Tag Archives: manchester

DxO Photolab and DNG

John Rylands Library, Manchester.
John Rylands Library, Manchester. Fuji X-T2, 10-24mm at 12mm, ISO800, 1/3″ at f/7.1. Handheld leaning on the stair handrail for support.

I have been experimenting with DxO Photolab again. I really like the software but before I can commit to buying it, I need it to support the Fuji XTrans RAW file format. If I can’t process the Fuji X-T2 files, it’s only going to work for a fraction of the images I shoot.

Then I had an idea. What if I convert the RAW file to DNG first using Iridient XTransformer. I felt sure I had used a much earlier version of DxO to process RAW files.

Unfortunately, my excitement was short lived. DxO Photolabs couldn’t read the file.

So instead of writing about a great work around, I’m going to share an image shot with the Fuji X-T2 and converted in Lightroom. This has then had a little post processing with On1 Photo Effects to emphasise the shadows. The stars around the lights were enhanced very slightly using Topaz Star Effects.

Friday Image No.171

John Rylands Library, Manchester. Fuji X-T2, 10-24 Lens, ISO800, f/6.4, 1/6″ leaning on the handrail. Post processing with Topaz Star Effects and Nik Viveza.

Yesterday was a trip into Manchester to shoot some interesting architecture. It was a great day out even though one of the best locations was indoors. I have a few shots from the day that I will be sharing but this one was early on. It’s from inside John Rylands library who are quite happy for you to take photographs providing you keep out of people way – full credit to them. If you’re ever in Manchester, it’s a great place to visit.

I have shot this staircase in the library several times, but I wanted to try it with the Fuji X-T2. Previously I have only used either a compact or Micro 43 camera. The Fuji handles the noise very well and 10-24 lens allowed for a great perspective.

I hope you like the shot and have a great weekend.

Just a Reminder

Sunset view across Manchester. Canon G7X pocket camera.
Sunset view across Manchester. Canon G7X pocket camera.

I’m sure you don’t need to be reminded but it’s a good idea to carry a camera at all times. I have to admit though that I haven’t been doing this for quite a long time. Fortunately, I took the G7X along with me to a site where I was working and managed to capture this spectacular sunset through the window.

Noise Reduction Update

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A few posts back I mentioned a new noise reduction program I had been using with my GX1 images. The program was Topaz DeNoise and I had a 30 day free trial. Well I’m happy to give an update and I will start by saying I purchased the full edition.

After the blog I got down to the serious business of trying out quite a few noise reduction products. These ranged from OK to quite good but DeNoise was the best for my needs. I must admit that if I was judging this purely on how effectively some of the products removed noise, there were a couple of programs that seemed to match the performance. Unfortunately these were devilishly complicated to use.

The problem most of the programs seemed to suffer is that they had too many tabs and sliders to be adjusted. First I would need to select the range of noise e.g. high frequency, medium frequency etc then I would select the level of reduction for both luminance and colour noise. In addition to this I could target tones (highlights, mid tone and shadows) as well as different colours. Often there were a number of other controls I also needed to play with. These solutions to me are not lightweight and usually left me wondering if I had made the best selection I could. I also wasted a lot of time cycling through all the options trying to perfect the noise reduction.

What I really like about DeNoise is that it’s very quick to use as well as being very effective. Firstly I set the level of noise reduction whilst viewing a mid-tone area of the image. I then look at a shadow area and use a shadow slider to increase or decrease the level of noise reduction in these areas. Next I check the highlights and use the highlights slider to make any further adjustment.

Once I am happy with the noise in these areas I can apply additional colour cleaning noise with another slider as well as using two more adjustment sliders to affect the red or blue channel. What’s great about these sliders is that they all work together. The first slider is enough to achieve good results but the other sliders allow you to fine tune and target the effect.

Once you have applied your noise reduction you might find you have impacted some of the very fine detail. To counter this there is a “Recover Detail” slider which is quite effective. There is also a De-Blur slider which I never fail to be impressed by. This is something that I first came across in the Topaz Detail plug-in and it reduces typical lens blur introduced by camera optics and anti-alias filter. Even with top quality optics and perfect technique, this slider can make a difference. There are a few other sliders to help you really get superb results but this blog was not intended as a product review.

This is a very impressive package that it incredibly easy to use and achieve superb results. Even shooting at the best ISO possible with my cameras, this plug-in will improve the results. Give it a try if you want a lightweight noise reduction workflow that is totally effective.