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Author Topic: So... Adobe RGB(1998) or ProphotoRGB ?  (Read 7499 times)
runee
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« on: January 05, 2009, 06:12:29 AM »
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So; I am reading alot of pro's and con's of both - which working color space to use ?

- I shoot Raw
- I edit in CS3 - using it's RAW Converter (Am about to switch to capture one 4 in the near future)
- I use images for Print (Epson 2400 and 2100, using their profiles), I use JPG's on the Web (sRGB) and I deliver digital images (TIFF currently with AdobeRGB embedded) to end customers.

I am currently using AdobeRGB 1998 starting from that profile being embedded to the file from the Raw converter. I am leaning abit towards changing the workflow to Prophoto... To gain benefit from the wider gamut... but is it really an advantage ? In the end I convert to either an Epson output profile (when printing) restricting my image to that gamut, convert to sRGB for the web or deliver the final final Tiff to the customer.

The only reasons I see for changing to Prophoto really, should be if the Prophoto space covers my epson gamut completely whereas the adobeRGB might not (But I don't know for sure if this is even the case?) or if my end customers would benefit more from Prophoto than adobeRGB. (Any insight here?)

Or should I just stick with AdobeRGB ?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2009, 07:39:47 AM »
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When considering the choice of a colour working space, it is not only the size of the gamut that matters, but also its shape. It is also worthwhile considering what you will do with these images in the future when at some perhaps undetermined time you will also be upgrading your printer. Perhaps for the 2400, but certainly for the 3800 (as an example) there are printable hues exceeding the Adobe RGB98 colour space. If coming out of the raw processor you convert your images to ARGB98, you lose the hues otherwise available in ProPhoto.

You didn't mention whether you edit your photos in 8 bit or 16 bit mode. This makes an important difference to the selection of a colour working space. Because the ProPhoto space is very large, it is highly recommended when using this space that you put your images into 16 bit mode from raw conversion. This is to provide enough bit depth to avoid the banding that could otherwise occur when 8 bit colours are spread over such a large working space. In principle, 16-bit images are capable of providing smoother tonal gradations, but they are also twice the size of 8 bit images. If you have the computing power and don't mind buying the storage to accommodate these files, doing your imaging work in 16-bit ProPhoto (for print purposes) provides the best insurance to maximize image quality over the longer term.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
runee
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 07:50:47 AM »
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Hi Mark,

thanks for your reply.

I work in 16bit mode (unless forced down to 8 bit by some obscure filter) and by the sound of it, Prophoto might be better for me - if anything, just for the principle of preserving as much detail as possible I guess. (Though I have never deleted a RAW file in my life so far... thank god for cheap hard drives  )

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runee
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2009, 08:02:52 AM »
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Hi Mark,

thanks for your reply.

I work in 16bit mode (unless forced down to 8 bit by some obscure filter) and by the sound of it, Prophoto might be better for me - if anything, just for the principle of preserving as much detail as possible I guess. (Though I have never deleted a RAW file in my life so far... thank god for cheap hard drives  )


edit: Btw - If I change to Prophoto will I have to change my Gamma to 1.8 or how does that work ?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2009, 08:11:40 AM »
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No. It is generally recommended nowadays to leave the display's gamma set at 2.2, or if you are calibrating and profiling your display using a package such as ColorEyes Display or BasicColor, their general recommendation is to use L*.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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runee
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2009, 09:03:16 AM »
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Thanks alot for the info.. I am using Datacolor Spyder 3 for calibration FYI.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2009, 09:12:49 AM »
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Quote from: runee
I am currently using AdobeRGB 1998 starting from that profile being embedded to the file from the Raw converter. I am leaning abit towards changing the workflow to Prophoto... To gain benefit from the wider gamut... but is it really an advantage ? In the end I convert to either an Epson output profile (when printing) restricting my image to that gamut, convert to sRGB for the web or deliver the final final Tiff to the customer.

For the Epson, yes. Unless you've got a very old unit, the gamut of modern Epson's exceed Adobe RGB color gamut. Your capture device can easily capture colors outside that space too, depending on the subject.

You might want to read this:
http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/pdfs/phscs2ip_colspace.pdf
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Andrew Rodney
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bjanes
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2009, 09:54:22 AM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
For the Epson, yes. Unless you've got a very old unit, the gamut of modern Epson's exceed Adobe RGB color gamut. Your capture device can easily capture colors outside that space too, depending on the subject.

