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Thread: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

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    RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    Hi All,

    I'm a landscape shooter using primarily 4x5 film for the last ten years and during that time have dabbled in DLSRs (Canon 5D, Nikon D200/300/700) but was never satisfied with the output for 16x20 + print sizes until I added the fanatstic A900 system a few months ago. One thing I have noticed DLSR's fall short in compared to my 4x5 lenses is chromatic abberation - even the best pro glass I have used from Nikon, Canon, and Zeiss/Sony can show some CA on certain outdoor scenes and my files are noticeably cleaner/sharper when I correct this using the auto CA tool in the trial version of C1 Pro. (I realize that CA can be so slight much of the time that many of you don't even notice or bother especially if you are not printing big, but if you are a demanding/picky user and CA is something you remove then please read on).

    My dilemma is that I want to start using RAW Developer as my standard converter due to its incredible extraction of detail and advanced deconvolution sharpening, but there is no CA tool. What are my options for handling CA and still using RD? Will a converter like DxO which has a CA removal tool allow me to resave the Sony RAW file after correction so I could then reopen it in RAW Developer to finish? Or do I use RAW Developer for conversion and then do manual CA removal in Photoshop? I use CS2 (soon to be CS4) for a traditional layered workflow to prepare the files for fine art print output.

    Thanks for any ideas here.

    Cheers,
    Ross

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    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    If you are willing to convert to dng, PhotoAcute will correct CA, and still allow the changes saved as dng. If your combination of lenses and camera isn't in their profile list, you can take a series of pix and send it to them, and they will make the appropriate profile. This looks like a lot of work, though.

    http://www.photoacute.com/
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    If you are willing to convert to dng, PhotoAcute will correct CA, and still allow the changes saved as dng. If your combination of lenses and camera isn't in their profile list, you can take a series of pix and send it to them, and they will make the appropriate profile. This looks like a lot of work, though.

    http://www.photoacute.com/
    Thanks Robert, for several reasons that software looks quite intriguing and I will have to try it out.

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleDucks View Post
    Thanks Robert, for several reasons that software looks quite intriguing and I will have to try it out.
    It is rather sloooow, I'm afraid.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    Have you tried DxO Optics Pro? - it has superb auto CA removal for various lenses with the A900. I was amazed at the difference it made to the Zeiss 24-70 and the 135/1.8.
    David Anderson

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleDucks View Post
    Hi All,

    I'm a landscape shooter using primarily 4x5 film for the last ten years and during that time have dabbled in DLSRs (Canon 5D, Nikon D200/300/700) but was never satisfied with the output for 16x20 + print sizes until I added the fanatstic A900 system a few months ago. One thing I have noticed DLSR's fall short in compared to my 4x5 lenses is chromatic abberation - even the best pro glass I have used from Nikon, Canon, and Zeiss/Sony can show some CA on certain outdoor scenes and my files are noticeably cleaner/sharper when I correct this using the auto CA tool in the trial version of C1 Pro. (I realize that CA can be so slight much of the time that many of you don't even notice or bother especially if you are not printing big, but if you are a demanding/picky user and CA is something you remove then please read on).

    My dilemma is that I want to start using RAW Developer as my standard converter due to its incredible extraction of detail and advanced deconvolution sharpening, but there is no CA tool. What are my options for handling CA and still using RD? Will a converter like DxO which has a CA removal tool allow me to resave the Sony RAW file after correction so I could then reopen it in RAW Developer to finish? Or do I use RAW Developer for conversion and then do manual CA removal in Photoshop? I use CS2 (soon to be CS4) for a traditional layered workflow to prepare the files for fine art print output.

    Thanks for any ideas here.

    Cheers,
    Ross
    I'm experimenting with C1 v4.8 in conjuntion with Lightroom ... something being discussed on another thread. I started the search because the Leica M 24/1.4 ASPH exhibits some CA when wide open due to the rear element being so close to the sensor on the M8 creating some bloom, and other resulting design constraits.

    I've not experienced much CA with the 135/1.8, but the 85/1.4 could use some help in certain lighting, and I could well see landscape work benefiting greatly from better CA control.

    As far as 35 format, CA is pretty much not an issue with some of the Leica R optics, especailly APOs ... which is why people bolt them on anything they can.

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    somewhat OT but I just received my D3X today and I expect to receive my 24 Lux in the next couple of weeks. It would appear that I am best served by C1 for the LUX to correct the purple fringing (not sure if it is CA or sensor bloom but one way or another it has to go!). The D3X is well served by NX2 I hear but I tried that piece of @!$# when I first got my D3 and I vowed never to use it again. I want my career to be defined by my images, not by my expertise with using a poorly designed raw converter. So I will work to learn how to best utilize C1 with those files as well. I figure that C1 will do a great job with global adjustments and the raw algorithms as well and I will then import into either Lightroom or PS 4 for any needed local adjustments. A two step workflow to be sure but there just ain't one size that fits all IMHO.

    Woody

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    At the risk of piggy backing on the off topic stuff, what are you guys who use Lightroom doing about softproofing? I've been reading Michael Reichmann's C1-->LR workflow, and think it is interesting, but I use two print houses for my stuff, and I would still need to use Photoshop for softproofing, since LR doesn't do it for some reason. Incidentally, C1 does allow loading profiles, but then I can't do any local adjustments, so I still have to bring things into PS. Woody is right in that there isn't a one size fits all, yet.

