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Author Topic: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files  (Read 9447 times)

Ken Bennett

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2016, 12:29:14 PM »

Thanks, Ron. All the Nik settings are the same (and now that I see them, I need to make some changes, especially in color space). 

I'll reinstall the package.
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rdonson

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2016, 05:12:34 PM »

Ken, the only time I've seen anything like the behavior you described was when I had a lot of apps open on my machine and RAM was being consumed and compressed frequently.  I took that as a sign that I'd simply overloaded the machine.  I waited for a while and eventually the photo showed up.  Unfortunately you rebooted and duplicated the symptoms.  My scenario really doesn't seem to fit your situation.  I'm stumped.
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Ron

Ken Bennett

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2016, 09:57:05 PM »

Thanks, Ron, I appreciate your efforts.

I'm getting a new machine this month and will try re-installing then.
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mvsoske

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2016, 11:27:58 PM »

Ron:

I also thank you for this topic. I too have had unsatisfactory results with sharpening my X-Pro2 and X-T2 files using the Bridgewood method and your link and the suggestions in this thread have helped me greatly.

rdonson

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2016, 10:45:04 AM »

Mark, I'm delighted this topic has helped!!!
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Ron

Stephen Scharf

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2017, 12:00:41 AM »

The best sharpening I've gotten for X-T2 files is with Iridient Developer. Haven't been able to evaluate Capture One 10 yet because I haven't shot any uncompressed RAF files yet, but I suspect it will be excellent as well.
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MBehrens

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2017, 10:27:22 AM »

Iridient X-Transformer (Windows) has been released as public beta
http://iridientdigital.com/products/xtransformer.html

I played around with it last night and got some fairly good results. The new Reference View in LR CC really helps with this process. I could get results that look identical to the SOOC JPG which has been a challenge in LR alone. My first lesson learned is that the LR default sharpening of 25 is too much with the presharpened DNGs.

Will be doing some more work on this, and looking forward to input from you all.

 - Morey
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CeeVee

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2017, 10:57:57 AM »

Are you working on raw (RAF) files or DNGs? Are you applying sharpening in the save as DNG?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk

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MBehrens

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2017, 06:09:25 PM »

Are you working on raw (RAF) files or DNGs? Are you applying sharpening in the save as DNG?

The X-Transformer takes in X-Trans RAF RAW files and outputs DNG files with the Iridient sharpening and noise reduction added to them as you have selected for the processing run. I suppose you could run them through without any sharpening or NR settings, but the Convert to DNG in LR would be much simpler.

Here is a review of the product.
http://www.aevansphoto.com/quick-review-iridient-x-transformer-beta/
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David Sutton

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2017, 03:09:44 AM »

I tried out the X-Transformer and posted some thoughts in "Other Raw Converters".
Quick summary: I'm reaching for my wallet.
Cheers,
David
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AnthonyM

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2017, 02:27:06 PM »

Sharpness with the X-T2 is not a sharpening issue.  It is a demosaicing issue.  If the image is not properly demosaiced, no amount of sharpening will make up for this.  Adobe has publicly admitted that it has work to do on X-Trans.  It is still not there.  With Photo Ninja or Iridient, X-Trans images are razor sharp.
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rdonson

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2017, 08:01:13 PM »

Can you detail why you think it's a demosaicing issue?  It seems to me to be more of a lack of good deconvolution in their sharpening algorithms. 
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Ron

AnthonyM

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2017, 07:47:24 AM »

The big difference with rafs is the X-Trans array.  This is widely acknowledged to be difficult to demoniac.  There is quite a lot of discussion around the demosaicing problems with X-Trans e.g. http://chromasoft.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/demosaicing-fuji-x-pro1-and-its-x-trans.html
http://www.public.asu.edu/~cdchapm2/2016/07/02/Generalizing-AHD-to-X-Trans/

Here is what Adobe said in 2015  "Reduced “color blur” artifacts when processing Fujifilm X-Trans raw images. In collaboration with Fujifilm, we are still investigating methods to improve fine detail rendering and overall edge definition."  http://blogs.adobe.com/richardcurtis/2015/06/16/creative-cloud-2015-whats-new-in-lightroom-cc6-1-for-photogaphers/

The fact that this topic remains current shows that the sharpening suggestions that have been made over the years (e.g. Pete Bridgewood) do not solve the problem with Adobe's conversion of rafs. 

