Lightroom Importing Duplicate Images

New Here ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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I'm having an odd issue where I get duplicates only when importing my photos to Lightroom.

 

Here's the story: I took exactly 300 photos on my Canon DSLR, and I imported them to Lightroom as usual. On the Import page, it showed 300 photos. However, when I imported them into Lightroom, 600 photos appeared, each with their unique name/sequence # (0001 through 0600; see attached screenshot). Every other photo is an exact copy of the previous one. I clicked on the original and the suspected duplicate photos and they each say "Original + Smart Preview" as I have it set up to do, so they don't look like virtual/digital copies. I checked my camera for a setting and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, and I checked my SD card and there were definitely 300 photos on the card. I figured it must be a Lightroom issue. The duplicate photos only appeared after I imported them to LR!

 

I could go and delete every other photo, but I would like to know how to avoid this in the future.

 

Please advise, I appreciate the help in advance!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 06, 2021 May 06, 2021

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HI, I just tested the latest LR with my Mac (Catalina) and imported some Canon images. All worked as it always has.

So first a couple of questions:

Can you tell us which version of Lightroom, and which MacOS or Windows you are using?

Are you importing directly from the camera? i.e. with a cable?

Are you importing from the memory card via a card reader?

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New Here ,
May 06, 2021 May 06, 2021

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Hi there,

My Lightroom version is 10.0, and my MacOS is Big Sur (11.2.3)

I'm importing the photos from the memory card using an SD card reader, which is what I usually do.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 06, 2021 May 06, 2021

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Any chance you're shooting raw+JPEG? 


Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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New Here ,
May 06, 2021 May 06, 2021

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I had wondered if I left a setting on where I was shooting RAW+JPEG, but nope I just check again and I'm definitely shooting just RAW. And the duplicate photos that show up on LR are also RAW (.CR2 files, just like the originals)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2021 May 07, 2021

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As a form of testing, could you start up LR holding down the option key and start up creating a new "TESTING" catalog.

Then try importing again.

 

I am wondering if there is some setting that went crazy in your original catalog.

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New Here ,
May 07, 2021 May 07, 2021

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Oh wow okay so I just did what you recommended and it imported the 300 photos normally! So weird, I wonder if there's a setting gone awry in my original catalog...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2021 May 07, 2021

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OK. So now I would suggest starting up that other catalog the one where the duplicates existed and try exporting as catalog. Give that previous catalog, The one with the problem a new name. Then try starting up that Newly named catalog,And try importing again from the card as you had done. The other option is to launch that new catalog the new test one,Where it did import correctly, And try import as a catalog and import the one that you exported with the new name. I know this all sounds confusing but I'm trying to figure out how to have you create a new catalog with all your old information and data and have it worked properly going forward. Instead of trying to track down what's wrong with your old catalog

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2021 May 07, 2021

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Please excuse the typos in my response, my husband is driving the car and I'm trying to answer you from my cell phone!

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New Here ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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No worries! Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it! Sorry for the delayed response, got caught up this weekend 🙂

I started to import my photos directly into the new test catalog (and renamed it) and that seemed to work at first, but then I realized they were importing as duplicates again...I canceled the import and started over, and this time I turned off the setting to "Make a backup copy" of the images during import, as well as to not import suspected duplicates, and that seems to work for now, but I still don't know why they're duplicating in the first place! The duplicate photos even started showing up in the LR import screen, which it didn't before, but when I checked my SD card, there were no duplicates.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Hmmm - Making a backup copy on import would make a copy of the original file with the original file name, even if you are changing the name of the files on import. What is important, if you have this check box checked, is to make sure the location of the "copy" is going where you want it to go - generally a completely separate drive. Just remember, that "copy" will always have the name of the file as. it came out of the camera.

ANd yes, I always select, do not import suspected duplicates.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Also, Lightroom Classic determines a photo is a duplicate of another file in the catalog if it has the

same original filename;

the same Exif capture date and time;

and the same file size.

So if any of these attributes is different LR will import it again.

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New Here ,
Mar 14, 2022 Mar 14, 2022

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I have the same problem with duplicate images. I have Lr Classic 11.1 and am running macOS Monterey 12.0.1. I import images from a memory card to an external hard drive and then to another external (back up) drive. When I import images to the second hard drive, I have to disable "Don't import suspected duplicates" in order for any images to be imported. I'm not building smart previews. Like the previous writer, I can delete the duplicates manually, but that's time consuming and shouldn't be necessary. I apologize if this question has been completely answered previously, but I sometimes find the threads of responses difficult to follow. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 14, 2022 Mar 14, 2022

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@esto gal  You should NOT be using Lightroom-Classic to "Import" the image files to the external 'Backup' Drive.

You should-

Only  use the Import once to place the files on the (primary) external drive (and index them in the Catalog), then use another Mac App to copy the files from the 'Primary' drive to the 'Backup' drive. (TIme Machine, Chronosync, etc)

You do not want, or need, the 'Backup' image files on the 'Backup' drive indexed in the Catalog.

With only ONE Import procedure you will never need to disable "Don't import suspected duplicates".

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 11.3.1 Photoshop 23.3.2, ACR 14.3, Lightroom 5.3, Lr-iOS 7.0.2, Bridge 12.0.2, Windows-10.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 14, 2022 Mar 14, 2022

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Rob Cullen is correct - using LRC to import images separately into two different locations makes no sense.

I make multiple back ups of my images by:

1. Importing them into LRC, which is importing them into the LR Catalog.

2. I set the location for the original photo files to my desired internal or external drive.

3. When  LRC has completed that task, I use another company's back up software to make a clone of that photos folder if it is on my main boot drive, or if my photo files are on an external, I make a clone of the entire external drive to another external drive.  

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 14, 2022 Mar 14, 2022

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And I suggest using LRC to make a back up of the catalog when you quit Lightroom. Just be sure to set the "location" for that back up of the catalog, to an external drive - like the one that holds the back ups of your photo files. 

That way if your main drive were to have problems, you can always use the back up catalog on the external, and your photofiles would be there too.

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