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Capture One workflow

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
I though I could share my workflow with Capture One, which imo, if it still has some issues, is the best raw converter regarding IQ…
I use the latest version of Capture One Pro (4.8.1)

I get the best result with the 1DsIII files with these settings:

For a good start, instead of Standard Film curve:

Basic characteristics curve = Linear response
Expo 0
Contrast 30
Luminosity 20
Saturation 30
HDR 0
Levels Mid @ 0,10
Curve Brighten shadows
Clarity 40
Sharpness 180 - 1,5 - 1,0
Noise reduction 35 - 45
Vignetting 0,15 EV

Then for all pictures I do an auto exposure and HDR.
These are my new BASICs, for special output I do tweak one or the other, but if I don't need special effect on saturation or WB, I'm set and the 16 bit Adobe RGB file exported to CS4 is almost ready for small adjustments…

If I need to largely upsize the file (in CS4) I reduce the amount of sharpness before export form Capture One.

By chrono order:
Auto Noise Ninja noise reduction with zero sharpness, followed by 50% opacity fade
Highlight/Shadow : shadow 5 to 10 - 30 - 30 Highlights 5 to 10 - 30 - 30 Color correction 0 - Mid tone Contrast 10 to 20
15-15-0 accentuation
50-0,6-0 optimized sharpness

Since I have adopted this workflow, I have divided by 2 the time spent on each file. Cool!

These settings are for the Canon 1DsIII, they may change a lot depending of the camera used (and the lens also ;-)
 
Last edited:

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Nicolas,

This is very helpful. It's generous of you to share. How might you alter this workflow with very high ISO shots?

Asher
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
Hi Asher
I would have to try… as I rarely shoot high ISO…
This workflow isn't made of mortar and can/should/will evolve with experience and different configurations of shooting.
Also, as I like to have my picture made "in the camera" and as less as possible in PP, the results of such receipe are quite consistent.
I saved it as a style in Capture One so it can easily be attributed to a bunch of file in a few seconds…
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Also, as I like to have my picture made "in the camera" and as less as possible in PP, the results of such receipe are quite consistent.
I saved it as a style in Capture One so it can easily be attributed to a bunch of file in a few seconds…
Essentially, I'd look to doing the same at ISO 1600 and 3200 to cover my shooting during performances. It would be good to have an style just for each of these and would save me a lot of time. However, is it even likely, of all the RAW processors that Capture One would improve on Adobe RAW once we're in the super high ISO ranges?

Asher
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
I don't really understand your question…
Adobe raw is far behind Capture one in delivering IQ.

From Capture One I extract 16 bit Adobe RGB files for final tuning in CS4 (PS not ACR!)
 
This is very helpful. It's generous of you to share. How might you alter this workflow with very high ISO shots?
For higher ISO, I'd skip the sharpening and noise reduction in CO, and do that in post processing with a dedicated tool like Noise Ninja or Neat Image. It adds at least one other step to the postprocessing, but the results will be superior.

Bart
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
For higher ISO, I'd skip the sharpening and noise reduction in CO, and do that in post processing with a dedicated tool like or Neat Image. It adds at least one other step to the postprocessing, but the results will be superior. Bart
That's the reason I avoid high ISO, better having no noise than dealing with it...
I don't even have Noise Ninja....

off course, while shooting handheld or moving objects, you run into high iso...
 
Hi Nicolas,

Thank you for these settings, i am also using C1 Pro for RAW files of my D700, and i am going to adapt your workflow to mine to see if it works well with my files.

I tried many Raw converters and i agree with you to say that C1 is really the best in term of IQ.
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
That's the reason I avoid high ISO, better having no noise than dealing with it...
I don't even have Noise Ninja....

off course, while shooting handheld or moving objects, you run into high iso...
Yeah! the tripod is the king of 100 ISO!

But if the exposure is well set, with the 1DsIII, you won't get much noise at 400 ISO even if 100 ISO is cleaner…
 

Cem_Usakligil

Active member
Hi Nicolas,

Thanks for sharing this invaluable (i.e. extremely valuable) know-how with us.
I have tried your scripts with C1 and converted the same raw with ACR and also DxO to the best of my abilities. From a preliminary inspection, ACR resolves the least details of the three. C1 and DxO are almost the same IQ wise but the DxO is a bit better delivering better tonality and also convolution sharpening for the capture softness. I guess it is just a matter of taste at the end of the day. For my type of photography, I am more leaning towards DxO right now. But I'll try testing the C1 more often with some other pictures.

