RPP Revisited- now I'm going to have to find time...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by compuwar, May 27, 2010.

  1. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #1
    Quite a while back, I wrote a thread about Raw Photo Processor, a raw converter that had some interesting features- including a film-like gamma curve. I've been updating the software on my Mac, and RPP had some interesting additions (including Velvia and Kodachrome simulations) that looked interesting, as well as a relatively well-written manual.

    The last time I played with RPP, I wasn't getting the same sharpness as before, so I started using Capture NX2 for serious conversions- I've been digging and reading and now get the "sharpen after RPP if you're going to adjust more, or unclick the fit to window and sharpen in RPP" thing.

    In my searches, I came across a two-part review of RPP on DPR, which I found to be well-written:

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1039&message=34503249

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1039&message=34773945

    Pretty-much the first thing you have to change when working with RPP is the interpolation- by default it does half-sized images- VCDMF is the radio button of choice. I prefer the film-like gamma setting as well.

    RPP is free (as in beer) unless you want camera profiles, more than two processors and a couple of other advanced features. If you want those features, you're asked to provide a "fair" donation- between $10 adn $25 is suggested.

    RPP is still Mac-only, the download link is at:

    http://www.raw-photo-processor.com/RPP/Downloads.html

    I can see now that there's going to be a fair amount of camera/flash/lens profiling in my future, as well as more sharpness testing.

    The features added to RPP over the time I've had it have been consistently better and better. It's not an easy point-and-click experience though- due to the fact that it does floating point math to make it's adjustments, you have to click "apply" to see the results of any changes. However, it's the best argument for keeping files as raw files that I've seen to date- the advances in the conversion over time make going back and re-processing worth-while for many images.

    If you're looking for instant gratification, Adobe Camera Raw is probably the best interface. If you want accuracy and smooth graduations, RPP wins hands-down.

    The workflow I use with RPP goes something like this:

    Open in RPP and adjust settings (my usual defaults for interpolation, LAB TIFF saves and the like are saved as the camera default for each of my camera bodies, so all I'm adjusting is the visual settings for the file.)

    Save as a Lab TIFF, then open in Photoshop to do any noise reduction, healing, cropping, etc.

    Unlike Photoshop, which you can pretty-much open and run, you really should go to Help->Manual with RPP and read the manual, it's not long, but it's very good.

    I'm very interested in playing with the following:

    Compressed Exposure- a way to increase the overall exposure of an image without clipping the highlights.

    Zone System-based luminance values.

    Using the Gamut view to fit an image precisely into a printer color space and additionally into the Web RGP space.

    Simulation mode for Kodachrome and Velvia.

    Playing with the black-point adjustment.

    Just when I thought I was settling on a workflow again, the tool got better enough to spend real time on...

    Paul
     
  2. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #2
    Interesting application, Paul. Thanks for the link.

    Dale
     

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