Darktable on Mac?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by baldrick_nz, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. baldrick_nz macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2015
    Whakatane, NZ
    Has anyone installed this app on a mac? If so, could you please share your thoughts?

    I'm a Linux user currently looking to move all my amateur photography to Mac, primarily because Mac screens come pre-calibrated, and prints come out pretty much as you see them on-screen.

    A combination of Darktable/Gimp2.9 is what I use currently, and will probably continue with both after the migration as both are supported on OSX.
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Pre calibrated means nothing. In my experience Mac screens have as many issues (maybe more) than every other brand that's not calibrated regularly. All panels drift. Most Mac screen owners complain of dark and saturated prints because the of way they are factory calibrated.
  3. MrMojoRising macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2008
    I installed it a month or two ago using Homebrew. It seemed to work fine but I did not care for the interface.
  4. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
    I've toyed with DarkTable but in spite of it rendering my Fuji XTrans files a lot better than Lightroom, did not pursue it. Runs fine. I believe I used most of its functionality.
  5. kelub macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    Right now I'm using DarkTable on my 2012 MacMini w/ an SSD and 8GB RAM. It runs okay. I've been using it as my post-aperture PP software. I asked around on the forum a few months ago if anyone else was considering it as a replacement for Aperture.

    The interface isn't as intuitive as I'd like and required some trips to the tutorial, and if I go a couple of months w/o using it I find it's easy to forget some of the shortcuts etc. I am also still feeling my way through a decent workflow - no fault of DT so much as I just really had a process down with Aperture. I really miss Aperture's DAM.

    My biggest complaint with DT though is that the quality of the image it's showing me on the screen is lackluster. I'll think "eh, this isn't coming out as nice as I'd like, but I guess it'll do," then open the image independent of DT and see that it looks way better than I had thought. Maybe there's an option to improve the quality of the displayed image, but again, the software just doesn't feel intuitive enough to find such a setting w/o looking for it in a tutorial.

    I've been putting off taking the dive into LR but it may be about time. I had hoped I'd develop a familiarity & comfort with DarkTable, but I just don't... enjoy using it that much. It's very powerful for a free app, and maybe LR won't be much better, but since it's the "industry standard" I guess it's time to give it a go.
  6. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
    You're getting pretty much a raw render without a lot of processing done by DT. A lot different than an Aperture or C1 where there's a lot more than a conversion taking place. Not a knock on DT, just the approach they've taken. Nor unusual once you get away from the established PP apps.
  7. Alexander.Of.Oz macrumors 68030


    Oct 29, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    I'm late to the conversation, again. :rolleyes:

    I'll add the extra caveat here to the wisdom of @Apple fanboy , which I totally agree with. Unless you are using a truly calibrated system from capture/camera right on through to print ink/paper, you are doing yourself a massive disservice! That will cost you well over two thousand dollars to do yourself and you will not be using an iMac for your monitoring anymore! You can quibble all you like about what monitor profiler to use, but if that profiler can't be used across the entire screen, you are just getting a glimpse into what, maybe 5% of the screens real estate?!

    Realistically, it's probably cheaper and easier for you to use a local printing service that have won numerous awards for their printing services.
  8. v3rlon macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2014
    Earth (usually)
    I ran DT briefly in my quest to replace Aperture. I did not like the interface, though I really wanted to like the software.
    Specific Issues I encountered:
    When I tried to Geo-tag multiple photos, it would crash.
    When connecting a USB Flash drive, I would have to jump through hoops to find it and import photos
    I couldn't batch process images (this may have been giving up too soon)

    Also, the "generate web gallery" feature is pretty sparse. I didn't see any options and it came out VERY basic.
  9. kelub macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    To clarify, I mean that after I've done my PP the end result that's shown on the screen still appears different in DT than it does in other applications. I don't know that I can trust what it's showing me on the screen compared to what I'm going to see everywhere else. For example, I could increase saturation on an image to try and get it to a certain level, then finish up and open it elsewhere just to discover I grossly over-saturated the image.

    Moot point for me now; I signed up for Adobe CC and am learning LR. So far I'm pretty impressed.

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