Archivi categoria: optimization

7 Tips for Making Lightroom Run Faster

Not happy with Lightroom’s sluggish performance on your computer? Here’s a helpful 15-minute video in which photographer and instructor Anthony Morganti shares a number of helpful tips for optimizing your Lightroom’s performance.

The tips are various settings you can adjust and tools you can run inside Lightroom, from Catalog Settings to Preferences and more. Since photographers have different workflows and needs, customizing how Lightroom runs can help make it run faster for your own purposes.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the main performance optimization tips discussed in-depth in the video:

#1. Build 1:1 Previews: Make Lightroom create a 1:1 preview of your photo files, trading extra disk space and slower importing for faster performance while working with your photos.

#2: Discard Previews: Have Lightroom automatically discard your 1:1 previews after a certain number of days to free up disk space.

#3: Preview Size and Quality: Make sure your preview size and quality and set to appropriate settings for your monitor.

#4: Camera Raw Cache Settings: Increase your cache size as large as you can from the default of 1GB.

#5: Use Graphics Professor: Try enabling or disabling the use of your graphics processor to see if that improves performance.

#6: Smart Previews: You can give up disk space and editing quality by using Smart Previews for faster performance.

#7: Optimize Catalog: Use the built-in optimization tool to keep things humming along over time.

Watch the video at the top of the post for a more detailed look at how you can make these adjustments and what they can do for you.

The video is episode #92 in Morganti’s helpful Lightroom Quick Tips video series. You can find his entire collection of videos on his YouTube channel.

(via Anthony Morganti via Fstoppers)

Testing Out Sigma’s Lens Calibration USB Dock and Optimization Pro Software

Testing Out Sigmas Lens Calibration USB Dock and Optimization Pro Software sigmausbduck

“Commerce makes progress. Fortune passes everywhere.” – Frank Herbert

A few years ago I was accused of being a Sigma hater. (For the record, I did hate their quality control and so-called repair service at that time, and I didn’t hesitate to say so.) For the third or fourth time in the last year, I’m about to be accused of being a Sigma fanboy.

I’m pretty certain I haven’t gone soft over the last 4 years. I am certain, though, that Sigma Photo, Inc. has changed a lot in that time. Truth is, they’ve been making serious waves in the photo industry these last few years. They’ve improved their repair service and quality assurance. They’ve released some world-class lenses at way less than world-class prices lately. And now they’ve released their USB dock and Optimization Pro software.

I spent the past weekend playing with it. Partly because I really think this is a revolutionary product and I wanted to see how it worked. Partly because I desperately need a ‘Honey, I’ve really got to do this for work’ excuse or I’d have been restaining the deck.

My conclusion, as usual, first: if anything is going to get the attention of those who like to disable features in firmware, overprice lenses, and limit our ability to customize, this might be it. I did some adjustments this weekend, in about 10 minutes, which would have required a trip to factory service on a Canon or Nikon lens. And let me stop the Fanboy stuff before it starts: you may never have needed to make this adjustment on your 10 or 20 Canon or Nikon lenses, but I’ve sent dozens of them to factory service adjustments for exactly the issue I’m going to demonstrate today.

Quick Overview of the USB Dock and Optimization Pro Software

The directions are pretty simple:

  1. Make sure you buy the dock in the proper mount (Canon, Nikon, or Sigma).
  2. Download the Optimization Pro Software HERE. It’s about 3.4 Mb in a zip file, available for Windows or Mac.
  3. Open the software, put the lens in the USB dock, and plug the USB port in your computer.

Once you hook things up the program the program opens to a nice, straightforward main page.

Testing Out Sigmas Lens Calibration USB Dock and Optimization Pro Software window1 copy

The firmware update button reads the lens’ firmware and lets you know if you need a firmware update. Push yes and it updates in about 20 seconds.

Testing Out Sigmas Lens Calibration USB Dock and Optimization Pro Software update copy

Adjusting a Lens

First of all, here’s a nice 10-minute video that Sigma made that shows you the use of the device very clearly:

If you’re like me, though, you might prefer a 30 second blog read. It really is that simple. Actually, 10 minutes is more time than it took me to do my first adjustment on the 35mm f/1.4 (of course, without reading any manuals).

