Adobe Lightroom 4.2 issues solved. Leaves a bad aftertaste

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about some Lightroom 4.2 performance issues. I finally finished the job, despite the issues. To fix the problem, I had to go through several things that were recommended on the Adobe support forum. Including setting up a new catalog, optimising the old one (several times), making sure OS and everything was up-to-date (everything was), making sure there were no preview renders going on (there weren’t), making sure Lightroom wasn’t writing XMPs automatically, increasing the raw cache size from 10GB to 50GB (does that even make sense on a catalog that holds less than 5000 pictures?!)

The good thing: LR4.2 is now performing at acceptable speed.

The bad thing: I have NO idea whatsoever, which of the above steps actually made the difference and at this point I don’t have the time to do any deeper analysis on the problem.

And neither should I have to.

The whole incident leaves a really bad taste. I love Lightroom. I’m passionate about Lightroom. I’m actually so passionate about it, I teach Lightroom. It allows me to do things I couldn’t do just a few years ago. Lightroom has become the hub for 100% of my photography. But please, can anyone explain to me why a point update from 4.1 to 4.2 should require some customers to go on a week-long hunt for a solution to a problem that wasn’t existent on the same system with the same catalog just a minute before the update?

What’s going on at Adobe? (oops, I think I have a a deja-vu) – your guess is as good as mine. Let me try: maybe Adobe didn’t finish testing 4.2 before they released the software to the general public (sure feels like it to me). Or maybe the beta tester base was too small (which could have resulted in them not catching the big bugs). Or maybe Adobe’s quality standards have been dramatically lowered over the last year (I sure had that feeling when the 4.0 update killed my tone curves back in May).

I’m getting really tired of this. Adobe, please don’t make me go through this again when you release 4.3.

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).