Poll

Which image do you prefer?

Image 1
- 8 (72.7%)
Image 2
- 3 (27.3%)

Total Members Voted: 11


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Author Topic: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files  (Read 6470 times)

synn

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RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« on: October 05, 2015, 02:16:32 pm »

So,

I got myself a Fuji X-E1 off fleabay for travel photography. Thing cost a pittance and feels amazing. As you know, the processing of X-Trans files has been a hot topic on the internet for years now. After reading up on the pros and cons of each tool, I decided to do my own test.
Here's a simple shot of my backyard, taken with the 18-55 lens. Camera on a tripod with cable release used. The file was brought into two different RAW converters and processed. moderate amounts of sharpening and clarity were added in both to taste. While the sliders in both can't really be compared owing to the different scales used, I have tried my best to make sure the amounts used were similar.

Both files were brought into PS as 16 bit TIFFS in ProphotoRGB, then exported to web as 100% quality JPGs.

Do take a look at them at 100% (Right click-> View image) and please vote which conversion you think is better.

Thank you.

Image 1:



Image 2:

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mbaginy

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2015, 02:39:59 pm »

Image #1 seems to have a higher degree of "clarity" (speaking in LR terms) or contrast.  I prefer image #2 better, it seems to show more subtle shades of color.  I'm eager to learn which software you used.

I'm quite pleased with my X-T1 and X-Pro1 plus five lenses.  I prefer the fours primes (18, 23, 35, 56mm) which I can use wide open.  I'm not so keen on the 18-55mm zoom which I only use if absolutely necessary (carrying only one lens & needing the zoom).  I only use LR6 and it has improved capabilities vs. its predecessor.  There's room for improvement but LR6 is quite useable.
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razrblck

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2015, 02:50:46 pm »

I have to say image #2 for me. Colors are less vivid as a whole, but I can see finer details that seem lost in the first picture. In fact, pic #1 details feel like strokes of a paintbrush, while #2 details look more real to close inspection.
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rdonson

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2015, 03:40:10 pm »

For me the winner is 21784975220_91c8e4ec9c_o.jpg (the first one).  The roses by the shed are significantly cleaner and have more detail in the petals.
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Ron

sandymc

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2015, 03:43:02 pm »

Image 1 has lot more detail, especially in the foliage. Which probably means that image 2 comes from LR or Photoshop.  ;)

But the tone curve is very different between the images, which makes the preference a matter of personal taste......."you pay your money and take your choice"...

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Telecaster

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2015, 03:55:41 pm »

Image 1 has lot more detail, especially in the foliage. Which probably means that image 2 comes from LR or Photoshop.  ;)

But the tone curve is very different between the images, which makes the preference a matter of personal taste......."you pay your money and take your choice"...

Yes. I prefer the (to my eyes) more open tonality of #1. Subtler dark/shadow gradients.

-Dave-
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armand

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2015, 11:24:39 pm »

I prefer the first. Detail seems a little better but unless printed big it's probably not going to matter. Image 2 also seems a little noisier (NoiseNinja used to do this when I did my own experiment).
The most important is that the first images preserves a natural look of the rose and that's where the less mainstream converters did worse.
Try a shot of some flowers with red to violet colors and see the difference in converters.

PS. the caveat is that I did the comparison in the browser going back and forth
PPS. the only converters that did a good job with color 3-4 months ago were LR and with some reservation CO (the default profile was wrong)
« Last Edit: October 05, 2015, 11:29:16 pm by armand »
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JaapD

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2015, 02:41:58 am »

I definitely prefer #1. Here I don’t see the watercolor effect in the rose. Watercolor effects can best be seen with reds and blues. The details in the tree on the right are also better to me.
Wild guess: #1 is done by C1 or Iridient (no watercolor effects, much more details, less ‘flat’) and #2 by ACR (because I still see watercolor effects, ‘flat’).
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synn

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2015, 04:38:45 am »

Thank you all for your responses. It seems like the voters prefer image 1 to image 2. This is actually in accordance to my own preferences as well.

Image 1 is from Capture One Pro v8
Image 2 is from Lightroom CC 2015

The C1P image was processed using the "Version 2" Fuji profile that they have provided. The LR image was processed using the "Provia" profile.

My personal observation is that LR creates that "Dead color" look, even with the Fuji profiles. This is consistent with what I have observed LR do to files from every other camera I have. The C1P colors on the other hand have more "Pop" and the speculars render quite well, making the image more 3D.

