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04-05-2010, 09:17 AM   #1
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In praise of pentax photo laboratory

After reading so much negative criticism of Pentax Photo Laboratory in multiple forums I never bothered to even try it after purchasing my K10D about a year and a half years ago. I use Elements 6 so simply depended on it's Raw converter which is reasonably good but was never 100% happy with my results. A few months ago I decided to give PPL a try and was blown away at the difference in the quality in the results! The conversions have a sharpness and glow that as much as I tweaked the Adobe converter, could never match.
The PPL raw converter is deceptively simple: Curves and a few options to control contrast, hue etc. Never having used curves before I was a bit hesitant but with practice and combined with the other tools I found I was able to have very precise control over the initial conversion. The key here is INITIAL CONVERSION - I'm not looking for a finished product (that comes through the fine detail processing in Elements) but as a working tool that converts my initial RAW "negative" into a working image it has proven to be invaluable.

Of course I have no doubt that I could dish out several hundred $$$ for a more "professional" software but in this day and age throwing money after something when what I already have gives me great results, why bother?

Bottom line is for all the people out there that are just starting out in RAW, give the Pentax software a chance, take the time to learn curves - like everything in life and photography practice (a lot of it) makes perfect!

04-05-2010, 10:15 AM   #2
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I would agree with you on PPL. My only complaint is that I need a big screen with it to have all of its window open. I do use it but I'm really in love with Lightroom which just makes it all simple. However, PPL is a fine product. Good point.
04-05-2010, 10:24 AM   #3
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The criticisms of PPL usually have nothing to do with the *results* but rather with the interface, which traditionally has bee about as clunky compared to more modern programs as, say, the original IBM PC running PC-DOS would look compared to a modern PC running Windows, much less a Mac. I understand the latest version improves this somewhat.

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