Potential Lightroom Convert with Questions

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Potential Lightroom Convert with Questions

Postby Class A » Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:34 pm

Hi,

this is mainly meant for the Capture One developers. Please let me know if you'd rather receive a support request and/or have the following split up.

I've been using Lightroom for four years now, but am unhappy with a number of aspects. Capture One looks very promising, but I have a couple of question:

1. DNG Support
There are different types of DNG files:

I) original, as produced by a camera (say a Pentax K-3).
II) converted, using a DNG converter from an original camera RAW file (say using the Adobe DNG converter).

Is type II) supported at all?
I have a large collection of K100D DNG files which I had to convert from the original PEF format (which was not compressed and would have taken tons of disk space). Would I be able to use these converted DNGs in Capture One with an appropriate camera profile (i.e., not a generic one)?

Will type I) always be supported?
I have a K-5 II and shot DNG. Can I use these files and will I be able to use the DNG format for future Pentax cameras? Or is there a possibility that only the PEF version of a Pentax camera is supported?

2. Camera Profiles
I'd like to be able to create or at least tweak my own camera profiles.
According to an older thread on "color calibration" there does not appear to be the equivalent of the X-rite color passport profile creator for Capture One.

What are my options to create profiles for certain lighting conditions and/or tweak existing profiles to my linking?

EDIT: Judging from ChrisM's message apparently the "Advanced Color Editor" can tweak/generate camera profiles. That's great.!

3. Live Brush
Is it possible to first set the effect of a local adjustment and then brush it in, seeing the effect being applied live during brushing?

All videos I've been able to find, first brush a (visible) mask and then set the effect. I find that unsatisfactory.

4. Layer Strength
It looks like there is no way to define the "strength" of a layer after the fact, is that correct?

What I'm after is similar to the "opacity"-level of a PS layer, but rather equivalent to the ability of Lightroom to adjust the strength of a brushed adjustment. If you click on a brush pin in Lightroom and drag the mouse left/right, Lightroom will adjust all effects associated to that "mask" proportionally.

Often, when revisiting an image, I find that I'd like to tone down a certain adjustment (say "iris enhance") and if that particular effect consists of many edits that work together (say brightness & saturation & clarity edits), it is very convenient to be able to tone them all down in sync (proportionally). It is the latter what I'm after, not a real PS-opacity-level.

Of course, it should be possible to not only "tone done" (<100%) but also "exaggerate" (>100%).

5. Colour to Mask Conversion
The Colour editor in Capture One appears to be very powerful, in particular because of the flexible and precise method of specifying a target colour (range).

However, it appears one then can only apply certain, colour-related, changes.

Have you considered the idea of using the Colour editor controls to define a mask to which one can then apply any effect, such as tone curve control, clarity, including colour transformations?

6. Comparing to Previous Image Versions
Often the best way of judging whether a set of edits actually improve the image is to compare the latest version against an earlier one.

This is possible in Capture One if one has the clairvoyance of creating a version at the very step that you later want to compare against. I typically lack that clairvoyance and also wouldn't want to pollute my catalogue with such intermediate editing versions.

In Lightroom a single key press ("\") is sufficient to compare the latest version of an image against a previous one. One can pick the "previous one" out of the history of edits.

Any chance something similar to this is going to be implemented?
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Re: Potential Lightroom Convert with Questions

Postby sizzlingbadger » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:15 am

1) dng support is pretty crap imho. My dng files converted from Nikon NEF using ACR have awful colours in CO, you lose the auto lens corrections too. Native dng is probably ok though.

2) You can create icc profiles using the colour editor or expensive 3rd party tools. You can't use the xrite colour checker to make calibrated profiles like LR. (I have yet to get the icc profiles from the colour editor to remain active once selected, they seem to disappear)

3) I don't think so

4) Nope

5) Nope again

6) You have to hit reset and then hit ctrl-z to undo it or create a copy and compare them. I agree it should be easier.
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Re: Potential Lightroom Convert with Questions

Postby mli20 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:52 am

A couple of suggestions/workarounds:

Ad. 3):

1. Add a new layer
2. Use the sliders to set the adjustments
3. Use the brush or gradient mask to apply them to the image

Ad. 4):

1. Apply adjustments at 50% brush opacity
2. Repeat brushstrokes whereever a stronger effect is needed
3. Use the eraser with opacity set to less than 100% to weaken the effect

Cheers,
Mogens
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Re: Potential Lightroom Convert with Questions

Postby Paul_Steunebrink » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:21 pm

1. Native file formats, i.e. not converted to DNG, give best results, as others mentioned already. Some cameras like Pentax seems to be able to produced both native DNG and another format like PEF. As far as I know, only one format (typically PEF in that case) is recognized as the native format.

