Noise reduction compared to LightRoom

Thanks for the attempt !
It is really more obvious on people skin, but if we zoom a little, we can compare the result between LightRoom and your RawTherapee processing (left if LT, right is RT):

The result with LightRoom seems to be more pleasant to the eyes.
Again, I don’t want to appear as a pixel peeper/snob zooming like this, but the difference is really visible without zooming too much with people face.

I don’t really mind working a bit more with RawTherapee to achieve a similar result with LightRoom. But so far even after having spent hours, I couldn’t achieve as well as 5 minutes with LightRoom (as a total noob, I only installed LT to have a point of comparison, but never actually used it before).
I must be doing something wrong, because nobody else seems to have problem with RT noise reduction.

[quote=“Jessie, post:16, topic:2887, full:true”]
The result with LightRoom seems to be more pleasant to the eyes.
Again, I don’t want to appear as a pixel peeper/snob zooming like this, but the difference is really visible without zooming too much with people face.[/quote]
To be honest, I prefer the RT result, although there is still some more grain. The LR version looks flat (washed out) to me regarding color and contrast.


First, read this:

If you want to compare noise reduction and make statements that the output from one program looks more flat than another, then you should first make both programs handle the image as similarly as possible. Specifically you should set LR to neutral, then set exposure compensation in RawTherapee to match LR, and then use a tone curve to finalize look. LR’s neutral uses a s-shaped tone curve, RT’s neutral is really neutral. The PP3 I downloaded from the first post has exposure compensation set to +1EV, flat tone curves and it does not use a DCP input profile with tone curve - that alone means you are not comparing apples to apples. Spot-check pixel values to make sure they match between both programs. Once you do that, then you can compare noise reduction and see which version is really more flat.

… yes, and once the two images are similar, you can use “ImageJ” and start an analysis of the mean, standard deviation and Kurtosis of an identical line or area on both images.

Well I started trying to start from the exact same starting point, but heckflosse told me that

Isn’t getting an equivalent final result better than getting an equivalent starting point?

Anyway your attempt is so far the closest I have seen to the result of LightRoom:

Only the background is more noisy.

I’ve looked at your pp3 and noticed that you used the s-shaped tone curve. However you haven’t used a DCP input profile with tone curve. Did I misunderstand your explanation ?

Ok so here is an example with real humans (RAW+pp3):

And here is the result with LightRoom and RawTherapee

Here are some quick comparisons between LR and RT (LR left, RT right):

Basically I would love to learn how to reach the result of LightRoom. So far my attempts at RawTherapee failed from quite a margin.
I would prefer a simple method but with a little worse result, as I won’t have enough time and experience for sophisticated methods.

Thank you very much in advance,

I don’t have LR or any Adobe software so I don’t have the DCP. I used the curve to get the tones into the same ballpark, but there are still differences, as you saw in the background - the background in the RT version is significantly brighter than in the LR version. This is important - making darks darker kills off significant amounts of noise, so you cannot compare LR to RT if one is dropping the dark tones and the other is not. If you get the DCP for your camera there’s a high chance that it will make both programs treat the tones in a similar way.

@Jessie take a look at her scarf in the crop you posted. In LR’s version the scarf is clipped black. Do the same in RT, use a curve to lower the dark tones, and straight away you have less noise to deal with. Then remove noise without overdoing it following the steps detailed in RawPedia Noise Reduction - RawPedia

This PP3 is based on my previous one, I just lowered the dark tones, enabled auto chroma NR and chromatic aberration auto-correction in the “Raw” tab, and tweaked the luminance NR sliders.
SAM_1680.SRW.pp3 (9.3 KB)

Is it possible to export the camera DCP from LightRoom or do I have to do the whole manupulation with the Xrite passport checker ?

Thanks here are the comparison with LightRoom:

We are now much closer to LightRoom, even if LightRoom is still (IMHO) really better (especially on the first face with the black scarf).

I have never used LR, but has got the impression, that its default camera profile is Adobe Standard. If you looking for that, just follow these tips to get it (and much more):

[quote=“Jessie, post:25, topic:2887”]
We are now much closer to LightRoom, even if LightRoom is still (IMHO) really better (especially on the first face with the black scarf).
[/quote]It looks like there is much more noise reduction on the LR samples. For example, look at the teeth in the second example. They’ve become skin colored because the chroma channel was essentially nuked.
Im no RT expert but the way I would do this using RT would be with the wavelets.
Another thing that might bite you on the luma side is sharpening. Make sure the threshold is set high enough, or it’s going to bring out all of that noise.

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I don’t know about exporting, but you can find it on your hard drive. See How to get LCP and DCP profiles - RawPedia

I always find wavelet noise reduction works well.

It is the only noise reduction tool I use in Rawtherapee.

Slightly off topic , Darktable is incredible for noise removal. I just enable the noise reduction for Camera and ISO and set it to wavelet. I never see any noise in Darktable :slight_smile:

RawTherapee has some advanced features that are hard to understand, but can be extremely helpful in solving this problem.

Under the Details tab, the bulk of my noise reduction is under the Noise Reduction using curves for both luminance and chrominance.

Targeting higher levels of noise reduction for the nearly black levels for luminance NR and low chominance levels for chrominance NR are the keys for me and my camera.

The two controls seem to get the job done pretty well. However, the way to apply this to all images is a little rough. I have a PP3 generator i created for myself. I understand there is one that someone made which can help you every time you open an image to change these (and other) parameters when opening a file based on the camera, lens, ISO, shutter speed, etc. The key I have found for each of these is to adjust the Luminance - Detail and the Chrominance - Master values based on the ISO for my D5100. Hopefully you can find a similar relationship for your camera.

SAM_1611.SRW.pp3 (9.4 KB)

When it comes to the people example, my method produces more noise than the examples above, however, I like the result better myself. However, I fiddled with the curve and got a reasonable result.

SAM_1680.SRW.pp3 (9.5 KB)

Have fun playing!

Tooltip fixed.

I came to Rawtherapee because I was really underwhelmed by Darktable noise reduction and color rendering.
Others have the same conclusion:

I may really be a matter of taste, but I find your result really less optimal than the one that I obtained with LightRoom.
Thanks for the attempt and the explanation though !

I found the LightRoom DCP profiles here:
drive_c/Program Files/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.7.1/Resources/CameraProfiles/Adobe Standard
Here is the file for my camera:

Indeed I loaded the DCP tone curve in RawTherapee and the color seems to be much similar to LightRoom now.
However there is no improvement on the noise reduction.
As usual LT on the left and RT on the right.

From what I see at a quick glance at the crops above - you need to cut down on luminance NR a notch, and push down those blacks a bit from exposure panel by some 15% (increase black slider value)