How to find the right import filter settings

(Thomas Schmidt) #1


What is the best way to setup the RAW import? I really love the JPGs coming out of my Olympus OM-D E-M1 without any settings. Correct colors, nice dynamic range, high contrasts. Is there a step by step workflow to achieve these settings? What setting has to be changed first? What test images do I need?

Attached are screenshots from RawTherapee 4.2.0 with JPG above and below the RAW with default auto settings (both cropped).

(Mica) #2

You can use the tools in rawtherapee to adjust your raw file until you get something similar to the jpg, and you can save those adjustments and apply them to other photos. However, I suggest you start playing with the tools in rawtherapee and once you start to get a handle on how the tools work, I think you’ll find the results more pleasing than the jpeg.

For instance, in your jpeg the skin still looks a bit under exposed, though the orange jacket seems to be good. In the default raw file, the clouds and water have better contrast than in the jpeg.

(Morgan Hardwood) #3

(Thomas Schmidt) #4


I know that there are a lot of settings to modify the look of the image but what I need at first are neutral colors like in the JPG. I took the photo underexposed and need it exactly like this. Then I can start the adjustments @paperdigits talked about.

(Mica) #5

Jpegs from the camera are generally not neutral and have a decent amount of processing applied to them. In Darktable (I think) there are presets for different DSLR types; flipping through them, I find it amazing just how different the processing presets are.


What do you want to do to the camera JPGs, which you already like? RT can probably do some, maybe all, of those changes. Open the JPG in RT, but save TIF files while you work in order to maintain highest possible image quality.

Or you can try to find a recipe that you can apply to raw files. You can read the white balance in the Exif of the JPG and set RT to the same temperature and tint. The exposure slider, the Lab-L curve, and the Lab brightness slider are tools for you to try to match the contrast of the JPG. As already noted, camera JPG colors are put through an unpublished set of changes to get the Olympus look, the Fuji look, the Canon look, etc. Some of the color tools you can use to go from a raw file to an approximation of the JPG are the Channel Mixer and the HSV Equalizer. Compare a JPG color with what you have from the raw and ask yourself questions like, did Olympus add more red to orange? If you achieve your goal, save those settings in a partial .pp3 file and use it on future raw files.

(Morgan Hardwood) #7

If you want neutral colors, use the “Neutral” processing profile in RawTherapee. The JPEG is anything but.

(Morgan Hardwood) #8

It’s much easier to use the “Camera” white balance setting, though the temperature and tint values are idiosyncratic to each raw processing program (or to the input color profile) and should not be considered correct or special or relied upon to the last number - the same values will produce different colors in different programs.

In most cases, matching a JPEG to a raw file can be completely accomplished using just a proper camera input profile (ICC/DCP), one tone curve, and optionally the HH and LH curves. Doing this is generally a waste of time and missing the point.

(Thomas Schmidt) #9

Thanks a lot for pointing out which settings might be important.

Let me explain what I am talking about with two other images. Here you can see that RawTherapee really does it wrong. The JPG is ok and not very “Olympus like”. The RAW below is not “neutral”. After adjusting the exposure and colors I still get pink skin tones and not the well balanced colors of the JPG. When I did a mapping that really fits, the resulting settings did not work for other RAW files.

Thanks @Morgan_Hardwood for pointing to that very interesting wiki page. If I understand correctly RawTherapee is missing a profile for my Olympus camera at the moment. This is exactly what I am asking for in this thread and what I would like to build. Maybe I can get the DCP file from Lightroom and import it.

These are the source files if anyone is interested:

(Ingo Weyrich) #10

If you apply ‘neutral profile’ to the hat-shot you’ll see pinkish overexposed areas. This is caused by a wrong white point for your camera I guess. @ilias_giarimis can tell you more about that and how to avoid that.

(Morgan Hardwood) #11

Adobe DNG Converter includes a whole set of Olympus E-M1 DCP profiles:

These screenshots show how your photo looks using each of them, all looking better than the JPEG:
Keep your eye on the History panel in the screenshots to see which DCP profile was applied.
I forgot to turn the DCP Tone Curve on for the Adobe Standard profile, so I uploaded another screenshot using it at the end.
scrot_2016-04-20 004933 is the JPEG.

(Thomas Schmidt) #12

Oh sorry and thanks a lot. I already installed Adobe DNG Converter searching for Lens Correction files. But there are non. Adobe’s converter is savvy and fetches the correction profile for Olympus lenses directly out of the RAW file. I completely missed the camera profiles there.

Yes, they look good. I simply needed to adjust exposure and white balance, but this depends on the image of course and is always necessary.

(Ilias Giarimis) #13

Ingo, I don’t see pinkish overexposed areas on netaction’s samples !!!.
Athough (after RT changed behaviour on highlight rendering) it’s safer to set lower white level in camconst.json from 4094 to the more conservative 4080 …
… this change will be in the upcoming camconst.json update …

(Morgan Hardwood) #14

You can see the pink in P4190801.ORF using Neutral.

(Ilias Giarimis) #15

It΄s not visible in my win32 RT !!
Version: 4.2.781
Changeset: 71dd6a6e596ad89b14849ede9810d2ba3117888c

although I can measure it !! (R100%, G99.2-99.6%, B100%).

In anyway, we will be fine with WL=4080 …


I think the problem is that RT does not import ORF files correctly from start, in general, they are too dark and too little saturated.
I have managed to find a workaround: basically you need to go to color - color managment - camera specific profile - dcp - activate tone curve + base table

I have posted a tutorial in German on my weblog:
And there I also provide a pp3 based on the built-in pp3 “neutral”. You can set this up as a dynamic profile so RT imports all your ORFs correctly. At least this appears to work with my E-M10.
But I think there were similar problems with my Canon back then.
Hope this is useful for some people.

(Morgan Hardwood) #17

This shows a lack of understanding of a basic tenet of all versions of RawTherapee (up till 5.4 which has not been released yet). Since you are writing RT tutorials, perhaps you should first read RawPedia to ensure that the information you disseminate is not false.


as this thread was bumped up, I made an afterthought that doesn’t need an answer
If people are so happy with jpg OOB, why the hell they bother to process the raws to obtain the same result?

(Sebastien Guyader) #19

At first I thought about the same as you. Then, I realized that sometimes one like the overall look obtained from OOC jpg, but you can’t stand some of the specific issues like clipped highlights or shadows. Thus, in RT one can find satisfaction by starting from an OOC-like rendering, but with the added bonus of being able to correct the flaws mentioned above in RT. In the end you may get an image with the overall pleasing look, with less flaws.

(Alberto) #20

I don’t think this is an either/or alternative. Camera companies put a lot of effort in getting OOC jpegs good. Why waste all that research and work by smart people? I agree with @sguyader, sometimes the OOC jpeg looks great overall, and you just want to retain the flexibility of shooting raw in case something goes wrong (bad lighting, blown highlights, too aggressive denoise, and so on…). YMMV, of course.