P: Tethering

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Explorer ,
Jul 09, 2011 Jul 09, 2011

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I am a professional photographer who relies heavily on LR for my digital workflow. I tether my Nikon D3 and D3x to LR frequently. I've never had an issue with tethering my cameras to LR until this past week. And, after much frustration and processes-of-elimination and testing the issue across multiple machines, I BELIEVE that the problem has to do with the latest OSX 10.6.8 update when running LR 3.4.1.

You can read my initial post about this problem on Adobe forums here http://forums.adobe.com/message/37883... when I was stumped about why it was happening.

Then you can see my follow-up post about this problem today here http://forums.adobe.com/message/37894... and why I think it has to do with the recent 10.6.8 update.

Please feel free to contact me for anymore information. I really hope you can look into this issue.

Thank you,

Scott Woodward

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Participant , Nov 08, 2011 Nov 08, 2011
Lightroom 3.6RC has been posted. It should fix the tethering problem with the Nikon D3 (where it stops pulling in photos partway into the shoot), and the problem reported here for Canon cameras (changing the lens or some lens settings causes a disconnect). However, I've learned today that it apparently does NOT fix the problem for the Nikon D3x, or, more specifically, a new issue has arisen from the previous fix just with this camera. I had not had a chance to test it against the D3x previous...

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 23, 2011 Aug 23, 2011

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We have made available the Lightroom 3.5 release candidate, which we believe fixes the problems with tether. You can download the release candidate here:

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/li...

Please try it out and let me know how it goes for you. Also, standard disclaimer: the 3.5 is a release candidate which means that although it has been well tested internally, it is beta software it is NOT final. Use at your own risk. You should carefully back up your system (including all photos and your Lightroom catalog) before trying the 3.5 release candidate.

Thanks,
Ben

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LEGEND ,
Aug 24, 2011 Aug 24, 2011

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I had issues with tether since the update to LR 3. This finally helped now:

Solution 7 Reset Lightroom's preferences file.

Regards,
David

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New Here ,
Aug 30, 2011 Aug 30, 2011

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RC 3.5 did not correct the problem for me. I still randomly loose the tethered connection - D700 LR3.5RC - Mac LION.I have to stop and restart the tethered option and often restart LR. It's all random, sometime I need to switch the camera on and off and when I get desperate I restart the Mac and start from scratch.
Resetting the preference on the 3.41 file did not help. Maybe I should try it on RC3.5 ?
Thanks,
David

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 30, 2011 Aug 30, 2011

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Hi David,

If you are using version 3.5 and are still having trouble with Lightroom losing the connection to your camera, then I would try everything here:

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/894/cpsid_89...

Thanks,
Ben

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Explorer ,
Sep 03, 2011 Sep 03, 2011

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I shot a location fashion assignment for 3 days in a row last week (using D3x with LR 3.5 on my MBP running 10.6.8) and, I am sorry to say, I still experienced similar tethering problems as before when I was running LR 3.4.

- Tethering cut-off 5-6 times per 10-hour shoot day if the camera/laptop sat idle for a duration of time.
- Tethering would hang mid-shoot 3-4 times per 10-hour shoot day for no apparent reason.
- Images were lost a number of times due to these LR 3.5 malfunctions.

I have tried all troubleshooting suggestions mentioned here http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/894/cpsid_89... (including deleting the preference file, ensuring camera firmware is up-to-date, etc) without any luck.

However, when tethering using Sofortbild and a watched folder linked to LR 3.4 or 3.5, I have not experienced a single tethering hiccup.

In my opinion, LR 3.5 has not solved the tethering bugs.

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 07, 2011 Sep 07, 2011

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Hi Scott,

Thanks for the detailed information. In Lightroom 3.4.1 (when running on Mac OS 10.6.8 or later) if I simply let the computer and camera sit, Lightroom would lose the connection to the camera in 15-20 minutes. After the fix we made for version 3.5, I have let the camera and computer sit for as long as an hour and a half without losing the connection (haven't tested longer than that).

Which is to say, that prior to the fix in 3.5, I could easily reproduce the problem you're seeing, and after the fix, I cannot. So I'm wondering:

1. Is the behavior for you unchanged? Is Lightroom's propensity to lose the connection to the camera the same in 3.4.1 and 3.5? Or is one of them worse or better than the other?

2. What, specifically, is the "duration of time" that you refer to? And does the same duration of time do it in 3.4.1 and 3.5?

3. In your description above, what is the difference between "cut-off" (your first bullet point) and "hang" (your second bullet point)?

