Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Jeff F
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Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by Jeff F » 23 Jan 14 17:32

Looking for cautionary advice.

I am admittedly one of those pixel obsessed fanatics, (hello my name is Jeff and I'm a pixel addict), who will re-convert raw files over and over again with different programs for various output needs.

I recently downloaded the standalone 'Adobe DNG Converter' and was able to save my NEF into the DNG and then extract a 'clean' NEF back out for a specific project.

I do fully understand that saving a copy of the original nef inside the DNG doubles the file size, but with that one exception I am not seeing any downside.

I have an irrational dislike of sidecar files but still want to cram all sorts of metadata into my image files.

That being said, has anyone had any bad experiences with DNGs as their primary version?

Thanks,

Jeff

Hert
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by Hert » 23 Jan 14 17:53

Hi Jeff,

While I very much understand why you want to keep a NEF inside the DNG, I would recommend against it. This only from a(ny) application stand of view. The original RAW file is stored a one mega Exif tag in the DNG file which makes metadata reading so much slower. PSU tries to be intelligent and skip this particular tag when possible, but for some operations it's simply not possible to ignore it; eg when saving to file.

For your workflow question, I'm very sure that fellow DNG addicts will show up soon :)
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weidmic
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by weidmic » 23 Jan 14 19:20

hahaha... I am one of those DNG addicts (recently converted to one of those)

I see no resonable point to store the NEF within the DNG-file, however, I think it is necessary to keep a copy of the original RAW-file.
I use the same naming and file structure for the DNG as for the original RAW file (only the drive letter is different) - This way I will easily find the "original" on my backupdrive for originals, if I need it.

One Downside of DNG-files is, that it takes much longer to save metada inside the file were writing the metadata into the sidecar file is done in a blast.
And backing up any changes of a XMP-file is much faster than having to backup the DNG-file. When you now include the NEF into a DNG file you need more time again - so I do not see any advantage of in integrating the RAW at all.

Using LR5 as my RAW converter of choice and because PSU seems to have no problems with DNG anymore, DNG is now my preferred format.

Regards,
Michael
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Jeff F
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by Jeff F » 23 Jan 14 21:55

Thank you both very much,
"...one mega Exif tag in the DNG file which makes metadata reading so much slower"
and
"... Downside of DNG-files is, that it takes much longer to save metada inside the file..."
This is the exact type of info I was looking for!

That being said, from a performance point of view, which file type would you recommend (tif, jpg?) for main version?

I shoot exclusivly HDR brackets and Focus Stacks so I have groups of nearly identical images. I would love to avoid sidecar files if I can but if it is the best solution I will get over my irrational dislike and 'get with the program'.

Thanks again,

PS is the 'Data Validation' aspect of DNG worth the conversion given the other complications?

Jeff

andy@damroundup.com
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by andy@damroundup.com » 23 Jan 14 22:29

Hi Jeff - color me a DNG-a-holic too... the reason I like it - I consider it a one stop shopping format. So, I don't convert to ANY other file type.. I download my photos and apply an auto-conversion to DNG (for JPG, NEF, ARW, etc), edit the files in Lightroom and then use LR to update the metadata and preview image so other software can see the changes I've made to the file. I dont' export the file to any other format unless needed at that moment and this is all done within LR (upload to galleries, email, printing, etc). I also like the fact that I only need to deal with one file - my back-ups are all automated and done at 2am so its a hands off operation and at that hour, I'm not concerned if it takes 3 minutes or 3 hours to complete.

I recently upgraded my machine to an i5, 16GB, SSD monster and do not note any slowness or any marked difference between DNG and older JPG, TIFF files...

Anyway.. hope this info helps! - Andy.
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weidmic
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by weidmic » 23 Jan 14 22:36

Jeff,
When you say that most of your images bracketed or focus stacked, I would not bother to convert to DNG.
One of the advantages of DNG is to have a full resolution JPG embedded of your developed image - however, "your" images are only fully developed after you have run your HDR software or your focus stacking software.
When you use LR to pre-develop your images, just make sure you let write the developing settings to your images and go with the sidecar file solution. It will be so much faster!
You don't have to think about xmp-files, because your DAM-Software and your developing-software is taking care of it.

