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Questions on Photoshop Raw and Capture

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by bendheim, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. I've always used Capture until recently for my Raw conversions and my workflow has been such that I have done my initial sharpening (rightly or wrongly) in Capture using the 66/6/5 setting, with excellent results. If needed, I might apply a bit of final USM in Photoshop at the end.

    This all changed when I bought a 8800 whilst overseas as a carry-around camera. The conversion process in raw with the 8800 is more painfully slow than one can imagine on Capture, a simple movement of most any sliders will result is several minutes of processing time, such that it's very hard to remember what you had before.

    I suspect that Nikon will need to do a major upgrade of capture for the D2X otherwise it will probably just not handle files in a way that is acceptable to most users.

    Because of this I have started using the CS Raw converter, only sharpening with USM right at the end and not in the conversion process.

    Because CS conversion is just so fast, I've been using it for all my Thailand images. But some of them, even with heavy USM (110/2.5/0) look out of focus --- but use my tradition workflow in Capture and they look just fine.Or, when I sharpen in Photoshop they just lack the detail and clarity of Capture results.

    This scares the hell out of me for several reasons - one, I've abandoned quite a few images because they looked out of focus even with USM in CS, but they may well look fine in Capture, and
    two - I've spent hours proocessing images that may have well looked a lot better done initially in Capture, and the thought of starting all over again is just too much.

    I'm not that technical, so can some of you real experts out there tell me if there really is a substantial output difference between the two products, or am I doing something horribly wrong? Finally. if there is a difference, which I suspect there is, why would that be so marked?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Peter I don't know that I can answer your questions but I can tell you what I do that works for me. I initially process all my D2H (or D100) images in Nikon Capture where I check WB, EV, and do some tweaking in the Histogram/curves, ala Ron Rezniks process. I do not sharpen at all in Capture. I then save as a TIFF. I then open Photoshop PS where I size the image, play with colors if necessary, do any enhancements; i.e., cloning, blur, dodge, burn, whitening, etc., and lastly I sharpen using Fred Miranda newest sharpening plug in. Before I save as a JPEG I mode change the image to 8 bits and convert it to sRGB color space. I save it as a JPEG at around 300.
  3. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    66/5/5 in Nikon Capture is equivalent to 330/1/1 in Photoshop.

    Are you using Adobe CameraRAW in Advanced mode, and can you post screen capture of the first 2 tabs with your typical settings?

    There is also an arrow to the right of "Settings" drop-down, they have "Preferences" there. What is in "Apply sharpening" drop-down?

    Now, the problem is that Adobe had chosen "one-suits-all" approach, while Nikon uses custom tonal curves and calibration profiles for each model.
  4. Thanks Illiah

    Your post has been most useful. I never realised that 66/5/5 was equal to 330/1/1

    Thanks a million for that. As to my settings they are on advanced, with sharpening set to preview mode only. Everything else on Tab Two is unused barring the color noise reduction which I have never moved from the default 25 - which maybe I should set to 0.

    I think much of my problem is a result of not understanding the sharpening settings equivalency between the two.

    I still think Capture does a much better job. It's fast enough with two of the cameras I use (D2H and D70) but it's just not OK with the 8800 in terms of speed.

    Thanks Illiah
  5. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Peter, have you checked w/other 8800 users?

    If they are having these same slow processing issues as you're experiencing with you 8800, then I'd say that Nikon needs to make some changes to Capture asap. That's so strange that doing any minor change to a 8800's NEF in Capture results in "minutes" of wait time.
  6. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Re: Thanks Illiah

    NC is doing luminance sharpening when you choose "RGB". Same, ACR does. There are 2 ways to emulate this behavior in PS.

    First and preferred, is to convert ACR result to Lab and use sharpening over L channel only. This allows for much stronger settings, and also helps to avoid colour artifacts that can emerge when sharpening in PS is applied to composite RGB image.

    Second, immediately after sharpening hit Ctrl-Shift-F and change blending mode to Luminosity
  7. Try this, Peter.

    Turn the Raw file sharpening to None in Capture. As a last step after resizing the processed file in Photoshop, try sharpening with USM Parameters of Radius 0.3 and Threshold 5. You'll never have to change those settings later nor do I think you'd want to. The Amount can differ from file to file, but enter an amount that creates halos around the high contrast edges and then back off till the halos disappear. Then you will have optimal sharpening....at least in my opinion you will. By far the most prevalent problem I see in digital photos is oversharpening. I think we all have to fight the urge to do it. I don't know why we think we have to make it sharper than the eye see to begin with. Anyway, hope this helps.

  8. Thanks Craig

    Thanks for your input - I look forward to trying this out when I get home tonight. I'll give you some feedback when I've tried it out.
    I agree about the oversharpening thing. I was looking through some old film albums taken with my Leica and one doesn't realise how easily one can oversharpen and that film is actually not really that pin sharp, nor that grain free as some people think. In fact, too much sharpening on a no grain image can be a clear give away that a print is digital. That's why I've always liked the Nikon digital look to images, it's the closest look to film when printed that I've ever seen.
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