Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I love Adobe Lightroom, the workflow, the interface, the whole package. However, as a Nikon owner never did I manage to get the colors to look as good as after processing with Capture NX. No doubt about the fact that Capture NX understands Nikon's white balance data much better. Of course Lightroom has camera profiles, but as far as my experience goes they don't solve the problem completely.

So the question is: did I give up on Lightroom to soon? Have you been able to get the colors look the way you like them? Have you created or discovered some third party camera profiles that you are happy with and would recommend to others?

share|improve this question
add comment

5 Answers 5

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The Adobe Camera RAW/Lightroom white balance presets have too much magenta in them (for Nikon cameras, anyway). This can skew the overall color balance, but it can easily be gotten around by creating your own presets that leave the magenta/green balance at zero.

The latest versions of the RAW engine and DNG spec support DNG profiles, which go a long way towards allowing you to get the color rendering you want. Many folks like the DNG Profiles that emulate Nikon's color modes, so you may give those a try. I was never a big fan of the Nikon color rendering though (too much cyan in skies, not to mention red/orange and blue/purple crossover problems). My preferred approach is to use a Macbeth Color Checker chart to create a custom DNG profile (which can be further tweaked to taste, you don't have to take the wizard-generated profile as-is).

Also often overlooked are the Hue/Saturation/Luminance adjustments, which can give you further control and may be more intuitive to some. And if you find yourself repeating certain adjustments on many images, you can make a preset of them.

I think once you get the hang of the options available in the ACR/LR raw engine, you should be able to get pretty much whatever color rendering you want.

share|improve this answer
    
How you fine tune .dng after creating them? –  AlberT Aug 18 '10 at 17:52
    
You talk about DNG, but is there a way to correct the colors of a RAW file without having to convert it to a DNG? Ins't there already a LR profile made my someone that corrects the colors as Nikon's NX does? –  dialex Sep 10 '11 at 10:32
add comment

Nothing could beat DXO Optics Image Quality. It has the best NR algorithm in the industry. If the Lens / Body combo you use is supported by them, the Optical Correction Engine is spectacular.

Their main disadvantage is it takes time to properly use their software. But if you bear with it, you won't regret it.

P.S. DXO has color profiles which imitates Nikon colors in a much better way than Lightroom (In my opinion). Though it doesn't have all Picture Control options.

share|improve this answer
1  
The OP asked about color, not noise reduction. Can you edit your answer to address that? –  Reid Jul 19 '10 at 21:20
    
Thank for pointing me. I addressed the colors. –  Drazick Jul 22 '10 at 19:17
add comment

I use Bibble and have been very happy with it, though I never even installed Capture NX and so can't make that comparison.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Raw Therapee is also rather nice, but still heavily in development. It is also (now) open source. I've never used the software that ships with the camera body.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Which version of Lightroom did you use? I find LR 3 to work really well for me, and haven't had a ton of WB problems with it. Perhaps you might want to give 3.0 a shot and see if it works any better?

share|improve this answer
    
I've tried LR3 when it was still in beta. It's probably time to try it again. –  Piotr Zurek Jul 16 '10 at 2:32
    
Yeah, they did improve things in the final release, including per-lens distortion correction. I haven't noticed all that much changing with WB or color since the last beta, but maybe you used an earlier one? –  Josh Goldshlag Jul 19 '10 at 20:45
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.