Luminous Landscape Forum

Raw & Post Processing, Printing => Other Raw Converters => Topic started by: nemophoto on November 07, 2017, 03:35:20 pm

Title: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: nemophoto on November 07, 2017, 03:35:20 pm
I saw Macphun Luminar at PhotoExpo. It seemed interesting. Of course, at this point, I literally have a zillion plugins, RAW converters, etc. If I acquire yet another piece of software, I will know I'm an addict (never truly in doubt). The PC version will be released shortly. It's on pre-sale for $59. That seems like a pretty good deal for what looks like a nice piece of advanced software.

My question: Is it worthwhile to add to my extensive list of software titles?
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Cem on November 08, 2017, 08:04:18 am
I saw Macphun Luminar at PhotoExpo. It seemed interesting. Of course, at this point, I literally have a zillion plugins, RAW converters, etc. If I acquire yet another piece of software, I will know I'm an addict (never truly in doubt). The PC version will be released shortly. It's on pre-sale for $59. That seems like a pretty good deal for what looks like a nice piece of advanced software.

My question: Is it worthwhile to add to my extensive list of software titles?
I am wondering the same. I already have PS/LR, DxO, Capture One, On One RAW and Affinity Photo. Do I need yet another program? ;)
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Kevin Raber on November 08, 2017, 08:12:50 am
Luminar is one very well thought out program as well as their Aurora HDR Program.  They have won all sorts of awards with it.  I did a class yesterday and demoed it.  It has become part of my workflow.  I believe you can download a trial version.  Watch the tutorials so you can see how it works.  The price is reasonable especially for what it can do.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Cem on November 08, 2017, 08:18:12 am
Thanks for the feedback Kevin, appreciated.

I am on Windows and they don't have a download version yet. I think that the pre-order deal available now will disappear by the time the software is actually released. So it is either a matter of taking a leap of faith now or paying more later. Mind you, the price difference is not significant anyway.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Pictus on November 08, 2017, 10:08:58 am
I have used lots of tools, but nowadays for CaNikon I decided to simplify and  stay
mostly with ACR+Photo Ninja, from what I could see from a beta version, probably it will be
my main RAW converter, specially good how it recover highlights and render color/tones.
It gives-me the desired result with few clicks.

Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Alan Smallbone on November 08, 2017, 10:13:22 am
I ordered it, I did the beta when they had that for Windows but it was limited in features, a lot were there but a huge amount was left out. It seemed ok, and for the price it will be probably worth getting. But it is just another workflow. Most software today uses DCRAW for conversion at some point under the hood, or at least most of them do. So it comes down to the after conversion editing. Luminar is supposed to work with most PS plugins, so those will still be available in theory. It is another tool for the toolbox. There is also Topaz Studio, On1 Photo Raw, etc. Currently most of them have issues to work out, and I am sure Luminar will as well.

Alan
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Cem on November 08, 2017, 10:17:11 am
I ordered it, I did the beta when they had that for Windows but it was limited in features, a lot were there but a huge amount was left out. It seemed ok, and for the price it will be probably worth getting. But it is just another workflow. Most software today uses DCRAW for conversion at some point under the hood, or at least most of them do. So it comes down to the after conversion editing. Luminar is supposed to work with most PS plugins, so those will still be available in theory. It is another tool for the toolbox. There is also Topaz Studio, On1 Photo Raw, etc. Currently most of them have issues to work out, and I am sure Luminar will as well.

Alan
Makes a lot sense Alan, thanks.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: drralph on November 11, 2017, 08:32:06 am
Luminar is one very well thought out program as well as their Aurora HDR Program.  They have won all sorts of awards with it.  I did a class yesterday and demoed it.  It has become part of my workflow.  I believe you can download a trial version.  Watch the tutorials so you can see how it works.  The price is reasonable especially for what it can do.

I am interested in the DAM capabilities of the upcoming Luminar 2018.  Did they have a demo of that, Kevin?  I would love something allows organization of my image library more along the lines of Aperture: intuitive file structure, easy to search and browse.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile? How about for...
Post by: luxborealis on November 14, 2017, 08:09:04 pm
A) Printing? I live the Lightroom workflow for printing in being able to save presets and prints separately. Does Luminar do the same? Have they come up with a better way or it not there yet?

B) Reading LR raw settings?

C) Reading LR metadata (keywords, flags, stars, colour sorting)

D) Replicating LR Collections

E) Replicating LR Publish Services?

