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Author Topic: Can LR really export an original raw file?  (Read 9816 times)
glenerrolrd
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« on: May 19, 2009, 11:41:08 AM »
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It is becoming apparent that the raw convertors specific to a proprietary raw format..eg. .NEF ....can provide superior raw conversions.  The workflow issue is do you convert every file (create 16Bit TIFFs ) or only the many fewer files selected for output or display.  

Starting with new files ..its easy to understand the trade offs ..but what about the archive ?   With LR when the capabilities improve its easy to reprocess a single file from its raw original.   But now I need to find the raw original and get it to the new raw convertor  (say C1 or NX2)  .  

In that context .....does LR really offer the option to export an original or has some processing taken place.
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michael
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2009, 12:09:15 PM »
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Lightroom never touches the original raw file. All edits are virtual.

Michael

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joedecker
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2009, 02:19:42 PM »
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Quote from: glenerrolrd
It is becoming apparent that the raw convertors specific to a proprietary raw format..eg. .NEF ....can provide superior raw conversions.  The workflow issue is do you convert every file (create 16Bit TIFFs ) or only the many fewer files selected for output or display.  

Starting with new files ..its easy to understand the trade offs ..but what about the archive ?   With LR when the capabilities improve its easy to reprocess a single file from its raw original.   But now I need to find the raw original and get it to the new raw convertor  (say C1 or NX2)  .  

In that context .....does LR really offer the option to export an original or has some processing taken place.

Yes.  Michael's right (of course!) that LR never touches the original RAW file, in addition, if you use Export with the RAW option you get two files, an identical copy of the RAW file, and a second file containing the settings information.  C1, NX2, etc., will have absolutely no trouble working with that RAW file.

--Joe
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Joe Decker
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 02:40:37 PM »
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You can always go Ctrl R / Cmd R to see the original in Explorer / Finder, then just double click it to open the OS's default application. Equally, if you are wanting to do this, it's quite possibly a sign that you're not getting as much out of LR's conversion as you could - and that's not necessarily LR's failing....

John
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Schewe
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 10:01:22 PM »
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Quote from: glenerrolrd
It is becoming apparent that the raw convertors specific to a proprietary raw format..eg. .NEF ....can provide superior raw conversions.

No, what is apparent is that for some people, the proprietary raw conversion seems to provide an "easier" optimized image without a lot of effort and expertise. It's only natural that by "default" Nikon's or Canon's own software has better image defaults because they match the camera JPEG and the view you see in the LCD. If you don't become expert at using the myriad of tools in Lightroom to completely control your raw capture's rendering, then yes, it can be argued that the proprietary software is "better". I would argue it's "easier" and show a lack of skill on the part of the Lightroom or Camera Raw user though...but hey, that's just me...I kinda know how to use Camera Raw and Lightroom :~)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2009, 01:42:30 AM by Schewe » Logged
glenerrolrd
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 10:30:47 PM »
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Quote from: johnbeardy
You can always go Ctrl R / Cmd R to see the original in Explorer / Finder, then just double click it to open the OS's default application. Equally, if you are wanting to do this, it's quite possibly a sign that you're not getting as much out of LR's conversion as you could - and that's not necessarily LR's failing....

John


John  

You indicated this on another forum and I really don t understand your point.   MR approach front ends LR ....this certainly works but requires the workflow to manage both a raw file and the converted TIFF.   The other alternative is to export only selected files from LR ..not one at a time but probably 10% of what you have .  (This also works for files you may have imported or referenced previously).  This is the context of my question.

What I have been trying to determine....and believe have concluded on.....if you export a file from LR from the Library module and specify "original"   will you get the original raw file that you previously imported or referenced.   My tests and feedback from others indicates that yes ....if you started with the raw file .......you would a copy of the raw file in the folder you exported to.

You other observation implies that ..its just me ...LR is just as good as any other converter of  my raw files.  While in general that might be true....I am seeing increasing evidence that for example Capture One does a better job on the M8 files and that CNX has some advantages with the new larger .NEF files from the D3X.   This isn t meant as any criticism for LR .  

Roger




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john beardsworth
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2009, 01:48:38 AM »
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Michael's approach seems more to use LR as the back end rather than the front. With files from certain cameras, he opens them first in Capture One and generates TIF files which he saves in a "watched folder". This is a folder which LR watches, and then automatically imports any new files. He then adds any metadata, and outputs the file.

A second route is your export option, and you have no need to do any tests or have any doubt - if you specify original, that is exactly what you get. It is so original that it lacks any keywords and other metadata which you'll have to spend time adding again. Export as originals may leave you with an export folder which you can work your way through in the other converter, which may be helpful to process large numbers, your 10% or whatever. It has more benefit if you set lots of the in-camera settings like picture styles, sharpening, and other proprietary stuff. But you now have duplicate copies of some of the raw files. That soon becomes pretty messy.

