10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 1, 2017 6:01 PM by jefffphoto

    Nikon D7100 colour channels skew after importing NEFs to Lightroom

    roberts52793056

      Hi all,

       

      My dad and I have had this same persistent issue with Lightroom for a few years now and would really love some additional suggestions. He's the photo enthusiast, I'm the computer guy, and neither of us can figure out what's going on. We have tried multiple card readers, multiple SD cards, using the camera as the card reader, multiple computers, multiple (demo) versions of Lightroom, and cannot seem to isolate any one bad factor. The memory and hard drive of the computer have been thoroughly tested, and I cannot get any other photo application to display similar behaviour. The only consistent factors seem to be the camera and Lightroom.

       

      Photos are imported using Lightroom from the SD card or hard drive, then, as the histogram is generated, something in the post-import processing causes the colour channels to skew and the photos to display improperly. This happens using the "copy" import option with NEFs. JPEGs import fine, as do NEFs using the "copy as DNG" import option (most of the time), which is our workaround, but not a solution. Hoping for any suggestions any Adobe staff or enthusiasts might provide, as we're totally at a loss (and have been for four years)!

       

      As of February 2017...

      • Lightroom 4 was purchased in late 2012 and the problem has been occurring throughout.
      • We are using Lightroom 4.4.1 on a late 2009 2.5 GHz Core 2 Duo Mac mini running OS X 10.11.6 (El Capitan) with 8 GB of RAM (most this system can handle).
      • The camera is a Nikon D7100 with its firmware updated to the latest version (1.03).
      • According to this, the Nikon D7100 NEF (Nikon Electronic Format) files are read by Camera Raw 7.4, the version bundled with Lightroom 4.4: Cameras supported by Camera Raw
      • A trial version of Lightroom 5 or CC did not solve the problem, so an updated Camera Raw version does not seem to be the solution.
      • The Adobe DNG (Digital Negative) Converter has been updated to the latest version (9.8.0.692)
      • Photos are typically imported using a USB card reader using Lightroom's import feature and the copy/copy as DNG options.
      • JPEGs have never caused any issue, and neither have NEFs converted to DNGs via Lightroom (though the CC demo seemed to show the issue as the NEF import and convert to DNG steps are done in two stages; some "repair" after, while some remain "corrupted")
      • Photos imported to Lightroom as NEFs without being converted would import fine, then show a rainbow-like skewing of the colour channels when the histogram was generated and displayed in the top-right corner of the Library module.
      • Our workaround involved never importing the photos to Lightroom in Nikon's raw format (NEF) and keeping everything in DNG or JPEG format.
      • The toggle to embed the original raw file in both Lightroom and the DNG Converter has been tried both on and off with no difference.
      • I can recreate the problem on a similar second Mac mini with a trial version of Lightroom, as well as on an older MacBook, while my MacBook Pro has not had the issue, nor has a friend of my father's computer...so far.


      These are the JPEG and NEF versions of the same photo post-import. Notice the histogram:

      JPEG.png

       

      NEF.png


      This thread illustrates some of the steps that have been tried in more detail, though I almost want to get your opinions first without going too far down the troubleshooting rabbit hole! www.lightroomforums.net/threads/raw-files-imported-into-lightroom-coming-out-distorted-and -super-saturated-help.…

       

      Kind regards,

       

      Greg (and Bob) Stuart

        • 1. Re: Nikon D7100 colour channels skew after importing NEFs to Lightroom
          ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

          Your second image is a corrupted file. Normally this is a hardware problem:

          Bad board in the camera

          failing memory card (very common)

          bad card reader

          broken USB cable on the card reader (very common)

          bad sectors on the hard drive

           

          If you transfer the images to the hard drive, not using LR, then do an "add" import in LR, does the problem still happen?

          Does the latest version of Nikon View NX-i show the same problem?

          • 2. Re: Nikon D7100 colour channels skew after importing NEFs to Lightroom
            JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I use a Nikon D7100, and I have never as yet experienced that problem. This is very probably a hardware problem with the camera or the cable or card reader. The image that you see on the camera LCD is an embedded JPEG preview. Your camera cannot display the raw image data. So it seems that your challenge is to identify where the hardware problem is. How are you downloading your images? Camera plugged into the computer or card reader?

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Nikon D7100 colour channels skew after importing NEFs to Lightroom
              jefffphoto Level 1

              I think its a file corruption issue as well. Try this to see if its card slot on the camera or the camera itself. Tether the camera to Lightroom and snap off a few shots and see if the problem still exisits.

               

              Also, if you just copy the raw files on the desktop then open in preview, is the issue still there?

               

              Cheer
              Jef

              • 4. Re: Nikon D7100 colour channels skew after importing NEFs to Lightroom
                roberts52793056 Level 1

                Hi Joe, Jim, and Jeff! Thanks for your suggestions.

                 

                I have run every memory and drive diagnostic I know of and cannot find any issue there. Both of these components were upgraded and brand new when Lightroom was purchased in 2012. Since the issue persists, on some level, across multiple SD cards, multiple card readers (no USB cable involved), and on multiple computers, running the full version of LR 4 or demo versions of Lightroom 5 and CC, I would offer we're probably dealing with either something in the camera itself, a hardware issue in the USB interface specific to certain Macs, or a random hiccough in the import process triggered by....???

