RAW(NEF) > DNG > TIFF colors.

Mack

Mu-43 All-Pro
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Jan 14, 2018
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I needed to shoot some stuff and I had planned to use the ColorChecker Digital SG card outside to get a decent color. However, it is hot today, maybe 110 F or higher here in the CA desert, so I decided I wouldn't chance the sun playing nice with the laminated x-rite Digital SG card as the thing warps badly in the sun and heat above 80 F. I found a old image I made of the card last winter with the Nikon Z7 II and planned to risk the subsequent printed copy made off the calibrated printer instead of sacrificing the expensive ColorChecker Digital SG card to the sun and heat.

The camera printed copy from the Nikon Z7 II NEF/RAW image looked very bad for color. I thought it would be better given the RAW and the supposed JPG image within it, but colors, especially the oranges, looked brownish and dull. Somewhat same for blues as well. Row 3, column J of the orange color below in the top image shows the dull and brownish color of the NEF image.

I then printed second image of the SG card as a DNG file made from Adobe DNG Converter 13.2 of the same NEF/RAW image above. Results were a bit better with the oranges, but still dull and nothing like the orange it should be.

Took the DNG and found I had made a DCP profile from it prior using Lumariver Profile Designer. I found the Z7 II DCP profile I had made was loaded in DxO PhotoLab 4 and that surprised me as I forgot all about it. Made the NEF/RAW into a TIFF image in DxO Photolab 4. Now the SG card's colors, oranges and blues, literally pop off the paper! Huge difference in colors. Aside, the older ColorChecker Camera Calibrator software did not work with their Digital SG card for a long time and the Lumariver Profile Designer did. That has since changed as the free ColorChecker software accepts their SG cards now to build a DCP profile.

I mistakenly thought the embedded JPG in the Nikon NEF file would suffice for the job today, but it wasn't so. Now I can go and "bake" the printed SG card copy in the heat using an old Speed-Easel to hold the paper flat and not damage or warp the x-rite ColorChecker SG card.

Below are the three images of the NEF (top), DNG (middle), and the TIFF (bottom) made from DxO PhotoLab 4 with a DCP profile.

NEF_DNG_TIFF-Prints.jpg
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Aside, the above single image was made with the E-M1 Mark II and is the unretouched JPEG straight out of camera made with Manual WB of 5,600K and a bit of R/G tuning (i.e. A +2 I think.) to neutralize the grays.
 

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