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05-09-2015, 05:59 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kiwizinho Quote
Thanks. My biggest struggle with Raw Therapee has been getting colour more or less as captured for a starting point.
Mostly I'm wanting to adjust lighting, but the built in profiles don't seem to produce anything that looks anything like the colour that comes off the camera.

The RAW processor in Photoshop Elements works much better, but Elements doesn't support layers with 16 bits per channel, and Paint Shop Pro that I also have does have full 16 bit per channel support, but its RAW converter is terribly basic, so I decided to give Raw Therapee a go, although given all the mucking about I'm almost wondering whether I should have paid up for a Photoshop/Lightroom subscription.
I'd really like to make Raw Therapee work though, if for nothing more than to see the smug Photoshop/Lightroom folk get a surprise if I can produce similar results with a free program.
I'm using Lightroom 4 and thinking about upgrading to LR 6, but in the mean time I've been fooling around with Raw Therapee. I'm liking it for as much as it will do. I've tried a number of the Bundled Profiles, and seem to have settled on using Generic - Natural 1 or Natural 2 as a processing profile starting point. I've set the Default Processing Profile to Neutral in Preferences and use the Natural 1 or Natural 2 profile after opening an image in the Editor Module. This seems to be working for me, at least for the dozen or so images I've tried. I've got Paint Shop Pro X6, but haven't tried it in conjunction with Raw Therapee.

05-09-2015, 01:50 PM - 1 Like   #17
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I have an older version of Photoshop CS4 that I can also use to process the high ISO DNG files, but when comparing the final output, RawTherapee beats it by a long shot. I'm all for open-source software too, so I'm determined to get the most I can out of RawTherapee. It runs on Linux & Windows, plus you can't beat free!
05-10-2015, 04:05 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by T Evergreen Quote
I've tried a number of the Bundled Profiles, and seem to have settled on using Generic - Natural 1 or Natural 2 as a processing profile starting point. I've set the Default Processing Profile to Neutral in Preferences and use the Natural 1 or Natural 2 profile after opening an image in the Editor Module. This seems to be working for me, at least for the dozen or so images I've tried. I've got Paint Shop Pro X6, but haven't tried it in conjunction with Raw Therapee.
Thanks for those suggestions, I'll give them a try.

As far as Paint Shop Pro X6 is concerned, it will work fine with tiff files exported from Raw Therapee. It's somewhat intermediate between Elements and Photoshop, but priced like Elements or cheaper.
It lacks decent raw import, can be slow, and the clone/healing tool is not as good as Elements, but in pretty much everything else it offers far more functionality, at least compared to the version of Elements I've got, and it was dirt cheap.
I'd love to use Gimp, but I've found its lack of 16 bit per channel support to be limiting, especially if you work with quite a few layers and gradients, particularly gradients as it can produce nasty banding. Also I have some Topaz plugins that work with Paint Shop Pro and Elements but not Gimp.

---------- Post added 05-11-15 at 11:13 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by The Squirrel Mafia Quote
I have an older version of Photoshop CS4 that I can also use to process the high ISO DNG files, but when comparing the final output, RawTherapee beats it by a long shot. I'm all for open-source software too, so I'm determined to get the most I can out of RawTherapee. It runs on Linux & Windows, plus you can't beat free!
Open source or otherwise, I like cross platform.
I know a lot of people who swear by Dark Table, but it's *nix only, and I need to use Windows for a lot work related stuff, much as I like a lot about Linux.
I've seen a few sites around the web where people have said that Raw Therapee is one of the most capable raw processors out there, but it does so much, and the initial defaults aren't ideal so it can be a bit daunting at first.
07-08-2015, 09:17 AM   #19
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I'll be uploading some newer ISO 800 to ISO 6400 profiles soon. I think i finally have some profiles with very good starting points that reduce most of the noise, but retain most of the fine details.

07-08-2015, 08:39 PM - 2 Likes   #20
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For those of you that like using RawTherapee, I have uploaded a profile for ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, & ISO 6400. These are for the K-50 & K-30, since the sensors are virtually the same. My guess is that they will also work well with the K-5, K-5II, & K-5IIs. These are profiles that I have spent about a year randomly tweaking. These are starting points that give you the most detail, while reducing most of the noise. When you process a jpeg out of them, you will get a jpeg that has similar color to the "Natural" setting on the camera. You get some very pleasant looking grain from ISO 800 to ISO 3200. It starts getting rougher at ISO 6400. That is the highest ISO that I use. I haven't really pushed it to ISO 12800.

