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Lightroom 4: auto tone adjustment in 2012 process doesn't work properly

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LEGEND ,
Apr 02, 2012 Apr 02, 2012

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Using the new 2012 process in Lightroom 4, the auto tone adjustment function does not work properly. Most images come out strongly over or underexposed.
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34 Comments
LEGEND ,
Apr 03, 2012 Apr 03, 2012

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same problem (pictures come out mostly way too dark, but sometimes also too bright).
This did work very well whenever I tried it in previous versions of Lr.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 03, 2012 Apr 03, 2012

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Ditto.

3.6 worked fine.

4.1 is usually well over or under.

Tony

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LEGEND ,
Apr 04, 2012 Apr 04, 2012

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How come you couldn't get this basic thing right?

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 04, 2012 Apr 04, 2012

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Hey guys, thanks for the feedback. The engineers are working on improving this.

Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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LEGEND ,
Apr 06, 2012 Apr 06, 2012

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Same issue here. The 2010 process is doing nearly nothing to the exposure value while the 2012 adds 1-2 stops and overexpose the overall image.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2012 Apr 19, 2012

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As others have reported, auto tone often dramatically over or underexposes photos. No need to repeat what has already been said (see links below), just to point out that the problem persists in LR4.1 RC. Some have suggested that it worked fine in 3.6. To be honest, I've always been disappointed with Auto Tone results in Lightroom and I've never found it very useful. I would love it if the feature simply behaved like Photoshop's Auto Levels.

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

http://forums.adobe.com/message/43293...

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

John Kemp's wishes for an auto level that works like Photoshop. Perhaps it is a more simplistic algorithm, but from my experience, it performs quite well:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

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LEGEND ,
Apr 20, 2012 Apr 20, 2012

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I have an addition to my first comment. After working a bit with the new process I kind of like it. Yes, I'm still annoyed because of having to edit every image but the overall quality has improved. It seems that the goal of the algorithm is to get as much tone range as possible. There are still some images where there are some tiny white spots like metal reflections. Especially for this kind of images the auto tone functionality does not work and darkens to image too much.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 20, 2012 Apr 20, 2012

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The auto-tone difference is easy to to create.

Create a virtual copy.

Process Auto-tone is process2010
and the other in process2012

The difference is usually striking -- with 2010 being much preferred and usable for additional fine adjustments.

2012 -- typically is blown out

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New Here ,
Apr 25, 2012 Apr 25, 2012

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Ditto, please fix auto tone with process 2012 is useless.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 26, 2012 Apr 26, 2012

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I just tested release candidate 2: The auto tone problem with process 2012 is still not solved!

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 26, 2012 Apr 26, 2012

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It is not mentioned in the release notes either.

Rather than use autotone, how does it work if you just [Shift] double click the Exposure control? (The word Exposure)

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 26, 2012 Apr 26, 2012

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It is not mentioned in the release notes either.

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LEGEND ,
May 23, 2012 May 23, 2012

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It hasn't even been acknowledged by anyone at Adobe that there is a problem, either.

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LEGEND ,
May 29, 2012 May 29, 2012

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Please, Adobe, get auto-tone to work as well as PV2010. PV2010 Auto-tone worked well for about 95% of my pictures and created pleasing results extremely quickly.

PV2012 Auto-tone is so poor and so time consuming to adjust that I have reverted to PV2010 for all my imports. What a shame to waste the undoubted quality benefits of PV2012.

Please, please, fix it!

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LEGEND ,
Jun 05, 2012 Jun 05, 2012

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Still broken in LR 4.1 it seems (nearly the same behaviour as in the RC, with resulting auto-adjusted values in the very same range).
Solution 1: stick to the 2010 process for shots - "if it ain't broken, don't update it!"
Solution 2: edit your presets to remove any auto-toning step, and use manual adjustments only
Solution 3: export to PS, use the autotone features of PS, then reimport to LR, does a pretty good job.

Who needs a fix when there are so many solutions at hand?

