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RAW Conventions

Discussion in 'X-T2, X-T1, X-T20, X-T10' started by Rneedle, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. Rneedle

    Rneedle New Member

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    Folks,

    I am new to the world of photography and just bought my first serious camera, the Fuji X-T20. The first thing I am trying to do is to set up a simple workflow between LR, Iridient Developer, PS, and--if I have to--Bridge.

    I would like to use both LR and Iridient on the same RAW file and compare the results. Each program has certain advantages (not to mention that the hedges I photographed look very crunchy on LR). Am I correct in believing that I can use a single RAW file for both programs in the sense that when LR writes a 'sidecar'(not sure of the proper term) to the RAW and Iridient does the same, that when I use the file in LR, the Iridient changes are simply not read and visa versa?

    I don't know if I am violating any forum guidelines (its my first post) but I have a second question. When I look through the branches of trees on a photo I see a darkening of the blue color--the closer the branches are, the bluer the intervening sky. It is not fringing(or I think chromatic aberration) , since the darker color is not confined close to the branches. Is this a lens problem, or have I simply not been noticing that this is what I have been seeing all these years when I look at a landscape?

    Thanks for your help,

    Richard
     
  2. Shadowside

    Shadowside Good Glass is Forever...

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    Welcome to both Photography and this forum @Rneedle :)

    I don't use that combination, although I have used each of those products so here is what I would do if I were adopting those tools:

    1. I would use Fast Raw Viewer (and still do btw) or Photo Mechanic to weed my shots down to the keepers only and sue PM as my main database for RAF files.
    2. Used Iridient to convert RAF to TIFF in batch mode keeping all RAFs in an archive folder and saving all the exported Tiffs to a 'Processed' folder
    3. Import my processed 'keepers' into LR from the 'Processed' folder and edit as required.
    4. Use LR as my library/catalog database for processed work (TIFFs, etc.)
    5. I would never change file names unless I changed the RAF file name as well as the tiff names would help me find the RAF if later I needed to.
    Iridient has recently launched a RAF converter that is really quite excellent at rendering RAF files, arguably better than most others. However, using Iridient means having a multi part workflow as well as having a much larger file storage requirement (not a deal breaker but should still be considered).

    You are correct that LR is non-destructive, it writes meta data that indicates what changes are to be applied when viewing/printing/exporting each image from within the application. Iridient will convert your files, but I can't recall if it keeps the original or not, a couple of sample tests will answer that for you, or another member :) No matter which, for me I trust nothing. I always make copies of my keepers after weeding and then archive the originals and import the copies... just in case :) Besides, this way if something goes horribly wrong during any importing or moving, I have my originals.

    LR does have what most think is the best UI in the field and although its development of RAF files is arguably inferior to some others, it has clearly been used to create some world-class & breath taking images so in the right hands it remains a viable option.

    I haven't noticed the fringing you speak of in any but the most contrasty images, and I have attributed it to the developer as experimentation with other products produces various results and I have been able to either eliminate or reduce it to insignificant levels. Others may have different experiences.

    Enjoy, good shooting, and I look forward to seeing some of your images :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  3. vague_logic

    vague_logic Premium Member

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    The answer to the second question is probably a matter of perception. The blue is all the same however, when it is bordered by darker elements it will also appear darker. The closer together the dark borders are the darker the sky looks. The opposite is true as well; if you photograph the sky and have say a section of it seen through a white painted mesh then the sky in that area will appear lighter than the rest of the sky in the image. I have used this effect to make abstract optical illusions,
     
  4. Rneedle

    Rneedle New Member

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    Thanks to Shadowside and vague logic!

    Shadowside: You have given me some very good ideas about how to process RAW Fuji files. My main goal is to postpone going to .tiff files until necessary. In your workflow you are using LR on .tiff files, but I would like to use LR as a parallel RAW processor to test this aspect of its program vs Iridient. It seems that I could just finish processing in Irident as you suggest, exporting .tiff into a processed folder, and keeping the RAW files separate to be processed again in LR. Where I am having trouble understanding the work flow is this: Suppose I simultaneously process the same RAW file in LR and Iridient and save the RAW changes in Iridient but simply close LR to leave additional processing for another session. I close both programs and open them later. It seems that I still have a single RAW file but have two different modifications applied to them. Perplexed.

    vague logic: Your observations on visual processing are extremely interesting. As you might suspect there is a very large scientific literature on visual processing since it is one of the most accessible brain circuits. I will take a look there to see if there is any discussion of this--but as unlikely as it may seem, you may have made a unique observation...

