not rocket science to get at and interpret that data, but it would need to be "reverse engineered" for each camera model...
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Rob Cole

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Definitely worth considering your motivation, IMO.

Being miffed at Adobe, or frustrated while learning Lightroom, or missing a few camera features, may not be good enough reasons in the long run.

I use CNX2 regularly by the way, and think 95% of the time Lightroom does a better job with those NEF files.

Back when Lr was at version 2 (and the Nikon camera profiles for Lightroom were young), I more often favored the NX2 rendering, but now - just the opposite.

Now I mostly use Nx2 for cooked editing (as external editor after raw conversion in Lr) because of the U-points. If Adobe invented a better auto-masking technology, or Nik allowed multiple adjustments to be tied to U-point selections in their Photoshop plugins, I'd ditch Nx2 altogether, but alas: that is not the case...

Anyway, if you want to consider a split workflow (some Lr, some Nx2), and you can get around the mental block to using lr-plugins, consider NxTooey.

PS - If there's an NX3, the table may turn again... ;-}
(or if CaptureOne decides to compete seriously with Lightroom for non-PhaseOne camera customers. (CaptureOne only supports tethering and automated lens corrections... for PhaseOne backs/lenses).
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Rob Cole

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CaptureOne is now supporting tethering for non-PhaseOne backs.
Are they serious about competing with Lightroom for the DSLR/non-PhaseOne market? If automatic lens corrections are supported, then I'll be convinced... (they added locals + layers in v6 - sounds serious, eh?)
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Photographe

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What do you find useful about LR's automatic lens corrections: (1) their speed or (2) do you get better results than doing it manually?
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Rob Cole

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Strictly a convenience. One can accomplish almost the same thing by applying manual corrections based on lens and focal length.
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Ulrich von Agris

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I#m coming from apple's aperture where the feature is available. Miss it a lot in lightromm. Always have to switch applications to check the focus point.
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Rory Hill

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Why do you need to see the focus point? I've been shooting action for years and do not use it - there are too many moving parts in nikon focus acquisition algorithms to reliably draw conclusions from this data. I can see you maybe wanting to see which pocus point was used once in a while to trouble shoot - just use View NX - which is free.

This is a big feature creep area - it would be a lot of work to implement this for every manufacturer and model. Even Nikon cannot do this for their own models. When confirming View NX showed the focus point it would not show it for some of my older D2h files.

I find it difficult to believe this feature is so important you would switch software. I suppose we all have different priorities.
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Ulrich von Agris

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I didn' t mean it could cause me to abandon lightroon. I do as you suggest. When I want to check the focus point I start ViewNX. But I would find it more convenient if I could stay in lightroom. I thought it was not such a big thing if Apple can do it.
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Scott Mahn

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I'd much rather have a focus mask to show which areas are actually in focus than to know which areas I wanted to have in focus.

http://youtu.be/0QTkyM_J6O0
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Photographe

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I'd also like to have a focus mask showing the area actually in focus, as Capture One apparently does; that was going to be another feature request. I really thought showing the Nikon focus would be easier to sell since I didn't think it would be that much work.
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Rob Cole

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Focus point display is easier for one camera, but more time consuming in the long run because it needs to be done for all cameras. Focus mask can be done heuristically - not camera dependent - do once then forget...

And, Adobe seems to be too shy to dig the focus points out of exif metadata, and doesn't want to start down the slippery slope anyway, so there may be a better chance of getting the focus mask - mere speculation...

PS - As has been said: "focus mask better for culling", "focus point better for learning to focus"... - I'd personally like both, but would much prefer focus mask since focus point is already accessible using external apps.
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Butch_M

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While I don't find the need for this feature ... I'm not opposed to it being added, if it can be done ... though I think that maybe efforts to have a more complete list of DSLR's compatible for tethering (and other items) would take priority.

Like Rory, I've been using Lr since the get-go ... and have processed well over 200,000 images since in Lr with the lion's share of those images from action sports ... not once did I need to reference a focus point in post processing ... with the average monitor size used today in the 22-24+ inch size, it's rather easy to determine if an image is in proper focus ... so not seeing a representation of the EXIF referred focus point wouldn't be a deal breaker ... there are far too many advantages in the glass being well over half full to seek other options that will reference the focus point ...
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PECourtejoie, Champion

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I don't know it if is related to your request, but I've seen once a software (don't remember which one) that could show a map of the areas that were in focus. That might be more useful than to show what focus point was used, for instance in the cases where one does a slight focus and recompose.
What do you say?
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Rob Cole

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CaptureOne has a sharpness topography feature that is very useful for selecting one of many similar shots based on actual focal plane and sharpness.

I agree with PECourtejoie: which focus point was selected doesn't much help with photo selection after the fact, since focus point guarantees nothing regarding actual focus and sharpness. However, focus point display is extremely valuable as a learning aid to enhance one's focusing skills in the field - for the next time...

