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SL2 post-processing colour profile


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I post process my SL 2 raws in Adobe Lightroom.

It is generally fine, although, as seems common with Leica raws, the reds are a bit oversaturated. 

I tend to use the Landscape profile as it seems to have a slightly less contrasty tone curve than Color and the colours are a bit more vibrant. A typical workflow is to add a bit of vignetting, adjust white balance, push the auto exposure, for a starting point, normalise the black and white points to get the right amount of clipping, add 15 clarity and 5 dehaze, and Robert is your Mother’s brother.

The SL2’s white balance is normally v good, but when it isn’t I find that Auto tends to result in an overly warm image, relative to the expected neutral. Similarly, taking the white balance reading from gray clouds seems to result in too much warming of the image, suggesting that the SL2 wants to render them blue, at least under the Landscape profile. (I get better results taking the white point from cloud highlights, where they are available and where it isn’t too close to sunset.)  I also realise that the dehaze tends to add a bit of a blue cast.

Has anyone a better recipe for getting better (more natural) colours out of the SL2?

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Personally, I find that Adobe's profiles are generally not to my liking. They tend to render the skies more cyan/yellow than a custom profile, and greens tend to shift to brownish as well. I prefer the look I get from custom profiles. Unfortunately, Adobe now seems to be linking a lot of their camera based tuning to the profiles they make, so custom profiles suffer in comparison in terms of shadow noise, high ISO noise and areas where the gamut or highlights are being clipped (one common example is in the color of skies at sunset, especially with the sun in frame). I tend to use a Color Checker Passport profile when I can, but at high ISO, in mixed lighting, or in cases where the gamut is being clipped, I will go back to Adobe. I would not really advise using any of their profiles other than Adobe Color or neutral. The other profiles are more like presets than profiles. That said, from your description it sounds like you like heightened color and contrast (landscape profile, clarity, dehaze etc), rather than a "natural" look.

In general, however, taking white balance of clouds will give you a warm image...clouds are not generally neutral...there is a lot of blue light bouncing around up in the sky. I find certain rocks and manmade objects (concrete, steel, white or grey paint) tend to balance a bit more neutral than the sky generally does.

In general, I know you said you are using Lightroom, but Capture One is worth a look. I am locked into lightroom because of the data management and printing module for my business, but I recently tried Capture One and it truly is a better raw converter...at least for me, it does not come close to lightroom for convenience, but the images do look better.

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15 hours ago, JeffWright said:

You might try David Farkas' (owner of Leica Store Miami) profiles; I haven not personally used them, but he has put a fair bit of effort into them.  https://www.reddotforum.com/content/2020/04/lightroom-presets-for-leica-cameras/

the SL2 seams a good starting point if you like contrasty and saturated. So called the Japanese American look.  

Leica in camera profiles are more the European look,  more natural.

I don't think there is one profile for every situation, I have custom profiles by color checker and also use adobe / C1P profiles for other occasions.

Since Leica does not offer Raw conversion software we can only use other software to get color interpretation .

ColorChecker profile have to be made for different lighting situations, the result is often better high-lights control, more natural tones in blue and saturated red.

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