Thanks,
Ben

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 07, 2011 Sep 07, 2011

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Hello all posters on this thread,

There were roughly 10 people who posted on this thread saying that they had this problem. Of those 10, two have posted back to say that the 3.5 update has not solved the issue for them. How are things going for the rest of you? Has 3.5 solved the problem? Has it not? Have you not tried it? The more information we get, the more likely it is we can solve any remaining problems.

Thanks,
Ben

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LEGEND ,
Sep 07, 2011 Sep 07, 2011

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Hi Ben,

The 3.5 update worked perfectly for me in Snow Leopard and, after a recent hard drive failure (no fault of yours 😉 ) I installed 3.5 along with Lion and it still works perfectly. Thanks so much for the fix.

Best,
Christopher

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LEGEND ,
Sep 07, 2011 Sep 07, 2011

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Benjamin,

I have not tried the update, yet will try it this week

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 07, 2011 Sep 07, 2011

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Glad to hear it! Thanks for the update.

-Ben

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Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2011 Sep 10, 2011

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Hi Ben,

Thank you for your personal attention to this matter. Following are my answers to your questions:

1) Although I would say that -- in my experience -- the tethering behaviour on my D3x between 3.5 vs. 3.4.1 (while running 10.6.8) is better, it is still not what I would consider "stable" or "consistent" by any means.

2) The "duration of time" was sporadic. Sometimes, the connection would be lost if my camera/computer sad idle for just a few minutes (my Mac was not in Sleep mode) while other times the connection would be lost if my camera/computer sat idle for 20-30 minutes (when my Mac WAS in Sleep mode and woken-up). I cannot see any consistency to when the connection is lost.

3) I experienced both being "cut-off" and "hanging" with 3.5. For me:

- Being "cut off" was when the connection was lost between camera/computer after sitting idle. When this happened, I would go to File > Tethered Capture > Stop Tethered Capture and then File > Tethered Capture > Start Tethered Capture and the connection was found again and (most importantly) everything that I shot and was buffered on the camera would still come down and into 3.5, thereby not losing any of my work.

- However, "hanging" occurred on me a number of times as well, where I was shooting and images were coming-into 3.5 fine and then -- for no reason and mid-shooting -- 3.5 tethering would "hang" and the images would stop coming in. When this happens, I would go to File > Tethered Capture > Stop Tethered Capture and then File > Tethered Capture > Start Tethered Capture (same as above) but the connection was never resurrected and the only way to proceed was to close LR and restart LR, thereby, losing everything that was buffered on the camera.

In my experience, 3.4 was very stable with 10.6.7. Sure, I had sporadic instances of hanging (it happens sometimes), but nothing like I experienced with 3.4 after upgrading to 10.6.8, or even now with 3.5. In my opinion, 3.5 has not solved the tethering bugs. My experience shows that it is unstable and unpredictable. However, as I said before, when tethering using Sofortbild and a watched folder linked to LR 3.4 or 3.5, I have not experienced a single tethering hiccup.

I should note that the 3-day fashion shoot I am basing this experience on was shot completely running only on my MBP's battery power. I am not sure if that had any effect on 3.5's stability. However, on Monday/Tuesday I am doing a 2-day studio shoot where my MBP will be able to run the entire time on A/C power. I will see if I have similar tethering issues in this more "controlled" environment and report back accordingly next week.

Best regards,

Scott

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Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2011 Sep 10, 2011

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I would also be interested to hear others' experiences with 3.5 running 10.6.8. I hope the commenters here will provide their own feedback. Thank you.

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Explorer ,
Sep 11, 2011 Sep 11, 2011

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3 hours into my studio shoot with my D3x running OSX 10.6.8 and LR 3.5 and I had 3 x tethering "cut-offs" and 2 x tethering "hangs". I lost dozens of images (that were not captured), frustrated both my assistant and myself and angered my client. I've officially given-up using the tethering function on LR 3.5 and moved onto Sofortbild and a watched LR folder, which hasn't crashed on me in 2 hours of use (and counting). From where I am sitting, having used LR 3.5 on 4 shoots days (location and studio) thus far, the tethering problem(s) have not been solved. Scott

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LEGEND ,
Sep 11, 2011 Sep 11, 2011

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This is not just a Nikon problem. I have abandoned trying to tether my Canon 1Ds Mk3 using LightRoom. I use the Canon software to tether & transfer, then a watched folder in LightRoom. It still hangs, but slightly less frequently. Sometimes I can get through a 90 minute shoot with no hangs! I have to watch the transfer like a hawk or lose images...

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 12, 2011 Sep 12, 2011

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Hi, I've just tried the 3.5 update and it seems to work on my Macbook running 10.6.8. It did crash once (LR quit) when I shot quite fast and the buffer capacity in my D3 got down to around 6 or 7 (out of 17) but the same thing happened occasionally with the earlier version too. Thanks for getting on to this so quickly - I reverted to the old Nikon Camera Control > LR watched folder method to keep me going and I had forgotten how truly awful a system that was....