    Thanks to you both. I am very grateful for your help.
     
  5. Shadowside

    Shadowside Good Glass is Forever...

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    If I understand correctly, you might have some troubles using your approach with accessing the same file with two applications at the same time. Although you can save changes in side-car metadata sets, there are some functions and edits found in one application that may not be interpreted correctly in the other. This could cause issues with either presentation or even cause one of your applications to lock up or misbehave.

    In my approach, regardless of the applications I use (and I use Capture 1, not LR), I do not 'inter mix' processing. In your case, I would use Iridient X-Transformer to do basic conversion of the 'keeper' RAF files, I would use LR to perform edits and cataloging, printing, etc. I would not re-open my files in Iridient as they have already been converted and this tool has served its purpose. LR is far more mature and friendly in use than Iridient for all the other tasks I would be performing. I should say too, that I would only use this combination for RAF files because I really don't like LR rendering of them. For other raw files, like Nikon, Pentax, et., I find LR to be as good as anything else so why complicate things?

    You cannot 'Simultaneously' use two applications on the same file, even with plugins you are using a clone and within LR the RAW remains untouched. I think the term 'workflow' is well chosen as it describes how we go from one process/tool to the other sequentially and usually contiguously as well. I prefer the tonal and detail rendering of C1 and as such don't use Iridient. I, and several others, have tested the two side by each and have not found there to be the same advantage in the raw file development there is if you are using LR. However do keep in mind that personal preference will (and should) always win out over pixel peeping and technical evidence for we are driven by things we aesthetically like, not always by things that are technically superior (sharper is not always better :) )

    If you are starting out, I would learn LR and tinker with it before branching out to other tools that may only complicate your learning curve. There is much out there to play with but in the end you might find the simpler things leading to shooting more often and a greater sense of satisfaction by mastering the one tool. Just my thoughts for what they are worth.

    Whatever your approach, good shooting to you :)
     
  6. Rneedle

    Rneedle New Member

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    Hi again,

    I am taking up too much of your time, though again I greatly appreciate the care you are taking in your reply. But if you are interested try this:
    1. Open RAW in LR
    2. Reduce exp so it is very dark
    3. Open same RAW in Iridient or the C1 program you use.
    4. Increase exposure so it is very light.
    Here I tried to quit Iridient but could not without rendering the file to .tiff (Though I could force a quit with no real problem on the Mac).
    5. Closed LR and Iridient.
    6. Opened both. The LR RAW is very dark. The Iridient RAW is very light.
    Looks like I can do the parallel processing, though I still don't understand how--unless the modifications are program specific.

    I'm just trying to compare the RAW processing in LR and Iridient. Its likely that as you implied, some images will be just fine in LR and others I might prefer the advanced RAW processing of Iridient, though I confess that understanding all the controls in Iridient is going to take a lot of time. I often can't even see the changes that are supposed to occur with the sliders. I am not very fussy, or rather I rather take pictures than try to make minor tweaks that nobody, probably me included, will really care about. I don't want to know too much more at this stage than I need to for simply making acceptable prints.

    Its just an attempt to understand the playing field in photo processing at the initial stages of a new hobby.

    Thanks again.



    Richard
     
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  7. Shadowside

    Shadowside Good Glass is Forever...

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    Regardless of the outcome. it sounds like you are having great fun :) And learning long the way too. Yes, the meta data you create is clearly readable to both applications, which is pretty cool.
     
  8. ebruder

    ebruder Premium Member

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    Rneedle, let me suggest a completely different approach. You say you are both new and want to keep to a simple work flow. Keep with just LR and PS. Go out and shoot pictures. The differences between the results of the various post processing programs is slight. Yes, there are some avid proponents of non-Adobe products, but these are usually from those who know how to wring every last drop of performance from various application.

    Just import into LR, fine tune your image there, and LR does do a very fine job with RAF files, and then edit in PS if/as needed.

    Enjoy!

