Lightroom: Tethering Bug: OSX 10.6.8 + LR 3.4.1 [Nikon]

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I am a professional photographer who relies heavily on LR for my digital workflow. I tether my Nikon D3 and D3x to LR frequently. I've never had an issue with tethering my cameras to LR until this past week. And, after much frustration and processes-of-elimination and testing the issue across multiple machines, I BELIEVE that the problem has to do with the latest OSX 10.6.8 update when running LR 3.4.1.

You can read my initial post about this problem on Adobe forums here http://forums.adobe.com/message/37883... when I was stumped about why it was happening.

Then you can see my follow-up post about this problem today here http://forums.adobe.com/message/37894... and why I think it has to do with the recent 10.6.8 update.

Please feel free to contact me for anymore information. I really hope you can look into this issue.

Thank you,

Scott Woodward
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Scott Woodward

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Posted 8 years ago

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Scott Woodward

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I agree with Jeff on this. I am a little reluctant to delete anything. It would be nice to hear from an Adobe employee directly on this specific fix suggestion and/or any update on the progress of implementing a solution to this problem from their side. I have also held-off on upgrading to Lion for fear of compounding problems with LR3 even further. Frustrating all around.
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Lee Jay

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Don't be reluctant about deleting the preferences. If you're scared for some reason, just change the file names (add the word "save" in there and you can always get them back). Corruption in the preferences file has caused many people headaches and moving it aside is a simple, painless and low-risk thing to try.

For an official Adobe source, see this technote:

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/405/kb405365...
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Geoff Walker, Champion

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To find the preference file for your computer look here: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/843/cpsid_84...

With Lightroom CLOSED remove any "com.adobe.Lightroom3.plist" and Lightroom 2 plist files to your desktop and restart Lightroom which will generate new preferences.
If your problem is not solved you can simply replace the new preferences with the old.
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jeffhubis

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Ok... a few questions...
What settings or preferences are actually stored in this .plist?
Will I need to reset anything?
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Lee Jay

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All your preferences are stored in there, view options, which panels are open, etc. Nothing about the images or their organization as all of that is in the catalog.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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The info from Geoff and Lee Jay is correct. You won't hurt anything by removing your preference files. You don't have to throw it away, you could just move it to the desktop, for example. Then, if nothing was fixed, you could move it back and everything would be as it was before. As Lee Jay says, anything you did to change the default behavior or appearance of Lightroom is stored in this file. Nothing regarding your images or what you've done with your images is stored in this file. Also, as explained in the article that Geoff provided a link to, you want to go into the Library folder that's in your User folder.

As to whether or not throwing out the preferences will help in this particular case, I can't say. It hasn't made any difference in my testing, but your milage may vary.

-Ben
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Scott Woodward

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Ben, can you shed any light on Adobe's progress with this matter? Is it something you are working on or is it not a priority? An update would be appreciated, just to understand (roughly) when we might be able to expect a fix for this issue... Clearly, many people rely on the tethering function for their workflows (and in my case -- and others' cases -- it's not a "nice-to-have" but a necessity for our livelihoods). It would just be nice to have some information, please. Thank you.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Yes, we are actively working on this issue. Unfortunately, I can't give an ETA, but we fully understand that sooner would be better than later.

-Ben
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Eric McCormack

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Deleting or removing the preferences did not work for me in my testing either. I thought that shooting tethered and having the files go to a server may be causing the problem, with further testing proved wrong. I am hoping that Adobe resolves this problem. I have read that reverting to LR Version 3.3 may solve the problem.
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David BONNIER

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From my opinion, I think there is an issue with Nikon SDK.

I tried today, to shoot from Nikon Camera Control Pro 2.9.0 , and LR 3.4.1 set up in "hot folder" mode with auto import.

Everything is running fine but sometimes, connection is lost between camera and computer.

I have noticed, a few times ago, that Nikon CCP prevents Mac OS screensaver from launching (or disable it). Turning off the camera (breaking USB connection by consequence) solves the problem.

Maybe USB connection from Nikon's gear is not stable as it should be....

My two cents...
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Scott Woodward

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Hi David,

Are you suggesting the issue is with Nikon SDK and OSX 10.6.8?

