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03-18-2020, 10:37 PM   #1
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DCU vs LR

So a while back I posted about how much I hated the DA* 16-50mm SDM lens because it was so soft at f2.8.

I have to soften my tune on this lens after processing my old images in Lightroom and compared against what I did in DCU; LR processes with much more sharpness. It's still a soft lens wide open, but it's much sharper than I gave it credit for. It looks like LR processes Pentax images equivalent to about FS +2 or +3 in DCU. I need to go back and change that setting on Camera and see if the JPGs come out better too.

I just started using LR recently, didn't realize by default DCU kept the images on the softer side. It's equivalent to about in between Canon's Standard and Neutral profiles. Apart from this lens at 2.8, all the other lenses I had were good enough, so I never bothered to see what the sharpness setting could do. Goes to show how much variation there is in RAW process. I just don't understand why Pentax wouldn't default to settings that would put them in better light when reviewed by people who may only do a superficial review of the camera/software.

03-18-2020, 10:46 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by keos Quote
So a while back I posted about how much I hated the DA* 16-50mm SDM lens because it was so soft at f2.8.

I have to soften my tune on this lens after processing my old images in Lightroom and compared against what I did in DCU; LR processes with much more sharpness. It's still a soft lens wide open, but it's much sharper than I gave it credit for. It looks like LR processes Pentax images equivalent to about FS +2 or +3 in DCU. I need to go back and change that setting on Camera and see if the JPGs come out better too.

I just started using LR recently, didn't realize by default DCU kept the images on the softer side. It's equivalent to about in between Canon's Standard and Neutral profiles. Apart from this lens at 2.8, all the other lenses I had were good enough, so I never bothered to see what the sharpness setting could do. Goes to show how much variation there is in RAW process. I just don't understand why Pentax wouldn't default to settings that would put them in better light when reviewed by people who may only do a superficial review of the camera/software.
I think superficial people are affected by superficial reviews, Keos, we're just not that kind of folk, especially those of us who shoot RAW and develop JPGs to taste.
03-19-2020, 12:03 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I think superficial people are affected by superficial reviews, Keos, we're just not that kind of folk, especially those of us who shoot RAW and develop JPGs to taste.
I still haven't figured out how to turn off NR in DCU. I can see briefly the underlying noisy image, but no matter what I do it keeps on wanting to denoise it and blur out way too much detail. It's the weakest OEM RAW processing by a mile, imo
03-19-2020, 01:47 AM - 1 Like   #4
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If you have LR then I would not use the Pentax software at all.

I have not installed any Pentax DCU software since I owned the DS in 2005

03-19-2020, 03:40 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
If you have LR then I would not use the Pentax software at all.

I have not installed any Pentax DCU software since I owned the DS in 2005
100% agree.

I installed this DCU once. I could not get it to edit even a jpeg file let alone RAW. Installed Lightroom and never looked back.
03-19-2020, 09:45 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
If you have LR then I would not use the Pentax software at all.

I have not installed any Pentax DCU software since I owned the DS in 2005
I paid for a couple months for a project, I didn't intend on keeping it around forever. DCU does 80% of what I need it to do and it's free. I just wish it was sharper by default. And a way to turn off NR. Don't have this problem with Canon DPP, Nikon ViewNX-i, Sony Viewer, etc.
03-20-2020, 03:21 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by keos Quote
I paid for a couple months for a project, I didn't intend on keeping it around forever. DCU does 80% of what I need it to do and it's free. I just wish it was sharper by default. And a way to turn off NR. Don't have this problem with Canon DPP, Nikon ViewNX-i, Sony Viewer, etc.
I don't use DCU, but can you create a preset that gives you what you want? As far as noise reduction goes, I thought there were two or three sliders that controlled it and you could move those to off, but once again, I don't remember and it has been a long time since I used that program.

(My big issue with it wasn't results, it was that it was really slow and glitchy and seemed to take way longer to do any processing than it should).

Honestly, I think you should investigate and learn to use Raw Therapee. I think you will find it does way more than DCU and it is free. It will take you some time to learn the program, but Squirrel Mafia has created a thread about using it that is really helpful.
03-20-2020, 07:16 AM   #8
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Noise reduction is controlled from the Laboratory mode in DCU from the sliders and on/off tick boxes mentioned above. You need to select the noise reduction tab from the Window menu list in order to see them.

03-20-2020, 08:13 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by steephill Quote
Noise reduction is controlled from the Laboratory mode in DCU from the sliders and on/off tick boxes mentioned above. You need to select the noise reduction tab from the Window menu list in order to see them.
I can never turn it off. I can increase it, but even at 0, there is NR in the image. When I open the same file in LR I can see the underlying image with all the grain.
05-11-2020, 09:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bruce Clark Quote
100% agree.

I installed this DCU once. I could not get it to edit even a jpeg file let alone RAW. Installed Lightroom and never looked back.
I use it on a rare, rare, occasion to process a Pixel Shift image that has significant motion correction. Other than for that purpose I can't stand it. If you need something free give Raw Therapee a shot!
05-12-2020, 04:26 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by keos Quote
I just don't understand why Pentax wouldn't default to settings that would put them in better light when reviewed by people who may only do a superficial review of the camera/software.
Many photographers don't like over sharpened, over saturated cell phone type images. FWIW, DCU simply defaults to the settings that you've set in your camera. I find it handy. Also, noise reduction can be turned off by unchecking the NR boxes.
05-14-2020, 06:59 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rogerstg Quote
Many photographers don't like over sharpened, over saturated cell phone type images. FWIW, DCU simply defaults to the settings that you've set in your camera. I find it handy. Also, noise reduction can be turned off by unchecking the NR boxes.
right, so they default to bland images with no edge definition

as I've said before, I unchecked all NR boxes in DCU, there is still NR being applied. If I use Rawtherapee or LR I can see the grain in images that DCU smoothes out.

I can't find a good sharpness setting in DCU that looks good at higher ISO, but LR and Rawtherapee both can make the same raw images look fantastic with much better edge definition. Only issue is LR is paid, and Rawtherapee has way too many options to think about.
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