Musings on Photography

Lightroom experiences, continued

Posted in Adobe Lightroom by Paul Butzi on April 5, 2007


From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom User Guide:

Note: Lightroom 1.0 currently supports photos up to 10,000 pixels in length or width for a maximum image size of 100 million pixels.


TIFF format

Tagged-Image File Format (TIFF, TIF) is used to exchange files between applications and computer platforms.  TIFF is a flexible bitmap image format supported by virtually all paint, image-editing, and payge-layout applications.  Also, virtually all desktop scanners can produce TIFF images.  Lightroom supports large documents saved in TIFF format (up to 100 million pixels with pixel dimensions of no more than 10,000 on a side). 

So Lightroom cannot deal with any image larger than 10k pixels on the longest side.

I suppose that I can use Lightroom to play with things, but as a serious tool for serious image management, these limits are hopelessly inadequate.  There are lots of folks out there scanning 4×5 film at pixel densities in excess of the 2100 pixels/inch that would put their images over the limit for Lightroom.  Anyone working with 5×7 or 8×10 or larger, and scanning the film at even modest resolutions will not be able to use Lightroom.  A friend of mine hit this when Lightroom refused to import several very high resolution scans he’d made with resolution doubling on a Nikon scanner, from 35mm negatives, for pity’s sake. 

 If you’re stitching multiple frames together to make panoramic images, it’s commn to produce an image longer than 10k pixels.  And trust me, there are plenty of pros out there who are now using stitching to produce really large images for murals, large prints, etc.

Until Adobe fixes this, Lightroom is just a toy. 

5 Responses

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  1. Ed Richards said, on April 5, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    I thought Lightroom was just image storage and triage for the dumps out of digital cameras, not the management of big processed images or LF scans. Is Adobe promoting it as a complete image managment solution? Given that the 10K barrier probably affects less than 1% of the digital camera world, I am not sure it is a problem for Adobe.

  2. Ed Richards said, on April 5, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    BTW, great picture.

  3. John McLaughlin said, on April 6, 2007 at 12:42 am

    Yep, the 10k limit is a pain, and seems a bit arbitrary – I ran into the problem over the weekend when trying to import a fairly modest stitch of about 12 images or so. I can only assume that images above a certain memory footprint cause Lightroom to calf badly, and will hopefully be resolved in the next release (or preferably a maintenance release).

    I do like the toolset though

  4. Guy Tal said, on April 6, 2007 at 7:50 am

    I guess I’m still wondering why “fine art” photographers need Lightroom in the first place. I’m actually turned off by the term “digital assets” to describe my images and can pretty much find everything I need in my relatively modest collection (compared to hundreds of thousands of frames in some stock photographers’ files) without needing to manage them in a database.

    I guess the interface is a bit more polished than ACR, but is that alone truly enough to justify learning and using a separate tool?


  5. quang-tuan luong said, on April 6, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    This pro finds it to be a useful program for editing and converting raw digital camera files, but prefers other toys when it comes to different tasks.

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