Nikon D5600 RAW NEF and DCP Tone Curve Option

I’m getting some really good color matching using a Nikon D5600 NEF RAW image alongside the D5600 camera processed JPEG images by switching on “Tone Curve” for the D5600 DCP profile!

My current process follows:

Using the Neutral Rawtherapee profile alongside the included camera automatically detected DCP profile.

Once the Color > DCP “Tone Curve” option is checked, colors brighten and match pretty good. (Funny, the option states if one isn’t available for the D5600 DCP profile, this option is not activated by default, but upon checking the option colors significantly improve.) I then activate Exposure > “Tone Mapping” (using just the default values), and colors further look at their peak desirable appearance. At this point, I then slightly adjust Exposure > Dark and Light values, along with some very slight modifications to Contrast/Saturation, and the image looks really awesome!

Basically I get an image looking almost looking exactly like the camera processed image by using the tone mapping options, then I fiddle with the previously mentioned light/dark/contrast/saturation values slightly to make the image look far better than the camera process image. Of course I forgot to mention one of the first steps I always perform, activate Detail > Noise Reduction > Luminance/“Luminance Detail”.

Any feedback on what I’ve performed here when activating Tone Curves for the DCP and Exposure menu?

If I am doing things correctly here, then I’ll continue posting this info to my own little homepage for other owners of the Nikon D5600.

So far, I pretty much seem to have the basic D5600 raw NEF editing required documented there for the beginners. (eg. adjusting image luminance detail, lens distortion adjustments if needed, …) If I’m on the ball here, admittedly by luck, then I’ll likely top-off my homepage howto with these details as well.

I should also state I’m using the Neutral profile, instead of the bundled Default RawTherapee profile. (I’ll try correcting this in my original post above.)

I always enable the DCP tone curve option, as it gives a neutral profile with more realistic contrast to the scene, less flat.

Using the DCP tone curve requires enabling the look table as well. The effect of the DCP tone curve can be replicated using either of the curves in the Exposure tool in “Film-like” mode.

This screenshot shows a neutral PP3 applied, then the DCP tone curve and look table were enabled:

This screenshot shows a neutral PP3 was applied, then the DCP look table was enabled, and Tone Curve 1 was used to recreate an identical look to the DCP tone curve:

DCP tone curve.pp3 (10.5 KB)
DCP tone curve.rtc (141 Bytes)

One of the items I’m trying to discern, does the Nikon D5600 DCP profile
(submitted by myself recently) include a “Tone curve” as well? If it does,
then shouldn’t the “Tone Curve” be automatically checked as the hover-over
info states, “This setting is only enabled if the selected DCP has a tone
curve.” Regardless, checking this unchecked “Tone Curve” box here using
the automatically detected RawTherapee included D5600 DCP profile (eg.
Auto-matched camera profile) upon a Neutral profile (instead of default),
applies a color curve very similar to the Nikon in camera processed color

So, is it a bug and tone curve for D5600 created images should have “Tone
Curve” checked, or is there no “Tone Curve” for the included Nikon D5600
DCP profile for RawTherapee, and RawTherapee is applying a generic Tone
Curve upon checking this box? (And the tone curve applied just so happens
to be a really good match towards the camera processed tone curve.)

I don’t know about your DCP.

I’ve been generating RawTherapee’s new DCPs since about 2 years, and all of them include a tone curve. That includes NIKON D5600.dcp.

That’s a false dilemma. It is neither a bug nor does the bundled DCP lack a tone curve. It is simply at the user’s discretion whether to use the DCP tone curve and look table or not.

The .dcp file for the old Canon 5D has not a tone curve. Am I wrong?

So the bug really is with the mouse hover-over information. Rewording to something like, “Your camera DCP profile may include a tone-curve (etc), enabling this option may provide better (color) tone.” instead of the misleading currently worded, “If your camera includes a tone curve, this option is automatically enabled.” (Threw me a complete curve ball thinking I should not enable the option!) And, investing $100 for the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport including my time was obviously well worth the benefits!

I also enabled CIECAM02 per the Exposure > Tone menu mouse hover-over info, although likely provides a very slight barely noticeable difference here. (Likely mainly for larger color space monitors.) I think the major option is enabling tone curve for DCP profiles here. Makes the images’ color/tone much more realistic looking. (Without the tone curve enabled, the default image color tone looked horrid or unusable in comparison to the in-camera processed image, or required too much editing.)

I’ve put together a small Nikon (D5600) & RawTherapee “how to” on my own website with this information for other raw enthusiasts. Should save lots of time, allowing newer Nikon (D5600, etc) users to focus on using other corrections such as lens correction, etc when needed. I’ve yet to augment my page with enabling CIECAM02 (Exposure > Tone) options including this recent information, more accurate info.

