It’s been over a year since I got my Fujifilm X-E2s camera, and thus far I only have a couple of complaints. The first is that I didn’t buy it (or the X-Pro2) long, long ago. The second is that in the past year I’ve not had a lot of time to just sit and play with it.
When it comes to shooting and post-processing I’ve stuck with the workflows I’ve honed over the years. Recently though I’ve been trying out the Fuji film profiles in post-processing and I like the results I’m seeing. However, Lightroom’s processing of the Fuji raw file format can often leave a lot to be desired. It blurs the greens and can smear skin tones, resulting in blurry grass and trees, and discolored eyes and teeth. It’s so bad that I’ve actually bought a separate raw converter for use with problematic pictures – Iridient X-Transformer, which I highly recommend.
With the pictures from my latest shoot for work, I noticed that I needed to push the exposure in post-production. This was because the film simulations were producing a much darker image than the native Adobe raw conversion. That kicked off a thought – often a dangerous occurrence involving lots of lost time spent down mental rabbit holes.
I wondered what would happen if I were to shoot a raw and jpg image, and then applied the film simulation in-camera? That way I could check for any slight exposure errors brought on by the chosen film simulation while I was shooting. At the same time, in the back of my mind, there was a nagging thought that there was a camera setting that allowed me to view the film simulations in-camera as I was taking a picture. If that also worked while taking raw images, I might be on to a winner. Much to my surprise and pleasure, that’s exactly what the camera can and does do.
So, while I’m taking a picture I see in the viewfinder the image with the film simulation I’ve picked, allowing me to get the exposure right. And at the same time the camera is storing a raw image so if I choose I can reprocess it any way I like at a later date. This has the potential to cut down my post-processing significantly.
The two pictures here are part of my experiments with different film types and using jpegs rather than raw files.
Testing all this I did a lot of .jpg / raw image comparisons and a lot of pixel peeking. While pixel peeking I made another surprising discovery. I could see only a very slight difference between the 2-4MB .jpg files and the 30MB raw files.
This means I now have some thinking to do, and possibly changes to make to my post-production workflow. Part of which will be to select whether to use the jpg or raw image of each picture. For the .jpgs I also need to think about reprocessing them into .dng files. If I don’t do that I will need to rename the files so that I know they are originals not to be deleted. That’s because up to now I’ve considered jpegs to be disposable.
I’ve learned lots in the last couple of days, and there’s lots still to learn.
Copyright © 2017 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.