The Ctrl R / Cmd R option ties in with my other point, which is essentially the same as Jeff's. Your original statement and underlying assumption is far too sweeping, but can be valid for individual images - hence the one by one suggestion. What's more, it's inevitable that you're not going to be as skilled and / or as productive with a range of raw converters. Something has to give.

John
« Last Edit: May 20, 2009, 01:49:55 AM by johnbeardy » Logged

glenerrolrd
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2009, 12:02:22 PM »
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Quote from: Schewe
No, what is apparent is that for some people, the proprietary raw conversion seems to provide an "easier" optimized image without a lot of effort and expertise. It's only natural that by "default" Nikon's or Canon's own software has better image defaults because they match the camera JPEG and the view you see in the LCD. If you don't become expert at using the myriad of tools in Lightroom to completely control your raw capture's rendering, then yes, it can be argued that the proprietary software is "better". I would argue it's "easier" and show a lack of skill on the part of the Lightroom or Camera Raw user though...but hey, that's just me...I kinda know how to use Camera Raw and Lightroom :~)


Jeff

Wouldn t you agree that the skill and commitment of the individual ..should be a major factor in establishing a workflow.  Getting an excellent result without requiring great skills is a valid priority.   I would argue  that whats possible in the hands of a world class expert ..is about as relevant as what clubs Tiger Woods is using.  I have been using LR since it first came out and have been exceptionally happy with it in almost every area. However I am seeing increasing discussion on the forums regarding the superior raw conversions possible with say Capture One and the M8 s .DNG files.  It seems logical to me that the camera specific calibrations can be better at least in the hands of the average serious LR user.  

But that was never the purpose of the post.  If you wanted ..for any reason ..to use a different raw converter but wanted the rest of your work flow to use LR ..how best to accomplish this .   MR proposed a solution which accomplishes the objectives .....but would seem to give up the really good importing and selection capabilities within LR .   The other alternative work flow would seem to be using LR for the bulk of the heavy lifting and then only reconverting the selects.    If I understand his post this will not work for the P65+ files ..but it would work for my M8 .DNG files.  So if wanted to use another raw convertor and had the option ..front end convert all files to TIFFs ..or selectively reprocess say 10% of your raw captures......which would be preferable ?

Appreciate any input you might have.

Roger


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Schewe
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2009, 08:37:54 PM »
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Quote from: glenerrolrd
Getting an excellent result without requiring great skills is a valid priority.


Well, I suppose in this day and age of easy being the best, yes...I suppose there's something to be said for the best result for the least effort. That's not the way I approach my work however and I certainly don't respect anybody whose primary goal is quick and easy (or down and dirty).

Clearly, the camera software is designed yo produce the 'Nikon Look' or 'Canon Look' where by default, the software is designed to match the JPEG image on the LCD display. Nikon and Canon can afford to do that because with their cameras and software they are trying to create a closed loop system.

Camera Raw/Lightroom support almost 200 different raw file formats from a myriad of manufacturers...the Camera Raw team doesn't really care about matching the manufacture's looks so much as creating a useful "normalized" default rendering–which the user is free to override. As a nod to those who claim Nikon or Canon produce better color off their raw files Adobe created the DNF Profile and added that to the DNG spec. So, as it relates to match up with camera looks, that's covered. If you think that Capture One or Raw Developer or Capture NX or Canon's DPP produce better detailed rendered files, I would suggest that you don't know how to use Camera Raw/Lightroom's Detail sliders for noise reduction and sharpening.

Yes, I'm predisposed to use Camera Raw/Lightroom. I was personally involved in the development and I've written a book on Camera Raw. So, I better use what I am involved with and try my best to evangelize what I think is the optimal raw processing pipeline. That's not to say I don't whisper in the ears of the ACR/LR engineers about improving this or that to try to make ACR/LR the hands down best raw processing pipeline in the industry. There are weaknesses in the current pipeline that I would like to see addressed (and I'm kinda in the position of helping to bring about that change).

But I get pretty tired of people claiming this or that raw processor is hands down better that Camera Raw or Lightroom when the person making that claim doesn't have a friggin' clue how to use ACR or LR and just let the software run at near default and then piss&moan™ that "It is becoming apparent that the raw convertors specific to a proprietary raw format..eg. .NEF ....can provide superior raw conversions."

Sorry...I seriously doubt that, ya know?

Learn to be expert with the software you decide you want to use and quit wagging your tongue about the assumptions of the masses (they generally don't have a friggin' clue).
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Schewe
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2009, 08:43:02 PM »
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Quote from: glenerrolrd
MR proposed a solution which accomplishes the objectives .....but would seem to give up the really good importing and selection capabilities within LR .

