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08-02-2010, 08:29 PM   #61
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Wow this is a great forum! Thank you for all the input. I am in the middle of a cross country move. When I get settled I'll take a closer look at all of this. Yes I am interested in the subtle color adjustments like in that great photo of that great kid.

08-03-2010, 02:10 AM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
No, you're completely missing the point. I can see the differences; what I'm saying is that they are much smaller than the actual variations in real life scenes caused by different colors of light, and our eyes trick us into not seeing the latter. Given the pictures you posted, there is *no objective sense* in which one can reliably say which is more "accurate". Take that same scene, set your WB to either "daylight" or "flash" (to get the most neutral color), then take three pictures: one using incandescent light, one using flourescent light, and one using light coming in the window on a cloudy day. You'll get three *vastly* different photos - that's reality - and yet your brian will have perceived all three scenes more or less the same way. This is the subjective element I am talking about, and it's *huge* compared to the measurably *small* variations in your posted pictures.
programs.
No Marc, I do not think I am missing your point, I am just not in agreement with what you are stating as a fact.

I do realize that the human brain compensates for differences in color temperature when we are seeing a scene. That is the very reason we think an object has a specific colour or hue. If that were not the case we would have to say "the ball has a blueish hue at a colour temperature of 4300K". Fortunately that is not the case, as our eyes adapt, we can simply state that the ball is "blue".

If what you were saying were true, a simple adjustment of WB in PP should rectify the problem, when in my experience it does not. The real problem is that different RAW apps use different default tone curves and colour profiles connected to a specific cameras signal output. In my opinion Pentax has done a very good job with matching the default colours we see in a scene at a specific WB point with what image is actually produced. I know other packages can match what Pentax produce, but have yet to find settings/profiles for these apps that work as good and without lots of extra work as Pentax app, with all hues and at all WB settings, in most images.

If you showed any of these variants by themselves, it might be that no one would say that the colours were "wrong" in any of them. But if you placed them side by side, many would see the difference, and I think most would agree more with the Pentax rendition as it in most cases has more colour detail and look less "flat", out of the box.

And even if you were right and there were no way of saying which colour profile were most realistic, which I believe is not the case, we could really simplify this discussion by stating that many find the default Pentax colour profile + tone curve the most pleasing by far. That it in some peoples opinion is not a subtle difference at all, and that you will need quite a bit of work replicating those colours in other software packages.

This is a really interesting topic to discuss. Maybe we should start a new thread in the Digital Processing, Software, and Printing forums instead? I am sure we could get many more opinions on this topic over there.

QuoteOriginally posted by Genshu Quote
Wow this is a great forum! Thank you for all the input. I am in the middle of a cross country move. When I get settled I'll take a closer look at all of this. Yes I am interested in the subtle color adjustments like in that great photo of that great kid.
Hey Genshu, glad you enjoy our exchange, I was afraid we scared you off with our lengthy, colour discussion. As I said, if you primarily want ease of use for lots of images, try out the demo versions of Adobe Lightroom, Capture One or Silkypix, all are available 30 days for free.

If you don't need cataloging and are not working with large amount of images, give the Pentax software that came with your camera a shot. It is basic and is a bit slower than other packages, but otherwise it works pretty well. If you try out the Pentax software, make sure you download the latest update from here (MacOS):

PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 Update for Macintosh : Software Downloads : PENTAX

It fixes some bugs that caused some crashes in earlier versions.
08-03-2010, 12:49 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by wowtip Quote
No Marc, I do not think I am missing your point, I am just not in agreement with what you are stating as a fact.
Well, everything I've stated really is fact. It isn't completely clear which of these facts you disagree with, but they are all well documented. I am talking about *measurable* difference in a scene due to different lighting being larger - and we're talking about orders of magnitude larger here - than the differences you posted. This is really very trivially easy to demonstrate by performing the experiment I suggested.

QuoteQuote:
If what you were saying were true, a simple adjustment of WB in PP should rectify the problem
No, unfortunately, this isn't true, because the actual color of light is not completely representable with just a single temperature number (or even a temperate/tint pair). It's actually a continuous (normally) function mapping each possible wavelength of light to a its own unique intensity. The notion of color temperature and tint just provides for certain "idealized" curves.

But I could see why if you didn't realize this, it would seem something didn't ring true in my explanations thus far.

