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Interesting: DarkTable for Windows

Discussion in 'Fuji X Post Processing' started by ysarex, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    DarkTable has previously only been available for Linux and MAC OS. They're not even calling it a beta but it runs. I downloaded and installed it on a Windows 10 system no trouble. I've been using it on Windows for the last two days and it's been working with my Fuji X-T2 RAF files (kinda slow). I've maintained a Linux distro primarily to have access to DarkTable -- looks like I may be able to let that go.

    DarkTable takes some getting used to but it's a very capable raw converter and another option that doesn't turn X-Trans fine detail into mush. Just processed this photo of my wife's hydrangea using DarkTable.

    hydrenga.jpg

    Oh yeah, and it's free.
     
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  2. Irene McC

    Irene McC Premium Member

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    Looking good!

    I've never heard of this before - can you shed some light (see what I did there?) on this please? I'm currently looking at their web page.
    It's still in Beta for Windoze (I'm running a Win7 box)

    Would you recommend giving this a spin or is it still too buggy / complex a learning curve?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  3. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    Complex learning curve? Yes. DarkTable is GNU license-volunteer-developer software and so it lacks the polish of a commercial product. However it is very capable software with an impressive feature set. It's been around for the better part of a decade available on Linux and MAC OS. If you're a Windoze user you're not likely to have heard about it.

    I've kept a copy running for some years now because no one raw converter does it all and DarkTable's feature set is unique, eg. if you'd like to see how your photo looks using a different demosaicing algorithm can you do that in LR? Every once in awhile I encounter a photo where I think DarkTable would do a good job, however if you're looking for a recommendation that's easy: Get a copy of Capture One and don't look back. 95% of my work is done in C1.

    I haven't encountered bug failures with this Windows version in the last three days I've been testing it, but I expect they're there -- no clue about what it would do on Win7.
     
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  4. Irene McC

    Irene McC Premium Member

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    thank you for your reply. Hmmm... well, it's not command line driven, is it?
    As long as there's some kind of friendly user interface, I'm happy to give it a try when I have a few moments of free time available.
     
  5. merlinus

    merlinus Well-Known Member

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    Two other FOSS cross-platform programs you might consider are LightZone and RawTherapee.
     
  6. Irene McC

    Irene McC Premium Member

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    I remember checking out RawTherapee. Didn't get on too well with it though.
     
  7. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    No, it's not command line driven -- the UI is up to modern standards. If anything it suffers from the malady common to GNU license-volunteer-developer-team software: There's no marketing department to review what they're doing and say, "No, we're not letting you put that in the software. It's too complicated and too esoteric and our average user base isn't going to appreciate it let alone understand it."

    Here's a screen shot of the UI.

    darktable.jpg
     
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  8. Irene McC

    Irene McC Premium Member

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    Thank you! I also looked at the screenshots they have up on their website. It looks very capable!
    Just a whole new ballgame (again!)
     
  9. merlinus

    merlinus Well-Known Member

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    Can it open X-T2 compressed raw files?
     
  10. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    Yes, no problem.
     
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  11. davidfvj

    davidfvj Active Member

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    "No, it's not command line driven -- the UI is up to modern standards. If anything it suffers from the malady common to GNU license-volunteer-developer-team software: There's no marketing department to review what they're doing and say, "No, we're not letting you put that in the software. It's too complicated and too esoteric and our average user base isn't going to appreciate it let alone understand it.""

    What a strange comment ... Programs should be driven by USERS and not an in house Marketing Department.
    The writer obviously has lived in Windoze La La land for too long.
    darktable responds very quickly to both the needs of its users and to worthwhile development ideas that are offered.
     
  12. gfcphotography

    gfcphotography New Member

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    Another positive for Dartktable - I started looking at alternatives for the Adobe subscription when they whacked a big increase earlier this year and found Darktable. Apart from Iridient which I rarely use now I found it to give the best results for my RAF files (compressed and uncompressed). Now I have 9 months to learn Darktable up to the same level I know LR and Photoshop!! Stick with it as it is complicated at first but there are loads of modules and features - just got to find them all!

    There is a good guide to Darktable here in downloadable PDF format

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    Best of all it is free and regularly updated!
     
  13. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    Amazing ability you have there. You know so much about me from just one sentence!

    And yet you make this assertion as if to suggest my statement contradicts it? Wow! It must be your uncanny discernment power! You knew I was thinking that DarkTable doesn't respond quickly to users needs and worthwhile ideas even when I didn't say that or realize I was thinking that! Awesome!
     
  14. Irene McC

    Irene McC Premium Member

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    Just a thought : @ysarex would it be possible for you to do an edit of the above image in another RAW processor (like ACR) and show us the difference?
    Would you expect one to be quite different to the other or would the end result come out much the same, do you think?
     
  15. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    Yes, I'll do that but I'll select one or more different images that better illustrate the software's capabilities. Hang in there and I'll get back with that soon.
     
  16. Irene McC

    Irene McC Premium Member

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    Brilliant! I'm happy to hear such a positive response from you and do look forward to seeing what you'll show us!
     
  17. jknights

    jknights Moderator Staff Member

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    I have Darktable installed on my Macs and find it useful and sometimes prefer it for my B&W images. The different interface of Lightzone which uses the zone system concepts rather than the Level/Curves of other RAW processing software is also good. RawTherapee is different again and like all has strengths and weaknesses.


    I think there is no single 'best' RAW processing software but that you need to use the most appropriate one to suit your vision of the final image.
     
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  18. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    Thanks for waiting -- been out all day running errands. So here's the same raw file from a Fuji X-T2 processed in both Adobe ACR/LR as you requested (most current version) and also in Darktable. They're full resolution so I can't post them here directly -- Dropbox links instead:

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    I selected a file with lots of fine natural detail. I made a modest effort to match tone response and less so to match color. That's possible with the software and enough effort. What can't be done is to match the way fine detail is rendered. I did the best I could with each program but therein are some of the more substantial differences.
     
  19. Irene McC

    Irene McC Premium Member

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    Thank you so very much. I will have to wait to look in the morning and check it on computer (currently 3am here)
     
  20. Irene McC

    Irene McC Premium Member

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    amazing how much more of the leaf detail is visible in the DarkTable conversion. All in all I think I prefer the COLOUR tones of the ACR (the DT appears more yellow/green) but the detail is certainly superior in DarkTable, for sure.
     

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