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Thread: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

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    Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    As I said in another thread I just acquired an A900 to use with my R glass. So far I have only received one conversion mount and have tried it on 3 out of my 5 R lenses. I am shooting in manual overexposing 1/2 to 2/3 stop.

    I find I have to be what I consider quite aggressive in LR pp in order to get the color I am used to with M9. I am setting the curve at 25/21, 50/58, 75/83; clarity +25, vibrance +15, Sat +15, camera calibration green hue -7, sat+4; blue hue -4, sat -4; no change for red.

    Attached are a couple of samples shot this morning with the 35-70 f4. Am I on the right or wrong track?

    All advice/input appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,
    Alan

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    looks like both are about 1 stop overexposed

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    looks like both are about 1 stop overexposed
    Yes, the sky was.

    Alan

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    looks like both are about 1 stop overexposed
    Actually you are right. These jpegs do look overexposed. Should have looked at them before posting. Must have used the wrong curve. Here is what I should have posted...

    Alan

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    I think the first set looks great. The second set seems a little flat to me.

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    Assuming that you are shooting in RAW, those color corrections can only be considered as a one-off since you are using AWB. I have found that I only need one of three WB settings: Daylight, Tungsten, and UniWB. OK, four... damned flourescents!

    I am leaning more and more toward UniWB for any difficult scenes, except where the dominant color is green.
    α900+VG|F20|2xF58|16-35,24-70,135Z|STF|70-400G|50,85 1.4|16,20,28,100M,80-200APO f/2.8|28-135|500f/8|1x-3xMacro|2xMFC-1000|Tiltall+RRS, Bellows, etc.

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    Yes the camera is on AWB but I rebalanced them in LR. I am overexposing based on this forum. But I find the exposure quite eratic. Perhaps due to my converted lenses as suggested in the Brightscreen thread.

    I find myself having to adjust the curve to give the photos more pop and adjust the colors as well. Otherwise they are rather flat. I ended up with several pre-sets for different exposure conditions...

    Just wondering what the experienced users do.

    Alan

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    I suppose I shouldn't even comment here since I don't shoot the Sony and have given up on LR. However, maybe another perspective might be helpful.

    To my eye, the processing seems "brittle". Not sure what's to blame, but while the colors do pop, the light doesn't seem natural. Reminds me of the somewhat harsh contrast one sees when an image is over sharpened. For example, in your shot of the town scene, the green building in shade has lost the "feeling" of shade and seems un-natural.

    All this may be biased by my personal preference for respecting the quality of the light versus attempting to make a technically perfect histogram with over-saturated colors. A lot of the essence of personal style includes decisions about things like this and if it's what you prefer, then that's cool. Just my two cents.

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    Saturated reds like the tulips and the sign on the green building pop too much, at least on my color-calibrated monitor. There's of course an assumption here that everyone in the discussion uses a good and profiled display.

    The greens, well, they look Adobe-ish. Not natural. Moss on the ground for example, too yellow. But it's hard to tell for someone who wasn't there.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    HI Alan
    As David says - if you use AWB and then try to 'put it right', then you are giving yourself a huge amount of work. All very well if you're trying to shoot product with even lighting, but with this sort of shot you want to catch the ambient lighting, and AWB is never really going to do well with that.

    Why not shoot Daylight a bit and see how that comes out - it should give you a pretty straightforward version of what you saw. It also makes a much easier platform to make adjustments if needed.

    I use both an A900 and an M9 - If someone were to nail my head to the floor and insist I tell the truth I'd have to say that I prefer the A900 colours . . . . . but I always shoot Daylight outdoors and Tungsten indoors - it makes life so much more understandable

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    Thank you Dave, TRSmith, Lars, and Jono for your comments. You summed up my concerns about my PP. They look artificial. I am still not happy after all this work. With the M8/9 usually I just do WB and exposure if needed. Very rarely do I have to play with the curve or colors.

    However, the A900 files I get out of the camera are quite flat using my converted R lenses (without any chips yet). I must be setting up the camera wrong. As I said I overexpose by .5 to .66 stop with creative style in neutral.

    AM I MISSING SOMETHING IN THE CAMERA SETTINGS?

    I will try using daylight or tungsten WB instead of AWB. But I thought that really doesn't matter shooting RAW.

    Thanks again everyone.

    Alan

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    Quote Originally Posted by apsheng View Post
    Thank you Dave, TRSmith, Lars, and Jono for your comments. You summed up my concerns about my PP. They look artificial. I am still not happy after all this work. With the M8/9 usually I just do WB and exposure if needed. Very rarely do I have to play with the curve or colors.

    However, the A900 files I get out of the camera are quite flat using my converted R lenses (without any chips yet). I must be setting up the camera wrong. As I said I overexpose by .5 to .66 stop with creative style in neutral.