    EB
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  9. adamjbonn

    adamjbonn adambonn.com

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    Nothing to add on the workflow comments

    But the light/dark halo thing can sometimes be caused by uppng the contrast or other contrast adjustments
     
  10. Rneedle

    Rneedle New Member

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    Hi ebruder,

    I think you are right. I went to Iridient because the first shot I took to test the camera was just a photo of my yard--its cold in Ann Arbor. The hedges looked terrible in LR, so I bought Iridient. However, the other RAW files I've been looking at in both LR and Iridient look fine. But I have been making a rookie mistake: To try to learn PS, LR, Bridge, Iridient etc I have been using files that are really not worth the effort. It will be more sensible to take some better photos and spend my time exploring these programs-- and only when they are truly needed.

    I am reformed,

    Richard
     
  11. ebruder

    ebruder Premium Member

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    Richard,
    Let me also suggest that you shoot in RAW plus JPG. Fuji's jpgs are really excellent and you either just use these for quite some time or if you are determined to do post production on RAW files, the jpg images will give you a pretty good idea of where you might want to be.

    Again, enjoy your new camera and photography.

    EB
     
  12. tomtofa

    tomtofa Premium Member

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    As you are finding out, you can use both Iridient and LR on the same .raf file. Iridient copies the unmodified .raf to develop, and sends back a .tif. I do the same as what you're thinking of sometimes, but more and more I'm just using Iridient to develop and LR/Nik, etc. to tweak. LR is sometimes almost as good as Iridient, but I've found that Iridient is never worse than LR...

    For your second question - not sure. Could you post something that shows the effect you are seeing?
     
  13. AdrianG

    AdrianG Premium Member

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    The matter of the second question could have a number of reasons, most notably micro contrast having a different scope at different physical magnifications and varying exposure due to different distribution of light at different physical magnifications.

    For the first question: Did you ever consider your cameras excellent own RAW conversion expertise and colour science? Even experts have a hard time to match the quality of Fuji's OOC JPEG's. Just saying...
     
  14. Rneedle

    Rneedle New Member

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    Folks,

    Thanks again for the suggestions.

    I am shooting RAW+FINE, but even if the JEPGs were always better than what I could manage I think I would try to process at least some images further. I've made more photos worse than I have made better using LR, PS, and NIK but strangely that is what I think a hobby should be. I am not in an 'artistic' field, and I enjoy thinking about the photos and what I should do to 'improve' them. Making a complete mess of the process is what separates a hobby from a professional calling. In America if a shade tree mechanic doesn't completely botch a repair job occasionally what kind of hobby is that? A hobby is tinkering, and I am learning a lot that helps me appreciate the real photographic artists even more.

    An interesting question--which I am too new to answer--is what the vast number of photo enthusiasts hope to get and are getting from their hobby. I don't think that family and friends really care about the photos we show them. If a relative said that he/she collected stamps most would find that mildly interesting but would not be interested in going over the stamp album looking at colonial US stamps. Luckily my wife is now interested in photography and she bought a Panasonic ZS100 to replace her iPhone camera. Our aesthetic tastes are very different, and this gives us something(more) to argue about. It is also interesting to go out and shoot the same subjects and compare...

    Some of my JEPGs look very bad from the X-T20 though correctly exposed according to the EXIF. My RAW files and JEPGs from my Sony MX100 M3 look fine. I don't know now whether this is due to the fact that I might have had H and S at +2 or not, but even the RAWs from my first session with the camera are difficulty to correct in LR but look much better though somewhat problematic in IR. I never expected to say this, since I have seen professional photographers argue about subtleties comparing LR and IR that I definitely can't see, and suspect if I did see them, wouldn't care. I need to shoot much more and more in varied conditions now that I am more familiar with the X-T20. A week is not enough time to reach a conclusion. I've attached one of the 'artefacts' that I referenced in my initial post.
    Blue artefact.jpg

    Thanks again to all who took the time to answer. I've got to go back now and butcher some photos...