After toying around with DNGs in RawTherapee for the past year or so, I have come to the conclusion that ISO 100 to ISO 400 jpegs without noise reduction from the camera are very good. Unless I really want to tweak the photo, I don't really bother processing those ISOs in RawTherapee. You can still get a tad bit more detail from the DNG file than the jpeg, but it's not by a tremendous amount.

However, starting at ISO 800 & above, you do get way more detail out of the DNG file. If you compare an ISO 3200 no noise reduction jpeg out of the camera to a jpeg out of the DNG file through RawTherapee, you will think that the out of the camera jpeg looks like a shot out of a cartoon. It's very blotchy looking. Once you process the same DNG file & compare it to the out of camera jpeg, you will see what I mean.

All you have to do is download the files & put them to use. I had to change the extension to .txt to be able to upload them. When you download them, change the .txt extension to .pp3 (i.e.: DEFAULT.txt to DEFAULT.pp3) to be able to use them in RawTherapee. These profiles will work in any operating system that can run RawTherapee & should work on any version of RawTherapee.

On my Windows machine, I have these profles in:

C:\Program Files\RawTherapee-4.2.1\profiles\Pentax K-50

I basically created the "Pentax K-50" folder & placed these in there. When I open RawTherapee & go to processing profiles, there is a section called Pentax K-50 & all the ISO options are in there. You can do the same in your PC. Your version of RawTherapee might be different, but it gives you an idea. You can do something similar in Linux & Mac if you know where the RawTherapee profile folder is located.

All you have to do is tweak whatever brigthness, color, white balance, & related settings to you liking.

Last edited by The Squirrel Mafia; 11-19-2015 at 08:10 AM.
07-09-2015, 09:53 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Squirrel Mafia Quote
For those of you that like using RawTherapee, I have uploaded a profile for ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, & ISO 6400...
Thanks so much!!! I personally appreciate the work you've put in to creating these. I'm sure it is valuable to many others as well.

As much as I have been enjoying the additional flexibility and range you can squeeze out of the RAW files, the majority of the time it isn't needed or the difference is probably minimal to a jpeg OOC. You stated this same sentiment and I agree. So while I definitely will take your profiles and experiment with applying them to RAW files I especially want to do something more with, I am also going to be experimenting with shooting RAW+JPEG and see if that doesn't both speed up my workflow and get more consistent results for images that are just quick snapshots or sharing online. Then if I do end up wanting to go back and do more with them, the RAW files are always there.

If I have anything worth sharing using your profile as a starting point, I'll post it on here. Thanks again!
07-09-2015, 09:30 PM   #22
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^ Yeah. I'll usually process only the pics i like. I shoot jpeg & raw as well. The high iso shots look very good once processed.
07-10-2015, 06:36 AM   #23
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Squirrel Mafia, I'd like to add my thanks for your efforts. I don't shoot that much at higher ISOs, but will give it a try with you presets. Thanks much!

07-15-2015, 08:56 AM   #24
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You're welcome. These are just starting points.

Some may like more grain & more detail, which the only thing they would have to do is go to the "Noise Reduction" tab & slide the "Luminance" bar to 0. That or slide the "Luminance - Detail" bar higher to get a bit more detail. That's it.

Some might not want to use sharpening. Just unable it in the "Sharpening" tab or click on the "Halo control" to get less artifacts.

This program has a ton of options. It's ridiculous! It's good stuff. I actually get better raw processing out of this program than what I can get out of Adobe Lightroom. When you compare higher ISO (800 to 6400) jpegs out of the camera to the jpegs that you can pull out of RawTherapee, the amount of detail that you can regain at times is insane!
07-15-2015, 12:31 PM   #25
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I've updated the profiles. Remember, these are just starting points that are more specifically tuned for the Pentax K-30 & K-50. They'll also work for the K-5 series & the K-3 series. They should pretty much work with all Pentax cameras, but you might have to do some tweaking on your own to get the results you want out of your particular camera. Heck! You can even use these for a Sony, Canon, Nikon, or any other camera. You might have to tweak them a bit as well.

Once again, most these profiles are intended to be used with high ISO RAW files, but you can try them out on whatever you want to try them on.

