Mike Chaney's Tech Corner
April 07, 2020, 10:28:51 PM *
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1  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Stereo cards on: March 13, 2020, 05:32:29 PM
Ha! Same cheat I use with the spot-the-difference photos. I just wondered if I could get the benefits of Qimage to refine, edit and crop two photos, then get them placed to print on a single card. I suspect the needed positional fiddling is best done elsewhere, but figured it never hurts to ask.
2  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Stereo cards on: March 13, 2020, 12:01:31 AM
I know there  are various groups and dedicated software for this, but recently had an interest and wondered if there were any tricks to using Qimage to do them. Read the very old thread here- http://ddisoftware.com/tech/qimage-ultimate/cross-view-3d-(stereo)-can-you-see-this/

I have a variety of cards that are 3.5" x 7" with images of about 3" x 3 1/4". Some are of low quality and halftone printed, some are actual photos mounted to the cards. I'm guessing my PRO-100 could easily best the printed ones, though this is really pixel peeping at its finest if you use a magnifying viewer.

Anybody else here interested in this stuff?

BTW, I can view them easily using the relaxed method, but can't see how anybody would put up with the strain of cross-eye viewing. I've also got an antique viewer. I need to build a camera slider to do the best job of it.
3  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Optimizing raw settings on: March 09, 2020, 08:31:29 PM
Did a bit of shooting over the weekend of random outdoor stuff and was very pleased with the raw results from the above settings. Additional sharpening and adjustments were done with raw refine and the editor, as needed.
4  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Optimizing raw settings on: March 03, 2020, 06:24:18 PM
While trying to optimize my raw files I learned a few things (with some help from Mike) that might be useful. I recently got a new Nikon Z6, which can produce really good jpegs, and didn't think my raw files were even close in quality. I suspect the best raw settings will depend on many things, the subject matter, the antialiasing filter, the sensor and probably the lenses used, not to mention personal preference.

First, I use the image examiner to see what the effect of changes is. When you rebuild the thumbs, it takes a while before the progress indicator at the top of the screen finishes and you hear the second clicks. About 12 seconds for a single thumb in my case, but it may vary a lot, depending on settings and the speed of the machine. I mention this because if you start the image examiner before the rebuild is done, you won't see the final correct result. Took me a while to realize that.

Changing the raw settings doesn't clear any raw refinements or filters (I think), so it's best to delete those- right click on the thumb for the menu and do both.

My subject matter tends to be technical. Brushed aluminum, black anodized aluminum, text and plastics, usually without much color. Smart color works great on colored stuff (duh!) but can be detrimental on my sorts of subjects, leaving a slight mottle in the noise pattern. I sometimes have to print very large, so the quality of any visible noise is important. I also have editors who like to crop rather than asking for a closer shot.

My images are already quite sharp and only minimal sharpening is needed. More than that enhances noise and can look unnatural. Noise reduction is very personal and you just have to experiment. In general I prefer sharp edges and some noise, as opposed to a softer look. When I did film, I liked my grain sharp, so it makes sense, but you may have a very different opinion.

OK, so what did I end up with? DFS at 1 & 175. Put the slider below right under the 1 in 175. Noise reduction off. Special noise reduction off. Camera specific settings on. Smart exposure on. Auto fill on. Auto black level on. Smart color off. The rest as you prefer. Remember, you can turn on smart color in raw refine if needed. Ditto some noise reduction.

Those settings apply to my particular situation with the Z6. My main point is you have to experiment as the defaults may not be optimal for you. Hopefully what I've said is close to truth, but hopefully Mike and Fred will jump in and correct what isn't or maybe add to the knowledge base.
5  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Qimage settings for Canon Pro-100 on: February 14, 2020, 05:56:38 PM
Old guy stories- Back in my darkroom days, black and white paper came in a plethora of surface finishes. Everything from sandpaper-like and canvas-like, to the well known glossy "F" surface that could be dried to a mirror-like finish on chrome plates. The maximum tonal range was always with the glossy finish because the blacks were blacker. Any other finish scatters light and the black isn't as black. If the paper used an off-white base, usually cream colored, that reduced tonal range even more. A canvas paper with a warm cream colored base was great for portraits and large prints, but a poor choice for most other things. My technical knowledge of color isn't as good, but no doubt saturation is affected the same way. Matte and many "fine art" papers won't produce the gamut range that a high gloss paper will. OTOH, it's horses for courses and you choose the paper for the effect you want, just being aware there are always trade-offs.  Cool
6  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Qimage settings for Canon Pro-100 on: February 13, 2020, 06:17:48 PM
Don't forget the out-of-gamut check, which I find quite useful. Use your soft proof button at the bottom, then check the gmt box to highlight the out-of-gamut areas.
7  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Qimage becomes unresponsive... on: January 13, 2020, 10:00:36 PM
I had a similar problem and it turned out to be one lonely gif file with no content. I found it using a divide and conquer method- put half the files in another directory and try again. Put half the files from the bad directory in another and try again. Rinse and repeat. Then it was easy to spot the offending file. Or, you may have more than one if alteration are a problem.
8  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Crash on 1 pixel file on: December 29, 2019, 12:19:23 AM
Had a directory that I've used with Qimage in the past that was now crashing when I selected it and tried to scroll down. No idea when this behavior started. Found the problem by divide-and-conquer. Split it into several directories and found the file with the problem, a 1 pixel gif image. No idea why I had a 1 pixel gif image or what it was, but when I deleted it everything went back to normal. May or may not be worth worrying about but figured I'd mention it.
9  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Happy Holidays to all on: December 24, 2019, 09:52:53 PM
Happy holidays to everyone! And I see we have yet another present in the form of a new upgrade. Thanks!
10  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: v2020.106 issues/comments on: November 13, 2019, 09:18:52 PM
Just a note to say thanks for the continuous improvements! It seems like over the last few versions the speed and performance has increased noticeably. I probably don't use half the features there, but what I do use works darn well.  Grin
11  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Raw format options, auto blk level default on: November 04, 2019, 08:50:51 PM
I've been using raw refine a lot. With my old Nikon D200 I couldn't really do better than the in-camera jpegs, at least most of the time. Sort of thought raw was a waste of time. With my new Z6, I'm using raw almost exclusively. I like the Qimage approach much better than most others and some of my results are, IIDSSM, rather good. I've started doing more printing on my PRO-100 too.
12  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Raw format options, auto blk level default on: November 04, 2019, 04:51:05 PM
That makes sense. It just strikes me as odd that hitting the default button leaves the auto blk level however it was, checked or not checked. Do people tend to leave it on or off?
13  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Raw format options, auto blk level default on: November 03, 2019, 10:12:09 PM
Hi,

I noticed that when I use the restore defaults button, it doesn't give me an auto blk level default. Should it?

Also, are the default settings pretty much generic, or does every camera need a bit of fine tuning?

Thanks,
CH
14  Technical Discussions / Cameras / Re: Nikon z6 on: November 01, 2019, 08:33:43 PM
Recently got a Z6 and Qimage is working great. It was a tremendous leap of faith for this long time SLR user to go mirrorless, but the more I use it the more I like it. In fact, I almost can't imagine going back.
15  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Having trouble reducing noise in raw on: October 14, 2019, 04:38:09 PM
After much deliberation, I upgraded to a Nikon Z6. It was the only thing that "checked the box" for the many things I need to do. As an old school curmudgeon, I didn't think an EVF was going to cut it for me, but the more I use it, the more I like it. Things are vastly improved in terms of image quality and noise! That said, I'm still having trouble justifying the use of raw files at all, given the storage requirements and the excellent quality of the jpegs right out of the camera.
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