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Ufraw raw converter tips

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supeter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote supeter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ufraw raw converter tips
    Posted: 31 December 2007 at 05:44
Hi everyone,

I've decided to write a quick and dirty article about UFRAW the best opensource raw converter to make a more complete picture about opensource options.
Also wanted to share my experiences to help others to overcome some pitfals and make it easier to switch to a free and quality alternative.

Ufraw is a true multiplatform application which will run on almost any modern operating system just to mention a few OSX, Linux, BSD and Windows.
It supports a large number of cameras and of course all Minolta and Sony DSLRs.
The development process is very fast and dynamic as with the majority of opensource projects. Neat new functions, features and bugfixes are added with every new release version (current release Dec 2007 is 0.13).
The heart of Ufraw is Dave Coffin's excellent raw converter utility Dcraw which is in most cases a much better performer than a commercial conversion software from camera
manufacturers.
Ufraw also has a Gimp plug-in which seamlessly integrates the two applications together and enables much greater control over image processing.

The main application interface looks very user friendly and everyone can pick it up quickly. Ufraw is intuitive and allows great control over all aspects except sharpening (work is in progress to integrate sharpening)
After opening a raw file Ufraw will generate a realtime rendered preview which can be zoomed if needed.



User can select exposure correction, white balance, interpolation mechanism even basic noise reduction.

I will try to point out only things that needs to be adjusted for Minolta/Sony cameras or they are crucial for better results and are not mentioned in Ufraws User Guide. Most of the options are self explanatory and do not need excessive explanation anyway :).

With exposure control we can try to restore highlights in LCH and HSV space I usually go for no restoration at all, clip highlights. With restoration enabled found artifacts between very bright and dark places mostly a hint of purple coloring which can be very similar to CA. Best is to leave the restoration disabled (clip) unless really needed.
Usually go for soft film like clipping to create more natural looking results.

Next interesting feature is interpolation, found it very important. For best detail use AHD VNG or PPG interpolation never use bilinear. There is really just a slight difference between AHD,VNG,PPG. Bilinear is fast and it does a low quality job compared to others.



After the interpolation you can apply color smoothing (brush icon next to interpolation). Color smoothing can reduce color artifacts such as noise and chromatic aberration without loss of detail. Recommend to always use it with threshold 10-30 there is noticeable less noise and no loss of detail!

With Ufraw you can load curve files from http://fotogenetic.dearingfilm.com/
and experiment to find the most useful ones. Curve files can greatly enhance
colors, saturation, exposure of images and are absolutely needed with Minolta ICC profiles.



The third tab from left handles ICC profiles. If you decide to use the default sRGB profile don't forget to enable "Use color matrix" otherwise images will look very colorless.
There is a possibility to use Minolta ICC profiles from KM Dimage master. This way images should have exactly the same colors as camera jpegs.
You will also need this curve file KM-curve which was extracted from Dimage Master's ICC. Load it as a base curve in Ufraw with KM ICC profile.
Please use these ICC profiles with Ufraw for best results (no need for any curve correction file with these!):
KM5D-ICC
KM7D-ICC



Hope this will be useful for someone who's just considering to use Ufraw or is a bit undecided ;).

Cheers,
Peter


Edited by supeter - 05 January 2008 at 21:13
KM 5D, 20/f2.8 RS, 28/f2.8, 24-85/f3.5-4.5 RS, 50/f1.7, 70-210/f4, 100-300/f4.5-5.6 APO
 



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polyglot View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote polyglot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 December 2007 at 06:38
Some more tips...

Be sure to set (in the colour management tab, the last pictured above), the preview to "Disable soft proofing". If you don't do this, the colour management engine will attempt to recover highlights for you in the preview and the overexposure-indicator will not work!

Make sure you have over-exposure indication checked; turning the blinking off can be good though. If you don't do the overexposure-check, you may inadvertently clip one colour channel, which will result in nasty hue-shifts on skin.

sRGB is fine for the output space and Perceptual conversion is a good choice; it fails only where you have clipped a channel, so don't do that on colour-critical areas like skin. The difference between Perceptual and other options like Absolute Colorimetric seems to be in how it handles blown highlights; I always leave it on Perceptual for the output conversion.

I find that it produces high contrast output set at the default 0.45 gamma. I find something closer to 0.38 or 0.40 is better (maybe lower the linearity a bit too) and you can get a similar effect by putting a big convex Base curve in to bring up the shadows.

Always use AHD interpolation, it's the best quality. Yes it's slow, but who cares when you can run it in batch mode? Best way to use ufraw I think is to set it to "Produce ID file Only" (at the bottom of the Save-As dialog), which will get you a .ufraw file for each raw file you select settings for and it produces these files very quickly. Once you've done that for a directory full of raws, just run "ufraw-batch *.ufraw" and it will perform the conversions while you go do something else.

If you're running on linux, make sure you have the latest exiv2 installed or you won't get EXIF data in the output.

