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I shoot Fuji X-series cameras. Adobe camera raw comes with a camera profile that matches the film emulations inside the camera. I like the colors produced by the Velvia profile (although they are nothing like the real Velvia), but I don't like how it crushes the blacks. The contrast is too high.

I'm trying to achieve the colors I want in Photoshop without the extreme contrast of the Velvia profile.

I think that color-wise I succeeded (no, they are not the same, but I prefer the colors I achieved in Photoshop).

velvia vs photoshop vs acr

Hi-res velvia png.

Hi-res photoshop png.

Hi-res raw png.

However, I feel like the velvia version has more detail in the mid shadows (the ones above the black, where you can see detail) compared to my version.

Here are some crops:

crops

Hi-res velvia crop.

Hi-res photoshop crop.

Hi-res raw crop.

It looks like the snow is smudged in the photoshop version. There's extra detail in some deep dark areas in my version compared to velvia, but it has less details in the slightly brighter snow.

There is no extra noise correction compared to the other images.

What could be causing this? The .psd file is here if anyone wants to take a look.

Here are the same crops with some extreme curves/sharpening applied:

sharp crops

Hi-res sharpened velvia crop.

Hi-res sharpened photoshop crop.

Hi-res sharpened raw crop.

It seems that the hue/saturation adjustment layer is the culprit.

Could this be caused by some kind of quantization error because I use such a huge working space? I am using 16 bit, though.

How can I solve this problem? I much prefer the colors and contrast of my version, but I want the extra detail found in velvia.

Thanks!

  • The qualities and deficits that you describe are hard for me to discern between images in a way that would lead to an objective answer. It seems like mostly a matter of subjective qualities that you like or don't like. – user50888 Nov 25 '17 at 23:47
  • See my edit where I added extreme curves/sharpening to the shadows. – Aram Hăvărneanu Nov 26 '17 at 0:32
  • Unfortunately imgur is converting all my high quality PNGs I posted to low quality JPEGs, so the problem is harder to see as the JPEG conversion gets rid of high frequency content. – Aram Hăvărneanu Nov 26 '17 at 0:33
  • @AramHăvărneanu Perhaps you can post higher quality images at a place that doesn't degrade them and post the links belows the samples included in the question (but please leave those as well). – Michael C Nov 26 '17 at 1:22
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    Done, I've uploaded them to my server. – Aram Hăvărneanu Nov 26 '17 at 10:36
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Why do I lose details in the mid shadows?

I shoot Fuji X-series cameras. Adobe camera raw comes with a camera profile that matches the film emulations inside the camera. I like the colors produced by the Velvia profile (although they are nothing like the real Velvia), but I don't like how it crushes the blacks. The contrast is too high.

...

However, I feel like the velvia version has more detail in the mid shadows (the ones above the black, where you can see detail) compared to my version.

...

It seems that the hue/saturation adjustment layer is the culprit.

Could this be caused by some kind of quantization error because I use such a huge working space? I am using 16 bit, though.

How can I solve this problem? I much prefer the colors and contrast of my version, but I want the extra detail found in velvia.

Yes, 'digital Velvia' is not the same as Velvia film, but Fuji makes both so a Fuji digital camera is as close as you can get (digitally).

Ken Rockwell extols his love of Velvia film and doesn't correct for color and reciprocity precisely, he says: "Velvia makes nature look better!" and "Velvia has much deeper blacks than most other slide film. ... Therefore some people used to shoot it at ISO 40 to make it look brighter.".

So feel free to adjust a bit, and expect some flavor.

Fuji doesn't publish curves for it's digital cameras but they do for their film: FujiChrome Velvia 50 and Provia 100F. Comparing the curves for their film (since curves for their digital cameras isn't available) we see:

Velvia 50 Pro vs. Provia 100F

What could be causing this?

It's likely the combination of the way you expose, the estimate of the curves by Adobe and the slight difference in the slopes along with the greater (and uneven distribution) of the color's dynamic range are working together to produce the slight difference between the results.

You might want to purchase a ColorChecker Card and calibrate your monitor, be certain to shoot the card using the same lighting you intend to use in your photos (Sun or Sun + flash) and calibrate your monitor in a room with controlled lighting.

Then you can be certain of the best possible results without guessing where the problem lies.

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From reports on Ming Thein's blog (highly recommended, but I have no affiliation), it's likely the X-Trans sensor that's the problem. Comparing the film modes is great if you're just seeing what works best in jpegs.

But if you are processing raw in ACR, it's been noted that Adobe was late to the table with ACR compatibility, and that CaptureOne seems to handle X-Trans better than ACR for some folks.

Bottom line, it's possible that all your problems are in the pipeline from sensor to raw interpreter, and shooting differently may not help at all.

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