RawTherapee & Nikon DSLR Cameras

You can probably save yourself the reading my how to page… as the page just duplicates what I’ve already post here within the forums. And, I’ve finally started using the photos produced from RawTherapee…

(See the second image on this Wikipedia page below the first image.)7
(Short URL for Nikon Image Space:

(@#$@#$ darn cat just jumped up on the keyboard wanting snacks… OK… good to go! Oh, and the title of that cicada image, “Bokeh the Beautiful!”)

@Aleph You are not wrong.

@rogerx agreed that it should be re-worded.

Which “Exposure > Tone menu mouse hover-over info”, what does it say?

CIECAM02 is not about monitor gamut.

“Too much editing” is an exaggeration, as I demonstrated above. It takes just one tone curve to do the same. But I do agree that either enabling the DCP tone curve + DCP look table or doing the same via an Exposure tone curve + DCP look table does quickly make the image more pleasant. Then again, if you intend on being creative with the Exposure/L*a*b*/CIECAM02 curves, I often find that disabling the DCP tone curve helps, because then you’re dealing with an image which has only been gamma-corrected, without tonal manipulation on top of that other than your own.


although I agree that it would be a good idea to enable the tone curve (and look table) by default, given that many people (and new users in particular) like to start from a look that is as close as feasible to the out-of-camera JPEG, I think what you write above is not quite accurate. Two things:

  1. the tooltip is correct. It says that the setting “enable tone curve” will be greyed out if the selected DCP profile doesn’t provide a tone curve. It doesn’t say that the curve is applied automatically if the DCP profile has one.

  2. “better” is highly subjective, and I don’t think it belongs in a tooltip that describes an option


The tool tip upon mouse hover over DCP Tone Curve & Look Table I’m seeing for rawtherapee-5.2 states, “Employ the embedded DCP tone curve. The setting is only enabled if the selected DCP has a tone curve.” The same for Look Table.

I think I now see what the mouse hover-over tooltip statement is likely trying to state, the option will be enabled (but not activated), allowing the user to activate the option per their choice.

“Employ the embedded DCP tone curve. The setting (is disabled by default and) can be activated only if the selected DCP has a tone curve.”

I tend to agree concerning “better looking”. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Regardless… think Morgan already instituted a change on this. Yup, checking GIT, I can see he implemented the term, “available”. Sounds good to me!

1 Like

Hi there.
I’m trying to draw your attention to a thread that discusses the film negative module usage.

(environment: RT-5.8, win10, nikon D750)

Could you please help me determine how the “look table” attribute should be used?

  • yes, I have read rawpedia and the tooltips. I’ve understood that tone curves and look tables should be used in combination, except for advanced uses.

==> what would be considered advanced uses?

Basically, as stated in the thread I’ve shared, I think I need to be sure RGB channels are not getting distorted relative to one another [I don’t want any “picture control” to interfere with colour rendition of what’s scanned], i.e. if there’s some transfer function (a curve) applied to one channel, it should be the same for the other channels.

I hope what I’m saying makes sense.

Thanks for letting me know.

Simply, the look table input depends on the prior application of the tone curve, I think. Lookup tables, or LUTs, are “input sensitive”, so to speak, as they are essentially 'hard-coded" to transform the image from a given starting point. So, if you were to turn off the tone curve but keep the look table enabled, you’re not likely to like the outcome…

Yours is a lament that reinforces an opinion I’ve formed, and that is so-called “look” transforms in profiles is confusing to folk trying to figure out how all this works. Particularly a lookup table transform, as modification of both color and tone can be baked into one of those things.

1 Like

Ditto what ggbutcher states. Enable both.

I found when trying to attain duplicate Nikon D5600 NEF raw image file in-camera and Capture NX-D results when compared to RawTherapee results, I apparently had to enable all three, Tone Curve, Base Table and Look Table.

Upon further examination,

  1. Disabling Tone Curve seems to provide a Flat profile, similar to Nikons Flat profile? (I haven’t done a direct comparison, but seems pretty close to me!)

  2. Watch the RGB histogram while enabling/disabling each, Base Table and/or Look Table. You’ll notice one option increase/decreases the channels up & down. The other option moves the channels to the left or right.

I have documented attaining duplicate (or close to duplicate and/or likely better) results on my webpage.

RawTherapee & Nikon DSLR Cameras

Just wish these options to attain identical neutral color profile results were set by default after reading in a raw image, likely grepping by camera make. I’ve further enabled dynamic profiles, but all this is quite tedious work for those wanting only to click & play.

As far as the other DCP standard, etc profiles, although interesting, no real plans for using such profiles within my profiles. Although the flat profile looks interesting, I do not have such upper-class clean well staged house interiors (as in Nikon’s example photo for the flat profile) for it’s use!

1 Like

@ggbutcher, @rogerx,
thanks for your prompt feedback.

I’ll try to clarify. In my current context (i.e. digitising colour negatives with my Nikon D750),

A. I am not trying to reach what my camera jpg engine or capture NX-D would give me, as I have practically no idea what it corresponds to.

