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Author Topic: LR add-on tools for better image quality  (Read 8683 times)

ad9t

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LR add-on tools for better image quality
« on: March 17, 2016, 08:37:54 am »

I have been looking at Capture One and find that often I get much better image quality than in Light Room. This is both at first import and after making adjustments. Are there any add-on tools for Light Room that can close the gap in image quality with Capture One?
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john beardsworth

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 12:10:41 pm »

There are lots of training resources around. Try George Jardine's material.

AlterEgo

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2016, 12:17:49 pm »

I have been looking at Capture One and find that often I get much better image quality than in Light Room. This is both at first import and after making adjustments. Are there any add-on tools for Light Room that can close the gap in image quality with Capture One?
may be you can define what do you mean by image quality for a start ? better acuity ? something with colors ? better lens software corrections ? which camera ? may be MF from P1 ?

otherwise I liked how my dinner tasted better than lunch - that is when I started and afterwards, are there any suggestions how I can close the taste gap between my lunch and my dinner ?
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Bob Rockefeller

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2016, 01:38:03 pm »

I have been looking at Capture One and find that often I get much better image quality than in Light Room. This is both at first import and after making adjustments. Are there any add-on tools for Light Room that can close the gap in image quality with Capture One?

My personal take is that I can get to very nearly the same place in the end with either tool. But C1 does seem to come with defaults better tuned for the RAW file I'm working with. I see more vibrance, clarity and better controlled noise.

Lr defaults to no noise reduction, so you may need that. Sometimes the white balance needs a tweak. And then some clarity and vibrance.

Jeff Schewe goes over the interplay between Lr's sharpening and noise reduction tools in these videos:

https://luminous-landscape.com/videos/guide-to-lightroom-4-introduction-advanced/sharpening/

https://luminous-landscape.com/videos/guide-to-lightroom-4-introduction-advanced/noise-reduction/
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Bob Rockefeller
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Lundberg02

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2016, 01:16:59 am »

Your links require a dollar a month subscription
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2016, 01:49:22 am »

Hi,

They are worth it, especially if it saves you a hundreds dollars investment in tools.

On the other hand, think this way: Lightroom is not a raw converter - it is a parametric workflow tool. Almost any tools you add breaks the parametric word in the previous sentence.

In my view, Lightroom has a problem with demosaic on non OLP filtered raw files. All converters have problems as the file gets contaminated by artefacts before conversion. But some converters cover it up better. C1, RawTherapee, Iridient Raw Developer do a better job on this.

Regarding colour, I have done some testing and don't feel C1 is more accurate. But, C1 has more saturation by default.

With regard to colour, there is a great tool called Adobe DNG Profile Editor, it can both generate DCP Colour Profiles from a ColorChecker exposure but it also allows the user to tweak and adjust the resulting profile. The tool is absolutely free.

Another great way to improve colour is to use Anders Torger's DCamProf. This is no easy to use GUI-based tool, but Anders have done a great job in providing a very flexible and accurate tool for generating colour profiles from any target.

There is a great choice of presets for Lightroom, these offer convenience. Presets don't break parametric workflow and they don't do anything you cannot do yourself. It is just that someone has done a lot of job testing a lot of options and produced a set of presets.

Colour profiles have a tremendous effect on colour rendition. The samples at the link below is from a test I made using different profiles with my two main cameras at that time, a P45+ back and a Sony Alpha 99. Subject was chosen to be quite tricky, with chlorophyll greens and bluish purple. Last row shows "correct" colour samples that were measured with a spectrometer on the very same flower.

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/Articles/OLS_OnColor/SimpleCase/

If I want an image free of aliasing artefacts I would process it in RawTherapee into a 16 bit TIFF and process the TIFF in Lightroom. Raw Therapee cannot work miracles on aliasing, though, but so can no other program.

For large prints (like 70x100cm), I would probably bypass sharpening in Lightroom (or C1 for that part) and use FocusMagic on the unsharpened raw file and I may try some tools from Topaz Labs. But doing that I am definitively in TIFF territory.

Best regards
Erik





Best regards
Erik

 







Your links require a dollar a month subscription
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 01:56:38 am by ErikKaffehr »
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Rhossydd

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2016, 05:13:37 am »

Your links require a dollar a month subscription
Would you prefer to pay hundreds for software you don't really need ?
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IanSeward

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2016, 02:46:15 pm »

Hi,

They are worth it, especially if it saves you a hundreds dollars investment in tools.


Best regards
Erik


Agreed.
Ian
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AlterEgo

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2016, 02:59:57 pm »

On the other hand, think this way: Lightroom is not a raw converter - it is a parametric workflow tool.

LR is a tool which includes raw converter and additional functionality

as you can use to as a raw converter it is also a raw converter

every raw converter is parametric (in terms of adjustments) in terms of raw conversion

LR is __not__ 100% parametric workflow tool - you can for example overwrite embedded (in DNG) original (by camera's firmware - think Ricoh for example) thumbnail and you will not be able to restore it within LR - unless you have backup...
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ad9t

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2016, 09:36:47 pm »

My personal take is that I can get to very nearly the same place in the end with either tool. But C1 does seem to come with defaults better tuned for the RAW file I'm working with. I see more vibrance, clarity and better controlled noise.

Lr defaults to no noise reduction, so you may need that. Sometimes the white balance needs a tweak. And then some clarity and vibrance.

Jeff Schewe goes over the interplay between Lr's sharpening and noise reduction tools in these videos:

https://luminous-landscape.com/videos/guide-to-lightroom-4-introduction-advanced/sharpening/

https://luminous-landscape.com/videos/guide-to-lightroom-4-introduction-advanced/noise-reduction/



Bob, thanks for the links to the tutorials. They are helpful for getting optimal sharpening, and they did improve some of my images.

