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06-28-2017, 12:16 PM   #1
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K-1 switching from DNG to PEF

I am really upset. I did not directly change the RAW format from PNG to PEF, it did so perhaps as a result of changing other parameters. I spent several hours and many miles for some night photography, until 2 am, and discovered that they were all PEF files. I used the Pentax utility to convert them to PNG, however all of them had the top 1/3 covered with a black mask and that rendered all of the 375 photos useless.

I am positive that I did not change the format in the menu, so somehow in changing other parameters it changed it as well, so beware and always check this prior to photographing. There should be a way to lock this into the format chosen. Is there anyone that uses the proprietary format?

06-28-2017, 12:19 PM   #2
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I wouldn't expect the black mask to be due to the conversion, but you could download the free Adobe RAW Convertor and see if that works better.
06-28-2017, 12:27 PM   #3
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You mean DNG, right? PNG is different, a lossless bitmap image format developed as an alternative to GIF back when Unisys demanded patent royalties for the LZW compression algorithm.
06-28-2017, 12:36 PM   #4
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Your camera does not support PNG, though it does provide the option of DNG and/or PEF file types for RAW capture. The preference may be set using the capture menu. There is also the option of using the FX1/FX2 buttons for that task. That is the default action for those buttons.

Is there any chance you accidentally changed the file type using those buttons?


Edit: Lets just forget I wrote the struck-out text...seldom use the RAW/FX feature The note below regarding custom "user" modes is still a likely candidate.

Another possibility is that the file type is different than you expect for one or more custom "user" modes. To avoid accidentally changing the file types with FX1/FX2, you may want to map those buttons to something with less potential for problems (e.g. rear monitor brightness).

As for the "black mask" you found on the files converted using PDCU, that is indeed alarming. I seldom use PDCU and have never used that feature. If you still have the original PEF files, I would suggest confirming that those have no "black mask" and convert to DNG using the free DNG Converter tool from Adobe. With any luck, you can salvage your work.


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 06-29-2017 at 01:12 PM.
06-28-2017, 12:45 PM   #5
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DNG

QuoteOriginally posted by aremmes Quote
You mean DNG, right? PNG is different, a lossless bitmap image format developed as an alternative to GIF back when Unisys demanded patent royalties for the LZW compression algorithm.
Sorry, meant DNG.

---------- Post added 06-28-17 at 12:49 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
As for the "black mask" you found on the files converted using PDCU, that is indeed alarming. I seldom use PDCU and have never used that feature. If you still have the original PEF files, I would suggest confirming that those have no "black mask" and convert to DNG using the free DNG Converter tool from Adobe. With any luck, you can salvage your work.


Steve
None had the black mask prior to converting.
06-28-2017, 01:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by wings Quote
None had the black mask prior to converting.
Cool! Then you can use your unconverted PEF files and all is good. If you must convert to DNG (very little general advantage and no image quality reason for doing so), the free Adobe converter is preferred. As an option, Adobe Lightroom supports conversion to DNG on import if you use that tool.*

To answer your final question on your original post, I used PEF exclusively for seven years and moved to DNG with the purchase of my K-3. There was no particular reason for the switch** except that I was considering purchase of a K-30 as a companion body (no PEF option). I also switch over when figuring out troubleshooting requests here at PF and sometimes forget to switch back. My tools of choice (Lightroom and Affinity Photo) support both file types, so I don't bother trying to convert those errant photos to DNG.


Steve

* Note that the DNG created by the converter is Adobe-flavored and not compatible with PDCU. There may also be compatibility issues with other, non-Adobe, software.

** PEF and Pentax-flavor DNG are "image data identical" and results are the same from both file types. There are points of advantage to both (discussed in agonizing detail on several other threads on this site), but none that compelled me one way another.
06-28-2017, 02:21 PM - 1 Like   #7
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While I prefer DNG, there is no practical difference between the two. I have factory-reset my cameras and then forgotten to switch to DNG. The PEFs play just as nicely with Lightroom, Apple products, etc.
06-28-2017, 02:57 PM   #8
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I think the free Adobe Bridge includes their RAW converter, if you don’t already have Lightroom or Photoshop. Or you could always download a trial of Lightroom, which will definitely bulk convert to DNG if you want.

06-28-2017, 03:07 PM - 1 Like   #9
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OK...to make thing simple...

Adobe DNG Converter for Windows:
Adobe - Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter : For Windows : Adobe DNG Converter 9.10.1
Adobe DNG Convertor for Mac:
Adobe - Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter : For Macintosh : Adobe DNG Converter 9.10.1
BTW...There is an option to retain the original PEF within the DNG. There may be benefits to that approach should one ever migrate to a tool set where Adobe-generated DNG (or any DNG) is not supported.

