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04-15-2015, 11:10 PM   #1
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Rawtherapee profile for K-50

I've started using Rawtherapee for working with the K-50's RAW files. I should have thought of this on first use, but I believe I'm getting to that point where I feel perhaps the default processing profile is maybe not my best starting point. It goes in a certain direction and although I can tweak it to my liking, I haven't mastered all the available options so I'm not able to make happen what I feel the image needs more/less of. All I know is I'm not quite there. For a PP beginner, it's tough.

First, is there a custom processing profile that better fits this generation of Pentax sensor / models?

Second, if no custom, is there a built-in bundled profile that is a good starting point for the K-50? Such as, perhaps one that best mimics the default JPEG output? Not that I have much experience with it's JPEGs as I went RAW from day one, but I'm assuming the JPEG engine's default is set to generally make pictures look decent.

Third, if no profile exists to work from, any advice on how to make my own? Has anyone made their own and want to share the settings? It would help a lot. Thanks!

04-15-2015, 11:38 PM - 1 Like   #2
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If you are shooting RAW and want to make the photos look like the camera has processed them, then stick to shooting JPG. If you want the camera to make ALL the decisions as well as save to JPG, turn the mode dial to AUTO. But you're wrong about the purpose of JPG. The only thing that makes the photos look decent is the skill of the person holding the camera and what they point it towards.. There is really no such thing as a JPEG engine default.

Camera profiles in RAW processors are mostly for lens correction, not processing to a certain 'look'. With Lightroom, aside from profiles - there are development 'presets' which are similar to PS 'actions'.. But these are can be as varied as there are people using cameras.

BTW, the K-50 is a solid camera which helps you shoot great results, but the camera isn't in control - you are.

Last edited by Steve.Ledger; 04-16-2015 at 01:00 AM.
04-16-2015, 04:08 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zerv Quote
For a PP beginner, it's tough.
I feel your pain.

QuoteOriginally posted by Zerv Quote
Second, if no custom, is there a built-in bundled profile that is a good starting point for the K-50? Such as, perhaps one that best mimics the default JPEG output?
There is no such thing as default The camera gives you a number of options already (bright, natural, BW, ...). I'm not using RawTherapee (so can't say), but the software bundled with the camera provides this functionality.
04-16-2015, 07:01 AM   #4
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As I understand it, Rawtherapee is more of a raw converter, to convert raw files ready for the user's preferred photo processor.
And, as I read ( and stand to be corrected here) most camera manufacturers do not release the conversion matrices for their cameras.
Instead they are derived by volunteers using standardized methods.
There are only a few raw converters, and these are used by photo processing applications to convert the camera raw files

If RawTherapee does not have a camera matrix, it defaults to the matrices in dcraw. ( which I infer, has a matrix for Pentax dng files)
The file camconst.json has the cameras supported by RawTherapee, and I see the only Pentax is the K-3.

There is a lot of info on RawTherapee Documentation

04-16-2015, 10:35 AM   #5
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rawtherapee is tough. I fiddled around with it and switched to darktable, which is much easier to use. Feature wise I don't know if there are differences, but from a usability POV dt won - for me.
04-17-2015, 04:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
As I understand it, Rawtherapee is more of a raw converter, to convert raw files ready for the user's preferred photo processor.
Not at all.
RT is a RAW processor/developer, not a simple converter as you've implied. It will take a RAW files and process it to a finished JPG just like SilkyPix, Lightroom or any other RAW processing/developing application.
Having said that - you get what you pay for, it's not as easy or as useful as Lightroom.
04-17-2015, 05:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
RT is a RAW processor/developer, not a simple converter as you've implied.
Yes Steve, and I am most interested in doing film scans these days, so I am going to try RT on the tiffs, ( presently trying to figure out how to do the all important gamma adjustment.)
However on the film scans there are sometimes blemishes that the ICE misses, or other need for minor surgery using the clone and blemish removal tools which RT does not provide..
RT provides redirection of its output to another software, so I am going to try it in conjunction with Cinepaint and Krita.

My favorite was Gimp with its old fashioned and simple menus, but I can't use it anymore as I have converted to truecolor here.
I tried Darktable but the side xmls, while suitable for mass production, and not useful for my one-by one processing.
04-21-2015, 09:04 AM   #8
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I think this is a great idea. We can share RawTherpee profiles, tweak them a bit, & re-share them.

I've been toying around with RawTherapee for a while now. The main reason that I use it is that I can run the program with the exact same settings on both Windows & Debian. If you dual boot a Windows & Linux system, this program saves a lot of time & learning curves.

