I've recently upgraded to LR5, so my camera's RAW files are now supported. Before the upgrade I had been converting the RAW files to DNG and then importing the DNG into LR.
Now I'd like to use the original RAW files in LR instead of the DNG. Is there a way to do this en mass? It seems as if I have to do this file-by-file and respond to LR's dialog box about the file name changing each time.
(I know some will think that this is precisely one of the reasons to use DNG instead of RAW, but I'm still wondering about the above question).
The raw files would have to be reimported. You cannot change DNG file back into the original raw format. But the DNG files that you have now still contain all the raw image data. So, why not just start using the raw files from this point forward? I doubt very much that you will be able to detect any difference in quality or results.
Thanks for the reply. Yes, using RAW from this part forward is probably the right idea.
To clarify: I was going to do was delete the DNG files, then when LR reported the file missing I would locate and use the corresponding RAW file. This would preserve any editing that had been done. I experimented with this on a limited sample and was pleased with the results. But you are right, it may not be worth it, as export differences were slim to none, though in the case of minor differences I slightly preferred the RAW version. Again, limited sample.
If you delete the DNG files so that the library indicates they are missing, you cannot synchronize by pointing to the raw files. What you would have to do is import the raw files so that they are displayed alongside the DNG files. Then you would have to synchronize the files, and that would copy the adjustments from the DNG to the raw. That's a lot of work, but it can be done.
Pointing to the RAW files seemed to work. After deleting (actually renaming) the DNG, I then located the missing file by pointing to the RAW, confirmed OK when LR asked about the file name change and presto, now the RAW file was being used with all my editing still intact.
When I exported and compared to the DNG export the output was virtually identical. So I presumed this was working.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding something, being a slow learner! But I'll investigate your synchronization of files, something I'm not yet familiar with.
Appreciate the response.
So you have RAW + DNG in the same folder? And LR will let you specify the raw file when there is a missing DNG file? I think this is going beyond what LR is supposed to do so there is no en masse way to do it. LR should only be letting you map a missing file to a file of the same name. The fact it lets you change from a DNG to a raw is probably because you’re doing it one at a time.
Synchronizing will re-import and lose all your adjustments so don’t do that.
Are you renaming your DNGs to .CR2 or .NEF (raw file extensions) or are you renaming them to something that isn’t recognized by LR and have the DNGs and RAWs in the same folder?
Thanks for the replies guys.
dj_paige, I'm not doing this because of image quality issues, but because of disk space, since I still want to keep my RAW files around, personal preference. You are correct, there is zero difference between DNG and RAW image quality. I know the RAW vs. DNG debate has already taken up a great deal of disk resource, not my intent to add to it here!
ssprengel, Correct: RAW + DNG in the same folder. Yes, LR lets me specify the RAW file when the DNG is missing. It pops up an "Are You Sure" kind of dialog because the file names are different, which think this is sensible. I'm generally not a fan of "Are You Sure" dialogs, but this one is reasonable, as this is definitely an abnormal thing to do. When I click OK on that dialog the RAW file replaces the DNG, and all my edits are now applied to the RAW file.
I am renaming the DNG to a new DNG name by appended an 'a' to the base name, for example P717668.DNG -> P717668a.DNG. Then when LR no longer finds the original file I select P717668.ORF as the replacement from the same folder..
As mentioned I did this carefully on a few select images that had very different editing applied to them, and it all seemed to work. But it is a tedious one-file-at-a-time operation. So JimHess's original suggestion of don't bother and just use RAW from now on still is a good option.
Related thread in feedback forum:
Is there any way to use keyboard to invoke the "Locate Missing Photo" dialog box? If so, there may be a way to automate this, at least partially, if not completely.
Message was UPDATED by: Rob Cole
I strongly advise AGAINST reverting DNGs to original raw format using the "Locate missing photos" feature.
So far, I've found 2 problems:
* Internally, format is still considered DNG (*not* "original raw" as it would be if handled properly), so all plugins that handle raws and dngs differently, will be handling incorrectly. Ditto for various native features which don't double-check file extension (major problem - read: asking for trouble). There is probably no way to fix this problem, short of re-importing, or sql hacking.
* Sidecars are not handled properly (relatively minor problem, still...).
I consider the fact that Lightroom allows one to select the raw file when DNG is missing, to be a big oops hole - until plugged, take care not to fall in...
Don't get me wrong, I think Adobe should support reversion from DNG to original raw, but "Locate missing photos" feature is not the way, not today anyway.
Thanks for digging into this Rob. I'll quit doing this, as mentioned so far only a couple of photos involved and I can easily revert back to the DNG.
I do have some folders where I've imported the DNGs, but not yet done any editing. In this case I can simply delete the DNGs and then import the RAW files.
It seemed like what I was doing should have been "legal", but I had doubts, so only stuck in a toe in before diving headlong.
Rob, I tried your Un-DNG and it works as advertised. Thanks much!
It gracefully handled an operator error on my part and properly skipped over non-DNG files that were in the directory but also in my catalog. All the editing done to the images remained intact and the JPG exports were identical before and after running Un-DNG.
Performance was very reasonable.
Thanks again. Nice work.