I have attached a zip file (I just realized that I can attach a zip file ) containing a "Pentax" folder with the profiles. Just extract the folder out of the zip & if you're on a 64bit Windows machine, you can place these in the "Program Files">"RawTherapee">"profiles">"Pentax" folder so that they appear in your "Processing Profiles" menu of RawTherapee, instead of you having to load them in all the time you need to use them.

C:\Program Files\RawTherapee-4.2.1\profiles\Pentax

^ That will give you an idea. Your drive & RawTherapee version may vary. You can also install these in Linux. These would be in the File System folder where you eventually find the RawTherapee folder in the Share folder. You just need to figure out how to create a directory in there to be able to use them. If not, RawTherapee won't start. You know. Like mkdir /blah/blah/blah. If you're on Linux, you know what I mean.

You will see that there are a ton of .pp3 files in the "Pentax" folder. There are 4 versions of each ISO. They all have some form of noise reduction, but keep the most detail possible. UM means Unsharp Mask. L means Luminance that is found in the Noise Reduction tab. This is the one that smears the picture a bit to get rid of grain. They'll either be on or off. It's self explanatory. Depending on your picture, one setting might work better than the other. Play around with them & you'll see what I mean. There are 2 Default .pp3 files. They don't have noise reduction enabled. The only difference is the Unsharp Mask being on or off.

Take a stab at these.

Last edited by The Squirrel Mafia; 11-19-2015 at 08:10 AM.
07-15-2015, 06:01 PM   #26
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You're doing stellar work, Squirrel Mafia! I'll have to give these profiles a work-out, I think I'll try some Raw+ shots with my K-50 in order to compare out-of-camera JPGs to processed RAW ones.

Thanks Much!!
07-30-2015, 10:32 AM   #27
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I'm curious if anyone has put these profiles to use. I have been using them quite a lot, since I do a lot of low light photography & shoot up to ISO 3200 quite often & up to ISO 6400 on rare occasions.

I'm looking forward to "Black Friday". If Ricoh unloads the current K-3 for dirt cheap, I might be picking one up. Maybe even a K-3II if it's cheap enough. I'll see how well these profiles work with the K-3 at high ISO.

That or I'll pick up another 2 K-50 bodies instead if they get even cheaper.

I would like to pick up a K-5IIs, but they cost an arm & a leg brand new & even a bit pricey used. It's ridiculous.
07-30-2015, 03:00 PM   #28
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Saw this thread so found a K-5 + ISO 5000 DNG I hadn't touched before and gave one of your profiles (ISO 6400 UM on L on) a quick go using the latest RT beta build 4.2.269... Your settings seem to work well for high ISO so thanks! (I usually don't denoise much inside RT but will save it for my final edits in Gimp and use Topaz in there...)

In this first version below the only thing I changed from your profile (aside from a crop, a small perspective adjustment, and the resize) was to switch to the LMMSE demosaic and to turn off UM...


Then I tried another step below which was just to add a bit of wavelet edge detection with some wavelet denoise:


Then one more version with the same settings as above but with all denoising turned off in RT then sent to Gimp for denoising in Topaz, then resized, then added a little selective wavelet sharpen as I often do...
07-31-2015, 08:07 AM   #29
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^ That looks pretty darn good! The couple in the background look like they're looking at the toddler & thinking, "Hmmm..... We can make one of those..."

I'm pretty cool with the luminance (grain) in my pictures. It looks pretty good up to ISO 3200 & it gives higher ISO pics a distinctive character. The grain starts getting pretty aggressive at ISO 6400. Depending on the shot, I might use some luminance reduction or not. Black & white also helps at that ISO. I'm not cool with the color noise, though. That can make a picture look pretty smeared up & awful.

Here's a kicker. I can't seem to get a clean high ISO picture out of Lightroom. The RawTherapee pictures have a very fine grain where as the Lightroom pictures come out rough & seem to have more color noise. I've been toying around with a trial version of Lightroom.

Well, I'm glad it worked out for you. Hopefully others can use them & post their results and/or enhancements to the profiles so we can try them out as well.
11-10-2015, 10:24 AM   #30
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Well, after toying around with RawTherapee for about a couple of years now & Adobe Lightroom for the past year, I've come to a final conclusion. RawTherapee is probably the best open-source RAW editing software out there. I have tried Darktable, the Silkypix bundled with the K-50, & a few other RAW processing programs & although they are great, I can't seem to get the most image detail out of them. RawTherapee does have a steep learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it is quite awesome. However, Lightroom still seems to edge it out slightly.