2. You answered that already yourself. To be able to use the newly created profile as the default, make it so from the Base Characteristics tool’s action menu (small triangle @ the right).

3. Yes, you can. It is actually pretty awesome to brush with an adjustment set beforehand. Make sure the mask itself is not shown.

4. User Mogens already explained the trick. Brush at any opacity setting you like. Weaken the effect with the Eraser set to a certain (less then 100%) opacity.

5. Ask Phase One in a support case as a kind of feature request.

6. Create Variants, virtual copies of your image. A new variant does not carry any adjustment, a clone variant does. You can also temporarily reset any specific adjustment at a time by holding the Alt-key while hitting the tool’s reset symbol.
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Re: Potential Lightroom Convert with Questions

Postby sizzlingbadger » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:05 pm

3) yes you can, I don't know why I was thinking you can't do that as I do it all the time, must have been before my morning coffee.

4) No you can't - the workarounds/tricks above are not the same as being able to globally reduce/increase the opacity of a layer.
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Re: Potential Lightroom Convert with Questions

Postby SFA » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:57 pm

sizzlingbadger wrote:
4) No you can't - the workarounds/tricks above are not the same as being able to globally reduce/increase the opacity of a layer.


True and I would agree with the desirability of global adjustments after the initial adjustment has been applied. However I have an application that allows such post application adjustment ... but is more challenging to 'paint' on adjustments that vary according to need for each part of the image. The ability to use a (reversible) digital metaphor for the old dodge and burn darkroom techniques offers its own power - in a painterly sort of way. It probably works best with a high end artists digital tablet. And, of course, an 'artist' with an eye to make best use of it. (That certainly does not describe me!)


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Re: Potential Lightroom Convert with Questions

Postby Class A » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:17 pm

sizzlingbadger wrote:1) dng support is pretty crap imho. My dng files converted from Nikon NEF using ACR have awful colours in CO, you lose the auto lens corrections too.

Too bad. :(

sizzlingbadger wrote:2) You can create icc profiles using the colour editor or expensive 3rd party tools. You can't use the xrite colour checker to make calibrated profiles like LR. (I have yet to get the icc profiles from the colour editor to remain active once selected, they seem to disappear)

This is not encouraging.

It is great that one can tweak existing profiles with the color editor, but there should be a way to create a starting point for tweaking systematically (that isn't expensive).
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Re: Potential Lightroom Convert with Questions

Postby Class A » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:22 pm

mli20 wrote:Ad. 4):

1. Apply adjustments at 50% brush opacity
2. Repeat brushstrokes whereever a stronger effect is needed
3. Use the eraser with opacity set to less than 100% to weaken the effect

Thanks, but this doesn't do the trick.

First, using an eraser does not make it easy to weaken the effect homogeneously. I don't want to change the mask while weakening (or strengthening) the effect.

Second, the overall effect may be composed from several tools (gradient tool + brush tool, for instance). The weakening (strengthening) should apply to all tools that were used in a particular layer.

Note that in Lightroom layers are implicit; you don't have to explicitly manage them. If one goes through the effort of creating and naming layers explicitly, there should be some return to the investment, e.g., the ability to influence layer strength after the fact.
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Re: Potential Lightroom Convert with Questions

Postby Class A » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:40 pm

Paul_Steunebrink wrote:1. Native file formats, i.e. not converted to DNG, give best results, as others mentioned already. Some cameras like Pentax seems to be able to produced both native DNG and another format like PEF. As far as I know, only one format (typically PEF in that case) is recognized as the native format.

Too bad.

I find that unnecessarily restrictive. The main effort is in demosaicing and colour profile support. Supporting the core functionality with one more additional file format is not that hard but would be really useful to some users.

