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Lightroom Different handling of JPG and RAW Files

wp59

wp59
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
3
Location
UK
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
Lightroom Version
6.x
Lightroom Version
6.14
Operating System
Windows 10
I have a question re: Lightroom different handling of jpg and raw files.
I know this has been covered a lot but I cannot find the answer I am looking for.

Camera: Nikon D5100 with Nikon 18 – 200 lens

Situation:-
1/ With the camera set to take RAW (NEF) + JPG, if I use a simple editor/viewer such as Irfanview to view the images, they are IDENTICAL. (this shows that no on-camera post processing is happening to the jpg files).
2/ When I import into Lightroom (6.14) with NO Import Preset being applied, in the Develop module the jpg image looks just as it did in Irfanview, ie colour balance, brightness, sharpening (ie none) and – crucially, lens distortion correction (ie none).
3/ But the NEF file looks way different now. First the default 25 sharpening is there (which I understand is default for RAW files)
So – set that back to zero – does the image now look like the jpg file – NO!
Here’s the problem:-
It’s different in two respects
  • Even with all the sliders at zero/midpoint the NEF file is rendered with a lot more contrast – and still looks like there is sharpening going on. The jpg image looks flatter and smoother.
  • And even with the Lens correction “Enable Profile correction” box unchecked, the NEF image seems to have a lens adjustment applied which the JPG does not. Then if the Lens correction is enabled in each case, both images change, but not to the same extent. (The correct lens is detected by Lightroom).

Since viewing in Irfanview tells me that there is no difference in the images before any editing, how do I get Lightroom to start the NEF file at the same point as the JPG?
I know I can deal with eliminating the sharpening level import of 25 on the NEF image with the use of a preset, but how do I construct a preset to stop Lightroom doing what is described above in a) and b) to the NEF file?

They may be good things that Lightroom is doing but I am not in control of what is going on.
I just want to understand the actions that Lightroom is taking.

Hopefully this is beyond simple…!

See here for a description with images (large file)



Many thanks!
 
Joined
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Here's a very old post, going back to LR1 and 2 days, which explains the issue: Why did Lr 'ruin' my picture?

Some of that post is now out-of-date, but the main point is still correct. Irfanview will be showing you the embedded Jpeg within the Raw file, which was created in-camera using the camera's raw conversion, and so will be identical to the separate Jpeg file created by the same raw conversion. Lightroom shows you the result of the raw file conversion using Adobe's algorithm, which will be different to the in-camera conversion (and probably all other raw converters, as they all do things their own way).

You say you want to be in control of what's going on.....you have far more control when processing the Raw file than you do with the Jpeg, but you need to spend some time learning how to use the tools that are available in Lighroom.
 

wp59

wp59
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
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Location
UK
Lightroom Experience
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6.x
Ok many thanks for the reply.
Yes – learning is the very reason for the question.

So if I understand you correctly –
  • When Irfanview displays the NEF image, it is actually displaying the embedded JPG (within the NEF file) that has been created by the camera
  • Whereas Lightroom is making its own rendering of the RAW data.
  • Which is itself determined by the Camera calibration profile chosen
  • Ie Irfanview is in fact ignoring the RAW data (as it’s just displaying the “camera-created” JPG)

Assuming the above is correct, the next question is which calibration profile to use – Adobe Standard or one of the “Camera” ones – ie Camera Standard, Portrait, Neutral etc.
I’m guessing this is down to personal preference rather than a “right” one?
In my case, the “Adobe Standard” one looks the worst.
 
Joined
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I don't know the specifics of Irfanview, though as both the Irfanview view is the same as the jpeg it's reasonable to assume that you are indeed only being shown the embedded Jpeg. Which is not untypical of most external viewers. Lightroon itself shows the embedded jpeg initially, but that is quickly replaced by a new preview which is based on the raw conversion.

Starting with Lightroom Classic (version 7), things changed even more as it's now possible to import using and retaining the embedded previews (i.e. they're not immediately replaced) which is helpful for a much improved import/culling workflow. Other changes in Classic include a complete overhaul of the profile system with a new default Adobe profile (called Adobe Color) plus a lot more dedicated Adobe raw profiles.

The Adobe Standard profile used in LR6 is deliberately quite neutral in its conversion, which many users prefer as a starting point for their subsequent development. Others prefer a more punchy rendering from the start, so would usually use one of the "Camera Matching" profiles instead. It's all a personal choice of course, the point being you have far more flexibility to develop the images to suit your personal taste, compared with starting with a jpeg.
 

wp59

wp59
Joined
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Thankyou again.
Interestingly, the Adobe Standard Profile is much more punchy than the Camera Neutral one. It seems to overdo the contrast, washing out some areas. So for me the Camera Neutral one is better as a starting point for editing..
I can just make a preset and to import that way.
Thanks again for your help and explanation.
 
Joined
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Thankyou again.
Interestingly, the Adobe Standard Profile is much more punchy than the Camera Neutral one. It seems to overdo the contrast, washing out some areas. So for me the Camera Neutral one is better as a starting point for editing..
I can just make a preset and to import that way.
Thanks again for your help and explanation.
Visual Preference is subjective. The Camera Profiles have been reverse engineered from the in camera profiles used to create an in camera JPEG.

My personal preference for my Nikon is Camera Landscape for more than just landscapes.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
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Remember that the purpose of LR is to let you start the editing with your own setting, whereas the camera show you the end of the editing with the settings set on the camera (and designed by the manufactirer).
LR shows you a starting point of your editing, when the camera shows you the end point of its editing.
 
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