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Thread: XE-1 files look painterly

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    XE-1 files look painterly

    Hello all, I am usually on the Sony Forum, but I do have and use occasionally, an XE-1 that came with the nice kit zoom lens. I notice that foliage detail when looking at enlarged images have a painterly look to them. I have noticed this in the past. Is this the result of processing with Lightroom or is the result of the X Trans Sensor? These files are just unacceptable as is.
    Regards,
    J. Paul

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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    Quote Originally Posted by jpaulmoore View Post
    Hello all, I am usually on the Sony Forum, but I do have and use occasionally, an XE-1 that came with the nice kit zoom lens. I notice that foliage detail when looking at enlarged images have a painterly look to them. I have noticed this in the past. Is this the result of processing with Lightroom or is the result of the X Trans Sensor? These files are just unacceptable as is.
    Regards,
    J. Paul
    It's the combination of LR and the X Trans sensor.
    Try the following sharpening setting:
    amount:35 radius:10 detail:100 masking:10

    Processing in either Capture One or Iridient gives me much better results
    maurice da silva solis
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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    Thanks for the information and the recipe!
    Regards,
    J. Paul

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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    archiM44, could you please clarify the sharpening settings? Radius only goes to 3.
    Regards,
    J. Paul

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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    Hi, I had recently investigated this issue as I had recently purchased an X-E1 and my conclusion is that LR is absolutely the wrong choice for processing Fuji X-Trans files. It doesn't matter what settings you use, LR will make fine detail look like watercolor when it comes to Fuji files. Please see here (Includes full res test images): RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files

    Here are 100% crops of the files to show the difference between LR and C1P for the same test file: (Before output sharpening, only RAW presharpening done)



    My recommendation is to use C1P to process the Fuji files.

    I have since re-created the Fuji Velvia profile look in C1P along with personal tweaks for tonality and am liking the output very much.



    Hope this helps!
    My little corner on the internet.
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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    Quote Originally Posted by jpaulmoore View Post
    archiM44, could you please clarify the sharpening settings? Radius only goes to 3.
    Regards,
    J. Paul
    Sorry, should have been 1.0
    maurice da silva solis
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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    Synn, thanks for your reply! I had hoped that Adobe had addressed this issue, but it looks like the same issue as I had experienced some time back with how they process/render raw files. With Fuji being such a popular camera these days, it would seem to be something they would address. I guess I will ultimately end up processing with Capture One but I will have to upgrade my operating system to do that.
    Regards,
    J. Paul
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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    J. Paul, hi -

    LR versions > 5.7 (or so) can and will work well, but not if you wish to revert to simple recipes. (Harsh-sounding but true in my experience.) In my opinion, you'll have to work at it. If you want to put in the time to process X-Trans Raw files in LR, this link may be helpful as a place to start and stimulate your thinking:

    Updated X-Trans Sharpening Presets for Lightroom — Thomas Fitzgerald Photography Blog

    What I've learned - and I consider myself a newb - is that LR sharpening settings for X-trans need to be re-thought significantly if you're accustomed to LR sharpening for Bayer sensor files. Other factors like WB & exposure also play a role in effective sharpening where, for Bayer-based file processing, they would not, or at least not to anywhere near the same degree. Nor can you simply say to yourself, "Ah, I see that I can do recommended deconvolution sharpening in LR on my X-Trans files," then just push the detail slider to 100, and get proper sharpening. It's just not that simple or generalizable.

    Start with some of Fitzgerald's capture sharpening settings, then experiment, would be my suggestion.
    --Mike

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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    I must agree with you, Mike. My suggestion was overly simplified and Thomas Fitzgerald's settings which I also often use often give better results. Depends on the image.
    Exporting the RAF file to either Capture One and Iridient and then the result back into LR via auto import gives a bumpier workflow but often a better result.
    I have set up my own variation of the following workflow targeting both Capture One and Iridient:
    http://statusq.org/archives/2014/12/13/6272/
    maurice da silva solis
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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    I work on a per project basis and have a chronological folder system, so LR's library management tools are of little use to me.
    My workflow for all my cameras, including the fujis is to edit in C1P, use a recipe to export to PS as 16 bit, prophotoRGB files and then do the final edits and publishing there.
    My little corner on the internet.
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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    Quote Originally Posted by archiM44 View Post
    I must agree with you, Mike. My suggestion was overly simplified and Thomas Fitzgerald's settings which I also often use often give better results. Depends on the image. Exporting the RAF file to either Capture One and Iridient and then the result back into LR via auto import gives a bumpier workflow but often a better result.
    I have set up my own variation of the following workflow targeting both Capture One and Iridient:
    A Lightroom and Capture One Workflow | Status-Q
    Yes, Maurice, I find LR sharpening to be very image dependent too. Even surface-dependent, meaning textures like stone and brick and not just foliage, depending on the light, can be difficult or impossible to get right in LR. LR is my primary tool for file management and editing, so I default to it for my Fuji files. But for some files C1 or PN will be the better choice (I'm in windows). It is a tradeoff. For example, I usually prefer LR's color rendition to that of the other converters I've trialed.
    --Mike

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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    I start nearly all Fuji RAF files in the donation-only program Raw Therapee. Use its Sharpen | RL Deconvolution for excellent results, almost never a halo.

