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Image Processing and Workflow RAW, DNG , TIFF and JPG. From Capture to Ready for Publish/Display. All software and techniques used within an image workflow, (except extensive retouching and repair or DAM).

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  #1  
Old July 31st, 2015, 01:25 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Default Raw development tools

As many of you know, I have for many years assiduously ignored the fact that most (now all) of my cameras can deliver a raw output.

I have recently taken a resolution to try and be a better craftsman in my photographic work, one stage of which is to be more craftsman-like in my postprocessing work.

And a collateral issue in some cases may be to work with the camera's raw output rather than its JPEG output.

So far most of my editing has been with Picture Publisher 10, which has a wonderful user interface but whose processing engines are certainly not up to today's norms (the program is vintage 2001, which I like to think was "just yesterday" but of course isn't).

So I will probably begin to do more of my work in Photoshop (yes, I know you have heard that before). I currently have Photoshop 12 ("CS5") and I am not at the moment considering an upgrade to "CS6" (although that is not out of the question).

Of course the most modern version of Adobe Camera Raw that will go into PS CS5 is version 6.7. And it does not care to deal with files from, for example. my Canon G16, much less the soon-to-arrive G3 X.

Of course one route is to use the Adobe DNG converter (the latest versions of which will deal gladly with either of those cameras) to convert the .CR2 files to .DNG files, which ACR 6.7.x is glad to deal with. But I do not know if there is any disadvantage to this route (other than the inconvenience, of course).

Then of course there is the possibility of doing the raw development with Canon Digital Photo Professional (Irritatingly enough, it looks as if I will need to have two versions up to deal with the G16 and G3 X, but I'm not quite sure of that yet.) But somehow I don't have the feeling that DPP is really a good image-refinement tool.

I have been intrigued by the free RawTherapee, and have recently installed the latest version (sort of in beta status, as a matter of fact). It seems to have a lot of tools, and it doesn't seem to be obsessed with the particular camera that generated the file. It is a "nondestructive editing" application, using .PP3 "sidecar" files to carry the recipe used to refine the image to the user's liking, and apply it when we want to blow a JPEG (or maybe even TIFF) file of our work for distribution.

Now, my friends, what do I really need to know here?

Thanks for any help you can give me as I plan to "turn a corner" in my work.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #2  
Old July 31st, 2015, 02:35 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Hi Doug.

At the most basic and simple level, dng converters do a good job. You might loose some meta data from your raw files. And there is the issue of lens profiles....these are not currently supported by generic dng converters. So automatic corrections of specific lens distortion so etc. are not catered for.

Adobe has stated and released the latest version of their ACR plugin, after which no further updates shall be provided. I have CS6 and have installed the last ACR.

While rawtherapee is decent for single images, it is not something I would use if I had to deal with substantial images.

If you convert from raw to dng, using a converter..Adobe's is the one I use sometimes, generally the resulting files are smaller. This saves disk space. But what have I lost in the conversion?

There is the new Serif software, which I purchased, and have given it a run around. My personal opinion is that it is still a software that is in testing stages and I have paid for it.

For the foreseeable future, going the dng converter route would be a sensible choice for you.
And please remember that CS6 is the last version, that one can own to use in perpetuity. Adobe has gone the subscription/rental based route for newer updated versions of PS.

Dng can be read with CS5.
Good luck with your processing.
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  #3  
Old July 31st, 2015, 03:48 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Fahim,

Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
At the most basic and simple level, dng converters do a good job. You might loose some meta data from your raw files. And there is the issue of lens profiles....these are not currently supported by generic dng converters. So automatic corrections of specific lens distortion so etc. are not catered for.

Adobe has stated and released the latest version of their ACR plugin, after which no further updates shall be provided. I have CS6 and have installed the last ACR.

While rawtherapee is decent for single images, it is not something I would use if I had to deal with substantial images.

If you convert from raw to dng, using a converter..Adobe's is the one I use sometimes, generally the resulting files are smaller. This saves disk space. But what have I lost in the conversion?

There is the new Serif software, which I purchased, and have given it a run around. My personal opinion is that it is still a software that is in testing stages and I have paid for it.

For the foreseeable future, going the dng converter route would be a sensible choice for you.
And please remember that CS6 is the last version, that one can own to use in perpetuity. Adobe has gone the subscription/rental based route for newer updated versions of PS.

Dng can be read with CS5.

Good luck with your processing.
Thank you for these most useful observations.

I may have more questions later!

Best regards,

Doug
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  #4  
Old July 31st, 2015, 04:05 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Fahim,

Do you think it would be advantageous for me to upgrade to PS CS6 (USD 199.00, I think, but that's hard to find out)?

It will accommodate the ACR versions needed to support my G16 (v 8.2) and my new G3X (V 9.11, "the end of the road").

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #5  
Old August 1st, 2015, 12:55 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Hi Doug.

Yes. It is worth it.

p.s I have CS3 running on an old MacBook
Pro, which suffices for casual tasks.

Take care.
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  #6  
Old August 1st, 2015, 01:32 AM
StuartRae StuartRae is offline
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Hi Doug,

Photoshop Elements is a fraction of the price of CS, and will do most of what you want.

Regards,
Stuart
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  #7  
Old August 1st, 2015, 08:34 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Fahim,

Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Hi Doug.

Yes. It is worth it.
Well, I may spring for it.

Quote:
p.s I have CS3 running on an old MacBook
Pro, which suffices for casual tasks.
Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #8  
Old August 1st, 2015, 08:35 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Stuart,
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartRae View Post
Hi Doug,

Photoshop Elements is a fraction of the price of CS, and will do most of what you want.
Yes, I may look into that. Do we know if the latest version accepts the latest ACR plugin?