Personally, I've been shooting tethered with 3 different MBP's (running various versions of OSX 10.4 through to the latest version of OSX 10.6.7) and various versions of LR for 3+ years: (A) LR2 with both CCP and Sofortbild and a "watched" folder and (B) the past year or so with LR3 and camera tethered directly. I personally have never experienced the tethering disconnection issue that I described initially -- and many people are also experiencing -- UNTIL THE DAY I upgraded to OSX 10.6.8.

Scott
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David BONNIER

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Yes, Scott, you're right... I think both issues are effectively differents.

I was only wondering if they could have the same reason...

Anyway, problems appeared since we upgraded to 10.6.8 (confirmed on two workstations)

That would be interesting ton know if Apple changed something, in 10.6.8, about the way that USB communication is handled ;-)

David
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Christopher Kokinos

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Hello all.

Just adding that I'm experiencing the same problem and wanted in on the thread. I'm shooting with a d7000 and the latest version of LR 3.4.1. I've not yet tried deleting the plist file(s) but will try tomorrow. Meanwhile, does anyone know if this problem still exists with Lion?
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Lee Jay

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Just a few threads down from this one:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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Scott Woodward

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Per Lee Jay's note above, I followed the link to http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh... -- which seems to deal with the same tethering problem with OSX Lion and Canon users -- and see that Kevin Tieskoetter (a LR Engineer) says "We've found a solution to the tethering issue on 10.6.8 / 10.7 and the fix will be included in the next dot update. There were apparently changes in the USB drivers starting in 10.6.8, and, as best I can tell, the OS puts the connection to sleep after a certain period of inactivity. I'm not sure if they're doing that to reduce power consumption or some other reason, but it caused LR to lose the connection with the camera."

I am wondering if Kevin is suggesting that Adobe's "found a solution to the tethering issue" for just Canon OR whether it is for Nikon as well? Any insight, Ben or Jeffrey?
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Christopher Kokinos

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Wow. That does sound promising. And it makes sense. I'm new to tethering in Lightroom and I'm glad there's a solution. I just feel bad that you've all been dealing with this for a month (or longer). I'm about a week or so into my 30 day trial of Lightroom and I've been trying to decide if it's worth the $$ to invest in the software. If it isn't fixed soon I doubt that I'll actually make the purchase. I read in an earlier thread that people are tethering in Aperture 3 but I've not really looked into it. And it's only $79. Though it bothers me that when it first came out it was aimed at pro/semi-pro photogs and now it seems like it's aimed at enthusiasts who want an iPhoto on steroids.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Kevin has confirmed on the other thread that the fix is for both Canon and Nikon. The fact that they've found the fix hopefully means that you won't have a long wait now.

Christopher, when the update comes out, I believe the trial should be reset, unless they've changed something while I wasn't looking, so you'll be able to try it out properly. Well worth the investment!
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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We have made available the Lightroom 3.5 release candidate, which we believe fixes the problems with tether. You can download the release candidate here:

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/li...

Please try it out and let me know how it goes for you. Also, standard disclaimer: the 3.5 is a release candidate which means that although it has been well tested internally, it is beta software it is NOT final. Use at your own risk. You should carefully back up your system (including all photos and your Lightroom catalog) before trying the 3.5 release candidate.

Thanks,
Ben
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david_r

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I had issues with tether since the update to LR 3. This finally helped now:

Solution 7 Reset Lightroom's preferences file.

Regards,
David
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David Garb

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RC 3.5 did not correct the problem for me. I still randomly loose the tethered connection - D700 LR3.5RC - Mac LION.I have to stop and restart the tethered option and often restart LR. It's all random, sometime I need to switch the camera on and off and when I get desperate I restart the Mac and start from scratch.
Resetting the preference on the 3.41 file did not help. Maybe I should try it on RC3.5 ?
Thanks,
David
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hi David,

If you are using version 3.5 and are still having trouble with Lightroom losing the connection to your camera, then I would try everything here:

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/894/cpsid_89...

Thanks,
Ben
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Scott Woodward

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I shot a location fashion assignment for 3 days in a row last week (using D3x with LR 3.5 on my MBP running 10.6.8) and, I am sorry to say, I still experienced similar tethering problems as before when I was running LR 3.4.

