So I mentioned this problem briefly in another thread, but I’ve often have trouble working on some pictures in Darktable, especially when compared to the original JPEG generated by the camera. Here’s an example.
This is the JPEG as rendered by my Fujifilm X-T2:
And this is the same picture, as rendered from the
RAF file by Darktable, after only minimal modification (a null crop, basically):
Notice how the bridge is completely different: the colors are just completely off. I’m not even sure how to describe that problem, but to my eyes, it’s purple-ish in the original JPEG while in the rendered one, it’s deep blue. Also notice how the deep blue color matches the blue on top of the building to the left, and that blue is consistent with the original JPEG.
More generally, I find that the default Darktable rendering is more “flat” than the original JPEG from the camera: the images lack contrast, colors are weird and everything has this “tame” look. I had a similar feeling when working on RAW files from my Canon Powershot G12, so maybe that’s just expected. I know that RAW files are different, out of the box of course. But I feel that the second I open that darkroom tab, I have already an uphill battle to reach some basic levels to get back at the original JPEG to actually start doing what I need. My experience with other RAW rendering software (can I mention Lightroom here without getting beaten up? :)) is quite different there…
So this all means I often work directly on the JPEG instead of the RAW files, which Darktable is obviously not really tailored for. (There I particularly have trouble with the fact that photo stars are not sync’d between the RAW and JPEG versions, and that only the RAW is shown when “grouping” pictures. So to work on JPEGs, I need to “ungroup” pictures and skip the RAW files… )
I’d understand if the response was “Darktable isn’t for you, clueless newbie”: maybe I just don’t understand basecurves or RAW rendering enough to be productive with Darktable… But I want to learn and I’d really like to understand what’s going on when that kind of stuff happens (which is not always!).
Here’s the original RAF file and sidecar files: