Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
22 Likes  
Get "that CCD look" with the K-3 / K-3II and Lightroom
Posted By: BigMackCam, 08-09-2017, 01:03 PM

UPDATE: The following article has been revised to reflect newly-optimised Lightroom settings and example images. For a limited time, you can also download the CCD Effect preset for Lightroom HERE.


Get "that CCD look" with the K-3 / K-3II and Lightroom

Many people feel that the colour rendition from Pentax's earlier CCD sensor cameras is superior to that of later CMOS sensor models. Although the K-3 and K-3II are my day-to-day cameras, more recently I've been shooting extensively with a GX-10 - Samsung's clone of the Pentax K10D - and I've become a huge fan. Whether it's down to the sensor, the camera's colour profiling or a combination of the two, I really can't say for sure; but, the results are very appealing - punchy, saturated, almost film-like images, with very little post-processing needed to achieve great-looking results.

So fond am I of the GX-10's output that I decided to develop a Lightroom preset that would re-create "that CCD look" for my K-3 and K-3II photos.

I started by taking two photographs of an X-rite ColorChecker Passport, one with the GX-10, the other with the K-3. Both cameras were fitted with the same model of lens (the Pentax-F 28-80 f/3.5-4.5), to avoid optical differences in contrast and colour reproduction. The photos were taken in RAW format using the DNG file type (which, importantly, embeds a copy of the camera profile).

I imported both photos into Lightroom 6 and ensured all settings were at Lightroom's default values, with no presets or user defaults applied. I then selected the "Embedded" profile for each photo (to use the camera profiles rather than Adobe's), and set the white balance for both images using the eye-dropper tool on the same mid-grey square of the Passport.

From this point, all adjustments would be to the K-3 image alone, trying to match against the GX-10 "master" image as closely as possible.

I fine-tuned the exposure level so that the mid-grey tones were at the same luminosity for both photos (within +/- 0.5, as there was some variance of values across the square).

I adjusted the contrast so that the "darkest black" and "brightest white" squares had the same luminosity. This required some minor tweaking of exposure to keep the mid-tones at the right level, as contrast adjustments appeared to have a non-linear effect on the tone curve. Now, each of the grey-scale squares showed luminosity values very close to those in the GX-10 image.

The remaining adjustments would deal with colour reproduction - specifically hue, saturation and luminosity for each colour.

In the Camera Calibration section of Lightroom, I adjusted the hue and saturation of the Red Primary, Green Primary and Blue Primary channels to get those primary colours as close as possible. Since there is no luminosity adjustment for these, it's impossible to get them exactly right - but we can place them in the ball park.

At this point, a casual comparison of the colours in both images was already much closer than before.

Next came the really time-consuming part...

In the Color section of Lightroom, I adjusted (and re-adjusted!) the hue, saturation and luminosity of each colour to achieve a close match for each coloured square in turn. As you'd expect, adjustments for each colour had a knock-on effect to one or more of the others, and there was a great deal of back-and-forth fine-tuning required. Small, incremental adjustments were vital to avoid significant impact on related colours, which had to be tweaked to counteract any minor changes.

I was unable to get every coloured square matching exactly, but it was very close.

I saved the adjustments as a user preset, checking the Contrast, Color Adjustments, Process Version and Calibration boxes to ensure all the relevant settings were saved.

Then, on a sunny day with no clouds (rare in my part of the world!), I took some test shots of real scenes side-by-side with both cameras, and tried out the new preset on the K-3 files. The results were good, though not quite as good as I'd hoped - in particular, the green and yellow balance wasn't quite right, and the saturation and luminosity of light-blue skies wasn't what it should be. So, I went back to the ColorChecker Passport images and fine-tuned the adjustments before re-applying them to the test shots. After many iterations over several days, I eventually reached a point of diminishing returns; the results were so close that further tweaking would have little additional benefit and more than likely be detrimental.

