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Same camera settings showing different exposures after importing to Lightroom

New Here ,
Nov 04, 2017

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Hey guys.

So after updating to Lightroom Classic CC, I've been having trouble with some photos being brighter than the others in the develop module, with the same camera settings. I shoot RAW and JPEG, and I looked through the JPEGs and the exposures are the same. In the develop module, however, there are randomly some photos that are brighter than the others. Looking at the camera settings in the top right corner, the settings are all the same (and I'm not shooting in auto mode). Has anybody else had any issues with this? And is there a solution to this? I'm currently installing the new update, so we'll see if that fixes it. I sure hope it does, 'cause it's really annoying having to adjust exposures so much.

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Correct answer by Jao vdL | Adobe Community Professional

You are right, aperture flicker shouldn't matter under those conditions. I think what is happening in this case is that the shadows and highlights tweaks are causing the flickering. I looked at your files and they develop identical if you don't touch those sliders but if you hit shadows and highlights I see differences. This is probably due to the way those sliders are implemented with dynamic masks based on the content in the image. In this case, the presence of the car in the lower middle is likely the cause and causes the big shift. The HDR tools in Lightroom (shadows, highlights, whites, blacks, and clarity are HDR tools) are not good choices for timelapses because they have more global effect than the names suggest and you should use them very sparingly if you're editing a time-lapse.

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Same camera settings showing different exposures after importing to Lightroom

New Here ,
Nov 04, 2017

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Hey guys.

So after updating to Lightroom Classic CC, I've been having trouble with some photos being brighter than the others in the develop module, with the same camera settings. I shoot RAW and JPEG, and I looked through the JPEGs and the exposures are the same. In the develop module, however, there are randomly some photos that are brighter than the others. Looking at the camera settings in the top right corner, the settings are all the same (and I'm not shooting in auto mode). Has anybody else had any issues with this? And is there a solution to this? I'm currently installing the new update, so we'll see if that fixes it. I sure hope it does, 'cause it's really annoying having to adjust exposures so much.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Jao vdL | Adobe Community Professional

You are right, aperture flicker shouldn't matter under those conditions. I think what is happening in this case is that the shadows and highlights tweaks are causing the flickering. I looked at your files and they develop identical if you don't touch those sliders but if you hit shadows and highlights I see differences. This is probably due to the way those sliders are implemented with dynamic masks based on the content in the image. In this case, the presence of the car in the lower middle is likely the cause and causes the big shift. The HDR tools in Lightroom (shadows, highlights, whites, blacks, and clarity are HDR tools) are not good choices for timelapses because they have more global effect than the names suggest and you should use them very sparingly if you're editing a time-lapse.

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Nov 04, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2017

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Do you have any of the HDR modes turned in in your camera such as highlight priority (Canon) or ADR (adaptive dynamic range on Nikons). Those modes dynamically change the ISO on your camera to protect the highlights. They will result in different exposures than the jpeg on the raw. Usually you want those modes turned off.

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New Here ,
Nov 04, 2017

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No I don't. I shoot with a Fuji X-T2 so I don't have those options. But again, the JPEGs are the same exposure, just in the Lightroom develop module there are some photos that are almost a full stop brighter.

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Nov 04, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2017

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Quote  "But again, the JPEGs are the same exposure, just in the Lightroom develop module there are some photos that are almost a full stop brighter."

Just to re-inforce what Jao vdl is saying and expand a bit. The jpeg file will show the same exposure because the jpeg file is a fully rendered image file, i.e. the firmware in the camera has processed the raw data and provided a image file that ids representative of all the Camera settings you have applied.

When Lightroom processes the raw file data it uses Adobe's own raw processing engine, profiles and the default settings you have chosen in Lightroom to process he data and create a jpeg image file. Lightroom has no idea how to apply any special settings you may have chosen in he camera.

You have a file that is "rendered with an Adobe recipe not a Fuji recipe"

Regards, Denis: System iMac mid-2015, 5K 27” monitor, macOS10.15.7: LrC 10, Lr 4, Ps 22.0,; Camera OM-D E-M1.

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Nov 04, 2017 1
New Here ,
Nov 04, 2017

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Okay, that makes sense, but how does it process the photos differently if they are shot with the exact same settings?

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Nov 04, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2017

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Well you have to check and see what settings you are applying when you import the photos into Lightroom. One thoughts comes to mind, do you have "Auto Tone " selected at import.

