13 Replies Latest reply on May 5, 2015 11:29 AM by Steven L. Gotz

    DNG Question

    ian-barber Level 1

      Scenario:

               

                I convert the RAW files on import to DNG and have Lightroom setup to throw away the RAW's upon import

                I then perform some edits to that DNG in Lightroom, Exposure, Clarity whatever...  and those adjustments are now written inside the DNG

       

       

      Question:


                If I have a situation where I want to give someone a copy of the Original RAW file without any edits applied but I still want to retain the edits, is this possible ?

       

                    


               


        • 1. Re: DNG Question
          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          You can't give someone a copy of the original file if you have configured Lightroom to discard them. Unless you have configured Lightroom to automatically write changes to XMP files, the changes are not written to the DNG file. They are stored in the catalog. You can export the DNG file using the "as original" option and it will export a DNG copy without the adjustments.

          • 2. Re: DNG Question
            ian-barber Level 1

            Thanks Jim

             

            I understand that now.

             

            So is it a better safety net to always let Lightroom to automatically write changes to XMP files just incase the receipient may want to see the changes made through Lightroom

            • 3. Re: DNG Question
              JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              You have to understand that I am not a professional photographer. If someone wants a copy of an image that I have worked on in Lightroom, I will simply export a JPEG. I don't automatically write changes to XMP files. In some instances doing that will cause Lightroom to slow down significantly. At least that is what I have read. I never worry about giving others a copy of the raw file. Lightroom, for me, exports excellent JPEG files that represent the work I have done very well.

              • 4. Re: DNG Question
                Steve House Level 1

                FYI, discarding the original RAW file after converting to DNG is, IMHO, an incredibly bad idea.  Storage is cheaper then dirt these days. I import my camera originals with conversion to DNG for my working files but I also copy my camera original raw files to a separate external drive as a backup just in case.  One never knows what the future may bring and you just might need 'em again.

                • 5. Re: DNG Question
                  ian-barber Level 1

                  I also understand that by Not having Lightroom write changes to XMP, the edits are stored in the catalog as you mentioned. If I then decide to write the changes and create an XMP sidecar file, are those changes then removed from the catalog

                  • 6. Re: DNG Question
                    Steve House Level 1

                    No, and for DNGs the data is written to the DNG's metadata, not a sidecar.

                    • 7. Re: DNG Question
                      dj_paige Level 9

                      So is it a better safety net to always let Lightroom to automatically write changes to XMP files just incase the receipient may want to see the changes made through Lightroom

                      Better? That depends on your needs. Some people never turn this option on and live happily. But "just incase the receipient may want to see the changes made through Lightroom" isn't a good reason to turn this option on or off. Your recipient needs to have Lightroom or Photoshop or Photoshop Elements or Bridge in order to see the effect on a photo of the edits embedded in a DNG file. People without that software will not see your edits if you send them a DNG with embedded edits, because the edits are simply text, they are not actual changes to the pixels in the DNG.

                       

                      Safety net? Well, again that depends on a lot of things, but safety net implies you are protecting against something, and its not clear what you are protecting against. As I said, some people never turn this option on and they're fine, happy as clams.

                       

                      All of which brings us to the question: why are you using DNG in the first place? There are good reasons to use DNG and good reasons to not use DNG, and you haven't really articulated a reason for or against; in fact you seem to have articulated reasons which are not factually correct.

                      • 8. Re: DNG Question
                        ian-barber Level 1

                        The main reason for converting to DNG is to safeguard the file for the future as the DNG format is open source and other software companies will be able to produce their own software to read them.

                         

                        I am not saying Lightroom will not be around for years to come but some people use to say that about Aperture and thats gone now.

                         

                        Safety Net: I used this term in the archival sense. When shooting film, we had a negative ( a tangible) thing that we stored away and only brought it out if we need to make another print from it. I was just passing ideas around my head as to how that now applies in the digital world and how I could still keep the original untouched RAW file after converting to DNG.

                         

                        I guess that the only real way to do this is to not discard the original raw upon converting to DNG and storing those elsewhere as stated previously.

                        • 9. Re: DNG Question
                          trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          ian-barber wrote:

                          Question:

                                    If I have a situation where I want to give someone a copy of the Original RAW file without any edits applied but I still want to retain the edits, is this possible ?

                          Lightroom and other raw editors never over-write or change the original camera raw image data! Both proprietary camera raw files and DNG files contain the original camera raw sensor data with no changes. The dilemma you are seeking a solution for is a "Catch 22." There's no way to properly view the camera raw sensor data without first applying a Camera Profile. That in of itself is applying "editing changes" to the original raw data! The Adobe Standard camera profile is designed to produce the same image appearance regardless of camera model used. Assigning that profile with no other settings applied is the closest you will get to "no edits." The recipient must also have a Lightroom or PS ACR product that supports the process version you are using (currently PV2012).

                          • 10. Re: DNG Question
                            Steven L. Gotz Level 5

                            @ian-barber

                             

                            I seem to be a bit confused. You say you are importing as DNG because it will be usable by other software companies. That is true of course. But what kind of camera are you shooting with that you think that the raw files will not be readable at some time in the future?

                             

                            I doubt that any Nikon or Canon format, nor Sony and many others, will ever be so outdated that there will not be some software of some kind able to read them and convert them to something current.

                             

                            Now, if you want to give someone "unedited" files, that would be a good reason to export your raw files to DNG. Then at least you can do so after you make the (hopefully) minor adjustments for your particular camera. After all, who really wants to see a truly raw file? When I import my photos, I apply minor adjustments to every single one, mostly just to sharpen them up a bit, but primarily to make them look more like the image I see on the back of my camera after I take the shot. So if I don't even want to see the actual raw file before adjustments, why would anyone else, and why would I let them see such things?

                            • 11. Re: DNG Question
                              dj_paige Level 9

                              The main reason for converting to DNG is to safeguard the file for the future as the DNG format is open source and other software companies will be able to produce their own software to read them.

                               

                              I am not saying Lightroom will not be around for years to come but some people use to say that about Aperture and thats gone now.

                              I consistently reject this line of thinking.

                               

                              But if Adobe, for example, were to state that they were no longer going to support (for example) RAWs from a Nikon D80, then I would stop purchasing Adobe products because over 1/3 of my photos are RAWs from Nikon D80. Adobe has the software to make use of these photos, it costs them NOTHING (as in zero dollars) to continue the support, why would they choose an action that would cost them money in lost sales from all Nikon D80 owners, when the opposite choice costs them nothing?

                               

                              Now that Aperture is gone, you have lost the use of a piece of software, but you haven't lost the ability to view the RAW photos, that hasn't disappeared.

                               

                              It is just as likely, in my opinion, that 25 years from now, people have given up supporting DNG, as it is likely that people have given up supporting the RAWs from your camera. No one can predict that.

                              • 12. Re: DNG Question
                                JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                The DNG format is promoted as something to use to ensure that you can use the files in the future. It is also promoted as being a space-saving feature. For my files converting to DNG only seems to reduce the size by about 25%. I still prefer working with my original NEF files. Lightroom reads them and allows me to do whatever I need. If the time ever comes that NEF or any other raw format becomes obsolete, I will still have software that will enable me to convert. I just prefer working with the original files.

                                • 13. Re: DNG Question
                                  Steven L. Gotz Level 5

                                  I just prefer working with the original files.

                                  Exactly. Nowadays, saving 25% just is not worth it.  Give me a full raw file any day.