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Thread: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    Hi,

    Team Phase One users are very enthusiastic about using C1 with Team Phase One backs. The saying is that maker's software should always be used for best results.

    AFAIK, Capture One doesn't support non Team Phase One MFD. Hasselblad users have Phocus which is tuned to Hasselblad backs. But, as far as I know neither Pentax nor Leica have their own raw workflow software for the cameras. Still it seems that both Leica and Pentax users are very satisfied with their systems. So what software do they use?

    A partial explanation may be that both Pentax and Leica embed camera specific DNG Colour Profiles in their DNG images that may be superior to the ones delivered by Adobe.

    Would be interesting to hear something about raw conversion on non Phase One backs.

    I know about a couple guys who use or used to use RawTherapee.

    Best regards
    Erik

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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    Ahoy Erik

    I use a Pentax 645D and shoot in DNG format. I use ACR and Photoshop for pretty much everything. I do have third party plugins for Niksoft that get a run every now and then but always through Photoshop.

    For some reason I have never gelled with Lightroom, I do use it on occasion but not very often.

    If C1 was suitable for the Pentax I would use it without question. Even on my Nikon cameras I was getting better results out of that program.
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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    Since getting my Credo I've been forcing myself to use C1 v9 after only ever using LR. I must admit that although I have mostly got to grips with it now, I still find C1 less intuitive than LR. I also find that compared to LR the biggest drawback is that it's MUCH slower to update the image after adjusting settings, and this I find a big barrier to getting the best out of the software. A more powerful computer would no doubt help or solve this problem, but when I'm dealing with 2gb Tiff files in LR with zero delay in update – meaning I can quickly alternate between settings and identify how small changes affect my images more intuitively – I assert that the problem is primarily with C1 and how it is coded, not the hardware. As debatable as that might be, I still put up with C1 because it definitely works best for the Leaf files.

    Anyway, I recently bought a new Rocky Nook publication about C1 v9 to help me better understand how to use it and anticipate what the different settings do. (The different editing features are largely similar in both programs, but the sliders have different values and I've found that hard to get my head around.) Anyway, I was interested to read that C1's philosophy for NR, for example, is quite different to that of LR in that more happens under the hood in C1. Where as in LR you would need to increase NR settings accordingly for both luminance and colour, in C1 tailors NR under the hood relative to ISO. To quote a very small sentence from the book:

    "Capture One uses profiles in which the level of noise reduction depends on the ISO setting for all the cameras it supports. Phase One calls this process "adaptive noise reduction", and its aim is to enable you to retain standard noise settings regardless of the ISo setting or the type of camera you use."

    I found this very interesting and it explained a lot about why I really struggled to understand why at first I couldn't get the results I wanted when using the software to edit captures taken at different ISO settings. Anyway, I site the this to illustrate that it takes a lot of time to learn software and even then it's not so straight forward to simply open up files in different converters and analyse default or zeroed settings. God knows what else is happening under the hood within each bit of software, even with things zeroed. I'm thinking of my Imacon 949 scanner, and that a value of -120 for sharpening actually means ZERO sharpening. You'd think you'd just need to set it to zero, but no...

    I don't know if I've contributed anything of meaning here, but perhaps it is relevant if you're to discuss the pros and cons of different conversion options and what people should watch out for if they decide to run tests themselves.

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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    Yes, C1 will apply a default amount of noise reduction based on the camera/ISO combination. To me it's always too much.

    You have three sliders under the main noise reduction:

    Luminance, Details, Color.

    I will almost always move the Luminance slider to the far left from middle, but if you do this to the details slider, you will most assuredly negatively effect the file, in fact I find that with all my files, I need to move the details slider to the right, 80 to 90, especially on Fuji raw. This is both counterintuitive and confusing especially if you are coming from LR, where just the opposite is true.

    To me C1 also has a huge advantage with it's color picker tools, in that they can be used in a layer, in fact C1's layers are a huge advantage in workflow for me.

    But LR has a history, (of which I long for in C1), and another reason I never use ACR, (no history).

    Paul C

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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    I owned a Pentax 645D for ~1.5 years and exclusively used Capture One (v8 I think) to process the DNG files.
    Minimal post processing was needed and Capture One rendered the files beautifully with nice color tones and smooth transitions.
    That is obviously a matter of taste, but as far as I am concerned the files out of C1 were always satistying to me.

