DPR's shootout between ACR and Workspace!

RAH

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Thanks for the info John - very helpful.

I do wonder about this however. This kind of implies that you are doing all your editing within the RAW program, right? And perhaps even printing from it?

@RAH
Use either PPRGB or aRGB 16 bit for editing, and Epson Photo Glossy for printing (assuming some kind of non-Epson paper). If there is a manufacturer profile for your paper, use it! I use Ilford papers, and Ilford supplies both profiles for specific paper/printer combinations, and recommendations for generic printers with Ilford papers. e.g. there are specific profiles for their papers for my R3880, and recommendations for which Epson profile to use for my Epson XP-970.
I mean, the more traditional approach is to do some minor editing in the RAW app, then export to TIF and do more extensive editing in an image editor. So how are you going to be switching color profiles then? I mean, do I have to go back into say RawTherapee, set it to a different color profile and then do another export and somehow redo all my edits again in say PaintShop Pro? That obviously is unworkable.

Perhaps I can set the color profile in the image editor, is that what the answer is? So, in other words, always export from the RAW program with the BEST color profile (PPRGB or aRGB) and then change the profile as needed within the image editor? Is that what the idea is??
 

John King

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Rich, the colour profile must be set in the RAW processor.

After that you can only down, not up. e.g. you can go from PPRGB 16 to aRGB 16, but not the other way. Once the colour data has been compressed (lost ... ), it cannot be recovered.

Do all editing in your wide gamut, high bit depth colour space, then save this as a Tiff-16. Then resave it as an 8 bit, sRGB JPEG for the web. Keep both copies!

I do almost all editing in ACR. If a photo needs more than this, I've stuffed it up. Heroic editing should only be used for sentimentally important photos.

Almost everything I post here amounts to an OoC LSF JPEG with a USM automatically applied by a Photoshop action I wrote (a macro). It (they) also apply the drop shadow, mat and copyright, then converts to sRGB. I always shoot aRGB in-camera.

I almost never crop or even straighten images.

Basically, get everything as right as possible in camera.

I only use the RAWs for printing, or heroic editing.
 

RAH

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OK, thanks John! I had a feeling that was the way it had to be concerning the color profile. It does make it seem that I should stop using OWS even for hi-res images. It was mainly the noise reduction that I liked OWS for more than RawTherapee, but RT is deservedly notorious for having NUMEROUS ways to skin a cat, so I think I could probably try some and get it to match OWS noise results, but then still retain the better color profile for saving to the TIF.
 

John King

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@RAH, BTW Rich, there is no particular reason why you cannot PP RAWs in OWS. Just make sure you use aRGB and save as a Tiff-16. Then operate on it using whatever s/w you like.

I choose to use Adobe Bridge, ACR and Photoshop because I'm used to them after about 16 years.

Originally, Olympus Viewer (etc) would not save the EXIF if you saved as a Tiff-16. That was a real killer for me.

aRGB is a fairly wide gamut colour space - about double the size of sRGB. PPRGB is really only noticeably wider gamut with brilliant colours, particularly reds, oranges, yellows, but also generally.

As I said before aRGB is safest, PPRGB is best.
 

RAH

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@RAH, BTW Rich, there is no particular reason why you cannot PP RAWs in OWS. Just make sure you use aRGB and save as a Tiff-16. Then operate on it using whatever s/w you like.
Ah, I'm glad you mentioned that. Somehow I got it in my head that OWS would only allow sRGB (although no one said that; I make stuff up all the time!). Yes, I think that would be a good compromise. Excellent!
 

GBarrington

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You know, as a "software nerd", I've been playing with OWS for the last week or so. You know, it REALLY wouldn't take much to turn it into a first-class product that people would pay money for! Use Olympus' percieved reputation for "AI" as a marketing catalyst.

Open it up to other m43s cameras at first, then to other, select cameras at some later point. Do it slowly, do it inexpensively if you must, but make it clear to all from the start, that you intend to eventually make it something people will WANT to buy, and that you are in this for the long term.
 

