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01-31-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
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Processing RAW images

I have only taken photos with my Pentax DSLR as JPEGs.
I am now experimenting in using RAW.
I have taken some pics with RAW and attempted to process them in the software that comes with Pentax DSLRs, Pentax Photo Laboratory.
I am stumbling around in the dark at the moment.
I have used a setting called "Full Auto processing" in the "view" part of the program. I don't know what it does but I then save as a JPEG, only option, then open JPEG in Photoshop and resave as a TIFF.
Anyone use Pentax Photo Laboratory for processing RAW images, any tips on how to process RAW images or programs to use.

01-31-2009, 05:18 PM   #2
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I use Photoshop myself, you might try opening your RAWs in Photoshop, assuming the version you use supports RAW files.
If you go to the Pentax website, pop into the support downloads section and you'll find both PEF and DNG codecs for 32 bit Windows.
01-31-2009, 05:57 PM   #3
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G'day, fellow wombat. May I call you Hairy Nose?

I don't find the Pentax Photo Lab very user friendly and the handbook doesn't give you much guidance. May I suggest you download FastStone. It's a freebie that lets you catalogue your photos and it also has a basic RAW editor that allows you to save in tif or jpeg. Personally I don't spend much time with the RAW file. An occasional tweak of white balance, perhaps, but very little else. I then save in 16 bit tif and, like xjjohnno, photoshop/gimp/whatever from there.

Out of interest, what are you hoping to get out of shooting RAW that you're not currently getting from your jpegs? Many people feel they're somehow not quite up with the play and feel pressured because everyone talks about RAW. But really, only go down the RAW path (which is a pain) if you have a specific reason to. Jpeg is fine for most day to day photography.
01-31-2009, 06:04 PM   #4
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I use lightzone. They have a free video series on their website for new users as well as a user forum. The only problem I have with them is that they seem like they do not put out very many updates compared to companies like Adobe. For what I do it works pretty well for me.

01-31-2009, 06:47 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wombatwal Quote
Anyone use Pentax Photo Laboratory for processing RAW images, any tips on how to process RAW images or programs to use.
the only reason to use PPL is if you can't get colors right in another raw converter,otherwise you can use ACR (I see that you have some Photoshop) or something else (free raw converters like Rawtherapee or download and evaluate converters like Bibble, CaptureOne, SilkyPix, DxO)

read this for a start

Raw Workflow -- Basic

PS: note that white balance should be done first of all (I guess that was missed in the above link).
01-31-2009, 07:08 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wombat Quote
G'day, fellow wombat. May I call you Hairy Nose?

I don't find the Pentax Photo Lab very user friendly and the handbook doesn't give you much guidance. May I suggest you download FastStone. It's a freebie that lets you catalogue your photos and it also has a basic RAW editor that allows you to save in tif or jpeg. Personally I don't spend much time with the RAW file. An occasional tweak of white balance, perhaps, but very little else. I then save in 16 bit tif and, like xjjohnno, photoshop/gimp/whatever from there.

Out of interest, what are you hoping to get out of shooting RAW that you're not currently getting from your jpegs? Many people feel they're somehow not quite up with the play and feel pressured because everyone talks about RAW. But really, only go down the RAW path (which is a pain) if you have a specific reason to. Jpeg is fine for most day to day photography.
Hairy Nose is ok but also "Hard Arse"
Thanks everyone.
I have downloaded "Faststone" and like what I see.
02-01-2009, 11:45 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by wombatwal Quote
I have only taken photos with my Pentax DSLR as JPEGs.
I am now experimenting in using RAW.
I have taken some pics with RAW and attempted to process them in the software that comes with Pentax DSLRs, Pentax Photo Laboratory.
I am stumbling around in the dark at the moment.
I have used a setting called "Full Auto processing" in the "view" part of the program. I don't know what it does but I then save as a JPEG, only option, then open JPEG in Photoshop and resave as a TIFF.
If all you're doing is converting to JPEG using full auto settings, there is really no advantage in shooting RAW in the first place. The whole point is to give you control of the conversion process in order to improve on the results.

Also, if you save to JPEG, there is no advantage in then converting to TIFF. The data that is lost in JPEG conversion is already gone - converting to TIFF won't bring it back. But of course, if you're actually doing any editing in Photoshop rather than just loading it and saving it again, saving as TIFF does prevent the loss of any *additional* information.

Overall, though, if you have Photoshop, there is no reason to use PPL at all. Load your RAW files directly into Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and do as much as you can there. If that's all you need to do, then you can save (as TIFF if you're really concerned about the tiny amount you lose by saving as JPEG, or as JPEG if the idea of saving 10x in disk space seems worth it). If there something you need to do that *can't* be done in ACR, then don't bother saving as anything from ACR - just do as much as you can in ACR and then take the PEF file directly into Photoshop. to finish up - and then you have the same choice of JPEG or TIFF, but also PSD as a possibility, depending on what you plan to do with your file.

For most images that can be adjusted in ACR and don't require further Photoshop processing, there is no reason to actually convert to JPEG or TIFF. If you want a JPEG to post to the web or whatever, fine, generate one of those, but no reaosn for it to be full size or highest quality.
02-01-2009, 03:31 PM   #8
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I sort of disagree with Mark. PPL creates very predictable JPG's so IMHO it's preferable to ACR or another RAW converter than can do odd things when auto adjuysting, and of you don't auto adjust you're left with VERY flat JPG's.

I use PPl to punch out JPG's for snap shots thewn I use ACR and CS3 for images I intend to have in a gallery online or for largish prints.

02-01-2009, 04:20 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone. I have learnt a lot just from this short thread.
Alfisti, what image "format" do you use for online gallery or large prints, i.e. JPG, Tiff etc.
02-02-2009, 01:25 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
I sort of disagree with Mark. PPL creates very predictable JPG's so IMHO it's preferable to ACR or another RAW converter than can do odd things when auto adjuysting, and of you don't auto adjust you're left with VERY flat JPG's.
OK, I'll rephrase - unless you have tested both on your images and are convinced that PPL produces better output, I can't think of any other reason to use it if you have ACR - the workflow is just so much easier with ACR (or practically anything else anything other than PPL).
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