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Old Nov 12, 2012, 08:21 AM   #1
vandrv
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Lightroom Question

I'm not sure if this is exactly the right forum for this question, but here goes. I have both a core 2 duo Imac and a core two duo Macbook Pro that seem to be struggling with Lightroom 4. I have only one catalog with probably about thirty thousand photos in it and if I select all photos, it takes forever to generate previews. I would really rather not separate the photos into smaller categories to keep it easier to search for a particular photo. My question concerns whether I should purchase a new computer or would installing an SSD in one pick the speed up enough to be usable? All my photos are stored on an external hard drive if that makes a difference. I'm not quite sure where or how previews are generated. Thanks for any help
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 09:05 AM   #2
sflarc51
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Lightroom Catalogs

Here is a great article that will give you some insight about lightroom and why it is slowing down. Yes, the write up is about large image files but the solution they utilize is the solution you'll likely find your self needing. Step 2 and Step 3 are the meat of the matter. http://photographylife.com/efficient...olution-images

Throwing more hardware at this is not the solution but rather a way to relieve the symptoms. Your photo catalogs are only going to continue to increase in size as you add more and more photos. You need a better workflow, not more hardware. It will become a very expensive proposition otherwise, as every couple of years you'll need to be upgrading your hardware.

On a side note I recently upgraded to iPhoto 9.4 and notice a considerable performance hit . It seems to me the speed with which both iPhoto and Lightroom perform is directly related to the size of the photo library they are dealing with.

I suspect that at some point in the future Apple and Adobe will optimize how the libraries ("catalog" in Lightroom) function, thus speeding up the performance. But until then, to keep a speedy computer, it is up to design a workflow that works efficiently with these programs.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 09:52 AM   #3
vandrv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sflarc51 View Post
Here is a great article that will give you some insight about lightroom and why it is slowing down. Yes, the write up is about large image files but the solution they utilize is the solution you'll likely find your self needing. Step 2 and Step 3 are the meat of the matter. http://photographylife.com/efficient...olution-images

Throwing more hardware at this is not the solution but rather a way to relieve the symptoms. Your photo catalogs are only going to continue to increase in size as you add more and more photos. You need a better workflow, not more hardware. It will become a very expensive proposition otherwise, as every couple of years you'll need to be upgrading your hardware.

On a side note I recently upgraded to iPhoto 9.4 and notice a considerable performance hit . It seems to me the speed with which both iPhoto and Lightroom perform is directly related to the size of the photo library they are dealing with.

I suspect that at some point in the future Apple and Adobe will optimize how the libraries ("catalog" in Lightroom) function, thus speeding up the performance. But until then, to keep a speedy computer, it is up to design a workflow that works efficiently with these programs.
Thank you very much for that advice. I just briefly looked through the article, but when I have a chance, I will read it in depth. I know the problem will only get worse as I add more photos to my catalog, especially as I am just about ready to pull the trigger on a D800.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 10:13 AM   #4
Bear
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vandrv View Post
Thank you very much for that advice. I just briefly looked through the article, but when I have a chance, I will read it in depth. I know the problem will only get worse as I add more photos to my catalog, especially as I am just about ready to pull the trigger on a D800.
You do need to divide the photos into separate libraries (not sure the Lightroom term).
You may want to consider some hardware upgrades, but it depends on how other suggestions work. One thing you didn't mention is how much ram you have in each computer. Memory is inexpensive (as long as you don't buy it from Apple).

Some people go strictly by year (or groups of years). Some go be event/outing type. It depends on how much one shoots and would work the best for the person in question.

If you use the correct breakdown for the photos you take you should never have to search more than one library. Maybe 2 at the outside.

You may also wind up with a 'Miscellaneous' library for random photo shoots that don't fall in to your major categories. I currently have 4 libraries for Aperture including a miscellaneous one.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 10:34 AM   #5
vandrv
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Originally Posted by Bear View Post
You do need to divide the photos into separate libraries (not sure the Lightroom term).
You may want to consider some hardware upgrades, but it depends on how other suggestions work. One thing you didn't mention is how much ram you have in each computer. Memory is inexpensive (as long as you don't buy it from Apple).

Some people go strictly by year (or groups of years). Some go be event/outing type. It depends on how much one shoots and would work the best for the person in question.

If you use the correct breakdown for the photos you take you should never have to search more than one library. Maybe 2 at the outside.

You may also wind up with a 'Miscellaneous' library for random photo shoots that don't fall in to your major categories. I currently have 4 libraries for Aperture including a miscellaneous one.
The Imac has 6gigs of ram and the Macbook 8. According to OWC, they are both maxed out. I will do a little research and see about possibly dividing my photos into several catalogs. I just need to figure out a logical system so that I have a good idea where everything is.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:43 PM   #6
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Personally I would n0t continue to invest in dual core machines. Sell or trade and get the best quad core the budget allows. Also consider if you really need both a laptop and desktop. My rMBP replaced my previous laptop and desktop.

