Never mind SPP - try Faststone!

Started Oct 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Zone8 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,276
Never mind SPP - try Faststone!

Due advising an OP on another forum (Open) for a cheaper alternative for processing RAW files, I decided to try a comparison with SPP (latest Windoze version) on a SD14 RAW file to compare with the latest Faststone Image Viewer offering - free for personal use, athough mine is registered.  I have always paid for anything that I find useful and have been using this until now for just its excellent facility for resizing images - ideal when sorting and preparing for photo books (and I do use Blurb - superb if you follow their image preparation destructions!)

So, during this, I checked by seeing first if Faststone could actually handle RAW X3F files.  It sure does and to be honest, the standard JPEG files produced are better than those from SPP - in SPP, the initial image appears, then after a couple of seconds, it changes and often - as many have reported in this forum - the changes are not exactly welcomed in some cases.  Faststone produces the JPEG as the initial RAW file appears in SPP, before it gets processed.  The first JPEG I produced was smaller in physical size but I found that was because the default setting was for a Level 9, rather than a Level 12 JPEG, so that was soon sorted.  In fact, the ability to tailor this programme is very good indeed.  You can also use crop, clone, etc. tools before you produce the JPEG so a real bonus over SPP.

So, can I suggest that Sigmarites try Faststone - it's freeware - BUT do contribute if you continue to use, so the developers can continue to develop - they cannot live on air alone and the contribution even suggested (and you can turn the pop-up off!) is very small - but you could make it larger of course!  Whatever you contribute will be a tiny fraction of the high charges Adobe and others want for their products. Me?  I am very impressed by the latest Faststone Image Viewer and can see me starting to use this regularly in preference to SPP, PhotoShop and Lightroom.  From what I have seen with a little dip of my toes in the water it is superior.

http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDetail.htm

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Zone8: Although I am a handsome genius, when I stand in front of a mirror, I vaguely recognise the ugly idjit standing on the other side!
LINK: For B+W with Epson 1400 (and other models) using black ink only PLUS other useful tips:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/epson1400-B&W.htm
Cleaning DSLR Sensors, including Kodak DSLR Factory Cleaning method:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/KodakDCS-sensorcleaning.htm
Solving back/front focus problems on Sigma and most other DSLRs
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=35565277
PDF format list of lenses you can print or download - covers Italian Flag YES/NO for DCS 14n but applies to others. http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/ItiFlagLensList.pdf

Sigma SD14
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