Lightroom and Windows 7

I have a computer that I am keeping on Windows 7 for various reasons. Unfortunately, Adobe refuses to recognize this computer anymore for licensing.

I am considering alternatives to Adobe products now. Is there a good alternative to Lightroom? Also, I am planning on switching over to Linux in the next while, so it would be nice to have an image development program that would be available in Linux as well.

I require that developments to images not change the original image file. I liked Lightroom because it made changes to developments in a separate file that applied them to the original file.

@LarryB - How are you? Long time no hear!

I’m surprised that Adobe won’t keep your W7 install activated. You would need to connect to the internet periodically to maintain activation, and that’s a potential security risk with W7 now. Not sure about whether they still offer an offline activation option. Of course W7 may not run the latest version of Adobe s/w, and so you would probably need to run older versions.

Alternatives? Capture One is generally seen as the main LR alternative - it’s what I mostly use now. It does offer a perpetual license in addition to a rental option, but it’s not cheap to buy, although there may be a Black Friday deal soon. I don’t recall the W7 compatibility. I guess that’s the potential issue with anything new that you want to install fresh now, as I can’t imagine that you’d be able to buy older, W7-compatible versions any more.

Other options? DxO is one. I used to use Aftershot Pro (formerly Bibble), but it went off the rails after Corel bought it. It at least has, or used to have, a Linux option. I’m not aware of any other of the mainstream RAW converters on Linux. There are a few open-source, cross-plaform options like RawTherapee.

The main PS alternative is the affordable Affinity Photo, and they have sales from time to time. It’s quite a decent PS alternative, but its CM is pretty primimite IMHO and I’m not sure it’s really a viable option for printing, esp Piezo. It’s Win and Mac only.

Yeah, family stuff, Covid teaching (we don’t have the luxury of living on an isolated island!), and other things have gotten in the way.

Adobe won’t let me connect anymore to maintain the activation. This occurred in July or August, and 3 months have passed, causing the activation to expire. I’ll keep your suggestions in mind. I’m trying out DarkTable for a bit too. People say it’s a good match to LR, but I am finding the highlights/white/shadow/dark sliders don’t exist in Darktable, or at least, the way they exist in LR.

@LarryB - Not sure if you’ve searched regarding your W7 & Adobe problem. I found this link. It’s a bit ambiguous in my view, but seems to suggest that it should be possible to run their cloud apps if your W7 installation is fully up-to-date, which I assume means all the updates until W7 support ended.

Yeah, I saw that and made sure I was using IE11 and had TLS 1.2. No go.

I found my old Lightroom 5 disk so I’m back to some workflow. However, I’ll be compromised with any piezography prints or prints that require printing without a profile.

So, is Adobe Photoshop still the only viable program for printing piezography?
Will QImage work for making colour charts for making custom colour profiles

Forgive me if my terminology is off. It’s been awhile.

Larry, in my view it depends on your workflow. If you print Piezography using the so-called linear approach, then yes you need PS. This is the workflow where you don’t use an ICC to print, and instead use a preserve numbers soft-proof. I don’t recall from our previous discussions whether you use this workflow. If not then this may not mean much to you. But if you do, then AFAIK, PS is the only program that offers preserve numbers softproofing. The main PS competitor - Affinity Photo - doesn’t and I’m not optimistic that they ever will. Big pity.

If however you are printing using an ICC then there other options. I think you could do it with Qimage, with two caveats. IIRC Qimage doesn’t work with monochrome profiles, so you’ll need and RGB QTR profile and it’s probably safest if your image is in AdobeRGB rather than Grey Gamma 2.2. Second, Qimage can’t print direct to QTRGui, so you have to configure Qimage to print to file, and then print that file using QTRGui. (This workflow would be far simpler on a Mac.) I have done this, but not for a while.

For colour profiles you shouldn’t need either PS or QI to make the profile. You’ve got a Munki, haven’t you? Don’t you just use its software?

It’s been so long since I’ve done colour profiles, and piezography too. It feels like I’m having to relearn it all again!

I just came across this discussion regarding the use of LR.

I just have to print using the AdobeRGB profile.

I got my LR 5 going again, and found the LR 5.7 update. I seem to be happy, at least for now, with colour prints.

@LarryB - a point of clarification. That quote from @Walker_Blackwell seems to be primarly about some workflow quirks on MacOS.

On Win, yes, you could output a file from LR in AdobeRGB and print that via QTRGui, which would be using the linear workflow. But I don’t think that LR will give you a preserve numbers softproof like PS can, and that’s going to make getting a screen-to-print match hard. If you want to print using an ICC, I’d need to check when I’m back at my desktop whether LR will output an image converted to a printing ICC. Soft-prooing should work I think, but it’s not a workflow that I’ve used in LR so I can’t be sure.

I wasn’t under any illusion that LR would provide an accurate soft proof, it was just a method to produce a file for printing via QTRGui.

I am going to be stuck on the soft proof issue. It just won’t be worth it to have an Adobe subscription for the sole purposes of soft proofing. At my level, hopefully my printed images will be “good enough” based on what I will see in LR.

I’m not about to start printing piezography again soon though. There’s way too much happening in my life at the moment. The only thing I want to try to make time for is making new icc’s. I think the new black inks IJM is producing have caused my prints to be more off from what I see in LR soft proofing than before. My set up isn’t up to IJM’s standards in terms of hardware (and software), but in general is good enough for home prints.

Interesting article here:

Might this be outdated now? Perhaps this is only relevant to MAC users? Only relevant to LR4? Might be worth trying one day on my old machine.

At a very quick read I’d have said that it was still current and broadly relevant to your situation, even though it’s aimed at image preparation for having prints made by CEP. Might be better if @walkerblackwell commented on whether that article is still current.

But I don’t see how it helps you, as there’s no suggestion that you can soft-proof the iinear workflow in LR, only only the ICC conversion workflow.

It’s still relevant and used every day.

No, LR has no “linear” soft proof mode (aka no Preserve RGB Numbers)


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