Your Nikon RAW NEF Work Flow ?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
ggbutcher Contributing Member • Posts: 604
Re: Your Nikon RAW NEF Work Flow ?

Doug Haag wrote:

ggbutcher wrote:

Doug Haag wrote:

ggbutcher wrote:

juhsstin2 wrote:

ggbutcher wrote:

(a lotta crap...)

i only understood some of what you said, but thank you.

My apologies, I got carried away...

To your specific question about editors that will do better-than-8-bit local edits, yes, I know GIMP will and I'm fairly sure regular PhotoShop has upgraded all of their tools out of 8-bit. Someone more familiar with that is welcome to weigh in.

Getting away from 8-bit editors was my first step into higher-quality post processing. It may take a 'bit' of doing on your part, but it is well-worth it.

As I understood him, juhstin2 was concerned that if you are limited to sending a jpeg (8-bit) to a commercial printer, this somehow offset or upended all the benefits touted for editing in 16-bit tiff.

It is my belief that the benefit of 16-bit data depth comes to the fore during the editing process where, for example, pushing the data to the extreme to reveal shadow detail will result in less pixelization or banding, etc. However, once all that stretching of data has been completed, saving the edited result as an 8-bit jpeg for printing does not in the least undo the benefits derived from editing in 16-bit. The jpeg will provide all the data a printer needs for an excellent output. Just don't try to push and pull the 8-bit data any more.

I agree with this to the extent that I understand current printing capabilities. Disclaimer, I don't do any printing, but my understanding of the state of the art is that printer gamuts are still bounded by the sRGB gamut, comments and corrections are welcome. If that is the case, then an 8-bit JPEG containing a sRGB gamut image will print just fine in most places. Now, if a commercial printer specifies use of AdobeRGB or larger gamut, encoding such in an 8-bit JPEG will not capture sufficient gradation to effectively use that gamut. For larger gamuts, 16-bit TIFF is better.

Color gamut used to be simple, most devices didn't surpass sRGB. Times are a-changing, and photographers who want to see their images in all the glory of the 10-bit displays and other improving devices will have to learn about such...

Yeah, I know, I'm off the deep end again, but this is a topic upon which it is worth expending the brain cells...

Hope juhstin2 is still watching this thread so he understands that the benefits from editing in greater bit depth are not lost if his choice of printing vendor demands jpeg.

You just taught me something new Mr. Butcher. I did not realize the color gamut alternatives (Adobe, Prophoto, etc.) were limited to higher bit depth files and not compatible with 8-bit jpeg. I'm pretty picky about a lot of things about my photography (I shoot raw, color calibrate my monitor, use a tripod when ever possible, etc. etc.). But I admit to being pretty lax about taking care to use color gamuts broader than sRGB.

I am reticent to vector us to a gamut discussion, because it can be a can of worms to lay flat. For one, there isn't really a "compatibility" line, as you can stuff an AdobeRGB image into 8-bit values.  You just lose finer distinctions in gradation, which won't show up in most display or printing situations.

Me, I don't have any display better than 8-bit, so I couldn't even describe regarding such a depiction, but as a professional software goofball I intuitively know how bitdepth impacts encoding both tone and color with regard to the hardware I know.

For this discussion, it's probably sufficient to point out that, if a printing concern tells you to either use a greater-than-sRGB gamut or provides its own printer profiles for you to use, ggbutcher says it's a good idea to provide the image in a 16-bit format.

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