- Tethering cut-off 5-6 times per 10-hour shoot day if the camera/laptop sat idle for a duration of time.
- Tethering would hang mid-shoot 3-4 times per 10-hour shoot day for no apparent reason.
- Images were lost a number of times due to these LR 3.5 malfunctions.

I have tried all troubleshooting suggestions mentioned here http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/894/cpsid_89... (including deleting the preference file, ensuring camera firmware is up-to-date, etc) without any luck.

However, when tethering using Sofortbild and a watched folder linked to LR 3.4 or 3.5, I have not experienced a single tethering hiccup.

In my opinion, LR 3.5 has not solved the tethering bugs.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hi Scott,

Thanks for the detailed information. In Lightroom 3.4.1 (when running on Mac OS 10.6.8 or later) if I simply let the computer and camera sit, Lightroom would lose the connection to the camera in 15-20 minutes. After the fix we made for version 3.5, I have let the camera and computer sit for as long as an hour and a half without losing the connection (haven't tested longer than that).

Which is to say, that prior to the fix in 3.5, I could easily reproduce the problem you're seeing, and after the fix, I cannot. So I'm wondering:

1. Is the behavior for you unchanged? Is Lightroom's propensity to lose the connection to the camera the same in 3.4.1 and 3.5? Or is one of them worse or better than the other?

2. What, specifically, is the "duration of time" that you refer to? And does the same duration of time do it in 3.4.1 and 3.5?

3. In your description above, what is the difference between "cut-off" (your first bullet point) and "hang" (your second bullet point)?

Thanks,
Ben
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Scott Woodward

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Hi Ben,

Thank you for your personal attention to this matter. Following are my answers to your questions:

1) Although I would say that -- in my experience -- the tethering behaviour on my D3x between 3.5 vs. 3.4.1 (while running 10.6.8) is better, it is still not what I would consider "stable" or "consistent" by any means.

2) The "duration of time" was sporadic. Sometimes, the connection would be lost if my camera/computer sad idle for just a few minutes (my Mac was not in Sleep mode) while other times the connection would be lost if my camera/computer sat idle for 20-30 minutes (when my Mac WAS in Sleep mode and woken-up). I cannot see any consistency to when the connection is lost.

3) I experienced both being "cut-off" and "hanging" with 3.5. For me:

- Being "cut off" was when the connection was lost between camera/computer after sitting idle. When this happened, I would go to File > Tethered Capture > Stop Tethered Capture and then File > Tethered Capture > Start Tethered Capture and the connection was found again and (most importantly) everything that I shot and was buffered on the camera would still come down and into 3.5, thereby not losing any of my work.

- However, "hanging" occurred on me a number of times as well, where I was shooting and images were coming-into 3.5 fine and then -- for no reason and mid-shooting -- 3.5 tethering would "hang" and the images would stop coming in. When this happens, I would go to File > Tethered Capture > Stop Tethered Capture and then File > Tethered Capture > Start Tethered Capture (same as above) but the connection was never resurrected and the only way to proceed was to close LR and restart LR, thereby, losing everything that was buffered on the camera.

In my experience, 3.4 was very stable with 10.6.7. Sure, I had sporadic instances of hanging (it happens sometimes), but nothing like I experienced with 3.4 after upgrading to 10.6.8, or even now with 3.5. In my opinion, 3.5 has not solved the tethering bugs. My experience shows that it is unstable and unpredictable. However, as I said before, when tethering using Sofortbild and a watched folder linked to LR 3.4 or 3.5, I have not experienced a single tethering hiccup.

I should note that the 3-day fashion shoot I am basing this experience on was shot completely running only on my MBP's battery power. I am not sure if that had any effect on 3.5's stability. However, on Monday/Tuesday I am doing a 2-day studio shoot where my MBP will be able to run the entire time on A/C power. I will see if I have similar tethering issues in this more "controlled" environment and report back accordingly next week.