Cheers,
 

Cem_Usakligil

Active member
Yeah! the tripod is the king of 100 ISO!

But if the exposure is well set, with the 1DsIII, you won't get much noise at 400 ISO even if 100 ISO is cleaner…
With my 5DII, I have to scrutinize to see a difference between the 100 ISO and the 400 ISO provided the exposure is correct.
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
Hi Nicolas,

Thank you for these settings, i am also using C1 Pro for RAW files of my D700, and i am going to adapt your workflow to mine to see if it works well with my files.

I tried many Raw converters and i agree with you to say that C1 is really the best in term of IQ.
Bonjour Cedriic
With a different camera, you'll certainly find different settings…

The purpose of these settings is to avoid the too agressive rendering made by the standard film curve.
This is why the 1st start is to set the curve = Linear response in the Basic characteristics tab.
The rest is a taste affair!

To achieve that settings, I used original and "variant" shown together, I could then easily compare both edits…

I would be glad to know what you found!
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
Hi Nicolas,

Thanks for sharing this invaluable (i.e. extremely valuable) know-how with us.
I have tried your scripts with C1 and converted the same raw with ACR and also DxO to the best of my abilities. From a preliminary inspection, ACR resolves the least details of the three. C1 and DxO are almost the same IQ wise but the DxO is a bit better delivering better tonality and also convolution sharpening for the capture softness. I guess it is just a matter of taste at the end of the day. For my type of photography, I am more leaning towards DxO right now. But I'll try testing the C1 more often with some other pictures.

Cheers,
Thanks Cem
good to see that this workflow is nearly close to DxO.
I stopped using DxO a year or 2 ago because it took ages to procees files. Also for their too many paying updates…
Is DxO faster now?
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
I'm still on CO for architecture daylight shots - no other RC I tested had such nice 3/4-tones, and RAW Developer for the studio work. RAW Developer has the best resolution of all.

One RC only would not fit my needs. They both aren't the big beasts, I personally like to have just few sliders and one curve to balance colour and tonality.

I have been testing DXO 2 years ago and didn't liked its workflow at all , to clumsy - but still receive SPAM from them...
 
Bonjour Cedriic
With a different camera, you'll certainly find different settings…

The purpose of these settings is to avoid the too agressive rendering made by the standard film curve.
This is why the 1st start is to set the curve = Linear response in the Basic characteristics tab.
The rest is a taste affair!

To achieve that settings, I used original and "variant" shown together, I could then easily compare both edits…

I would be glad to know what you found!
Well, i tried my own settings but using your way (linear response with more contrast and clarity) and it works well :




Thank you Nicolas ! I found pictures more natural like this.
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
Hi Cedric
I'm glad it helps!
And particularly for your good pictures.
Thanks for the boat, a nice choice ;-)

Yes as already said, these settings are to be customized to camera used and tastes…
 
Hi Nicolas,

Thanks for sharing. Those look like good startingpoints to me.

Depending on the lens you use and the aperture, you might want to add a little sharpness falloff compensation, and Chromatic Aberration correction, which are both Capture One Pro features, and they both help resolution.

Bart
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
okay, I did a comparison of the filmcurve vs linear methode, with identical WB settings.
I'm aware that they might be changed as well, but for now, I wanted to see the difference on colour. In the linear methode, I had to darken the image.

As contrast was huge, these images are already fused out of 3 bracket-exposed shots:




The table is to yellowish, but its alwith better to take color after the RC away, than starting to low.

I watched the histogramms as well; and we see very good, how the midtones are spread:


 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
Hi Nicolas,

Thanks for sharing. Those look like good startingpoints to me.

Depending on the lens you use and the aperture, you might want to add a little sharpness falloff compensation, and Chromatic Aberration correction, which are both Capture One Pro features, and they both help resolution.

Bart
Of course Bart.
The Chromatic Aberration correction works pretty well… when needed!
The problem with Capture one with Chromatic Aberration correction is that you cannot set it to work on multiple file at a time, it is file dependent… Ohterwise it calculates from the 1st file the same to all other… not good!
This is typically one setting you have to manually set file by file.

What sharpness fall-off with the Nikon 14-24 ;-)?
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
Nice demo Michael
What version do you use? are you still with 4.1 and "old Mac"? or did you upgrade?
the 4.8 version is really a step forward…
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
Yes Nicolas
making a quick demo help to understand it better and keep its principles in the brain.