PS - its not difficult to display Nikon focus points in Lightroom. I keep NX2 open while I work in Lightroom. And opening a file in NX2 to view focus point(s) is just a keystroke away with the help of NxTooey (a few clicks away if you're on a Mac).

PPS - One could also just use a generic "openamous anythingamous" plugin (it exists, but I forget the name) and open NEFs in ViewNX to view focus point(s). Again: one keystroke, or a few clicks...
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Rob Cole

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Native focus point display in Lightroom proper would be nice.

(As would focus/sharpness topography - but that's almost for an entirely different purpose).
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Photographe

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I just installed View NX2; only problem is View NX2 does not support DNG. So I will have to stop converting to DNG (which I really should stay away from anyhow--not enough compatability).
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Rob Cole

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Yep.
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Rob Cole

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One option if you can overcome your resistance to plugins is to use NxTooey to open files instantly in ViewNX. Just set a path to ViewNX instead of CaptureNX. Or, if you own CaptureNX2 you can just use that for viewing focus points...
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Photographe

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You said in another thread that Adobe tests plugins. Wondering if you could point me to where it says that, or if you know off the top what kind of testing they do.
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Rob Cole

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I've only seen it when uploading... - my guess is they just give it the "once over" - but I really don't know.

http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/exchange...
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Babar_e

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This request is related to the following one :

ability to tag a picture region

as a focus point is no more than a region of the photo.

so we would need lightroom to be able to automatically create such a region from the makernotes in the XMP. That way it become standardized (region tagging is now a standard and include among other : face tagging, focus point,...) and would become readable by other software as well.

regards
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Venche Jensen

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I wish that you implement "view focal poin" in the next version of bridge and Camera RAW. A shortcut to turn it on and off. This will improve my first look and rating on new imported photos.
Take a look at Aperture, I just love their focal poin.
My first choise is the combination of Bridge, Camera RAW and Photoshop.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Focal point in Bridge and Camera RAWS.
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Ross Dillon

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Capture One reportedly has a new feature where a green mask is overlaid where the picture is most in focus (thumbnails as well). As an action shooter (sports, airshows, etc) that would greatly help identify OOF shots for disposal.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How about a "mask" to show areas of sharp focus?.
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Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață, Champion

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Merged to a wrong topic Please reference the new topic here: How about a "mask" to show areas of sharp focus?
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Scott Mahn

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My vote would go for the Capture One approach. A quick representation of the in-focus areas would rock.
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Scott Mahn

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I already did. Looks like it's just you and me, kid.
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Rob Cole

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I went ahead and issued a separate 'Idea' for a sharpness topography feature.

Although related, I see some important distinctions:

- Focus point display is more for learning - to try and understand the relationship between focus points used and what's actually in focus.
- Sharpness topography is more for culling - eliminating out-of-focus photos or choosing amongst a set of related photos...

Personally, I think these two features would complement each other very nicely.
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Jim Keir

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Hi,

Just being able to add a switchable overlay to the photo using the SDK would be a good step forward. Plugins could add whatever they wanted as a sidecar .PNG, for example. An additional 'decoration' icon would toggle each sidecar overlay.

Cheers,
Jim
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Rob Cole

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Good idea Jim, but might get lost in this thread - maybe a new 'Idea'?
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Jim Keir

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New Idea ahoy...
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Rob Cole

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- got my vote ;-}
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Steve McGinty

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Add the feature that highlights the focus point in the photo.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: highlight focus points.
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GABRIEL TING

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Yes, I agree. I would like to see information about what focus point was chosen when a shot was taken.
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Greg Hunt

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I think it would be useful, not as some have suggested to find out what is in focus, but I look at the focus points when the image is NOT in focus in the way that I expect. Its part of a kind of forensic exercise: after I work out what I was doing, "what did the camera think it was doing then?". I'm not a professional, or even very good, and this kind of post mortem helps me understand how I have or may have screwed up.
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Trevor Molyneux

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I would like to be able to view the focus point on my images. This is the ONLY thing I miss since I started using Lightroom instead of Nikon NX2. This is particularly valuable when using focus tracking.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Camera Focus Point Display Option.
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Robert

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I also like to see the focus points - of course not only of Nikon but also of Canon gear. :-)
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Peter Wick

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Lightroom does not display focus point for raw images making it difficult to determine why some pictures seem to be sharp and others not. It would be great if Lightroom could display focus point, with a display on/off toggle, for raw images.

As it stands now I launch Nikon ViewNX 2 to check focus/sharpness before importing to Lightroom 4. I will then delete directly out of ViewNX2. This is counter-intuitive to the Lightroom workflow and is frustrating.

This request has been in the queue since at least Lightroom 2 days so I would like to think it is getting close to implementation???

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom 4 - Display focus point in both grid and loupe views.