About color and sharpness with SD1 and SPP5

The article below does only apply to the situation with SPP 5.0. The problems mentioned below were corrected in successive new releases. Please see » this article for the current release.

In the recent days a lot of discussion has been going on about the sharpening and color handling of SD1 RAW files in SPP5. This is a quick post with my experiences in regard to those two issues.

Sharpening.

It looks like the sharpening in SPP5 is very aggressive and gives files a feel of over sharpening. Very fine detail is more or less destroyed and artifacts do show up at zero. If the file is indeed sharp a setting around -1.0 to -1.5 seems to offer a normally sharpened image. But I felt there is more in the files then what SPP gets out of it this way. So I changed my workflow and started exporting using sharpening set at -2.0. Then I used the smart sharpen function in Photoshop to bring out the details. I preferred using sharpening for Lens Blur at ca. 50% with a 0.7px radius. I now think a smaller radius might be better, try something like radius 0.3px but at 100%. It all depends a bit on the scene. I do this before any other correction. Afterwards you can just follow your normal workflow.

Color.

This is a bit of more difficult issue. It looks like there is a bug or bugs in at least the Mac OSX version of SPP5. There seem to be several issues at hand with one being a gamma correction which is not working as expected. Another big one is that the working colorspace is not translated well to the screen colorspace. Both problems do influence each other. At this moment the safest bet seems to be to have (on the Mac) both the working colorspace and the exporting colorspace set to AppleRGB (gamma 1.8). This gives at least results that are consistent between SPP and any other color managed application that you will use in post processing. I do not own a PC so I can’t say much about that but it seems to work a bit better. But the advice there seems to be to use sRGB instead of AppleRGB.

The colorspace bugs have been reported with Sigma but it seems to be a complex problem. I still hope that they will be able to solve it soon.

Did you find other ways for consistent color or have a different sharpening workflow. Do not hesitate to tell us so in the comments!

Comments

  1. I must admit that I have lost faith in SPP. I’m doing everything with Elements 7 and finding the results as good as SPP but with a much quicker and easier operation. As far as sharpening is concerned I will try your suggestion of 100% 0.3px and report back…

    Btw, I have a DP1s which is stunning – I use it more than my DSLR!!!

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