Perfectly Clear by Athentech, RAW workflow enhancement?

Started Apr 18, 2013 | Discussions
CraigBennett
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Perfectly Clear by Athentech, RAW workflow enhancement?
Apr 18, 2013

I did a search here and found some older threads that mentioned this plugin...but thought I would ask.  I viewed a webinar from xRite today and the presenter was selling this to speed up your RAW workflow.  To honest, it looked like it complicated the workflow.

What are your thoughts on this plugin for Lightroom 4 in reducing workflow with many images?

I use Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6.  I really like Lightroom from a workflow perspective.  I edit for weddings and generally use several user presets to batch many of the same type of photos to get them roughly right.  Never been pleased with Adobe Auto Tone feature and it looks like Perfectly Clear does well in the exposure correction department.  Do you find this to be true?  How is the quality?

I understand that it is basically an external program and returns an edited new file to Lightroom.  This is a minus to me.

It is a pricey product and unless it saves me time per wedding (600+ images per wedding), then I don't see the cost benefit.  I do plan to install the trial, but wanted to get your opinions.

Regards,

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gwlaw99
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Re: Perfectly Clear by Athentech, RAW workflow enhancement?
In reply to CraigBennett, Apr 18, 2013

I am looking at the adjustment panel  and it doesn't look too much different from the Lightroom/ACR basic panel.  $199 seems a steep price when you can get all the Nik plugins for $150

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CraigBennett
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Re: Perfectly Clear by Athentech, RAW workflow enhancement?
In reply to gwlaw99, Apr 18, 2013

gwlaw99 wrote:

I am looking at the adjustment panel  and it doesn't look too much different from the Lightroom/ACR basic panel.  $199 seems a steep price when you can get all the Nik plugins for $150

I agree on the price.  I purchased the Nik plugins when the special came out.  They are very good for sure.

The thing the presenter was pushing yesterday was the Perfectly Clear's exposure control.  I do not like the auto levels in Lightroom, though they have been improved in LR4.  I use it only as a starting point.  I am looking for a better solution for this one adjustment to speed up my workflow.

Regards,

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Andy Williams
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Re: Perfectly Clear by Athentech, RAW workflow enhancement?
In reply to CraigBennett, Apr 19, 2013

I'm with Athentech - would love to help! Write me, help at athentech dot com

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Abrak
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Re: Perfectly Clear by Athentech, RAW workflow enhancement?
In reply to Andy Williams, Apr 20, 2013

I doubt you will get too many people excited about what is essentially a 'one button' plugin at a price of US$200.

I, on the other hand, love the program and use it everyday. Essentially when I have finished editing a photo, I use it to check whether my edit can be improved - it certainly replaces auto color, auto tone and auto contrast in Photoshop. It seems to do a very good job - although the opacity slider comes in useful.

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CraigBennett
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Re: Perfectly Clear by Athentech, RAW workflow enhancement?
In reply to Abrak, Apr 20, 2013

Abrak wrote:

I doubt you will get too many people excited about what is essentially a 'one button' plugin at a price of US$200.

I, on the other hand, love the program and use it everyday. Essentially when I have finished editing a photo, I use it to check whether my edit can be improved - it certainly replaces auto color, auto tone and auto contrast in Photoshop. It seems to do a very good job - although the opacity slider comes in useful.

Thanks for the feedback.  Even though $200 is a lot, if it saves me 20 or 30% off my standard editing time, then that pays for itself quickly.

Regards,

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keeponkeepingon
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Re: Perfectly Clear by Athentech, RAW workflow enhancement?
In reply to CraigBennett, May 3, 2013

A limited version of perfectly clear is built into Corel's aftershot pro. 
It addresses 2 of your issues. The whole thing is $59 (cost) and the plugin is better integrated allowing non destructive edits without generating a new copy.

I believe they do this by making the effect of the plugin a layer and you apply as much or little as you want.
I don't have a lot of time for edits, and while I love a lot about LR I don't love the one touch options and I don't love twidding with 18 sliders to get anything done. Unfortunately LR 5 has not done anything to improve this so it's augment with a plugin or move on.

It's too bad Athentech does not have a slimmed down version of perfectly clear with a simplified one touch enhancement for $50 or so. It would make the one trick poney much more digestable and give them a lot more exposure (sorry horrible pun).  I'm not sure of the logic of $200 or nothing on the LR side when you can buy an entire corel LR wanabee with their technology for $59:

http://www.corel.com/corel/product/index.jsp?pid=prod4670071&cid=catalog20038&segid=6000006#tab2

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Arved
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Re: Perfectly Clear by Athentech, RAW workflow enhancement?
In reply to keeponkeepingon, May 4, 2013

keeponkeepingon wrote:

A limited version of perfectly clear is built into Corel's aftershot pro. 
It addresses 2 of your issues. The whole thing is $59 (cost) and the plugin is better integrated allowing non destructive edits without generating a new copy.

This is very interesting, as I'm also very disappointed with LR4 AutoTone performance, and I'm a former Bibble Pro user. When Bibble Labs was taken over by Corel, LR was taking off, and I liked what I was seeing out of LR more than what I liked out of Bibble Pro.

But the problems with AutoTone in LR4 have been frustrating, and Adobe seems to be sticking it's head in the sand. In Adobe forums, they seem to be completely puzzled by why people don't think it works, and people have shown that PSCSx's autocorrect (and LR 2/3 AutoTone) does a superior job. It seems (from reports of others who've used the Beta - I haven't), it remains broken in LR5, even though the situation has been reported to them for well over a year. What do you do when a company is unresponsive and continues down a path ignoring that a key feature doesn't work? Well, thankfully, that's why we have competition, and I get to vote with my wallet!

So between Adobe sticking it's head in the sand regarding this issue, bloating LR up with features I'm not really interested in (i.e. books and slideshows, which I use other dedicated software for), I think it's time to reconsider LRx.

A bonus is that considering the way Windows is going with Windows 8, I think I'd much rather run Linux. In fact, I'm typing this on a laptop running Zorin 6.2 (an Ubuntu variant that has a very flexible UI - my wife is using a Windows 7-like skin, and I'm trying out the OS/X-like skin), and Corel's Aftershot Pro seems to be the premier RAW converter  for the Linux OS.

But I'm also considering Perfectly Clear and DxO Pro Optics 8, and will likely perform some tests using the trial versions.

I wonder how they like Wine.

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grcolts
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Re: Perfectly Clear by Athentech, RAW workflow enhancement?
In reply to Arved, May 5, 2013

keeponkeepingon wrote:

A limited version of perfectly clear is built into Corel's aftershot pro. 
It addresses 2 of your issues. The whole thing is $59 (cost) and the plugin is better integrated allowing non destructive edits without generating a new copy.

Yes, AfterShot Pro does have Perfectly Clear built into the program. It also has Auto Levels located right above Perfectly Clear. All in all, ASP works fine for what I do with my images. I use Perfectly Clear when I am in a hurry  and most of the time the image puts me in the ballpark where I have to do very little else. When I have time, I do use the other controls to tweak an image but Perfectly Clear is very handy for many of my images. GR
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glacierpete
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Re: Perfectly Clear by Athentech, RAW workflow enhancement?
In reply to Arved, May 6, 2013

Have a look into capture one pro 7. This is by far my favorite raw converter. What i get here with one click, takes me several minutes in LR.  There are a lot of coupons bringing the price down.

http://www.phaseone.com/en/Imaging-Software/Capture-One-Pro-7.aspx

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