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Old 02/11/11, 04:40   #1 (permalink)
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Default Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

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I have finally imported images into LR after setting up my folder system.

When shooting I have tried to ETTR and keep RGB and Gray graphs close but not touching the right vertical axis of the M9 Histogram. I have also kept the left side clean-i.e., no graph touching it.

Now when I look at the same images in LR which are all DNG, the histograms look way different to me than I recall the M9 histograms.

For example, the RGB and gray on LR histograms are not only touching the right side of the histogram, but climbing up to around half way up the side, i.e., totally blown highlights.

I have calibrated my screen and when viewing these images, where it seems to me the highlights are blown, the brightness is way up there to the point of forcing me to move away from that image to a more toned down looking image of the same shot (where I bracketed shots).

Contrary to this, when I look at images where the LR histogram is around the center of the histogram and in some cases skewed to the left, they look much better on the screen.

I have gone to viewing on a 1:1 basis and some of the fine detail (to my eyes) looks better on the images whose histograms are in the center area or to the left side of the LR3 histograms versus histograms leaning to the right side.

OK, I am looking at JPEG's since I have not converted the DNG images for use in PS yet, but do any of you get this disparity between M9 and LR3 histograms like I describe?

Perhaps my question is stupid to many of you, but this is my first go at digital processing and before I proceed further down the digital workflow, I would like to know what I might have done wrong, if anything. Did not see this specific subject in any posts.

Last edited by algrove; 02/11/11 at 04:43.
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Old 02/11/11, 07:16   #2 (permalink)
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Default AW: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

Morning, algrove,

I see two possible reasons for the behaviour you describe:

  1. Lightroom uses an internal colour space with “linear gamma” for its processing, but the histogram is rendered according to a gamma value of 2.2
  2. The M9’s histogram is derived from the embedded JPEG image of the DNG file, not the RAW data itself.


1) means your histogram will always look different from one drawn from image material at the same gamma value. Roughly speaking, in Lightroom’s histogram, you’ll see your image data in Lightroom’s internal Melinda/ProPhotoRGB+Linear Gamma colour space with a Gamma 2.2 curve applied. This means added contrast, as far as the histogram is concerned. This doesn’t change the original RAW data of your image, just the representation of colour values to make the histogram better readable by humans.

The M9 in turn uses the Gamma 2.2 JPEG preview embedded with the DNG file to render a histogram. No “pushing” done.

2) As said, the M9 draws its histogram from the embedded JPEG preview generated by the M9 after exposure. This also means that settings such as White Balance will influence the histogram. And RAW developers such as Adobe’s Lightroom often have different ideas about how to interpret “Sunny”, “Shadows”, different camera base characteristics as described in the camera profile will lead to vastly different interpretations even of “5400 K”. Hence, the histogram rendered from the original DNG/RAW data will always look different from the one on the back of the camera.

Generally speaking, Lightroom won’t render the DNG as the M9 does when shooting JPEG or when embedding the JPEG preview to the DNG. Different RAW processors work differently, interpret values differently. Using the screen on the back of a camera as a reference point often doesn’t work at all when shooting RAW/DNG. In your specific case, I think it’s a combination of 1) (pushed histogram representation inside Lightroom) plus this “different” rendering of a photo that leads to your observation.

With the M9, I usually don’t try to expose-to-the-right too much with the camera screen’s histogram as my only reference point, but try to have the histogram as much centered as possible. Lightroom can recover about 1.5-2 EV of highlights that appear to be blown in the histogram, but personally I prefer to change as little as possible in an image’s gradation.

Hope this helps. If the text is too convoluted please holler; first coffee of the morning etc.
-Sascha

Last edited by nggalai; 02/11/11 at 07:27.
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Old 02/11/11, 14:47   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

Sascha-

That explanation is beyond help. You talk WAY over my knowledge level, but I do understand your next to last paragraph well enough to know ETTR can put you way too much TTR when converting into LR.

Seems I'll have to change my exposure levels in the future.

Even with the method I used, happened to get some fun shots on top of Rigi this Summer. Coming from flat Florida it was a site to behold. Some years back I took an old steam train up another mountain, but cannot recall the name until later after 3 cups of coffee.

Last edited by algrove; 02/11/11 at 14:51.
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Old 02/11/11, 16:00   #4 (permalink)
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Default AW: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

Basically what the histogram in Lightroom shows you is how the tonal values would come out with the current raw conversion settings (whereas the M9 shows you how the image did come out in its internal raw conversion). You are free to change these settings and to recover seemingly (but not actually) blown highlights, for example.
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Old 02/11/11, 22:49   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: AW: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

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Basically what the histogram in Lightroom shows you is how the tonal values would come out with the current raw conversion settings (whereas the M9 shows you how the image did come out in its internal raw conversion). You are free to change these settings and to recover seemingly (but not actually) blown highlights, for example.
Ok, now here's where I show how amateurish I am with LR.

