Tag Archives: colour management

Best Fuji Profile for Green

The Peak District. Fuji X-T2, 18-135 lens, ISO200, f/13.0, 1/60″.

If you’re a Fuji shooter who uses Lightroom to process your RAW files, I’m sure you will appreciate the excellent Fuji Colour Profiles. Although Lightroom provides a default Adobe Standard profile, it’s often worth experimenting with some of the other Fuji profiles found in the Camera Calibration tab.

In the past, I have tended to favour the Provia profile for most of my images. Recently though I have found the Provia effect a little too strong. This is especially true where there is a lot of green in the image such as grass or trees. The images end up being too saturated with emerald green grass which is difficult to correct.

Now I have a new favourite profile for the Landscape scene. Where there is a lot of green in a picture shot during the day, I’m finding the “Camera Pro Neg. Std” profile produces better results. This profile seems to provide a much more realistic starting point for the typical landscape scene. Whilst it tends to be a little weak on the saturation, it does produce much more realistic and natural colours, especially for the greens in the scene.

If you shoot Landscape scenes in RAW with a Fuji, I would encourage you to try this profile.

Camera Colour Profiles

Olympus EM5, Olympus 12-40mm. ISO200, f/2.8, 1/2500″

Over the past few months, I’ve been contacted with increasing regularity by people looking for Camera Colour Profiles. In case you’re not familiar, these are the profiles that allow Lightroom to convert RAW files into colour images with accurate colour. Although Lightroom comes with a default colour profile (Adobe Standard), this can be improved upon.

Once you create and install a custom colour profile to Lightroom, you can select it when processing RAW files. The option is found under the Camera Calibration tab at the bottom of the interface in the Develop Module. Here you will find a dropdown list with all the available profiles installed to your computer that relate to the RAW file being processed.

A common problem people seem to experience is that the profile they installed isn’t available in the dropdown list. This can often be explained by one of the following:

  • It’s not a RAW file that’s been selected for editing. When a RAW file is converted to an image, the colour profile information is embedded in the image. If you see the words “Embedded” in the dropdown and this can’t be changed, you’re not working on a RAW file.
  • You don’t see the installed profile in the dropdown list. Only the profiles that match the RAW file are displayed. If the RAW file was taken using a Canon 5DMKII, it only displays profiles for that camera. The profiles are specific to the camera model and version.
  • The profiles aren’t installed in the correct location. I have produced a You Tube tutorial showing how to install the profiles to both Mac and Windows computers.

I share a number of camera colour profiles on my Lenscraft Website (Olympus EM5 MKI, Olympus EM5 MKI Infrared, Panasonic GX1, Panasonic GX1 Infrared, Panasonic GM1, Sony RX10 MKI, Sony RX100MKI, Panasonic LX5). If you own one of these cameras, you can install and use these profiles as they may give you an edge over the default “Adobe Standard” profile. If you don’t have one of these cameras you will either need to search the web or create your own.

If you’re interested in creating your own, I suggest the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport which is the system I use. The downside to this is the price; if you only have one or two cameras, it may not be worth your while. If you are a member of a camera club, it may be worth the club buying the ColorChecker and the members sharing it.

I would also like to make an offer. If anyone has, or does create colour profiles for other cameras, would you be willing to share them? If you are, please contact me via Lenscraft and I will add them to the library on my website along with a note of thanks and a link to your website (if you have one). This arrangement would hopefully benefit everyone.

Printing Weirdness

Forest Scene. Olympus EM5, ISO200, f/6.3, 1/15" handheld.
Forest Scene. Olympus EM5, ISO200, f/6.3, 1/15″ handheld.

I want to share a very frustrating printing experience with you in case anyone has any ideas about how to resolve it.

I have been printing using an Epson 3880 printer for around 3 years now using Lightroom as the host software. During this time, I have regularly switched between Gloss and Matte inks for the different paper types. Recently I made the switch from a Matte surface paper to Baryta (which requires Gloss ink). At this time, I made a Matte paper print then immediately switched to Gloss to compare the results.

In making this switch I was careful to reconfigure the printer as I have done many times. I even have the setups for both papers saved to allow for this switching. Both papers are profiles using profiles I created and I know to be accurate.

When I made these two prints, the Matte print was perfect but the Baryta print is completely wrong, to the point it looks like one of the black inks has run out (it hasn’t). You can see the result below. Nothing changed between making the two prints other than the printer switched itself between Matte and Gloss black ink.

Scan showing poor colour balance
Scan showing poor colour balance

My first reaction was to recheck all the settings and these were fine. I then ran an ink check which showed no problems but I carried out a head cleaning just to be certain. This made no difference. After a lot of frustrating failures, I decided to switch back to Matte paper. Guess what; this was also exhibiting the problem.

Now for the weird bit. The problem only occurs when printing from Lightroom. All other software including Photoshop prints fine. Here is an example of the same image printed on the same piece of Matte paper, one image from Lightroom and one from Photoshop.

Side by side print comparison. Lightroom is on the right.
Side by side print comparison. Lightroom is on the right.

I have checked the Adobe forums and help and it appears a few people have experienced the issue. What I can’t find is a resolution. There was a suggestion that uninstalling and re-installing Lightroom fixed it, but not for me.

So far I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling Lightroom, the print driver and the printer profiles. I have even gone as far are recreating the printer profiles but the problem persists. If anyone has any suggestions I would be interested to hear.

There is however a silver lining to this cloud. I decided to go back to using Qimage as my printer software and the results are much nicer and of a higher quality when compared to Lightroom. I suspect I will stick with Qimage even if I solve the Lightroom problem.

Thanks for reading.

New Lightweight Tool

Image

Lightweight Photography is not just about using lightweight cameras, sometimes it’s about using streamlined processes to make life easier or about tools that can fulfil more than one function and so lighten your load. I have just made one such purchase and I want to share my experience with you. The tool in question is the “ColorMunki Photo” which I’m sure many of you will know about and perhaps a few of you own this.

The ColorMunki provides a simple and fast way to profile your monitor so you can be sure the colours in your images are being accurately represented on the screen. It also allows you to profile your printer (the main reason for my purchase) as well as profiling cameras and LCD projectors. The later will come in useful where I give presentations to camera clubs and often run into issues with my images projecting too dark.

My previous approach to colour management was to use the” i-One” monitor profiler from X-Rite (who also make the ColorMunki). In comparison to the ColorMunki the “i-One” takes much longer to complete the profile and isn’t as user friendly. For printer profiles I tended to use either custom made profiles purchasing from a remote profiling service or sometimes made my own using VueScan and a desktop scanner. The first option is time consuming as you need to rely on the postal service whilst the second option wasn’t really reliable. Since I switched to using a Canon Pixma 9500MkII I have struggled to generate good profiles and if I’m truthful, gave up.

My experience of the ColorMunki is that it performs the two functions above (monitor and printer profiling) brilliantly. It’s very fast, easy to use and the results are fantastic. My printer seems to be using less ink but more importantly the results seem to be much more vivid. Prints I had previously thought were good seem to have just come to life with the new printer profiles I have generated. The profiles also seem much better than the generic profiles you can usually download from paper manufacturer sites.  To say I am delighted is an understatement and I wanted to share this positive experience with everyone.