F) using Mogrify for LR, or adding multiple borders and text upon export

These are some of the less-written about features that are important to my workflow.

Could someone who is actively using Luminar respond? I realize (a) I could download a trial and (b) the DAM module isnít available yet, but perhaps someone is beta-testing or perhaps someone from MacPhun could respond.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile? How about for...
Post by: digitaldog on November 15, 2017, 10:28:55 am
A) Printing? I live the Lightroom workflow for printing in being able to save presets and prints separately. Does Luminar do the same? Have they come up with a better way or it not there yet?

B) Reading LR raw settings?

C) Reading LR metadata (keywords, flags, stars, colour sorting)

D) Replicating LR Collections

E) Replicating LR Publish Services?

F) using Mogrify for LR, or adding multiple borders and text upon export

These are some of the less-written about features that are important to my workflow.

Could someone who is actively using Luminar respond? I realize (a) I could download a trial and (b) the DAM module isnít available yet, but perhaps someone is beta-testing or perhaps someone from MacPhun could respond.


A. I'm with you; worth the price of admission just for that IF you print a lot.
B. Nope, proprietary parametric edits. Gobbledygook.
C. Yes, any decent DAM should read non proprietary metadata like keywords, flags etc.
D. Dumb collections no, proprietary. Smart Collections possible if one can rebuild the criteria and I suspect that's all manual by user.
E and F, don't know. Kind of doubt it but not impossible I believe.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: rdonson on November 16, 2017, 11:30:07 am
https://macphun.com/luminar/compare

If you're just looking at features this might help some.  How well it works in the real world in a workflow isn't addressed.  DAM won't be available until sometime in 2018.

I've had good results with MacPhun products (I like their Creative Kit) so I'm not dismissing them.  I just downloaded the 2018 upgrade to Luminar (w/o DAM) on my Mac.  The upgrade price was very reasonable and that made it worth taking a look. 

My first test will be to see if it does a better job of demosaicing my Fuji X-Trans III files than Lr Classic.   I currently add a workflow step in Lr to utilize Iridient X-Transformer and sometimes Iridient Developer to achieve results I prefer to Lr demosaicing.  Then its back to my usual Lr/PS workflow. 

FWIW I think that Luminar 2018 will appeal more to those who haven't invested years in Lr. 
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: rdonson on November 17, 2017, 09:30:40 am
Serge Ramelli video on LR and Luminar

https://youtu.be/jE0trtliF1I
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile? How about for...
Post by: drralph on November 17, 2017, 04:50:34 pm

A) Printing? I live the Lightroom workflow for printing in being able to save presets and prints separately. Does Luminar do the same? Have they come up with a better way or it not there yet?

A. I'm with you; worth the price of admission just for that IF you print a lot.


For a relative LR neophyte, can you explain exactly what is saved separately?  I have been frustrated that an image can appear perfect on the monitor, and be unsatisfactory in print, requiring further tweaking.  Is this what you are referring to?  Does LR allow you to maintain one file for digital purposes, and another file for print only?
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile? How about for...
Post by: digitaldog on November 17, 2017, 06:18:42 pm
For a relative LR neophyte, can you explain exactly what is saved separately?  I have been frustrated that an image can appear perfect on the monitor, and be unsatisfactory in print, requiring further tweaking.  Is this what you are referring to?  Does LR allow you to maintain one file for digital purposes, and another file for print only?
LR saves print templates for one so you setup the size, profile etc and even the printer settings, it is all stored in that preset. You can literally click on an image, go to the Print module, click one template and the Print button and you're done. You can save Virtual Copies of the soft proof with output specific edits based on the paper profile and rendering intent. It too is 'set to go' for output with a Print template.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: rdonson on November 19, 2017, 01:09:50 pm
I've started playing with Luminar 2018 on my iMac.  This is VERY initial thoughts on it.

- DAM which will come in 2018 therefore no LIBRARY module
- no PRINT module
- no MAP module
- no BOOK module
- no SLIDESHOW module

Where it currently excels is in what in Lr is the DEVELOP module.  There are a LOT of features in Luminar 2018 that don't exist in Lr Classic DEVELOP.  The ability to quickly tweak photos to taste will appeal to a lot of people.  Its extensive enough that many people will avoid trips to plugins and PS to achieve what they want.  There are a LOT of textures and presets available that will quickly get people close to the look they're after.  These can be tweaked and saved as new presets. 