    A few examples:









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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    OK, back to the original question instead of the C1 debate. Owning the 645D and the 645Z has allowed me to use various software to render the files. While the software that ships with the camera, Silkpix, is a little lame ( a lot ) I have found that Lightroom and Camera raw are more than adequate to interpret the files. I have tried both the native format and DNG and find that there is minimal difference.

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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    I have used C1 and LR over the years, but after getting into S system just used mainly LR.
    I had some profiles for c1 which worked for the Leica S2, but in the end only use LR.
    Over the years I have processed images from different cameras in several converters including C1 and LR. There are clearly differences, but for me LR works just fine.
    I now also prefer the user interface of Lightroom. I think it is important to know the converter one is using.
    For example images might come out more detailed in C1 in standard settings, but you also might get earlier to the point where you get oversharpened images.
    C1 seems to apply more contrast / S-curve than LR in the beginning, but these are all things one can set.
    I dont see a problem with LR/adobe.
    With the S007 the standard DNG profile might work as well, I checked it 2-3 times and it looked ok, but I dont like to switch software every 2 years.
    For me LR does it all. Still aparture, DXO, C1 and LR licenced and on my notebook, but in the end the differences where never big enough and enough convinving for me to really switch to a different software.

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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    LR & PS CC for everything. C1 is great and all but it doesn't officially support the Z and I'm not going to bend over backwards to use some software for a perceived gain in my processing. I'm really finding this sadly growing debate, very much like audiophile chatter or any kind of 'phile discussion. A little thing here, a little thing there that matters hugely to ONE person, or simply a workflow that someone is used to are effecting the arguments. In truth, if you can't get it done in ACR, or with C1, you're doing something wrong. Just pick a horse.
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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    OP

    Leica cameras come with LR so that would seem to be the choice going to Adobe software like LR and PS/ACR.

    As for 645Z I use LR and PS and always shoot DNG. Never tried C1. I wonder if one can use C1 with 645Z files since they do not support competing makes?

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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    C1P works quite well on the S but you'll have no lens profiles and I find LR better for Skin tone's, LR is the default converter for the S and probably the best bet,it also allows tethering unlike C1P.

    Rob

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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    I have used Apple Aperture (Nikon, Leica), C1 (Leica M8), Phocus (for Hasselblad CFV) and currently use Lightroom for my processing. My experience with C1 was limited to the early days with the M8 and ended when the Leica S2 came out and they did not support the files. In my opinion, a vendor developed processing engine will outperform a generic engine such as Lightroom. That said, if you shoot a Phase back, use C1, Hasselblad, Phocus, for the best results from that sensor. I have stuck with Lightroom for my processing needs not because it is the gold standard for image processing for all vendors, but because I can use one engine to do my work. It is also the most universally accepted engine for exporting of data or for plug in applications.

    My workflow for all my cameras is to create a camera profile using the Color Checker Passport, saving that base image as a "User Profile" and use it to import my raw files. I also create variations off of this camera profile for different film looks such as Kodachrome and also save that as a "User Profile" which can be applied to future imports. It has been a much easier process for me to just use one engine, but if in the future, I buy a Hasselblad or Phase, I would start using their software (Phocus or C1) to process the images off of their system. I would still use Lightroom to catalog the images along with my other images. I learned this the hard way when I kept my Phocus images in a separate catalog from my Lightroom images http://www.getdpi.com/forum/images/s.../facesmack.gif

    Good luck with your choice.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have used Apple Aperture (Nikon, Leica), C1 (Leica M8), Phocus (for Hasselblad CFV) and currently use Lightroom for my processing. My experience with C1 was limited to the early days with the M8 and ended when the Leica S2 came out and they did not support the files. In my opinion, a vendor developed processing engine will outperform a generic engine such as Lightroom. That said, if you shoot a Phase back, use C1, Hasselblad, Phocus, for the best results from that sensor. I have stuck with Lightroom for my processing needs not because it is the gold standard for image processing for all vendors, but because I can use one engine to do my work. It is also the most universally accepted engine for exporting of data or for plug in applications.