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Explorer ,
Sep 12, 2011 Sep 12, 2011

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Hi Charles, this is good news for you -- but disappointing news for me. As I explained in my post(s) above, I am running the exact same system as you, but my tether in LR is buggy and tempermental and unreliable. There is no rhyme or reason to how/when tether cuts out for me. I simply gave-up after a few hours shooting today where I experienced 5 crashes, lost files and lots of frustration. I moved to Sofortbild plus a watched folder in LR and did not experience a single tethering hiccup or crash or lost connection or lost photograph for the remaining 7+ hours of my shoot. I am baffled why you are running smoothly and I am not. Particularly as I can put my finger on my problems with LR tether starting the minute I upgraded to 10.6.8 (and never had a single issue ever while running 10.6.7)... I cannot be the only one experiencing this problem (can I?)... SW

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New Here ,
Sep 12, 2011 Sep 12, 2011

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Hi,
I'm having the same problems as Scott. No problems with Sofortbild and a watched folder!! Running 3.5RC with Lion on a MBP.Losing images as LR hangs.I end up with some files that are not complete and not recognizable by LR. LR loses connection while the camera is transferring. Cannot get on top of this problem - restarting tethered,camera on and off, restarting Mac,changing cables,cleaning contacts. It's totally erratic and very frustrating!

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 13, 2011 Sep 13, 2011

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Hi Scott,

"I am baffled why you are running smoothly and I am not." You're not the only one! 🙂 Maybe you'd be willing to try an experiment for me.

1. Go into user/Library/Preferences and move any files with "Lightroom" in the name to the Desktop (you can put them back once you're done with this testing).
2. Go into System Preferences and set your computer to never sleep.
3. Launch Lightroom.
4. Connect a supported camera with a fully charged battery.
5. Start a tethered capture session with the default settings (i.e., just go to File>Tethered Capture>Start Tethered Capture then click "OK" in the Tethered Capture Settings" dialog - after performing step 1 above, these settings should all be at their defaults).
6. Click the shutter release button on the tethered capture bar to verify that the camera can be triggered from Lightroom, and that it will capture a photo.
7. Wait at least 30 minutes.
8. Click the shutter release button on the tethered capture bar again and verify that a second photo is successfully captured.

Perform these steps using Lightroom 3.4.1 on Mac OS 10.6.8 or later. My expectation is that the second capture, in step 8, will fail. Then perform these steps in Lightroom 3.5 on 10.6.8 or later. My expectation is that the second capture, in step 8, will succeed.

If my expectation proves to be correct, then we will have confirmed that our fix of the basic problem has worked, and that the problem you are experiencing is something else. If my expectation is not correct, and step 8 it still fails for you in 3.5, then we will have discovered that our fix of the basic problem has not worked. Either way, that will help us narrow down the issue, and we can proceed accordingly.

I realize that doing these tests involves a non-trivial amount of time, and that you probably have better things to do than Lightroom quality assurance, so I totally understand if you'd rather not bother with it. If you are able to do these tests, it may help us get to the bottom of the issue. Either way, I appreciate the time you've spent giving detailed feedback here.

Thanks,
Ben

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Explorer ,
Sep 15, 2011 Sep 15, 2011

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OK Ben, I did everything exactly as you asked me to do above (running OSX 10.6.8 and D3x)...

In LR 3.4.1 - Interestingly, the camera did not hang, even after 30+ minutes of sitting idle. The frame came into LR without a problem. However, when I fired off some frames about 5 minutes later, they did not come into LR. I stopped tether and restarted tether and they came in.

In LR 3.5 - As you suspected, after 30+ minutes of sitting idle, the frames came into LR without a problem. But, again, about 15 minutes later I fired off some frames and they did not come in. I stopped tether and restarted tether and they came in.

On the one hand it's weird that 3.4.1 didn't have a hanging problem after 30 minutes of sitting idle. On the other hand, however, it's not really strange, as -- per my original post a couple of months ago -- the hanging/connectivity issue for me (running both 3.4.1. and 3.5) has ALWAYS seemed random and not time-bound, per se.

By this, I mean that on 3.4.1 my camera would sometimes hang after a few minutes of sitting idle, sometimes after a long time sitting idle and sometimes simply in the middle of shooting. And on 3.5 I experience the exact same "randomness" to my tethered connectivity; there is no pattern that I can discern for you.

So, I guess what I am driving at is that it is clear (at least to me) that the tethering problem has not been addressed by Adobe.

