I have a bunch of bmp files that I made by scanning old 35mm slides. Photoshop opens them with no problem, lets me modify and save. Lightroom can't see them (NO photos found). LR does see tiffs made from the same bmp files. Do I take away from this that LR cannot deal with bmp files, or (I hope) am I just missing something basic?
I have a bunch of bmp files that I made by scanning old 35mm slides.
BMP (bitmap) file format has no benefits over TIFF file format. Why did you choose BMP file format for your 35mm scan images?
You can do a Photoshop batch convert of the files to TIF format with loss-less LZW compression and create smaller file sizes that take up less disk space. You can also use Photoshop's Image Processor:
I recently started scanning my old 35mm negatives and slides and use LR to process and catalog them. I purchased a fairly inexpensive Plustek 7600i scanner with Silverfast software, and use 48bit mode with ProPhoto RGB profile. This is about as close to RAW mode as you can get with a scanner. Even inexpensive film scanners use a 10bit/color (30bit) or higher bit depth analog converter, and 24bit scans (8bit/color) are throwing away the extra data. This helps to prevent "gaps" in the histogram from processing, which can cause posterization.
If you plan on doing any scanning in the future, and your scanner and software support 48bit mode, you might want to try using it along with a wide gamut profile like Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB. I import into Lightroom and make most of my adjustments there, but find Photoshop's cloning tools better for dust spot removal. I usually do the major spot removal and any cropping or rotation "destructively" in Photoshop, and resave the file. LR automatically updates and uses the new modified file. You can go back and forth between the two applications real-time and with relative ease. That way you can use the best of both applications.
You can also use this method to for further processing of your converted bitmap scan image files.
If you don't have Photoshop the free XnView application contains a full featured 'Batch Processing' tool. It will convert your BMPs and numerous other file formats not supported by Photoshop. I have PS CS5 and still find XnView useful at times.
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