It's easy to round trip from Lr to Luminar 2018 so you can easily maintain your LIBRARY and PRINT as you do today. 

I've not had enough time with it to judge its ability to handle RAW files demosaicing and applying "Lens Corrections" based on the meta data that are in my Fuji X files. 

With regards to PRINT I'm waiting to see what Qimage for the Mac will do.  I'm pretty happy with Lr Print but I was very happy with Qimage before switching to the Mac. 
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: digitaldog on November 19, 2017, 01:14:25 pm
The ability to quickly tweak photos to taste will appeal to a lot of people. 
Not a limitation in LR. If you know how to use it and create presets.
IF you ask LR customers, some will tell you they can tweak photo's to taste!  ;D
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: rdonson on November 19, 2017, 01:25:10 pm
Not a limitation in LR. If you know how to use it and create presets.
IF you ask LR customers, some will tell you they can tweak photo's to taste!

No argument about that.  I do it daily.  I do think that the Luminar approach will appeal to a wide group of perhaps newer photographers.

Two things that I haven't found in Luminar 2018 is "Merge to Pano" and "HDR".  MacPhun though has Aurora HDR 2017 for the HDR task. 

BTW, I'm not knocking Lr at all.  It is what it is though and hasn't garnered a lot of love over the last few years from Adobe for the desktop version.   I've been using Lr since the first public beta over 10 years ago. 
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: digitaldog on November 19, 2017, 01:29:58 pm
I do think that the Luminar approach will appeal to a wide group of perhaps newer photographers.
Perhaps if the product has the chops needed and as importantly photographers desire to move to a totally new product which cost time and money (something they seem to be trying to avoid due to subscription so who knows how it pans out for them).
The ability to quickly tweak photos to taste appeals to a lot of people who have an existing solution called LR so this product needs a bit more than that to warrant a switch for me and I'd suspect others.  ::)
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: rdonson on November 19, 2017, 08:09:39 pm
Agreed.

The heart of Luminar is the very strong list of "filters" that come standard along with painting, masking and layers. 

https://macphun.com/luminar/filters

Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Bob Rockefeller on November 30, 2017, 08:24:13 am
- DAM which will come in 2018 therefore no LIBRARY module
- no PRINT module
- no MAP module
- no BOOK module
- no SLIDESHOW module

Where it currently excels is in what in Lr is the DEVELOP module.  There are a LOT of features in Luminar 2018 that don't exist in Lr Classic DEVELOP.  The ability to quickly tweak photos to taste will appeal to a lot of people.  Its extensive enough that many people will avoid trips to plugins and PS to achieve what they want.  There are a LOT of textures and presets available that will quickly get people close to the look they're after.  These can be tweaked and saved as new presets. 

It's easy to round trip from Lr to Luminar 2018 so you can easily maintain your LIBRARY and PRINT as you do today. 

I've not had enough time with it to judge its ability to handle RAW files demosaicing and applying "Lens Corrections" based on the meta data that are in my Fuji X files.  .

Have you been able to do any testing in this area? If raw demosaicing isn’t top notch, there’s little need for fancy filters.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Bob Rockefeller on November 30, 2017, 08:44:54 am
Most software today uses DCRAW for conversion at some point under the hood, or at least most of them do.

That is interesting. My "most" I assume ON1 Photo RAW and Luminar, at least?

ON1's demosaicing doesn't seem to resolve details nearly as well as LR nor C1. Is that because of DCRAW?
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Alan Smallbone on November 30, 2017, 10:11:47 am
That is interesting. My "most" I assume ON1 Photo RAW and Luminar, at least?

ON1's demosaicing doesn't seem to resolve details nearly as well as LR nor C1. Is that because of DCRAW?

I think but not absolutely certain that ACR and LR use parts of Dcraw or they integrated some parts of it. The Dcraw program itself has a tons of options and how the data is handled is often up to the other software that uses it. I am not a pixel peeper and what matters to me is getting results I am happy with, and how happy I am with prints and viewing the images. Doing minute comparisons at the pixel level I suppose can be interesting, but not the most important thing for me.

That being said if you want the ultimate in detail then use Iridient, or Capture One and or be very picky how you apply your sharpening, depending on the image some form of deconvolution may be needed.  There are all kinds of factors, lens blur, capture setting, lens distortion and capture and post creative sharpening and editing that all can affect the apparent sharpness of an image and the "details". I find that On1 and Luminar do acceptable conversions, if I really am picky about a particular image than I will convert in Iridient and the process in something else like On1.

