raw workflow with lightzone


Mu-43 Rookie
Hi, i'm new to 4/3's with a GF1. I switched from a dSLR mostly due to size. I have been using lightzone for a couple years and really like how it's set up, makes me think like a wet darkroom. I've also started playing with photomatix and HDR. Since neither have lens correction, I'm trying to figure a workflow for raw. I'm thinking of getting elements for conversion, and then lightzone for editing. HDR would be more complicated, conversion in elements, HDR in photomatix, and editing in lightzone. Seems kind of crazy, any ideas?

Brian Mosley

Administrator Emeritus
Hi Ryan,

I'm in a similar position, but using Olympus bodies... I develop using Olympus Studio to tiff, and then finish in Lightzone.

Have you got to grips with Silkypix? Apart from the user interface it's supposed to be very good.

The good news is that LZ 4 in development will no doubt have lens correction built in... but you're right, the way to go at the moment (at least for those m4/3rds lenses needing distortion/CA correction) is 2 stage.

Just a quick thought - does the DNG converter apply distortion / CA correction?




Mu-43 Rookie
Thanks for the response Brian.
Not 100%, but i thought the DNG in elements 8 did lens correction. i tried silkypix when I had pentax, never figured it out.
I guess while I wait for lz4 I'll go the two step process.

Bokeh Diem

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Lightzone... Asleep at the Wheel?

I had to ask LZ recently to support the GH2 and provide RAW conversion codecs.... and commented at the same time that they appeared to be very reticent about engaging their public or updating their software. I like the product ( I use it exclusively for PP) but am worried about the company.. any thoughts Brian?

I am not a fan of Silkypix... it alters native colours and I have to fight the thing to bring those values back. I have given up on it.

For now, as I wait for the update from LZ, I am using an Adobe DNG converter and then processing in Lightzone. Lightzone, which supposedly supports DNG files, tends to react intermittently to them.. some DNG's load, others don't.

I save in .tiff format, process, then dumb down to jpgs as required for sharing like right here.

Using this process references the RAW file, and offers accurate colour control, and much less loss of dynamic range than shooting jpg in camera. Lightzone carries the original RAW data right through to jpgs as long as you allow LZ to format accordingly.

Sample below, resized to about 570kbs from a 67,000kb .tiff file, for this Site. Very little post processing... the usual brush up sharpening and very light contrast adjustments. And, as the flower is sitting right beside me in the garden, I can attest to the colour rendition as being perfect.

Bokeh D
Shot with a Panasonic GH2 and 4/3rds adapted Leica 25/1.4 at f5.6 over 1/800ths sec, ISO pegged at 160. UV filtration only