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09-08-2010, 08:46 AM   #1
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The strange case of the desaturating K-7

(hat-tip to wizofoz for the thread title, per his AF points)

Several days ago I popped on a new lens (Voigtlander SLII 90mm) to take if for a spin. I was snapping away when I noticed the shots began to look less and less saturated. It was a bright overcast day (late afternoon) and the place I was shooting didn't have a ton of rich colors going on so I wasn't really sure what was up (just getting used to the lens? something else?).

Anyway, after reviewing the images you could almost see the color leaching out frame by frame until they were pretty radically desaturated - not B&W but very noticeably. I popped on different lenses (old As, DA Ltds, etc.), took pics of vibrantly colored flowers, all with the same result. In video mode the same desaturation was present in the live view.

None of my settings had changed, things just became universally washed out.

Then last weekend I decided to try to start from a baseline and see if I could see what was going on. I reset to the factory settings, updated my firmware, configured my personal settings, took a photo and - ta-da! Color was back to normal.

Any ideas on what the heck was/is going on?

09-08-2010, 09:02 AM   #2
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Saturation bracketing?

Some samples with exif would help as usual.
09-08-2010, 09:03 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by alan_smithee_photos Quote
(hat-tip to wizofoz for the thread title, per his AF points)

Several days ago I popped on a new lens (Voigtlander SLII 90mm) to take if for a spin. I was snapping away when I noticed the shots began to look less and less saturated. It was a bright overcast day (late afternoon) and the place I was shooting didn't have a ton of rich colors going on so I wasn't really sure what was up (just getting used to the lens? something else?).

Anyway, after reviewing the images you could almost see the color leaching out frame by frame until they were pretty radically desaturated - not B&W but very noticeably. I popped on different lenses (old As, DA Ltds, etc.), took pics of vibrantly colored flowers, all with the same result. In video mode the same desaturation was present in the live view.

None of my settings had changed, things just became universally washed out.

Then last weekend I decided to try to start from a baseline and see if I could see what was going on. I reset to the factory settings, updated my firmware, configured my personal settings, took a photo and - ta-da! Color was back to normal.

Any ideas on what the heck was/is going on?
RAW processor having issues?
09-08-2010, 09:36 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
RAW processor having issues?

You mean within the camera? I suppose that's a possiblity. It would explain why a proper reboot would fix it.

09-08-2010, 04:28 PM   #5
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RAW or JPG

Was this happening to the RAW files or were you shooting JPG-only?
09-09-2010, 08:28 AM   #6
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I was shooting JPGs when I noticed it. I don't think I took any in RAW while it was going on.
09-09-2010, 08:51 AM   #7
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Funny, I just had the same experience down to the new lens (DA 15mm for me) I just poked around and discovered that the custom image settings were all over the map so I set them all to neutral and that seems to have made a huge difference. Here's the kicker: I shoot RAW.
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09-09-2010, 02:35 PM   #8
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I had this issue to with my RAW files totally losing their saturation, drove me nuts for a while until I stumbled on the "CAMERA PROFILE" settings in Lightroom.

I changed it from Adobe Standard to the CAMERA Standard.

That worked for me.

09-09-2010, 04:47 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
Funny, I just had the same experience down to the new lens (DA 15mm for me) I just poked around and discovered that the custom image settings were all over the map...
This looks a lot like what I was seeing. I'm assuming that you, like me, didn't explicitly muck around with your custom image settings either? Since I didn't check them before resetting everything I can't say for certain. But it's more than bizarre to me that there should be some connection between mounting a new lens and these settings being modified. They seem so buried in the menus that it's unlikely you could inadvertently change them ("fat finger" or whatever).
09-09-2010, 04:58 PM   #10
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Cheers Alan, at least someone reads my diatribe!

What a strange thing to happen. It's like the circuitry of the lens has somehow changed the settings 'in camera'. I guess that could be possible, but I'm not sure how. I find scrambled data to be a cause of many faults in my work. Inexplicable, random faults. This just smells similar to me.
09-09-2010, 06:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by alan_smithee_photos Quote
This looks a lot like what I was seeing. I'm assuming that you, like me, didn't explicitly muck around with your custom image settings either? Since I didn't check them before resetting everything I can't say for certain. But it's more than bizarre to me that there should be some connection between mounting a new lens and these settings being modified. They seem so buried in the menus that it's unlikely you could inadvertently change them ("fat finger" or whatever).
No I didn't intentionally change those settings but I'm infamously fat-fingered. But there's another element: I did hand the camera to someone so that he could take a photo of me and he was not only a novice but somewhat under the influence (yeah, maybe not the smartest move ) after which my shots turned out in grayscale.

So, in my case, I suspect the new lens has nothing to do with it: it was the custom image settings. I had been under the impression that those adjustments applied to jpeg only but it seems I was wrong.
09-09-2010, 06:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
No I didn't intentionally change those settings but I'm infamously fat-fingered. But there's another element: I did hand the camera to someone so that he could take a photo of me and he was not only a novice but somewhat under the influence (yeah, maybe not the smartest move ) after which my shots turned out in grayscale.

So, in my case, I suspect the new lens has nothing to do with it: it was the custom image settings. I had been under the impression that those adjustments applied to jpeg only but it seems I was wrong.
Dave, I think those in camera settings can ONLY apply to Jpeg's. Raw data is RAW DATA. no filters, no settings, just zero's and ones.
09-09-2010, 07:40 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
Dave, I think those in camera settings can ONLY apply to Jpeg's. Raw data is RAW DATA. no filters, no settings, just zero's and ones.
I just did some testing and the "custom image modes" (bright, natural, etc.) do seem to apply to RAW (B&W certainly does) You get to those options by pressing the right side of the 4-way controller twice.
09-16-2010, 01:38 AM   #14
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I've had this same thing happen with my k-7 and have been puzzling over it, thanks for the insights. My k-10 always had great color, so I was becoming rather disappointed with the k-7. I'll take a look at the custom settings. Don't recall changing them.....
09-19-2010, 01:46 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
I just did some testing and the "custom image modes" (bright, natural, etc.) do seem to apply to RAW (B&W certainly does) You get to those options by pressing the right side of the 4-way controller twice.
AFAIK, those settings do not change the RAW data, but they do affect the full-res JPEG preview embedded in the DNG/PEF.
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