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Adobe Lightroom CC [I Finally Switched]

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  1. npod

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    ***The following has nothing to do with pipes, tobacco, or pipe smoking***

    Early morning ramblings after returning home from vacation. Smoking Capstan Blue in a small billiard while typing.

    I have been been using Adobe Lightroom Classic since version 1.0. I was even a certified Adobe instructor for Photoshop and Lightroom at one time. At the peak of my photography side business, a few years ago I had many hard drives and adapters, dongles, FireWire 400, then 800, then esata, off-site backup, rotating drives, you name it. It was a job just managing the backups. Then I broke my back and had surgery and spent months in rehab learning to walk without a cane (that’s when I started pipe smoking btw). When I started back to photography last year I was amazed at the leaps in technology, noteably the Mirrorless cameras with small lightweight lenses. These systems changed my life, literally. I could now carry lightweight rigs without hurting my back. And the joy of making pictures has returned.

    But, I was dumbfounded how quickly and profoundly I lost many of my Photoshop skills. It was like I forgot how to even make a layer mask. And in my time away, Adobe went and made it even more complicated by making two versions of Lightroom, classic and CC. Like many others I completely resisted the CC version due to its minimalist technology. I went back to my old hard drives and clunky adapters (yes, the world upgraded to USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, we’ll forget for ancient 3 year old FireWire 800 tech). But at least I new how to use the trusted clsssic software.

    This past week I was on vacation and in a place that required many pictures and documentation shots. But also requiring I travel very light and with minimal gear. So I made the jump to Lightroom CC to use the cloud storage because I only had an IPad and iPhone. Well, wow! I am completely hooked on the new platform now. It is so modern, you simply upload the raw files to your iPad and bingo, the pictures since to the cloud and are immediately available on all your devices. I am now able to do 80% of the work from my mobile devices, even basic edits like crop and healing brush and markups without waiting until I get back home to my main computer. And when I did get home the raw photos were there on my computer and my calibrated monitor waiting for me. So cool.

    Change is difficult, especially when it involves your work flow. But this change, for me, is certainly a good one.

    P.S., I still use Photoshop and Lightroom Classic for important photos that will be printed. Nothing can replace the king that is Photoshop. I just wish I hadn’t lost so many of skills and workflow tricks during my time away.

    Neal
    Posted 11 months ago #
  2. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Sounds interesting though I've never owned a computer. Look forward to seeing your photos!

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 11 months ago #
  3. npod

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    Sounds interesting though I've never owned a computer.

    Duane, please enlighten me, oh Captain. How do you post all your online pictures and YouTube videos without a computer?

    Posted 11 months ago #
  4. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Phone

    Posted 11 months ago #
  5. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Samsung Galaxy Luna

    Posted 11 months ago #
  6. npod

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    That is impressive! You are my hero. You are my Captain!

    In 4 words, you summarized the ultimate minimalist approach to photography. It took me 7 paragraphs and much rambling, and I’m still not close to my utopian vision of minimalist zen photography.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  7. chasingembers

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    Before digital became the thing, I had a Canon SLR and a dark room from my college days.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  8. bassbug

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    I spent 30 years of my life in the photo industry. Not as a photographer but a rep for equipment and software. I got in at the infancy of digital imaging and rode that wave through the maturity of pixels.

    Hardware was always straightforward. Pixels, optics, sensor design etc, but software was a blessing/curse from the beginning. It seems no one could get the right mix of user friendliness, features and processing algorithms. I don't think anyone has yet, either.

    Being in the industry, I would get "evaluation" copies of every bit of software that came out. There was no shortage of brave entrepreneurs, some small, some very big, that wanted to dethrone Adobe. Today, the playing field is somewhat more even and the choices of well written, feature rich, affordable software are plentiful. Each has its own quirks and pleasures.

    I use a number of products, depending on mood, purpose and features, but I have been very intrigued by a relative newcomer called Affinity.The price is right, the feature set is nothing short of amazing and reviews are very good.

