X-Transformer Mea Culpa

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Ambulater
Ambulater Contributing Member • Posts: 829
X-Transformer Mea Culpa
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Okay, I'm one of those guys who has been saying, "LR is just fine with X-Trans files" for a quite awhile now. I have tried a number of other RAW converters, including earlier builds of X-Transformer, and just didn't see a big enough difference to make extra steps worthwhile. To be honest, I felt like some of the hype around X-Transformer should be chalked up to enthusiastic hobbyist perfectionism.

Well, this is my mea culpa. I am now using X-Trans to convert RAF files. I think there were four things that really pushed me over the edge:

1) I've been spending quite a bit of time recently trying to perfect LR sharpening and detail settings based on tweaking several RAF specific recommendations I've read from various experts. My best efforts are still inferior to the results I get by default with X-Transformer. The X-Transformer DNG files just have more fine details, noticeably so.

2) There is now a convenient LR plug-in which simplifies work-flow.

3) You can now automatically have X-Transformer process the DNG file with whatever Fuji film simulation your originally shot in applied. I was already using another LR pug-in to accomplish this, so using X-Transformer instead doesn't add and extra step over what I am already doing.

4) Unlike LR, X-Transformer appropriate handles photos shot in DR Auto. I believe it also generally does a better job at processing DR 200 and DR 400, but the big difference here is DR Auto. X-Transformer processes DR Auto photos with the proper brightness as shot, looking very similar to the resulting JPG, but with more room to push/pull.  LR processes DR Auto photos looking very dark/underexposed looking nothing at all like the JPG.

I am now of the opinion that X-Transformer really is worth incorporating into one's work flow, is truly better tha LR, and is a great bargain at just $30.

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Chris Lee

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