9 Replies Latest reply on Sep 18, 2015 10:17 AM by karend8167956

    Do I need the Adobe RAW plugin?

    karend8167956

      I have just recently downloaded Lightroom (current version). Photographer friends are telling me I need the "Adobe RAW Plugin" to process my RAW files before using Lightroom - but they use Photoshop not Lightroom. As I read the RAW page it seems like this functionality is native in Lightroom and I don't need a separate app? I'm able to open my RAW files in Lightroom and process them. Is there a reason I would want to use the RAW plugin also? First? Instead? I'm confused.

        • 1. Re: Do I need the Adobe RAW plugin?
          Pattie-F Level 7

          moving to Photoshop Lightroom forum

          • 2. Re: Do I need the Adobe RAW plugin?
            dj_paige Level 9

            The Adobe Camera RAW plugin has no effect on Lightroom. You can't use it with Lightroom.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Do I need the Adobe RAW plugin?
              Keith_Reeder Level 4

              karend8167956 wrote:

               

              Photographer friends are telling me I need the "Adobe RAW Plugin" to process my RAW files before using Lightroom

              Find some friends that know what they're talking about, Karen - you're right, they're wrong.

               

              There is a case for ensuing that if you're using Photoshop too, you keep it (that is, ACR, which is the Raw processing module used by Photoshop) and Lightroom, version-aligned (Lightroom uses code which is equivalent to ACR as its Raw processing engine) so that it and Photoshop can share and understand each other's edits; but the plug-in is utterly unnecessary for, and irrelevant to, Lightroom in itself.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Do I need the Adobe RAW plugin?
                karend8167956 Level 1

                Thanks - sorry, I'm new to forums!

                • 5. Re: Do I need the Adobe RAW plugin?
                  Pattie-F Level 7

                  Welcome to the forums. You will find them useful when you have questions.

                  • 6. Re: Do I need the Adobe RAW plugin?
                    richardplondon Level 4

                    This aspect does cause a lot of confusion.

                    • Lightroom can be used on its own to manage, edit / adjust, and print / export processed versions of your photos.
                    • LR can (generally speaking) adjust the appearance of a photo but cannot alter the content of a photo.
                    • Altering the photo, in ways that LR cannot do, can be subcontracted out to another (external) image editor program.
                    • Photoshop is one example of an external editor, but there are other alternatives.
                    • LR can either talk directly and "conventionally" to an editor program (by first making a standard TIFF file for that to work on, and then later reading back in whatever changes have been saved to this) - ACR is not involved (completely irrelevant to this scenario);
                    • OR another scenario is for LR to collaborate with Photoshop in particular, offering some additional (Adobe proprietary) working methods. This option relies on both PS and Adobe Camera Raw being present, in versions that are at least contemporary with LR.
                    • When LR detects that this is the case, it adopts it as the default method for external editing.
                    • When LR detects that this is not the case, it greys out some options - for single images: Edit in PS as Smart Object or for multiple images: Edit in PS as Layers / Photomerge / HDR. And it then employs only the direct method, whereby ACR is not involved. So Photoshop is then used no differently than another program would have been.
                    • ACR is installed automatically along with Photoshop, and can be later upgraded to newer interim versions from within PS. But: only up to a point, within that specific 'generation' of PS.
                    • Once PS goes to a new 'generation', then this would eventually be required in order to benefit from any further new releases of ACR. Also, consequentially, in order to get back on par with any new 'generation' of LR, and once more enjoy the full range of working options for that partnership.
                    • The Creative Cloud membership provides the ability to maintain everything working optimally, by keeping everything up to date together.
                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Do I need the Adobe RAW plugin?
                      karend8167956 Level 1

                      Thank you Richard Plondon. That is a very thoughtful and informative reply. I am subscribing to Creative Cloud but so far I have only used Lightroom. PS seemed overwhelming and confusing so I figured if I could figure out Lightroom first then I could use PS if/when I needed it. Is it still true to say that using Lightroom directly on my RAW files is a reasonable method if I am just trying to basically maximize the appearance to be as close to what I saw as possible?

                       

                      If I wanted to do things like merging mutliple exposures, etc. then I think I have to do that export to Photoshop - but I'm not there yet. Just trying to make pictures of sunrises and stars look good!

                      • 8. Re: Do I need the Adobe RAW plugin?
                        richardplondon Level 4

                        PS seemed overwhelming and confusing so I figured if I could figure out Lightroom first then I could use PS if/when I needed it. Is it still true to say that using Lightroom directly on my RAW files is a reasonable method if I am just trying to basically maximize the appearance to be as close to what I saw as possible?

                        Absolutely.

                         

                        If you find that you do sometimes need to involve Photoshop, then you only need to learn sufficient basics to do those particular tasks, via an initially small toolset of simple powerful techniques. Layer masking, for example. As the need for more sophistication arises, you can extend that knowledge progressively, but always to-the-point. You don't need to know or care about huge chunks of the conventional PS workflow, since Lightroom's workflow supersedes much of that - probably 90% of Photoshop can be simply ignored altogether, for the moment. But the other 10% still provides an infinity of possibilities, for altering a picture in any way you can possibly imagine. The only workflow technicality while in PS, is that you have to hit Save!

                         

                        An awful lot of Photoshop instruction is highly prescriptive and intimidating, but a huge percentage of that gets simply set aside, when you are "just visiting".

                        • 9. Re: Do I need the Adobe RAW plugin?
                          karend8167956 Level 1

                          Thank you so much!