13 Replies Latest reply on Aug 2, 2017 4:15 AM by Nick Gregan

    Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom

    Nick Gregan

      Hi guys, As the question says - should I keep my RAW files after I have imported to Lightroom and have them saved as .dng files? I've attached a screenshot of the way my folders look with all files sabved as CR2 (raw) and dng (lightroom).

       

      It seems a excessive way of storing files with two of eveything. Any help would be much appreciated.

       

      Nick

       

      Raw Files & DNG.jpg

        • 1. Re: Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom
          dj_paige Level 9

          If you ever might use other software than Adobe software on your photos, you need the RAWs. If you're 100% sure -- wait, make that 125% sure -- that you will never need other software, you will always use Adobe software forever and ever until the stars no longer shine, then you don't need to keep your original RAW images.

           

          Another option is to not convert to DNG and just work with your RAWs.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom
            wobertc Adobe Community Professional

            I am curious to know- how you "Saved" the DNG files?

             

            Are you "Exporting" from Lightroom with the option of "DNG"?

            If this is the case, then you have no reason to keep the DNG files at all. Your raw CR2 files are the files "in Lightroom",  they are the files you see in the Library and Develop views, and MUST NOT be deleted.

            (In reality- photo files are NEVER 'in Lightroom', they are always in folders of your computer where Lr knows to look)

             

            The other 'case' is that you used the Adobe DNG converter to make the DNGs from the CR2 files- Yes or No? This needs a different answer.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom
              JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              There are some who advocate routinely and automatically converting everything to DNG. I suppose there is some merit to doing that although I don't do. I personally prefer to work with the original raw (NEF) files from my camera. Unless I find it necessary to round trip to Photoshop, that is the only image I keep on a permanent basis. If I go to Photoshop then there is a TIF file as well. JPEG images are exported when needed, used for their purpose and then deleted. I haven't found any real benefit to converting to DNG, there isn't that much space-saving when comparing to the original NEF. So I prefer not to bother with the conversion process.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom
                Nick Gregan Level 1

                Thanks for the quick reply - it's left me thinking will I ever use anything other than photoshop?. Cheers.

                • 5. Re: Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom
                  Nick Gregan Level 1

                  Hi Wobertc, I'm not a particularly new user to LR having been using it for about 4 years or so. You comment am I exporting from LR into .dng has left me unsure of the process I am using.When I import I get asked for a 'destination' and they end up ther as .dng files. Is there some other way I should be or could be importing? I seem to be doubling up on my files - no wonder I am runnning out of space rapidly. Once again thanks.

                  • 6. Re: Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom
                    Nick Gregan Level 1

                    As far as I know I'm not using Adobe DNG converter.

                    • 7. Re: Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom
                      Nick Gregan Level 1

                      Hi jim I am exporting from LR into .dng but I'm stupidly unsure of the process I'm using.When I import I get asked for a 'destination folder' and they end up there as .dng files. Is there some other way I should be or could be importing? Thanks for your help Jim

                      • 8. Re: Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom
                        dj_paige Level 9

                        So, I'm going to modify my original reply, because in your original post, you did not mention the word "Export" anywhere, and the phrase you used "I have imported to Lightroom and have them saved as .dng files" could easily imply that at Import you converted the originals to DNG. As a side comment, it is always helpful to use the Lightroom name of the function ("Export" and not "save") to avoid confusion.

                         

                        I don't feel there is much reason to export as DNG if you have imported the original RAWs in Lightroom. I'll go further and I would say you don't need to export as DNG, you can export as either JPG or TIF. Or you can do like many people do and not export at all as permanent files, but rather only export the files when you need them outside of Lightroom, and consider the exports as temporary that can be discarded when you are finished using them outside of LR. This is the "least work" option and also the "least disk space" option.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom
                          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          https://forums.adobe.com/people/Nick+Gregan  wrote

                           

                          Thanks for the quick reply - it's left me thinking will I ever use anything other than photoshop?. Cheers.

                          Would you care to qualify that statement? Do you mean that you don't intend to use Lightroom at all? Or, is Photoshop the only program you will use in addition to Lightroom?

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom
                            wobertc Adobe Community Professional

                            I am exporting from LR into .dng

                            This is creating COPIES of files, so  you will then have both Cr2 and DNG versions.

                            Do not "Export as DNG"

                             

                            Some explanations may be helpful

                            Unless you have reasons to use DNG ** you can simply have your CR2 files referenced in Lightroom. (I won't discuss the debate- Proprietary RAW vs DNG raw)

                             

                            There are two ways to get your CR2 files shown in the Catalog-

                            1. From the Camera Card-  Import with the "COPY" option and set the DESTINATION folder for the CR2 files storage.

                            2. From a folder in your computer-  Import with the "ADD" option, which leaves the CR2 files exactly in the folder where you put them.

                             

                            If you want all your files as DNG the methods are different-

                            1. From the Camera Card-  Import with "COPY as DNG" and set the DESTINATION folder for the DNG files storage.

                            2. From a folder in your computer-  Import the CR2 files, then use the Lightroom menu to CONVERT them to DNG.

                            **(For Lr versions incompatible with a camera proprietary raw file- then the Adobe DNG Converter needs to be used before importing)

                             

                            Nick, I hope you are making sense of it- don't give up on Lightroom.

                            • 11. Re: Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom
                              Nick Gregan Level 1

                              Thanks dj_paige, you're right in what you say and thinking about it I don't need to export as dng at all. Thanks for your help, it's helped clear things up fpr me. Nick

                              • 12. Re: Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom
                                Nick Gregan Level 1

                                Hi Jin, haha no not ta all - I love Lightroom. when you mentioned about other software I had to think if I would or am likely to use anythng other than Lightroom or Photoshop. I love both programs and can't imagine using something else. From the replys I've had to my original question I now realise I was saving my files as a dng for no reason. Thankfully I now understand inn my workflow there is no reason for that. Thanks for your help.

                                • 13. Re: Should I keep raw files after importing into lightroom
                                  Nick Gregan Level 1

                                  Hi wobertc, thanks for takig the time to explain. I now understand what I've been doing and that in my workflow I didn't need to save as dng. Cheers for that and now it's on to understanding smart folders and import presets. :-)