LR Classic 11.2 Very Slow Presenting Nikon Z9 Import Thumbnails - Almost Unusable

New Here ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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LR Classic takes minutes to read the files on the card and render import dialog thumbnails for the Z9 raw files and less than 2 seconds for the Z7 raw files.  Once imported, it's also ~2x longer to present a 100x rendering when I want to check for critical focus and cull images. Why?  This needs to be fixed but I don't know if it is the Adobe SW or a setting I have wrong.  

 

Here is the data:  I took 54 images of the same scene with both cameras on identical reformated Hoodman Steel CF Express cards.  I read the cards using a Hoodman card reader (I get the same results it the files are on the internal SSD hard drive too).  The computer is a late 2014 iMac Quad core i7with 24 GB of RAM, Mac OS Big Sur 11.6.4.

  Z9 raw files take 2 to 3 MINUTES to render the import thumbnails.  Once imported they take about 15 seconds to render a 100x crop when inspecting the files in Library module

  Z7 Raw files less than 2 SECONDS to render the import thumbnails. Once imported they take about 9 seconds to render a 100x crop when inspecting the files in Library module.

Both file sets are about 60 GB per file and both take about the same time to import and create smart previews.  This problem makes it a tedious chore to import and cull Z9 files.  Is this a SW bug with Z9 files, or is there a setting I haven't tried yet?

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Advisor ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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I just ran a test on my 2021 MBP 16" Max 64GB importing 76 Z9 files which are 60MB per file, not 60GB. The entire process of importing and creating standard (Auto 3840 pxl) previews took 1 min, 25 seconds. Zoomiing in to 100% is nearly instantaneous. I am aware that the Z7 file sizes are similar. but I no longer have a Z7 for comparison. Perhaps someone in the forum will have insight into whether the Z9 files are somehow different from the Z9 files.

I suspect your 2014 machine may not have the power to quickly process the Z9 files or you have something going on in that machine that is taking resources away from LrC. One of the things that will limit the performance of your machine in the import process is that the fusion drive or hard drive, whichever you have, is nowhere near as fast as the SSDs in current generation Macs.

Kenneth Seals

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New Here ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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Correct that my file sizes are 60 MB, not GB as I mistyped.  However, the difference is NOT due to the processor or other Mac HW.  I can import and build auto previews for the 54 files in about 2 minutes.  Not much different than your newer MB Pro.  My problem is with the pre-import thumbnails.  To be clear, when you select the folder on the card with the images in it then LRC normally displays a thumbnail for each file so you can determine which ones to import.  It is the inability of LRC to read and display those pre-import thumbnails in a timley manner that is the main problem. 2 minutes versus 2 seconds is a SW problem and not a hardware problem.  My understanding is raw files have a jpg thumbnail built in and all LRC has to do is read them and display them.  2 minutes versus 2 seconds to show me which files I want to import?  It seems that LRC is processing the Z9 raw image itself and making the pre-import thumbnail instead of just reading it from the card as it is likely doing with the Z7 files. Why that is the case is the mystery to me.

 

I assume that when you select the folder that contains images that you want to import, then the thumbnails come up very quickly.  Is that true?  If so then it must be some SW settings that I have wrong.  Are you using LRC 11.2?

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Advisor ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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Yes, I’m on LrC 11.2. The thumbnails all come up in a few seconds for 76 files.

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Kenneth Seals

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Advisor ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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What are your import settings? Catalog Settings -> File Handling. What you mentioned about using the .jpg in the file is called the embedded preview.

My Catalog Settings are:  Standard Preview Size = Auto (the pixels chosen here will depend on your monitor resolution), Preview Quality = Medium.

In the LrC "Import" file handling panel you have several selections for "Build Previews" The "Embedded" selection will read those .JPGs embedded in the raw. "Standard" will use the settings described above in "Catalog Settings"  What are you using there?

What is the interface your card reader is using? USB I assume. Is the USB port capable of USB 3.0 or greater speeds? Do you have another card reader/cable/port combination you can try for trouble shooting?

I'm sure my fast speeds are due to using a USB C port, cable and card reader as well as writing to an extremely fast SSD.

Kenneth Seals

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New Here ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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I have been going through those and trying different settings but nothing has worked so far. Catalog Settings -> File Handling settings are Auto, and preview quality is Medium; just like yours. The LRC Import file handling Build Previews setting is Minimal. "Build Smart Previews" is checked and "Don't import duplicates" is checked.  I have tried changing the Build Previews setting to each of the 4 options, but so far it does not change how fast the embeded previews are displayed.  I have not tried an XQD card yet.  That would use a different card reader.  I'll give that a try.  Thanks for the help so far and hanging in there with me.  I'll let you know the results

--Roger Valeri

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Advisor ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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Is your LrC using the GPU? Check in Preferences -> Peformance.

This is what Adobe says about LrC use of the GPU:

"When configured (Preferences > Performance), Lightroom Classic can use a compatible graphics processor (also called a graphics card, video card, or GPU) to speed up tasks of displaying and adjusting images in the Develop module, the Library module's Grid view, Loupe view, and Filmstrip. Enhance Details is also accelerated by the GPU. Using a compatible GPU can provide significant speed improvements on high-resolution displays, such as 4K and 5K monitors."

I'm not sure whether that includes the thumbnails in the Grid View of the import screen.

Kenneth Seals

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New Here ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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Yes. LRC is using a GPU.  That setting is set to Auto and my iMac has an AMD Radeon R9 M290x GPU with 2GB of RAM.  The XQD card did not give me an improved result.  It still took minutes to display the embedded previews.  That uses a Sony XQD reader.  The iMac has USB A 3.0 USB ports but changing those around does not improve my results.  As I said, this is definitely a SW issue and at least I know now that it is not the Z9 files since your experience is normal with the display of the embedded previews.

At this point I think I might have to try resetting all of the LRC presets or a clean install of LRC itself.

--Roger Valeri

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Advisor ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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Try the Preferences Reset first. Doing that often works wonders. A re-install of the program will not reset the preferences.

Kenneth Seals

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New Here ,
Mar 20, 2022 Mar 20, 2022

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I have tried a preferences reset mutiple times and then followed that up with a uninstall/reinstall of Lightroom Classic.  Nothing worked.  LRC still takes over 2 minutes to just display the embedded previews in the import dialog box.  Thanks for your help but I have run out of ideas on how to fix an Adobe SW problem.

 

I will have to look at changing my workflow and doing the culling and catalog building via Bridge.  At least Bridge can read embeded previews and display the thumbnails in seconds instead of minutes.

--Roger Valeri

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Advisor ,
Mar 20, 2022 Mar 20, 2022

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@Roger5CB7  If your photography involves events with a large number (1000-4000) of images that you eventually cull down to just a small percentate of the total, I strongly recommend the program Photo Mechanic (PM). PM displays thumbnails and individual images VERY quickly, giving you the ability to cull out the ones you don't plan to process. That will give LrC a much smaller number of images to create previews for when you import them.

Kenneth Seals

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New Here ,
Mar 20, 2022 Mar 20, 2022

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Thanks for the tip. However, Bridge is free, since it is in the Adobe subcription, and it does all I need it to do. I'll stick with that instead of spending $229 on a new piece of SW.

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