Do optical WB filters improve RAW color latititude?

Started Aug 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Junior MemberPosts: 35
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Re: Good answer
In reply to Mako2011, Aug 29, 2012

Hello Mako
Thank you for you kind comments.

The issue of RAW processing is indeed crucial, I expect that deficiencies here account for why many folk don't see changes or improvements in techniques they test. For example unless you can remove the effects of all noise reduction it is unlikely you can ever see the subtle aspects different lenses have to offer in terms of local contrast, clarity etc, many RAW convertors do not allow this. And of course the same with colour as you say, likewise the actual inherent noise in the file cannot be ascertained if the NR cannot be switched out, and oddly enough the NR can actually make the native noise look worse due to clumping but that is a whole separate issue.

For my tests I have used Adobe Photoshop RAW (basically I don't use it for any real work) RAW Developer, RPP and Aperture. They all have their benefits and deficits but for my most serious work I use Raw Developer and RPP. RPP when I am particularly after colour accuracy and aiming for a filmic look and RAW Developer when I intend to use the files for mono extractions or want the very greatest amount of textural information. Aperture does an excellent job of recovering colour accuracy from tricky files and has the ability to produce stunning skin tones but its ability to extract detail is average at best. Adobe is just average, master of nothing in particular...just a general purpose tool but fine I am sure for most folk.

I don't have Lightroom, but I have used and taught it, its good but would not be my prime choice for the way I work.

It is worth noting for those not familiar with the various options that neither RPP or Raw Developer are particularly easy to use options and they don't have all the bells and whistles like CA correction, they are the specialist tools of the raw world designed to do some things really really well. I would describe Raw Developer as a digital scalpel and RPP as the digital equivalent of the human eye.

By way of comparison the Sony raw convertor that came with my Sony Cameras is....how shall I put this........completely hopeless. BTW any sony user who has only ever used that application or shot in JPEG has no idea what so ever of how good their gear can be.

It is also worth noting that most images posted to the web to demonstrate effects etc are utterly useless, JPEG compression, colour space issues and downsizing, monitor calibration all negate the real differences........this pointy end stuff is for the world of high end prints (the solid gold standard) for web images there is almost nothing to be gained from the pointy end approaches.

And then there is sharpening algorithms and how they effect noise and micro detail...............

Ah yes Raw Converters, certainly a very under-rated aspect of the whole imaging chain. Anyhow I am rambling and I don't want to confuse the issues to much so I will leave it at that.
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Trying to make the complex simple

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