My Blog and Soapbox

To help order and sort some of the things in my mind, it often helps me to write them down. And this is the place I do just that. Not always related to photography. Not always in English. Manchmal auch auf Deutsch.
I have recently switched blogging platforms. Here is my new blog:
I have recently switched blogging platforms. Here is my old blog:

Should you get Lightroom 4? For now I'd say: hands off.

tl;dr: the LR3 to LR4 update ate my tone curve adjustments for breakfast.

Update 05/02/2012: It's been almost two months and Adobe still hasn't officially updated Lightroom 4.0. Here are some of my thoughts on it.

Update 03/06/2012: Here is the bug report that I filed with Adobe. Please consider to +1 it on their site to help raise awareness of the issue.

Update 03/07/2012: Tom Hogarty, Lightroom Product Manager has posted the following update as a response to the bug report: "Thanks Chris. We've been investigating this issue throughout the day and hope to have an update soon. Thanks for your patience and all of the detail you've provided."

Update 03/11/2012: It's 4 days later and the bug report now has 55 +1's. Some of the commenters are starting to get really impatient.

Update 03/12/2012: I received a mail with a script and test instructions from Tom Hogarty. The script recovers lost tone curves and it mostly worked. It's just an alpha test version, so it still has a few side effects though. Adobe is on the right track with this, but they're not there yet. This still has to be tested more and then needs to make it into an update. I posted my findings in the bug report. 62 +1s now by the way.

Update 03/14/2012: Since Adobe provided the test script to some of those who had the issue (this includes me), there have been mixed messages on the bug report thread. It works for some, some have found other issues. It generally worked for me, even though I ran into another potential problem during testing the fix. This bug is also on the top of the list of Adobe's Lightroom 4 Hot Issues, so even though it's been eight days, there's still hope they will eventually fix it. Until then I'm staying on LR3 and I'm just a little annoyed that I paid for an update that so far is unusable to me.

Article:

I just updated from Lightroom 3.6 to Lightroom 4. The new features and the 50% price drop made it look like a no-brainer. I loved the product from the first beta of version 1. I even recorded two video workshops for Lightroom (in German).

If you've listened to Tips from the Top Floor or Happy Shooting, you know that Lightroom is the hub for my photography and you'd have to dangle quite a juicy carrot in front of me to make me give it up. Very juicy.

Unfortunately I have to report that after the update, Lightroom 4 seems to have eaten up all my tone curve adjustments and replaced them with some defaults.

Here's a picture in Lightroom 3, note its histogram:

Shot318

Now here's the same picture in Lightroom 4. The picture looks the same, the histogram doesn't:

Shot319

At first I was confused: the LR4 histogram implies a much brighter black point and a much lower overall contrast. Then I realized that the picture shown in LR4 and the histogram must be disconnected in some way.

Next I went back to LR3 and went into the develop module. Opening up the tone curve adjustment tool, it shows the tone curve that I gave the picture.

Shot320

I use tone curves a lot. I use them more than the other contrast management tools. I probably use tone curves on over 60% of my images.

Next I went to LR4 and opened the same picture in develop mode. This is not the tone curve that I originally gave my picture.Shot321

After a few seconds, the preview was updated to reflect the "new" tone curve. At least now the picture matches the histogram again…

NOTE: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 took the liberty to swap out the tone curve that I spent time creating to some sort of default tone curve.

NOTE 2: I did not enable the new 2012 processing, the picture is still on the 2010 process version.

For now I'll revert to LR3 and wait until they ironed out the issues. I'm filing a bug with Adobe as we speak.

Wait. Should you use LR4? "I never used tone curves, I shouldn't have a problem then" I hear you say. Well, if Adobe borked something as essential as the tone curves, that has an effect on my personal trust in the overall product.

I love the new features in Lightroom 4, I think the new processing is awesome and the map feature is the first one in a product that looks like I might actually use it. Books is a great addition too.

But I just don't think Lightroom 4 is quite ready with an issue this big under the hood.


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