Dcraw based convertors do not seem to generate such discussions.  Photo Ninja and Iridient do an excellent job of revealing the detail in rafs.

All of the above are strong indicators that demosaicing is the issue.

Have you tried Photo Ninja or Iridient?
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rdonson

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2017, 11:25:32 AM »

Thanks, Anthony, for the references.

The Chromasoft articles are dated 2012.  The Adobe article was dated 2015.

In 2016 Adobe and Fuji both released statements that processing of RAF files were improved in ACR and Lr and that Fuji continues to work with Adobe.  I do not have links to those statements though.

I don't think demosaicing RAF files is a complete secret although it might be difficult since it's the only non-Bayer sensor widely available but since Fuji can do in-camera RAW conversion to JPG it's not impossible.  It is not in Fuji's best interest to not help RAW converters to achieve good demosaicing.  Obviously Fuji assisted SilkyPix, Adobe and others.  What is missing is that Fuji hasn't released publicly how it demosaiced X-Trans.  No public spec. 

When Iridient or other software are able to produce great results why do you think it is demosaicing that enables that rather than sharpening routines that are better than Adobe's?  I'm just trying to understand.  I'm not a demosaicing or sharpening expert.  I do get acceptable results in the Adobe workflow with Nik Sharpener though.

I do intend to try the Iridient trial version now that it can be called from Lightroom in a more or less seamless workflow.

Here's an article I found interesting.  http://www.public.asu.edu/~cdchapm2/2016/07/02/Generalizing-AHD-to-X-Trans/
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Ron

AnthonyM

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2017, 09:56:56 AM »

Thanks, Ron, for the comments and link.

Like you, I am not an expert on demosaicing or sharpening.  However, I have followed many discussions and read many articles on these, and from these have formed the conclusion that demosaicing is where Adobe falls short.  Adobe's sharpening is fine.  The mosaic is what differentiates X-Trans from Bayer, so it is understandable that dealing with X-Trans separates the convertors.

I am aware of the comments about how Adobe and Fuji are cooperating, but, like you, I have not recently tracked them down.  It is highly likely that Fuji has disclosed the necessary information on demosaicing (it could hardly say it was cooperating if it had not), but this is presumably under some form of non-disclosure agreement NDA).  As you say, it is not in Fuji's best interest not to help raw conversion software companies.  Indeed, the "painterly effect" and "worms" stories about X-Trans images probable did, and still do, damage Fuji.

I hope your Iridient trial goes well.  Photo Ninja also integrates fairly well with LR; and it integrates very well with Photoshop, which is how I use it.  My workflow of PhotoMechanic>Photo Ninja>Photoshop is similar to Bridge>ACR>Photoshop. http://www.picturecode.com/tutorials/lightroom.php  http://www.picturecode.com/tutorials/photoshop.php

I am very happy with the sharpness of photos from X-T2 raws (always assuming absence of operator error in the initial capture!).
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rdonson

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2017, 07:50:04 PM »

Anthony,

Here's an article published today that speaks to the processing pipeline and the demosaicing algorithms.  I don't know enough to agree or disagree but it sure wounds like more work is needed in the demosaicing algorithm for the X-Trans sensor.  I would really like to see Fuji work with others on this.  I don't know that any of the other demosaicing algorithms currently praised are all that much better except in certain circumstances. 

https://petapixel.com/2017/01/27/x-trans-promise-problem/

I've downloaded the Iridient Developer demo for Mac and hope to give it a whirl this weekend.  If it ends up doing a great job and if fits in the Lr workflow that will be $90 I didn't plan on spending this month.   :)
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Ron

AnthonyM

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2017, 09:16:33 AM »

Thanks, Ron, the Petapixel article did not overly impress me.  It does not even present an accurate image of the X-Trans array, which should have four green squares where the article shows one large green square.

It states that most manufacturers have ditched the AA filter, which I do not believe is correct.  It criticises X-Trans because of the in camera jpegs, using poorly exposed and heavily cropped examples shot in bad light, but admits that the problems can be dealt with by shooting raw and processing.  Where I do agree is that the X-Trans is not easy to process, and so choosing a capable convertor is important.

I think the important thing is for the photographer to know how to use their equipment and to make their own decisions as to whether they are satisfied with the results.
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scyth

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2017, 11:31:32 AM »

It states that most manufacturers have ditched the AA filter, which I do not believe is correct.

even fuji did in their MF dSLM w/o any hesitation that lack of X-Trans will hurt ;D
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rdonson

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2017, 04:13:02 PM »

First test(s) with Iridient Developer on the Mac for my X-T2 RAW files (RAF)

Caveat:  I just used default settings so that I could see how the demosaicing and sharpening would look.

