Lightroom Rendering Bug(s)

I swear that Lightroom 5/6 have a render bug that affects older images. I can’t pin point it to any specific editing steps, but when it happens, there’s a huge difference in rendering between the Library and the Develop module.

Images that I edited in Lightroom 4 (Process 2012) are rendered totally out of whack in Lightroom 5 and 6 when I switch to the Develop module. The Library module most likely has an “old” preview rendered at this point, from back when I was using Lightroom 4, so it looks correct. But once I switch to Develop, LR renders the image anew, and it’s totally messed up.

Here’s another one – photo from 2011, and this one is in Process 2010. There’s a stack of three layered graduated filters at the top, very selectively adjusting the sky. I think this one might have to do with the Clarity feature, I’m not sure. I haven’t touched this photo in 5 years – and this is how Lightroom 6 renders it now (and NO, I did not make it that dark originally!;-).

Graduated Filter rendering bug in Lightroom 5/6?
Graduated Filter rendering bug in Lightroom 5/6?

Since I don’t have any ages old Lightroom versions around to reproduce this, any hint about what’s going on here would be appreciated. Just drop me a note in the comments – thanks.

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10 Comments

  1. Alexander, problems like this have three common causes. One is a bad monitor profile, which I understand you already checked. The best way to check this is (if you are on windows) to temporarily set sRGB as your monitor profile. Go into your monitor’s properties pane and associate sRGB with it. Second is issues with GPU acceleration and some graphics card. Just turn the acceleration off and see if it helps. Third is corrupted camera raw cache. This can be checked by clearing it in your Lightroom settings->File Handling. If none of that helps, you really ran into a bug I guess!

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    1. Thanks Jao. My biggest problem is to locate images where this happens, in order to be able to reproduce it.

      Also, with that particular image above, the preview (in the Library module) shows the image as I had edited it (it’s not an unedited photo). When I then switch to Develop, I have to make substantial changes to the processing in order to make it look right again. I don’t know if a corrupt ACR cache could cause this.

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      1. Strange. Certainly if I look at the histogram, it should look like the way too dark image on the right, not like the nice image on the left which should have a good peak in the highlights area, which you don’t see not even in the histogram in Library. I would hazard to guess that the preview in Library is actually what is off and somehow your develop settings got changed but the preview not updated.

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      2. Yes! The histogram looks accurate for the Develop rendition. I looked at other images in that folder, and all images with photos of the sun have this problem. Other pictures (I made some landscape photos too) are fine. It’ll be impossible to track down I guess… however, this is not the first time it happened, but it’s always older images…

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      3. Look in the Develop history on those images if there is an unexplained large change in exposure, or something like that as the last change. My guess is that at some point a setting change got synced to these images somehow that should not have happened and considering Lightroom is often really sloppy with updating previews it never got to updating that.

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      4. I have read the same thing and at the time have researched a bit and I think this is one of those “coffee is going to kill you” type stories that is not really based on any significant data but that gets amplified over and over. In fact remember finding lots of evidence that within the effective lifetime of a hard drive in a laptop there really is nothing to worry about. In fact with Lightroom type databases, I would definitely recommend using a SSD to host the database and previews and store the images on big spinning disks. It really does speed things up by quite a bit.

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