Colors are being flattened just opening the raw file


I bought a Nikon Z50. I’ve noticed that in the processing tab, when I open a raw file from the roll RawTherapee applies a profile. This though washes out all the color depth and I’m not able to recover it for example applying contrast or color saturation.

See the following example:


on the left I’ve got the bag once opened, in the middle and on the right two photos not opened yet. As you can see all the vibrant colors are gone.

I read that I could use a color calibration card, but I don’t have one yet.

Is there something I can do, or can someone share a profile which works fine with my camera?

Thank you very much!

Did you open the file with a neutral profile? Try that and see what happens. Further edits can be made from that point.

Hello @stuntflyer,

Yes, I tried to roll over all the available standard profiles, but they either flatten the colors (like the Neutral does), or lighten the image overexposing the image. Might a raw image help to understand the problem?

DSC_1008.NEF (24.8 MB)

@elegos Welcome the forum! I don’t know your experience with RT but it may be a good idea to (re)visit Eek! My Raw Photo Looks Different than the Camera JPEG.

What RT version are you using? Z 50 is a relatively new camera; I just looked and it’s in the dev branch, but your version may not be recent enough…

DSC_1008.NEF (24.8 MB) DSC_1008.NEF.pp3 (15.4 KB)

@elegos Others have said the most important things: use the development version of RawTherapee (see here) because the Z50 was not available when the released version 5.8 came out. And still, be aware of what Neutral processing means.

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You can also read how to get Nikon profiles at Rawpedia, and then apply your Z50 profile by placing it in a folder you choose, then in Preferences > Color Management > Directory containing color profiles point RT to that folder and finally in the Color Management tool, choose that Custom input profile.

Doing so, the starting point is quite similar to the OOC jpeg (well, I’ve tried with a Z6 profile btw, but it should work well with a Z50 profile).

Thank you very much guys!

Passing from the stable (5.8) to the dev image was the game changer. @afre I knew raw images are kind of “flat”, what was upsetting me was that the image on the roll before opening was much more colorful than the one once opened.

Thanks @XavAL I didn’t see the nikon profiles on the pedia, though I searched (without success) “rawtherapee nikon profiles” on Google - what an irony :smiley:

This is the output when opened with the dev version (without any touches) - way more pleasant and near to what I actually saw shooting the photo :smiley: :

DSC_1008.NEF.pp3 (13.5 KB)

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When RT opens the raw image, it will generate a thumb of whatever you do to the raw image. Otherwise, I think it will use the embedded preview image.