Thnaks.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #9  
Old August 1st, 2015, 12:15 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Fahim,

Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
At the most basic and simple level, dng converters do a good job. You might loose some meta data from your raw files. And there is the issue of lens profiles....these are not currently supported by generic dng converters. So automatic corrections of specific lens distortion so etc. are not catered for.
I don't know nearly as much about this as I need to, but it appears that the camera metadata does survive the conversion from a raw file (I speak here of Canon CR2 files) to a DNG file via the Adobe DNG converter.

I don't know whether the lens profile information needed, for example, to do correction for geometric distortion is actually carried in the raw file itself. I have always assumed that a raw converter, for example, needs to have that information in a database it works with.

I don't know just now how to look at a DNG file with lens distortion correction not in effect so I can see what distortion there is in the raw files from my G16. I do know that when I open, in Photoshop, a DNG file converted from the camera's raw file there is little or no geometric distortion, even for shots at small focal lengths (generally most susceptible to such distortion). But ACR as associated with my Photoshop supposedly does not know about the G16. so this story does not yet reach from cover to cover.

So I shall do more testing, observing, and reckoning. I'll let you know how my understanding progresses (possibly even improves).

Best regards,

Doug
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  #10  
Old August 1st, 2015, 03:01 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Fahim,

Indeed, after conversion of the CR2 raw file to a DNG file with Adobe RAW [sic] Converter, and the loading of that DNG file, the capabilities of various image editing programs to perform correction of lens distortion and so forth work in the usual way (I presume as well as ever).

In the case of Photoshop w/ACR, the proper lens correction profile (from the collection provided with ACR) is invoked automatically.

Very nice.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #11  
Old August 2nd, 2015, 05:35 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Glad you are enjoying this Doug.

In a short while I shall know who to turn to for help!

Take care.
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  #12  
Old August 2nd, 2015, 08:22 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Fahim,

Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Glad you are enjoying this Doug.
Well, you know how I am when I get started on a thing like this!

Quote:
In a short while I shall know who to turn to for help!
I'm not sure I am on my way to being an "expert", but of curse I'm glad to share what I learn.

Thanks for your support.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #13  
Old August 2nd, 2015, 09:03 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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About PTLens

PRLens is a well respected program that corrects geometric distortion, non-uniform exposure behavior ("vignetting"), and lateral chromatic aberration. It can run as a standalone application or as a plugin to Photoshop and many other photo editing applications (even the venerable Picture Publisher 10). It is written by Tom Niemann and published by ePaperPress. You can read about it here:

http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/index.html

It uses its own extensive database of lens geometric distortion characteristics, and users are invited to submit test shots from lenses not currently represented, from which the program's author will develop lens correction profiles.

If the image being worked on contains Exif metadata from which PTLens can identify the lens as one for which it has a correction profile, and if the host application provides that metadata over the plug-in interface (Ah! Often that's the rub!), then the correction of geometric distortion is automatic. But correction of vignetting and lateral chromatic aberration have to be done manually, "by eye".

Many commenters have opined that the geometric distortion correction done by PTLens is among the best available, but some have criticized its work on the lateral chromatic distortion matter.

The price for PTLens is USD 25.00. It can be acquired on a trial basis.

The matter of PTLens's operation within various host programs is complicated. It seems to work fine in Photoshop (I use it with PS CS5). But in some other editing programs (for example, Corel PaintShop Pro) it does not receive the camera and lens identification from the image Exif metadata and thus the user must select the pertinent configuration from a list.
There is in fact a way to drive PTLens resident in PaintShop Pro with a script that will acquire the Exif Metadata and pass it to PTLens, but I have not looked into exactly how that works.
Because PTLens uses its own database of lens characteristics, it can often be used on images from camera-lens combinations not represented in the database associated with (or associatable with) a certain vintage of Photoshop. For example, its current database includes correction profiles for the Canon Powershot G16 and Powershot G3 X, which are not included in the Adobe data base that can be installed if you have Photoshop CS5. (They apparently are included in the database that would be installed if you have Photoshop CS6.)

PTLens also allows the adjustment of convergence in the image of parallel line features of the subject (often called "perspective 'adjustment' ").

************

Let me note that the excellent raw development and image processing program Raw Therapee, as to its geometric distortion , vignetting , and lateral chromatic aberration correction functions, seems to use the camera-lens database associated with one's Photoshop installation. Thus will not "automatically" perform that function on files from, for example, my Canon PowerShot G16. The program will of however do raw development on files from that camera.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #14  
Old August 2nd, 2015, 11:26 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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I had reported before thus:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
Indeed, after conversion of the CR2 raw file to a DNG file with Adobe RAW [sic] Converter, and the loading of that DNG file, the capabilities of various image editing programs to perform correction of lens distortion and so forth work in the usual way (I presume as well as ever).

In the case of Photoshop w/ACR, the proper lens correction profile (from the collection provided with ACR) is invoked automatically.
That turns out to be overoptimistic.

Indeed, in Photoshop, equipped with Adobe Camera Raw, from a DNG file the proper lens correction profile is taken into account (assuming it is one provided for in that version of ACR, which is of course limited by the version of Photoshop in use).

But, with respect to Raw Therapee, it will automatically apply the proper lens correction profile (from those provided by way of ACR) for a camera raw file (CR2) but not from the corresponding DNG file.

Also, curiously enough, while the program will gladly perform lens distortion correction and such an a JPG file, it will not automatically apply the proper lens correction profile (even if available in the applicable ACR repertoire).

These may be unintentional bugs in the program, and as soon as I learn how, I will report these as presumed anomalies.

PTLens only operates on developed image files (e.g., JPG) and thus this matter does not pertain.

Best regards,

Doug
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