OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet

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SaltLakeGuy
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OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
8 months ago

I decided to take some shots again tonight near sunset to evaluate what has been referred to as the "smearing" that Lightroom tends to do. I wasn't real convinced but had not taken the same RAW file from my X-T1 yet and rendered it in both the new Lightroom 5.4 against the PhotoNinja's latest for the Fuji X-Trans sensor. Now let me just list a disclaimer. I processed both individually as best as I felt was reasonable. The crops are not perfect but still provide plenty of common area in which you can easily see trees rendered as mush vs. considerably better detail from PhotoNinja's output. Not only in the evergreens but astoundingly in the lower portions of the mountain where it is rendered by Lightroom as just solid mush where there is a ton of fine detail rendered by PhotoNinja. So I guess I'll stick with PN for most of my processing at this time. It's sas as the workflow is much more comprehensive and fast with LR but I'm far more interested in the final results. For those several folks that seem to love to just jump all over my listings please refrain. Just take this for what it is. Yet another fast attempt to look at some results from 2 different methods of rendering for a Fuji Raw file. It is by NO means highly scientific. Just another of the many attempts. I do think it does render some interesting results however. You will of course NEED to look at the larger image to see what I'm talking about.

First the Lightroom results

And now the PhotoNinja results

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Fuji X-T1 Camera, Fuji 18-55 f2.8-f4 Lens, Fuji 55-200 f4-f5.6 Lens, Fuji 23mm f1.4 Lens, Fuji 56mm f1.2R Lens, waiting for the Fuji mount Nissin i40 Flash, Picturecode PhotoNinja, Adobe Lightroom 5.4

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aburman
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 8 months ago

Could you post a link to the original RAF file. I'd like to give it a shot in LR. Thanks.

Alex

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Bill Robb
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 8 months ago

That's quite amazing. The Lightroom conversion looks like it turned the entire image into mush, not just the trees. Everything is soft.

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SaltLakeGuy
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Well interestingly enough
In reply to Bill Robb, 8 months ago

the upper portion of the mountain at the granite top has just about exactly the same detail rendered by PN. However it's the trees and shrubs on the mountainside that are mush from LR more than anything else. I didn't want to believe the whole "mush" thing but now I have no choice. I've processed from the SAME file and this is what I got. I've used LR for years so I'm by no means a novice at it. used Photoshop since 2000. I still like Adobe's stuff for some things, but with the X-Trans so far I don't feel you can beat PhotoNinja. I don't have a MAC so Iridient isn't an option. As for Capture One I would only want their top version and for $300 no thanks. So I'll stick with PN.

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Fuji X-T1 Camera, Fuji 18-55 f2.8-f4 Lens, Fuji 55-200 f4-f5.6 Lens, Fuji 23mm f1.4 Lens, Fuji 56mm f1.2R Lens, waiting for the Fuji mount Nissin i40 Flash, Picturecode PhotoNinja, Adobe Lightroom 5.4

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Jasko014
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 8 months ago

SaltLake Guy, same findings here. I have Mac and need to say that Aperture is much better than LR54, but can not reach PN.

Jaka

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dotjon
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 8 months ago

Could you provide the straight conversions in the same size, without any further processing?

Just so that we could compare how the actual raw conversion differs instead of your processing using different tools.

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SaltLakeGuy
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to Jasko014, 8 months ago

It's a bit ironic that before I began working with the X-T1 I never knew of or tried PhotoNinja. I tried "NoiseNinja" years ago but felt NoiseWare was better at that time. I even have a copy of Topaz Labs "DeNoise" but that is one exhaustively touchy program. You can yield great results but it takes a soft touch. If I had nothing but $$$ would probably have considered Nik Softwares version. But I'm pretty pleased with the non destructive character of PhotoNinja's noise reduction.

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Michael M.
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 8 months ago

Thanks for revisiting your results and being willing to post it up on the forum. I have to agree that the results really do speak for themselves. I don't use PhotoNinja, but it really is dramatically better in the lower foliage areas of your image. I have Aperture and LR, so I guess I won't be using LR for my Fuji photos. Thanks for sharing this, SLG.