Again, I will emphasize that Sofortbild with a watched folder in LR 3.5 does not give me even a single hiccup. In fact, I shot on Tuesday intermittently for seven straight hours without ever turning off my camera, restarting my MBP or stopping/starting LR or Sofortbild -- and I did not have a single hanging/connectivity issue at any point.

I am not sure if I've helped you at all, but there you go...

Scott

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LEGEND ,
Sep 15, 2011 Sep 15, 2011

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Finally have some time to jump into this discussion and pass along the issues I have had with LR tethering. Note that all of these issues have occurred on a MacBookPro8,2 with 8GB of RAM and OS X 10.6.8. LR versions were 3.4.1 (once) and 3.5RC. Nikon D3 cameras were used.

First, my experiences are very similar to those described by Scott W. with a couple of differences I will note.

A typical tethered session runs for several hours with continuous shooting for periods of a few minutes to 30 minutes, interspersed with idle periods of anywhere between a few minutes to possibly an hour. There is no pattern per se to the shooting.

Just prior to the release of LR 3.5RC I did a session using LR 3.4.1 and to be honest, it was outright embarrassing. To have continuous failures of the connection in front of a client just doesn't look good, especially when the tethered connection is essential to the workflow. So it was with great relief when LR 3.5RC was made available before my next scheduled session.

I installed 3.5RC and set up a test session where I mimicked the shooting sequence described above. Over a period of 3 hours there was only one tethered connection failure, so I bit the bullet and decided to go with LR for the actual session. During the actual session of approximately 4 hours there were no connection failures.

Two days later I had another session and again went with LR3.5RC in an identical setup. During this session, tethering worked fine for about 2 hours, then started having connection failures (note the plural!). The failures occurred regardless of the idle time between shots.

A difference in what Scott has described:
I was always able to reestablish the connection by simply stopping and starting tethering within LR. I never had to exit the program, or restart the computer. Also notable is that I never lost an image. The images captured during the lost connection were always preserved in the camera's buffer, and when the connection was reestablished the images transferred to the computer.

I have also set up a test session using other software (Aperture) to do tethered capture, and did not have a single connection failure over a period of several hours.

I did not try your latest test due to time constraints, but also because I'm not sure that test actually addresses the issues that multiple users are experiencing during an actual shoot.

I agree with Scott that LR3.5RC does not yet fix the tethering issues, although they certainly are occurring much less than with LR 3.4.1.

I have two sessions coming up within the next few days. To say the least, I am very reluctant to use LR3.5RC for these sessions.

Although these observations mostly back up what Scott has reported, I hope they help.

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 16, 2011 Sep 16, 2011

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Thanks for the additional info.

-Ben

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LEGEND ,
Sep 18, 2011 Sep 18, 2011

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3.5 did not solve any of the issues for me. i have since started using Aperture and have had no problems at all. There is no problem imaginable that should take this long to solve. i gave up. I wish i didn't spend my hard earned money on this product.

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New Here ,
Sep 19, 2011 Sep 19, 2011

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Hello LR users,

I'm afraid but I confirm the same behaviour under LR3.5RC.

I started a shooting session and get stuck after only 3 shots.....

But!......and maybe that's the key of the problem.....I was able to do more than 120 shots in a row without any hanging/crashing problem!

Where's the difference??

In first case, I sometimes changed, from the camera, a few settings , ISO or f/stops value, or WB....

In second case, I didn't change any camera settings! Only point & shoot!

Could it be the core of the problem??

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 21, 2011 Sep 21, 2011

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Wow this is frustrating. To literally BUY into LR3 and now there is systemic problem with shooting with Nikon and LR3 and Apple. Btw/ turning off the camera and turning off the computer and all this BS doesn't help make for a smooth SHOOT. Which is why we are here. I urge ADOBE to stand up and get this issue resolved or there is going to be a mass exit by professional users from this very flawed product. LR3 was all about shooting tethered and I'm upset that ADOBE has there head in the sand in DENIAL about what is going on. So what are you waiting for ADOBE? GET THIS FIXED!

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 21, 2011 Sep 21, 2011

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Hi Bobby,

No denial here. If there were, I wouldn't bother reading the thread. 😉 Problems aren't usually too hard to fix, as long as we can produce the problem. Unfortunately, tether with Nikon on Apple using Lightroom 3.5 works great for us (and for at least a couple other people in this thread) which makes it much harder to figure out and address. Yelling about "get this fixed" doesn't help us reproduce the problem. Specific feedback and theories such as Scott and David have provide are much more constructive (though sadly not, as yet, effective). I appreciate the seriousness of professionals not being able to use our tool to do their job. Please do let me know if you have any specific information to add, beyond what has already been discussed in the thread.

Thanks,
Ben

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