Here's a "before" and "after" example of the preset being applied to an indoor test shot of some coloured pencils:


What's interesting about this example is how little difference there is in the greens, as vivid greens are something the CCD sensor cameras are revered for. From my testing in normal shooting conditions, it seems this is largely due to luminosity and saturation of yellow and orange rather than a radical difference in green tones.

It's worth studying that example image in detail. At a glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking the adjusted image is merely brighter, with a little more contrast. But if you look at each pencil individually, you'll see some quite significant changes in hue, saturation and luminosity, while the white, black and grey shades are (as they should be) nearly identical in both shots

Since completing this exercise, I've applied the preset to a number of K-3, K-3II, and even some K-5 images from my Lightroom library. The outcome is just what I'd hoped for... the photos have more of "that CCD look" I've come to appreciate so much. Greens and browns are warmer (great for landscape work), blues are richer, light-blue skies are somewhat deeper and better defined against clouds, yellows and oranges are brighter, while reds are a real treat - more orange than scarlet and not so over-saturated.

Of course, no preset or any amount of post-processing can re-create the fun of using a particular camera. For those who've never owned one of Pentax's CCD-sensor models (or their Samsung cousins), I highly recommend picking one up at the right price, since - at lower ISO settings - they produce wonderful images. I'll continue to use my GX-10 regularly, as it's a great bit of kit - but these adjustments provide a solid basis for reproducing at least some of that signature CCD look with the K-3 and other Pentax CMOS sensor cameras.

For those who'd like to try this out, here are some screen captures of the relevant settings (remember to save them as a preset so you can apply them all in one go!). And, if you do try it, please let me know how you get on!






... and, just to finish, here's one more test shot from the K-3, taken in my back garden, with the CCD preset applied (and no other adjustments, save for exposure and white balance sampled from a known grey area). It certainly has the warmth and saturation I was hoping for


Thanks for reading!

Last edited by BigMackCam; 08-12-2017 at 02:15 AM.
Views: 27,090
11-10-2019, 05:47 AM   #106
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
acoufap's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Munich, Germany
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,415
QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
When you adjust a primary RGB colour channel, all composite colours in your image containing data from that channel will be affected. Adjust the red, for example, and every composite colour containing red information - e.g. magenta - will be affected... and quite significantly so. H/S/L adjustments to composite colours seem to work in a similar way, but targeted at much narrower ranges of composite rather than primary colours.

My earliest attempts at emulating the GX-10's output were based on H/S/L adjustments to composite colours only, and it worked quite well, so I'm sure you can do it without access to primary colour channel adjustments. But you'll probably need to adjust every composite colour to some extent. I found that by adjusting the primary channels only, I could already get quite close to the necessary colour output, then simply fine-tune the composites
Capture One Pro offers great precise color editing tools and also supports a special luma curve channel within the curves tool. This curve looks like the RGB channel curves but doesn‘t affect saturation of the original colors. My guess is, that it‘s easier to emulate the CCD look using the Capture One Pro color editing and curve tools. Just an info for people who‘d like to explore this.

11-10-2019, 06:45 AM - 2 Likes   #107
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
BigMackCam's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: North-East of England
Posts: 15,923
Original Poster
Thanks for the recent comments to this article, folks. I'm delighted that it's still of value, and pleased to see the continued thinking outside of Lightroom.

I know our members use a variety of different software for processing, but my intention here was merely to share my own approach for the software I was using at the time (Lightroom). For some time since this article, I was running Linux Mint on my main PC and had switched to Darktable and - later - RawTherapee for most of my raw processing. I'm now back to using Windows 10 on an HP mobile workstation PC, and have installed my "old" stand-alone copy of Lightroom 6, alongside Darktable and RawTherapee. At some point in the next few months I intend to revisit the whole profiling and camera emulation exercise - hopefully on all three of these tools.

