RawTherapee Z banding removal how-to + demonstration

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Horshack Veteran Member • Posts: 7,340
RawTherapee Z banding removal how-to + demonstration
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Here's a quick how-to guide on removing PDAF-related banding in RawTherapee 5.5, plus a demonstration of the results. Special thanks of course to pippo27 for implementing the logic!

First, here's the RT setting page to enable the PDAF banding removal. Usually a +7 on the line filter works well. Set Direction to 'Horizontal only on PDAF-rows":

RawTherapee settings for Z PDAF banding removal

De-banding is necessary on images with deep shadow pushes, which means chrominance, luminance, and impulse noise as well. Here's the RT setting page to manage that noise. Note you have to press the circle to the left of these categories to enable them - doing so turns it into a power-on icon:

RawTherapee settings for chrominance, luminance, and impulse noise removal

And here are samples. First, an image with banding removed, along with the impulse+chroma+luma noise reduction. This is an animated GIF showing the before/after of the noise removal - click "original size" to animate. Note that even with horizontal bands removed there remains some small, roughly-circular shaped clusters of darker areas around the removed bands - those are an additional side effect of the processing Nikon is applying that causes the banding.

Before/After RT noise removal of a Z6 banding image. Click "original size" to animate.

And for comparison, here is a similar image that didn't have banding, so only impulse+chroma+luma noise reduction. Click "original size" to animate:

Before/After RT noise reduction of a Z6 non-banding image. Click "original size" to animate

And here is a comparison of the banding vs non-banding NR images, to show a comparison of the banding clusters. Click "original size" to animate:

Z6 banding vs non-banding after noise reduction. Click "original size" to animate

Nikon Z6
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