What an amazing help you've been, Lee Jay.
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Your own question is unrelated to this thread, and since it's the most frequently-asked frequently-asked-question, perhaps you could visit the forum FAQ and have a look at the top of page 2.
Okay smart guy. Here is a copy and paste from the FAQ. Maybe it's because I'm just a retard, or whatever, but I don't see an answer to my question, which is how does one stop Lightroom from doing that:
Why does the color and or tone of my image change after import?
Q - Why does the color and/or tone of my image change after import?
Response courtesy of Jeff Schewe:
A - When you import into Lightroom the first thumbnails you will see appear
are the embedded thumbnails in your images. In the case of raw files, the
thumbnails are automatically generated by your camera but based only on your
camera's settings, not Lightroom's default settings for your camera.
After importing and depending on Preview settings (whether you chose to
generate "full-sized" preview upon import), Lightroom will generate a thumbnail and
preview based upon Lightrooms default settings for your camera-unless you
also chose to import while applying a Develop preset.
Why don't they match? Because cameras processed thumbnails are based upon
the camera company's defaults, and the odds are that the Lightroom
interpretation of the same image data will be different.
Which is correct? Technically, in the case of a raw file, there is no
"correct" answer. Raw files need to be rendered.
One of the advantages of shooting raw is that the resulting raw capture is
open to various renderings without any destruction to the original
data-meaning you can change and alter the image to make it look the way YOU
If you are constantly altering the settings for images a certain way, it may
be that you should create a Develop preset so you can automatically apply
that when you import. Adjusting the general settings such as Brightness and
Contrast or Saturation or Vibrance or in the Calibrate panel, (the way in
which colors are rendered) can be saved as a user named setting that you can
apply when importing image from your camera.
It should be noted however, that image or scene specific settings may still
need to be applied image by image.
Note: above discussion also applies to images shot with B&W settings in camera.
Quote " which is how do you stop Lightroom from doing that?".
because Lightroom software has a different chef than your camera manufacturer and he does not have access to their recipe. Simple.
Why would you pay a lot of money for Adobe to provide you with a raw processor that provides you with the same rendition of the raw file from your camera as the free software provided by your camera manufacturer.
Surely you are expecting to recieve some value for you money. What makes you think that the rendition from your camara is closer to "reality" than the one from Lightroom.
Your camera manufacturer is only producing a rendition that they believe is more "pleasing" to the user.
In the days of film, negative and slide, you had Kodak, Fuji, Agfa, etc, with each having multiple variations to choose from, thats what allows the user to be creative and not be a clone.
Just for the sake of completeness: there is a tick in the preference settings to apply full auto-develop.
To my taste this should be off.
If you see very strange results from Lightroom it might be worth while to quickly check the setting.
Going back to the OP topic: i find auto in LR4-develop inconsistent: sometimes really good, sometimes far off, which can be both to under- or over-exposure side.
I should mention perhaps that I strive to expose-to-the-right: usually an exposure bias of +2/3 if not more carefully chosen for farther to the limit of burning out highlights. The image-adaptive nature of PV2012 deals quite marvellously with that and almost never do I need to apply -2/3 exposure, as one might expect with my in-camera bias.
Partial auto for blacks and whites is often preferable to full auto (i.e. Holding shift while double-clicking on the slider label).
Full auto rarely does a good job on the Nikon D3S, but more often on the D300S and even more often on the Canon G12 and S90. Camera profile vs. Adobe Standard calibration as first default is also a question I answer differently for each of these cameras.
I apologize for not discovering the existing threads on this subject in the search I DID do prior to posting. The threads I found were all old and in reference to earlier versions of LR. Perhaps I missed it in the search results. Sorry to have annoyed you.
It is clear that auto tone performance is inconsistent accross a variety of image files. In continuing to try a number of sample images, "inconsistent", would be the best descriptor, both for my 5DM2 RAW files, and my Sony NEX 7 RAW files. Some files adjust perfectly, a few over expose, most under expose. I do a lot of HDR from LR using PM & Nik and always follow up with final touches in LR. These TIF files are much more likely to under expose with auto... sometimes rather severly. FWIW.
I recall that in earlier versions of LR the auto tone was quite un-predictable, but Adobe ultimately got it right, at least for my Canon files. I am confident LR4 will see refinements in that regard as well. The feed back from these various threads help the development guys resolve issues, so I do not apologize for raising my hand.