Background:  I've been a long time PS user and have used Lr since the first public beta of the initial release.  That means that I'm comfortable with these Adobe products.

First Impression:  The initial tests looked great to me with regards to sharpness and artifacts (lack thereof).  I'm not familiar enough with the controls for Iridient to see if I could further optimize the results.  Some of the controls look and function similar to what I'm used to in the Adobe world and other packages such as Luminar.  Some controls seem like a mystery.  I did purchase a book from Thomas Fitzgerald (https://store.thomasfitzgeraldphotography.com/product/processing-x-trans-images-iridient-developer-e-book/) in an attempt to get familiar with Iridient.  I also watched a video from Alex Isachenko on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/fJ4wJGcgKdw.  Both were helpful but I'm afraid that for me a lot more experimentation and practice would be in order before I felt competent with the software.

At this point I will continue testing and learning.  I'm guessing that what I'll do in the end is use the Iridient defaults and simply roundtrip from Lr to Iridient Developer and back to Lr.  From there I'll complete my processing in Lr and PS.  The roundtripping is easy to set up.

Here's a sample of one of my early tests.  In December I spent a week on a barrier island near Charleston, SC, USA.  I also took a couple of trips to Charleston where this photo was taken. I used this photo and others like it because of the "high frequency" details.  I thought that if the demosaicing and sharpening was to shine it would be on photos like this.  My understanding is that the software uses DCRAW.

I'm interested in what others think and perhaps your experiences with Iridient. Does the demosaicing and sharpening look good to you?

Sample photo - available at 100%

http://www.donsonphoto.com/Other/n-TSnBS/Tests/i-gjCNgHf/O
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Ron

MBehrens

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Re: Achieving tack sharp photos with Fuji X-T2 RAW files
« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2017, 09:24:57 PM »

I've been going down a different path testing the Iridient X-Transformer, currently in Beta 2. The idea is not to switch to a different RAW Processor (I've also been using LR since early betas and PS for much longer, but not nearly as much. LR provides 90% of what I need.) but to pre-process the Fuji RAW files, demosaicing them, applying sharpening and noise reduction then outputting a DNG file. Then import the DNG files into LR for further processing. This has been very successful for me. It provides the benefits of the best parts of Iridient and allows me to remain in LR for my image processing.

My first approach was to try to match the SOOC JPG quality that everyone loves. Up to now I have not been able to achieve this in LR. X-T1 files were okay, but when I got my X-T2 there was a marked lack of sharpness compared to the JPG. The first attached file (0989_*)provides a 100% crop of an X-T2 SOOC JPG (left)and a IXT processed DNG (right). I think that the DNG meets and exceeds the JPG quality. You can parse the file name to determine the IXT settings used: RP-S = RAW Process set to Smooth, S-M = Sharpening set to Medium, etc for Luminance Noise and Color Noise. Yes, further sharpening and processing were done in LR, that is the point, IXT is simply a starting point, not the end.

The next attached file (3986_*) is an X-T1 file. It is a 100% crop of a 7 shot vertical pano stitched together in LR. I do not have the SOOC JPGs for this so I am comparing my best attempt to get a nice detailed image. Left is the straight LR and right is the IXT pre-Processed and stitched into another file. The details in the IXT file is pretty good I think. Yes, I could have used noise reduction on the LR only version, but then the detail would be lost again.

I'm finding that I am incorporating IXT into my workflow all of the time now. The steps I use are: Import into LR as I always have, Cull any duds, review and decide what type of IXT setting I will be applying, process the files in IXT, sync the folder showing the import dialog, select a develop preset, and import.  I have created develop presets for the common Fuji Film Styles (Provia, Astia, Velvia) and am working on others.

I have gotten some magenta casts in the IXT files that require me to work out, but it hasn't been a huge problem. IXT is only for Windows right now, but I hear a port to Mac is in the works.

Ron sounds a little dubious about Iridient, and if I was looking at a completely new RAW Processing app I would be too. And speaking of Thomas Fitzgerald, here is his comparison of 7 RAW Converters, Iridient come out pretty high.
http://blog.thomasfitzgeraldphotography.com/blog/2017/1/one-fuji-x-pro-2-image-7-different-raw-converters

Hope some of you find this useful.

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