You might want to read this:
http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/pdfs/phscs2ip_colspace.pdf

These considerations have been discussed many times in previous threads. If you use Adobe Camera Raw for your editing, you can easily see gamut clipping on the histogram and use a wider space (ProphotoRGB) if necessary. However, if you do additional editing in Photoshop you can inadvertently increase saturation to the point that saturation clipping occurs in aRGB, but again this clipping should appear in the RGB histogram. Since memory and storage are relatively cheap these days, it is usually best to work in 16 bit ProphotoRGB and avoid these problems. You still have to map the gamut of the capture to that of your printer. Unfortunately, current perceptual rendering algorithms are relatively crude and may not do the job. Soft proofing can help here, but even the best displays can not show the gamut of ProPhotoRGB and may struggle to show the gamut of aRGB. However, as long as your monitor can show the gamut of the printer, soft proofing should do the job. The Photoshop out of gamut display may be of some help, but it merely shows clipped colors and not the amount of the clipping or its visual effect. Gamut mapping software such as Colorthink or Gamutvision can be helpful in this situation.

Bill
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 09:58:07 AM by bjanes » Logged
jani
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 08:42:31 AM »
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Quote from: bjanes
but even the best displays can not show the gamut of ProPhotoRGB and may struggle to show the gamut of aRGB.
A minor nitpick:

The "best displays" show more than the gamut of Adobe RGB (1998), such as Lacie's new 30" monitor with LED backlights, which can display a colour space around 25% greater than Adobe RGB, IIRC.
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Jan
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 09:44:44 AM »
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Quote from: jani
A minor nitpick:

The "best displays" show more than the gamut of Adobe RGB (1998), such as Lacie's new 30" monitor with LED backlights, which can display a colour space around 25% greater than Adobe RGB, IIRC.

Yup - for about USD 4000 at B&H. I'd really need to be convinced I can make far superior prints seeing this expanded gamut.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 09:54:15 AM »
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Quote from: MarkDS
Yup - for about USD 4000 at B&H. I'd really need to be convinced I can make far superior prints seeing this expanded gamut.
Well, it's about USD 1000 cheaper than the Eizo, and includes a colorimeter, so it depends on what you compare it with.

It's just an example that such monitors with extended gamut do exist. I don't think it's any more ridiculous to want to spend money on this monitor than it was to desire a Sony Artisan when that was available.
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Jan
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 10:04:14 AM »
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Jan - don't get me wrong - I didn't used the word "ridiculous" because that's subjective - different strokes for different folks. I'm simply wondering about whether such an expenditure is "judicious" in terms of what really visible value-added (in a print) it will buy me for editing my photos. Perhaps I would need to see it in operation compared with my LaCie 321 to assess that. There are some people prepared to lay out whatever it takes to be on the bleeding-edge regardless of value-added, but while I'm reasonably up=to-date, I'm not one of them.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Chris Crevasse
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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2009, 11:17:11 AM »
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If you know your end product is going to be an sRGB jpg, are you better off editing your raw file in aRGB or ProPhoto, then converting to sRGB, or editing your raw file in sRGB?  Does the answer change if the raw file shows clipping in sRGB but not in aRGB or ProPhoto?  How about if you are not going to pass through Photoshop, but instead are converting the raw file to jpg in Camera Raw after completing your raw editing?

Thanks.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2009, 11:47:30 AM »
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Quote from: Chris Crevasse
If you know your end product is going to be an sRGB jpg, are you better off editing your raw file in aRGB or ProPhoto, then converting to sRGB, or editing your raw file in sRGB?  Does the answer change if the raw file shows clipping in sRGB but not in aRGB or ProPhoto?  How about if you are not going to pass through Photoshop, but instead are converting the raw file to jpg in Camera Raw after completing your raw editing?


You don't edit your Raw files in sRGB. There's some underlying Raw converter color space (in LR and ACR, that's ProPhoto RGB with a linear tone response curve). You encode the rendered data in some color space which could be ProPhoto, or sRGB or, depending on the Raw converter, any other color space you have a profile for. That happens when you move from metadata editing in a Raw converter at the time you ask it for a pixel based, full color image for Photoshop or some other application.

How can we know for certain that we wish to end up in sRGB? That is, what if we wish to print it in the future? Well you can always go back to the converter and re-render, then encode that data into a larger color space. However, IF you export the data in sRGB (or any color space) and decide to now further work on that document in Photoshop, you've drawn a line in the sand. You can't go back to the converter without losing those edits. So it seems to make more sense to export and encode in a big color space like ProPhoto, edit the document master, THEN convert an iteration to sRGB or whatever you wish. It seems to make sense to work with as much data as possible throughout the entire process, then split off a size and color space iteration for the specific task at hand, while leaving the high bit, wide gamut master, pixel based image as is.
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Andrew Rodney
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Chris Crevasse
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2009, 01:19:10 PM »
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By "editing my raw file in sRGB," I mean choosing sRGB in the Workflow Options of Camera Raw.  This will be for an image where I know the dimensions and color space I need -- sRGB -- and where all post-processing, including sharpening, is handled in Camera Raw.  The raw file is my master; I save my raw files and revisit them when I need a different-sized print.  In that situation, is there any advantage to setting your Workflow Options to a color space with a wider gamut than sRGB, saving as jpg through Camera Raw in that wider space, then converting to sRGB for the print?  I assume if there is no clipping in sRGB, there would be no advantage.  What about when there is clipping in sRGB?  Is it a better practice to select a color space with no clipping in the Workflow Options of Camera Raw, then convert to sRGB, or, because you know the image must be converted to sRGB for printing, to choose sRGB in the Workflow Options, despite the clipping?  Thanks --
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digitaldog
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« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2009, 01:43:54 PM »
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Quote from: Chris Crevasse
The raw file is my master; I save my raw files and revisit them when I need a different-sized print.