    My workflow for all my cameras is to create a camera profile using the Color Checker Passport, saving that base image as a "User Profile" and use it to import my raw files. I also create variations off of this camera profile for different film looks such as Kodachrome and also save that as a "User Profile" which can be applied to future imports. It has been a much easier process for me to just use one engine, but if in the future, I buy a Hasselblad or Phase, I would start using their software (Phocus or C1) to process the images off of their system. I would still use Lightroom to catalog the images along with my other images. I learned this the hard way when I kept my Phocus images in a separate catalog from my Lightroom images http://www.getdpi.com/forum/images/s.../facesmack.gif

    Good luck with your choice.
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    Senior Member RVB's Avatar
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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    This is an sample of the same S007 file opened in LR 6.5 and C1 9, LR is the default raw converter but C1 did a much better job of darling with chroma noise in the deep shadows.

    Both are unadjusted except for +100 shadows,LR uses embedded profile,both are zoomed @ 200% and the point of focus is outside the area of interest!

    I wonder if C1 uses a noise reduction by default?
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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    Hi,

    On the files I have seen, that is Phase One and Sony, C1 indeed has quite hefty noise suppression as default, combined with quite aggressive sharpening.

    I didn't know that Capture One worked Leica S-files as I had the info that Capture One only supported MFD from "Team Phase One". But it seems that C1 actually works on Leica S-files.

    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    This is an sample of the same S007 file opened in LR 6.5 and C1 9, LR is the default raw converter but C1 did a much better job of darling with chroma noise in the deep shadows.

    Both are unadjusted except for +100 shadows,LR uses embedded profile,both are zoomed @ 200% and the point of focus is outside the area of interest!

    I wonder if C1 uses a noise reduction by default?

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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    C1 works perfectly well on my Leica S-006 files.
    A bit better than lightroom, I would add, but that depends on your perspective.
    I find enlargements better in Lightroom / CS6.
    Best,

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    Hi,

    The reason I posted the question is that it seems that almost anyone on these threads advocates Capture One, but it also seems that many posters associate MFD with Phase One and possibly Hasselblad. Manufacturer's software for either doesn't support Leica S or Pentax 645, but there are a lot of advocates for those camera systems, too. So I wanted to hear their view.

    My own take on that issue?

    Well, the way I see it a camera is an imaging device that delivers an image to a sensor. The image on the sensor is than converted by hardware to binary data in the raw file. A raw converter than converts the raw image into an RGB image. This step includes demosaic, that interpolates the 2/3 of the information lacking for each pixel and may do some aliasing suppression. Next step is to convert the detector signals into an internal colour space, that would include a colour profile. The colour profile would also do hue twists and some other things. The final step is processing on the image, like curves, light and shadows, sharpening, etc...

    Not really much speaks for vendor software making the best job for this process, in all probability there may be better tools.

    • In general, I would say that demosaic is better in C1 than in LR/ACR. In this area I strongly feel Adobe has some homework to do.
    • Colour reproduction is just about camera profiles. The reason Phase One Conversion may yield better colour is that Phase One puts a lot of efforts into making good colour profiles for their sensors. It has been suggested that IQ-250 profiles yield better colour for Nikon D800 and Sony A7rII than the camera specific profiles in C1.
    • Making good colour profiles is a bit tricky and involves a lot of compromise.


    My take is that there is no magic involved, but Capture One is doing a decent job on demosaic, and I don't think LR/ACR really does that. I am not sure how match this matters in most cases, though.

    Both converters have a lot of tools to adjust a lot of aspects of the images. Making good images in any process takes a learning curve. Personally, I a would not buy into a system that would not work with my chosen set of tools.

    In my case, that tool is LR. Earlier versions, any time I put a card in the card reader Capture One was started. I hated that! Now, C1 only pops up an import dialogue if it is running. If I have an image with demosaic issues in LR, I would use another tool to convert to TIFF. That tool may be C1, or RawTherapee that allows choice between different demosaic algorithms and uses DCP profiles. Or I could use AccuRaw that extracts most detail. But mostly I use LR CC 2015 to process the image from RAW to print.

    Best regards
    Erik




    Quote Originally Posted by Speedgraphic View Post
    LR & PS CC for everything. C1 is great and all but it doesn't officially support the Z and I'm not going to bend over backwards to use some software for a perceived gain in my processing. I'm really finding this sadly growing debate, very much like audiophile chatter or any kind of 'phile discussion. A little thing here, a little thing there that matters hugely to ONE person, or simply a workflow that someone is used to are effecting the arguments. In truth, if you can't get it done in ACR, or with C1, you're doing something wrong. Just pick a horse.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    I believe that software is one important factor in the chain, but I also believe Phase one and Hasselblad clearly use this stronger for their marketing than it is in reality.
    I am fine with LR and I think the "own software advantage" is overhyped by marketing people.
    In my case software has not been the deision factor to choose a MF-system. It was more lenses, user interface, handling.
    As long as there is a decent software available for the files.
    I see this different in regards of Sigma or Fuji, at least in the beginning when LR and C1 did not support those files.

