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Thread: which raw converter for skin tones?

  1. #1
    Super Duper
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    which raw converter for skin tones?

    Hello,
    I am a long time Nikon user but have never been totally happy with skin tones (somewhat yelloish look) and texture of skin (of kids).
    Now lately I have mainly used 80%LR and 20% phase one for my D700 files.

    I have tried a A900 yesterday and tones+colors look much more to my taset (as do those from the Pentax K5).
    Now since I own massive investment in Nikon lenses I wondered if Nikon Capture would allow me to get more pleasing colors (of course subjective) and better microdetail. I find the Nikon files sometimes look if there was some slight noise reduction applied even in raw files?? which could destroy some microdetails of skin?

    For you Nikon users-is LR a good Nikon converter or do I have to look deeper in Nikon Capture for best results?

    Thanks for any feedback. Tom

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: which raw converter for skin tones?

    I have always found Nikon Capture NX 2 to be hands down the best Nikon raw converter. I can't speak to the latest ACR/LR but certainly until now Capture NX 2 has always provided a much more natural looking and more workable file.

    I'm a big fan of Capture One Pro also but again with Nikon files the Nikon converter provides a lot more control in my experience. C1 works very well if exposure is pretty much ideal but falls apart if you need to tackle lifting shadows or pulling back highlights. There just seems to be a lot more control and scope to adjust in NX 2. I do like the C1 flesh tone control though and this does seem to work well - something that NX 2 doesn't possess.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    which raw converter for skin tones?


    I can only repeat what I said in my post # 114 in this thread:
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?p=265753


    Btw. there is, or at least was, a very good offer on a barely used A900 here:
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?p=268044
    I never succeeded getting in touch with Joerg, but you may have better luck.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: which raw converter for skin tones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steen View Post
    I can only repeat what I said in my post # 114 in this thread:
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?p=265753


    Btw. there is, or at least was, a very good offer on a barely used A900 here:
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?p=268044
    I never succeeded getting in touch with Joerg, but you may have better luck.
    Steen,
    Thank you - actually I bought Jörgs A900 yesterday (he lives just 1,5 hours away from me so it was nice to meet in person). The first images I took looked very good to me and thats my problem. Can I get the same look from my Nikon when I use the right converter and conversion? I ask this because I have all those Nikon lenses and just one SOny lens - I need to find out if I leave Nikon or not.
    Kind Regards,Tom

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    which raw converter for skin tones?

    Hey, congrats Tom
    My approach would be to focus on the optics, i.e. let the system mount rule.
    Optics last for decades, digital cameras come and go in short life cycles.
    Still, of course I do understand your initial question about the best current converter for the NEF files.
    That said, I'm looking very much forward to hear about your findings.
    You will be shooting both the Nikon F-mount and Sony A-mount system at the same time, side by side.
    Interesting opportunity.

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    Re: which raw converter for skin tones?

    Tom,

    Get yourself a Color Checker and Xrite Passport software. Also get Adobe's DNG Profile Editor. Create a color calibration for your Nikon that suits your fancy with them and install it for both Camera Raw and Lightroom 3.

    RGB Color is purely a matter of how the capture is rendered from raw. Get the right camera calibration profile set up and set it to be the default for captures from the D700. Done.

    I've created camera calibration profiles for seven very different cameras using the Color Checker with the Passport software. If I put the rendered photos next to each other, you would not be able to tell me difference. Similarly, I've created calibration profiles for Canon, Pentax, Sony, and Panasonic cameras that absolutely match the Olympus E-1 in-camera JPEG engine (which everyone seems to love).

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    Member bcf's Avatar
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    Re: which raw converter for skin tones?

    I read somewhere (in a course written by a Nikon tutor on NX2) that in Nikon NX2, the hue of a skin tone should be between 19 and 25.
    -- Bernard

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    Re: which raw converter for skin tones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Tom,

    Get yourself a Color Checker and Xrite Passport software. Also get Adobe's DNG Profile Editor. Create a color calibration for your Nikon that suits your fancy with them and install it for both Camera Raw and Lightroom 3.

    RGB Color is purely a matter of how the capture is rendered from raw. Get the right camera calibration profile set up and set it to be the default for captures from the D700. Done.

