My search for a raw processing default starting point goes on, this time in Lightroom. If anyone would like to try my current one out, I would be grateful for feedback. As I have said elsewhere, my goal is to get a basic quality colour output from raw. I want to see whatever sharpness is there without excessive grain, contrast or sharpening. As I photograph a lot of people, I also want something that makes skin tones look ok.
At the moment I am using as starting point Lightroom settings:-
Clarity: 50 (the files seem to need a mid-tone contrast boost and it's easier to do it here than in Photoshop).
Contrast: 20 - 25 (depending on subject, often with highlight and / or shadow recovery)
Luminance NR : 0
Colour NR : 25 (LRM default, OK for low ISOs and I think I will have to look to Raw Developer for noise reduction at 400 ISO and over).
Sharpening amount : somewhere between 65 and 100, (lower for people, higher for places and things)
Sharpening radius : 0.90 - 1 (ish)
Detail : 25 (LRM default - Someone will have to explain this one to me: this is the one slider that can really mess up your pictures Very easy to get a neo-reticulation effect which, for me, doesn't really have that much to do with detail but appears rather as a texture laid over the image. Maybe I have misunderstood something? It also seems that if this is done wrong the resulting images up-res very badly.)
I also have a Photoshop action that does a USM of +100% with a radius of 1 and then fades to luminosity mode. This gives a reasonable added crispness to the files that come out of Lightroom with the above settings. I could (should?) give this a miss on professional jobs, assuming that my clients will sharpen according to their output but experience tells me that the probably won't be bothered to do so and that I had better take care of it myself...
Of course, these settings are not written in stone. They depend on subject, light, taste... but I think I am slowly making progress. Or maybe someone has a better, different, approach?
Maybe I should add one last comment. Whilst I understand the discussion about the difference in "fingerprint" between the GRD and GRD2, my take is somewhat different. I want to use the camera profssionally (and this is absolutely not a pro vs enthusiast thing!). I am very rarely asked to work in black and white and when I use different cameras in colour I need there to be a homogenous colour look. Gritty (from the Ricoh) and smooth (from my Canons) versions of the same picture can't really be delivered to a client at the same time. I'm starting to think that the less gritty look of the GRD2, if you can get the sharpening right, is more suited to colour photographs of people in this context. But then I always preferred D76 and a cold cathode to Rodinal and a condenser head...