My experience with Camera One, A7ii, and custom color profiles

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Phil Photo
Phil Photo Contributing Member • Posts: 666
My experience with Camera One, A7ii, and custom color profiles
1

This is my newbie color correction public diary entry, documenting my journey from,
"I would like to have proper color", to "bah, nothing is perfect", to "wow... so THIS is what proper color reproduction looks like?!?!"

...................

Disclaimer: I'm an.. "econommical"(cheap).. photographer.

I bought camera one sony, because it was cheap

I bought the cheapest xrite card thing I could manage.

I WANTED to try to somehow create my own hand tuned color profile for C1. Tried a bunch of methods, (including starting with proper monitor color calibration)
but eventually gave up. I decided to just trust the automatic profiles and in-camera auto correction as "good enough".

Then I got some (cheap canon FD lenses, and started worrying about color some more, since I thought that older lenses would have more color varience.

And, happy coincidence.. xrite FINALLY decided to support more than adobe DNG profiles! They finally released their own, FREE, ICC generator, to support Capture One.

https://xritephoto.com/cameraICC

Tried it out. Made custom profiles for my canon 135mm, my canon 50mm... and decided to also make one for my sony FE85 while I was at it, and document the results.

Doing a controlled color lab for all 3 lenses at the same time, was interesting to see.

Of course there were (small) differences between the sony vs canon lenses. But there were also noticable (but smallish) color differences between the two canon lenses.

So.. even just at the non-professional, "do CC every photo shoot" level...

while I previously thought you needed to at least make color profiles for "your camera" once -- I now see that if you want to be  picky about color...you need one for every camera+lens combination (ouch?)

On the positive side the color card now looks exactly the same, across ALL THREE LENSES, once I pick the corresponding correct profile.

It is almost disturbing how happy this makes me :-}

I think I shall post the 3 before/after shots, just to commemorate.

Findings:

Colors

before explicit correction, the colors were actually "pretty good". But the purples in the bottle two rows always showed as BLUE, instead of purple.

With the individualized correction in place, they all show the same color, and it is all the CORRECT color

I was also surprised to discover that using sony native lens, vs canon FD lens, actually made very little color difference. They were all slightly off  from each other.. but mostly they were all off "true" in the same way

(So that probably means its really my body that has issues being off-true color, for the blue-purple range)

Brightness

There was an unexpected side effect of ICC generation.

As you can see in the "before" set, they all seem kind of dark. Which is odd, because in camera, they were all auto-exposed to have "correct" exposure.

In the "after" set, not only does the ICC correct the colors.. but it also as a side effect corrects the brightness issue.

This is somehow not the same as "exposure", since if I then hit the auto exposure adjustment in C1, it now makes it way TOO BRIGHT.

Therefore, acceptable use combinations would seem to be:

Sony Generic A7  ICC + Curve=Auto + auto-exposure

OR

Custom ICC + Curve=Linear  + MANUAL exposure adjustments.

but no mix-n-match of above.

Details of photos below:

in ALL CASES, the

Base characteristics: Curve
Setting was set to "Linear", not auto.

In these first three, the ICC profile is set to     Sony A7 M2 Standard

Sony 85mm, "Sony A7m2 Standard"

Canon FD 50mm, "Sony A7 M2 standard"

Canon FD 135mm, "Sony A7 M2 standard"

Next, here are the same images, but this time, the profile has been changed from the sony generic one, to a profile custom generated for each lens.

Again, a reminder that in both before and after, the "curve" base setting is "Linear", not auto.

Sony 85mm, Custom ICC profile

Canon FD 50mm, Custom ICC profile

Canon FD 135mm, Custom ICC profile

 Phil Photo's gear list:Phil Photo's gear list
Sony a7 II Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Sony FE 50mm F1.8 +4 more
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