JAMES CRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

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Nan Wants an Image Added – and a color version included

Dec 14, 2018

Here I was, hard at work running some tests for the notes below on RAW conversion, and Nan comes into the room wanting to see the color exposures for the B&Ws in my last posting. A few minutes later she "informed" me that it's Christmas and that I "need" to at least post a shot I had passed on, of Santa and Mrs. Claus, and then include one "in full Christmas color". It was so dark that the JPG looked horrid, but on examining the RAW I figured I could squeeze some blood out of that stone. It will work at the 8x11 size I use for the Street versions – but that's about all for this one.

At top is the B&W, of curse. Had to push the camera to its limits to get this oe, so it's pretty grainy. The color version is below. Because Nan wanted this posted on Facebook, I put both in the announcement. The B&W has been added to the album in the Havre de Grace Street page.

RAW Conversion from Fuji-X Exposures Update

     RAW conversion comparisons are an ongoing issue from all cameras and systems. The more obvious issue is the need for settings for any new camera to be updated in any software – every camera is different and one simply needs to wait until they are added. For example my new XT3: a lot of my third party software offered up updates adding in this model immediately, Adobe took almost two weeks and Apple, very frustratingly took a month. Not that I use the Apple system conversion for final work on a file, but it sure helps to be able to open the RAW file in Photos or even Preview just to check it out. Thank you Apple, finally.

     Then there is the ever ongoing battle for the best RAW conversion, with the most control over the results. Some software has actually carried this to the extreme of doing everything right there in RAW – while not really necessary, this is probably the future. They've all gotten so good that it is fast becoming, like with choosing a camera, more of a choice of personal comfort.

     Lastly there is the slightly complicated issue of Fuji-X file RAW conversion. Fuji sensors, whether front or back-side illuminated, are a different animal. Everyone else uses a basic sensor configuration designed by Kodak, while Fuji designed their own. Without going into the differences, a lot of software has been slow in adapting to Fuji-X files – the results simply a fraction on the unsharp side, to be honest small enough to be irrelevant for all but the most exacting uses. Fuji people have had to, for best results, put up with using a separate piece of software just for conversion – or take the route I took, Iridient X-Transformer for pre-conversion to an Adobe RAW format.

     After a number of tests, this is the situation as of right now – Adobe conversions are now as good as those preconverted in Iridient – yay. And Adobe's settings allow a good deal of control. This is a very recent development, within the last few weeks. However – Apple system conversion, and that done by any software that uses the system’s tools for this, though better than it was – and great now in Photos and Preview for filing, organizing, cataloging, etc. – is still not quite up to par. Zoom in to 100% on comparison files treated the same way, and there is still a slight, though admittedly pretty much correctable, sharpness issue. Tests for this, to be accurate, have to be run straight, with all adjustments set on zero.