Best regards,

Scott
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Scott Woodward

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3 hours into my studio shoot with my D3x running OSX 10.6.8 and LR 3.5 and I had 3 x tethering "cut-offs" and 2 x tethering "hangs". I lost dozens of images (that were not captured), frustrated both my assistant and myself and angered my client. I've officially given-up using the tethering function on LR 3.5 and moved onto Sofortbild and a watched LR folder, which hasn't crashed on me in 2 hours of use (and counting). From where I am sitting, having used LR 3.5 on 4 shoots days (location and studio) thus far, the tethering problem(s) have not been solved. Scott
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richard leonard

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This is not just a Nikon problem. I have abandoned trying to tether my Canon 1Ds Mk3 using LightRoom. I use the Canon software to tether & transfer, then a watched folder in LightRoom. It still hangs, but slightly less frequently. Sometimes I can get through a 90 minute shoot with no hangs! I have to watch the transfer like a hawk or lose images...
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hello all posters on this thread,

There were roughly 10 people who posted on this thread saying that they had this problem. Of those 10, two have posted back to say that the 3.5 update has not solved the issue for them. How are things going for the rest of you? Has 3.5 solved the problem? Has it not? Have you not tried it? The more information we get, the more likely it is we can solve any remaining problems.

Thanks,
Ben
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Scott Woodward

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I would also be interested to hear others' experiences with 3.5 running 10.6.8. I hope the commenters here will provide their own feedback. Thank you.
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Charles Best

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Hi, I've just tried the 3.5 update and it seems to work on my Macbook running 10.6.8. It did crash once (LR quit) when I shot quite fast and the buffer capacity in my D3 got down to around 6 or 7 (out of 17) but the same thing happened occasionally with the earlier version too. Thanks for getting on to this so quickly - I reverted to the old Nikon Camera Control > LR watched folder method to keep me going and I had forgotten how truly awful a system that was....
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Scott Woodward

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Hi Charles, this is good news for you -- but disappointing news for me. As I explained in my post(s) above, I am running the exact same system as you, but my tether in LR is buggy and tempermental and unreliable. There is no rhyme or reason to how/when tether cuts out for me. I simply gave-up after a few hours shooting today where I experienced 5 crashes, lost files and lots of frustration. I moved to Sofortbild plus a watched folder in LR and did not experience a single tethering hiccup or crash or lost connection or lost photograph for the remaining 7+ hours of my shoot. I am baffled why you are running smoothly and I am not. Particularly as I can put my finger on my problems with LR tether starting the minute I upgraded to 10.6.8 (and never had a single issue ever while running 10.6.7)... I cannot be the only one experiencing this problem (can I?)... SW
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David Garb

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Hi,
I'm having the same problems as Scott. No problems with Sofortbild and a watched folder!! Running 3.5RC with Lion on a MBP.Losing images as LR hangs.I end up with some files that are not complete and not recognizable by LR. LR loses connection while the camera is transferring. Cannot get on top of this problem - restarting tethered,camera on and off, restarting Mac,changing cables,cleaning contacts. It's totally erratic and very frustrating!
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steve fischer

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3.5 did not solve any of the issues for me. i have since started using Aperture and have had no problems at all. There is no problem imaginable that should take this long to solve. i gave up. I wish i didn't spend my hard earned money on this product.
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Christopher Kokinos

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Hi Ben,

The 3.5 update worked perfectly for me in Snow Leopard and, after a recent hard drive failure (no fault of yours ;) ) I installed 3.5 along with Lion and it still works perfectly. Thanks so much for the fix.

Best,
Christopher
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Glad to hear it! Thanks for the update.

-Ben
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Eric McCormack

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Benjamin,

I have not tried the update, yet will try it this week
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hi Scott,

"I am baffled why you are running smoothly and I am not." You're not the only one! :-) Maybe you'd be willing to try an experiment for me.

1. Go into user/Library/Preferences and move any files with "Lightroom" in the name to the Desktop (you can put them back once you're done with this testing).
2. Go into System Preferences and set your computer to never sleep.
3. Launch Lightroom.
4. Connect a supported camera with a fully charged battery.
5. Start a tethered capture session with the default settings (i.e., just go to File>Tethered Capture>Start Tethered Capture then click "OK" in the Tethered Capture Settings" dialog - after performing step 1 above, these settings should all be at their defaults).
6. Click the shutter release button on the tethered capture bar to verify that the camera can be triggered from Lightroom, and that it will capture a photo.
7. Wait at least 30 minutes.
8. Click the shutter release button on the tethered capture bar again and verify that a second photo is successfully captured.

