Lightroom previews - I'm totally confused

Susanne

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Hi all

I've been using Lightroom for a couple of years but I only use fragments of what you can do with it. I simply don't know it well enough, other than some of the Develop module where I do most my editing, and exporting, and I love being able to do things in batch. I've bought a course to learn the basics of Lightroom but haven't taken the time to start it yet.

I was annoyed recently when I had both jpg and RAW files showing up in the import window, while they should be considered the same image (I always shoot both jpg and RAW because I often import quick photos from the camera to my phone and then I want jpg)
And yes, I have unchecked the "treat jpg files next to RAW files as separate photos" checkbox. But I wanted to ask about something else.

When I looked for information about this problem, I started learning more about the Lightroom previews. I've never even thought of it before, I've just used the setting Lightroom has chosen. But recently I've also noticed that Lightroom seemed to show previews in low res mode and then, how am I supposed to know if the photograph is actually good, or if it's just a low res preview? I want to see the real photo quality when I look at it in Lightroom.

So I just assumed that I should be using the 1:1 preview and that Smart previews are clever. But then, this morning I read also that if you use 1:1, over time it will overload the computer RAM etc.

Now I'm more confused than ever. What do you choose, and why? Are 1:1 previews a problem?

I use Macbook Pro Apple M1, with 16 GB RAM and 500 GB space, but have my Lightroom catalog on Dropbox (with 7-ish TB space).

What should I be doing? What's best practice?

And yes, I think I'll take the time to start these lessons on Udemy this week... 😬
 

Ranger Rick

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I use 1:1 previews in my catalog on my M1 MBP 16gb 1tb and have no issues. I have over 35k images in the catalog. This may or may not be optimum to others, but works fine for me. The image files I keep on an external ssd. You could choose to have Standard or Thumbnail previews as your "normal", but then you need to generate larger previews when you want to work on an image if you want a better view of the image for processing an extra and time consuming step Not the end of the world, just a trade-off.
I keep the LR catalog on the MBP. Could Dropbox be a negative factor, since I assume it is the "cloud"? Perhaps someone who uses it can chime in.
This may be helpful:
https://www.slrlounge.com/speed-up-your-workflow-by-rendering-11-previews-in-lightroom-4/
And on LR cat in Dropbox:
https://digital-photography-school.com/syncing-and-backing-up-your-lightroom-catalog-with-dropbox/
 

Ranger Rick

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I also use Smart Previews, stored with the catalog on my MBP. While they take up space on the computer, they allow me to work on files without having the external ssd attached or when internet is not available. Speeds up the LR process a bit too because you are working on smaller files. Changes sync up when you reconnect the external ssd and open LR. Everyone's MMV
https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/help/lightroom-smart-previews.html
 

Replytoken

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1:1 previews are what LR uses when you view an image at 100%. If the file doe snot have a 1:1 preview, LR will then need to create it on the fly. so, by creating a 1:1 preview when importing, LR only has to load that rather than first create it and then load it. The previews can take up a bit of space, but unless you are really starved for storage or have a very large catalog, this should be manageable. For additional instruction, I would also recommend Victoria's free e-books at Lightroom Queen. The forum is a good place for support and has very friendly members, not unlike here. https://www.lightroomqueen.com/ .

Good luck,

--Ken

P.S. You also have the option of having LR delete 1:1 previews after a certain amount of time if storage does become an issue.
 

Susanne

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There is also the free LR summit this week starting tomorrow in case you are interested - https://www.lightroomsummit.com/ . All sessions remain available for free for 48 hours.

--Ken
Wow, amazing! I'll definitely check it out, thanks! And thanks for bringing up the option to delete 1:1 previews. I've seen that somewhere which made me wonder why someone else says they could cause problems if they're too many.

I use 1:1 previews in my catalog on my M1 MBP 16gb 1tb and have no issues. I have over 35k images in the catalog. This may or may not be optimum to others, but works fine for me. The image files I keep on an external ssd. You could choose to have Standard or Thumbnail previews as your "normal", but then you need to generate larger previews when you want to work on an image if you want a better view of the image for processing an extra and time consuming step Not the end of the world, just a trade-off.
I keep the LR catalog on the MBP. Could Dropbox be a negative factor, since I assume it is the "cloud"? Perhaps someone who uses it can chime in.
This may be helpful:
https://www.slrlounge.com/speed-up-your-workflow-by-rendering-11-previews-in-lightroom-4/
And on LR cat in Dropbox:
https://digital-photography-school.com/syncing-and-backing-up-your-lightroom-catalog-with-dropbox/

Thank you. I should be ok then, if you do this with 35k+ images! I've dared to open LR again now, and import with 1:1 previews. I'll definitely check your links.
 

Replytoken

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Wow, amazing! I'll definitely check it out, thanks! And thanks for bringing up the option to delete 1:1 previews. I've seen that somewhere which made me wonder why someone else says they could cause problems if they're too many.



Thank you. I should be ok then, if you do this with 35k+ images! I've dared to open LR again now, and import with 1:1 previews. I'll definitely check your links.
1:1 previews can also be generated just prior to doing work, so if you have a specific folder or two that did not have them, you could select them and generate the new previews just before you begin to work. The perfect excuse to go get a nice hot beverage while it makes the new previews.

--Ken
 

ralf-11

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Hi all

I've been using Lightroom for a couple of years but I only use fragments of what you can do with it. I simply don't know it well enough, other than some of the Develop module where I do most my editing, and exporting, and I love being able to do things in batch. I've bought a course to learn the basics of Lightroom but haven't taken the time to start it yet.

😬

for the general issue, you might want to just buy a book on LR and work thru it slowly - there are many books and lots are available used
 

Ranger Rick

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In line with Ken's suggestion, you could generate 1:1 previews on import, then delete them after you have finished processing related images. That would keep your storage to a minimum, and you would be generating while you import.

Ralf has a good suggestion- I have found the Lightroom Queen's website/forums helpful, and her book on the Missing FAQs is a good one. Sale going on now.
https://www.lightroomqueen.com
https://www.lightroomqueen.com/shop/
 

Susanne

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Isn’t the M1 an awesome laptop!!

I use smart previews. I never researched the difference, but I’ve also never had a complaint

It's a lovely machine! I'm totally impressed especially with the battery life.
 
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