Changing computers?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by david_henderson, Dec 28, 2021.

  1. That's completely inapt and unfair. There is no "theory" in the post. The comment was about specific features the poster does find useful, not "some new dangled [new-fangled?] feature they don't have." And the poster started out assuming that he didn't need to upgrade.

    The sensible thing to do is to look at or even try out some of the new features and decide whether they will help you. I know the answer for me: I can work both more quickly and more effectively with the new versions of the software than I could with the old. YMMV. If you don't find anything sufficiently helpful, your choice will be different.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2022
    digitaldog likes this.
  2. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    He's recently admitted he's using LR6, 4+ years since release:
    Best software for b&w images?
    Based on the photography samples of both of you I have viewed, I can say IMHO, no he is not!
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2022
  3. Who here didn't know it was going to go there?

    Much more has to do with how skillfully the tools are used than the tools themselves.

    "Great photo. You must have an expensive camera."
  4. This will be way off topic, but if you get a chance, you might check out Dave Henderson's website. I do not do a lot of landscapes/seascapes/scenics, but I found these to be really well done and processed. There's no question in my mind that he knows what he is doing and how he wants his photographs to look. Just my opinion.
    Ludmilla and digitaldog like this.
  5. No doubt, for sure. So it surprises me when he asks fairly rudimentary questions about PP and hardware
  6. Hmmmm. Fair question. Especially after 50,000 or so images.
  7. david_henderson


    I don't understand why some of you guys think that if I'm a decent photographer ( which I hope I am) then its odd that I'm asking questions about changing my computer. Taking photographs and computing are not in the same skill-set or interest-set for me at all. I can be ok at one and not up to speed on the other. They're not related. Its a bit like travelling and cars. I like travel and much of it involves driving in my car or more usually in someone else's. I know nothing about how cars work, but I can drive one. I can use a computer to carry out the tasks I deem important to store and edit my photographs. But I don't keep up to date with hardware or software development and so when I need to change I'd appreciate some input from people whose interest and experience is different from mine, including I may say the variety and differences in opinions that clearly exists.

    As you're firing back at me I have some 50 000 surviving digital images. They have all been taken since 2008. There is another pile of medium format transparency images from 10+ years with mainly 6x6 cameras before that. Since starting digital photography I have bought exactly one computer in 2011, a few pieces of Adobe software where I updated as far as CS5 and Lightroom 5. And Nik . Didn't think there was much point poring over new software capabilities since I had a Windows 7 computer and no clue ( and not much interest ) about how to change that until now when I'd imagine necessity is looming. So I have very little experience in buying computers and getting them up to speed with new software and all those pictures.

    The sorts of things that daunt me are how to transfer 50 000 digital images and a few thousand scans from hardware which uses USB onto a new machine without watching computers whirring for a month? Do I need to do anything to ensure my ageing scanner, printer, calibration software/hardware; & external drives will work on the new machine? What sort of drives to put in the new box to maximise reliability? What would I gain from a i7 or even i9 processor as against the i5 I've been using? What sort of graphics card do I need? How much memory (struggling to accept I must have 64GB as one person suggested when 16GB seems to work well enough now)? And a biggie- what order do I need to do all this in and what if anything can I do to prepare myself to make this changeover as painless as it can be.

    I'm not looking for a tutorial on how to process images; I will update my Adobe software - and had always assumed that I would

    I am not remotely embarrassed that having made few changes these last 10 years I'm not an expert in changing computers in a photographic environment. It's likely that my knowledge will of necessity grow in the next few weeks and months as I consult others and read. But I'm not technology savvy and I I'm doing this because I need to, not because I find it fun. Photography--well that's different.
  8. I'd ignore the people who disparage you for not knowing more about computers. Not worth your psychological energy thinking about them.

    Re old peripheral equipment: it depends. Some older equipment will work fine. Some may not. For example, if I remember right (I may not), the calibration tool I had been using was never made Windows 10 compliant, so I had to buy a new one when I upgraded to Windows 10 years ago. However, from what I have read, the internals of Windows 11 are quite similar to Windows 10, so I'm guessing that most of your old peripherals will work fine. If not, search online for workarounds for the specific equipment, and if there aren't any, you'll have to replace them.

    If you think you will update your Adobe apps, the choice of graphics card matters. Some of the newer features of Photoshop will run poorly or won't run at all if you have a card that doesn't meet their specs. You can find their requirements here and here.

    Your USB peripherals are presumably USB 2.0 because they are old. Your new machine will have at least some USB 3.0 ports (the more the merrier), and those ports are downwardly compatible. However, transfer speed will still be slow because of the peripherals themselves. My suggestion: don't worry about this. If you need to leave the computer running a few times while you go do something else, no big deal. If your computer comes with USB-C ports (that's the physical form, not the transfer rate), that's also no big deal; you can buy USB-B to USB-c dongles for a few bucks.

    Memory requirements are also on one of the pages I linked. Adobe recommends 16 GB. That's what I have. It works fine. I don't know whether 32 would produce much of an increase in speed. I wouldn't consider 64.

    Re processor: I can't help there. I stopped tracking this a long time ago, and I find Intel's current naming conventions confusing. I'm using a 4-year old 4-core i7-7700 @ 3.6 GHz, and it's adequate. I would buy faster now, but I don't know which to recommend.

    Re how to do it: because of where I work, I usually have to replace all of my computers (I have 3) every 3 years or so. I start by making a list of all of the software on the old machine and any configurations I can think of that I want to preserve. I then prep the new one by gradually installing software and configuring the new one, while continuing to use the old one as the functioning computer. Toward the end, I terminate the registration for any software that can only be installed on a few machines to transfer those to the new one.