    As far as workflow skills and tricks, they are so dependent on the software being used, that I'm sure you will get back to full speed in short order. You have the foundations already.

    I don't care who you are, you're not walking on the water while I'm fishing
    Posted 11 months ago #
  9. timt

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    Neil, you really do a great job combining pipe smoking with photography. I’m hoping to acquire some of those mad skills you got there. Pictures really do say a thousand words and to do it with a minimalist approach is attractive.

    Tim
    Posted 11 months ago #
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    bigpond

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    That’s cool. I’ll have to add cc for iPad. Recently, I was in a similar situation (sans laptop) and found transferring files over WiFi from my camera to edit on mobile a bit of a pain. The biggest issue was getting Sony to quit downrezzing files to 2m. Glad you’ve made the switch to something easier to carry. I’ve been shooting since the early 80’s and have somehow avoided owning anything with a mirror all this time

    Posted 11 months ago #
  11. npod

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    Laptop, iPhone, iPad, all three sync instantaneously when a change is made on one device. So cool.

    Posted 11 months ago #
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    bigpond

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    Very cool. Just dl’ed the app on both. Thanks for the heads up!

    Posted 11 months ago #
  13. jamban

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    Neal, my utopian vision of minimalist zen photography... Fujifilm X100, flaws and all.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  14. npod

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    my utopian vision of minimalist zen photography... Fujifilm X100, flaws and all.

    Yes! I totally agree, jamban. I am now shooting 80% of the time with only my Fuji X100F. Flaws and all, it is an amazing little rangefinder and it's the only travel camera I use. Its low light performance is stellar. And the stealthy silence is a bonus for street photography.

    This is now my entire travel gear set up (X100F, tele/wide lenses, extra cards, minus an extra battery).

    Samples from a recent shoot. No flash, no tripod, just the X100F and great subjects to photograph.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  15. woodsroad

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    I've earned my living as a photographer since 1985 and I've never used Lightroom. Took a class in it once, thinking that I should be using it, but decided it wasn't for me. I'm a Camera Raw guy, edit with PhotoMechanic. Maybe I'll take another look at LR.

    BTW, I bought the Sony A6500 mirrorless system, which is darned nice and lightweight, but it just isn't anywhere as near as fast to use as my Canon DSLR's. Still, it's a nice camera.

    These photos were made with the Sony A6500

    Posted 11 months ago #
  16. chasingembers

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    Canon DSLR's

    One day I'll buy one of those, but my old relic EOS looks at me funny when I think about it.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  17. woodsroad

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    If you decide to go the DSLR route, I suggest that you check out Canon's Refurb Site.

    Mirrorless will replace DSLR's. My gripe isn't with mirrorless at all, I think that it's a superior system all-in-all. But you will have to pay for a pro-level camera if you want to pro-level performance. The Sony A6500 isn't an inexpensive camera (and I now own two of them, and a bevy of lenses), but it's really a consumer camera with ergonomics designed by engineers, not photographers. Way too may buttons in too small of a space, and too many essential functions buried deep in sub-menus. Just too pimped up.

    Nikon just came out with a full-frame mirrorless that should be the shizzizzle, but it requires the user to buy all new lenses. I may end up going that route, if Canon follows suit.

    Posted 11 months ago #
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    bigpond

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    Hey Woods, I’m a huge fan of Capture One for converting Sony’s RAW files. I believe they allow you to download a Sony specific version for free. Check it out if you haven’t.

    Re: The Nikon z6/z7- you can use the old Nikon lenses with a $250 adapter, just FYI.

    Neal, love seeing the whole x100 kit and kaboodle! Looks like you’re getting on well. Who are the pipemakers?

    Posted 11 months ago #
  19. woodsroad

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    Thanks, Bigpond, I'll look at CaptureOne. What are the advantages over CameraRaw?