RAH

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I want to follow-up on this with some later findings. I tried using aRGB output color profile in Raw Therapee, exporting to 16-bit TIF. I then opened it in Affinity Photo. It looked fine on the screen. Did some editing on it and saved it to afphoto proprietary format (opening it later, it still looks fine). BUT, exporting the edited (or even unedited) image to JPG, the color gets screwed up.

The only wya I could get this to work was to go back into RT and set the output color profile to sRGB and do the export to 16-bit TIF. Then editing it in AFphoto and exporting to JPG, the JPG color was correct.

I assume that this would happen with OWS too, although I haven't tried it. Of course, if you are never going to save to JPG (i.e. do all your processing in RAW, then TIF, then save to TIF or print), you should be OK, I should think. But, to tell the truth, I like to at least have a jpg result for easy viewing, etc.

This doesn't contradict in any way anything @John King mentions in this thread. I just want to warn folks about the potential problem with jpgs.
 

John King

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I want to follow-up on this with some later findings. I tried using aRGB output color profile in Raw Therapee, exporting to 16-bit TIF. I then opened it in Affinity Photo. It looked fine on the screen. Did some editing on it and saved it to afphoto proprietary format (opening it later, it still looks fine). BUT, exporting the edited (or even unedited) image to JPG, the color gets screwed up.

The only wya I could get this to work was to go back into RT and set the output color profile to sRGB and do the export to 16-bit TIF. Then editing it in AFphoto and exporting to JPG, the JPG color was correct.

I assume that this would happen with OWS too, although I haven't tried it. Of course, if you are never going to save to JPG (i.e. do all your processing in RAW, then TIF, then save to TIF or print), you should be OK, I should think. But, to tell the truth, I like to at least have a jpg result for easy viewing, etc.

This doesn't contradict in any way anything @John King mentions in this thread. I just want to warn folks about the potential problem with jpgs.
Rich, you have to develop the RAW in the wide colour space, otherwise you will run into all sorts of problems.

While it is possible in practice to convert an 8 bit, sRGB file to a 16 bit aRGB file, the colours will get screwed up, and badly.

You can only go PPRGB > aRGB > sRGB and 16 bit > 8 bit. A bit like the Diffie-Hellman algorithm in encryption, these processes are not reversible.
 

RAH

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Rich, you have to develop the RAW in the wide colour space, otherwise you will run into all sorts of problems.

While it is possible in practice to convert an 8 bit, sRGB file to a 16 bit aRGB file, the colours will get screwed up, and badly.

You can only go PPRGB > aRGB > sRGB and 16 bit > 8 bit. A bit like the Diffie-Hellman algorithm in encryption, these processes are not reversible.
I thought that's what I had done. Anyway, the default is RTv4_sRGB (described as similar to sRGB), which works OK, but they also have RTv4_Wide. So that might be better? I can try that and then see if my JPG out of Affinity is OK. Sorry about all this, but if I'm confused, I think many would be... :)
 

John King

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@RAH, Rich, it looks to me that you might be developing the RAW into sRGB, then converting it to aRGB then re-converting it to sRGB.

This is a guarantee that the colours will be all over the place!

You need to ensure that the default colour space for developing the RAW in RT is 16 bit aRGB (set your camera to aRGB as well).

It appears that if your camera is set to sRGB for JPEGs, RT will read this tag and apply it to your RAW by default - ugh!! You need to change this setting so that RT always opens RAW files in a 16 bit, wide gamut colour space ("wide gamut" generally means "ProPhotoRGB", but RT is a bit odd when it comes to abiding by conventions ... ).

It's about 14 years since I used RT, so impossible for me to provide specific guidance on this.
 

John King

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@RAH Rich, the simple version is this:

Use either PPRGB or aRGB 16 bit for editing, and Epson Photo Glossy for printing (assuming some kind of non-Epson paper). If there is a manufacturer profile for your paper, use it! I use Ilford papers, and Ilford supplies both profiles for specific paper/printer combinations, and recommendations for generic printers with Ilford papers. e.g. there are specific profiles for their papers for my R3880, and recommendations for which Epson profile to use for my Epson XP-970.