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    At the risk of piggy backing on the off topic stuff, what are you guys who use Lightroom doing about softproofing? I've been reading Michael Reichmann's C1-->LR workflow, and think it is interesting, but I use two print houses for my stuff, and I would still need to use Photoshop for softproofing, since LR doesn't do it for some reason. Incidentally, C1 does allow loading profiles, but then I can't do any local adjustments, so I still have to bring things into PS. Woody is right in that there isn't a one size fits all, yet.
    But you can instantly open any LR file in PS directly, and when local adjustments and settings are done the file is still in LR.

    Also, I just loaded some presets made specifically for the M8 into LR ... a whole group of presets for adjustments with and without IR filter.

    In that process, I discovered a whole new world of LR user presets to explore. Some are quite good. Interesting.

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    But you can instantly open any LR file in PS directly, and when local adjustments and settings are done the file is still in LR.

    Also, I just loaded some presets made specifically for the M8 into LR ... a whole group of presets for adjustments with and without IR filter.

    In that process, I discovered a whole new world of LR user presets to explore. Some are quite good. Interesting.
    Where did you get the M8 presets from?
    Do you have any interesting Sony presets?

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Where did you get the M8 presets from?
    Do you have any interesting Sony presets?
    M8 Presets:

    http://www.ctribble.co.uk/_LR_develo...LR_presets.htm

    Haven't seen anything specific to the A900 yet, and haven't work on any for it either. But some of the other canned presets I came across look good with the A900 files.

    Google: Presets for Lightroom.

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    Thanks Marc.
    I guess when I said Sony I was thinking profiles and not presets. My bad. I have downloaded presets from Lightroom Killer Tips

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Thanks Marc.
    I guess when I said Sony I was thinking profiles and not presets. My bad. I have downloaded presets from Lightroom Killer Tips
    Hard to keep all this technoid stuff straight ... profiles, presets, camera calibration ... what's the dif ?

    I'm surprised someone hasn't hacked LR Profiles.

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    In the develop module presets are for making changes to a shot and is camera independent. So, if you have 100 different images from 100 different cameras you could use the same preset to let's say convert to B&W, or something similar.

    Camera profiles are on the right hand panel of the develop module and are camera specific. They make changes to the RAW conversion on a camera specific basis. So for instance there are profiles for Nikon that mimic picture controls that previously you could only get from using NX. There was a profile to make M8 skin tones better than the red you would get from the LR/ACR conversion. You can makenyour own profiles by using a color checker card and the DNG editor. The Adobe site had a whole bunch of profiles when the functionality was launched. I will look around for them. On my Nikon files, I mostly always find a profile I like better than the basic standard ACR RAW conversion. On the flipside on the Sony files that I made this weekend I was really happy with the color right away. If you wanted to get really specific in profiles you could profile particular camera/lens combos or even camera/ISO specific profiles.

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    Have you tried DxO Optics Pro? - it has superb auto CA removal for various lenses with the A900. I was amazed at the difference it made to the Zeiss 24-70 and the 135/1.8.
    Yes, have a trial of it now, overall it looks like a real nice program and the CA tool is effective. But the amount of detail extracted by Raw Developer on my A900 files is staggering (using the L-R Deconvolution sharpening option) and superior to any converter I've seen so far, makes a noticeable difference to me when printing 16x20 and larger. I do like the rich color and snappy tonal curves from DxO and if I can find a stand-alone deconvolution routine that works well I may consider using DxO as my main conversion program. For my needs there is not one single converter that does everything I desire.

    I've been experimenting with opening the A900 raw files in DxO where I correct CA, save out as a DNG, then open that DNG in Raw Developer. For some that would be too much workflow hassle but for me it's worth the cleanest, sharpest, most detailed 'filmlike' files I have yet seen from the Sony. The more I use this camera, the more of a bargain I think it is for the landscape photographer.

    EDIT: here are 100% crops from a full DxO conversion, then DxO converted to DNG and finished in Raw Developer. Color/contrast should not be judged as different color spaces were used and no adjustments were made other than CA and purple fringe removal, it was only a test for detail extraction. The DxO image had the best compromise I could give in unsharp mask from within that converter, while the Raw Developer image used L-R sharpening.

    Cheers,
    Ross
    Last edited by SeattleDucks; 21st May 2009 at 20:05. Reason: added photos

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    Ross, so iyho, Raw Developer is extracting more detail then DxO? In prints it is actually noticeable?

    Steven
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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    Ross, so iyho, Raw Developer is extracting more detail then DxO? In prints it is actually noticeable?

    Steven
    Check out the two pics I added and see if the difference shown matters to you or not. I'm picky and detail-oriented so for me the Raw Developer results are very gratifying, giving a look similar to drum-scanned medium format film (but less grain/noise than even 6x7 Velvia). For other folks the difference won't matter, just depends on what you're after. I encourage downloading free trials of several different converters and finding what works best for your goals and workflow.

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    RD does an amazing job extracting detail for most DSLRs including the D3x, A900, D3/700, 5DII, etc. The L-R USM is sweet. RD IS limited in it's capabilities, but does what it does VERY well, logical interface and unlike C1 doesn't create files and folders all over the $%^ place. Also seems updated for new bodies far faster than most 3rd party software. Makes a great combo tool with another more full-bodied software package.

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    Re: RAW converters and correction of chromatic abberation

    A very good deconvolution sharpening program is Focus Fixer. I have a Canon 5D II. My workflow is: (1) DXO (lens softness at "0," which evens out a lens's sharpness imperfections, no other USM done; and I also do some global adjustments and chromatic aberration adjustment): (2) Lightroom to adjust color balance, fine tune global adjustments such as blackpoint, white point, highlight recovery, etc -- no sharpening at all; and (3) From within Photoshop I use Focus Fixer. Trial downloads of Focus Fixer are free. It really works!

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