    I've created camera calibration profiles for seven very different cameras using the Color Checker with the Passport software. If I put the rendered photos next to each other, you would not be able to tell me difference. Similarly, I've created calibration profiles for Canon, Pentax, Sony, and Panasonic cameras that absolutely match the Olympus E-1 in-camera JPEG engine (which everyone seems to love).
    Thats a very good suggestion.
    I just played around with just the profiles offered in LR and the D2x portrait profile + slight increase of contrast does allready look pretty close (just first impression) to that of the A900 files (at least for the few portraits I shot today with both cameras).

    If I can tweak the look of the Nikon images to my taste I will be happy to stay with Nikon. I allready own all those lenses + the AF is the best I have experienced ever, both speed and more important accurancy.
    Also while the user interface of the Sony is nice, the D700 just falls into my hand and my fingers are just where the buttons are located.

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    Re: which raw converter for skin tones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steen View Post
    Hey, congrats Tom
    My approach would be to focus on the optics, i.e. let the system mount rule.
    Optics last for decades, digital cameras come and go in short life cycles.
    Still, of course I do understand your initial question about the best current converter for the NEF files.
    That said, I'm looking very much forward to hear about your findings.
    You will be shooting both the Nikon F-mount and Sony A-mount system at the same time, side by side.
    Interesting opportunity.
    If we talk about optics I am pretty happy with Nikon.

    The Zeiss 24-70 seems very nice but the Nikon 24-70 is a very good lens as well (with prefered handling and weather sealing).
    The Nikon 70-200II is great and even with converters it delievers very good IQ. Then there are some very nice offerings from Nikon like the 24/1.4 and PCE lenses.

    Initial impression of the A900 vs the D700 from long time Nikon user:
    Slight edge of position of buttons goes to Nikon IMO.
    Viewfinder of A900 (larger plus small AF-marks + more neutral color? ) is slightly better than that of the D700 . In body IS of the A900 is a clear plus (but then the D700 compensates by far with its high ISO IQ).
    Overall tonality when you just import the files into LR I prefer the A900, but it looks like I eventually can get the Nikon images the same look with d2x profiles. Dont know yet.

    Cant tell anything about detailed landsape at low ISO. So far I have only done portraits in medium ISO (mainly 320 )

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    Re: which raw converter for skin tones?

    Yes, color is a rendering issue, not a camera issue, if you are committed to using a raw workflow.

    The Sony A900 should capture more fine detail for detailed landscape work with wide lenses at modest ISO settings ... that's where its 24 Mpixel resolution should be a benefit over the D700's 12 Mpixel resolution. The difference, all else being equal, should be about 20% higher acutance based on pixel count (difference of the square roots of the total pixel count for linear resolution capture).

    But all else (antialiasing filter, lenses, etc etc) is rarely equal.

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    Re: which raw converter for skin tones?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Steen,
    Thank you - actually I bought Jörgs A900 yesterday (he lives just 1,5 hours away from me so it was nice to meet in person). The first images I took looked very good to me and thats my problem. Can I get the same look from my Nikon when I use the right converter and conversion? I ask this because I have all those Nikon lenses and just one SOny lens - I need to find out if I leave Nikon or not.
    Kind Regards,Tom
    Some 18 months ago I left Nikon for Sony (A900). I was ok with the A900, but I never liked the Sony/Zeiss zooms (16-35, 24.70), maybe because I expected much better IQ compared to their Nikon counterparts, which did not happen. Color wise I personally prefer Nikon to SOny, but thats maybe subjective.

    Finally I moved again back to Nikon (D700). This in my eyes is still the overall best system, especially if you want to shoot FF. And I have high hopes for a next FF Nikon DSLR replacing the D700 and the D3X.

    So I decided not to sell any Nikon gear for the next future, although I am pretty happy with my Pentax K5 and have some plans to go for Leica S2 plus Pentax plus M system. But decided to wait and mix not everything together now. Will help to save lot of money and frustration

  12. #12
    Ronan
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    Re: which raw converter for skin tones?

    D2xMode1... mmmm

    I'm sure it's been mentioned.

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