You down with RPP? Yeah, you know me!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by compuwar, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I've been playing a bit with a cool raw converter, Raw Photo Processor:

    The film tonal curves and local contrast rock. After a couple of hours playing, I'm considering this as my main raw converter. In fact, I'm considering ditching Capture NX in my workflow completely. There are only a couple of issues so far, and I'm pretty-sure they're easily fixable.

    B&W conversions look really good too.
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Having used film more than digital I can say the film tonal curves are indeed amazing. I've been playing with this for the last couple of hours maybe and I am inthralled with the application. Not to mention it is free, but I will be donating later this evening.

    The issues I think compuwar speaks of are the fact that you can quit and you're not asked if you want to save or anything. For me, I happen to accidently quit applications often. I've done it in the midst of writing long posts here as well. The second issue, which I can't say is an issue yet really, but it's a 'thing' is when outputting to a TIFF using any of the interpolation methods your TIFF file shows 72 dpi. Google groups has a support group for the company and they give a very easy to use terminal command to change the default output DPI. The problem is that when I did this I did not notice the actual file changing, only the number displayed. I wondered if it was actually changing the image to the camera's native dpi or was it just showing me what I wanted to see. The truth will be in the printing (once I buy more ink).

    The developer actually apologizes for the UI, which I happen to be quite fond of. The mouse-overs actually say something of value rather than just telling me what tool I'm looking at. The auto-exposure has two options that both work rather well. I've never been a fan of auto-exposure, even in aperture, but this works well.

    What I noticed was that my file in Aperture of the same image gave off an appearance of higher saturation and it was about 1/2 stop lighter. RPP discusses that ACR increases EV or decreases EV depending upon the camera. This is unavoidable. I believe Aperture followed suit and did the same. RPP does not. It gave me exactly what the image was and allowed me to adjust accordingly.

    The downfall that I did notice was when I decided I wanted to do an HDR from a single raw. As many know I need to mess about with exposure and save various files. RPP will not touch your raw file. It never did and never let me save anything as a RAW file. It simply gave me the option of TIFF or JPEG. Some people apparently complained about not being able to output to PSD, but they have a great argument there, why PSD when TIFF is the same and keeps all the data?

    Even though the program is free I believe that it is worthy of buying. Like Compuwar I believe this will become my new raw converter. I use Capture NX (free with my camera so no love loss) and Aperture. I've also used ACR and all the rest that I can think of. So far I really love the ease of use of RPP. One of the most enjoyable things is the fact that I can load up a RAW file FAST and get the same color accuracy and so on that I would if I loaded up the exact file. The only difference is you lose resolution, but I'm looking for something to work with my exposures and such, not check out whether or not it's sharp as a tack.
  3. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    What does this program offers in comparison with Aperture?

    It seems to have some nice tools, but I don't see how this can be part of my workflow. Wouldn't using this programs mean that you would only use Aperture for organizing?
  4. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    I'll have to try this out, maybe on the weekend. I downloaded it and was happily surprised to discover it handles my D700 RAW files!
  5. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    Holy crap. I was skeptical a bit, but wow. I ran a few old files through and the results were significantly better than Photoshop's. I'm sold.
  6. oblomow macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2005
    I've played with rpp, however I find it very slow compared to bibble. Therefore I settled on that and bought a bibblelite license. (slow on a MBP, C2D, 4GB)
  7. compuwar thread starter macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    It offers either more accurate raw file conversion or more pleasing raw flle conversion (depending on your goals and aesthetics.)

    I currently only use Aperture for organizing- Apertures 1.x raw conversion failed to do anywhere near as well as ACR, Bibble, or CaptureNX. Aperture 2.x is significantly better than 1.x. Now I have the option of either what seems to me to be the most controlable raw converter or the best looking raw converter- all in one program with very sane ways to apply changes to multiple files.

    Currently, I use CaptureNX as my primary converter, and Bibble as a secondary converter if I need distortion correction for my Sigma 10-20mm.

    After looking at the film tonal curves with AHD interpolation on several images, I'm convinced that RPP offers a distinct and unique set of advantages- and that's without looking for extreme examples where things like the white balance and highlight recovery might make more of a difference.

    ACR's automatic "depending on the camera, we'll change the exposure and there's nothing you can do about it" seems to produce results that are comprable with Aperture's exposure values, so a more neutral starting point is good for accuracy in my book.
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I don't know if I fully understand this program, and how it would fit in.

    Lets say I use Adobe Lightroom. I import my images into Lightroom, and instead of making non-destructive edits on my RAW files in Lightroom, I have to select RPP as my external editing program, kind of like how I'd use PS CS3 right now. Do I understand this correctly?

    The only way to use this as my RAW converter would be to import my photos into a new folder, bring them into RRP and make some edits, and then export as a TIFF back into my folder. From there, I load those photos into Lightroom, where I can then make further (non-destructive) changes to my files if I wish.

    Is this what you're doing?

    I've had Capture NX since I got my D300, and I don't use it as my primary RAW converter. It's better, but I always liked importing everything into Aperture, sorting through the rubbish in there, and then editing the files I have kept using Lightroom, and then possibly in CS3 if I can't do something adequately in Lightroom, and if it's a really nice photo with the potential to be a lot better.
  9. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    Thanks compuwar, I've downloaded it and will check it out!
  10. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I typically only use Aperture for organizing photos anyway. I have found that like ACR, Aperture actually enhances my photos for me before I get to touch them. However, I didn't realize this until I used RPP.

    My workflow is quickly becoming, RPP > Aperture > PS if further adjustments are needed.

    I find it confusing myself that you would use Aperture and Lightroom. Both, in my opinion, do virtually the same thing. RPP also does what Aperture and LR does, but I believe RPP does it better. If RPP had some sort of organizational tool setup with it then I would certainly move from Aperture to RPP in a heartbeat. Like you, I like sorting through the rubbish.