I'll keep you all posted if and when I make further progress
11-14-2019, 02:59 PM   #108
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Woodstock, GA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,558
Have you done anything similar to RawTherapee or DarkTable, Mike?
11-14-2019, 04:05 PM - 1 Like   #109
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
BigMackCam's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: North-East of England
Posts: 15,923
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Have you done anything similar to RawTherapee or DarkTable, Mike?
I haven't... BUT... Adobe DNG Profile Editor can be used to create a .dcp profile using the same adjustments I made directly in Lightroom (I think @Dartmoor Dave; did exactly this, and uses the profile in Photoshop). RawTherapee should be able to use that .dcp profile just as Adobe products would (I've created .dcp profiles with for other purposes with X-rite software and it worked perfectly in RawTherapee).

This wouldn't work for Darktable, since it uses .icc profiles.

When I get some time to look at it, I'll try creating a .dcp profile using Adobe DNG Profile Editor and see how it performs in RawTherapee. I'll post back here when I've done that

11-14-2019, 08:32 PM   #110
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Woodstock, GA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,558
QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I haven't... BUT... Adobe DNG Profile Editor can be used to create a .dcp profile using the same adjustments I made directly in Lightroom (I think @Dartmoor Dave; did exactly this, and uses the profile in Photoshop). RawTherapee should be able to use that .dcp profile just as Adobe products would (I've created .dcp profiles with for other purposes with X-rite software and it worked perfectly in RawTherapee).

This wouldn't work for Darktable, since it uses .icc profiles.

When I get some time to look at it, I'll try creating a .dcp profile using Adobe DNG Profile Editor and see how it performs in RawTherapee. I'll post back here when I've done that
You are the man, sir
11-15-2019, 02:28 AM - 2 Likes   #111
Pentaxian
Dartmoor Dave's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dartmoor, UK
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,557
QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I haven't... BUT... Adobe DNG Profile Editor can be used to create a .dcp profile using the same adjustments I made directly in Lightroom (I think @Dartmoor Dave; did exactly this, and uses the profile in Photoshop). RawTherapee should be able to use that .dcp profile just as Adobe products would (I've created .dcp profiles with for other purposes with X-rite software and it worked perfectly in RawTherapee).
Yep, there's instructions for that somewhere back in this thread.

Lately I've also been playing around with using the "Import External Profile" option in DNG Profile Editor to use .dcp profiles from completely different cameras. A lot of the time the results from other camera brands are horrible (especially Canon), but mixing and matching profiles for different Pentax cameras can work really well. Here's some examples with the K-S1 and 16-45mm, straight raw to jpeg conversions with the only difference being the different .dcp profiles.

With the K-S1 embedded profile, showing the "flatness" that I've never liked:



Now with a profile for the K10D:



With a K-1II profile things really come to life:



And I also love this profile that's actually for the Leica M8. Been using this one a lot:



The differences might look quite subtle at web size, but you can click through to higher resolution on Flickr.
11-16-2019, 12:51 AM   #112
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
rayallen's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Forresters Beach, Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,725
QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
The differences might look quite subtle at web size, but you can click through to higher resolution on Flickr.
I did as you suggested and clicked through to Flickr and viewed the images at full resolution. Unfortunately, not on the same screen.

The differences are there but to my eyes they were very subtle. I thought the K10D profile looked the best but everyone's eyes are different as are our screens and the environment in which we are viewing.
All of them are acceptable and it is a very pleasant and well composed scene. Exactly what we have come to expect from Dartmoor Dave.
11-16-2019, 02:59 AM   #113
Pentaxian
Dartmoor Dave's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dartmoor, UK
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,557
Thanks Ray. I agree that the differences are very subtle, but for me it's a bit like the old Chinese water torture -- each photo where the colours aren't quite what I want them to be is another drop of ice water on my forehead that will eventually drive me insane.

11-16-2019, 01:49 PM - 1 Like   #114
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
rayallen's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Forresters Beach, Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,725
QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
... is another drop of ice water on my forehead that will eventually drive me insane.
I hope that is doesn't come to that. You are too smart to let that happen. Just relax a bit. Don't let your drive to attain perfection do that to you.

