In quite a few previous posts, I have mentioned the troubles I have had with Lightroom recently. This was all triggered by an update a while back and subsequent updates have not solved any issues. The problems just continued and I was unable to get anything to address the sluggish behavior. The program would respond better when I was working in the Develop module but it was very difficult in Library and when importing.
I recently had a bit more success. I contacted someone who, while not working for Adobe, does have a business based around Lightroom and has good connections with the company. I was able to send this individual a copy of my catalog. They had a play with it and had similar issues with memory overuse so it wasn’t a hardware issue. They were able to pass on the catalog to an Adobe engineer to investigate further. I feared there was some corruption in the catalog and hoped they would find a solution.
It transpires that there is not any corruption. Instead, it is in the nature of the catalogs that I have created that the problem lies. A long time ago I posted about my approach to processing a shoot. I would use a Collection Set for each shoot in which I would use smart collections to take shots with the right combination of keywords and dates. They would split out rejects from non-rejects and put HDR, panorama shots and videos in separate smart collections. This made processing the shoot more efficient.
As a result of this approach, I have, over the years, accumulated a large number of these collection sets with smart collections in them. This is what is causing the trouble. The program is getting bogged down with all of them. This leaves two ways forward. In the short term, I am going to go through these smart collections and turn them into simple collections. Hopefully this will reduce the processing burden. I don’t need the smart functionality any longer so I can just take the selected images and make simple collections out of them.
The longer term action is that Adobe is now aware of this issue. Hopefully they can investigate a way to address this in a future update so that it isn’t constrained in the same way. It happened suddenly so there was something in the coding that changed to cause the issue so maybe it can be similarly quickly fixed. In the early days of Lightroom, it was limited in the number of images it could have before things got sluggish and that was resolved so hopefully this can be too. We shall see. If it is, you’re welcome!
After a previous update to Lightroom (6.12), it became almost unusable. Importing would take forever and, once the images were in, it would grind to a halt. Keywording and editing became a nightmare. I was struggling to work out what was wrong. A check on performance showed the processor wasn’t busy but the RAM was maxed out. I couldn’t understand why. The first thing I do when Lightroom behaves strangely is to delete the Preferences file. This file can get corrupted and mess with the performance badly. Just delete it and restart and things are often fixed. That didn’t work in this case. When the new version of Lightroom was released, I hoped this would fix everything but sadly not. (Meanwhile Photoshop itself is working just fine on this system.)
I had a long session with the Adobe tech support people which got me nowhere. After telling me this was normal, they realized it was not when our screen sharing crapped out as a result of the machine slowing to a virtual standstill. They tried a bunch of simple stuff and got no further than I had on my own. They suggested a second session would be needed and then promptly sent me an email telling me that the issue had been successfully resolved. Not sure how they concluded that. Meanwhile, I wondered whether there was an issue with my Windows installation so decided to do a completely clean install. This had some slight benefits but basically the problem still remained.
I have done a bunch of scanning of similar issues and I found out a technique the support team can use to tweak performance. There is a config.lua file that can be created in the presets folder to influence the system. I have added this file and it has certainly made a few things work better. It has also slowed some things down as well which isn’t ideal. This was not a solution though. All it did was make the program slightly more usable.
Another session with Adobe ensued. This time we got into the permissions for some of the folders that contained the catalogs. Lots of time to reset these to give greater authority. I was told this is sometimes an issue with large catalog files. Lots of time later, I found that nothing had really changed. The whole thing would still get bogged down very quickly.
Then I read about Lightroom 7.2. This was a new update that was supposed to address a lot of performance issues. It was supposed to make better use of multi-core processors as well as larger RAM configs. I had seen a sequence of updates not improve things – my issues were clearly not the normal performance problems although I had previously experienced some of them too – but I was hoping that, if they had changed the architecture of the software, maybe whatever was causing my machine to have problems might have been tweaked/replaced. If not, I was seriously considering the need to buy a new system since this was so horribly inefficient.
I waited for the release date to come around when I knew the update was on its way. Then I got an update to the iPad version and it said the new version of Camera Raw was included. This must mean it was close. A day later, the update dropped. I downloaded it immediately and opened up. Hurrah!!! Everything run fast, the RAM levels were moderate and stable, everything was happening as it should. My system lives! Let’s hope this isn’t a false dawn.
Nearly a year ago I got the new model of the Canon 100-400 EF lens. I had it on back order when it first came out and it arrived just before Christmas so became an impromptu gift to me! Almost everything about the lens I liked. However, if you read my initial thoughts on the lens which I covered here, you will have seen I had a concern about softness in one part of the image. I have used the lens extensively since then and, while I have not always had an issue, I have continued to be concerned about the output in one area – particularly when compared the the excellent sharpness the rest of the image was displaying.
I sent the lens to Canon earlier this year for a service. I explained my concerns and they took a look and told me it was functioning properly and returned it. I took it on another shoot and got more shots which did not look right. This time I emailed CPS and provided them with some sample shots. They suggested it didn’t look right and told me to send the lens back in with a description of everything to date along with more sample images on a card.
I now have the lens on its way back to me. Here is what they found.
Your product has been examined and it was found that the optical assembly was broken causing the auto focus to operate improperly from time to time. The 6th group lens and 2nd group lens were replaced. Product functions were confirmed.
It is nice to know that I wasn’t imagining things but a little disappointing it took this long to get to the bottom of things. Of course, I could have done some of this sooner if I had been more certain of the problem. In future, I will be a bit more willing to trust my instincts. Now to get the repaired lens in my hands and test it!