color profile of Nikon NEF

fotoperamorefotoperamore ItalyPosts: 17Registered Users Big grins

Hi folks,
I have a question about NEF (nikon's Raw) and color profile management. According to Jeff Schewe and his "The digital negative", raw files arent' a real image, but just the sensor's dump. So, obviously, color profiles are just "attached" to raws only for following editing, so you can open a raw file, decide the color profile to adopt, and then convert it in a real image (e.g. a .tiff) with that color profile. So, you haven't done a conversion: the raw is still the same raw produced by camera, but you have exported a tiff with another color profile.

For example, time later, you can still use your raws, shooted in sRGB, and attach a AdobeRGB profile, without doing a "conversion", and do whatever you want, with all the color information of AdobeRGB.

Ok. And this is what you can do with Adobe Camera Raw: you can choice a color profile for your RAW, despite the profile attached to raw by your camera, and do the rest of editing. And this is not intended as a conversion.

But.....

When you use NEF files (Nikon's raw) and Nikon's Capture NX-D, you can't assign a color profile to your raw, it uses the profile assigned by camera, and if you have to use another one, the only way is to export to TIFF and convert the file in another profile. But you understand that is not a good idea to start with a tiff in sRGB and convert it to AdobeRGB, wanting to have the quality of the wider gamut, once printed.

I mean: with Adobe I assign a color profile to the raw, with nikon i can't.

All this, because I have so many Nikon's raw shooted in sRGB, edited with Capture NX, and now I want to use them with AdobeRGB without doing again the editing with Adobe Camera Raw. How can I do that ?

Thanks for the patience

Giovanni Casetti - Trento - North of Italy
SmugMug | www.giovannicasetti.it | Facebook

Comments

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,349Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 16, 2018

    Any Nikon shooters out there that can help fotoperamore?

    I'm sorry but I don't shoot Nikon, and I don't use Nikon Capture so I am not aware how profiles are handled in that workflow.

    Does Nikon Capture actually alter the original Nikon RAW file? Really?? I ask because that it is not my understanding of how most RAW file editors work.

    Certainly Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop allow one to save edited files separately from the original RAW which can then be re-edited later, as often as you want, as new editors and profiles become available. I do this all the time with my Canon files, even from a decade ago.

    I'm not sure I understand the reference to Nikon RAW files shot in sRGB. Raw files are Raw files in my understanding, and the color profile is only pertinent to the edited exported file. The original RAW file should still be available for editing again later, unless Nikon Capture works differently than my Canon, Olympus, Lumix, and Sony Raw files. I know this is how Lightroom works and one of the reasons I like it.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • sdbsdb italyPosts: 100Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 12, 2018

    Ciao Giovanni,

    Even I don't understand well what you mean..."For example, time later, you can still use your raws, shooted in sRGB,..."?
    It' impossibile shoot Raw in sRGB, AdobeRGB or other profiles or select it on your camera while shooting. Only the converters do it.

    I use Nikon and shoot Nef. Raw's are raw's..withour any color profile, as Pathfinder, Jeff Schewe (and all the other) have told.

    Coming to your question, I'm sorry I've never used Capture by Nikon...always used Abobe Ps & Co. Anyway, I don't think it's possible with Capture that you can't choose the colore profile, you should be able to choose the one you prefer. Have you tried to ask the Nikon/Capture support?
    I'd say you first to clarify the misunderstanding on Raw's (if any) so that other members in the forum can answer more easily.

  • fotoperamorefotoperamore ItalyPosts: 17Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 13, 2018

    Many thanks Pathfinder and Sebastian.

    @pathfinder said:
    Does Nikon Capture actually alter the original Nikon RAW file? Really?? I ask because that it is not my understanding of how most RAW file editors work.

    Yes. Nikon obviously knows the details of raw files created with Nikon cameras (unlike Adobe or other brands), so only Nikon can store the editing information INSIDE the raw file. Other brands (like Adobe) have managed to USE raw files, but can only store the editing information in separate sidecar files (*.xmp for Adobe).

    Giovanni Casetti - Trento - North of Italy
    SmugMug | www.giovannicasetti.it | Facebook

  • fotoperamorefotoperamore ItalyPosts: 17Registered Users Big grins

    @sdb said:
    Coming to your question, I'm sorry I've never used Capture by Nikon...always used Abobe Ps & Co. Anyway, I don't think it's possible with Capture that you can't choose the colore profile, you should be able to choose the one you prefer. Have you tried to ask the Nikon/Capture support?

    Ok guys, I'm a sloth! :) I finally saw the option in Capture NX preferences, the "Default RGB Color Space", and so now I can assign the AdobeRGB profile to my tiff files when I export from old raw files. I'm sorry for the lost time :)

    Giovanni

    Giovanni Casetti - Trento - North of Italy
    SmugMug | www.giovannicasetti.it | Facebook

  • sdbsdb italyPosts: 100Registered Users Major grins

    The important is to have solved :)

  • FergusonFerguson Major grins Posts: 1,234Registered Users Major grins

    You are mixing up terminology, but you are in good company as Adobe has just made another train wreck of terminology as well.