Its not the workflow I'd use....

Raw files are not what I'd consider masters (they are Raw, need to be rendered even if you print within the Raw module).

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In that situation, is there any advantage to setting your Workflow Options to a color space with a wider gamut than sRGB, saving as jpg through Camera Raw in that wider space, then converting to sRGB for the print?

Yes, you can always move from a wider gamut to smaller gamut just as you can always move from a 50mb file to a 5mb file. But going the other way doesn't work. Also, as I tried to point out, once you render the data into a working space, that's locked in stone in terms of moving to a wider gamut and you now begin to bake in pixel edits.


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I assume if there is no clipping in sRGB, there would be no advantage.


How do you know there's no clipping (at least in Lightroom)? In ACR, the histogram does indicate clipping based on the currently set encoding color space.

Then there's the possibility that this lower gamut data might be pasted into a wider gamut document (if you're compositing). So you don't want to go sRGB to ProPhoto if possible.

I wouldn't be super concerned with clipping at this point in the workflow. You're going to clip anyway going to an output color space (be it your web page in sRGB or to some printer color space). If you had to work with an 8-bit file, that be one reason not to work with a very large gamut working space, otherwise, its simply a big container for whatever you decide you want to encode into that container.

Considering that at least in Adobe Raw products, you're always processing in ProPhoto RGB, even if your data could fit into sRGB, I'd make life simple and encode in ProPhoto RGB and convert later to a desired color space for the needs at hand. That's true with rendered images too. If you import an sRGB document into ACR or LR and do any edits, that data ends up in ProPhoto RGB linear TRC.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 01:44:31 PM by digitaldog » Logged

Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2009, 03:35:50 PM »
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Another advantage of rendering in ProPhoto and thereafter reducing the images to sRGB in Photoshop is the greater control over image appearance one retains with this workflow.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2009, 08:25:18 AM »
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Quote from: MarkDS
Another advantage of rendering in ProPhoto and thereafter reducing the images to sRGB in Photoshop is the greater control over image appearance one retains with this workflow.

Mark -- your comment gets to the heart of my question.  Assuming I know the color space (sRGB) and dimensions I need for printing, the image will not pass through Photoshop, and the rendered image will not be used for any purpose other than this print, is there still an advantage to setting the Camera Raw Workflow Options to ProPhoto, saving to jpg, then converting the jpg to sRGB, versus setting the Workflow Options to sRGB, and bypassing the step of converting the rendered jpg from ProPhoto to sRGB?  I don't mind saving the images to ProPhoto then running them through Image Processor to convert them to sRGB, but if the extra step adds no benefit, then I'd rather skip it.  Again, I'm not trying to create a master file (beyond the raw file) that can be adapted to a variety of sizes, color spaces, and uses; I'm only trying to convert a raw file to a jpg for a print of a known size and color space.

Thanks for your help.  I apologize if I am missing an obvious point here.

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digitaldog
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« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2009, 08:45:37 AM »
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Quote from: Chris Crevasse
Assuming I know the color space (sRGB) and dimensions I need for printing, the image will not pass through Photoshop, and the rendered image will not be used for any purpose other than this print, is there still an advantage to setting the Camera Raw Workflow Options to ProPhoto, saving to jpg, then converting the jpg to sRGB, versus setting the Workflow Options to sRGB, and bypassing the step of converting the rendered jpg from ProPhoto to sRGB?

No advantage to the extra processing. That's why, at least in Lightroom, you can setup as many export presets you wish for size, color space, even sharpening for output. But with this workflow, you're not going to pass through Photoshop and edit the baked pixels. So if you wanted a ProPhoto iteration, you'd just go back and render a new version in that color space.

Its when you export/render in a small color space THEN edit that data that you've locked the edits into that version and all future iterations would require you to do that work again. That's hardly productive.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2009, 10:56:19 AM »
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I now always leave the originals from raw to be edited in ProPhoto coming from Lightroom. Sometimes if I know the image is a copy from Lightroom with LR edits for making it a greyscale I will convert to Adobe RGB. After all the edits are done, I usually return to LR and add some split toning. As Andrew said , sending out or even printing out from LR is efficient with presets. I have presets for PSD for editing, tiff for storage, sRGB jpgs for unknown destinations, resized sRGB jpg for web.
I prefer lightroom to any other workflow, as there are always little tweaks that I can make before sending or printing on a flattened version of the untouched edited psd still in layers.
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