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Single or multiple catalogues in LR?

Discussion in 'Digital Image Editing & Printing' started by PeteRob, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I started using LR with a new catalogue every year, then I merged them (and lost the published collections).

    Now I started digitising the family albums outside of LR because I thought I had to use Photoshop but actually I can do everything necessary to invert a negative in ACR opened from Bridge. PS turned out to be totally useless for the task. If I can do it all in ACR then I can do it all in LR. This has some advantages if I'm working with camera images of 110 film as I typically get two film frames per image and I could use original + virtual copy to give me the "two" film images from the one digital image. This makes it much easier to trim white balance across several images. In Bridge + ACR you can only "see" the latest frame. To see the other one means opening ACR and moving the crop window.

    So I'm trying to decide whether to add the images from film to my master catalog or separate them completely. I'm at 23k images (since 2007) and will probably add 5k digitised film images. So, if I survive another photographic decade and take more pictures that'll be, say, 60k images in LR.

    Is 60k images too many for the catalogue? There are articles that say LR will cope with millions. What I don't want to do is to have 2 big catalogues then decide to merge them at a later date as this risks losing the published collections again.

    Ho Hum? What to do ?
  2. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I have over 80k images in the catalog, it works fine. I think a single catalog makes most sense.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Thank you Tony. Yes, I think so too. I tried it out this PM and could improve on what I did with ACR in bridge, mainly because I got a better side-by-side view in Library. LR recognises the preset I saved in ACR for 110 negative film and read the sidecar files adequately. Editing is straightforward, you just have to remember all the sliders are reversed. The new colour balancing tool is wonderful for fixing tints!

    I definitely need more memory in my imac. I had activity monitor on it showed me how LR eats RAM. I could do 4 images* of 110 film strips. Processed to 2 images each using a virtual copy before the imac ground to a halt. CPU is doing nothing but LR doesn’t release memory after processing each image. Once LR has 5GB, system 6.4/8 GB it all gets impossibly slow. Memory isn’t released until the program is closed. First opened it takes 3GB then demand increments after each edit. I think it must be holding 1:1 previews. Each frame of the 110 filmstrip takes <10 % of the digital image but it must hold each whole image twice (original + virtual copy) during the editing session.

    *it’s a 5Ds so they are big files.
  4. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    From what I have read, one catalog is the way to go. The only time I used two was when my eldest started storing pictures on my pc. If your keywords are similar for digital and pre-digital, probably best to keep to one catalog.
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Tx Steve.
  6. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    I only just discovered this new tool at the weekend, still learning, but even for tweaking shadows and highlights, it is very useful.
  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Provided that LR is responding!

    It is the spot healing tool that really suffers if memory is short. I was looking at spinning wheels for 5-10 minutes this PM.
  8. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    All of the 'brush' tools are really inefficient :( Because it's non-destructive it has to record all the information about what you did against each of those tools rather than just being able to keep hold of the result. It's one area where Photoshop is definitely better overall. If you're doing a lot of that kind of correction I genuinely think it's best to get the image to the final LR state, and then use Photoshop for spot healing (from a response perspective), but then I hate ending up with a TIF or Photoshop file hanging around. So despite my own advice, I end up doing most of my spot correction in LR (Photoshop is just better at it though as well).

    16GB of RAM here (Windows 10), and Lightroom rarely has any problems but it was super rough with 8GB.
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It’s good to know 16 GB works. The computer spec says that 16 GB is as far as It can be expanded to. I was reading that Apple are swapping all their computers to a new chip over the next 2 years so I’ll up the memory in this one to keep it going until they sort out all the problems with the new architecture.

    I was planning to work in high quality jpeg then invert and do the touching up in photoshop or On1 which has a magic eraser tool. However, On1 doesn’t allow inversion (you can’t flip the curves adjustment) and the recommended photoshop process - subtract the mask layer - then invert doesn’t work. I think it is because it is nigh impossible to sample the mask on a 110 negative from the instamatic, there is a lot of overprinting due to light leaks - the “image” goes outside the intended frame, and the mask sampling areas are too dark. So I’m doing it “wrong” by treating the mask as a tint to be corrected which seems to work in ACR/LR. I made a preset that sets white balance and does the rough colour inversion and this seems to get things reasonable. Exporting results as TIFF or JPG to do spotting is doubling the number of files to handle so I’ll put up with the slow spot healing tool for the meantime. It just means closing LR every 8 images or so.
    EightBitTony likes this.
  10. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    16GB on my pc is fine. Even with 8GB I do not recall spinning wheels.

    Can you upgrade your iMac yourself or do Apple restrict that?
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Recommended memory for LR has gone up to 12GB for the latest version.

    My imac doesn’t have access to the memory ports. The case has to be opened, like an ipad I guess, which means separating the screen then reglueing. Some later imacs have the memory soldered in so no chance! Apple won’t touch it because it is obsolete. We have a local shop. I just hope they haven’t gone bust as 2 months ago they answered emails by return and it’s been 24 hours since I said “go” for the upgrade and I’ve heard nowt.
  12. Fen

    Fen The Destroyer

    Yeah, run with one catalogue makes sense. I used to have two different catalogues, one for main and one for my backups but then I realised I could have one catalogue that encompassed all of them. Makes life so much easier.

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