Lightroom: .NEF files distorted with color casts/fringes

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 7 years ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
My .NEF raw files from my Nikon D700 do not display correctly. There are strange color distortions and greenish casts and fringes. In particular, in photos where there are areas of transition from light to shade. For example, in a portrait lit by a single softbox, in the area between the lit side of a persons face and the shadow side; that's where I see the distortion. But it's not just these areas; the image overall looks like it has greenish color casts and the contrast in shadow areas is too steep, as though I'm viewing the image on an old CRT monitor with very limited display capabilities.

When I view these same raw files using different software, such as Picasa, the distortions are not there. Or if I take the raw file and export it as a jpeg and then view it outside of lightroom, in Windows or Picasa, again the distortions are not there. It's only on the raw file and only when viewed in LR.

Please help.
Photo of CarlosC

CarlosC

  • 5 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes

Posted 7 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Chris Cox

Chris Cox

  • 20280 Posts
  • 812 Reply Likes
Which version of Lightroom are you using? And which OS?

Have you double checked your display profile to make sure it isn't out of whack and causing distortions in calibrated applications (like Lightroom and Photoshop)?
Photo of CarlosC

CarlosC

  • 5 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Hi Chris,

I'm running LR 3.5 on a Windows 7 machine.

I uninstalled the video card drivers and re-installed the latest drivers, but that did not help.

I've also just learned that if I open the corresponding jpeg of a raw file using just the default windows photo viewer, the distortions appear on the jpeg as well.

So now I see the distoritions in both the raw file and the jpeg file.

How do I check my display profile?

Thanks.
Photo of Lee Jay

Lee Jay

  • 990 Posts
  • 134 Reply Likes
Start menu - search for "color management".
Photo of CarlosC

CarlosC

  • 5 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
In Color Management, in the Devices tab, under ICC profiles I see "Dell S2209W Color Profile, D6500 (default)."

In the All Profile tab, I see a list: WCS Device Profiles, WCS Viewing Conditions Profiles etc, with several files listed underneath.

Finally there's an Advance tab with several drop down menus for selecting Windows Color System Defaults. All of them are set to System Defaults.

Is there a change I need to make here, or a file that needs to be replaced?

Thanks.
Photo of Lee Jay

Lee Jay

  • 990 Posts
  • 134 Reply Likes
Do you see a profile associated with that device?
Photo of CarlosC

CarlosC

  • 5 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Yes. In the Devices tab, under ICC profile its "Dell S2209W Color Profile, D6500 (default)." The S2209W is my monitor. In the Advanced tab, in the Device Profile Drop down, it says "System Default (sRGB IEC61966-2.1)"

Incidentally, I actually fixed the problem. After spending hours on the forums and uninstalling and reinstalling LR, PS, and my video card drivers, all of which did not work, late last nigth just clicking around in the Color Management menu, I stumbled on the solution. It's kind of absurd, and it doesn't make sense, but the problem is solved now.

In the Advanced tab, I clicked "Calibrate Monitor." It takes you through a series of questions, showing you a picture and asking you to move sliders around to adjust gamma and remove color casts from a gray chart etc. I didn't make any changes to any of the settings or sliders. I just kept clicking next. At the end, the new calibration was applied, and even though I literally did not change any settings, I could go to the pictures in question and see that the distortions were gone. Pretty ridiculous, right?

Now I would just like to figure out if there's a way to get my exported jpeg to be (near) exact match to the edit of the raw file that I see displayed in LR. I understand they are different file formats, and jpegs are assigned a color space and they're processed by LR, but in a perfect world, I would open up a raw file, edit it to my taste, and export it as a jpeg which would look identical to the edit I just made.

As it is now, the exported jpeg appears to be slightly darker and higher in contrast than the edit of the raw file I see displayed in LR. Suggestions?

Thanks.
Photo of Chris Cox

Chris Cox

  • 20280 Posts
  • 812 Reply Likes
Not ridiculous - it means that your display profile was messed up, and you replaced it with a default profile that isn't messed up. You'd get more accurate color with a a better profile, but at least your colors are completely messed up now.

The difference is still your display profile, plus how other programs interpret the JPEG (do they honor the color profiles or not - some browsers do, and some don't).
Photo of peter zhang

peter zhang

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks! this worked well!
Photo of CarlosC

CarlosC

  • 5 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Thanks for your reply, Chris.

Do you have any further suggestions about how I can get my exported jpegs to more perfectly resemble the .NEFs to which I've made my edits?

Having a calibrated monitor will get me more accurate colors, but will it improve how the jpegs look and how closely they resemble the NEFs they're coming from? Thanks.