This plugin allows you to apply certain noise-related develop settings automatically, in bulk, based upon the camera that created each image, and each image's ISO sensitivity and Lightroom exposure boost.
This plugin works in Lightroom 6/CC (and older versions as far back as Lightroom 3, though some features depend on the version of Lightroom).
The same download works for both Windows and Mac. See the box to the upper right for the download link (in orange) and installation instructions.
How To Use
Most people will find it most convenient to apply bulk settings immediately after import, and/or after a rough exposure-adjustment pass through just-imported files.
Select the photos you want to bulk adjust, then invoke:
and you'll get a dialog along the lines of:
That's a really busy, densely-packed dialog (sorry), so let's look at the top a bit closer.
Most of the dialog presents your bulk-develop configuration for a single camera, with tabs along the top letting you choose which camera's config is shown:
Only the configurations for cameras used for photos selected when the dialog is invoked are shown, though the plugin will remember your settings for all configurations over time.
Raw photos (including DNGs) have a separate configuration from JPGs and other non-raw photos. In the example above, two Nikon D4 configuration tabs appear because both raw (NEF) and JPGs from a Nikon D4 were selected.
The entire camera-specific configuration can be enabled or disabled with the checkbox at the top of the configuration.
The configuration itself has five different parts, one for each kind of develop control the plugin can update:
- Luminance Noise Reduction
- Color Noise Reduction
- Sharpening Mask
Each is configured in the same manner which is why the closeup above only bothers to show the first.
Note: on smaller screens, a less verbose presentation is used for all sections other than the first, to allow everything to fit. The initial screenshot above is an example. Though the presentation is less wordy and descriptive, the meaning of each dialog component remains the same.
In any case, though each control is configured in the same manner, your develop needs and tastes will likely mean that the values you enter differ from control to control.
If you've enabled the “only when at its default value” option, a control won't be touched by the plugin if it's not at its default value. The intention is to leave prior changes alone.
If a develop control is to be updated, its new value is computed from three things: the ISO speed value used by the camera during capture, and any “Exposure” and optionally “Shadows” added in post processing within Lightroom.
For the ISO part...
... you give a pair of ISO values that define an ISO range, and a pair of control values (in the example above, luminance noise reduction values) that define a range to use for the develop setting.
Photos with ISOs less than the lower end of the ISO range don't get any ISO-related develop-control change. Photos with an ISO above the upper end of the range get the maximum of the control-value range. Any ISO value in between gets a control value from the control range.
Then, on top of that, any in-Lightroom exposure compensation or “Shadows” can add additional control strength.
Configuring the plugin settings for any particular camera involves perhaps more of an artistic sense than a technical one, but I'll offer some general suggestions you might use as a starting point, for when you haven't yet built up a sense of what you want for any specific camera.
To be clear, be sure to understand that my suggestions are certainly based on my own personal artistic sense, and that these suggestions are being made by someone who is an expert in Lightroom plugin design, and not by someone who is an expert in photography or photo development. 😉
Because the plugin bases its calculations on the ISO value for each image, the settings must be configured with an understanding of the ISO range of the sensor. As an example camera, I'll use the Nikanon-Sontax Turbo-Encabulator 7sX, which has a nominal ISO range of 100〜6400, but with boost can go to 25600, but practically speaking, noise starts to show up noticeably in normal lighting at about 3200:
With the top section, I've configured it to put at least a little luminance noise reduction (5) for all images, topping out at 50 for ISO 4000 and above. The "4000" here is very dependent on the sensor and how noisy it is at high ISO, so for your own settings at least look at the stated nominal range of your camera's sensor. If you don't yet have a sense of how the sensor behaves, a good starting point here might be about ⅔ of the nominal top ISO.
Color noise reduction gets a much less heavy hand, as Lightroom's default seems to be pretty good to me, and in cases it's not, I feel it's something that needs to be tweaked carefully by hand.
Personally, I'm a fan of the sharpening mask, which disables sharpening in low-detail areas where noise shows up more readily, such as clear sky, so the sample configuration above reflects that with a fairly aggressive value (50) even at a low ISO of 1000.
I don't personally use the Contrast or Clarity sections.
I said before, the settings are highly dependent on the camera and your personal taste, so if you use these settings as a starting point, be sure to play around and experiment.
A discussion of (a prior version of) this plugin in a pro-photographer workflow is seen at sidecar: post in “Parameter Based Noise Reduction – Part 1”.
This plugin is distributed as “donationware”. I have chosen to make it available for free — everyone can use it forever, without cost of any kind — but unless registered, its functionality is somewhat reduced after six weeks.
Registration is done via PayPal, and if you choose to register, it costs the minimum 1-cent PayPal fee; any amount you'd like to add beyond PayPal's sliding fees as a gift to me is completely optional, and completely appreciated.
Note: a Lightroom major upgrade, such as from Lr5 to Lr6, de-registers the plugin in the upgraded version, so if you want to maintain registration, a new ($0.01 if you like) registration code is needed in the upgraded version. It makes for a hassle every couple of years, I know. Sorry. See this note for details.
For details on plugin registration and on how I came into this hobby of Lightroom plugin development, see my Plugin Registration page.