  • Unless I am missing something obvious in Nikon Capture NX-D or Nikon Picture Control Utility, I have no way of knowing what would be the most “linear and homogeneous (across all channels)” profile (or “picture control” setting, in Nikon camera vocabulary).
  • stated differently: I know that, e.g., the “landscape” setting seems to process greens and blues very differently from the “portrait” setting. But, I don’t know of a way to see the insides of these settings, on an R, G, and B channel basis. Same goes for the “flat” setting - I have no way of knowing how flat it is.

B. I just want to configure the DCP options properly so I have something that’s essentially what the “linear response” option in Capture One seems to achieve, cf. this page.

  • Agree. But the other way around, it’s much more difficult to judge. And in my case, deactivating the “look table” option gives me, apparently, reds that are closer to what I believe film was able to record (both in terms of hue and saturation).

I think you need to be careful in using Capture 1 to depict a true linear RGB. We’ve discussed that here in the context of raw files vice the renditions from Capture 1 and other software. It’s evident Capture 1 is doing something prior to presenting “linear” that other software is not.

If you just select the Neutral profile in RawTherapee, you should get true “linear”. That would be just the color transform from the DCP, with no “look” transforms enabled. I don’t regularly use RawTherapee, but when I do it’s usually to compare processing to what I get from my hack software, which I KNOW delivers neutral, and it and the RT neutral are virtually identical.

Edit: Note that in using a camera to copy negatives, you’re not getting the opportunity to re-measure the original light in the scene, so the colors you can expect are all about what was originally recorded on the film. And that is rather hard to judge with the orange cast…

Ah. Now I see what you’re doing.

I have a Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark 2 USB scanner for scanning
negatives and reflective photos. I also use VueScan (on Linux), and
have purchased the lifetime option. There’s also aftermarket assorted
sized negative holders for flatbed scanners.

As already stated, use the Neutral profile, both in camera and within
RawTherapee; enabling the Color DCP settings, Tone Curve, Base Table,
Look Table. You’ll also need to acquire your lens profile, from the
Adobe Camera Raw Windows package, else you’ll have some possible minor
lens deformation on side by side comparisons.

You’ll want to neutralize the negative masking to a see through clear.
Usaully, the masking is orange in color. Once the masking is see
through, you’ll have the colors usually intended with the exception of
film aging and other anomalies.

Sounds like a lot of work using a camera, along with the problem of
trying to keep the negative film flat while photographing, along with
using a caliberated backlight.

For this purpose, is why I have a Canon 9000f Mark 2 flatbed scanner
and VueScan. Using this combination, can scan negatives, neutralize
the masking (see VueScan instructions for neutralizing negative
masking) and save into a raw file for backup. Much easier and with
reproductive results versus using a non caliberated camera setup.

I have not tried any of the devoted negative scanners. From what I’ve
heard, the recent PlusTek negative scanners (similar to the famous
Nikon scanner) now have recent VueScan Linux drivers, but I have not
verified. Looks like Kodak, after ~20 years of scanning, is now trying
to jump into this market.

I scanned many types of old family photos/negatives several years ago
using the flatbed and VueScan. Scanned to raw, then produced
TIFF/JPEGS; saved to Bluray BD-R media. I also have a Canon Selphy
CP1200 for making prints on the new durable photo paper.

Would be nice to have a function within RawTherapee to neutralize the
negative masking to clear, for your purpose.

That’s the gist of it. If you do not care about estimating the ooc jpegs, then start with Neutral, and only enable the “Base table” for your dcp. Only when your profile does not have a base table (which is rare in my experience), should you enable the “Look table”. If both of them are available, stick to the base one, otherwise you have some arbitrary color “look” applied.

@nonophuran: Despite what @rogerx claims, you don’t need the “Tone curve”, unless you want to have a quick fix to have your image match the tone of the ooc jpeg / manufacturer’s look. In most cases you actually want to use the “Auto-tone curve” option on the Exposure tab for that, which was specifically developed for this goal and works more generally.

Or you make use of the lensfun database used in RT. In many cases you don’t need Adobe’s profiles.

Not a 100% sure what you mean here, but this sounds like something a flat-field correction could do? Any discussion related to negative processing is actually better suited here where it originally started: Any interest in a "film negative" feature in RT ?


@ggbutcher Asking from a point of ignorance…there are tone curve options in the exposure controls of RT and you can also enable a tone curve in the dcp profile. Is it either or??? So if I intent to go neutral in exposure and enable the curve from the dcp profile is that a standard for processing the image. I am asking as I have a new pixel phone that will save DNG files and I am trying to understand a workflow wrt the tone curve settings. I don’t think RT supports those camera’s directly but if there is information embedded in the DNG then it will try to apply that from the camera profile?? I have done a quick search and not really found any info about the pixel DNG files…I do have the dcp files from Adobe for the phone so I could apply them in color management and enable the tone curve but then I am not sure how that now relates to settings made in exposure…in essence it would appear that you could be applying the same or similar tone curve twice?? Any clarification from those of you who understand this more fully would be greatly appreciated…Thanks in advance…