    AM I MISSING SOMETHING IN THE CAMERA SETTINGS?

    I will try using daylight or tungsten WB instead of AWB. But I thought that really doesn't matter shooting RAW.

    Thanks again everyone.

    Alan
    HI Alan
    it doesn't matter shooting AWB if you know how to put it right .
    Shooting daylight all the time is rather like shooting with a particular film stock - you get to understand what the colour response is, if I'm ever worried I just put a grey card (or sheet of paper) into one shot, and then keep shooting daylight. I hardly ever use it for a spot white balance later, but it's there if I need to.

    Truth to tell I think daylight does a fine job - evening light then looks . . . well . . . eveningy, morninglight looks morningy.

    Let's face it, if you're shooting outdoors in interesting light you don't want neutral grey to be neutral grey - you want it to reflect the light.

    My feeling with the A900 is that you are better off not over-exposing at all - shoot daylight - 0 exposure compensation

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    Thanks Jono. Yes I agree, morning or evenfing light should look morning or evening. Does the "Neutral" or "Standard" in creative style make any difference in RAW? Do you use that? and do you normally adjust colors and the curve in PP for the A900?

    Alan

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    Quote Originally Posted by apsheng View Post
    Thanks Jono. Yes I agree, morning or evenfing light should look morning or evening. Does the "Neutral" or "Standard" in creative style make any difference in RAW? Do you use that? and do you normally adjust colors and the curve in PP for the A900?

    Alan
    HI There
    They don't make any difference as long as you aren't using the Sony software (not sure what happens if you are, but I suspect they will be taken into account).

    I almost never adjust the colours in the A900 - it's one of the real joys that they always seem to be spot on - I do adjust the curve sometimes if necessary, but not the colours.
    all the best

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    I like the second set of images. Good stuff.

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    Hi Alan,
    Nothing much wrong with these images, I do prefer the second set. As Jono advises, try daylight WB, it is all I use. UniWB is fine if you have exposure issues with strong reds/blues which may lead to underexposure of one of these channels - the red flower syndrome! Most of my work is in the Himalaya, with lots of monotones (rocks!) but I need neutrals to be just right, and daylight WB delivers. If you get WB right, the colour almost always falls into place, I find.

    What you may want is more midtone contrast - for more lift to the colours (colour is a midtone phenomenon). If a Photoshop user, my favourite move for this matter is 20% or so of Soft Light Blending Mode in an 'empty' curve layer.

    The A900 is very sensitive to overexposure leading to washed out colours happening *within* the huge DR of the sensor. I generally expose twice for an important scene, focussing on getting the main subject colour of interest in the middle of the tonal range; I generally have to reduce the camera's choice by a half to one stop to get the best colour. Exposure of all cameras is unpredictable and there is no correct exposure - you have to do it by eye later on using the RC on screen.

    The DR is so wide you can now have your colour cake in the midtones and eat the shadow detail too! As you will usually have enough f-stops below the 'ideal' aperture for best colour...if you wish to read more of this look up 'Hardloaf' (Andrey) in this forum, who does a good job of explaining the issues from an RC developer's POV. And no, I am not a fan of ETTR, once coloured objects are out on the right extremity of the histogram, that ship has sailed and it will not be coming back...

    I hear good things about the latest LR but I am a Sony IDC user, as it delivers bang on colour with excellent sat/tone at the expense of some loss of shadow detail. If you try it, switch off all NR and set WB and exposure by eye. Don't be frightened to push colours either, that will tell you where the casts lie...just check around the neutrals and see what happens. You have plenty in these 2 photos, for example - white trim on buildings, yachts, etc. But understand that very few objects are totally monotone...

    Looking again, plenty of saturation in those R lenses, no problem there. I use a battery of alt lenses also, CY and Mamiya 645 - so I understand where you are coming from. A long reply but I hope some of it helps. kind regards, Philip

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    Re: Am I being too agressive in A900 PP

    Thank you Philip_PJ for taking the time to help me out.

    I am beginning to get the hang of how to pp the A900. I don't have any problem with WB. Three years of M8/M9 have honed my skill with that It is the exposure and colors of the mid-tone that I have to get up the learning curve on. The exposure is still somewhat eratic. Exposure usually ok indoors but sometimes underexposes in bright light. I use center-weighted in manual mode. I have yet to discern a pattern.

    Yes, I am finding that I need more contrast in the mid-tones which I do with the curve and the clarity adjustment in LR. I will give the Sony software a try.

    BTW, does your A900 make a lot of noise in MF mode with a manual lens after power up? Is it trying to set the focus to infinity?

    Thanks again for your help,
    Alan

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