My LR catalog has over 50,000 files and has no problems.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 11:36 PM   #7
deang001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sflarc51 View Post
Here is a great article that will give you some insight about lightroom and why it is slowing down. Yes, the write up is about large image files but the solution they utilize is the solution you'll likely find your self needing. Step 2 and Step 3 are the meat of the matter. http://photographylife.com/efficient...olution-images

Throwing more hardware at this is not the solution but rather a way to relieve the symptoms. Your photo catalogs are only going to continue to increase in size as you add more and more photos. You need a better workflow, not more hardware. It will become a very expensive proposition otherwise, as every couple of years you'll need to be upgrading your hardware.

On a side note I recently upgraded to iPhoto 9.4 and notice a considerable performance hit . It seems to me the speed with which both iPhoto and Lightroom perform is directly related to the size of the photo library they are dealing with.

I suspect that at some point in the future Apple and Adobe will optimize how the libraries ("catalog" in Lightroom) function, thus speeding up the performance. But until then, to keep a speedy computer, it is up to design a workflow that works efficiently with these programs.
Thanks for the link ... just what I was looking for.

I have an 15" Retina fully maxed out, but the D800 along with a large catalogue has really slowed things down in comparison to my old D700.

Cheers !!
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 05:04 PM   #8
lilChrissy
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If you are really interested in getting organized get George Jardine's tutorials on library workflow and photo catalog management. Best $25 you'll ever spend.
http://mulita.com/blog/?page_id=2
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 12:35 PM   #9
Windows Expat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vandrv View Post
I'm not sure if this is exactly the right forum for this question, but here goes. I have both a core 2 duo Imac and a core two duo Macbook Pro that seem to be struggling with Lightroom 4. I have only one catalog with probably about thirty thousand photos in it and if I select all photos, it takes forever to generate previews. I would really rather not separate the photos into smaller categories to keep it easier to search for a particular photo. My question concerns whether I should purchase a new computer or would installing an SSD in one pick the speed up enough to be usable? All my photos are stored on an external hard drive if that makes a difference. I'm not quite sure where or how previews are generated. Thanks for any help
Are you using the 2nd monitor feature? I've found that having that active on a single monitor renders LR4 unusably slow.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 12:52 PM   #10
sarge
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In my experience a single large catalog does not cause performance issues and hasn't been a concern since LR2. I have over 40K photos in my library and I have them all in one well defined catalog. I do however start a new folder for every year and name my files by date so my HD is also organized at import.

A common remedy for wonkiness is to trash your preferences file. I too backup upon exit but you should make a point of clearing out old versions because they might be taking up a ton of room on your HD - my .lrcat file is almost 700mb so even a months worth of backups would take up like 20 gb!
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 07:34 AM   #11
vandrv
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Originally Posted by sarge View Post
In my experience a single large catalog does not cause performance issues and hasn't been a concern since LR2. I have over 40K photos in my library and I have them all in one well defined catalog. I do however start a new folder for every year and name my files by date so my HD is also organized at import.

A common remedy for wonkiness is to trash your preferences file. I too backup upon exit but you should make a point of clearing out old versions because they might be taking up a ton of room on your HD - my .lrcat file is almost 700mb so even a months worth of backups would take up like 20 gb!
Thanks for this advice. I'm not on my Lightroom computer at the moment, so I can't check, but does Lightroom save each backup as a new file and not overwrite the old ones? If this is the case there is no telling how much space they have taken up.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 08:35 AM   #12
sarge
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Correct, LR just keeps adding new backups by date and does not overwrite existing backups. Check your users/Pictures/Lightroom/Backups folder and you'll find date named folders with each existing .lrcat file within. You're going to want to keep an eye on that and clear it out every now and then...

You can also set the camera raw cache size in preferences. I have mine set to 10GB which might even be a little small but the default setting is 1GB. I think once or twice I've chosen to purge this when things were getting slow and it did alleviate the sluggishness.

Finally you might want to try choosing file/optimize catalog according to Adobe this 'instructs Lightroom to examine the data structure of the catalog and make sure that it is succinct'.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 09:13 AM   #13
vandrv
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Originally Posted by sarge View Post
Correct, LR just keeps adding new backups by date and does not overwrite existing backups. Check your users/Pictures/Lightroom/Backups folder and you'll find date named folders with each existing .lrcat file within. You're going to want to keep an eye on that and clear it out every now and then...

You can also set the camera raw cache size in preferences. I have mine set to 10GB which might even be a little small but the default setting is 1GB. I think once or twice I've chosen to purge this when things were getting slow and it did alleviate the sluggishness.

Finally you might want to try choosing file/optimize catalog according to Adobe this 'instructs Lightroom to examine the data structure of the catalog and make sure that it is succinct'.
I will check that out and try and clean it up a bit. I know my cache is set at 40GB but I have never deleted it, so hopefully that will help. Thanks again.
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