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Dorkooken
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to aburman, 8 months ago

Would be a great idea to share the raw file so that others can try with LR to match...

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Brian_Downunda
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 8 months ago

I'm not surprised that you discovered what you did, but I think that you've overreacted. It's not yet time to slit your wrists. LR is fine for many images for many purposes. I can't imagine a wedding photographer using PN for example. CO7 perhaps.

Different converters have their strengths and weaknesses. While I have images where other converters do better than LR, it's rare that the difference is really that significant to the overall image.

Which concerns me.  I think that this focus on the ultimate level of detail is a distraction from what makes a good photograph - it's rare that this level will make a lot of difference.

Relax and don't pixel peep, unless you really need to.

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Bjrn SWE
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 8 months ago

I'd like to see what Apple Aperture could do with this RAW-file. Any chance you could post it (link) end let me give it a try?

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to Bjrn SWE, 8 months ago

Very good post.

Thanks for the valuable info. I am using PN as well and am very happy with it. I also find it runs a lot faster than LR.

PN also does a great job with my Sony A7r as well.

Greg.

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Chuck Snyder
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 8 months ago

Is it practical to use Photo Ninja as a front end for Lightroom, i.e., process RAW images to TIFF in PN then import into Lightroom?  I really like my Lightroom workflow, but as a current and, hopefully, future user of X-Trans cameras, I'd like to "wire around" LR's deficiencies with the minimum of disruption.

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LD58
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to Chuck Snyder, 8 months ago

My understanding is it's better to work on the image and make adjustment in RAW before converting to TIFF.  While it can be done, I'd think you'd be better off doing as much as possible in one RAW converter.  Make sense?

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particleman78
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 8 months ago

The Lightroom photo looks like a water color painting at 100%.  I have noticed the same when you apply large amounts of sharpening in Lightroom.  This is the reason I use Photo Ninja for the initial RAW conversion before doing my final edits in Lightroom.  I just wish Photo Ninja would fix the batch rendering bug with x-trans files.  If you try to batch render files in Photo Ninja with lens corrections enabled you get weird square artifacts on the top left corner of images.  Having to individually click each photo and process really grinds the workflow to a crawl.

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daddyman
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to LD58, 8 months ago

I agree. I've been evaluating PN for a few weeks now. I'm using PN as an external editor to LR in order to continue using LR's superior (IMO) image management capabilities. I've tried starting with both TIFF and RAW once in PN, and the greater dynamic range of a RAW file is a much better starting point for PN than a TIFF/JPG file, in fact, I don't believe you get the benefits of PN on an XTrans file unless you start with the RAW file. I still make minor adjustments in LR with the rendered TIFF/JPEG file sometimes, just as I would do when using only LR. The downside of all this is having to learn a new RAW editor. Still wish Adobe would get their act together for XTrans, but I doubt it will happen.

Mike

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ajamils1
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to daddyman, 8 months ago

So what's your current workflow with LR and PN? I tired PN few months back and all I did was that I batch exported the RAW files from PN as TIFF and then imported them in LR and did the adjustments. Not sure if it is the right way to do but it does take a lot longer than just doing everything in LR.

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Travelshooter
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to SaltLakeGuy, 8 months ago

The crops are not identically sized, and the amount of sharpening does not seem identical either.  Having said that; if you blow the crops up on a large monitor there are differences to be seen.

How great those differences are when the crops are identically sized and sharpened, and how much can be seen in a print or a regular size (not cropped or zoomed) image is another question.

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daddyman
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to ajamils1, 8 months ago

Once the TIFF file is in PN, you can choose to work on the associated RAW file, not the TIFF. The only reason to shoot a RAW file is to be able to work on the RAW file with it's associated increased DR. This is where the need to learn a new RAW editor comes in. Not an ideal work flow and probably not something a pro who needs to process large volumes of images could work with, but as a mere enthusiast, I can deal with it if the increase in IQ is significant. Still evaluating.

Mike

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daddyman
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Re: OK So Lightroom is NOT quite there yet
In reply to Brian_Downunda, 8 months ago

I get your point and agree completely. However, as a landscape photographer, I usually don't need to pixel peep to see the image degradation caused by LR (which I dearly love using, BTW).

Mike

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