    From RT (available in Windows, Mac, and Linux versions), export a TIF to your favorite program.
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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    LR can create some strange issues to my eyes, mainly in rocks where the finer details can seem to be washed over, but overall I see much better color and fine detail from LR, than C1. There has been a ton written about LR and sharpening Fuji Files, but you can get somewhat of a deconvolution sharpening by moving the details slider to 100%, but be careful where the amount slider is set if you do this. The haloing I saw often in LR on green against blue seems to have been corrected in the latest LR versions (actually I have not moved to latest due to import issues), but Camera raw 9.1.1 is what you want.

    C1 to me can't begin to pull out the details that LR can, at least on the images I have taken with the XT-1 and XE-2. The files actually seem interpolated up, which has a huge effect on finer details, leaves, branches etc. grasses. C1's single profile is also a bit troublesome to me, but may not bother others.

    I hope to post some examples of this over the weekend.

    Adobe made a statement of direction 6 months or so ago to work closer with Fuji, and there were some improvements (haloing) with Cam Raw 9.1.1 but there is still a long way to go, and I am not sure Adobe will invest the time.

    As for other programs, I have used mainly Iridient developer which can get a better look to the files than anything else, they don't have the toolset that LR and C1 have. I now prefer to do most of my raw work in either LR or C1 as they have such excellent tools. C1's adjustment layers for example allow for amazing levels of control in a file but the raw conversion I am seeing from C1 on Fuji is not that good.

    Paul
    Paul Caldwell
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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    Thanks to all for the great feedback!
    Regards,
    J. Paul

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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    Quote Originally Posted by jpaulmoore View Post
    Hello all, I am usually on the Sony Forum, but I do have and use occasionally, an XE-1 that came with the nice kit zoom lens. I notice that foliage detail when looking at enlarged images have a painterly look to them. I have noticed this in the past. Is this the result of processing with Lightroom or is the result of the X Trans Sensor? These files are just unacceptable as is.
    Regards,
    J. Paul
    This subject has been covered extensively in other threads so you can search around and find a lot of great info and examples. In short, yeas, the watercolor look is an issue with the RAW conversion. Like it was shown by SYNN Capture One Pro solves that, Lightroom seems to be the worst.
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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    With the Fuji files, I personally don't think you can make definite all or nothing statements, as C1 gets around the issues by applying too much blur in the demosaicing alogrithim, and LR seems to pull out the edges a bit more than necessary, neither of the tools seem able to get all the surface details that are there, (when you use Iridient developer for example). To me C1 has some positives, but so does LR and in no way do I see C1 as the end all to Fuji conversions.

    But to my eyes, many times the LR conversion looks better and holds up for sure in a interpolation scheme for making a larger print. Color out the gate C1 wins more times than not, but I can get there in LR. Overall I feel the C1 images converted loose too much details and get a bloated look where as the LR files can start to take on a overdone look which is some cases can start to look painterly.

    But for sure I can't say C1 is better than LR or vise versa and I have been working on Fuji X-trans files now since early 2013. LR has gotten better in that it no longer has the issue with haloing around green/blue transitions, which was such an issue before.

