What are your favorite things about RawTherapee?

(Glenn Butcher) #24

That’d be my favorite thing also.

(Andrew) #25

I think Wavelets is a big attraction. As well as the contrast sliders I like Residual Image adjustments. Wavelets much improved a recent photo I took at a nature reserve, here’s a small section -

(Flössie) #26

Yep, CIECAM02 combined with tonemapping really rocks for twilight HDRs. :metal:


Humans are simple, so every screenshot has to show amazing images!!
I remember when I started with RT and looked for youtube videos, the ones I found where explaining the functions of some tools on ugly boring pictures. Now technically that is ok, but emotionally it is a huge turn-off.
Something like @s7habo post where you see a dull before and amazing after image also works great optically.
I would probalby present different topics of interest. Maybe four (amazing) images with titles alluding to specific strengths of RT, and with a link to the specific field of interest. These interesting topics could be imho:

  • RT does very good and realistic basic processing (noise, sharpen, exposure, lens correction, demosaic, etc)
  • RT has great possibilies to work on color and luminances (LAB, all the things the color tab)
  • RT has great tools for images that need special treatment, like high contrast images, flat images (local contrast, dynamic range compression, etc)
  • RT has great tools if you really need to go the extra mile (Wavelets, Retinex, CIE)
(Boris Hajdukovic) #28

consider this: :point_down:

and this:

Phase 1:

looks at the shiny webpage of the tool, with many beautiful colorful pictures and examples.

“Wow, nice tool. Let’s try this!!!”

downloads, installs and opens RawTherapee - plays with sliders - not a bad result = :+1:

Phase 2:

opens RawTherapee - plays with sliders - weird result = :angry:
asks stupid questions - reads user manual - moves slider accordingly - better result = :+1:

Phase 3:

A few weeks later…
lies lazy in sofa with tablet, bored - reads user manual - screams:


opens RawTherapee - moves slider accordingly - excellent result = :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

“Why the hell didn’t I read this 1000 edits earlier??”

reads user manual even more - learns the basics about colors

I recommend to consider this when renewing the website :wink:


I don’t use RT seriously. Had a look only a few times.
What I immediately liked:

The clear and fixed menu structure (darktable with their menu jumping modules is a mess)

One more thing, because I really wanted to try a DCP camera profile - that’s really easy in RT (DT has no DCP support).

I need to spend a bit more time with RT.

(Wayne Sutton) #30

RT’s options for handling DCP files and tone curve options are what made me switch permanently from Lr to RT. Lr applies an input ‘base’ curve to DCP profiles which often causes hue and saturation shifts. You can’t switch this curve off and you cannot adjust the curve mode (similar to RT’s Film Like from what I gather). Most photographers I know are quite happy with that and know how to compensate for it.
However, with RT, you have the option of turning off the DCP tone curve and using RT’s tone curves in whatever mode suits best as a starting point for processing. I have found that using the Adobe DCP profiles for my camera with the DCP tone curve turned off and an auto-matched RT curve in Perceptual mode gives me a starting point that is very close to what I get with Canon’s DPP. I’m a happy camper :slight_smile:

(Michael) #31

Hallo MOrgan_Hardwood
the big help I got in “px” made my introduction to RT a lot easier. And then the very good results I got with Auto-Matched Curve encouraged me to get serious about this program (despite the infinite number of settings).
Thanks to everyone on the team.

(Hansgeorg) #32

Hello altogether,
what started to give me a feeling of success were the profiles that Sebastien Guyader provided some time ago to simulate Fuji colours.
Especially the tone curves pointed out what I always did wrong before - thanks a lot for this, @sguyader ! And to all of the developers who are doing such a great job with RT :+1:

(JegMeg) #33

Do you have a link to the profiles ?

(Hansgeorg) #34

I think the first place where I saw them was on dpreview forum, but in this thread

Sebastien posted a link on github:

(JegMeg) #35

Thanks :grinning:


Hi! I migrated to RawTherapee from Iridient Developer because of RT’s automatic transversal CA removal and the manual longitudinal defringing.
Many thanks to all of you developers who create, maintain and develop this marvellous software!

(The Squirrel Mafia) #37

The wonderful developers like heckflosse that has helped me out over on Pentax Forums several times.

The ease of creating .pp3 files with different NR settings for each ISO that ends up cutting post processing times.

The ease of searching by ISO, applying a .pp3 file to a bunch of images with the same ISO, & batching them all out at the same time is awesome.

Just too much good stuff & it’s all for free!

(Torben Früchtenicht) #38

One favorite thing about RawTherapee nobody seems to have mentioned yet (or I did not spot it in the thread): about 10 years ago when I switched to RAWs, RawTherapee was the only serious non-proprietary choice for RAW processing on Linux! There were other tools but they were either rather inconvenient to use or they were both proprietary (Bibble, Lightzone) and not really meeting the requirements I had - like not overwhelming me as a RAW rookie. RawTherapee on the other hand was quite straightforward back then.