    As for the Nikon Z-mount, I have to assume that there is a loss of functionality with the f-mount adapter.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  20. olkofri

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    Another CaptureOne Pro and Canon user here. Funny, I used to use LR but Adobe's Crapative Cloud subscription scheme made me switch.

    CaptureOne's engine runs circles around ACR: more natural colours, especially skin tones; better highlight/shadows recovery; luma curve; and more. C1Pro is still lacking in the DAM department, so I use Photo Mechanic 5 in tandem.

    I'm still running Photoshop CS4!

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 11 months ago #
  21. bassbug

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    I didn't want to mention Capture One for fear I might be seen as biased. Along with one other rep,I was more or less responsible for the entire Canadian market for Capture One and Phase One products for over 10 years. I had more than a few conversations and some unique insight into the inner workings of the product.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  22. homewaters

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    I do real estate photography as a side business and I have been using the classic version of Lightroom so far. After reading this, I will certainly have a look at CC and Capture One!

    Posted 11 months ago #
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    bigpond

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    Olkofri nailed it but I’ll underscore natural colors as the most dramatic improvement over ACR when using Sony files.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  24. jpmcwjr

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    But is that not in part a function of the settings in both RAW file converters ? Does the improvement convert to the printed output, or is it a display phenomenon? And can't the adjustments to the RAW file (a little tweak here and push there) in ACR match that of Capture One's native (unadjusted) output?

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 11 months ago #
  25. olkofri

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    Not quite: it's mostly due to the algorithms under the hood.

    Along with one other rep,I was more or less responsible for the entire Canadian market for Capture One and Phase One products for over 10 years

    Are/were you, perchance, associated with B3K Digital?

    Posted 11 months ago #
  26. jpmcwjr

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    I was a beta tester for a couple of versions of PS and helped with LR, but that's now many years ago. Shameful how much I've lost in being able to do stuff in PS, both through inactivity and change in menu items and methods.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  27. bassbug

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    Are/were you, perchance, associated with B3K Digital?

    B3K is owned by my former colleague Walter Borchenko. He started the company after leaving Vistek. Not long after that, I also left. The only difference is, I left the industry completely. Don't get me started on why

    Posted 10 months ago #
  28. olkofri

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    I've done some business with B3K as they're the Hensel dealers in Canada. I spoke with Walter over the phone a few years ago, when I needed warranty on an Integra unit. I was under the impression that Jim Anderson owned the company, though.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  29. bassbug

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    Jim is another former Vistek colleague and good friend. He does not own the company.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  30. lifesizehobbit

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    For years I shot Olympus SLRs/35mm developing my own prints in BW, color and slides. It took me eons to leap to digital but when I did, I went big on the full frame Nikon D700. I'm still shooting that but in the digital age, one is clearly "obsolete" before you know it. Not sure if I'll move on to mirrorless or find another way to skinny down; feel like I'm getting old enough to be bothered by hauling heavy gear around where it never bothered me before.

    Humorous story dating back to my Olympus days. I was working on some 500mm reflex mirror lens effort and was appropriately setup on the tri-pod and cable release. Some guy jogs by and stops to ask, "Is that a Canon?" Without missing a beat I replied, "No, that's a camera. A cannon is a lot bigger makes a big noise." Deflated, he merely said, "I asked for that didn't I?"

    Dave "Black Frigate Stowaway"
    Posted 10 months ago #
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    bigpond

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    In the digital age, one is clearly "obsolete" before you know it.

    I used to share this opinion but I don’t any longer. In fact, I think there is very little reason to “upgrade” from your D700 from an image quality perspective.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  32. npod

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    there is very little reason to “upgrade” from your D700 from an image quality perspective.

    I agree bigpond. However, convenience is now the new reason to update. Cloud storage, ease of backup, syncing, etc, that is the new upgrade topic.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  33. jpmcwjr

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    Indeed. Rather have a few million quality pixels than a billion mediocre ones!