BTW, I did notice that there was something missing in that previous image ------ a pony!
11-16-2019, 03:23 PM - 2 Likes   #115
Pentaxian
Dartmoor Dave's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dartmoor, UK
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,557
QuoteOriginally posted by rayallen Quote
BTW, I did notice that there was something missing in that previous image ------ a pony!

Nope, no pony that day, but there was a war horse there a few years back. It's the house where Steven Spielberg shot the Dartmoor scenes for the movie "War Horse", although for the film they dressed the place up with a thatched roof and some other cosmetic improvements. Spielberg and his cinematographer did an astonishingly good job of capturing what it really looks and feels like to be out and about on the moor, and the great man himself made a hugely positive impression on the local community with his unassuming manner.
11-16-2019, 04:54 PM   #116
mlt
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Meridian, Idaho
Posts: 857
Interesting. I’ve regretted selling my K10 after getting a K5 and K3 because of the ccd look that cmos can’t match.
05-15-2020, 08:52 AM   #117
Pentaxian
todd's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Basement
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,341
Anybody have a DCP of this that they're willing to share? I was just enjoying some of my old K100D files and would love to be able to emulate, but don't use LR.
05-15-2020, 09:11 AM - 1 Like   #118
Pentaxian
Dartmoor Dave's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dartmoor, UK
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,557
QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
Anybody have a DCP of this that they're willing to share? I was just enjoying some of my old K100D files and would love to be able to emulate, but don't use LR.

I can't find the .dcp for the K-S1 that I made of it on the hard disk I've got installed at the moment, but I might still have it on an old backup drive if you'll give me a day or two to look. What camera do you want to the .dcp to work with? I'll need to find a DNG for that camera from somewhere to do the conversion. It won't be perfect, but it's worth a try.
05-15-2020, 10:33 AM   #119
Pentaxian
todd's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Basement
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,341
QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
I can't find the .dcp for the K-S1 that I made of it on the hard disk I've got installed at the moment, but I might still have it on an old backup drive if you'll give me a day or two to look. What camera do you want to the .dcp to work with? I'll need to find a DNG for that camera from somewhere to do the conversion. It won't be perfect, but it's worth a try.
Yeah no rush of course! I'd like it for the K-1.

Here's a K-1 DNG from one of our processing challenges... If you need more or different, just holler.
K-1 DNG

(Was thinking it'd be great to have a haldclut file for this. Don't know if they can be made though purely off DCP info.. Would guess not but can/will ask around...)

Thanks!
05-16-2020, 04:15 AM   #120
Pentaxian
Dartmoor Dave's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dartmoor, UK
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,557
QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
Yeah no rush of course! I'd like it for the K-1.

I'm afraid I can't find the .dcp version that I made on any of my backup drives, sorry. I can't remember ever deleting it, and I can't imagine why I would have done that anyway except by accident, but it's gone.

If somebody else would be willing to open a straight from the camera DNG in their copy of Lightroom, apply the preset, then export it as a new DNG with the profile embedded, I could easily use that to make a new .dcp. It doesn't matter which camera they use, as I can extract the profile to make a make a .dcp for any other camera.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
adjustments, article, article on re-creating, bayer, camera, cameras, ccd, close, cmos sensor, color, colour, dslr, images, k-3, k-3 and k-3ii, lightroom, look, luminosity, photography, photos, re-creating "that ccd, respect, saturation, values
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K-3II Profile in lightroom retsoor Pentax K-3 14 06-12-2017 07:45 AM
"Reversed" T-ring to connect Pentax lens to t-thread CCD camera DeadJohn Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 15 02-17-2016 01:10 PM
Don't say Pentax "Q" in French ... "Q" = "cul" = "A--" Jean Poitiers Pentax Q 52 11-10-2013 06:25 AM
Want to get the G3 and Lightroom 3? Get them together! jct us101 Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 4 06-11-2011 07:44 AM
Keep K-x buy premium lens, get K-r and get good lens, get the K-7 w/ lens or K-5? crossover37 Pentax DSLR Discussion 19 02-06-2011 10:38 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:48 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top