Lightroom: RC4.3: Incorrect color rendition of Nikon D600 raw file under a challenging condition (compared to Nikon ViewNX2).

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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I love LR and was happy to learn that RC4.3 supports raw (NEF) files of the Nikon D600. However, I was disappointed when I noticed in photos of a person whose face was lit by the blue light of a data projector that the color rendition of the shadows (created by his glasses) on the face of this person was incorrect (compared to viewing or converting the files to JPEG with Nikon View NX2). I just used standard settings without modifying contrast etc (apart from sharpening for screen and some noise reduction in LR RC4.3.
Is the raw conversion engine for the Nikon D600 really already finalized in this version? What could be the problem? Why is Nikon ViewNX2 rendering the image so much more accurately, in terms of color reproduction?
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Armin Helisch

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  • disappointed

Posted 6 years ago

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jdv, Champion

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What profile are you using?
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Armin Helisch

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Process 2012.
Profile: Adobe Standard.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Why not try another camera profile, like Camera Standard or Camera Neutral?
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Armin Helisch

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Thank you, Steve, Camera Standard Profile seems to work much better indeed:


Still, a little bothersome that the standard raw conversion of D600 NEF files require this adjustment to have more accurate color reproduction - at least under some circumstances and I begin to wonder whether the Nikon ViewNX2 raw conversion mechanism works better without any further adjustments.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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That's because they're using a different profile/starting point. The "Camera Standard Profile" tries to mimic the look Nikon camera's in camera processing (the processed JPEG) which is probably similar to ViewNX2. We provide this profile for people who prefer the look of the camera's process/profile. (Different strokes for different folks)
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Until Adobe and Nikon merge as a company, or Nikon uses a DNG format, the colors will look different because Adobe and Nikon use proprietary methods and don't know what the other is doing so cannot possibly come up with the same raw conversion.
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Armin Helisch

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@Jeff, in this instance it seems that the Adobe Standard profile just is not doing an acceptable job, far outside limits of taste. However, in most other images it seems to have done a fine job (thus I am wondering whether it is not a good "standard" for the D600). But, yes, I am grateful that the Camera Standard profile is an option too. Overall, LR has been a great product for me (e.g. for managing and processing my Panasonic GF-1 raw files etc).

True, Steve, it is annoying that Nikon does not just accept the DNG format....even more ridiculous is that they come up with a new raw format for each camera...
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Armin Helisch

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P.S. Thanks, Jeff, for explaining the idea between the different profiles!
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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There is not necessarily a "new raw format" for each camera model. It is more that the sensor and electronics might behave slightly differently so Adobe needs to reprofile each new camera model to characterize these differences.

For a new profile not to be required, camera manufacturers couldn't change the sensor or the electronics that reads it, so we'd be stuck with 2MP DLSRs with touch screens and GPS and Wi-Fi and whatever other non-image-related innovations have occurred in the last decade.

I would rather have innovations and have Adobe take the time to account for them.

Camera manufacturers aren't going to cripple their image-processing innovations by accepting an open-source standard moving target, either. I double what Nikon does to D600 images can be embodied in a DNG Profile so even if Adobe did produce DNGs with an Adobe-compatible dual-illuminant profile, Adobe's treatment of them would still be different, and then the explanation would be that Adobe and Nikon don't use the same raw engine, and people would be clamoring for Adobe and Nikon and all other camera manufacturers be forced by some sort of worldwide authority to all do the same thing, which would stiffle innovation in image-processing.

Again, I'd rather have Adobe and Nikon and others competing for the best image-processing results so each has to improve based on advances by the other players.
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Jeff Witkowski

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I just came across this post and have the same issue. I'm also shooting with a Nikon d600, and get the same bad color conversion results with Adobe's Standard profile. I've tried some of the other profiles, and while they are better, none is quite as good as Nikon's own conversion. I wish Nikon would just share their recipe for conversion with Adobe.

Dear Adobe! If there's anyway you can improve the color accuracy of raw images shot with the d600, it would be MUCH appreciated!
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Has the profile been tweaked differently in the LR 4.3 Final version released overnight?