Never delete your raw files; you might change your mind as to how to convert an image.
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Turerkan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Turerkan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 December 2007 at 08:29
wow.. thanks for this excellent article!.. very informative!
i hope you won't mind that i'll move this article to our knowledge base and also link it to my article about GIMP.

thanks to polygot as well, a very useful reply:)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 December 2007 at 09:36

Interesting article -- I will look afresh at UFraw.
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napo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote napo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 December 2007 at 10:37
Well UFraw is new to me, it looks like it is a very capable tool. I'll look for it. Thanks supeter!

Edited by napo - 31 December 2007 at 10:37
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Lazer13 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Lazer13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 December 2007 at 11:19
Thank you very much for this information!
I don't have dimage master but i found profiles in dimage viewer that I could use instead. Seems to work fine but I am a little confused with the naming.
They are called:
Dynax 7d_rprof.icc
Dynax 7d_rz1prof.icc
Dynax 7d_rz2prof.icc

I see no difference when change from one to the other.
I use the AdobeRGB setting in the camera.

Any hints from knowledgeable people?

Anyway I have just been able to get a similar result out of a raw file like my in-camera jpeg! Thats the first time I managed to do that with ufraw!
Thanks again! :)

Edited by Lazer13 - 31 December 2007 at 12:10
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supeter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote supeter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 December 2007 at 13:07
According to this link ICC file naming convention is as follows:

_rprof.icc : for MRW files (raw)
_jprof.icc : for JPEG files
_rz1prof.icc : for MRW files with HIGH Zone Matching
_rz2prof.icc : for MRW files with LOW Zone Matching

And dont forget to use the curve file ;)
KM 5D, 20/f2.8 RS, 28/f2.8, 24-85/f3.5-4.5 RS, 50/f1.7, 70-210/f4, 100-300/f4.5-5.6 APO
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mio-km Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2008 at 01:14
YEEEEES!!

For two years Ive been looking for a converter that could nail those KM colors!

Now I really regret that i have a lot of shots in jpeg only, simply because I loved the colors and no Raw-converter could match them anyway. (Dimage Master Was close, but it was pure agony to work with it)

Also the quality of noise reduction, sharpening and jpeg compression straight from the camera in "X.FINE" was close to impossible to beat. So for a lot of month I have only "X.FINE" pics as the 5D only do "FINE" together with the RAW

But supeter; where do you find the _rz1prof.icc (and the other ones) ? I only have the _rprof.icc from DM.

REAL HAPPY NOW!!!!
BR Mio



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supeter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote supeter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2008 at 07:09
Glad it works for others as well. It looks like the other profiles are presented only in Dimage Viewer and not in Dimage Master.

Note: For sharpening you can use Gimp's Filters->Enhance->Unsharp Mask - it's really good
KM 5D, 20/f2.8 RS, 28/f2.8, 24-85/f3.5-4.5 RS, 50/f1.7, 70-210/f4, 100-300/f4.5-5.6 APO
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MiPr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2008 at 15:45
Supeter, thank you for an excellent intro. I've read it carefully and checked your suggestions - UFRaw works much better for me now. Maybe I'll switch to it completely?

BTW, I think that your article is better suited in the Digital Darkroom subforum and so I moved it in there.
I'm noise-blind. And noise-about-noise-deaf too ... |   BTW, Dyxum Weekly Exhibitions don't grow on trees ...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stingray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 January 2008 at 14:26
I am using also exclusively UFRaw and I think you wrote a great article !!
Concerning camera colour profiles, i think this is the most tricky part for beginner since most commercial raw converter are using their own profile.
I personnally like this one (which will also work for the 7D) which has less contrast than the KM one on UFRaw.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tnagy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2008 at 12:19
Originally posted by supeter supeter wrote:

Hi everyone,

I've decided to write a quick and dirty article about UFRAW the best opensource raw converter to make a more complete picture about opensource options......

...You will also need this curve file KM-curve which was extracted from Dimage Master's ICC. Load it as a base curve in Ufraw with KM ICC profile.
Please use these ICC profiles with Ufraw for best results (no need for any curve correction file with these!):
KM5D-ICC
KM7D-ICC

Hope this will be useful for someone who's just considering to use Ufraw or is a bit undecided ;).

Cheers,
Peter


Please, has anyone these 3 files? specially the KM curve and 5D icc profile? These links don't word...
Thanks in advance...
Tibor
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Asiir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2008 at 16:54
Originally posted by tnagy tnagy wrote:

Please, has anyone these 3 files? specially the KM curve and 5D icc profile? These links don't word...

I second the appeal -- does anyone have links to these files? Can they be obtained by downloading the Dimage Viewer? Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote artuk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2008 at 21:16
Does anyone have the Minolta Curves file for use with UFRaw (DCRaw), to give the correct colours when using a Minolta icc profile?

All help appreciated - the links earlier in this thread no longer work.
Art
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