Fullscreen preview looks correct, but I can't reproduce it in darkroom

I’ve read through different threads, and even asked on Stack Exchange, but I’m still struggling with this. I have a Sony Alpha 6000, and when I import my photos into the lighttable, they look correct to me. However, when I open them in the darkroom, they do not.

Darktable recognizes my camera and lens, but lens correction is always turned off by default. I’d like to be able to apply this by default for photos taken with this camera. Also, I shoot in 16:9 and the crop is never applied by default. I’d like Darktable to apply whatever aspect ratio was set by the camera.

By default, Darktable applies sharpening, orientation and base curve, and the base curve automatically applies ‘Sony Alpha - like’. However, if I apply a style to a shot on my camera, like vivid colors, this will not show in the darkroom and I have to try and reproduce it there. The styles do render in fullscreen preview.

Once I’ve tweaked the photo in any way, I can no longer preview it as it was when it came off the phone. So, while I’m sure i’m asking a beginner question here, I need to know: how do I bring the imported settings into the darkroom?

Darktable obviously knows what the image is supposed to look like if it can generate a fullscreen preview. So I’m sure it must be able to produce this in the darkroom.

You can save presets that will be automatically applied when you load images from certain cameras. Just click on ‘save new preset’ and activate the auto apply features:

The preview you’re seeing is probably the embedded JPG preview inside the raw.


Agreed. The lighttable displays the embedded JPG preview until you have opened it in the darkroom, after which point the lighttable displays the picture as edited. You can bring back the preview of the embedded JPG by discarding the history stack in the lighttable, though obviously you’ll lose any work you’ve done on the image.

Thanks for the replies. pphoto, darktable does automatically apply lens correction — it just doesn’t turn this module on. If I create a new preset for lens correction and have it apply automatically, this doesn’t turn on the module by default.

auxym, I think you’re right, and I’m looking at the embedded JPG. Assuming that JPG remains intact after I edit the raw, is there a way to access the JPG later in Darktable?

If you want to use the embedded jpg as comparison with your edits, you could create a duplicate of the raw you’re editing and discard the history stack of the duplicate. Alternatively there are command-line utilities that you can use to extract the jpeg preview from the raw file.