Since I have only imported my DNG files into LR and have not yet converted them to anything, why are my settings important at this point, other than EXIF stuff and all?

I thought that just simple importing files into LR changed nothing to them, at that point. I guess I have assumed wrongly.
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Old 03/11/11, 00:01   #6 (permalink)
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Default AW: Re: AW: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

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Since I have only imported my DNG files into LR and have not yet converted them to anything, why are my settings important at this point
They aren’t really your settings – they are Adobe’s standard settings. They become yours only when you adapt them to your liking.

You’ve got some raw data and the conversion from raw sensor data to an RGB image (like the image you see in LR) is governed by a set of parameters. It is up to you to find the optimum raw conversion parameters for each given image. Of course you could just blindly accept the standard settings, but then you could just as well accept the standard settings internally applied by the M9 while converting its raw sensor data to JPEG images.
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Old 03/11/11, 07:24   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: AW: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

Morning,

sorry about the techno-babble in my last post. Michael summed it up much more coherently and to the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by algrove View Post
Since I have only imported my DNG files into LR and have not yet converted them to anything, why are my settings important at this point, other than EXIF stuff and all?
As Michael said, it’s Adobe’s settings that’s the point here. A DNG file technically isn’t a photo yet, just a set of sensor values that need to be interpreted by either camera body (when using JPEG) or a RAW processor such as Lightroom.

Lightroom must make assumptions about how to interpret the DNG data and all other RAW formats of other camera makers out there. These assumptions are kept in internal camera profiles and define, for example, what “green” should look like.

Already here you’ll have differences between the M9’s interpretation, Lightroom’s, and other RAW developers’. If one software thinks “grass green” should have a slightly warmish, yellow tint – another more of a magenta tint – it will have an effect on your histogram.

Default settings Adobe does with a fresh installation of Lightroom are +50 Brightness +25 Contrast, use a medium contrast tone curve, and some denoise/sharpening settings. This is mainly due to the fact sensor data is linear and DNGs you imported into Lightroom without such default settings would look very flat.

You can change the defaults so every new DNG you import is processed – automatically – the way you deem suitable. It’s usually a better idea to change a picture’s development settings one photo at a time, or one series at a time, though. What works for a brightly lit landscape probably won’t look that good in an interior, high-ISO situation.

Cheers,
-Sascha
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Old 04/11/11, 00:50   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

You guys have really opened my eyes! Somehow this went right over my head when reading the importing of images in Martin Evenings LR3 book.

So if I want "my"own settings, do you have any specific suggestions on how to go about that in LR3?

Then my next question is what settings do you use for importing from the M9 into LR3?
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Old 04/11/11, 08:53   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

Morning,

Quote:
Originally Posted by algrove View Post
So if I want "my"own settings, do you have any specific suggestions on how to go about that in LR3?

Then my next question is what settings do you use for importing from the M9 into LR3?
When I still used Lightroom, I pretty much kept Adobe's defaults for my M9. I did switch the camera profile to “Embedded Camera Profile” in the Camera Calibration panel, though, as I liked the colours better than with “Adobe Standard”. I also usually added +2 to blacks and quite often +10 to Vibrancy.

If you find settings that work for most of your photos (and for yourself, naturally), you can make them the new Lightroom default by choosing “Set Default Settings” from the Photo menu (Develop module), then choose “Update to Current Settings”.

You can, at any time, roll back to Adobe’s defaults when you see fit.

Also, keep in mind you can copy/paste settings to multiple images at a time. If you have a series of pictures of the same motive in the same lighting condition, all you need to do is tweak the best shot, then apply its settings to the rest of the series. Quite handy.

Have fun!

-Sascha
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Old 04/11/11, 14:12   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

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Originally Posted by nggalai View Post
Morning,



When I still used Lightroom, I pretty much kept Adobe's defaults for my M9. I did switch the camera profile to “Embedded Camera Profile” in the Camera Calibration panel, though, as I liked the colours better than with “Adobe Standard”. I also usually added +2 to blacks and quite often +10 to Vibrancy.

If you find settings that work for most of your photos (and for yourself, naturally), you can make them the new Lightroom default by choosing “Set Default Settings” from the Photo menu (Develop module), then choose “Update to Current Settings”.

You can, at any time, roll back to Adobe’s defaults when you see fit.

Also, keep in mind you can copy/paste settings to multiple images at a time. If you have a series of pictures of the same motive in the same lighting condition, all you need to do is tweak the best shot, then apply its settings to the rest of the series. Quite handy.

Have fun!

-Sascha
Thanks again. Keep in mind I am a true novice here. So do I do this before importing?

For example-First, I go from SDHC card to my 2 back up external HDD.

I built an empty library in LR with all folders/sub-folders.

Then at importing I select FROM (which source HDD) and TO (which drive has my LR Library and the respective folder) and at top I select "ADD" since my files are all DNG from the M9.

