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Thread: Newbie Software/Workflow Question

  1. #1
    tonyroth
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    Newbie Software/Workflow Question

    Hi All --

    First of all, I want to thank everyone for the fantastic content on this site. I spent many years shooting an M6 and later Hassy 503/903 and now am getting back into leica after many years in the digital slr world, during which time i lived with jpegs.

    Now that I am purchasing an M9 I need to find a software environment and learn some work flow practices that will enable me to work with the RAW files.

    Can anyone advise where I might start? From what I have read, sounds like Capture 1 might be the right software solution (though I have no idea what it costs for a non-professional like me or what the learning curve looks like).

    I use a MAC and am pretty savy with computers, if that makes a difference.

    Any guidance would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Tony.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Software/Workflow Question

    Short answer: with your M9, you´ll get Adobe Lightroom for free. Use it, it works great (for all your cameras, likely), both for post-processing and for just keeping track of your images. There´s a learning curve indeed, like with all serious software. Spend the time learning one, not by trying out different ones.

    You´ll find people saying that C1 does a better job with raw conversion; if there are differences, they´re far smaller than the difference between the results of an experienced operator and an inexperienced one. And the workflow is vastly better with Lightroom.

  3. #3
    Senior Subscriber Member Mike Hatam's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Software/Workflow Question

    I agree... I think your best strategy is to learn Lightroom, as it's more suited for beginners than C1, and is included with your M9.

    If you search the web, you'll find plenty of tutorials on Lightroom. You might consider purchasing the online video tutorials from Luminous Landscape.
    Mike Hatam
    Sony A99, RX1, RX100

  4. #4
    tonyroth
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    Re: Newbie Software/Workflow Question

    Thanks for the advice, that makes much sense and particularly like the price. I thought I had read something about only Phase one currently having the right camera data to do proper conversions from the leica raw M9 type of files, but that wouldn't make sense if they are offering LR free with the M9. Does that ring a bell at all? I must be confusing something else.

    Tony.

  5. #5
    Senior Subscriber Member Mike Hatam's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Software/Workflow Question

    You can process your M9 files with Lightroom, but there is no finely-tuned camera profile specifically for the M9 included yet. Adobe will make one available in an update soon. Without the specific M9 profile, LR works with the profile that is "embedded" in the M9 file.

    You can download 3rd party color profiles for the M9 to work in LR, like the one at ChromaSoft. They will help a little, but the differences from the embedded profile are very subtle and minor.

    C1 already has an M9 custom profile available, so you'll get slightly better results in C1 at the moment. But the diifferences are very minor, relative to other raw processing settings that you use in either tool.
    Mike Hatam
    Sony A99, RX1, RX100

  6. #6
    tonyroth
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    Re: Newbie Software/Workflow Question

    Got it, thanks. Now I just need the M9 to show up so that I can get started!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Scargos2's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Software/Workflow Question

    For learning Lightroom, they have a great site called Killer trips. It is free and the best.
    Why pay when you can get professional info for free.
    To try C1, they have a 30 trial down load
    Lightroom is the best to organize all your pictures, C1 does not have a way to do this, but does a great job on M8, M9 pictures. I try to use both, but I learning curve is still going on
    Sunny Florida Rick of Fla

  8. #8
    Super Duper
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    Re: Newbie Software/Workflow Question

    I use both C1-Pro and Lightroom. C1 is a more dedicated RAW processor and currently yields slightly better RAW conversions from the M9 in certain circumstances ... the purple fringe and CA control is particularly good in C1.

    However, Lightroom gets better and faster with every version. The addition of brushes, grad filtration and skin softening or spot removal tools in Lightroom has provided both super refined color cast and exposure control that is of great value when shooting available light ... and is remarkable in adjusting uneven lighting exposure and color temp from speed lights when forced to use one. Personally my need for additional refined processing in Photoshop has been reduced by at least 50% since I've learned how to use these tools ... and it must be noted that, unlike Photoshop retouching tool applications and cropping, even after applying these tools and saving back to your LR library file, they are non-destructive and you can revert back to the original for those times when you wonder "what was I thinking"

    The other over-riding aspect of LR that keeps me using it almost exclusively is the ability to hit Command E to open any given LR file in Photoshop, make adjustments (even on layers) and when done it's automatically placed back into your LR Library either stacked on the RAW file or along side it ... no need for multiple file folders. In addition, the list of LR User Presets is growing exponentially because of the popularity of this software. I have a set of M8 Presets that work pretty well on many M9 files, but better yet, there are numerous sets of actions available for Photoshop that are easy to apply to M9 files because these two Adobe software programs are synergistically interlinked.

    -Marc
    Last edited by fotografz; 14th October 2009 at 00:50.

  9. #9
    tonyroth
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    Re: Newbie Software/Workflow Question

    Thanks Mark --

    But probably no need for me, a non-professional, to need to go to photoshop, right?

    By the way, how is the B&W work with the M9 progressing?

    thanks, tony.

  10. #10
    Super Duper
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    Re: Newbie Software/Workflow Question

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyroth View Post
    Thanks Mark --

    But probably no need for me, a non-professional, to need to go to photoshop, right?

    By the way, how is the B&W work with the M9 progressing?

    thanks, tony.
    Well Tony, if would say that Photoshop is essential for any digital photographer. There simply is no processing software it's equal IMO. However, with the new tools in Lightroom it's not as necessary on every file like it used to be.

    I have some B&W user loaded presets in Lightroom and a whole bunch of Actions in Photoshop that have helped with the M9 B&W conversions. The M9 is a real winner for Leica photographers IMO.

    -Marc

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