color space help

Started Feb 11, 2006 | Discussions
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Lance O Contributing Member • Posts: 936
color space help

Hi guys,

Need some help here. I normally shoot in sRGB. I first process my NEFs in Nikon Capture and save to jpeg. If necessary sometimes I will take the image into PhotoShop for any editing necessary that NC does not do.

I did a shoot in adobe RGB the other day. I know adobe RGB is a wider gamut. However, I have not yet taken the time to learn about color spaces, calibration, etc. I will some day, but just have not had the time yet.

I don't want to mess and adobe RGB since I don't understand it and don't want to end up missing a conversion somewhere. I just want my NEFs back to sRGB. So, how do I change the settings in the NEF using Nikon Capture back to sRGB? I have tried to figure it out but just can't get my head around it. In the Color Mode drop down (in Advanced RAW) I see the following:

Mode I: I understand this is for portraits in aRGB or sRGB. This is the mode I always use.
Mode II: I understand this is for aRGB only.
Mode III: For landscapes in aRGB or sRGB.
Mode Ia: No idea what this is?
Mode IIIa: No idea what this is?
B&W: Black and white mode.

So where do I switch the NEF back to sRGB?

Thanks

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Lance O

Matt in FL Veteran Member • Posts: 5,305
Re: color space help
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in NC, go to tools, options, color management. You will find an area that allows making the output any common color space you want.
MATTinNE_FL

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Lance O OP Contributing Member • Posts: 936
thanks..but

Thanks Matt. I know about that. But I don't really understand it. I don't want to change any options in NC without understanding what I am changing as it could affect me later.

I just want these particular NEFs to be sRGB like all my other ones.

Thanks,
Lance O

Julia Borg Veteran Member • Posts: 7,280
Re: thanks..but

I just want these particular NEFs to be sRGB like all my other ones.

what is sRGB?

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Julia

Lance O OP Contributing Member • Posts: 936
Re: thanks..but

Hi Julia,

You would probably know better than I. But sRGB is one of the 2 colorspaces of the D200 (D70, etc).

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Lance O

Julia Borg Veteran Member • Posts: 7,280
Re: thanks..but

Lance O wrote:

sRGB is one of the 2 colorspaces of the D200 (D70, etc).

and that means "Mode" does not matter.

color space is color space, it is destination. "Mode" is the method how we get to that destination. that is it affect mapping to the destination. one "mode" can result in greens rendered cooler then another "mode". but in any way the resulting color will be in the gamut of the destiantion color space.

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Julia

little big man Regular Member • Posts: 109
Re: color space help

I'm going to offer some help, although not with Nikon Capture. If you shot the images in Adobe RGB, then converting them to sRGB could be done by using Photoshop. The directions I'm giving are assuming you have PSCS2, so results may vary if your version is different. Don't open the image just yet. Open PS. First you would select ctrl shift k to go to your color settings. Set your rgb working space to srgb. Then check the 3 check boxes down below in the color mgmt section. This will make PS ask you what you want to do when you do open an image from your shoot that has a different embedded profile, and you'll then be given the option to convert the image to srgb.

Hold on, a few more steps before you open your file. Under the "conversion options" area (hit the 'more details' button if you don't currently see this area) and select Adobe as the engine and Perceptual as the intent. It is my understanding that selecting perceptual causes the least amount of color shift when converting an image to different color space.

You may be able to accomplish all this in NC, but I don't use it enough to give you help in that way. I offer this as a substitute and you may want to wait and see if someone else posts a solution using NC if you need. As always, make a back up your files before you try any of this!

Lance O OP Contributing Member • Posts: 936
Re: thanks..but

Thanks Julia. I just don't get it. I am no idiot. Far from it in fact However, there is some fundamental misunderstanding I have about all of this I know.

2 questions:
1. What are modes Ia and IIIa?

2. OK, I understand the color mode is not the same as the color space. How do I change the colorspace of my NEFs back to sRGB like all my other NEFs that were taken when I had my camera set to sRGB?

I realize this question (#2) may not even make sense. I fully admit that I am a total noob in all areas of color management So if you could answer my question, or even rephrase it so that it can be answered I would greatly appreciate it.

Basically I leave my camera in sRGB and I never change or mess with any color space setting on my computer (PC), in Nikon Capture, or in PSCS. I assume everything is just using sRGB the whole way through. Whatever it is doing it works pretty well.