After lots of trial & error, I have come to the conclusion that RawTherapee, Silkypix, & Darktable are great up to ISO 3200 for the K-50/K-30. They all handle the high ISO pictures a little differently with RawTherapee leading the pack as far as image detail goes & Darktable following very closely. However, starting at ISO 6400 it seems like they all struggle to produce an eye pleasing jpeg. The developed pictures seem to look very harsh, digitized, compressed, & have some artifacts going on. It's probably from the K-50/K-30 12 bit RAW files. They still offer more detail than the OOC jpeg, but they give up a lot of other things in different ways.

This is where Adobe Lightroom steps in. When you compare an ISO 6400 OOC jpeg, RawTherapee jpeg, Silkypix jpeg, Darktable jpeg, & Lightroom jpeg, the Lightroom jpeg has the most detail & least amount of artifacts. The picture looks way more natural as well. You can shoot up to ISO 12800 & still get some decent images out of the K-50/K-30 in Lightroom, whereas the rest of the pack is limited to about ISO 3200. The Lightroom jpegs still look better at ISO 3200. Even ISO 1600 jpegs look a tad bit better.

However, when you process lower ISO RAW files, Lightroom seems to make the noise grain look larger than what it actually is. It's not bad looking per se, but you do notice it. This is where RawTherapee seems to beat it a bit. The grain looks finer & smaller in the RawTherapee images. You do get more noise overall when you process the photos in general, but you recover a lot more detail out of the pics. RawTherapee gives a very fine grain up to ISO 3200 & Lightroom up to 12800.

For those of you that print large pictures, here's an idea of what you can do with a non-cropped, properly exposed & focused TIFF image processed in RawTherapee. These are the absolute maximum print sizes with a minimum of a little more than 100 DPI & you are looking at the printed image from an arm's length or at a reasonable viewing distance.

ISO 100 to 200 = 30x45
ISO 400 to 800 = 24x36 (with minimal color noise reduction for ISO 800)
ISO 1600 = 20x30 (with minimal color noise reduction)
ISO 3200 = 16x24 (with minimal color noise reduction)
ISO 6400 = 11x17 (with minimal color noise reduction & luminance noise reduction)

If you want to push large high ISO prints to their limits, a TIFF from Lightroom is the only way to go.

ISO 100 to 800 = same as RawTherapee
ISO 1600 = 24x36 (with minimal color noise reduction)
ISO 3200 = 20x30 (with minimal color noise reduction)
ISO 6400 = 16x24 (with minimal color & luminance noise reduction)
ISO 12800 = 11x17 (with minimal color & luminance noise reduction)

Obviously the prints will get smaller if you crop them. That goes to show how much you can pull out of the 12 bit RAW file that is coming out of the K-50/K-30 sensor. The K-50/K-30 OOC jpegs show a little less detail & the higher ISO jpegs start to lose a ton of detail at ISO 800, making the print sizes even smaller. The K-5 series would yield similar results, but with slightly larger high ISO prints from their 14 bit RAW files. I'm going to guess that one could get a 24x36 print out of an ISO 3200 K-5 RAW file.

I do a lot of low light high ISO shooting with my K-50 & have noticed that I've been using Lightroom a bit more. I get larger high ISO prints out of it, but I still like toying with RawTherapee & try to mimic Lightroom's RAW processing capabilities with it, but I still can't match Lightroom's ISO 1600 to 6400 results & ISO 12800 is useless in RawTherapee. You can't beat free, though.

So it boils down to this. I still think RawTherapee is the best free RAW processing program out there, followed by Darktable. I am referring only to the RAW processing ability. Darktable has a ton of other features similar to Adobe Lightroom, but it's for Linux only. The cool thing about RawTherapee is that you can use it on Windows, Linux, Mac, & other operating systems & they all function the same way which makes it great for people that use multiple operating systems. On the other hand, Adobe Lightroom is limited to Windows only & you have to pay $10 (USD) a month for it, but you can squeeze a bit more high ISO images out of the K-50/K-30 sensor with it. I guess you get what you pay for.

So are any of you still using RawTherapee or are you using something else? Got any tips & junk for RawTherapee? Let us know!
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