The only way to decide it is to try out all the different programs with your own test image and decide what is acceptable to you.

Alan
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: digitaldog on November 30, 2017, 10:26:29 am
I think but not absolutely certain that ACR and LR use parts of Dcraw or they integrated some parts of it.
Doesn't matter does it? What each converter 'uses' is moot considering they all differ in quality. It's the rendering, how the rubber meets the road (and the person driving) that counts.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Alan Smallbone on November 30, 2017, 11:14:11 am
Doesn't matter does it? What each converter 'uses' is moot considering they all differ in quality. It's the rendering, how the rubber meets the road (and the person driving) that counts.

Yes that was kind of my point but I did not state it, there are lots of factors besides what does the demosaicing. All of the software are just tools, use what works for you and gives the results you are happy with getting.

Alan
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Bob Rockefeller on November 30, 2017, 12:21:07 pm
Doesn't matter does it? What each converter 'uses' is moot considering they all differ in quality. It's the rendering, how the rubber meets the road (and the person driving) that counts.

Sure. I didnít realize that DCRAW could be used in different ways as desired by different hosts. I have not been satisfied with ON1ís raw conversions compared to C1 Pro after both have been used to tweak the image. I, at least, canít get ON1 to where C1 Pro gets easily.

If DCRAW was doing all the work for ON1 and Luminar, I wouldnít be too optimistic about Luminar. Because there is such flexibility of use, I need to give the demo version of Luminar a test of my own.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: digitaldog on November 30, 2017, 01:13:00 pm
Sure. I didnít realize that DCRAW could be used in different ways as desired by different hosts.
These hosts are all filled with sliders/controls and their own proprietary processing. Finding two that can produce identical rendering is harder than finding vast differences.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: nemophoto on January 12, 2018, 03:42:42 pm
After purchasing Aurora 2018 and being impressed, I decided to purchase Luminar 2018. I have to admit, I'm underwhelmed. It's "ok", and though the price was decent, it hardly replaces Lightroom, Photoshop or my other standbys such as Capture One and DxO. It's perhaps nice for some special effects, but I just don't feel compelled to use it.

I'd be curious if others have better experiences.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Lundberg02 on January 12, 2018, 11:52:44 pm
Iridient is one click and done for me.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Alan Smallbone on January 13, 2018, 01:07:17 pm
After purchasing Aurora 2018 and being impressed, I decided to purchase Luminar 2018. I have to admit, I'm underwhelmed. It's "ok", and though the price was decent, it hardly replaces Lightroom, Photoshop or my other standbys such as Capture One and DxO. It's perhaps nice for some special effects, but I just don't feel compelled to use it.

I'd be curious if others have better experiences.

The big advantage of these other apps is that there is more sophisticated masking tools than what is included in LR. Luminar is not intended at this time to replace LR, there is no DAM yet, they claim they are adding it for this year. Photoshop is a completely different beast, and the app that currently best replaces PS is Affinity Photo.

Yes the filter method is a different workflow.

Alan
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Bob Rockefeller on January 13, 2018, 01:55:03 pm
I just don't find Luminar's raw detail resolution to be as good as LR or CO. For me, they have a ways to catch up. After they add their DAM features, I may take another look.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: Frodo on January 18, 2018, 01:49:18 pm
I'm using Windows and could not make the LR plug-in work. LR expirted the file to Luminar fine, but Luminar did not hand the edited file back. I tried both export to Luminar and edit in Luminar. This means that the Luminar edited file needs to be imported into LR , which is a pain. Nik Silver Effex plug-in works seamlessly.

Luminar has a few "filters" that are interesting (e.g. soft glow for portraiture), the erase tool works better than the healing brush in LR, but I have yet to try the layer masks. Raw conversion is okay, waaay better thanAffinity which provides very ability to push shadows and pull highlights.

Its just over $100 in New Zealand so about twice the price of Affinity. But the plug-in has to work before I am interested.
Title: Re: Is Luminar worthwhile?
Post by: ihv on January 22, 2018, 06:08:16 am
Raw conversion is okay, waaay better thanAffinity which provides very ability to push shadows and pull highlights.

In Affinity, the recovery seems to be greatly improved in the upcoming 1.6.3 version: https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/53250-affinity-photo-customer-beta-16398/&do=findComment&comment=269146