LightRoom vs LightZone vs ?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Narnian, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    I am in the process of determining which darkroom software to buy and though I am leaning toward LightRoom there seems to be something about LightZone that looks interesting.

    I plan on being a moderately light user (work time constraints) and do not want something too complicated or with a steep learning curve.

    I am an old (20+ years ago) medium and large format BW amateur shooter who would like to get back into things now that the kids are grown.

    Recommendations?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    333
    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    I wanted to find a new way to process my digital files after coming from NX2 and moving away from Nikon to the GF1. I had a client ask for three shots, and while I found the first two with out any problem, it took me sometime to locate the last one. I knew then that I had a real problem. LR3 not only is a good processing bit of software, it is a very good system of keeping up with your files or DAM system (digital acess management). I got online and made a search and when I came apon the video, Where are my *^%$)% photographs, I felt that here was someone who knew what the problem was. The Luminous Landscape has the video hosted by Michael Reichmann and Seth Resnick. That takes care of half of your problem, keeping up with your photographs. Scott Kelby gives you the other half of the LR3 program, post processing of your photographs. LightRoom3 book for digital photographers by Scott Kelby is a good reference book. You might want to check out the other software packages your looking at to see if there are reference books to help you figure out the software.

    I had a problem getting my prints to come out of my printer matching my monitor. I had a calibrated monitor but that didn't solve my problem. Reading the Scott Kelby book on CS4 I was able to get a good matching print on my next try. Worth the whole cost of the book, just getting that print. Same is true for LR3. It isn't the easiest software to manage/learn, but well worth the effort.
    photosbypike
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    Thanks! Is the LR catalog like the one in Elements 6? I installed Elements 8 a few weeks ago (had a copy I never used) and I confess I am not too thrilled with what I have seen there. Though I am still using a file structure system on my Windows Home Server so I am definitely behind the times and need to step up to something more comprehensive with real metadata support.

    The problem is usually time to create the metadata.

    I am the kind of guy who would write my own cataloging software if I had the time.

    And thanks especially for the book reference!
     
  4. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Have you tried downloading both applications to try before you buy? I know that LightZone is available as a 30 day demo, and if you PM me I will help you through any learning curve / questions you may have.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  5. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    Yes - I plan on doing that this weekend. I was hoping to get some ideas what to look for and compare. Since I will not have hours and hours to run through each application I was hoping to zero in on the critical components and the differences highlighted here.
     
  6. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    I don't think there's any post processing app out there with the simplicity, power and interactivity of the LightZone interface - so it will be difficult to compare feature for feature. You should note that LightZone 4 is currently under active development so there will be some further progress this year on speed and features.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  7. crookedfootball

    crookedfootball New to Mu-43

    4
    Jul 21, 2010
    I used Lightzone a lot for the first two years after I bought a DSLR and quite liked it. Then I upgraded to a new camera and it took them ages to produce RAW support. There were also long periods when LZ looked to be abandonware. So I switched to LR (after trying Aperture for a limited period) and I have to say that I haven't looked back. LR works well, is terrific for organization. No complaints at all.
     
  8. BartonFlyer

    BartonFlyer Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    105
    Jan 21, 2010
    Bolton, UK
    This blog has some really good information on LightZone - you might find it useful
     
    • Like Like x 6
  9. dko22

    dko22 Mu-43 Regular

    163
    Jul 26, 2010
    Stuttgart, Germany
    I had a wee fling with Lightzone about 3 years ago and very much liked the concept of layers and zones. Do feel that it's falling behind these days though and that Lightroom is now a more polished product overall. Decide to download LZ again last night and it crashed twice within 5 minutes on windows 7 64 bit so that didn't fill me with so much confidence. But do try it and I'm sure you'll get lots of useful tips from Brian Mosley!

    David
     
  10. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Nice link Ian, I'd forgotten about that blog... some interesting tips!

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  11. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Hi David, how are you finding Windows 7? I'm still on XP... I don't know whether I'll go for a power laptop running windows, or a Mac Book Pro...

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  12. dko22

    dko22 Mu-43 Regular

    163
    Jul 26, 2010
    Stuttgart, Germany
    happy with windows 7 overall --it's a nice product and seems pretty stable. have installed virtual PC to run a few old apps which only run under XP so if you have those, it may be worth getting the win 7 Pro version as the basic version won't run emulators --and you need to have a compatible processor (nearly all newer AMDs but not all Intels). You'd need to check out the situation if you want to use Mac hardware -- I do like the Macbook Pros but not the nasty ordinary Macbooks!
     
  13. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    My take so far:

    1. LightZone has been less stable - it has crashed a couple of times.

    2. Adobe supports multiple monitors which allows me to have more real estate than my 14" laptop. I can move the image to the second monitor (in this case a 19") and even rotate the monitor for vertical images. I have not found multiple-monitor support in LightZone. And a 14" workspace is way too small considering the density of controls in both programs.

    3. I think LightZone does do a little better job with the interface - Adobe historically has broken good screen layout standards which I find annoying and does in this release as well. As a former programmer whenever I use an Adobe product I am always annoyed - ergonomics has never been high on their list.

    4. Preview and manipulation seems seems to be close (with an edge to Adobe) - I have not done enough to fully test this - I need to take some reference images with over/under exposure, large/small dynamic ranges, high ISO, etc. and see what the software can do. Since my GF1 is new I have very few RAW images so far to work with

    IMO LightRoom currently has a clear edge overall.

    Is there any support for architectural photography perspective correction? Or does that require PhotoShop?
     
  14. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    The decision is in - LightRoom. Now to see if my part-time college teaching qualifies me for the educational discount.