At some point in the near future I plan to learn about color management.

Thanks Julia,
Lance O

Evan Effa Veteran Member • Posts: 3,342
Check this link...

Dry Creek Photo does a great job explaining this as do some authors like Scott Kelby in "Photoshop for Digital Photographers"

http://drycreekphoto.com/Learn/color_management.htm

I have starting using Prophoto as my default workspace as I can avoid clipping channels in this broader gamut colorspace that would be blown in sRGB or even Adobe RGB. An easier comparison can be made in Photoshop ACR. Try clicking on the various colour space options in the preview mode with a wide DR or challenging gamut image (have highilght & shadow warning turned on) & watch how the clipped highlights r channels in sRGB are often not clipped in adobe RGB or ProphotoRGB. The difference is significant.

You can always convert to sRGB for outside printing or web display but you can't go from sRGB to the broader gamuts without losing those initial out of gamut details.

-evan

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D200, Fuji S2 etc.

http://www.pbase.com/eheffa

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little big man Regular Member • Posts: 109
Re: color space help

Let me append a bit about NEF's - if you have the Adobe Camera Raw plugin installed in PS, then if you open the NEF image in PS, the ACR plugin will start up and will give the ability (via a drop down menu on the bottom left) of changing color spaces. What I don't know about this is, if you do change color space here, what conversion rules PS will apply to get your Adobe RGB image converted to sRGB, so the 1st way gives you more definite control. Perhaps someone else knows more about how ACR converts them (perceptual, relative colorimetric, etc.).

Lance O OP Contributing Member • Posts: 936
Re: color space help

Thanks Little Big Man (that used to be my CB Radio Handle),

I appreciate the tips. However, I am reluctant to change those settings until I have time to learn about color space more. Since I don't understand it I don't want to change anything in my setup (which has been working) until I understand the results of those changes.

I do plan to learn about color management issues. And when I do, I am one of those guys that dives in head first and you can bet that I will spend many hours researching until I know what I am doing.

But until then I just want these few NEFs to be changed to sRGB so that I can run them through my normal workflow with confidence that all will work as expected and that I will get the results I expect from my printer (EZ Prints).

Thanks, and I have saved your post in my color management folder to refer to at a later date.

Lance O

Julia Borg Veteran Member • Posts: 7,280
Re: thanks..but

1. What are modes Ia and IIIa?

matrices and curves that control mapping to profile connection space.

conversion to destination color space is done from that profile connection space. by default, the destination color space to be used for modes Ia and IIIa is sRGB

2. How do I change the colorspace of my NEFs back to sRGB like
all my other NEFs that were taken when I had my camera set to sRGB?

if your camera is set to AdobeRGB and you want output from Nikon Capture in sRGB for all modes,
press Ctrl-K and set the following:

To revert to default behaviour, uncheck "Use this instead..."

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Julia

Lance O OP Contributing Member • Posts: 936
Re: Check this link...

Thanks Evan,

I will start reading that link right away. I actually researched my question for a couple of hours before posting, including 2 Kelby books I have, my Thom Hogan ebook, and forum posts. There are many great resources out there. Color management seems to be a complex issue. That is why I feel I need to tackle it when I am ready to devote some real time to it.

The option in ACR you describe is what I am wanting in Capture and can't find. In the past I have been able to change any camera setting after the fact in my NEFs. However, this is one setting I can't seem to locate.

Lance O

Julia Borg Veteran Member • Posts: 7,280
Re: Check this link...

color management in Nikon Capture is very different from Photoshop. It is not based on ICC workflow. But then again, ACR color management is not based on it too
--
Julia

Lance O OP Contributing Member • Posts: 936
Re: thanks..but

Thanks Julia. That does make it clearer. I thought perhaps that was what that option would do but was not sure until now.

Of course, changing that affects me in the future (unless I uncheck it again). Which begs the question, can I not just change the color space setting in the NEF itself so that if I load them a month from now I won't forget to change that setting? That setting overrides the embedded profile and forces the profile at the path in the above box. So another way to word my question might be: Is there a way to embed sRGB into the NEFs?

Thanks for your patience,
Lance O

Lance O OP Contributing Member • Posts: 936
Re: Check this link...

