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Old Mar 7, 2005, 12:16 PM   #1
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I'm trying to shoot more in RAW to give myself more options and retain quality. This recent batch came back from the lab very flat. Other shots taken the same day in JPEG came out beautiful. I've never had this problem before.

I've gone from RAW to CMYK TIFF to magazine with great results. Should I use Canon's File Viewer Utility instead?

What's the rub?

--Alex
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Old Mar 7, 2005, 1:45 PM   #2
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What lens were you using? What type of lighting?
I assume the JPEGs were shot at the same time?

What camera were you using? In JPG mode, the camera was probably set to add more contrast. In RAW, all contrast, sharpening, whatever is not done. You have to do it when the shot is edited on the computer.

I find my images are usually flat and I need to add more contrast. But this is also because I'm usually shooting through a lot of air, which reduces contrast.

Eric
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Old Mar 7, 2005, 4:15 PM   #3
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Alex Campuzano wrote:
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I'm trying to shoot more in RAW to give myself more options and retain quality. This recent batch came back from the lab very flat. Other shots taken the same day in JPEG came out beautiful. I've never had this problem before.
--Alex
What do you mean when you say "they came back from the lab?"

Are you sendinging RAW images to a lab for printing?

I didn't realize that commercial labs would accept RAW images, although it makes sense. A commercial lab would accept any image because they are a business.

If you send RAW images to a commercial printer, you are leaving the entire "interpretation" phase of demosaicing the RAW image to the commercial printer.

I would use something like Photoshop's Camera RAW to create a TIFF or JPEG with the colors I like and send that to the commercial printer.


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Old Mar 8, 2005, 8:20 AM   #4
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Um Its not gona have anything to do with the lens and such. But rather the color profile embeded in the file. You could shoot raw, convert to a Tiff to retain the quality, but depending on the lab, you might have to convert from something like AdobeRGB to sRGB , which is a tighter colorspace, but its well within the gamut of the printers, where as AdobeRGB might not be within the gamut range of all lab printers, thus comes out flat and ucky instead of punchy like most consumer digital cameras would do in the sRGB profile.
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 10:54 AM   #5
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kb244 wrote:
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... But rather the color profile embeded in the file. You could shoot raw, convert to a Tiff to retain the quality, but depending on the lab, you might have to convert from something like AdobeRGB to sRGB , which is a tighter colorspace, but its well within the gamut of the printers, where as AdobeRGB might not be within the gamut range of all lab printers, thus comes out flat and ucky instead of punchy like most consumer digital cameras would do in the sRGB profile.
Good point.

Even though it's a RAW image, it would include the color space tag. If the color space was set to AdobeRGB, the printer's software would use that, thus the flat image.

I still wouldn't send a RAW image to a printer.


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Old Mar 8, 2005, 4:58 PM   #6
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I assumed you read the sub-text to the post "Shot RAW, converted in PhotoShop CS and color are very flat."

I sent JPEGs to the lab and they "looked" fine. I'll check tonight and repost to make sure I didn't miss something. Thanks for the replies.

-Alex
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 7:18 PM   #7
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I still make my point. What lens were you using? What was the lighting light? My images always need adjustment. I alter contrast in every image I edit, some by quite a lot. But that is because I shoot at a longer distance than most here.

Could you post an example (even a crop) of an image you feel is flat?

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Old Mar 9, 2005, 8:22 AM   #8
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Does your outside lab print everything as neutral, or when you flip the print over do you see codes other than NNNN (note: this is typical ... butI don't believeall labs use the same system).

Because most commercial labs have auto-enhancements turned on your print quality can vary all over the place. Say you increase the brightness because it pleases you ... autocorrection will put it back. You take out yellow because you don't like it ... it puts it back. Also, if the lab doesn't maintain their equipment calibration color, density, etc. can be all over the place from batch to batch.

The only way to get great prints every time from an outside printer (my opinion) is to find a Pro lab that you can work with to set up how things look on your monitor vs the final product. It's easier to do with full-blown photoshop since you can enter their printer profile, but you can still get great results with Elements with a little trial and error.

A goodPro lab will print everything neutral for you on a machine that is kept in top notch calibration. Using some samples you can tell if they shoud print, say, -1 Yellow or +1 density, no calibation at all, etc. It also helps if you ensure that your own monitor is calibrated the same for each batch of photos you process (you can buy a device to do that).

It would be great is some others would add to what I have said above. I'm a noob too, but I've tested several commercial labs in my area with large differences and even had differences with the same jpegs being processed by the same lab on a couple of occassions. Things changed dramatically when I started working with a professional lab.



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