Bulk conversion to DNG is supported natively in Lightroom and Bridge.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 06-28-2017 at 03:13 PM.
06-28-2017, 03:25 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Even Raw Therapee will handle .PEF files without a hassle, so I would not sweat.
06-29-2017, 08:30 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Long shot here....

Are you using flash in these photos? Having 1/3 of the frame be all black is what happens when the camera and the flash don't sync right.
06-29-2017, 09:30 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
Long shot here....

Are you using flash in these photos? Having 1/3 of the frame be all black is what happens when the camera and the flash don't sync right.
Good thought process but the OP said the raw files were fine before processing.
07-04-2017, 02:11 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
OK...to make thing simple...

Adobe DNG Converter for Windows:
Adobe - Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter : For Windows : Adobe DNG Converter 9.10.1
Adobe DNG Convertor for Mac:
Adobe - Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter : For Macintosh : Adobe DNG Converter 9.10.1
BTW...There is an option to retain the original PEF within the DNG. There may be benefits to that approach should one ever migrate to a tool set where Adobe-generated DNG (or any DNG) is not supported.

Bulk conversion to DNG is supported natively in Lightroom and Bridge.


Steve
The Adobe link above resolved the problem, many thanks. The black mask disappeared and so far I have not encountered any problems. I have learned my lesson(s): Double check the file format, ie RAW and Never use the conversion tool in the Pentax utility.

I did run across something during my searches for this problem that may come in handy for a different problem. If you use Sandisk SD cards, they have a free utility that would allow the recovery of deleted files whether intentional or accidentally. Here is the link:
Free SanDisk Recovery Software Recovers Lost Sandisk Data - EaseUS SanDisk Recovery

Many thanks for all of your help.
05-04-2018, 11:11 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by wings Quote
The Adobe link above resolved the problem, many thanks. The black mask disappeared and so far I have not encountered any problems. I have learned my lesson(s): Double check the file format, ie RAW and Never use the conversion tool in the Pentax utility.

I did run across something during my searches for this problem that may come in handy for a different problem. If you use Sandisk SD cards, they have a free utility that would allow the recovery of deleted files whether intentional or accidentally. Here is the link:
Free SanDisk Recovery Software Recovers Lost Sandisk Data - EaseUS SanDisk Recovery

Many thanks for all of your help.
During some years I have made use of RAW pictures from my Pentax digital cameras instead of JPGs. Until now I have always chosen DNG as my ordinary in-camera-format, and this has worked all right without any flaws whatsoever. Lately, with my new K-1 II in action, I have started to test the PEF format in order to see what "goodies" the improved pixel shift function actually offers me in some cases.

Initially I decided to open my PEFs in DCU and immediately save them as TIFs before taking them into LR 6 for my final editing and export as JPGs. However, TIFs get so very big on disk. I then decided to instead save my PEFs as DNGs by making use of DCU in order to ensure that the PS properties are handled and really transferred into the DNG format and do not get lost. Thus I lately imported such "DCU-DNGs" into LR 6 instead of TIFs to see if there was any short-coming that I had not foreseen.

The "DCU-DNGs" look very good and I cannot see that their quality is different from the "DCU-TIFs" when I compare the same pixel-shifted pictures saved in both formats to investigate this aspect. My problem is that in LR 6 I cannot read the PEFs from my K-1 II and will never do since there will be no more updated camera adaptions after LR 6.14 (I do not want to subscribe to LR Classic CC or LR CC). However, I hope that at least Adobe DNG converter will go on getting updated. Then I will be able to compare "PEF-to-DCU-DNGs" with "PEF-to-Adobe-DNGs" emanating also from my K-1 II to see the difference. Earlier small and simple tests with PEFs from my older Pentax houses indicate that the quality improvement with PS on is clearly visible and a positive gain worth some added effort but also that pictures taken with PS on get degenerated quality saved as in-camera-DNGs compared to what DNGs normally result in. Conclusion so far: only PEF-through-DCU processing takes care of the positive potential of more nice-looking pictures with PS. There are no direct alternatives so to speak!

As regards the lost upper 1/3 of the pictures, I did not see that phenomenum in the few PS pictures I tested so far. It seems that computers and computer programs AND camera brands and camera models are somewhat like different "personalities" which, not always foreseeable, end up in different outcomes so to speak! It is not always easy to be a photographer. Still, I find that the digital era does not only increase my technical problems but also my productivity and creativity in many ways.

Last edited by Staffan; 05-04-2018 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Improved content
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