10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 8, 2014 8:59 PM by Jao vdL

    Lightroom and ten bit monitors


      I was told that LR 5 does not support ten bits per channel?  is this true?  But Photoshop does.  I use both but I use Lightroom much, much more.

        • 1. Re: Lightroom and ten bit monitors
          Ian Lyons MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Lr only 8 bits per channel to the display/monitor. However, don't confuse this with bit depth used by Lr for editing your photos.

          • 2. Re: Lightroom and ten bit monitors
            pav194701 Level 1

            But I can't see them on the screen.  How can I make a correction to

            something I can not see.  That is the only reason for spending a ton of

            money to buy a ten bit monitor.


            paul L.

            • 3. Re: Lightroom and ten bit monitors
              Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              If your display is well color corrected, I understand that you can't generally see the difference between a monitor driven at 8 bits or 10 bits in real photographs. I've looked at a one of these and I couldn't see it. You either have to be a very extremely good color differentiator (most people over 20 are probably not) or only deal with non-photographic materials. You can supposedly see it in synthetic color ramps for example as subtle posterization.


              As Ian remarks, don't confuse the bit depth that Lightroom processes your images in with the bit depth of the display or with what you can see on the display. The display bit depth does not impact whether you can see deep shadows or not for example. That is all determined by the characteristics of the display and the gamma curve used to drive it.

              • 4. Re: Lightroom and ten bit monitors
                pav194701 Level 1

                If I want to know, which I do, what an image will look like when I print it for example, I prefer to look at a ten bit display.  The only way I can think of doing that right now is to use LR for organizing, and process my best images(say 25 or so out of every 300 or more shots) completely in Photoshop.  This would include doing all corrections and printing.  How in the world can Adobe justify not supporting ten bit in LR when it is such a superb product otherwise.  It is beyond me.

                • 5. Re: Lightroom and ten bit monitors
                  Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I wish Lightroom supported 10 bit too and preferably on Mac OS X where there is no 10-bit support at all. I agree that Lightroom should have this feature. That said (Ian knows far more about this than I do but I'll use my more limited knowledge), predicting what your print will look like is the one area where 10-bit makes no actual difference. What matters there is whether you have a well-calibrated workflow with good trustworthy and defect free (rare!) printing profiles and whether you do your soft proofing correctly. What also matters is whether you have a good viewing environment for your prints. 10-bit will not help you with any of that. Also, there is not any printer that can actually reproduce the number of tones 10-bits in an sRGB-like display space implies nor the dynamic range of even a cheap monitor. So printing is actually not a very good case for 10-bit support.

                  • 6. Re: Lightroom and ten bit monitors
                    pav194701 Level 1

                    Hey, I really thank you two for helping me and I am sorry that it may not have sounded like that.  Any more ideas you may have will be greatly appreciated by me.  I had talked to Adobe support but their answers were factual but brief and they did not even attempt to give any workarounds or say if they plan to provide the ten bit thing in LR.  Their answer was the Development Team does not know.  Again, thanks a lot.

                    • 7. Re: Lightroom and ten bit monitors
                      pav194701 Level 1

                      Well, I guess I was wrong.  Here is how my thought process went.  The printer has a wider gamut than sRGB monitors do(I think this is true  but I can be wrong), soft proofing on a monitor that has a gamut almost as wide as the printer should help.  I appreciate all the other things you suggested and I will try to improve them.  Again, Thank you.

                      • 8. Re: Lightroom and ten bit monitors
                        Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        That's actually more or less right. Printers have a very different gamut than sRGB indeed. It is more narrow in places and wider in others. If your images have lots of colors outside of sRGB, a wide gamut monitor helps you get a better preview of your prints. In general photography, you actually do not have an awful lot of color that falls in that category and sRGB encompasses the preponderance of images but there are exceptions such as sunrise/sunset colors, deeply colored fabric, flowers, etc where wide gamut really helps. With or without wide gamut, as long as you have good display profiles (3D LUT is the gold standard) and printer profiles, you should be able to get really good print correspondence if you soft proof. That is all separate from 10 bit which you do not really need to get a good print preview using soft proofing. It should make soft gradations and such look better though.

                        • 9. Re: Lightroom and ten bit monitors
                          pav194701 Level 1

                          So where in photography does 10 bit help except for me looking at my images

                          since most if not all people I share with have sRGB monitors anyway.  I

                          understand the benefits to a pro who makes a living in photography.


                          paul L.

                          • 10. Re: Lightroom and ten bit monitors
                            Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Indeed it potentially makes your display look nicer but doesn't really help elsewhere.