    Posted 10 months ago #
  34. jamban

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    Interesting to see that a few of us here happen to ply our trade in photography...

    Neal, those are some nice photos. And what a pleasant surprise to see that you are shooting with the X100F! When you used the words 'utopian vision of minimalist zen photography', i just had to join the conversation. The joy and pleasure of the X100 series of cameras have to be experienced to be understood. I'm using the old and first X100, so whatever flaws your X100F has, imagine the X100's! It's like driving a vintage car (even though the X100 is only 7 years old)... You need to get to know it and work with it, then it becomes quite magical.

    Enjoy your photography with that X100F! I'm sure it will be a long time friend for you.

    Posted 10 months ago #
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    bigpond

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    I agree bigpond. However, convenience is now the new reason to update. Cloud storage, ease of backup, syncing, etc, that is the new upgrade topic.

    No doubt! Since your OP I’ve been using cc on all my mobile stuff and it’s super convenient.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  36. npod

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    I'm using the old and first X100

    I just upgraded to the "F" this year. Prior to that I was shooting the original X100 for years. The upgrade was indeed a big improvement.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  37. sablebrush52

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    This is a tremendously interesting thread. I may have to consider one day retiring my Seneca View camera.

    Seriously, all of these developments sound like they offer a great improvement in speed, ease and flexibility in digital photography. I don't do that much shooting these days, so I haven't availed myself any of these improvements as I use Photoshop primarily as a digital painting tool. There are better apps available for painting, but it's the industry standard and anything I come up with has to be able to be duplicated by other artists following the style I've set.

    I have to say, I'm attracted by the notion of apps that save steps, though I'm so used to manually manipulating images down to the molecular level that it's just a natural way for me to approach a project. It's just part of my background of being one of those pioneers who rode the wave from analog to digital in the 80's. Digital data is just so many 1's and 0's, so many RGB values, and so many color spaces, and it's extremely malleable. It's been a long time since I calculated gamma curves for separate color records and put them through a Houston Fearless.

    I'm hoping to upgrade my workstation and drives next year when Apple has promised to finally produce a meaningful upgrade to its Mac Pro line. I hope that it's not their usual brand of bullshit. My gear is 10 years old, though I've cloned and swapped out my drives to keep the internals fresh, and it's getting cranky. But it is still getting the job done.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 10 months ago #
  38. woodsroad

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    Jesse, a faster GPU will make your life a lot easier. As image files get larger, my impatience of waiting for previews to render gets shorter. I'm building a new workstation as soon as I get my office de-cluttered.

    As for camera upgrades, a lot of the stuff on the image quality front has begun to plateau a bit. Now I'm looking for faster focusing, better ergonomics, and more steamlined, intuitively arranged camera firmware. I know my f-stops, shutter speeds, color spaces and histograms inside out, but I don't want to play nuts and bolts while making images. Just give me the basics that I need in easy to access buttons and bury the rest. For some people, digging around in sub-sub-menues for just the right settings is, in and of itself, the enjoyment of photography. Not me. I constantly have contrast ratios, sync speeds and such running around in my head, but I don't want any of it to take priority over the moment playing out in front of me. Canon firmware/hardware seems to strike a good balance for me in that department. Sony...not so much.

    There's another problem for me in seeing a video rendering of a scene (mirrorless) versus and optical one (DSLR), but that's a whole nuther ball of wax.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  39. sablebrush52

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    Canon firmware/hardware seems to strike a good balance for me in that department.