PPRGB is the best colour space to edit in.

However, aRGB is the safest for editing if you do more than minor colour adjustments during editing, as you can see what you are doing, assuming a decent video card and monitor.

Never use sRGB except for email and the web. sRGB is deficient (too small) and defective (the colour axes are not equal in length).

There is no commercially available monitor that can display PPRGB or 16 bit colour. Closest affordable is a Dell UP2516D (about AUD$750), which has a 14 bit colour lookup table and a 12 bit panel which will display 100% of an aRGB colour space.

However, where printers are concerned, it's different. e.g. my Epson R3880 will print most of the visible part of PPRGB using 16 bit data.

After this practical advice, things get very complex, very quickly. I've read several thousand pages on this subject.

IIRC, Cambridge in Colour has some accurate and understandable information available. I will see if I can find it.

I forgot to find these links at the time, but here they are:

At Cambridge in Colour

COLOR MANAGEMENT & PRINTING

sRGB vs aRGB

Colour spaces


Not perfect or complete, but a very good place to start, as they explain things a lot more carefully and logically than I do ...

I recommend reading them in the above order.
 

RAH

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@RAH Rich, I did find this on RT's web site. You might have difficulty understanding it, I know I did ...

http://rawpedia.rawtherapee.com/Color_Management

It could and should have been a LOT clearer!
Yes, I had looked at this myself and you're right, it is hard to understand for me. One problem is that it isn't up-to-date with regard to the Color Profiles in the pull-down list (see my earlier post with the screen-shot of it). Thanks for going to all the trouble of finding it and looking at it!

One problem here, of course, is that I am trying to use RT, instead of using a more common piece of software like OWS or Lightroom, so at least we'd have a well-known base to start with. Sorry, that's just me being me.

I have to say that reading "You need to ensure that the default colour space for developing the RAW in RT is 16 bit aRGB (set your camera to aRGB as well)...It appears that if your camera is set to sRGB for JPEGs, RT will read this tag and apply it to your RAW by default - ugh!!" is giving me pause about this whole thing. I don't really want to be changing my camera's defaults in an area that totally mystifies me to something else just to improve its color profile which I'll probably never use anyway.

Having said that, it would be good to learn about all this and I will read what you suggested and hopefully understand this better. So thanks!! :)
 

John King

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Yes, I had looked at this myself and you're right, it is hard to understand for me. One problem is that it isn't up-to-date with regard to the Color Profiles in the pull-down list (see my earlier post with the screen-shot of it). Thanks for going to all the trouble of finding it and looking at it!

One problem here, of course, is that I am trying to use RT, instead of using a more common piece of software like OWS or Lightroom, so at least we'd have a well-known base to start with. Sorry, that's just me being me.

I have to say that reading "You need to ensure that the default colour space for developing the RAW in RT is 16 bit aRGB (set your camera to aRGB as well)...It appears that if your camera is set to sRGB for JPEGs, RT will read this tag and apply it to your RAW by default - ugh!!" is giving me pause about this whole thing. I don't really want to be changing my camera's defaults in an area that totally mystifies me to something else just to improve its color profile which I'll probably never use anyway.

Having said that, it would be good to learn about all this and I will read what you suggested and hopefully understand this better. So thanks!! :)
I'm just off to bed, and the meds are starting to kick in ... All the best with your reading, that stuff at CinC should keep you out of trouble until I get moving again in around 12 hours ... :rofl: .

The tag that the camera is applying (colour space = sRGB) is almost certainly being read and acted on by RT. That's why you need to change it and do some test shots to see what happens. You can always change it back - that's allowed ... ;) .
 

John King

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This is an easier to understand representation of the relative size and shape of colour spaces.

Gamuts_comparison-B_F.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)



Source is Blatner and Fraser "Real World Adobe Photoshop".

Note how small and defective sRGB and Apple (Colormatch RGB) are compared with aRGB and ProPhotoRGB. Note that SWOP CMYK is the four colour commercial printing space (newspapers and similar). Almost all commercial printing (books and similar) now use an 8 colour system, or thereabouts.
 

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