LOL. So confusing. All the more reason for me not to mess with settings I don't understand...yet. What would be the best book or resource for me to use to understand all of this. Keeping in mind I will probably calibrate my monitor and use EZ Print's profile for their printer they provide. However, I am an amatuer/hobbiest and have no interest in maintaining the level of calibration and management techniques necessary for pro work.

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Lance O

Lance O OP Contributing Member • Posts: 936
another thing

Another thing that I can't wrap my brain around is this: If sRGB is what represents the colors that can be displayed on a monitor, then if I use a wider gamut how I can I see the colors outside the range of sRGB?

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Lance O

Matt in FL Veteran Member • Posts: 5,305
Re: another thing
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a lot of the times you cant...
Thanks.. bye
MATTinNE_FL

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chris3010 Senior Member • Posts: 2,738
Good question. It's a Nikon Capture issue.

Lance,

I don't think there is well documented answer to your question, and I've been wondering the same thing. The thoughtful efforts by other posters to teach you about colorspace does not address your fundamental question: how does Nikon Capture allow one to change the colorspace of an Adobe RGB raw .NEF file to an sRGB file (as one would do in Photoshop with a "Convert To..." command)?

My suspicion: you can't. You can apparently change the Modes, but I have not yet found a way to change the colorspace interpretation of the raw data in Nikon Capture. This would suggest that it is always safer to shoot in Adobe RGB (wider gamut), and Convert later into sRGB - either in Photoshop or with Nikon View/Browser into a JPG with the Tools/Copy and resize as JPGs.... command. (This assumes Nikon View preferences are set to convert to sRGB at time of conversion to JPG.)

There are some helpful pages on Nikon Color Modes in the site below that will answer some of your other questions:
http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/nikon-color-modes.html
http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/color-modes-on-computer.html

I anxiously await any definitive info on conversion of colorspaces within Nikon Capture. Until then, I also have an sRGB workflow in Capture. When I do capture in Adobe RGB, I do the colorspace conversions when creating JPGs within Nikon View.

Chris

Lance O wrote:

Hi guys,

Need some help here. I normally shoot in sRGB. I first process my
NEFs in Nikon Capture and save to jpeg. If necessary sometimes I
will take the image into PhotoShop for any editing necessary that
NC does not do.

I did a shoot in adobe RGB the other day. I know adobe RGB is a
wider gamut. However, I have not yet taken the time to learn about
color spaces, calibration, etc. I will some day, but just have not
had the time yet.

I don't want to mess and adobe RGB since I don't understand it and
don't want to end up missing a conversion somewhere. I just want
my NEFs back to sRGB. So, how do I change the settings in the NEF
using Nikon Capture back to sRGB? I have tried to figure it out
but just can't get my head around it. In the Color Mode drop down
(in Advanced RAW) I see the following:
Mode I: I understand this is for portraits in aRGB or sRGB. This
is the mode I always use.
Mode II: I understand this is for aRGB only.
Mode III: For landscapes in aRGB or sRGB.
Mode Ia: No idea what this is?
Mode IIIa: No idea what this is?
B&W: Black and white mode.

So where do I switch the NEF back to sRGB?

Thanks

-- hide signature --

Lance O

chris3010 Senior Member • Posts: 2,738
Re: thanks..but

Julia, does this checkbox in NC perform the Photoshop equivalent of a "Convert To..." (correctly 'mapping' the Adobe RGB captured colors into the smaller sRGB colorspace); or the equivalent of an "Assign To..." (basically slapping an sRGB profile onto the image, which would not accurately display the colors captured).?

The semantics used in that dialog box suggest to me that it is an "Assign" , not a "Convert" ....... but this could be the answer we're all looking for.

Chris

Julia Borg wrote:

1. What are modes Ia and IIIa?

matrices and curves that control mapping to profile connection space.

conversion to destination color space is done from that profile
connection space. by default, the destination color space to be
used for modes Ia and IIIa is sRGB

2. How do I change the colorspace of my NEFs back to sRGB like
all my other NEFs that were taken when I had my camera set to sRGB?

if your camera is set to AdobeRGB and you want output from Nikon
Capture in sRGB for all modes,
press Ctrl-K and set the following:

To revert to default behaviour, uncheck "Use this instead..."

-- hide signature --

Julia

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