I should be clear, I don’t do a full-ballistic, OCD, 600-shot microfocus adjustment. I’m too aware that phase detection AF is a shotgun, not a sniper’s rifle. I’ll take nearly perfect in 10 minutes rather than perfect in 4 hours every time. Plus, like I said, I’ve got a deck to stain. Unless I can put it off so long that my wife gets frustrated and does it herself.

I chose a lens that is perfect for this software. This copy of the 35mm f/1.4 is perfect on my Canon 6D at close and intermediate distances, but at long distances it backfocuses badly. I can do a microfocus adjustment to correct long-distance focus, but then the lens is frontfocusing at near distances. Without the Sigma dock and software, the only option was a trip to the factory service center to change the lens parameters.

Since I was at home instead of the office, I didn’t have Focal, LensAlign charts, or any of the other things that seem to be considered necessary tools for autofocus adjustment these days. So I made do with a placemat and my back yard.

Since I plan on using this lens outdoors in daylight I wanted to adjust it in daylight (autofocus can change slightly in different lighting conditions, if you aren’t aware). I started with a placemat set in front of a picture window.

Testing Out Sigmas Lens Calibration USB Dock and Optimization Pro Software closetarget copy

Spot focusing on the tip of the green leaf, I took several shots each at minimum focusing distance, 3 feet, and 6 feet. They all showed focus was accurate, as in the samples below.

Testing Out Sigmas Lens Calibration USB Dock and Optimization Pro Software mfd copy

Testing Out Sigmas Lens Calibration USB Dock and Optimization Pro Software 3feet copy

Focusing at longer distances, however, showed the lens backfocused quite dramatically. In this image the focus point was on the small yellow leaf in the foreground (I’ve cropped the image to show the area behind the focus point):

Testing Out Sigmas Lens Calibration USB Dock and Optimization Pro Software infinity copy

Opening up the Sigma adjustment window shows I can make adjustments at 4 distances. With the 35mm, 3 of those are close: roughly 0.3, 0.4 and 0.7 meters. The other is infinity:

Testing Out Sigmas Lens Calibration USB Dock and Optimization Pro Software afadjustwindow 1024x658 copy

I left the close adjustments at zero and gave infinity adjustment a -12. You just click on the area you want to adjust, move the slider the amount you want adjusted, and then click the “Rewriting” button. (The “Rewriting” button is the only part of the software that isn’t totally intuitive; it isn’t highlighted until after you click on it.)

A repeat shot outside showed -12 was way too much adjustment so I went back and reset the infinity adjustment to -8. That was spot on as shown in the image below. I rechecked AF at closer distances and it had not changed a bit:

Testing Out Sigmas Lens Calibration USB Dock and Optimization Pro Software final2 copy

Total elapsed time for firmware update, focus checks, focus adjustments, and final check was just about 10 minutes. Obviously a zoom lens, which can be adjusted both at different focal lengths for different focusing distances at each focal length, will take longer.

Conclusion

For the even slightly gear-head amongst us, this is an awesome tool, giving us the ability to fine-tune autofocus adjustment much more completely than simple camera microfocus adjustment. At $59, I consider it an amazing bargain for anyone who owns one of the Sigma Art, Contemporary, or Sports lenses (it does not work on older lenses).

I’ve already heard a couple of people complain that it should be included with the lenses but I disagree. First, the price is very reasonable and the software is free. Why would they include it with each lens (which probably means each lens costs $59 more) when you only need one for all of your lenses? Not to mention half the people who buy it would never use it.

I’ve heard others state that only Sigma lenses need such a device. I’ll meet them part way: I think there is probably a more frequent need for such adjustment on third-party lenses, but I can absolutely guarantee you that the big-boy’s lenses do indeed have this same kind of problem, at least occasionally.

Whether they need it more frequently or not, now Sigma DOES have such a device. Which means, for example (just pulling a random lens out of my hat), the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is now not only sharper and less expensive, but also more accurately adjustable than the manufacturer’s 35mm f/1.4. I wonder if anyone is hearing footsteps*?


* For non-U. S. readers, hearing footsteps is a term used to describe an American football player, who, thinking he is wide open and about to catch a pass, unexpectedly hears the footsteps of an unseen opposing player about to crush him.


