Re: By the numbers ?


Rob Outlaw <routlaw@...>
 

Dan writes:

The problem seems to be not a defect in the camera itself, but rather that
in a lot of these cameras, and Nikon products in particular, there is some
very hamhanded, clumsy, and, of course, undocumented, automated color
correction going on before we even open the file. In the ones I've looked
at, there seems to be no way to defeat this automated "correction."
This seems like a case for implementing digital camera profiles after all,
be it from
Profile Maker or the Praxisoft solution. FWIW in a direct comparison between
the D1 and Phase One Lightphase this summer in my studio, I found the
LightPhase
captures without utilizing the canned profiles from Phase One to be
extremely dead
with some fairly drab color. In fact some colors on a simple Kodak color
chart did
not even show up regardless of how I captured and what profile that used.
Trying to make
something out of the Lightphase raw captures (files that had not been
converted with their
canned profiles) was way more trouble than it was worth in my experience.
Even after implementing the profiles from Phase One I found that I had to
edit the images
considerably more than with a D1 image.

Don't misunderstand me, I am not saying that you can not get spectacular
images from
the more expensive cameras, its just that it is not always the cake walk
many of these
manufacturers would have you believe. Its sort of like we are still in the
Wild West Days
of digital imaging and I think this makes a strong case for Color Management
in order to obtain
some sort of standard so that we are all playing on level field. At least
for me thats the
promise that I see with CM, though it may not be there 100% yet.

Selecting is usually unnecessary. For this category of images ONLY, I find
that a preliminary use of Hue/Saturation in RGB can help, because it can
specify a particular shade and move that. In this case you would click on
the fleshtone and move it in the yellow Hue direction, plus possibly
desaturate it. Another alternative when the skintone is too magenta, again
in RGB, is to blend the red channel into the green, Lighten mode, at
around
20% opacity.
In addition I have also found that shooting with the D1 with the low
contrast
setting (and then adjusting for contrast later in PS) yields a better image
with
less flesh tone problems.

The problem is, the preliminary "correction" these cameras make isn't
lighting-specific, it's image-specific
Although a number of users tend to have more problems while using the SB28dx
flash unit with the camera. A UV filter placed over the flash will help here
but
not totally eliminate the problem.

My own experience is that Apple
RGB or sRGB is a better choice most of the time, but it really depends on
the character of the image.
I still will stick with Adobe RGB space since it has given me little
problems even with the D1.

Rob Outlaw

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