I have a few profiles for the K-50 that I have created. Mainly jpeg processing out of DNG files for different ISOs, but I'm still tweaking them. The profile that I have been concentrating on the most is a profile for ISO 1600 to ISO 3200 that gives me the cleanest results with the most amount of fine detail & the least amount of chromatic noise possible. The high ISO color splotching noise. I also have one that's a bit more aggressive for ISO 6400, but I'm still tweaking that one. The high ISO photos do have some grain, but it's a very fine & pleasant looking grain. When I compare a higher ISO OOC jpegs to the RawTherapee jpegs, the difference in processing is quite amazing. The high ISO OOC jpegs are quite "splotchy" while the RawTherapee jpegs have more detail. I haven't tweaked the colors much. They're pretty close to what the "Natural" jpeg setting gives me. I'll have to get around to the colors later.

I have Photoshop CS4 on my Windows side & Photoshop ACR can't produce a high ISO jpeg out of the DNG like I can get out of RawTherapee. The high ISO jpegs that I get out of ACR do look better than the high ISO OOC jpegs, but not as detailed as the RawTherapeed jpegs.

The lower ISO OOC jpegs & RawTherapee jpegs (ISO 100 to 800) are pretty close in terms of image quality, but the RawTherapee jpegs still beat the OOC jpegs.

I'll post up that high ISO profile (1600 to 3200) when I get home. If anywone else is up for this, we could have something pretty awesome here. K-30 owners can use the same profiles & contribute as well!

04-21-2015, 05:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Squirrel Mafia Quote
I think this is a great idea. We can share RawTherpee profiles, tweak them a bit, & re-share them.
Thanks! This is basically what I was getting at. Something that could possibly give RT + K-50/K-30 users ideas on how to use RT, for getting the most out of our specific cameras. Collectively there is a decent amount of information out there on using RT. But relatively not a lot of it, and certainly not a lot for Pentax.

I would contribute some custom presets too but all I have done so far is tweak all the sliders and values. I haven't experimented too much with the curves or any other advanced settings.

I have been checking out and experimenting with the bundled presets and some of them are actually quite useful. If anything, for a starting point that has a bunch of different desired outcomes. In reading the google community discussions from contributors of those presets, seems like a lot of work from experienced people went into creating them. Same with the film simultion, HaldCLUTs. Those are fun to work with too. I have a few color / filter tweaking type tools, some free and simple, some paid and quite customizable. However, they have very limited presets that are actually helpful or useful. So I can certainly appreciate all the different options in RT.
04-26-2015, 09:13 AM   #10
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BTW if you want a free raw processor, photivo is much more interesting and more powerful than rawtherapy. It has a large number of creative filters. There is also a plug in you can download to send the output to gimp. Photivo.org
04-30-2015, 12:04 PM   #11
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I haven't forgotten about this thread. I've been quite overwhelmed at work with too much work. Hahaha!

I'll post up some profiles soon.
05-07-2015, 09:10 PM   #12
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Here's a profile that I've been working on to get the most out of high ISO RAW shots. It eliminates the chroma noise, but retains the fine detail that ends up getting lost in the out of camera jpegs. You will see a very fine grain pattern, but it's quite pleasant looking. The grain patter does get a little rougher at ISO 3200. The jpegs rendered with this are pretty close to the Natural setting on the camera. It's a good start to tweak the photo.

You can compare an out of camera high ISO jpeg to a jpeg processed in RawTherapee & you will notice a big difference in high ISO pictures.

Since I can't upload a .pp3 file directly, I had to change the file to a .txt file. Change it back to a .pp3 file when you download it to use it in RawTherapee. This works on Linux, Windows, & Mac versions of RawTherapee.

Last edited by The Squirrel Mafia; 11-19-2015 at 08:10 AM.
05-07-2015, 10:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Squirrel Mafia Quote
Here's a profile that I've been working on to get the most out of high ISO RAW shots.
You are awesome! Thanks very much. Gonna give this a shot and see if it works for me. Regardless, thanks for sharing it. Always good to get ideas from someone else. I'll report back when I can apply it to a high ISO pic I have. I appreciate it!
05-08-2015, 08:46 AM   #14
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Here's a quick ISO 1600 comparison sample. I got this from the Imaging Resource board.

Look at the detail regained in the bricks & the shadow on the columns. Notice how the OOC jpeg is all blotchy.

Last edited by The Squirrel Mafia; 11-28-2015 at 10:29 PM.
05-09-2015, 04:04 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Squirrel Mafia Quote
The jpegs rendered with this are pretty close to the Natural setting on the camera. It's a good start to tweak the photo.
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.
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