    RPP does not touch the original file at all, like I said it doesn't even let me save over the existing NEF file nor save-as a new NEF file. So it does offer non-destructive raw file editing.

    I believe that RPP fits but you have to mess about with it to determine how. Like stated before, for me it is RPP > Aperture > PS CS. However, to sort through everything I can see myself using Aperture > RPP > Aperture again > PS if necessary. RPP opens files so fast though that I can see myself using finder to just do a quick glance at the image, then open it in RPP.

    Now I e-mailed the guy who created this and here is what he said:
    We also discussed the fact that ACR and I believe Aperture changes the exposure for you prior to you touching the file yourself. He said that for the D3 in ACR the EV is changed to over one full stop. That is huge!

    On a final note, to those who have tried and are curious about the difference between AHD and VNG, I said to him that I believe AHD was better, it produced a cleaner image. He said,
    So for me, me saying AHD is smoother is most likely a displaced view as smoother comes from VNG but less artifacts comes from AHD. In other words, it's semantics, but if you're converting to B&W then I would say AHD is your best bet. Again, you have to try it yourself to find out.

    Yes right now I am but like I said, I can see it going a few ways. For me, I've never been fully sold on the raw processing in Aperture, but I liked it much better than ACR. Now that I see what Aperture does before I get at my own image, I can go either way, but I like RPP right now as I shot some difficult scenes in Chicago (bright skies dark buildings) and I find RPP is handling them like a champ. I've also shown results to Compuwar, comparisons between Aperture's output and RPP's. He too noticed in one shot I had more black detail from RPP then Aperture. While Aperture had lots of detail, the difference between the two was great enough to see even after sending a low-quality JPEG screen shot.
  11. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2008
    Hmm, not entirely sold on this..

    For film simulation, Exposure 2 blows this out of the water (albeit it is $249 US)..

    I can't really see this being part of my workflow. Aperture and PS handle any tricky conversions I need..
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    That's because I wrote Aperture when I really meant Lightroom. I normally import into Lightroom, delete the garbage, edit in Lightroom, and if I want to, export to Photoshop as a TIFF file and edit.

    I don't think you can save as an NEF file anyway, not using any software that has been mentioned so far. :confused: Edits are made to image files, which is why the edits you make in Aperture aren't actually applied until after you export........(which is why editing in Aperture is called "non-destructive"). RPP doesn't really offer non-destructive editing in the manner that most people mean when they say "non-destructive". Unless RPP is also a browser, it won't be able to save the edits as a separate file, and apply the edits only whenever you want to export that photo as a JPEG/TIFF/etc. What RPP likely does is convert the NEF file into a TIFF first, and let you make changes to the TIFF, while the RAW file is just there in its original location. You get 2 RAW, and one image file with edits. Or it's possible that the edits are "saved" (temporarily) like they are in Lightroom and Aperture, and when you're finished with the file and ready to bring it back to Lightroom, the NEF file is THEN converted into a TIFF with the edits applied. That way, you don't make a bunch of individual changes to a TIFF file, and therefore, you don't have to save the file after an edit, re-save, and saved again and again before finishing. That's the opposite of non-destructive editing!

    Yeah, the process you mentioned (the one you're using now) is the one I described in my previous post (without the mistake). The 2nd process you mention wouldn't take advantage of RPP's supposedly better RAW conversion, so there's no point.
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I think you are correct. Compuwar said
    So he is comparing this to NX which is a fair oranges to oranges comparison.

    But Aperture does this kind of stuff plus a lot more. In my case much of my work flow is JPG or TIFF based. I'm scanning film, some very old prints and shooting with a DSLR and a point and shoot. It's really nice that Aperture handle all of this well.

    One other thing. When you compare raw processors it's not fair to perform the same operations in each. What you have to do is do your best effort to create the image you want using each using whatever controls are available in each and then compare results. Aperure now has plug ins. Using any of those is fair

    Also you may want to look at things like how long it takes you to process 200 images. This is governed mostly by the design of the user interface not the raw conversion engine. Aperure allows you to catalog, stack, and rate images at the same time as they are bebibng downloaded from the camera

    One huge different betreen this program and Aperure is that Aperure is non-destructive. It does not "convert" the image. It keeps it in raw form until you export it.
  14. compuwar thread starter macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
  15. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I think it is safe to say that RPP isn't going to be for everyone, and as the developer said to me this morning...I may very well grow to hate it.

    RPP does:
    Non-destructive editing of RAW files.
    Exports to 8 and 16-bit TIFF (among other things)
    Offers a quick and dirty view of your file without losing color accuracy (but losing resolution).
    Offers better contrast control that keeps your blacks with as much detail as possible (local contrast vs overall contrast)
    Better auto-exposure
    Better white balance control than what is experienced with Aperture (look at the documentation and you'll see how this is achieved)
    Individual camera model profiling.
    Transactional editing (history with time stamps)
    Batch processing

    RPP Does not:

    Offer any organizational tool that you see in Aperture/Lightroom
    Save your adjustments in the NEF/RAW file
    Ask if you want to save before you quit
    Force you to buy it
    No heavy photo-editing
    No sign of auto enhancements/adjustments just by importing into the application
    Doesn't save to PNG

    I am sure the list can be added to and in time I may change my mind. But for now I am sold.

    The fact is, as Compuwar said, if you're happy with what you have now great. I was and still am, but I just found another alternative that was quite impressive and suited my needs quite well. And the price is right. :D

    Like I said, if RPP offered anything by way of organization then I would drop Aperture all together I think. I don't do a lot of post-processing, if only to fix my **** ups. :)

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