About the author: Roger Cicala is the founder of LensRentals. This article was originally published here.

Popular Space-Saving App JPEGmini Now Available for Windows

Popular Space Saving App JPEGmini Now Available for Windows jpegminipc1

Beamr’s space-saving application JPEGmini has gone through a few evolutions over time. What started as a web app to reduce JPEG files by up to 5x without losing quality has since spread to the world of desktops and mobile devices with their space-saving Mac app and high-res photo sharing iOS app.

But through it all Windows users have been left in the dark, having to settle for using the web app. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. As of two days ago, the popular JPEGmini desktop application has made its way onto the PC.

JPEGmini uses a special, patented compression algorithm that decreases photo file sizes up to 5x without any perceptible loss in quality. And while you can do all of that using the company’s web app, the desktop app takes the process one step further by allowing you to use the same algorithm on entire photo libraries.

Popular Space Saving App JPEGmini Now Available for Windows

Of course, professionals often work exclusively with RAW files, but if you’re partial to JPEGs or even if you just have a massive stash of photos in that format from, say, your old point-and-shoot or your smartphone, the $20 Windows app has the potential to save you a ton of space with no noticeable compromises in quality.

According to Beamr president Eli Lubitch:

More than 100 million photos have been optimized to date by JPEGmini users seeking to maintain quality while scaling back valuable storage space. Our expansion to Windows … allows us to accommodate the entire spectrum of photo and media workflow from photo capture, editing and storage to online publishing.

JPEGmini for Windows will be available exclusively from B&H Photo. To learn more about the application and/or grab a copy for yourself, head over to JPEGmini’s website or the app’s B&H product page by following the respective links.

Tips for Getting Maximum Performance Out of Adobe Lightroom

Tips for Getting Maximum Performance Out of Adobe Lightroom adobelightroomspeed

Is your Adobe Lightroom running slowly on your computer? Adobe regularly receives questions through social media regarding sluggish photo editing, and recently decided to start compiling the non-traditional solutions that work onto a single helpful page. In the Lightroom Help section of the Adobe website, there’s now a page titled “Performance hints“.

Here’s a sampling of some of the tips and tricks on the page:

If you use Photoshop with Lightroom, check Photoshop’s RAM setting

See the Max Out on RAM and Memory Usage sections in this TechNote to determine the best RAM settings for your computer. To change your memory settings in Photoshop, choose Apple > Preferences > Performance (Mac OS) or Edit > Preferences > Performance (Windows).

High-resolution displays

Drawing to the screen can be slow when Lightroom is using the entire screen of a high-resolution display. A high-resolution display has a native resolution near 2560 x 1600, and is found on 30-inch monitors and Retina MacBooks. To increase performance on such displays, reduce the size of the Lightroom window, or use the 1:2 or 1:3 views in the Navigator panel.

Order of Develop operations
The best order of Develop operations to increase performance is as follows:

  1. Spot healing.
  2. Geometry corrections, such as Lens Correction profiles and Manual corrections, including keystone corrections using the Vertical slider.
  3. Global non-detail corrections, such as Exposure and White Balance. These corrections can also be done first if desired.
  4. Local corrections, such as Gradient Filter and Adjustment Brush strokes.
  5. Detail corrections, such as Noise Reduction and Sharpening.

Avoid corrections that you don’t need

This suggestion applies especially to local corrections. Each slider you’ve changed when applying local corrections or the gradient filter is applied to that entire correction. And, each option uses resources and can affect performance.

When applying local corrections and gradients, make sure that you need all the corrections you’ve selected.

If you do not need a brush stroke or gradient to perform a certain type of correction, set its slider to zero.

Also avoid using unnecessary global corrections, especially options that use resources, such as Noise Reduction, Sharpening, and Lens Corrections.

Some sliders default to a value that turns them on by default. For the more resource-intensive options, zero does disable the slider.

Zoom options

If the Fit and Fill zoom options are slow, try using the 1:2, 1:3, or 1:4 options in the Navigator panel.

The page states that solutions will be added to the guide as new ones are found or as old ones become outdated. For more “traditional” tips and tricks on optimizing the performance of Lightroom, check out this page.

Lightroom Help: Performance hints [Adobe via John Nack]


Image credit: Speed by amalakar