Regards, Denis: System iMac mid-2015, 5K 27” monitor, macOS10.15.7: LrC 10, Lr 4, Ps 22.0,; Camera OM-D E-M1.

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New Here ,
Nov 04, 2017

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No effects are applied during import, and no, "Auto Tone" is not selected.

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Nov 04, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2017

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Ah. Well indeed check if you have auto tone turned on for some reason. Also realize that how a raw file is rendered depends on the profile that is used. Fuji uses a proprietary profile internally. Adobe uses its own. They are not the same and you generally will not get the same result. Adobe has generated some camera matching profiles for many of the most used cameras that will approximate the jpeg rendering but Fuji XT-2 is not one of those cameras they generated those profiles for.

Fuji does have a built-in dynamic range setting which does the same thing as the canon and Nikon modes I mentioned before do. They will render the jpeg very differently from the raw data and do so dynamically based on the scene. Also apparently, there are exposure compensations built in based on the in-camera profile setting if you do film simulation settings. Those only affect the jpeg but not the raw data. Lots of info on this on the internet: https://www.fujix-forum.com/threads/fuji-x-t2-raw-vs-jpg-1-stop-difference.64679/

Bottom line is to turn off all special mode on the camera whether it is some film simulation profile or dynamic range modes. Otherwise you will get large differences between the jpeg and the raw.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2017

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If you wish a copy of the file which matches the jpeg that the Fuji X T2 produces then shoot Raw plus Jpeg. Or use the software that Fuji has provided for free.

Alternatively if you are shooting Raw only then there dozens of programs that will each give you different options to choose from. If you only need a jpeg file matching what you will get from Fuji then its quite simple shoot only to capture a  jpeg copy from the camera.

Regards, Denis: System iMac mid-2015, 5K 27” monitor, macOS10.15.7: LrC 10, Lr 4, Ps 22.0,; Camera OM-D E-M1.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2017

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Why not use Lightroom to generate jpgs from the RAW files?

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Nov 04, 2017 0
New Here ,
Sep 03, 2018

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I have similar problem with my Nikon D750 and Lightroom standalone v6.14. Some photos in the series have different exposure. The photos are made as a series in a timelapse, with 1 second exposure and 1 second between them. Same camera settings (fully manual - focus, iso, shutter and aperture, no dynamic lighting). Only thing I am modifying in Lightroom is set exposure to +3ev on all of them, and few end up slightly brighter than others. I have NEF files that I can share.

I have tried doing the same (adjust exposure to +3ev) in other photo editing software and have not seen same problem.

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Sep 03, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 03, 2018

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If the differences are slight that is probably caused by your aperture not perfectly reproducing every time and not by Lightroom. This is a well-known cause for flicker in timelapses. You can correct the problem afterwards in a video program or some time-lapse generation software will do it for you. You can also avoid flickering by using a lens that doesn't have this issue, or using the lens wide open only depending on what causes the small differences in exposure between frames.

Here is a tutorial on how to avoid this issue: Preventing Time-Lapse Flicker Caused By Mechanical Inconsistencies - DIY Photography

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Sep 03, 2018 1
New Here ,
Sep 03, 2018

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Thank you for your response, Jao!

Does aperture flicker really matter at 1 second exposure and max aperture (2.8)? I have also reprocessed same NEF files in other photo editors and they look identical (apart from the movement, of course). Issue manifests when I add significant exposure correction and tweak shadows/highlights.

I have just tried Lightroom Classic CC v7.5 and while exposure looks more similar, I can notice difference in colors.

Here's Dropbox folder with originals and processed files for those who are interested: Dropbox - compare - Simplify your life

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Sep 03, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 04, 2018

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You are right, aperture flicker shouldn't matter under those conditions. I think what is happening in this case is that the shadows and highlights tweaks are causing the flickering. I looked at your files and they develop identical if you don't touch those sliders but if you hit shadows and highlights I see differences. This is probably due to the way those sliders are implemented with dynamic masks based on the content in the image. In this case, the presence of the car in the lower middle is likely the cause and causes the big shift. The HDR tools in Lightroom (shadows, highlights, whites, blacks, and clarity are HDR tools) are not good choices for timelapses because they have more global effect than the names suggest and you should use them very sparingly if you're editing a time-lapse.

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Sep 04, 2018 2
New Here ,
Sep 04, 2018

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Thank you for a great explanation, Jao. It all makes sense now.

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