Now what exactly do I change in LR before hitting the import button? Keep in mind I am still in the Library Module, NOT the Develop Module. So far I have not even been to the Develop Module in LR.
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Old 04/11/11, 15:20   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

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Do you have Kelby's LR 3 book? If not, proceed immediately to book seller of choice. You'll be glad you did (if you ignore the bad jokes).

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Old 05/11/11, 00:40   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

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Do you have Kelby's LR 3 book? If not, proceed immediately to book seller of choice. You'll be glad you did (if you ignore the bad jokes).

Jeff
Yes, I got that when I bought the Martin Evening book, but his Step 1, 2, 3 etc turned me off. Can you reference a page number for me I will be greatful? Thanks.
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Old 05/11/11, 02:36   #13 (permalink)
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Yes, I got that when I bought the Martin Evening book, but his Step 1, 2, 3 etc turned me off. Can you reference a page number for me I will be greatful? Thanks.
Yes, people learn differently. Personally, I can't imagine anything easier than a simple step by step method of explanation, especially to break down long or complex actions.

In the intro he explains the best way to use the book (for most people, at least first time through), and among the suggestions is to read from front to back without skipping around since it follows his flow. Of course experienced users, or those needing guidance in a specific area, can simply search topics from the table of contents or glossary. (Note also that the intro lets you know that he has video guidance if you prefer that method, as well as his website. I once called their customer service on a confusing issue...can't remember what...and they were nice to help.)

Given the flow I mentioned, the first chapter logically involves getting files from the camera (or elsewhere) to LR. I don't know what you don't know, so this may be stuff you already understand...or not. Only you can decide.

I also find his tips at the end of each chapter enormously helpful, even if there's just one silver nugget among them. I've picked up a few gems that I never would have guessed, and these have made things much easier ever since.

I have the M. Evening book, too, but I found Kelby's more digestible at the outset. YMMV.

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Old 05/11/11, 03:22   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

Jeff- By now I must assume no one else has experienced what I started my thread with and I am still trying to find out what to do about the large differences in the between the two histograms, i.e., LR3 and M9.
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Old 05/11/11, 03:32   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

I was merely addressing the questions you posed in post #10 (and #5, etc), not your initial question.

(I don't sweat over histograms. Prints are what matter to me, and by now I've figured out my workflow using my equipment (including exposure, etc) to get the intended results.)

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Old 05/11/11, 22:00   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

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I was merely addressing the questions you posed in post #10 (and #5, etc), not your initial question.

(I don't sweat over histograms. Prints are what matter to me, and by now I've figured out my workflow using my equipment (including exposure, etc) to get the intended results.)

Jeff
So maybe I am just stressing over nothing? I did read Kelby's book on importing into LR3-Library Module. Thanks for bringing his book up. I've been doing all my imports the way he describes.

Last edited by algrove; 05/11/11 at 23:00.
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Old 10/11/11, 18:23   #17 (permalink)
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Default Eliminate moving targets

There are lots of good questions and info here regarding the discrepancy between camera and LR histograms as well as the importance of the final print. Because I encounter these issues frequently in my workshops (LR, shooting, printing) I thought I would throw a few suggestions out there:

1. Be sure to calibrate your monitor and buy the best monitor you can. You own Leica gear so don't cheat yourself- get an Eizo or the best wide gamut monitor you can afford. Without a calibrated monitor you won't have a reference point and you always have a moving target. My favorite is basICColor with a Spyder 3 but X-Rite i1, Colormunki, etc are great products too.
2. Calibrate your M9 or whatever camera you're using- I suggest the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport. Very easy to use, integrates with LR, and inexpensive. This combined with a calibrated monitor will help your consistency and allow you to make more accurate judgements for color, tone, exposure, contrast, etc.
3. Don't trust the LCD on your camera- as others have pointed out it will always be different (and less accurate) than a RAW file on a calibrated display in LR. It is OK as a rough guideline and you can learn to "read" the LCD/histogram for an educated guess on the result much like the old days of pros using Polaroids before loading film.
4. Bear in mind your M9 and most any modern digital camera can capture a huge range of tones that you can't see on your LCD or even on your monitor until you "reveal" that information with LR, PS, or plug-ins. Often it is not even necessary to use HDR (I'm showing how to do this in a webinar later today which is full but will be subsequently posted to the Topaz website)

I hope this was a good place to post this and that it might help. Although I'm trying to address the discussion on this thread these are also workflow and color management issues.

Cheers!
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Old 15/11/11, 01:34   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

I don't have anything to contribute but want to thank all who participated in this great thread. You have certainly made things more clear for me. Up to now any success I've had has just been slop luck.
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Old 24/11/11, 03:01   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

Joel- In your #3 Item in your post, how you suggest one ETTR when out in the field and one only has the camera screen to go by for the histogram?
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Old 24/11/11, 04:47   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very different Histograms-LR3 versus M9

ETTR may not be all it's cracked up to be. See Ctein's column at The Online Photographer: 'Expose to the Right' is a Bunch of Bull.
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