DNGMonochrome: lightroom plugin          
    Turning Leica DNGs...          
   ... into monochrome DNGs !          

Since version 0.9.72 DNGMonochrome comes with a Lightroom plugin (only Windows 7 and Vista).

The Lightoom plugin only works with DNGMonochrome version 0.9.72 (and higher in future) and can't be used with earlier versions of DNGMonochrome.

The plugin installs - by user choice - through the DNGMonochrome installer.

Note that this plugin is slightly beta. It's not tested on any other system than my own, and it was only tested with Lightroom 4 and 5. Currently I cannot guarantee proper functioning on earlier versions of Lightroom.

The plugin does a few simple things.
- Starts up DNGMonochrome with the color DNG from Lightroom selected
- Saves the monochrome copy - after conversion - in the same folder as the original color DNG
- Imports the monochrome copy into the catalog
- Selects the monochrome copy in Lightroom

After installing, start Lightroom. Check the Help menu. There should be an entry called 'Plug-in Extras -> Convert with DNGMonochrome'.

If you do not see this entry, check your plugins.

Go to the 'File' menu and select 'Plugin Manager'.

You should see the DNGMonochrome Plugin in the list on the left, with a green bullet. If the entry is there but the bullet is orange or red, there's a problem with the functionality of the plugin. Try the 'Reload' button. If the plugin isn't visible at all, there was a problem installing it. Try reinstalling through the DNGMonochrome installer and make sure the checkmark in front of the plugin is turned on.

If you have any trouble with the plugin - e.g. Lightroom starts to behave erratically - either uninstall it (see down this page) or turn it off through the Plugin Manager (see screenshot above, click the Disable button). Then restart Lightroom.

Using the plugin

After selecting the color DNG in Lightroom, you start up DNGMonochrome by going through the help menu. Select 'Plug-in Extras -> 'Convert with DNGMonochrome'. DNGMonochrome is started with the selected photo (you can't choose any other photos within DNGMonochrome). Note that the photo needs to be a DNG. Selecting TIFF or JPG or any other format will not work and will lead to errors in DNGMonochrome.

Within DNGMonochrome convert the selected DNG to monochrome, the usual way, by clicking on the 'Start working' button. After conversion, the monochrome copy is written to the same folder as your color version DNG. It will then be imported into the Lightroom catalog, as an 'Add' (no other copies will be made, and of course your original color DNG will be untouched). Note that when working on the conversion (e.g. converting, then adding noise reduction and reprocessing) every copy will be imported.

It basically means that the monochrome version will be physically in the same folder as the color version and added automatically to the open catalog. It greatly simplifies turning color DNGs into monochrome DNGs if your workflow is based on Lightroom and it keeps the color version and the monochrome version together.

Note that when you're working on a Last Imported batch of photo's, the converted monochrome DNG will be imported but won't show up. You have to select the actual folder via the Library module to see the monochrome DNG.

DNGMonochrome contains a safeguard, which make it impossible to overwrite the original DNG. If for any reason the filename of the original would be the same as the monochrome copy (which in itself is impossible, only in case of severe bugs), DNGMonochrome refuses to save the monochrome copy. This safeguard - which kicks in right before saving - was always there, but when using DNGMonochrome like this, it's an especially important feature.

Installation folder and uninstalling

On Windows 7, the plugin is installed in "C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Modules".

If you install a new version of Lightroom, e.g. going from 4 to 5, you do not have to reinstall the plugin. If you installed it under Lightroom 4, it will be there automatically in Lightroom 5.

If you want to get rid of it, either uninstall DNGMonochrome the official way, then reinstall without the plugin selected, or simply throw away the dngmonochrome.lrplugin folder found in the Modules folder.

Do not edit or change any of the files within the dngmonochrome.lrplugin folder (obviously).

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See also the blog.