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 05, 2012 Jun 05, 2012

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Yup, it's still broken. As someone pointed out in another thread, it seems to get very confused whenever there is a very bright area in the photo (e.g. headlights). I'm not sure about the other end though. i.e. sometimes it way overexposes the shot. I realize PV2010 worked differently, but, to be honest, I wasn't very happy with it either.

Chris' tongue-in-cheek solution 3 is how I get best results. Of course, it's absurdly time consuming, defeating the purpose of autotone (i.e. a good first guess) and working in Lightroom at all. As I mentioned earlier, I'd be tickled pink if Lightroom simply had an autotone that functioned the same as Photoshop's. My sense is that Lightroom's autotone is trying to be too clever and, as a result, it gets confused too easily.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 19, 2012 Jun 19, 2012

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Yes, same here. Adding myself to this thread to be notified of any fixes and developments.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 05, 2012 Aug 05, 2012

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Any news?

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LEGEND ,
Aug 07, 2012 Aug 07, 2012

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@v4.1 final

Although I agree that the exposure is often wildly off, and the black is sometimes a little off, the rest is usually pretty darn good. I never used auto-tone much until recently, and I'm finding it a surprising time saver. Lots of photos are adjustable to near perfection simply by:

* Clicking Auto
* Adjusting exposure (and/or blacks if need be)

And if not quite punchy enough for my taste, using a cross-the-board punchifying (relative) preset (via Cookmarks). Then, much of the time, they could be considered done, although I usually go on to fine-tune, and apply locals if I've got the time...

In my experience, Lr3 was often a little off in the brightness and/or exposure settings too, just not as big of a swing as Lr4.

Improvement would be welcome, but truth-be-told, whether it's a little off or a lot, you still have to adjust it (unless it's only *very* little off...). I have lately developed a fair respect for the PV2012 auto-toner, despite the "synapse misfires" in the exposure computation... (and I'm not looking at it through kool-aid colored glasses either ;-}).

Don't get me wrong - I'd still like to see it be improved, but it's *far* from worthless/un-usable like some people are claiming, once you get an eye for adjusting exposure (and blacks) afterward, that is...

Rob

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LEGEND ,
Aug 25, 2012 Aug 25, 2012

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@ LR 4.1 / ACR 7.1

What a shame!
It's not possible to use the atomatic tone-adjustement !!
Results are in 90% extremly under- or overexposed. Better you forgot it and change the settings by hand.
Congratulations to Adobe !

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LEGEND ,
Aug 25, 2012 Aug 25, 2012

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Just adjust exposure after auto-toning, when it's wonky, the rest are usually ok.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 21, 2012 Oct 21, 2012

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yes, go over hundreds of pics one by one.... and tweak their exposure individually... good solution! 😞 NOT!

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LEGEND ,
Oct 21, 2012 Oct 21, 2012

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I would want to review results after auto-toning even if exposure weren't so far off sometimes. Are you thinking about hitting auto-tone then *not* reviewing the results prior to consumption? I would never do that m'self.

I'm not saying there is no room for improvement (au-contrare - I've written volumes about it...), just that it is far from unusable/un-helpful as is - I use it frequently.

Consider tweaking exposure using grid / quick-develop after auto-toning - I can usually get through a hundred photos in just a few minutes that way.

Cheers,
Rob

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LEGEND ,
Oct 21, 2012 Oct 21, 2012

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My wish is not a magic "auto tone" button that will fix ALL my pictures, my wish is a more simple one... Auto Tone was working in a very decent way (at least in the opinion of some of us) up to LR 3.X... but as of LR 4.X most of us can agree that it is acting up. I just want Auto Tone to at least work as good (or bad depending of who you ask) as it was working on LR 3.X.

That's all...

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LEGEND ,
Oct 22, 2012 Oct 22, 2012

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Still... Same problem in LR4.2. The coders put absolutely no constraint or threshold on the Auto-tone function.
Wondering what dumb algorithms are behind such dramatic curve "corrections".

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