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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Next step is to convert the detector signals into an internal colour space, that would include a colour profile. The colour profile would also do hue twists and some other things. The final step is processing on the image, like curves, light and shadows, sharpening, etc...
    this is not correct re C1. The color profile does not apply hue twists. WB, levels, curves, exposure, shadows, highlights are applied to the (linearized) RAW data and nothing gets converted into a color profile ... the color profile gets assigned (and then converted to an output color space in case you don't embed the camera profile on output).

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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    I just got a 645z! I have been using it with the latest Lightroom with the Huelight profiles. So far so good. I like having the lens profiles as well, since the 55mm's distortion does clean up nicely when applied.

    But! and this is a big but I just purchased Alex Munoz's Capture Fix Fast and am quite impressed. I can now import the .dng files directly into Capture One 9! I had been testing the original Capture Fix, but was a bit of a pain to convert the raws and then import....not anymore! I do lose the lens profiles but I have been using Capture One for years and prefer it to Lightroom. With Capture Fix Fast C1 even recognizes the 645z metadata.

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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2WK View Post
    I just got a 645z! I have been using it with the latest Lightroom with the Huelight profiles. So far so good. I like having the lens profiles as well, since the 55mm's distortion does clean up nicely when applied.

    But! and this is a big but I just purchased Alex Munoz's Capture Fix Fast and am quite impressed. I can now import the .dng files directly into Capture One 9! I had been testing the original Capture Fix, but was a bit of a pain to convert the raws and then import....not anymore! I do lose the lens profiles but I have been using Capture One for years and prefer it to Lightroom. With Capture Fix Fast C1 even recognizes the 645z metadata.
    I strongly suggest against using 3rd party hacks to modify your Pentax files to force C1 compatibility. The 645Z is not supported in C1, and the hack may stop working in future versions.
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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    Thanks for the words of caution. I can strongly suggest giving it a try if A) you have a Pentax 645z and B) you enjoy using Capture One. I obviously do not expect any sort of support...except maybe from Alex Munoz. True, the work around may stop working around with the release of a new C1...but like any upgrade I wait and test before jumping in head first. And also, I will always have Lightroom to rely on!

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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Hi,

    If I have an image with demosaic issues in LR, I would use another tool to convert to TIFF. That tool may be C1, or RawTherapee that allows choice between different demosaic algorithms and uses DCP profiles. Or I could use AccuRaw that extracts most detail. But mostly I use LR CC 2015 to process the image from RAW to print.

    Best regards
    Erik
    Erik,

    Can you elaborate on that?
    I've run some tests with RawTherapy and S-006 raws, mostly to see how it deals with high-ISO noise. I was impressed by the results on-screen, but haven't gone to print to confirm. Are you saying that it's a path worth pursuing? Unlike you, I'm not a fan of LR, so I would switch if I could.

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Polite question to Leica S and Pentax 645 users, what software do you use?

    Hi Bernard,

    I have posted two threads on LuLa regarding demosaic issues in Lightroom compared to some other raw converters:

    Four raw converters , handling demosaic errors

    Demosaic - Quick comparison of three raw converters and four algorithms

    Just keep in mind that the issues shown here are specific and possibly extreme cases.

    Mark D Segal, was kind enough to check out the raw image in my second thread and could confirm the issues, but made the point that although the artefacts are real they may not be visible in a large print with the naked eye.

    What I see is that LR processing of non OLP filtered images often results in "halo type" artefacts, which would interfere with strong sharpening. So, if I see such issues I would use some other raw processor to generate an unsharpened TIFF that I could put trough more processing. Both RawTherapee and Accuraw can use my DNG Colour Profiles. RawTherapee also has the option to use different algorithms.


    Best regards
    Erik




    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard View Post
    Erik,

    Can you elaborate on that?
    I've run some tests with RawTherapy and S-006 raws, mostly to see how it deals with high-ISO noise. I was impressed by the results on-screen, but haven't gone to print to confirm. Are you saying that it's a path worth pursuing? Unlike you, I'm not a fan of LR, so I would switch if I could.

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