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PS CS2 RAW conversion

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Terri French, May 12, 2005.

  1. I am using the trial version of CS2 while I am waiting for my copy to get here. I am really new at converting RAW files and am wondering if there are any default settings I could save that would give me a good starting point.

    I tried NC, but it kept crashing my laptop. I have tried RSE and like it, but so far am getting better results in Adobe. I also tried Bibble, but decided that the money was better spent upgrading my Photoshop 7.0 to CS2.

    I would love to know your starting point in ACR.

    Thanks so much,
  2. I'm afraid I have no answer to your question, only another question!

    I am trying out both RSE and NC 4.2, and so far, I think I like RSE better. Could you explain what you mean by "better results in Adobe"? I have only PS 7.0, so I can't convert RAW files with it.
  3. I am just finding it easier to get my white balance right with it. I like the way it integrates directly into Photoshop. I was using PS 7 and decided to download the trial version of CS2. If you have a fast Internet connection, you may want to give it a try. I have spent about a month trying to find out which converter works best for me. There are so many tests and opinions about it. From my research it seems there is no clear cut best. I decided I would have to try them out on my equipment and see which one would work best for me as well as fit into my budget. Good luck, it's quite a process deciding what to do.
  4. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Hi Terry,

    Here's what I do to Raw files with ACR:
    1. First I find a spot that shoould be a neutral color (white, gray or black) but stark white and pitch black don't work well. Use the eye dropper tool in ACR (not the eye dropper+) and click on that spot to set the white balance. This is best accomplished by including a gray card in a setup photo, but you can use anything.
    2. Now turn the shadows all the way down to zero.
    3. Next move the exposure slider to the left, until the histogram climbs down off the right wall. Stop as soon as it gets to the bottom. If the histogram doesn't make it all the way to the right wall, you can move the slider right. Beware that moving more then 30-50 will add noise to the photo.
    4. Then, adjust the look of the photo - the tones - by adjusting the brightness and contrast sliders. Experiment.
    5. Now add shadow back if needed. Unless you want very black areas, don't go too far. Play with the curve here - I don't have a routine for it yet, but I am very happy with the results. Usually I end up clipping anything beyond the highlight, and giving an angular gamma curve (upward bow) to it, but I have a particular style I prefer.
    6. Finally (just before hitting Ok) I go to the Details tab and turn sharpening to zero (actually there is a preference that only sharpens the preview, and this is what I do.) Turn 'Remove Luminance Noise' to zero - it just blurs the picture. Now add 'Remove Color Noise' according to ISO - this reduces the color blotching that shadow areas get when using high iso values. I give it 25% up to 400, 40-60% to 1250, 80% for 1600 and 90-100 for 3200 and 6400.

      If I moved the exposure slider right in step 3, then I give it more color noise reduction.

    That's all. Then I sometimes add gamma to the curve in Photoshop. I always resize and sharpen in PS.

    I have a different workflow for monochrome.
  5. Thanks for that, Chris.

    I'm gonna print it out and follow your instructions to the letter after I've acquired some RAW pictures later today.
  6. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  7. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  8. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Paul - I just got CS2 a week and a half ago!

    After work* today I'll give that some thought (a difficult and painful process to be sure!)

    * Work today is photographing a jazz party! hee hee hee
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