When I process single file images I prefer DNG files - no question about it, mostly because of the embedded fullsize JPG of the developed file.
In situations where I have to go to Photoshop I save my files as PSD (with layers, and in compatibility mode) / Tif would also work; This file will be then my main version

JPG's are always produced on the fly as needed via export from Lightroom; PSU and LR catalog will never see those Jpg-images!

Hope my 2 cents are helping you a bit
Michael
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tstoddard
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by tstoddard » 23 Jan 14 23:03

Andy and Mike,

From what you're saying, it sounds like Photo Supreme plays a very minor role in your workflows. It sounds like you only use it to label your files and perhaps add some descriptive metadata. Is that correct?
Last edited by tstoddard on 24 Jan 14 2:00, edited 1 time in total.
Tom Stoddard

dickl
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by dickl » 23 Jan 14 23:06

Hi Jeff,

I switched to DNG quite a few years ago. Like you I was just not prepared to have a folder full of sidecars. Used to shoot raw with my Pentax cameras that created PEF files which I converted to DNG with Adobe DNG Converter. But my last three Pentax DLSR's were able to output RAW files direct as DNG, so I changed my workflow. Keep a copy of the original RAW? For sure! But not in the DNG. Been using Hert's software for years now - Think I started with Idimager ver 3??? Always used the download script that would import the raw file, save an original with its original file name in a backup folder, rename the raw file with a date stamp, convert to DNG with a script - All done at the import stage. Result, my image folders contain the DNG images renamed with a date prefix, and a backup folder contained the original raw's, with their original names. PSu carried on with that capability - One of the great reasons to get Photo Supreme...

My current favorite PP software, DxO Optics Pro, will not process an Adobe DNG converted RAW file. Boy was I glad I had kept the original PEF RAW files. But DxO handles DNG files created in the camera. so no problem for the future, but those backup original files were a life saver - Always make backup copies of your original raw files...

Dick

Jeff F
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by Jeff F » 24 Jan 14 2:18

Thank you all for the input.

Tom,
From what you're saying, it sounds like Photo Supreme plays a very minor role in your workflows. It sounds like you only use it to label your files and perhaps add some descriptive metadata. Is that correct?
I am hoping that Photo Supreme will become the backbone of my workflow. I'm embarrassed to admit how many photo related programs I use. I'm probably the photo software equivalent of the 'crazy cat lady'. But, Lightroom is not one of them (although I have free access to it with my Adobe account).
I have handled a great deal of my organization within my file naming system but I am looking to PSU to help me move forward as my volume is jumping and my ability to recall an image when I need it from whatever backup it is residing in is becoming more important.

I was interested in DNG because of the nested NEF ability which I viewed as a way to write metadata to a raw while maintaining an uncorrupted original all within a single 'container'. And to a lesser extent for data validation. I do currently save original unaltered NEFs separately and thought perhaps I could skip that step with the embed function. While I can understand why the ability to display an embedded jpeg with the non-destructive edits applied would be central to many, it is not one of my priorities with my particular (peculiar) workflow.

I am very thankful for all of the responses and will heed that which pointed out that while DNG is terrific, the embedding of the raw is problematic at best.


I would like to add that I really feel that this is a wonderful community of helpful people who are generous with their knowledge and it says a lot about the products too.


Many thanks,

Jeff

PS, Thanks Dick,
"...DxO Optics Pro, will not process an Adobe DNG converted RAW file... ...But DxO handles DNG files created in the camera."
I ran into the first part and was surprised to hear that it worked with an in camera DNG.

tstoddard
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by tstoddard » 24 Jan 14 2:50

Jeff,

I'm sorry. I addressed my question to you and Mike but I meant to ask Andy and Mike. I've edited that post now.

You're right about the people in this forum. It is a great group and has been tremendously helpful to me. I think you'll appreciate PSU the more you use it. Once you settle into a consistent workflow, it saves you a lot of time and gives you the ability to organize your catalog in more ways than I could ever have imagined.

