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Thread: Iridient Raw Developer

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    Iridient Raw Developer

    I know some MF shooters like it, so started been playing with the demo of RD and am becoming VERY impressed vs. ACR in CS3 on Canon and Nikon files.

    Testing still early, but reminds me of when I tested (what is now) NX against (then) ACR in CS when I shot the D1H. The CS NEF files always had something of a thin 'haze' over them and a lack of color snap vs. the same shots thru NX. Detail extraction was much better in NX as well. Hands down better raw souper for NEF files.

    The same here with RD. The CS3 files (1Ds2) while nice, tend to have the 'haze' when compared against the same files thru RD. The contrast in RD by default seems a bit higher but is easily adjusted globally (or via control points using Viveza (sic) filter in CS3), but the level of clarity and detail come across much better.

    Note this is a comparison simply adjusting for color temp and exposure, no sharpening applied and the opening the TIFFs in CS3 for further PP. Just looking at it for purpose of basic raw souping, not file PP.

    Would like to hear any other users experiences and encourage anyone who hasn't tried it it to do so. Demo is free, not time limited, but has a simple discrete text watermark that doesn't impede judging IQ.

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    Re: Iridient Raw Developer

    On second thought may have jumped the gun in my praise. While some aspects do look better in RD, when examined closely very fine detail is better in ACR, especially when there is low contrast involved. Huh. C4 may still be the best bet - the interface is an acquired taste, but...
    Last edited by robmac; 15th May 2008 at 06:27.

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    Re: Iridient Raw Developer

    Rob,
    I started using RD when it was first introduced, and thought it did a much better job on conversions for my 1DsMkII files, but not as good for the 1DMkII files. It also seemed to do an excellent job on M8 files when I was testing it, especially creating some nice B/W versions of things. I have not worked with the latest version yet, so cannot comment.

    What did catch my attention yesterday, was downloading C1 v4.1 AND the new version of DPP from Canon (v3.4.1). The C1 conversions seem about the same as they used to. Still need to get the hang of the new interface though. Not convinced it is as great as they hope it would be. Also continues to drop files in every folder that gets opened, creating lots of large, duplicated views that suck up space. The new DPP, however, is really looking quite nice, especially for the Canon .CR2 files. They have added lens correction capabilities and other tweaks, and the overall conversion is very good. Still not very swift, not really workflow friendly, but then it never has been.

    I am really starting to come to some of my own personal conclusions and observations about all of these tools. Some work much better with some files than others, and many are much better than ACR. The one advantage, if you can call it that for ACR, is that it comes bundled in a tool (PS) that we all need for other adjustments and process work, but as a RAW converter, it still tends to mangle some files, IMHO, such as 1DsMkII files, and still does not get yellow and some reds correct.

    I hate having to have so many tools, and trying to keep up with all of them, but the "jack of all trades" tools, are just not seeming to be as wonderful as advertised. We are already seeing this in the MF realm, where digital back makers and camera companies are now spending a lot more effort on their own file specific tools, such as Phocus (Hasselblad), eXposure (Sinar), and even Phase, which has always had special tweaks available in the Pro version to support their backs. While we see the same in the DSLR world, like Nikon's Capture NX and Canon's DPP, they did not seem to have the power and features as they do now, and it is starting to make some difference.

    Just my thoughts.

    LJ

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    Re: Iridient Raw Developer

    LJ,

    I hear you re: no one magic bullet for a given camera - that or the interface, like DPP, is bloody horrendous. One thing that really irks me about C1 (other than it creating files everywhere) is the inability to get a sharp 50% view on the monitor - seems incapable of it.

    The hunt goes on.

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    Re: Iridient Raw Developer

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    LJ,

    I hear you re: no one magic bullet for a given camera - that or the interface, like DPP, is bloody horrendous. One thing that really irks me about C1 (other than it creating files everywhere) is the inability to get a sharp 50% view on the monitor - seems incapable of it.

    The hunt goes on.
    Rob,
    I started to notice that same thing in C1, and thought at first it might just be that the algorithm had not caught up with the command. Not the case. All of the adjustments seem to be done on a simple "preview" file that is created at the time the files are imported. This would limit the ability to get good sharpening detail at different magnification levels. Not sure if that is what is happening or not, but it seems to be working that way. The preview files permit the speed in handling and quick viewing, but are not very good for detailed tweaks.

    Seems like we may get stuck with using manufacturer specific tools for best conversion, or more general overall tools that do not provide optimum conversions. I had started to like C1 for a while, but am not liking it as much now as at first. Just my opinion, and I may be expecting too much from some of these tools, but the more our processing needs evolve, and the more important those pixels become to what we want to display or print, the more frustrating some of this software becomes. The first battle was just getting a conversion. Then we rightly got more focused on workflow. Now we seem to be stuck with more mediocre conversions in tools that may provide a decent workflow

    LJ

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    Re: Iridient Raw Developer

    I hear you. Hate using multiple fractured tools to go from RAW to print.
    Need at least two RAW developers because camera makers SW almost universally sucks in terms of operation and some apps do better with Canon than Nikon or with BWs vs. color shots, etc.
    Having CS2-3 of course is a requirement for detail and then you need a DAM(n) application for keep track of everything. Lovely.

    You end up having to settle for watching spinning balls if you have multiples of these RAM-hogging apps open at same time or doing the " ..open, quit, open, quit..." keyboard dance. Then of course no two pieces of SW, even with all 'apparent' default settings turned down deliver the same results re; WB (even at the same K settings), detail extraction, contrast (even when set to +0), color saturation.

    Camera makers should step away from the SW business and open their RAW algorithms with SDKs. Time to step into the 21st century with the SW end of this business.

    Ok, rant over. On a positive note, have just started playing with Aperture 2.1 - NICE. MUCH faster and better looking than prior versions and getting WYSISWG prints seems easier than with CS3 - at least so far. Also does previews and loupe zooms much faster than LR. Time shall tell.

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