As to Mike's use of the P65+ and Capture One, I've just received my Phase One camera and P65+ back and I'm facing the same issue.

I have a different approach in that I use Capture One to fix the lens correction and then use Capture One to create Linear DNG files that I either open in Camera Raw or import into Lightroom for post demosiaced white balance and other post processing in Camera Raw.

I would much prefer to export Linear DNGs out of Capture One than bake a color space and gamma tone curve in a TIFF. So far, that seem optimal at the moment...
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michael
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2009, 09:02:21 PM »
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Jeff,

I wasn't aware that a C1 linear DNG contains C1's lens correction. What else does it contain?

Michael

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Schewe
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2009, 11:08:49 PM »
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Quote from: michael
I wasn't aware that a C1 linear DNG contains C1's lens correction. What else does it contain?

When Capture One 4.8.x outputs a DNG, it does the actual demosiacing....so any lens corrections (and AtoD corrections) are performed on the linear DNG output. In that regard it's much like DxO's linear DNG lens corrections...

You do need the demosiacing to take advantage of the lens corrections but saving out the linear DNG means you aren't locked into Capture One's color/tone output to a tiff file. The DNG's ain't tiny mind you...I think they're about 117MB and it does take a degree of zen like patients when working on the files in ACR/LR...but I much prefer ACR/LR tone and color controls compared to Capture One (not to mention the image sharpening).

:~)
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michael
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2009, 04:00:49 AM »
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Thanks. I just learned something – as I always do from you.

Michael



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Stephane Desnault
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2009, 04:40:46 AM »
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I'm learning something too!  Does that mean that by going through DXO with just the lens correction options and exporting to DNG I basically get a very close approximation of a "lens corrected RAW file" ?

It's very important to me: I shoot high-end 360 panos, using A D3+14-24 combination, and the lens-tailored DXO corrections are needed for the stitching software (autodesk realviz) to work optimally. But of course it's throwing me out of my standard LR+PS workflow.
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NikosR
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2009, 09:24:45 AM »
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Quote from: Stephane Desnault
I'm learning something too!  Does that mean that by going through DXO with just the lens correction options and exporting to DNG I basically get a very close approximation of a "lens corrected RAW file" ?

It's very important to me: I shoot high-end 360 panos, using A D3+14-24 combination, and the lens-tailored DXO corrections are needed for the stitching software (autodesk realviz) to work optimally. But of course it's throwing me out of my standard LR+PS workflow.

You get something equivalent with what Schewe gets from C1 for his Phase One files. Read his post above. Refrain from using any color rendering related operations in DxO since the conversion to Linear DNG can mess up things when the files opens in LR.
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Nikos
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2009, 09:00:25 AM »
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Jeff,

so you think that ACR is better than any other raw converter if it is taylored by one who knows what to do?

I am very happy about converters that do the job nearly out of the box, like C1, RD or NX2.
They are time savers and the opposite of "quick and dirty" solutions.

ACR lives from tuning, C1 gives you a look from the beginning.
The interface of ACR always let me feel i have forgotten something to look after and didn´t have a perfect file.
As said, its a personal feeling.

BTW,  my clients and me like it quick and clean :-)

happyman
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« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2009, 08:47:51 PM »
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Quote from: michael
Lightroom never touches the original raw file. All edits are virtual.

Michael

I'm coming back to this forum after a long absence, but is that strictly true?  Doesn't LR have a option to adjust the metadata dates, and doesn't that cause LR to rewrite the raw files?  (AND, didn't an early LR have a bug that corrupted .NEF's because of this rewriting?).

Thanks.

--Milt--
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Schewe
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« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2009, 10:46:36 PM »
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Quote from: milt
Doesn't LR have a option to adjust the metadata dates, and doesn't that cause LR to rewrite the raw files?  (AND, didn't an early LR have a bug that corrupted .NEF's because of this rewriting?).

No...it wrote into the .xmp file (or the xmp bock in the case of DNG) only. If you toss the .xmp file the raw file is still absolutely untouched...what the bug was causing was problems in the database record of the file...not the original file at all.

You may have been confused abut an earlier version of Capture NX actually writing inside the actual raw file and that bug resulted in the raw NEF being corrupted...
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 10:47:47 PM by Schewe » Logged
cmi
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« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2009, 03:40:08 AM »
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Quote from: Schewe
Well, I suppose in this day and age of easy being the best, yes...I suppose there's something to be said for the best result for the least effort. That's not the way I approach my work however and I certainly don't respect anybody whose primary goal is quick and easy (or down and dirty).

Clearly, the camera software is designed yo produce the 'Nikon Look' or 'Canon Look' where by default, the software is designed to match the JPEG image on the LCD display. Nikon and Canon can afford to do that because with their cameras and software they are trying to create a closed loop system.