Perform these steps using Lightroom 3.4.1 on Mac OS 10.6.8 or later. My expectation is that the second capture, in step 8, will fail. Then perform these steps in Lightroom 3.5 on 10.6.8 or later. My expectation is that the second capture, in step 8, will succeed.

If my expectation proves to be correct, then we will have confirmed that our fix of the basic problem has worked, and that the problem you are experiencing is something else. If my expectation is not correct, and step 8 it still fails for you in 3.5, then we will have discovered that our fix of the basic problem has not worked. Either way, that will help us narrow down the issue, and we can proceed accordingly.

I realize that doing these tests involves a non-trivial amount of time, and that you probably have better things to do than Lightroom quality assurance, so I totally understand if you'd rather not bother with it. If you are able to do these tests, it may help us get to the bottom of the issue. Either way, I appreciate the time you've spent giving detailed feedback here.

Thanks,
Ben
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Scott Woodward

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OK Ben, I did everything exactly as you asked me to do above (running OSX 10.6.8 and D3x)...

In LR 3.4.1 - Interestingly, the camera did not hang, even after 30+ minutes of sitting idle. The frame came into LR without a problem. However, when I fired off some frames about 5 minutes later, they did not come into LR. I stopped tether and restarted tether and they came in.

In LR 3.5 - As you suspected, after 30+ minutes of sitting idle, the frames came into LR without a problem. But, again, about 15 minutes later I fired off some frames and they did not come in. I stopped tether and restarted tether and they came in.

On the one hand it's weird that 3.4.1 didn't have a hanging problem after 30 minutes of sitting idle. On the other hand, however, it's not really strange, as -- per my original post a couple of months ago -- the hanging/connectivity issue for me (running both 3.4.1. and 3.5) has ALWAYS seemed random and not time-bound, per se.

By this, I mean that on 3.4.1 my camera would sometimes hang after a few minutes of sitting idle, sometimes after a long time sitting idle and sometimes simply in the middle of shooting. And on 3.5 I experience the exact same "randomness" to my tethered connectivity; there is no pattern that I can discern for you.

So, I guess what I am driving at is that it is clear (at least to me) that the tethering problem has not been addressed by Adobe.

Again, I will emphasize that Sofortbild with a watched folder in LR 3.5 does not give me even a single hiccup. In fact, I shot on Tuesday intermittently for seven straight hours without ever turning off my camera, restarting my MBP or stopping/starting LR or Sofortbild -- and I did not have a single hanging/connectivity issue at any point.

I am not sure if I've helped you at all, but there you go...

Scott
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Jim Burgess

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Finally have some time to jump into this discussion and pass along the issues I have had with LR tethering. Note that all of these issues have occurred on a MacBookPro8,2 with 8GB of RAM and OS X 10.6.8. LR versions were 3.4.1 (once) and 3.5RC. Nikon D3 cameras were used.

First, my experiences are very similar to those described by Scott W. with a couple of differences I will note.

A typical tethered session runs for several hours with continuous shooting for periods of a few minutes to 30 minutes, interspersed with idle periods of anywhere between a few minutes to possibly an hour. There is no pattern per se to the shooting.

Just prior to the release of LR 3.5RC I did a session using LR 3.4.1 and to be honest, it was outright embarrassing. To have continuous failures of the connection in front of a client just doesn't look good, especially when the tethered connection is essential to the workflow. So it was with great relief when LR 3.5RC was made available before my next scheduled session.

I installed 3.5RC and set up a test session where I mimicked the shooting sequence described above. Over a period of 3 hours there was only one tethered connection failure, so I bit the bullet and decided to go with LR for the actual session. During the actual session of approximately 4 hours there were no connection failures.

Two days later I had another session and again went with LR3.5RC in an identical setup. During this session, tethering worked fine for about 2 hours, then started having connection failures (note the plural!). The failures occurred regardless of the idle time between shots.

A difference in what Scott has described:
I was always able to reestablish the connection by simply stopping and starting tethering within LR. I never had to exit the program, or restart the computer. Also notable is that I never lost an image. The images captured during the lost connection were always preserved in the camera's buffer, and when the connection was reestablished the images transferred to the computer.

