Lr4b rocks! (usually...)
I have now processed several hundred photos using Lr4b.
The good news:
- Lr4b's default processing recovers detail in both highlights and shadows. This is a godsend for many photos that would otherwise suffer from closed shadows and overblown highlights - I take a lot of such photos.
- Lr4b's clarity has some improved aspects that are marvelous sometimes (details in another thread).
- Sometimes the colors seem more true.
- The basic controls give more control over the shape of the left and right ends of the histogram.
- The new locals are fab...
- The RGB curves are fab...
The bad news:
- It can be painstaking to undo the default processing in cases when it's better to have blown highlights than have the flatter look that Lr4b can give at the top end.
Likewise for cases when blacker shadows are desired. (requires lots of slider fiddling and/or point curve manipulation, and/or locals, and yes, I understand how all the new sliders work...).
- Sometimes there is desaturation that is hard to recover, especially in the highlights.
- Sometimes there are hue shifts. I've noticed magenta-y-er shadows in some photos, and pinkier highlights in some photos - not all photos...
- There is sometimes an overbrightening of upper midtones which leads to a (sometimes undesirable, sometimes not) HDR-like effect (aside from clarity issues).
- The new basic controls seem to give less control over the shape of the mid-tones - I find myself using the tone curves more in Lr4b than in Lr3, to compensate for default processing, mid-tone "anomalies", and color issues. (and yes, I understand how exposure is supposed to control mid-tone level, and highlights/whites to set upper tones and such, still...).
- Sometimes I really don't like the effect of the new clarity - in both highlights and shadows, even midtones.
I now have developed a love/hate relationship with the new develop tools. Less work required for some photos, and stunning results, hard to achieve with PV2010. But, some photos just don't look natural, and properly saturated, and rich, unless a lot of painstaking work goes in. And please - I don't want to have to process using both versions to see which one I like best, and if I like PV2010 best, then try to get along without the new locals...
I think some of us (me for one) really want to control Lightroom's processing more.
Although Adobe is very good at reducing the number of sliders to a bear minimum, it sometimes means the pickier lot of us have to spend more time with the tone curves and local adjustments to compensate for what might be considered "over simplified" controls.
Perhaps Adobe could ask a little more "How can I best expose control over the various effects to advanced users", instead of just keeping it as simple as possible. Maybe even have an "advanced mode" that could be enabled after getting the hang of the basics...