    In Nikon there are "Picture controls" that are often termed profiles. Those relate mostly to post processing aspects such as sharpness, brightness, saturation, etc. They are indeed carried with the image when you capture it in raw, and (mostly only) Nikon's software interprets and uses them. The exception is white balance which most post processors use. Generally speaking these controls are AFTER conversion not during, in a sense.

    The actual conversion from raw to a "normal" sort of image is often termed de-mosaicing, or frequently just "conversion". This is mostly about taking the bayer layer (R/G/B/G) and taking each photosite reading and turning it into a standard RGB matrix. At that point a "color space" is also applied. Your comment about "shooting in AdobeRGB" is mis-placed; raw images have no color space. The only affect of the sRGB vs. AdobeRGB setting in the camera is to add an underscore to the file name, and set the fact you selected it in the metadata so some programs will honor it later. It does not affect the image data at all.

    This conversion from the capture data to an image generally speaking depends on a camera specific profile. in Adobe land these were camera profiles, sometimes called "DCP" profiles. They contain color mapping data that essentially is designed to "true up" the colors during the conversion. In theory the R/G/B/G sensor sites from every camera could have a specific math done on the reading to produce the same color, but in practice the physical sensors all differ, so you need camera specific mapping of the color data to get reasonably similar results from different sensor models. Adobe for example has a different DCP profile for every camera (actually more than one). You can also build profiles for you specific camera (not just the module, but that specific camera) which will take this to another level, making it more accurate, and indeed can make it accurate under specific lighting spectra. In a real sense the DCP profile is a recipe for turning the sensor data into colors. Nikon has their own built into ViewNXi/CaptureNX, Adobe builds theirs for Camera Raw (which is also used in Lightroom).

    The DCP profile (adobe's term) is a fairly neutral recipe. While they may have multiple of these (Vivid, portrait, etc.) they are still aimed at producing similar results for each camera (i.e. same subject, same light, different cameras, the profiles are aimed at making them look similar when done).

    Post processing is a different matter, it is more about art, and correcting the image to reflect how you think the capture should be viewed. So for example in post processing you might want to raise shadows substantially to show more details, or you might desire to darken shadows for a more contrasty affect. For the most part these were not considered parts of the conversion/camera profiles. Adobe has however polluted the terminology now. The new "profiles" in LR3 and the associated ACR are not DCP profiles, they a LUT profiles.

    A LUT profile is another level of color mapping that lays on top of the conversion. It might more properly be thought of as a post processing preset, in that the actual raw -> image conversion still relies on an underlying DCP profile, then the LUT profile is performed on top. There is a lot of power in these LUT profiles, but in a conceptual sense it is like taking (say) lightroom and moving a pile of sliders to get a specific effect, then saving them so the user sees the sliders all starting at zero but with that effect already applied. These "creative" profiles can be applied over top of any DCP profile (well, not in the GUI Lightroom provides, but underneath the covers). They are frankly more similar to the Nikon Picture Controls, though done after the fact not in camera. (LUT profiles have a lot more power than picture controls however, I am just saying they live in the same kind of after-conversion space).

    So sadly "profiles" has become a somewhat ambiguous term.

  • fotoperamorefotoperamore ItalyPosts: 17Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 15, 2018

    Thank you Ferguson for putting things (and terminology) in their correct place, writing clearly.

    Giovanni Casetti - Trento - North of Italy
    SmugMug | www.giovannicasetti.it | Facebook

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,349Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 18, 2018

    I am glad to see you have gotten your question answered, Giovanni.

    And I appreciate Ferguson's discussion of the term "profile" versus look up table ( LUT ) profiles. I have been away for a couple seeks so I missed these comments in a timely manner.

    I would also like to say that I have been playing with Adobe's new profiles for Lightroom CC Classic - the LUT profiles that allow you to alter the color renditions on your image before using any sliders in the RAW edition In LR CC. Although the terminology is a bit confusing, as Ferguson explained, the new "profiles" I find very helpful, and allow me to speed up my image editing in the conversion of flat , dull RAW files to crackling, colorful images, in either sRGB or aRGB, exported files as jpgs.

    I was slow to begin to play with the LUT profiles for LR Classic CC, but I find I like them quite a bit, and find they are useful for RAW files shot years ago when RAW editors were far less able. I do like them, and recommend that users of LR Classic give them a whirl. They may find they like them too. I find them most useful in situations where the lighting is quite intense and colorful, like at sunset or sunrise images.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • nagaminagami dallasPosts: 1Registered Users Beginner grinner
    subscribed, this seems like a very interesting thread
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