Should you upgrade to Lightroom 4.2? After today, I’m not so sure.

Update Oct/29/2012: I managed to solve the issues. How? Beats me.. read all about it here.

Update Oct/16/2012: Adobe has merged my problem report with another few that circle around the same topic. You can find the merged thread here. If you experience similar issues with Lightroom 4.2, please consider going there and marking the thread +1 to help raise awareness!

Lightroom LogoThe other day I updated Lightroom to version 4.2, which for me resulted in a massive slow-down on my mobile system. I didn’t have the time to test on my Mac Pro yet and I won’t until next week, as I’m traveling.

After the tone curve problems and other issues that Adobe introduced with Lightroom 4.0 and their subsequent (and over two months in the making) 4.1 update in May (I’ve written about it), … I can’t help but feel a bit like “here we go again”.

Everything had been great in the five months since 4.1 came out. Good performance on my mobile setup, tone curves working fine, new 2012 process doing good.

The new issues with version 4.2 don’t seem wide-spread, but when I typed Lightroom 4.2 into the Google search box, the first suggestion that came up was Lightroom 4.2 slow… maybe it’s just too new and we’ll have to wait for the reports to come in.

My two specific issues are these:

Issue 1: I love smart collections. One way I use them often is this: I set the smart collection to only show unflagged images, then when I press the x (reject-flag) key on pictures, they instantly disappear from the collection.

Not so instant anymore since version 4.2. I’ve had to wait anywhere between one and 20 (twenty!!) seconds until the flagged pictures went away. It used to be a great way to narrow down a selection together with a client, instead, today it made me look bad.

Issue 2: Import speed. I don’t use the fastest cards, but half an hour on a 4GB card full of RAW images is simply too much. It didn’t happen right away. But during the course of a few imports, LR’s import speed slowed down dramatically. And I’m not talking about preview rendering times, just the simple import.

When restarting LR, things seem to speed up a little, but not for long.

I’m quite frustrated with this experience. Please let me know in the comments if you’re seeing a performance increase or decrease since the update to Lightroom 4.2.

If you’ve got speed-related issues like I do, please consider to +1 the problem report that I filed with Adobe today to help Adobe see that it’s a real issue. (Update: after Adobe merged it with another thread, this is the new location).

Author: Chris Marquardt

Chris Marquardt is co-author of Absolut analog and The Film Photography Handbook. He hosts Tips from the Top Floor, the world's longest running photography show. Chris teaches photography all over the world on his photo tours. He is also a regular on the TWiT Network.