Camera Raw/Lightroom support almost 200 different raw file formats from a myriad of manufacturers...the Camera Raw team doesn't really care about matching the manufacture's looks so much as creating a useful "normalized" default rendering–which the user is free to override. As a nod to those who claim Nikon or Canon produce better color off their raw files Adobe created the DNF Profile and added that to the DNG spec. So, as it relates to match up with camera looks, that's covered. If you think that Capture One or Raw Developer or Capture NX or Canon's DPP produce better detailed rendered files, I would suggest that you don't know how to use Camera Raw/Lightroom's Detail sliders for noise reduction and sharpening.

Yes, I'm predisposed to use Camera Raw/Lightroom. I was personally involved in the development and I've written a book on Camera Raw. So, I better use what I am involved with and try my best to evangelize what I think is the optimal raw processing pipeline. That's not to say I don't whisper in the ears of the ACR/LR engineers about improving this or that to try to make ACR/LR the hands down best raw processing pipeline in the industry. There are weaknesses in the current pipeline that I would like to see addressed (and I'm kinda in the position of helping to bring about that change).

But I get pretty tired of people claiming this or that raw processor is hands down better that Camera Raw or Lightroom when the person making that claim doesn't have a friggin' clue how to use ACR or LR and just let the software run at near default and then piss&moan™ that "It is becoming apparent that the raw convertors specific to a proprietary raw format..eg. .NEF ....can provide superior raw conversions."

Sorry...I seriously doubt that, ya know?

Learn to be expert with the software you decide you want to use and quit wagging your tongue about the assumptions of the masses (they generally don't have a friggin' clue).


Schewe,

with all due respect, I think you are missing a point. If I am wrong, or the subject has more to it (very likely) please point it out. I understood you as such: If one wants good results out of Lightroom he has to tweak, and you dont respect someone who espects an easy out of the box good result as the vendor-specific softwares provides.

Now I see it only as natural to expect from lightroom the same quality as from the native converters. I only work with Canon so here is my experience and toughts.

In lets say 98% of all Raws I can get the same quality out of Lightroom as from DPP. I have a LR preset wich comes close to my DPP settings. Often it matches 100% visually, sometimes it doesnt. Then I take the DPP image as a reference to adjust the file further, and usually I can emulate it very good.

So, I find DPP renders the tones out of the box better than Lightroom. If I had never installed DPP and only LR my conversions would be worse, tonal-wise. Large batches of comparisation renderings show the DPP tones to be consistently better. LR results are good too, but sometimes a bit dull to describe it in short. So well, of course I'd expect that LR can do the same.

So when you bash inexperienced users you are missing the point. Blaming the users is not the way to go. Of course I can fix it and make it appear like DPP, thats not the point. The point is that the software should get it right in the first place.

At the end one might wonder why I use LR/ACR at all when DPP is so much better. Well, very simple: Better noise reduction, gets better results out of lower quality base files, is generally more flexible. Also DPP is crippled severly workflow-wise.

And about me: Im used to work with Maya and other vastly more complex apps than Photoshop is and Im used to find workflows for myself. Of course Im not as competent as the LR experts, but I consider me to be reasonably competent. I am not a lazy user who just protests. I can get it like I want, but I say, LR should deliver better defaults.

If this is easy to do or not is an entirely different issue. And I respect it if this will not change, I have my solution anyway. But the issue exists, and I find it too easy to just blame the users.

All the best

Christian
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Schewe
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« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2009, 11:31:13 AM »
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Quote from: Christian Miersch
Of course I can fix it and make it appear like DPP, thats not the point. The point is that the software should get it right in the first place.


And of course, the question of getting it "right" ain't such an easy task. If you are talking about getting a more accurate rendering of a raw capture, I suspect you would be surprised to find that Adobe Standard with most cameras renders colors more accurately than DP or NX. No, ACR/LR doesn't match the camera jpeg or LCD as easy out of the box. But the camera jpeg or LCD rendering is wrong far more than it's accurate. The camera maker's aren't after "right" they are after a pleasing "look" that makes the image appear better and hides some of their lack of image quality.

If you are thinking somehow that the camera makers know what's "right" I've got some ocean front property I'll sell you in Arizona. Neither Nikon nor Canon have any long term culture or tradition regarding scene rendering. Prior to digital, their primary responsibility was to maintain a light tight environment and to form a sharp image the film. When they had to come up with image processing to take raw captures into jpegs they adopted existing technologies and used their own image expectations regarding what the image should look like and "right" wasn't really high on their priority list ya know.

If by "right" you mean the first two dimensional representation (you camera's LCD) you really, seriously need to quit chimping so much and not fall in love with scifi (which is what the back of the camera is showing you).
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