In truth, it *would* theoretically be possible to find or generate a standardized D50 light source (the "idealized" light I referred to above) and use it in performing measurements on a standardized color reference chart to see which RAW processor actually came closest to a match in that specific case. Although you'd also be at the mercy of your monitor and/or printer calibration as well as that of the light sources and colorimeters themselves. It would *not* be an easy test to perform accurately. But it's also beside the point, because real world photography isn't performed under these conditions. Our subjective impressions really are more important.

So I'm not trying to knock the idea of *having* color preferences - just the notion that what anyone here is presenting amounts to anything objective. I'm also rather suspicious that most people who express a preference for one over another really haven't done the necessary blind tests across multiple scenes in multiple lighting types to really know how generally their preference does hold, but I certainly won't claim *no one* would end up having a consistent preference if actually put to the test. I am suggesting it would be pretty uncommon, though, and that even among those who had consistent preferences, we'd likely see different people having different preferences.

QuoteQuote:
The real problem is that different RAW apps use different default tone curves and colour profiles connected to a specific cameras signal output.
And specific to the subjective impressions of the people creating those curves. many programs allow those curves to be customized - including ACR.

QuoteQuote:
If you showed any of these variants by themselves, it might be that no one would say that the colours were "wrong" in any of them. But if you placed them side by side, many would see the difference, and I think most would agree more with the Pentax rendition as it in most cases has more colour detail and look less "flat", out of the box.
Except that this is where I originally entered the discussion, specifically *disagreeing* with such a claim with respect to two images that Dan thought objectively showed Pentax performing "better" than ACR, and yet I actually preferred ACR's rendition. And I was not pretending just for the sake of argument - I really honestly prefer the ACR version, by a surprisingly (to me) large margin. But I also don't fool myself into thinking I'd prefer it consistently in a blindfold test across many images taken under many different types of light. I have no doubt that my own preferences would turn out to be pretty random.

QuoteQuote:
we could really simplify this discussion by stating that many find the default Pentax colour profile + tone curve the most pleasing by far
Except I see no reason to believe that is true. I doubt very many people have performed the blind test across multiple scenes in multiple lighting types necessary to even have an opinion, and of the folks who have, I heard their responses being all over the map in terms of their preferences.

QuoteQuote:
This is a really interesting topic to discuss. Maybe we should start a new thread in the Digital Processing, Software, and Printing forums instead? I am sure we could get many more opinions on this topic over there.
It's true we're pretty far removed from the original topic. Feel free to start something if you like, although I'm not sure how much left there is to say.
08-04-2010, 11:54 AM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Well, everything I've stated really is fact. It isn't completely clear which of these facts you disagree with, but they are all well documented. I am talking about *measurable* difference in a scene due to different lighting being larger - and we're talking about orders of magnitude larger here - than the differences you posted. This is really very trivially easy to demonstrate by performing the experiment I suggested.
Given that the eye compensates for wb and each scene in your theoretically test probably would look pretty similar if including a gray card and using the eyedropper wb tool on it, I think it would still be possible to separate converters.
For judging realism you might have to go with your blind test on a number of people. I have not performed that test, but I suspect that naither have you. My guess is still that more people would find the Pentax output look realistic, compared side by side. I know it is a small selection, but my wife and a a friend have commented on "wrong" colours in some photos, so it is not just me.
Maybe that could be the topic for a new thread in the PP forum. Spot the most realistic conversion.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
No, unfortunately, this isn't true, because the actual color of light is not completely representable with just a single temperature number (or even a temperate/tint pair). It's actually a continuous (normally) function mapping each possible wavelength of light to a its own unique intensity. The notion of color temperature and tint just provides for certain "idealized" curves.

But I could see why if you didn't realize this, it would seem something didn't ring true in my explanations thus far.

In truth, it *would* theoretically be possible to find or generate a standardized D50 light source (the "idealized" light I referred to above) and use it in performing measurements on a standardized color reference chart to see which RAW processor actually came closest to a match in that specific case. Although you'd also be at the mercy of your monitor and/or printer calibration as well as that of the light sources and colorimeters themselves. It would *not* be an easy test to perform accurately. But it's also beside the point, because real world photography isn't performed under these conditions. Our subjective impressions really are more important.
Very good. That is where tone curves and colour profiles come into play to produce the final picture. The ones that Pentax imho seem to have optimized pretty well for (from my subjective viewpoint) realistic renderings across all of the wb/tint/whatever scale.

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