I have also set up a test session using other software (Aperture) to do tethered capture, and did not have a single connection failure over a period of several hours.

I did not try your latest test due to time constraints, but also because I'm not sure that test actually addresses the issues that multiple users are experiencing during an actual shoot.

I agree with Scott that LR3.5RC does not yet fix the tethering issues, although they certainly are occurring much less than with LR 3.4.1.

I have two sessions coming up within the next few days. To say the least, I am very reluctant to use LR3.5RC for these sessions.

Although these observations mostly back up what Scott has reported, I hope they help.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Thanks for the additional info.

-Ben
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David BONNIER

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Hello LR users,

I'm afraid but I confirm the same behaviour under LR3.5RC.

I started a shooting session and get stuck after only 3 shots.....

But!......and maybe that's the key of the problem.....I was able to do more than 120 shots in a row without any hanging/crashing problem!

Where's the difference??

In first case, I sometimes changed, from the camera, a few settings , ISO or f/stops value, or WB....

In second case, I didn't change any camera settings! Only point & shoot!

Could it be the core of the problem??
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Bobby Carmichael

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Wow this is frustrating. To literally BUY into LR3 and now there is systemic problem with shooting with Nikon and LR3 and Apple. Btw/ turning off the camera and turning off the computer and all this BS doesn't help make for a smooth SHOOT. Which is why we are here. I urge ADOBE to stand up and get this issue resolved or there is going to be a mass exit by professional users from this very flawed product. LR3 was all about shooting tethered and I'm upset that ADOBE has there head in the sand in DENIAL about what is going on. So what are you waiting for ADOBE? GET THIS FIXED!
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hi Bobby,

No denial here. If there were, I wouldn't bother reading the thread. ;-) Problems aren't usually too hard to fix, as long as we can produce the problem. Unfortunately, tether with Nikon on Apple using Lightroom 3.5 works great for us (and for at least a couple other people in this thread) which makes it much harder to figure out and address. Yelling about "get this fixed" doesn't help us reproduce the problem. Specific feedback and theories such as Scott and David have provide are much more constructive (though sadly not, as yet, effective). I appreciate the seriousness of professionals not being able to use our tool to do their job. Please do let me know if you have any specific information to add, beyond what has already been discussed in the thread.

Thanks,
Ben
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Geoff Walker, Champion

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Scott, can you please provide exact details of your set up - computer, camera, Lightroom and any extras. This could be helpful in attempting to isolate common factors. Thanks.
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Scott Woodward

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Geoff, I started this thread and my set-up is listed in the title of the post: I operate a Nikon D3 and D3x, a new MBP running 10.6.8 and the problems persist across LR 3.4.1 and 3.5RC. Scott
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steve fischer

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Scott, I've done the same thing. I had another thread running at the same time.I gave up and bought Aperture. I haven't had a single problem yet and I've probably shot 7,000 images through tether since I switched. If this is something you need make the change. Adobe clearly doesn't engineers strong enough to find the fix, or it would have been done. One nice thing though, I was reading a blog about Aperture (trying to get up to speed on it since I bought it) and the blogger wrote that lightroom 3 is NOT compatible with Lion and he could not get it to work for demonstration reasons. So he used a friends computer. Aperture showed to be a functional product. You might just cut your loses, inform your friends that may be in the same boat, and say goodbye to Lightroom 3 "the light stands for lite like amateur"
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Geoff Walker, Champion

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Scott, I did ask for more details than you supplied. However have you tried a different user account?
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Scott Woodward

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Geoff,

My apologies but what other specific details would you like to know about the system I am running besides the computer type, OS version, LR version and camera types?

I have only one user account in my MBP (mine)?

Scott
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steve fischer

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Can't you set up a remote session with some of us that are having the problem? Or is this problem being worked on from Adobe's San Jose location? I'm sure someone looking around these boards is in the San Jose area and could reproduce the problem for you. I can't even get lightroom to acknowledge the camera anymore. It sees that it's a 5D but doesn't register any of the settings. I used to be able to get it going and then it would disconnect, but since 3.5 I can't even get a single image through tether.
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steve fischer

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is there any chance that this could be caused by a third party plug in? Such as gmail, or theturninggate, or timothy white plugins? Or any develop settings imported into lightroom?