( Update Log via RSS )
Add some extra debug logging.
Oops, previous update about merged DNGs was too aggressive... skip only HDR DNGs (don't skip merged DNGs that are panos).
Try to make the dialog fit more screens... something seems up lately with how Lightroom reports retina screens to the plugin, so this is sort of a blind fix.
Added an option to skip merged DNGs, and turned it on by default.
|20161231.56||Added extra screen-size debug logging|
|20160402.55||Allow larger ISO-sensitivity values.|
|20160401.54||Shift into short-screen mode a bit more aggressively.|
Try to avoid yet another place where Lightroom gets hung because it can't handle certain kinds of dialogs at the same time.
Added an option for a hard-upper-limit cap to the settings, so that values are never set beyond them.
In the POODLE-vunerability dialog, display a raw URL of a page on my site that discusses the issue, so that folks can be independently sure that the dialog is indeed from me and not malware.
There was a bug in the computation related to how increased shadow effected settings.
Allowed the Ev/shadow-related adjustments to be percent based.
Throw everything into a scrollable view on really short screens.
If an image didn't have an ISO speed value, the Ev-related items wouldn't be applied. They are now, independently.
Redesigned the dialog, and gave each of the controls (luminance noise reduction, color noise reduction, and masking) its own ISO range.
Added the ability to update the contols depending on the amount of negative shadow applied.
Added the ability to update Contrast and Clarity as well.
|20141019.46||Windows Only: Add a one-time check for the POODLE security vulnerability, and alert the user if it exists.|
|20140902.45||New build system|
|20140731.44||Registration fix for Lr5.6|
|20140720.43||More Creative-Cloud support.|
Fixed an issue with Creative-Cloud revalidation.
Lr5.5 and later Creative-Cloud installs can now revalidate themselves if needed.
|20140710.40||Sigh, had a bug in the Creative-Cloud support.|
Now supports Lr5.5+ Creative-Cloud Installs.
|20140704.38||Sigh, introduced an error for some folks with the rebuild the other day.|
|20140521.36||Added the ability to isolate updated/unmodified images to a collection|
Fixed a bug in the "smoother revalidation" stuff recently added.
Make the revalidation process smoother, especially for folks using Lr5.4 and later.
|20140216.33||Squelch an error that popped up if you canceled the import-settings dialog.|
|20131014.32||Found that with certain settings some math errors would pop up.|
|20130704.31||Added the ability to set/clear keywords based upon bulk-develop processing.|
|20130613.30||Better support for plugin revalidation.|
|20130611.29||Yet another Lr5 update|
|20130501.27||Update for Lr5|
|20130412.26||Build system update.|
|20130328.25||Fix for the registration system.|
|20130316.24||Switched ISO interpolation to logarithmic, which should provide for more-balanced results. Linear interpolation, which the plugin used to do, is still available as an option.|
|20130209.23||More build-system maintenance|
|20130206.22||Tweak for my registration system|
|20130201.20||Update to my plugin build system.|
Holy cow, discovered a bug (thanks Cody Sims!) that could cause appropriate bulk settings not to be updated, depending on what order what settings needed to be applied. This was a huge bug with a major impact on some kinds of shots... I can't believe that I never noticed this one myself... I use this plugin myself with every photo I take. Just dumbfounded, but glad it's fixed.
The plugin was leaving cruft in one's "Plugin Develop Presets" folder; now cleans it up.
Update to handle the Mac App Store version of Lightroom.
Tweak for Lr4.1RC2.
In Lr4, images with PV2012 were being processed with the Exposure from the prior process version. Doh!
Added the ability to export and import settings.
Enhanced the send-log dialog to hopefully make reports more meaningful to me, yielding, I hope, the ability to respond more sensibly to more reports.
|20120330.15||Update to handle 4.1RC|
|20120309.14||Update to the debug logging to better track down timing issues that might arise.|
More updates for Lr4.
More updates for Lr4.
Add a bit of bullet-proofing against corrupt catalogs.
More on the march toward Lr4, including upheaval in the code to handle Lightroom APIs being discontinued in Lr4.
|20120119.10||added some extra debug logging to try to track down a bug.|
|20120114.9||More tweaks for Lr4b|
Update for Lr4 beta: explain in the plugin manager that the plugin can't be registered in the beta.
Had issues with the registration button sometimes not showing.
|20111201.6||Fixed the bug I was trying to track down with the previous version. As best I can tell, a bug in Lightroom caused the plugin to not work for images with a period in the camera-make name, such as those from Olympus (which give the make as “OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.”)|
Added extra debug logging, when “enhanced logging” is selected in the plugin manager, to try to debug an issue.
Added a system-clock check and reports to the user if the system clock is more than a minute out of date. An incorrect system clock can cause problems with various kinds of communication and authentication with some of my plugins, so I've just gone ahead and added this to every plugin.
When doing a plugin upgrade, offer the ability to flush all the old copies of the plugin.
|20110912.4||Added the ability to update the sharpening mask.|
|20110401.3||Big update adding support for color noise reduction, and the segregation of non-raw and raw. Best to make a backup of your catalog before trying this update, just in case.|
|20101104.2||Reissue after a build change.|