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08-03-2012, 08:34 PM   #1
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PEF files converted to DNG with Lightroom not readable by Raw Therapee?

I recently switched my K-5 and K20D to record DNG (when I heard the K-30 doesn't use PEF anymore), but still had a lot of old PEF files. So yesterday, I converted them to DNG using Lightroom 4.1. That seemed to work fine, and LR has no problems with them.

But when I try to open the DNG in Raw Therapee, the picture looks corrupted, and the EXIF is gone. I checked PDCU, and it entirely fails to open the DNG.

Not a big deal because I can work in LR, or even recover the PEF files from my archives if I ever needed to. Just wondering what's up since I thought going to DNG was a move to a more universal format.

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Last edited by klh; 08-03-2012 at 08:49 PM.
08-03-2012, 08:56 PM   #2
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Just a thought but try going into the metadata menu and try "update DNG preview and metadata". Try on only one file please as I am not 100% sure what this does. But it might update the preview that has been corrupted.

As to the metadata, I think PEF files would have the metadata in a sidecar file, the DNG does not have sidecars and unless you specifically tell LR to write out the metadata (or have it set to do so automagically) then the metadata is only in the LR catalog. As a test select a file that does not have metadata, go into LR and try Metadata>Save Metadata to FIle (ctrl-S). Then try to open in the other program and see if the metadata is there now.

Would be curious to see if there is a difference in files shot as DNG and those shot as PEF and converted.
08-03-2012, 11:44 PM   #3
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Try converting a few problematic PEFs using PDCU and then opening in Raw Therapee. Perhaps the issue is with the LR conversion.
08-04-2012, 12:11 AM   #4
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Perhaps you could try using the latest Adobe DNG Converter instead of LR?

They should work the same, but doing the conversion outside of LR may avoid some of your LR settings having an influence on the conversion. Maybe - I'm guessing here.

08-04-2012, 08:25 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Perhaps you could try using the latest Adobe DNG Converter instead of LR?

They should work the same, but doing the conversion outside of LR may avoid some of your LR settings having an influence on the conversion. Maybe - I'm guessing here.
The standolone DNG converter gives the same results (I am choosing ACR 7.1 compatible).
08-04-2012, 08:35 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Try converting a few problematic PEFs using PDCU and then opening in Raw Therapee. Perhaps the issue is with the LR conversion.
As you suggested, I took a PEF and converted it to DNG with PDCU. The resulting DNG file opens correctly in Raw Therapee, Paintshop Pro X4, and Faststone.

It appears that the DNG conversion through Adobe's products gives a DNG that is not compatible with other software.
08-04-2012, 08:43 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Just a thought but try going into the metadata menu and try "update DNG preview and metadata". Try on only one file please as I am not 100% sure what this does. But it might update the preview that has been corrupted.

As to the metadata, I think PEF files would have the metadata in a sidecar file, the DNG does not have sidecars and unless you specifically tell LR to write out the metadata (or have it set to do so automagically) then the metadata is only in the LR catalog. As a test select a file that does not have metadata, go into LR and try Metadata>Save Metadata to FIle (ctrl-S). Then try to open in the other program and see if the metadata is there now.

Would be curious to see if there is a difference in files shot as DNG and those shot as PEF and converted.
On conversion, I did select the option to include the metadata in the file. I don't think PEF files use a sidecar file, or at least I have never seen that.

And yes, files shot as DNG in the camera work fine in all software.

And here is interesting twist. If I take a DNG in camera, then use Adobe to convert it to DNG (I don't know why you would do that), the resulting file is also unable to be read by anything other than LR.
08-04-2012, 10:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by klh Quote
And here is interesting twist. If I take a DNG in camera, then use Adobe to convert it to DNG (I don't know why you would do that), the resulting file is also unable to be read by anything other than LR.
Interesting indeed.

If you open both in Exiftool and copy the EXIF, do you see any differences in the metadata?

08-04-2012, 12:36 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Interesting indeed.

If you open both in Exiftool and copy the EXIF, do you see any differences in the metadata?
All of the metadata appears to be there in all the files (original PEF, original DNG, PEF converted to DNG with LR, PEF converted to DNG with PDCU). However, the order and contents are different, and some of the fields themselves are different.

I tried to copy and paste the EXIFTOOL results here, but I can't seem to do that.
08-06-2012, 12:44 AM   #10
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Just a note: DNG created by camera is not the same as DNG created by Adobe converter. The Adobe converter changes the raw image data (e.g. applies hot/dead pixel removal, etc), not just the container format and metadata! That's why some software doesn't/cannot read converted DNG files.
08-06-2012, 09:19 AM   #11
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It sounds to me that the DNG converter has updated to a new format that isn't backward compatible with Rawtherapee and other software. The converter is often changing and evolving and often leaves the files unable to work with older software that isn't necessarily keeping up with the format. You probably need to track down an older version of the DNG converter and use that instead of the current version with LR4.1 or ACR.
08-06-2012, 06:16 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
It sounds to me that the DNG converter has updated to a new format that isn't backward compatible with Rawtherapee and other software. The converter is often changing and evolving and often leaves the files unable to work with older software that isn't necessarily keeping up with the format. You probably need to track down an older version of the DNG converter and use that instead of the current version with LR4.1 or ACR.
Yes, that's what it appears to be. I wish they would have made that clear someplace.
08-07-2012, 10:56 AM   #13
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It would be nice if they made that clear, but it is something that I think I had learned about a while back when the K5 was new and at that time they upgraded to LR3 or CS5 (I don't remember where things broke). These major changes that break compatibility always seem to occur when Adobe makes a major change in DNG format. After that point, I've always kept an old DNG converter install package so the issue you had would never happen again. I don't really convert to DNG anymore since the DNG files are pretty much the same size as the PEF's out of the camera. It was more an advantage back with the K10d.

As for the Pentax software, I didn't think it ever really worked with DNG files that were not out of the camera. Then again, I've never used the PDCU software since I got my K5 (I used the old version with the K10d).

I'd suspect that at some point soon that Rawtherapee will make its fix. the DCRAW library that is in that software (and UFRaw) is pretty good at keeping up to speed with changes.
08-08-2012, 06:13 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
I'd suspect that at some point soon that Rawtherapee will make its fix. the DCRAW library that is in that software (and UFRaw) is pretty good at keeping up to speed with changes.
Good point. I've been using RawTherapee 3 (the most current stable version). I just tried RawTherapee 4 (beta), and it reads the converted DNGs correctly.
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