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  1. #1
    Senior Member

    General practices question

    Does anyone else keep a separate copy of raw images asides from their edits?

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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Bikerbrent's Avatar

    Re: General practices question

    I always save my original raw images. To me, they are the original negatives (but I learned to keep my negatives in the film days). Also, if your learn a new post processing skill or method, you will want the original to work from.
    Brent: Poway, CA
    D7200, D200, F100
    Tokina 12-24mm
    Nikon 18-200mm
    Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8
    Nikon 80-200mm f2.8
    Sigma 150-600mm
    Nikon 50 AF f1.8
    Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
    Nikon SB800

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: General practices question

    The raw editor I use is nondestructive it opens the image in read only mode. The edits which are stored in a sidecar file are not applied to the image until they are exported, the original is not touched. As for a new technique or version I just create a duplicate which is actually just a list of the new edits. No need to keep a separate copy of raw unless you want to do so for backup purposes. YMMV.
    Thanks/Like hark, Danno Thanks/liked this post

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Chucktin's Avatar

    Re: General practices question

    I have an archive of all my stuff and at New Years I do a Blue Ray of last year. So if a crash (fingers crossed) happens I've still got something. But, to the original question, my first review and edits are on the out of camera raw files until I've archived them.

    Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    bluzman's Avatar

    Re: General practices question

    Yes, I do.
    D750, D7500, Z50, FZ1000 II

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    WayneF's Avatar

    Re: General practices question

    Yes, I always keep my original raw files. And for any change that any print needs, I always start from the original raw, not from the last printed file.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    desmobob's Avatar

    Re: General practices question

    I do. Like Brent, I consider them my "negatives."

    And there have been times when I've gone back and done a better job editing a shot, or decided to change the look, etc. I would never discard a RAW file.
    D750, D200, F4s (x2) FG, F3HP, F3, F2S

  8. #8
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: General practices question

    As Needa mentioned, the edits to a NEF are done to a side card file, not to the original RAW file. If you don't save the RAW file, the side card file is useless. If you convert your NEF's to DNG files, then the edits are applied directly to the DNG and not to a side card file. In that case, you could opt to not save the original NEF. BUT if you ever enter an image into a photo contest, sometimes they require the original file.
    Cindy - D750, D500, D7200
    My 2021 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci

  9. #9
    Super Mod
    Eduard's Avatar

    Re: General practices question

    Couple things to add:

    • Handling your RAW files as your digital negatives is the most common approach that I see, except for some that chose to capture JPEGs (i.e., sports shooters on strict deadlines).

    • The "sidecar" file approach is dependent on the editor that you use. I believe most of the answers here are reflective of Lightroom which is non-destructive and uses a sidecar (.XMP) file.
    • If you use plugins in Lightroom, Photoshop or other products that create intermediate files as part of processing (i.e., TIFF files created when editing in PS from LR), those files shoud also be considered digital negatives.
    • As products evolve and improve, I sometimes will reprocess an image. For example, I was asked to print an image that I originally captured with a D300. I made a virtual copy in LR, updated to the current Camera RAW version, and reprocessed where I was able to slightly improve the shadow recovery.
    "The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it" -Ansel Adams

    Fuji X-T3 | Fuji X-T20 | Nikon 1 J5 | Too much glass | G.A.S.

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