When I import raw NEF files from view NX2 to Lightroom4 I notice in a small dialogue box in the top left corner of the screen display the words 'Rendering Standard Previews' I also notice that the small thumbnails change to a darker image when rendering is complete. The import setting is set to 'None'
Which image is the true image my camera has shot, the image in View NX2 or the image in Lightroom?
Does image X change appearance when imported into in different software programs(9 posts) (4 voices)
When I import raw NEF files from view NX2 to Lightroom4 I notice in a small dialogue box in the top left corner of the screen display the words 'Rendering Standard Previews' I also notice that the small thumbnails change to a darker image when rendering is complete. The import setting is set to 'None'Posted 10 months ago #
There is no actual "true" as every camera, program, image format has a slightly different color pallet. It's never much but it can be seen.
One thing to check it to make sure you are using the same color pallet sRGB/Adobe RGB 1998 throughout your work flow as the default. Adobe has a wider gamut and sRGB is smaller. Most I know go with Adobe and then in the final image for web they export it as sRGB. That will shift the colors a bit, but not much and you retain the most color possible in LR.
I saw a great Moose Peterson video lately where he asks the question;
"Who but you knows what the "real" color was when you took the shot?"
Unless you are in a very specific use, rarely does "true" color accuracy matter. In that case shoot with a color checker or grey card to match colors.
While there may not be a true image color, there is a logic to the different versions.
View NX2, Capture NX2, Photo Mechanic, and others that use the Nikon camera settings produce the image as captured by the sensor and rendered. These programs incorporate your picture control settings, white balance selection, noise reduction, ADL and D-Lighting, etc. They also incorporate the way the camera processor renders red, green and blue lightwaves captured by the sensor. If your question is about matching a JPEG, these program will be very close if not exactly the same.
Lightroom and the Adobe programs have a developed presets for the popular cameras that render the image. Lightroom ignores picture control, white balance, noise reduction, D-Lighting, etc. It only incorporates ADL to the extent of any exposure adjustment.
Now when it comes to the REAL color, you would need appropriate tools to measure the real color. White balance tools like gray cards or white cards are intended to neutralize color - not capture the color. This means reflections - greens from a forest scene of warm light from golden hours - is neutralized. In some cases a tint adjustment is applied. You can use a preset - but that simply applies a preset color temperature to the scene and does not measure the actual color. Daylight WB can be too warm or too cool depending on the scene.
Another issue is that the values associated with color are different across software programs. Daylight WB in the Adobe suite is different than daylight in the Nikon program. Any given K value produces a different result in each program.
Finally, your computer, inks, and paper have an impact on color. Start with your monitor - what is the color space you have selected - and what is the monitor capable of producing? Typically your camera has a bigger color space than your computer so some clipping or compromising occurs. Paper and inks can make a huge difference. And anything that you share on the web falls back within the color space of the browser - and most are not color managed. Also consider that brightness makes a big difference in the way you perceive color. Calibration can help eliminate problems with correctly rendering color, but it does not give you "correct" color.
Color is an artistic decision - not a right or wrong answer. For some scenes you want a neutral color. For others, neutral takes the life out of the image you observed.
Software is a starting point. Part of learning to use software is understanding how it renders color - and how it can be managed for the results you want.
Different software packages will use different conversion algorithms to render the RAW file. So even if they all take into account the same camera settings, white balance, etc., they will still produce different results -- often noticeably different.
And, these conversion algorithms change all the time. An image rendered by LR3 may look very distinct from one rendered by LR4 even if all settings remain the same.
Setting the camera's color space (such as sRGB or AdobeRGB) has no effect on RAW files. They are only used by the camera when rendering JPEGs or TIFFs. You have to set the desired color space within the RAW conversion software itself.
AdobeRGB may not be the best choice for raw conversion because it has a narrower gamut than what modern sensors can capture. During the editing process, using a wider color space such as Pro Photo RGB (in 16-bit mode) is preferable.
It's best to try out different RAW converters and then choose the one or two (or three) converters you like the best.
Pro Photo RGB Vs Adobe RGB - I do understand that ProPhoto RGB is wider, but I was under the impression that Nikon's cameras do not expand into that gamut.
How I understand it: All DSLRs are only 14bit color so basically using 16 bit color doesn't matter (at the moment) as there is no additional color to be gained but maybe tones are shifted to reflect that profile. (i.e. red is a different shade in different profiles as well as the selection or shift of the gradients) The same transition is the same if you shoot sRGB and you try to move it to Adobe RGB - you can't gain colors that were not there at the time of capture. That includes RAW files.
The need for 16 bit comes in post processing. As you edit the image, a 14 bit image can move into color and transparency values slightly outside the original 14 bits. Most editing programs use 16 bit color unless you specify otherwise. There is a lot of value in shooting at the highest bit level. And in post processing, use the highest bit level unless there is a need to use 8 bit for a specific output. As suggested, if you go to 8 bit or 12 bit early, you can't recover the missing data.
AdobeRGB is quite a bit smaller than the camera sensor's gamut. So if you have deep saturated colors (especially blues & reds) you're immediately throwing them away if you post-process RAW files in AdobeRGB.
If the output is only going to be for the web (sRGB), then this might not matter. However, modern inkjet printers are capable of reproducing many of those "lost" colors, so it's best to work with the widest color gamut until the final output.
The 8-bit vs. 16-bit has more to do with calculation precision rather than the size of the color space. E.g., a one unit rounding error is (1/256) in 8-bit but only (1/65536) in 16-bit, and these errors can accumulate during post-processing. Thus you are more likely to see digital artifacts such as gradient banding and jaggies in 8-bit.
Most image editing programs (including Photoshop) will automatically set the editing bit-depth to the image file's bit-depth. So if you do your conversion in 8-bit mode, Photoshop will by default edit in 8-bit mode, which is probably not ideal.
I shoot all in adobe settings and keep most stuff in that in LR. I actually rarely use PS for anything anymore due to what LR4 can handle or with the subject - end use I need images for. When I use plug-ins (Nik etc) I left stuff to defaults (pro photo) so it is good to hear a conformation it is better.
Great replies guys, there sure are some techie's out there. I have come across the explanation as well. http://tv.adobe.com/watch/the-complete-picture-with-julieanne-kost/why-does-the-photographs-preview-change-in-lightroom-and-bridge/
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