    Here are some examples of one image taken last fall with a lot of colors and contrast. I used the 18-55 on the X-T1 and as I recall the file was taken at 200 iso.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2A LR C1 Fuji no1.jpg 
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    Quick side by side LR conversion is always on the right side Overall I prefer the look of the C1 conversion but the slight differences are easy enough to fix later on. Note the sky in the C1 is too blue over saturated, but that seems to have happened during the conversion for the web.
    Do not judge any of these for color as they start as 100% views of conversions of LR and C1 but during the move to web the colors have taken on a bit more saturation. I am posting these for the issues of details and painterly appearances.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2A LR C1 Fuji no2.jpg 
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    Straight forward, the small trees on the bluff just have more details in the LR conversion, and the gum trees, yellow and red also to my eyes look better. The C1 image looks overall less sharp and slightly interpolated even though it's just being viewed at 100% at 300dpi.
    Note also the bare trees in the background, again they stand out much better to me in the LR conversion The C1 conversion looks to me like it's being viewed at 150% instead of 100% which it is.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2A LR C1 Fuji no3.jpg 
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    A close up on the lower left of the shot. Rocks can pose problems and usually I have given C1 the edge here, however with the latest round of ACR in LR, it's improved and I have to give these as a wash.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2A LR C1 Fuji no4.jpg 
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    NOTE again the greens on the LR image appear overdone. Looking closely at the greens you can see some of the issues that LR has. LR picks up the outer edges a bit too much and when you have a lot of greens then you can start to get a painterly effect if you are not careful with the sharpening settings. I still prefer the LR conversion as overall it appears sharper to me. Also look for the finer details in the shadows as the LR file has more there also. Top left of the crop look for the finer branches in the gun tree, they stand out much better in LR

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2A LR C1 Fuji no5.jpg 
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    This last crop shows how well LR has improved on pulling out finer details against a blue sky. There is just more there and the areas in shadow right above the bluff look better in the LR conversion. But the strongest example is the yellow gun tree, again this is a view taken at 100% view, there is just more detail in the yellow tree and it's going to allow for a larger print in follow on.

    Let me say, there is not a right answer here. Sometimes I go with LR, others with C1. However I often do hand held panos with the X-T1 and now that LR allows the ability to create a pano in LR and save it as a dng I tend to start in LR first. The ability to work on a pano as a dng to me is invaluable as before you had to try to get all the segments close then export and use a stitching software to combine. Now you can work on the dng as one large image before you export. So far I have been very impressed with what LR can do with a pano on the Fuji Files in outdoor landscape situations.

    You can get sharp conversions from LR on Fuji files, and to me the end results look better. But you do have to really control the details and sharpening sliders in LR to get the best look. Is it perfect, no, and I had hoped that LR/Adobe would have a newer process available now since back in June there was such a bit announcement by Adobe about working closer with Fuji on the raw conversion. So far only the fix for haloing on finer details seems to have been done.

    Is there a better raw converter for Fuji? Yes I feel that Iridient Developer by far gives the best look to the files especially one like my example, but:

    Iridient is MAC only, has a very limited toolset, all adjustments effect 100% of the image (no adjustment brushes or masks at least last time I checked), and Iridient will not export as a DNG, which to me would be a great solution. You can download Iridient for a trial and run conversion tests. The difference is pretty impressive most of the time unless you are working a Macro type of shot.

    Just more food for thought.

    Paul C
    Paul Caldwell
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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    Paul, your time and effort and resulting assessment is a breath of fresh air. Thank you.
    --Mike

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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    Paul, nice example. I still see some painterly like green leaves in the crop of the Lightroom processed file. Not as severe as before but it is there I think.

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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    Hi Ken,

    Yes, it's a trade off for sure. The trick is trying to find the best degree of sharpening in LR as if you go to far then the hard lines/edges seem to become over done to me, and create the painterly effect. It's not perfect for sure.

    C1, however to me on fine details/distance etc. seems to go the other way, and blowup the finer stuff, maybe to avoid the look LR can get.

    I know C1 does great on other cameras, Nikon and of course Phase One, but on Fuji many times I feel the image is just a bit bloated looking.

    Hopefully Adobe or Phase will come up with a better fix in the future.

    Paul
    Paul Caldwell
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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    In case it is “bloated looking” perhaps you should reduce your sharpening in C1. I get by far the best sharpening results with Focusmagic.

    Focusmagic analyzes the loss of sharpness during the capture process and corrects it, so to speak. Incredible sharpness while at the same time you’ll get no halo’s.
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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    Quote Originally Posted by JaapD View Post
    In case it is “bloated looking” perhaps you should reduce your sharpening in C1. I get by far the best sharpening results with Focusmagic.

    Focusmagic analyzes the loss of sharpness during the capture process and corrects it, so to speak. Incredible sharpness while at the same time you’ll get no halo’s.
    Yep, for Fuji files, I only do moderate sharpening and clarity adjustments in C1P (In fact, my clarity settings for Fuji are slightly negative) and the final sharpening happens in Focusmagic.
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    Re: XE-1 files look painterly

    I have tried that, as I use Focus Magic pretty much on everything, from Phase to iPhone. I feel that if you export a Fuji file from C1 with out any sharpening, you can't recover enough of the detail later on. I realize that is just my preference.

    I agree that Focus Magic is a great tool, and can pull out some amazing details.

    Paul
    Paul Caldwell
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