The color editing tools in Capture One are what I am finding most helpful.


This picture was processed in Lightroom:

https://flic.kr/p/zQpNna

This version of the picture was processed in Capture One. I used the color editor to select the red, green, and yellow in the leaves, and increased the saturation for each. This was done in a layer so I could avoid applying the adjustment to the rocks and earth.

https://flic.kr/p/EyXWn5

I printed both versions and everyone I show them to likes the Capture One version better.

Is there any way to do this type of adjustment in Lightroom or in a post Lightroom tool?


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stamper

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2016, 05:11:39 am »



Bob, thanks for the links to the tutorials. They are helpful for getting optimal sharpening, and they did improve some of my images.

The color editing tools in Capture One are what I am finding most helpful.


This picture was processed in Lightroom:

https://flic.kr/p/zQpNna

This version of the picture was processed in Capture One. I used the color editor to select the red, green, and yellow in the leaves, and increased the saturation for each. This was done in a layer so I could avoid applying the adjustment to the rocks and earth.

https://flic.kr/p/EyXWn5

I printed both versions and everyone I show them to likes the Capture One version better.

Is there any way to do this type of adjustment in Lightroom or in a post Lightroom tool?




Photoshop.

john beardsworth

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2016, 06:21:21 am »

Is there any way to do this type of adjustment in Lightroom or in a post Lightroom tool?

It's hard to say of you have squeezed the most out of Lightroom here. A suggestion would be to look at the Saturation panel and increase the saturation of red, green, and yellow. Possibly also darken those colours' Luminosity.

Bob Rockefeller

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2016, 06:24:43 am »

This version of the picture was processed in Capture One. I used the color editor to select the red, green, and yellow in the leaves, and increased the saturation for each. This was done in a layer so I could avoid applying the adjustment to the rocks and earth.

https://flic.kr/p/EyXWn5

I printed both versions and everyone I show them to likes the Capture One version better.

Is there any way to do this type of adjustment in Lightroom or in a post Lightroom tool?

C1 has very sophisticated and powerful color tools. Lightroom's are good. And they go after things in different ways. One way might be to try Lr's HSL panel and use the target tool (the bull's eye) to pick the color you want to adjust and drag the cursor up/down to get the effect you want.
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Bob Rockefeller
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ad9t

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2016, 09:19:21 am »

I tried Lr's HSL panel and used the target tool. This made a slight improvement, but did not come close to what I was able to do in Capture One.

Admittedly, the effect I am achieving in C1 is not representative of reality. The leaves I am making bright red were in reality mostly brown. Still most people have seen bright red leaves in the fall and find the change believable.

I like Capture One’s adjustment tools, but Lightroom seems better from an overall workflow and stability perspective. For the price of Capture One I could add additional post processing tools to my Lightroom process. Can Photoshop or some other tool do what Capture One is doing with color?
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luxborealis

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2016, 09:56:07 am »

Can Photoshop or some other tool do what Capture One is doing with color?

As Robert (stamper) said, Photoshop.

There are a few ways to achieve this in LR, one of which, the HSL panel has already been mentioned and you have used. Consider that if it's your first time using it, you may not have achieved all that is possible with it.

You could try introducing an Adjustment Brush with Auto Mask on. Paint over the areas you want to increase the saturation of, using the Adjustment Mask Overlay to help you see the areas masked. This tool is VERY powerful (and highly under-utilized as many photographers jump to PS without fully exploring the opportunities provided) as the mask itself is easily edited (erase and add at will at anytime) and, once created, you can go to town using the many adjustments in the panel. In this case, it may require a combination of raising exposure and increasing saturation. A bit of Clarity may also help. That's the beauty of this tool - it's not a one-size-fits-all, but can be precisely tailored to the purpose. This is how I would approach this job.

I think a few people on the forum have already commented on how often users jump to another tool without fully exploring and learning the tool in front of them I have no doubt C1 may have gotten you to this point faster and more seamlessly, and it may be the better tool for you, but try to resist jumping to add third-party tools for either C1 or LR before thoroughly learning your raw processor of choice.

I know your questions have been about colour, but do consider the effect the foreground branch has on the viewer of your photo. It's a bit unsightly and creates a visual barrier to someone "entering" the scene - but it can also be cloned out (yes, even in LR).
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Costas

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2016, 01:06:58 pm »

.......   Is there any way to do this type of adjustment in Lightroom or in a post Lightroom tool?

It might be worth exploring use of the brush tool with auto mask as described in the link below - make sure to watch the youtube video linked in the opening post; does not have the flexibility of the colour masks you mention but might help
http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=99076.0
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Nikon EM

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2016, 03:57:16 pm »

Y
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BrianWJH

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality- NIK plug-ins now Free
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2016, 09:13:51 pm »

NIK (Google) plug-ins are now being offered for free see this link.
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Simon Garrett

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality- NIK plug-ins now Free
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2016, 05:02:49 am »

NIK (Google) plug-ins are now being offered for free see this link.
The general consensus of opinion seems to be that Google probably won't develop them further as they clearly don't regard them as a revenue stream.  I don't think I've had very much use out of them, but for a minority of images I've found that the noise reduction (Dfine) and sharpening (Sharpener Pro) can do better than LR and PS. 

At the new price, it's a no-brainer. 
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Lundberg02

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Re: LR add-on tools for better image quality
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2016, 11:57:52 pm »

google also abandoned Picasa, so it looks like they don't see a future for themselves in imaging.
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