    You'll need a way to transfer files from your old internal drive to your new one. that is only one of the reasons that one of my first steps is to install an aftermarket file manager that allows me to see two directories or drives at once and allows me to sync between them. There are lots of these, but I currently use Directory Opus. I get a big thumb drive (they are now dirt cheap), sync or copy content to that, then pull it from that to the new drive.

    Good luck.

    One thing that I find invaluable is a decent file manager, which Windows doesn't include.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
    digitaldog and bgelfand like this.
  9. Why must you insist on being so rude all the time?: I have both Nik Efex and LR 6 licensed, but rarely use Nik. I got the whole suite for free. However, I do my BW edits in LR. But maybe I'm missing something of value with NIK. Hence my question about what David finds useful with it.
    bgelfand likes this.
  10. How would NIK Efex improve these?

    Here is an example of one of my Ektachrome 100 scans, 4x5, color converted to BW using LR6.
    Dey Farm Wheels

    Here's a Velvia 50, 120, converted using LR3.
    Crooked Fence in B/W
    original color Crooked fence
  11. Ignore them. I've always admired your photography and I think your questions are perfectly valid. Most smart photographers don't have time to follow advances in software and hardware. They're getting on doing good photography
    bgelfand likes this.
  12. ...and making money at it.
    bgelfand likes this.
  13. David is a better photographer than me. That's why I asked him. What are you griping about?
    bgelfand likes this.
  14. No, don't. We are trying to get you to think for yourself. And Don’t listen to others

    For example, are you some weirdo with 3 computers who needs to upgrade every 3 years, Or not?
    digitaldog likes this.
  15. Interesting take on the way an Internet forum could be approached. Telling someone who asks questions not to listen to others, and emphasizing that, is interesting advice. Take it or not. I'll simply say that when I'm moved to ask a question in a forum, I listen to the answers I get. But I don't take anything as gospel. It may be to supplement research I'm doing, it may be a way to get me started, or it may be all I need, depending on the situation. I'm aware that not listening to others seems to be a very prevalent method of "communicating" on the Internet. So ...
    I had the same reaction. That's why I posted the comical viewer comment, "Wonderful photo ... you must have a great camera." This thread simply communicates a slight variation on that theme, "Good photographer ... you must have the latest software."
    As with any advice, just be discerning. Also, even when the way advice is given is off-putting, some of the substantive info provided can be of value, if you can separate the two.
  16. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    I'm sorry once again, you find the facts rude.Yes, we are in violent agreement: David is a much better photographer than you. You should ask him about photography, you might learn sometning. Like expsoure. Forget asking him about Nik, its a waste of his time and yours.
    Yes, you're missing something. If you have only imagined it, you haven't experienced it. But we've been there before.
    What smart photographer told you that generalization Alan?
    "To generalize is to be an idiot. To particularize is the alone distinction of merit. General knowledge are those knowledge that idiots possess". -William Blake
  17. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Good, lets get back to the subject and trying to answer your questions about hardware and such.
    Do you have a budget? What is your 'aging scanner'; some very old aging scanners are superb; I'd take my Leaf 45 or Imacon or man, my Scanmate drum over any scanner made within the last 10 years. What do you hope to scan; prints or film, if film what format and will you want to scan color negs? The software for doing this alone is an important decision as not all scanning software is very good at inverting the color neg orange mask.
    What printer? I've got a 12 year old Epson that runs fine and makes wonderful color and B&W prints. I've got newer ones too, but the old Epson 3880 still shines.
    Display: super critical IMHO, get a wide gamut, color reference display (I recommend NEC SpectraView, using a PA271Q). Don't skimp here; the display is the window of your digital images which are nothing more than a big pile of 1's and zero's. If you print, you want to consider a wide gamut display for soft proofing and one that can be calibrated for differing calibrations (differing papers with differing contrast ratios and paper whites).
    GPU: again, with modern software, certainly Adobe's, more and more processing is being offloaded to the GPU for speed. And there are some issues here with older GPUs too; bugs that affect older and newer software too. This is one of the leading causes of issues on the Adobe support forums and why Adobe has preferences to alter or disable the GPU. You don't want that! So do search on the forums what is recommended by Windows users or see:
    Get the biggest and fastest (maybe SSD if budget allows) external drive, place all photo's and LR related files on it, run LR from a boot disk but referencing all that data from that one drive using one catalog. It allows you to clone that drive to others as a backup, point to it from cloud backup too if you wish (I'm using Backblaze for this), clone a drive for location etc. Use the "Store Presets with Catalog" preference so they all reside on that one drive, get backed up to the other drives. If you add say 300 images on location using the location clone drive, you simply clone to the main drive all the newer files; you've now got two backups and all your location images back on the desktop machine. Examine the advantages and few disadvantages of converting raws into DNG so you can embed all the edits, profiles, metadata etc in that container.
    More RAM is always better! Photoshop needs 3-5X each open document in RAM or it uses the scratch disk which is slower. If you can upgrade in the future, fine. But sometimes you are stuck with a fixed amount at the get-go, so consider getting the most you can afford.
    The only answer I can't provide is your last; can you do this all yourself and painlessly. Sorry, Mac guy <g>. But even then, it can be painful to a degree.
  18. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    GIGO:Garbage In Garbage Out
    The photographer who wishes to work toward a predetermined result must visualize the tonalities in which he wants certain important parts of the subject to be represented, and plan his exposure and subsequent treatment accordingly.” - Ansel Adams
  19. Andrew. Why do you kill every thread with your argumentative attitude of patronizing superiority? Do you wake up in the morning and suck on a lemon?
    bgelfand likes this.
  20. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    "I doubt you can understand the magnitude of the stupidity in your statement". - Robert Jordan, The Gathering Storm

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