Paul_Steunebrink wrote:3. Yes, you can. It is actually pretty awesome to brush with an adjustment set beforehand.

Thanks!

Paul_Steunebrink wrote:4. User Mogens already explained the trick. Brush at any opacity setting you like. Weaken the effect with the Eraser set to a certain (less then 100%) opacity.

Thanks, but please see my previous post why this is not an adequate solution.

Paul_Steunebrink wrote:5. Ask Phase One in a support case as a kind of feature request.

I'm not a CO user yet. It would feel awkward to open a support case without being a user.

I've noticed the PO responses to a lot of posts to this forum. I'm interpreting their lack of response to this thread as a lack of interest to accommodate my particular needs.


Paul_Steunebrink wrote:6. Create Variants, virtual copies of your image. A new variant does not carry any adjustment, a clone variant does. You can also temporarily reset any specific adjustment at a time by holding the Alt-key while hitting the tool’s reset symbol.

As I wrote, I would not want to pollute my catalogue with intermediate versions that I just need for comparison purposes. Having to delete them every time after working on an image would be tedious. Worse, you never know when to create one of these for future reference.

Being able to temporarily reset one tool is good, but not good enough because often a particular editing direction involves many tools and you want to be able to judge whether the combined use of many tools is an improvement or not.
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To PO: Disappointed with lack of Response

Postby Class A » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:50 pm

Thanks for all the CO users who contributed to this thread.

I'd like to express my disappointment about the lack of response from PO, though.

I understand that you are busy and that responding to my suggested feature additions may be tricky, but the question regarding DNG support (out-of-camera-DNG & converted-DNG) is an important one.

Any potential customer contemplating to switch to CO should know PO's policy regarding DNG support. The answers should really be part of the FAQ.

I may play with an evaluation copy of CO in the future, but to be honest, I'm not too motivated given that
  1. existing color profiles can be inadequate (-> Pentax K-3),
  2. there does not appear to be an affordable way (à la X-rite colorchecker passport) for users to create their own, and
  3. there is no apparent commitment to supporting DNG.
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Re: To PO: Disappointed with lack of Response

Postby Paul_Steunebrink » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:30 pm

Class A wrote:...
I'd like to express my disappointment about the lack of response from PO, though.

You are entirely free to have your assessment, but I do not share it.

This is a user-to-user forum, and occasionally Phase One support may chime in. Your course of action should be to open a support case to get a direct response. Phase One is one of the good examples of a company who gives support before you become a (buying) client.
Best regards,
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Re: Potential Lightroom Convert with Questions

Postby Class A » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:23 pm

For what it's worth, I'd like to report on my experience on giving Capture One 9 a good look.

As soon as I saw that CO 9 supports general DNG files (i.e., converted DNG files in addition to camera-native DNG files), I thought it is time to check it out.

The general DNG support added in CO 9 addressed item 1. of my original list of questions, and it works fine with my existing files. Excellent!

Regarding "2. Camera Profiles", I found the included profile to be of such high quality that I probably won't be needing to create my own at all. I look forward to checking it with an extended colour checker reference and perhaps doing some tweaks, but I'm extremely delighted with what I have seen from the standard profile so far. Much better than what my Lightroom version can offer.

Regarding my "3. Live Brush" question, it works very nicely and I look forward to configuring my ShuttlePRO to get immediate control on brush size and hardness, without having to use the right-click dialogue or the keyboard.

Point "4. Layer Strength" does not appear to have an equivalent in CO 9 but I was excited to see that my suggestion "5. Colour to Mask Conversion" has been implemented. Great stuff!

Point "6. Comparing to Previous Image Versions" still could use better support, AFAIC. An explicit edit history list would allow to pick a reference version to compare to (by pointing to a corresponding edit step, without clairvoyance required) and would make it easier to see how far one has gone undoing steps as well.

So far I'm very excited about the DNG support, the great image quality out of the box with no mucking about with colours needed, and the extremely flexible user interface.

Finally, responses from PhaseOne to my tickets (couple of bug reports and feature requests) have been superb.

Hope my first very positive impressions with CO 9 will be further confirmed because I'd appreciate to say "good bye" to Ligthroom for multiple reasons. At the moment, it very much looks like this Lightroom veteran has found a new exciting home! :)
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