    Richard
     
  15. AdrianG

    AdrianG Premium Member

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    Aye mate, they really don't, do they? Well actually, it depends on how you present your photos. Maybe you are too young to remember, but a few years back, all the enthusiasts shot transparencies. Slides, right? My uncle, a lifetime professional officer and royal artillery colonel, was one of them. Each time we visited him, even at the most glorious of days, he took us to his windowless library. There he projected his bloody slides of every conceivable overseas place he had been to in his career. It was bloody torture. Today, everybody tries to bore their visitors to death with slide shows on their ultra large computer displays. Trust me, the only positive effect of slide shows is to put somebody asleep, who usually takes prescripion drugs for the purpose.

    Instead, take your favourite shot of your childers to a shop, where they know what they do. Have them prepare the file for print. Pay them to enlarge it onto some nice, fiber based chemical photo paper and professionally mount and frame it. Then give this to your childers grand parents. Not on christmas, just some random day. THAT will be rewarding. Don't force your photography onto people. Go the print way. Put your very best on your walls, as large as they support, and let your folks discover them on their own. They will draw attention, they will be noticed, not only by your folk, but even more importantly by yourself.

    This is going to give you rather hard images. If that's what you are looking for, great. But you have very little wiggle room for your exposure that way. I suggest you set your shadows to 0 and your highlights to -2. If you want more contrast, you can still adjust that later. JPEG's are not cast in stone, they can be tweaked just like RAF's.

    Cheers!
     
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  16. Doug Pardee

    Doug Pardee Member

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    The change in sky color is caused by a combination of two things:
    1. The sky is overexposed, with the blue channel blown out, and
    2. the foliage is out of focus.
    The blur from the out-of-focus foliage reduces the brightness of the sky a bit, giving you a color that's closer to the original sky color.

    It's not that the sky around the foliage is bluer, it's that the big expanse of sky is partially blown out.

    The key is to keep from blowing out the sky. Reduce the exposure a bit, or use a polarizing or gradient ND filter. DR200 or DR400 might also help.
     
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  17. minor7flat5

    minor7flat5 Well-Known Member

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    Well put.

    My step mother has a habit of narrating a huge stack of photos from their latest globetrotting and I find that tedious and boring.

    Because of this, for the past decade or so I have been creating thin printed photo albums for any vacations. Nothing fancy: those albums that Apple's photo applications let you make and print for forty bucks or so.
    Each photo book has perhaps 35 very well selected photos, with thoughtful captions. Guests always pick them up and flip through them.
    Nobody would ever want to see the 1,500 photos from a cross-country road trip, but the thin non-intimidating coffee table book is neat to pick up and flip through. And if I chose 35 photos out of 1,500, you can bet that they are all amazing shots.

    A few years ago I hung black sheet metal rectangles here and there around the house: I use those tiny rare-earth magnets to attach prints I like to the black backgrounds. Visitors often comment on one or two of the photographs.
     
  18. Rneedle

    Rneedle New Member

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    Doug,

    I took the photo at 1/250, f9 with focus on a car that was 5 feet away; the tree was at 40 feet. It was literally my first shot with the X-t20 and meant just to check that everything was working and to see what the RAW and JPEG files would look like from the camera. I naively thought that f9 would give me a depth of field adequate for the tree, but I see it didn't. Need more mindfulness with more attention to the histogram. Could not recover with the IR extreme highlight slider or by any other trick in post.

    But I am relieved that it is not something intrinsic to the 18-55mm lens.

    Thanks for your expert analysis.

    Richard
     
  19. colonel

    colonel Well-Known Member

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    Hi, sorry if you have answered this before, but why convert to TIFF and not DNG for editing in Lightroom (using Irident X Transformer) ?
    rgds
     
  20. Rneedle

    Rneedle New Member

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    Hi Shadowside,

    Given the expertise on this forum I certainly am not the one to ask. But my (limited) understanding is that due to the non-Bayer nature of the Fuji sensors it is difficult to directly obtain a DMG file from them; that is the standard Adobe DMG converter can not 'make sense' of the raw data stored in the Fuji.

    However, Iridient just put out a converter called Iridient Developer that can do just that. I have no idea why anyone wants this--but Iridient must know that there is a demand for such a thing. Everyone seems to say that we should all covert our files to DMG so that 100 years from now they can still be read in a world where presumably tiff and jepgs have disappeared. If anyone 100 years from now wants to see my photos, the future will be even more bleak than I can imagine.

    Keep frosty,
    R
     

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