From neutral to output in a few steps

Here’s an example how to process a raw from neutral to acceptable output in just a few steps:

1.) open raw file and apply neutral profile. Looks so (I will use the same 100% view in all screenshots, you can see the downsized image top left in navigator)

2.) Select an auto-matched profile. I used Auto-matched curve ISO low, because the raw was shot at ISO 500 (which is quite low ISO for my camera). Looks so

3.) Check for exposure compensation. The raw was underexposed by 0.66

4.) Correct the exposure by this amount. Looks so

5.) Sharpen (I used the capture sharpening which will be available in 5.8), looks so

That’s all. Have a look at the processing history, really short…


I think I do it too complicated all the time :stuck_out_tongue:


Nice @heckflosse…very efficient.

Here is my quick way in RT 5.6.
0. Open in Neutral profile.

  1. use lens correction. Automatic works for me.
  2. Use the L curve in the LAB module for exposure and contrast correction.
  3. use RL Deconvolv sharpening from the sharpening module.
  4. Use noise reduction (if needed).
  5. See if Haze removal looks good!
  6. Export.

Thank you. When the user has a decent .dcp camera profile, do you recommend the Tone Curve checkbox under Color Management or the Auto-Matched Curve? Or is it just an individual choice for each photo?

For my photos the auto-matched curve works just fine. But there are cameras (mainly cameras which crop the embedded jpeg at low focal lengths) where using auto-matched does not work.
For this cases I would stick to embedded tone curve in Colour Management.


How much does your result differ from the camera-produced JPG?

I’m not often happy with the JPG produced by my camera, and find myself tweaking the RAW (and probably overdoing it).

Well, as I underexposed and corrected that in post, the jpeg for sure was darker in this case.
The amount of detail (resolution) I can get from the raw processing also is much larger.
Also the raw CA correction in RT works better than the in camera CA correction.

When using Auto-matched tone curve I usually get results, which regarding contrast match the jpeg quite well, so I use it as a starting point for the processing.

Thanks for the additional info… In my case, I usually have to also adjust the camera’s white balance, which tends to be either too warm or too cool. I also find that the auto-matched curve produces good results only when the scene had good lighting and contrast to start with.

In summary, I tend to have to do more processing than you describe here. Probably has to do with my camera’s limitations too.

If I start with A-MTC and notice that the brightness or contrast is still too low or already too high, what is the right approach?

Can you then improve the automatic correction with another manual curve, or would the tonal values be damaged?

Or, if A-MTC is not perfect, should you turn it off and then work manually with Neutral?

Haven’t tried this but couldn’t you simply adjust the curve and sliders to your tastes?

You can modify the A-MTC itself. You might want to use the Copy-to-clickboard icon before you begin.

Hallo afre,
yes, you can touch the nodes and change their position, additionally adjust the tonal values with the sliders.
My question is whether you can “improve” the results of A-MTC with it, or whether there is an inner confilct, which will worsen the tonal values in the end.

The word “improve” is too vague. You can change the look by modifying the AMTC itself or modifying the second curve that is available. It shouldn’t make a difference. Whether that improves the photo or not is a question of taste.

The purpose of the algorithm is to bring you close to the JPG; however, it may fail in edge cases, as do all algorithms. One way to help improve it is to provide examples where it fails for the devs to look at, guess and then confirm the reason. We already know some of that, where framing, vignetting, etc., makes the raw differ from the OOC JPG.

Even then, if quality post-processing matters to you, you would still need to make additional adjustments, which means my suggestion to adjust the sliders and curves is still relevant.

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Thank you…