Tom
Tom Stoddard

andy@damroundup.com
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by andy@damroundup.com » 24 Jan 14 16:22

tstoddard wrote:Andy and Mike,

From what you're saying, it sounds like Photo Supreme plays a very minor role in your workflows. It sounds like you only use it to label your files and perhaps add some descriptive metadata. Is that correct?
Hi Tom - For me, I jump around software quite a bit so my level of integration in one program or another changes widely from time to time (occupational hazard!). Currently, I find myself using LR more and more as it fits my current workflow (family pics/vacations) more and more. However, I still LOVE cataloging via Idi so that is where I import (rename, basic metadata add, convert to DNG, rate, cull and keyword) then off to LR via LR import to edit (develop, upload to galleries, email to family, update DNG preview). If the DNG preview updates correctly, than finding images, etc is all done through Idi (still working myself back into this process).

The hard part is having family members also using the software - they won't do any editing - but will want to find photos, etc so having them attend to a single place is recommended.
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Mike Buckley
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by Mike Buckley » 24 Jan 14 17:38

tstoddard wrote:Andy and Mike,

From what you're saying, it sounds like Photo Supreme plays a very minor role in your workflows. It sounds like you only use it to label your files and perhaps add some descriptive metadata. Is that correct?
I've been using IDimager for years and plan to migrate to PhotoSupreme reasonably soon. Even so, that doesn't change the gist of your question or my response to it.

I use IDimager to do the following:
Batch create JPEGs sized to match the native resolution of my monitor and sharpened to take into account the results of downsizing
Assign catalog labels, text in the Description field, copyright information and the like
Embed the catalog information in the physical image files
Create Portfolios
Create slide shows from Portfolios that are then displayed on a television or projector not connected to a computer, which also requires batch resizing, sharpening, and renaming all files in the slide show to maintain the proper order
Versioning all versions of the same image
Finding images

For me, that's a major role in my workflow, so much so that the software is indispensable.

tstoddard
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by tstoddard » 24 Jan 14 18:03

Thanks for you input Mike. It's good to hear how others use PSU. I have to apologize again, however, because my question was meant for Michael (screen name - weidmic).

Both Michael and Andy were talking about some of the things they are able to do with dng files within LightRoom. It had me questioning just what they relied on Photo Supreme to do. Michael actually indicated that any jpg-images that he creates are never even imported into a catalog.
weidmic wrote:JPG's are always produced on the fly as needed via export from Lightroom; PSU and LR catalog will never see those Jpg-images!
In that case then he doesn't need versioning in PSU to keep track of any of those derivatives.

Andy seemed to indicate that he uses LR any time he needs to output any version of his images, so again, it doesn't seem like PSU would be used for that purpose.
andy@damroundup.com wrote: I dont' export the file to any other format unless needed at that moment and this is all done within LR (upload to galleries, email, printing, etc).
LR is perfectly capable of adding keywords to images and of modifying most metadata fields so I'm just wondering where PSU fits into their workflows. I haven't experimented with LR since I first started to catalog my files, which was almost two years ago. I do remember that LR was not nearly as powerful as PSU when it came to using labels to add and/or modify metadata so that is what I expected to hear from them.
Tom Stoddard

weidmic
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by weidmic » 24 Jan 14 18:07

tstoddard wrote:Andy and Mike,

From what you're saying, it sounds like Photo Supreme plays a very minor role in your workflows. It sounds like you only use it to label your files and perhaps add some descriptive metadata. Is that correct?
PSU is the software I use to download my images from card, rename, Convert to DNG, Tag, add metadata, add GPS, sort, make collections, ect. ect. ect.
LR is my RAW converter of choice and I use it to export my images to JPG when needed (for clients, facebook, etc.)

In other words PSU does play a very major role in my workflow :)

Cheers,
Michael
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weidmic
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Re: Considering becoming a DNG convert...

Post by weidmic » 24 Jan 14 18:19

Tom,
With single image files, converted to DNG I dont need Versioning
in old times using RAW files, developed with bibble or other raw converter - I used to have JPG Versions, because this was the only way to have a preview of the developed file
in old times with Capture NX 2, I did not use Versioning, because CNX 2 updated the preview of the RAW file
Today, I use Versioning only then when I have edited a photo in Photoshop - The PSD will then be my main version
Same would apply with HDR...
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