Addendum: Ah, after going down memory lane a bit I discovered that actually, RawTherapee back then was proprietary, too - but available at no cost (although iirc I donated some €s to Gabor Horvath)

(Pat Cunn) #39

When I started out in photography, I was just a sophomore in highschool (15 year old in primary public education for those that aren’t familiar with the US education system). The next Christmas I got a used DSLR for Christmas, and neither me nor my parents could afford Photoshop/Lightroom (Back when it cost an arm and a leg to make the purchase upfront). So I think I downloaded the first free raw processor I found on Google, which happened to be Rawtherapee. At first, I judged it to be somewhat inferior to the adobe products I had some access to at school, somewhat based on legitimate comparative weaknesses, and some on baseless internet dogma of the supremacy of the Adobe Camera Raw engine. Nonetheless, I still used rawtherapee, as it was my only option for editing photos at home.

At first, I was somewhat overwhelmed by all the confusing options, although I knew enough basic theory to know what I was doing. As I learned how to use Rawtherapee through mostly experimentation with a little reading of the documentation, the amount of control and lack of doing things under the hood really accelerated my learning the practical process and technical theory of raw processing (I doubt that many Lightroom/Photoshop users even know what demosaicing is, and trying to increase the color saturation without getting terrible out of gammut color blobs with Lab color S-Curves is so much more educational than just dragging a vibrancy slider up that does all the thinking for you). As such, I credit learning on Rawtherapee for how much knowledge and confidence editing as I do now.

In the last few years, I acquired the budget for buying a Sony Capture One full liscence, or doing a Creative Cloud subscription, but I ultimately chose not to, as one, I had grown accustomed to the power and control I had with the Lab color tab and all the different convenient curve options it had, which allowed me to do complicated color corrections efficiently, that I’d have to create a mess of complicated masks to do the same thing in Photoshop, and forget even trying in Lightroom. Also, Wavelets are so much more powerful and capable than a single clarity slider. There was so many obscure features in Rawtherapee that I came to rely on, such as dark frame subtraction, demosaicing algorithm control, RL deconvolution, which looks much more organic than LR sharpening whilst increasing resolution, flatfields (can be used to eliminate sensor dust spots in a pinch). Still, initial impressions from inexperienced users are going to favor the capabilities of Lightroom noise reduction, but once one gets versed with tuning the noise reduction in Rawtherapee, the comparison becomes a wash. Then, since RT 5.0 and more recent updates, Rawtherapee started to really fix a lot of its shortcomings, with more tonemapping algorithms, better performance on Windows (Rawtherapee can now process 24 megapixel files on my family’s decade old Windows 7 desktop, in which previously, it would crash easily), even more color controls, Lensfun, a functioning and competitive shadows/highlights control that doesn’t produce halos or other artifacts, improved chromatic aberration correction, and a general increase in stability and performance. Rawtherapee can now pretty much do everything possible in Lightroom, aside from DAM and local adjustments in the stable release (Use DigiKam and your choice of pixel editors if these seem like deal killers). I even was able to edit through a 400 photo event shoot in less than six hours on Rawtherapee, whilst ending up with photos that looked much better than the photos the other volunteers took.

Most importantly, I like the aesthetic of the results from Rawtherapee better. Once I learned my way around Rawtherapee, I became able to get my photos to have an organic texture not as feasible in Lightroom/Photoshop. After I settled on a preferred defaults/ editing habits, I find the results impeccable and artsy.

When I started using Davinci Resolve for video, I found its vaunted color grading tools to be underwhelming, and its raw processing to be pitiful compared to what I was used to in Rawtherapee. In fact, I decided to color grade the latest video I shot raw with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, in Rawtherapee, despite the resultant inconvenient workflow. I turned a crappy video shoot in which logistical conflicts prevented us from having proper lights on set, into a modestly grainy and filmic short. Viewable on youtube here https://youtu.be/8WLlENtRlIg and the google drive link below for the original final render without Youtube compression (Download and play the offline file to actually see the better quality.)

(Wayne Sutton) #40

I couldn’t agree more regarding the power and control of the Lab module although it took me a while to realise just how powerful it really is. Perhaps @Morgan_Hardwood it would be possible to include a before/after screenshot, or even better, a worked example on the website showing what can be achieved by just working down through the modules in the Exposure Tab?


My favorite things about RT are the noise reduction module, the many demosaicing algorithms and the highlight recovery.
Others very good things in last release are Shadows/Highlights and Dynamic range compression.
Thanks all developers and supporters!


I like that it works well out of the box. Sensible defaults, using DCP profiles by default, one-click-two-slider noise control.
Once you are in you are hooked, so I would say simple “open an image, explain the pp3 and export” sequence - perhaps starting with JPG even.
That export icon is small - it may need this explanation.

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Compared to Lightroom, I like

  • That it is Open Source, so at least in principle I will be able to keep it running even if one day it should not be supported anymore.

  • That it does not access the internet and, in particular, does not rely on any registration servers that might not be available anymore some day.

  • That it is relatively small (LR 6.14 has grown to more than 1 GB!)

  • That, even though it isn’t really faster than Lightroom, it is much more responsive and predictable. You feel much more in control; it doesn’t happen that for no obvious reason it uses up all your processing power for several seconds, or your screen turns white, or black, or is redrawn, and you have no idea why.

I think I am going to like the “dynamic profiles” (is this the right term?) a lot, at least if they work as I think they work. LR has similar functionality, but it is less logically organised and scattered throughout the software.

Don’t know, though, if any of this is useful for your website.

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