The bigger problem though (And something that some here have pointed out) is that the LR image has that horrid "Watercolor" look. fine detail such as grass seem to be painted on and the roses have lost all detail, turning into a mush. Here are some 100% crops for reference.



The C1P image also seems more flexible when it comes to post processing. It takes deconvolusion sharpening well, whereas the LR file develops some horrible double edges. Right click-> view image for 100%

C1P, sharpened



LR, sharpened



Some color grading later, the C1P image looks lovely.



The only thing going for LR IMO is that their lens correction is better. But this is no big deal, I can do that manually for the C1P image.

For me, the way forward is clear. I will be processing the Fuji images only in C1P. Next step would be to shoot some raw and in camera film simulated JPG images side by side and try to recreate the Fuji color palettes within C1P. If anyone is interested, I can share the settings when I am done.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 04:44:48 am by synn »
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JaapD

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2015, 08:07:15 am »

Yes please share your settings, I’m interested!

I agree with you on the lens corrections. ACR does the corrections flawlessly (… but that’s the only thing that ACR does good on Fuji files).

As both C1 and ACR get their correction data out of Fuji’s EXIF data I strongly have the idea that C1 has not correctly implemented the lens corrections in their software. It’s not right that with C1 the uncorrected image is better than the corrected one. I clearly see this happening with the Fuji 16-55 f/2.8 lens.

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JaapD

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2015, 08:26:28 am »

Film Styles in CaptureOne:

There is someone over at DPREVIEW - Scottie Wang, who developed ICC Profiles for the X-E1 to simulate OOC JPGs.  I've played around with them a little bit......   link to message thread and to the downloadable profiles:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/54150882


He also has some for the X-T1.
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armand

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2015, 09:31:06 am »

I'm surprised LR didn't do better with the rose color, the rest is somehow known. Their provia is very close to the jpeg ooc.

They should give a referral fee as I'll have to try CO again. Workflow they had issues compared to LR.

rdonson

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2015, 05:25:24 pm »

I have no doubt that C1P does a very good job. 

That said, most unhappy people I've encountered using Fuji X-Trans files and Lr are trying to sharpen them in Lr the same way they sharpened them with their Canon or Nikon DSLRs.  X-Trans is NOT a Bayer sensor and needs to be sharpened in a different manner. Deconvolution has been mentioned and that's at the heart of it.

I'm happy with CC 2015 Lr and my X-T1 files.  I do start with Provia and then try others until I'm happy.   I found the following article very useful in creating my own sharpening presets.

http://petebridgwood.com/wp/2014/10/x-trans-sharpening/
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Ron

JaapD

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2015, 01:55:31 am »

I have tried the Pete Bridgewood sharpening in ACR/Photoshop and I must say I’m still unhappy with the results. The starting point is still an unsharp image with watercolor effects especially in the reds and blues, sometimes washing out several pixels wide. I see Pete’s sharpening as trying to solve a symptom and not solving the root cause which is a faulty RAW conversion in the first place.

Just my opinion of course…
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 08:49:02 am by JaapD »
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armand

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2015, 02:57:53 pm »

This is my test file for a couple of years ago, mostly for color and high iso noise reduction: https://www.dropbox.com/s/anxhsezzui8rike/130714_292.raf?dl=0
 - here is the ooc jpeg to show you how the purple color is supposed to look like: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9cqb1lt9fk5l1nr/130714_291.jpg?dl=0 (pretty close to the real color)
See how your converter of choice does with it.

A this is a recent raw which should be good for detail: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kt1qbsu5dnso2to/2015_150823_1.raf?dl=0
 - here is my current version in LR and you can see plenty of watercolor in the background: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zc34q4qneey7st1/2015_150823_1_provia.jpg?dl=0

synn

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Re: RAW converter test for Fuji X-Trans files
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2015, 01:46:11 pm »

While I wanted to set up a color passport and all that to create a proper ICC profile, time constraints meant that this won"t happen soon.
Instead, I shot a few images that cover the color spectrum well in RAW, then converted them in-camera to velvia and then in C1P, matched the RAW files as close as possible to the JPG. Then added some personal touches for toning, sharpness etc. I call it "Velvia+" :D

Exported from C1P using Velvia+, did final toning and sharpening in PS CC. Quite happy with the results. In fact, I am hating my D800 files after this. Might try to do a velvia+ profile for it too.

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