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View Full Version : A fantastic photo editing program LightZone by Light Crafts


dennisg
21st February 2008, 03:53 AM
I have been searching for a photo editing software application to do my JPEGS and RAW files from my E500. As I was going through a search on the NET I found LightZone by Light Crafts. This is one hell of program and it supports all of the Olympus DSLRs including the new E-3.

I highly recommend that you all try it. You can download a trial version for 30 days and then you can purchase it. There are two versions, a entry level and a pro version and they cost $149 and $249 respectively.

I am currently utilizing the lesser program since I do not require now all of the capabilities in the Pro Version. LightZone has won Mac's best software award in late 2007 and other prestigious awards. The current version is 3.4 and they are currently working on a beta version for Linux. The current version is Windows and Mac certified and it will work flawlessly with Abobe's Lightroom as a plugin, but is much easier to use than Lightroom.

So give a look and let me know how you over made out with your trial version. You will need 1-2 megs RAM, Athlon or Pentium Chip, Java Script and I think about 50 MEGS of HD space.

The websiet is: www.lightcrafts.com

Enjoy!:o

Dennis G

HughofBardfield
21st February 2008, 01:45 PM
I think it's a useful piece of software. They had a special offer on a while back for Lightroom users, so I got it for half price. I have found it quite tricky to get the best out of it, but even used at the basic level, it's a useful tool, giving digital some aspects of the Zone system. I've been looking for a decent tutorial on it for some time however. The ones on Lightcraft's website don't like my PC for some reason.

Here's an eg: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hughofbardfield/2046809994/in/set-72157600308660478/

jojo
21st February 2008, 02:44 PM
How does it compare to LightRoom ? I.e, what are advantages/disadvantages ?

HughofBardfield
21st February 2008, 04:08 PM
How does it compare to LightRoom ? I.e, what are advantages/disadvantages ?

They are completely different softwares. Lightroom is a file organisation and raw editing program with some editing functions (sufficient for my purposes most of the time). Lightzone is primarily photo editing software. However, RAW files (including ORFs) are supported by LZ, and it has its own RAW converter. My feeling is that LZ would be distinctly clunky as a file manager and way inferior to Lightroom.

Although LZ claims to have "a complete set of asset management and workflow" tools, its strength is in editing images - in some people's view, in a more intuitive way than in Photoshop. It certainly does some things (editing by exposure "zones") in a way that PS doesn't.

To quote from LZ's FAQs:

"8. How does LightZone compare to Apple's Aperture™ or to Adobe's Lightroom™?

"Aperture and Lightroom are Digital Asset Managers, i.e. photo organizers. LightZone is a full featured editor. LightZone makes an ideal external editor for either program. Use LightZone when you need to edit and correct photographs quickly, efficiently and precisely, without giving up your own workflow application."

It perhaps illustrates how Light Crafts (who make LZ) see themselves that there was a special offer on LZ a while back for people who had bought LR, which is when I bought my copy.

Incidentally, shouldn't this be in the "Software" section of the forum????

Ian
21st February 2008, 04:52 PM
Yes, LightZone is complementary to Lightroom.

Lightzone has a cool interface that lets you select and adjust areas of your image globally with a variety of controls; for example all areas of a particular range of density, or using a very precise masking and feathering tool.

Lightroom's strength is workflow - enabling you to make similar adjustments to a batch of images quickly and easily. LightZone is for tweaking individual images (though I suppose it could be used for a workflow type of application). It can do some things Photoshop can't and does some things Photoshop can in a more controllable way. It's well worth looking at and last time I looked there was a limited time trial download off the website.

Ian

jojo
21st February 2008, 10:07 PM
Ok. Let me ask a slightly different question :)

Is there a big difference between lightroom and olympus master (other than lightroom is brand independent) ?

alert_bri
21st February 2008, 10:24 PM
Hello everyone,

I've been using LightZone as my main RAW processor for over a year now, and have developed a style to give the standard E-3 RAW files an Olympus style colour / contrast boost... you can download the style from my site here :

http://alert2life.squarespace.com/storage/CustomColourWow.lzt

It's a fantastic RAW converter for Olympus files.

Hope that helps!

Kind Regards

Brian

dennisg
22nd February 2008, 01:44 AM
Brain,

Thank you for letting me know that there is someone else using LighZone for their RAW images. As I use the application, I am getting more comfortable with it. Once I get some images that I want to send to a gallery on this site I will post them.

Spring is right around the corner here and I do attend Grand Prix Equestrain Events shows here. So look for some horses coming your way.

Thanks!

Dennis G;)

HughofBardfield
22nd February 2008, 10:34 AM
Ok. Let me ask a slightly different question :)

Is there a big difference between lightroom and olympus master (other than lightroom is brand independent) ?

Yes! Master is clunky c**p IMHO. Quite a few people think it produces nice colours, but it's too slow and awkward as a file management package. Lightroom has more flexibility and can be customised almost any way you want it. If you like a particular "look" to your images, it can be saved as a one-click preset and used time and time again.

The only time I use Master is to upgrade firmware (and was well hacked off when I found I also had to install Viewer to update my E1!!!)

Ian
22nd February 2008, 10:51 AM
Both the latest versions of Master and Studio are rather slow, but not too bad on fast hardware.

Studio offers more RAW processing options and batch processing so you can apply changes to lots of images in one go. But Lightroom is much more polished and offers some very handy option, like adjustability of darkness density with its 'black' level tool.

One very commendable aspect of Master and Studio is that they closely emulate what the camera produces.

Ian

Xpres
22nd February 2008, 11:04 AM
I don't think it will run on my pooter - says it wants 1-2 gig of ram. Does anyone run it on an 'OLD' machine?

Scapula Memory
22nd February 2008, 11:42 AM
Both the latest versions of Master and Studio are rather slow, but not too bad on fast hardware.

Studio offers more RAW processing options and batch processing so you can apply changes to lots of images in one go. But Lightroom is much more polished and offers some very handy option, like adjustability of darkness density with its 'black' level tool.

One very commendable aspect of Master and Studio is that they closely emulate what the camera produces.

Ian

Couldn`t agree more. I tried LR but my notebook only has 2 megs of RAM and this did not seem enough, it kept on locking up. Studio is slow but OK for me with a smaller workflow, it does mirror what the camera is doing and is simplicity to find your way around. I quite like Studios filing sytem which is incredibly easy.

Failing that I have been playing about with C04 which is a delight to use.

jojo
22nd February 2008, 11:47 AM
The speed of master on my computer is fine. I'm just trying to figure out if lightroom will save me much in the way of time for $200. Part of my confusion is that it seems that lightroom big 'advantage' is organization rather than editing. But I'm unsure how organization is useful if you store the pictures in a directory structure that matches their theme.
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Also, I'm unsure how the print quality from oly master compare to lightroom.