CO: its 4.1, as I'm still running PPC, AFAIK the render engine (color and tones) of the two CO are identical.

I initally wanted to upgrade at the beginning of the year for the new Pro, expecting some speed improvements with the Nehalem, but it wasn't faster in real world tests , so I decide to wait another year. Often the advantages come with generation 2.

As for CA: better having none in the capture... ;-)
 

Ron Morse

New member
I have version 4.5.1xxx. I used C1 a lot in the past but with the 5DMII a lot of the files have a terrible green cast to them. Each time I come back to C1 and try its the same. I stick with lightroom now. I really liked C1, but can't figure where the green cast is coming from since this version is supposed to have the profile for the 5DMII.
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
Update

I though I could share my workflow with Capture One, which imo, if it still has some issues, is the best raw converter regarding IQ…
I use the latest version of Capture One Pro (4.8.1)

I get the best result with the 1DsIII files with these settings:

For a good start, instead of Standard Film curve:

Basic characteristics curve = Linear response
Expo 0
Contrast 30
Luminosity 20
Saturation 30
HDR 0
Levels Mid @ 0,10
Curve Brighten shadows
Clarity 40
Sharpness 180 - 1,5 - 1,0
Noise reduction 35 - 45
Vignetting 0,15 EV

Then for all pictures I do an auto exposure and HDR.
These are my new BASICs, for special output I do tweak one or the other, but if I don't need special effect on saturation or WB, I'm set and the 16 bit Adobe RGB file exported to CS4 is almost ready for small adjustments…

If I need to largely upsize the file (in CS4) I reduce the amount of sharpness before export form Capture One.

By chrono order:
Auto Noise Ninja noise reduction with zero sharpness, followed by 50% opacity fade
Highlight/Shadow : shadow 5 to 10 - 30 - 30 Highlights 5 to 10 - 30 - 30 Color correction 0 - Mid tone Contrast 10 to 20
15-15-0 accentuation
50-0,6-0 optimized sharpness

Since I have adopted this workflow, I have divided by 2 the time spent on each file. Cool!

These settings are for the Canon 1DsIII, they may change a lot depending of the camera used (and the lens also ;-)
After a few weeks of intensive use, I came to the following conclusions:

• Sometimes the midtones do need to be enlighen a bit more (Levels Mid up to 0,25) and the all image desaturated a bit ((saturation to 20 only) in order to get a more 'natural' look.
• Clarity, this setting is much stronger (too much if you ask me) than the one in LR2.
Some images with lot of white surfaces (or night shots with lamps) may get highlights burnt if you put too much clarity, I often have to lower it to 20 even 15…

• And of course, as Bart has suggested: Depending on the lens you use and the aperture, you might want to add a little sharpness falloff compensation, and Chromatic Aberration correction.

• + Adapt to taste / Camera / Lens
 
After a few weeks of intensive use, I came to the following conclusions:

• Sometimes the midtones do need to be enlighen a bit more (Levels Mid up to 0,25) and the all image desaturated a bit ((saturation to 20 only) in order to get a more 'natural' look.
Yes, the saturation was pushed a bit too far for my taste as well. Something around 20 seems to be better for many images, but it's a personal preference as always.

• Clarity, this setting is much stronger (too much if you ask me) than the one in LR2.
Some images with lot of white surfaces (or night shots with lamps) may get highlights burnt if you put too much clarity, I often have to lower it to 20 even 15…
Clarity will adaptively increase local contrast, so it can push already light tones into clipping, and dark as well. In Photoshop you can apply this effect on a blend-if layer which will avoid this, but it does mean that a Photoshop postprocessing pass must be made (which was what you tried to minimize by doing it in C1).

Cheers,
Bart
 

Cem_Usakligil

Active member
Nicolas,

What do you call "accentuation" and "optimized sharpness" ? Are these Photoshop commands?

ALain
Hi Alain,

Nicolas is away for a few days so let me chime in. The actual ps command is the USM in both cases. In the first case it is used to accentuate the local contrast (15,15,0) and in the latter for sharpening at the original image size. HTH.

Cheers,
 

Alain Briot

pro member
Thank you.

To avoid confusion mentioning Unsharp Masking + the settings Nicolas recommends would help a lot. If I am confused, I'm sure others are... after all I use USM everyday!
 
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