    Yeah, I'm very satisfied with the suite of tools that Canon provided. A couple of years ago I photographed the wedding of a friend's daughter. They had hired a photographer, but I thought it would be fun to capture some candids, shoot as much as possible under available light, and look for different situations happening at the event, that their commercial photographer would not be covering. Some of the lighting situations were a bit challenging. I was able to make just about any adjustment I could want, including spot adjustments in color and exposure to selected areas while leaving the original alone. I had fun doing this, the results looked very good, and my friend and his daughter were frankly thrilled. That made for a nice wedding gift.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  40. sablebrush52

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    Jesse, a faster GPU will make your life a lot easier. As image files get larger, my impatience of waiting for previews to render gets shorter. I'm building a new workstation as soon as I get my office de-cluttered.

    A faster CPU will definitely be helpful, though my 8 processors do a pretty good job. The real problem is the bus, and that has dramatically improved over the years. Pretty much everyone works with Macs, I'm comfortable with them, so I'd prefer to stay with Macs. Apple had dropped the ball, badly, with regard to its pro level products. Their last Mac Pro, a little garbage can like affair which required a pile of external components did not please me. We'll see what comes in 2019. One way or another, I'm going to upgrade.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  41. woodsroad

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    Jesse, I was really referring to the firmware in the camera, and how well it's integrated with the hardware. Many digital cameras have this wall of firmware between the user and the image. Canon has done a very good job of making that wall as transparent as possible, creating logically placed buttons and assignable custom functions that for most photographers can be set once and forgotten. With the Sony, I constantly find myself digging into menus to access basic functions. That's OK for a equipment/computer geek, not so good for someone who is in it to capture images of life around them.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  42. sablebrush52

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    Ahhh...

    I agree. I find my Canon extremely easy to use and its features very intuitive. The camera is loaded with more features than I will probably ever engage, and I tell myself to get on with learning some of its more arcane features. But so far I haven't...

    I'm just happy that it doesn't get in the way of what I'm trying to do. I might, but the camera doesn't.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  43. lifesizehobbit

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    I used to share this opinion but I don’t any longer. In fact, I think there is very little reason to “upgrade” from your D700 from an image quality perspective.

    I really do subscribe to this as well. My D700 still has the horses for my courses as does my Nikon NX/Capture/View software. I have several of my images around the work campus enlarged to poster size without any quality issues.

    I think my thought process is getting as good quality with lighter convenient equipment. Alas, I probably won't make that leap seeing has how it would be another system change and money spent. I love my D700, I just find myself reaching less for it than I used to.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  44. woodsroad

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    The camera is loaded with more features than I will probably ever engage, and I tell myself to get on with learning some of its more arcane features. But so far I haven't...
    Same here. But I greatly appreciate that all of those firmware options are out of sight until such a point that I want to use them and that the stuff I need is easy to get to. I like that each menu page retains it's last position. So if I scroll through the menu, all of the often-used settings are right there (such as format card, highlight alert, custom wb set) and I don't have to go searching for them. Sony doesn't get that.

    Posted 10 months ago #
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    bigpond

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    Yep, the team responsible for user interface at Sony must have done something truly horrific to get pushed down so low on the design totem pole. Things on this front have improved meaningfully but glacial over the last 6 or 7 years. The tech is so good that it makes them hard to dismiss but I do try!

    I’m pretty interested in the new Z series mentioned above. I looked in to the Nikkor adapter and it seems the lenses don’t loose any functionallity or speed.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  46. woodsroad

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    I really like the Sony Alpha A6500. But the user interface/button scheme is just terrible.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  47. akfilm

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    I haven't made the jump to Lightroom CC, I still use Classic as part of the Suite, CC is in the suite, I just haven't installed it yet, I probably should as I'm on the road a lot for film and photo work and would probably speed things up a little on the post end. I still use photoshop a bunch, but love lightroom for 98% of editing. I did use CaptureOne for a little while, but as soon as Adobe started doing subscription I went back to LR and never looked back.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  48. jamban

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    I just upgraded to the "F" this year. Prior to that I was shooting the original X100 for years. The upgrade was indeed a big improvement.

    I can imagine. And what ride it must've been with the original! Something you can pass down to a kid to start playing with photography...

    Posted 10 months ago #

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