Lightroom: When I import on my iMac or Macbook pro, I occasionally get distorted imports

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  • Updated 7 months ago
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When I import to LR on my iMac or Macbook pro, I occasionally get distorted imports. Deletion and re-import sometimes corrects the problem . Latest Mac and LR CC versions.
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Jeff Alter

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Posted 2 years ago

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Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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99.9999% of the time, it's a hardware problem - most frequently the card reader/camera cable, but possibly also the camera or card itself, memory, connection to the hard drive (especially if external), and so forth. It's going to be a process of elimination to figure out which.
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David Martin

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This is definitely NOT a hardware problem.  Lightroom has been distorting portrait images ever since the last upgrade.  This behavior never occurred previously, and nothing about the hardware has changed. As an engineer, I applied standard troubleshooting, eliminating one potential point of failure at a time, and nothing changed.  Even downloading images from the internet and importing them results in the same distortion of portrait images.

Eventually, LR corrects the distortion, but it takes hours.  Reverting back to the previous version and this behavior goes away.  It is a Lightroom issue, not a hardware issue.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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The ones shown in the screenshots are corrupted.

David, when you say distorted, are you seeing exactly the same as above?
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David Martin

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Hello Victoria,

It is difficult to say.  Image a portrait frame with a portrait image distorted to fit in the frame as a landscape picture, only it is stretched vertically.  Some of the photos, before LR finally corrects them, look exactly like what we see above.

The point here, which Jeff did not elucidate further upon, is whether or not the image is eventually corrected.  If it is corrected by LR, after many minutes for each one, then we have the same problem.  If not, then we have another issue with some of the same symptoms.

Frankly, if I was not running a MacPro with 64GB and 6 processors, I do not think my images would correct themsleves.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Ok, the stretched ones is a different kind of problem. You're initially seeing the camera's embedded preview, which it appears is not being rotated correctly. We've seen that one in the past once or twice. It may be limited to a particular camera or even camera firmware version.

Then Lightroom builds it's own previews (which it has to do anyway), so they appear to fix themselves. To speed up the process, select Standard Previews in the File Handling panel of the import dialog, or select all and go to Library menu > Previews > Build Standard Previews for ones that are already imported.
(Edited)
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Matthew Terhune

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I have the same problem. It started in the last six months. I then got a new iMac ($3,200) and didn't bring over anything from old iMac. Problem still occurs. This is important...when using the same card and card reader on my PC in lightroom, the issue does not occur, because it is not a hardware problem.

I have found no fix for this online.
(Edited)
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Matthew, which problem? The corrupted photos from the original post or the stretched preview in the post before yours?

Is this the same card / reader on the new Mac? I've seen cases in the past that card/reader combo's worked well on one machine but not another (and wasn't just limited to LR).