                 

                >>> Tether the camera to Lightroom and snap off a few shots and see if the problem still exists. <<<
                Will have to hold off on this one. The camera is currently travelling the world. Was hoping to have a solution for my dad once he and his new photos return home, but I can try this in early April. I'm limited to testing with a few SD cards that are not on the trip.

                 

                >>> If you just copy the raw files on the desktop then open in preview, is the issue still there? <<<

                No, the issue is triggered post-import when Lightroom generates the histogram. Images on the SD card open in Preview just fine too -- my main reason for suspecting it is not a camera issue. What is even weirder is that the images that show corruption after import in Lightroom are not always the same ones to show the issue when the very same files are opened in Preview.


                >>> How are you downloading your images? Camera plugged into the computer or card reader? <<<
                Primarily with a small cable-less card reader, however, connecting the camera directly did not make a difference, nor did swapping the card reader (tried four of them).

                >>> If you transfer the images to the hard drive, not using LR, then do an "add" import in LR, does the problem still happen? <<<
                It's not nearly as bad, but I was still able to find one in the "pre-copied using Image Transfer" batch that corrupted, yes. All others seemed fine.

                 

                >>> Does the latest version of Nikon View NX-i show the same problem? <<<

                Yes, some of the images imported with Nikon Image Transfer to Nixon View NX-i look like this...

                Copied in Finder, then viewed in View NX-i:

                ViewNX-i via Mac OS Finder.png


                Copied with Nikon Image Transfer and viewed in View NX-i:
                ViewNX-i via Nikon Transfer.png

                It's a slightly different look than what Lightroom produces, but basically the same issue. Of the whole batch, the Xs show the corrupt photos. A subsequent attempt resulted in only the last one corrupting. RANDOM!

                Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 9.35.04 PM.png


                This is an import attempt in Lightroom using the above files imported by Nikon Image Transfer (note the different subset of images that corrupted as compared to the Xs above) :

                Lightroom import from Nikon Transfer.png

                 

                This is an import attempt in Lightroom from the SD card plugged into a USB card reader:

                Lightroom via import from SD.png

                 

                This is an import attempt in Lightroom from files on the hard drive, pre-copied using OS X's Image Capture from the SD card plugged into a USB card reader:

                Lightroom import from files copied Image Capture.png

                 

                This is an import attempt in Lightroom from files on the hard drive, pre-copied using Finder from the SD card plugged into a USB card reader:

                Lightroom import from files copied in Finder.png

                 

                Really at a loss as to what causes the issue to varying degrees in some situations more than others!

                 

                Greg.

                • 5. Re: Nikon D7100 colour channels skew after importing NEFs to Lightroom
                  ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

                  Nikon Transfer is known to be problematic at times.

                  There are well known bugs where old versions of the software will corrupt new file formats from the newer camera models.

                  There is no need to use Nikon Transfer, but if you are going to do so, make sure it is up to date.

                  • 6. Re: Nikon D7100 colour channels skew after importing NEFs to Lightroom
                    dj_paige Level 9

                    ManiacJoe  wrote

                     

                    Nikon Transfer is known to be problematic at times.

                    There are well known bugs where old versions of the software will corrupt new file formats from the newer camera models.

                    There is no need to use Nikon Transfer, but if you are going to do so, make sure it is up to date.

                    No, this is not the cause of these problems. Nikon software may corrupt the file header so that Lightroom cannot read the file (you won't be able to import it into Lightroom), but Nikon software is not known to corrupt the image portion of the data, which is clearly what is happening.

                     

                    The problem is a hardware malfunction, as others have explained.

                    • 7. Re: Nikon D7100 colour channels skew after importing NEFs to Lightroom
                      roberts52793056 Level 1

                      Yes, we have no need or desire to use Nikon Transfer, but were using it for testing purposes, as suggested.

                       

                      Sooooo...what now? Is there any way anyone can help discern exactly which hardware component is the culprit?

                       

                      Best,

                       

                      Greg.

                      • 8. Re: Nikon D7100 colour channels skew after importing NEFs to Lightroom
                        dj_paige Level 9

                        This is explained above. It is a hardware malfunction. You need to try different hardware to see if you can isolate the bad component.

                        • 9. Re: Nikon D7100 colour channels skew after importing NEFs to Lightroom
                          wobertc Adobe Community Professional

                          The only consistent factors seem to be the camera and Lightroom.

                          So most likely is the camera!

                          Lightroom is 'seeing' some files with identical corruption in all import methods (in the screen-clips above)

                           

                          We have tried multiple card readers, multiple SD cards,

                          again- must be the camera!

                           

                          And I have suffered similar (random) corruption in a Canon camera, either dropped, or affected by extreme cold?

                          corrupt.jpg

                          • 10. Re: Nikon D7100 colour channels skew after importing NEFs to Lightroom
                            jefffphoto Level 1

                            Have you tried getting a different camera and importing those photos using the same equipment?

                             

                            I'm just throwing it out there.

                             

                            If someone doesn't have a camera, then take a card and go to the local camera store and snap a few shots on your card.

                             

                            Its the best way I can figure to eliminate or confirm the issue is with the camera.

                            1 person found this helpful