Mike Chaney's Tech Corner
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31  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Raw format options, auto blk level default on: November 03, 2019, 10:12:09 PM

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?

32  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.
33  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.
34  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Having trouble reducing noise in raw on: October 04, 2019, 04:01:02 AM
Thanks- it's useful to know what I'm seeing is normal.
35  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Having trouble reducing noise in raw on: October 03, 2019, 02:06:31 PM
The chroma filter is definitely the most effective on the type of noise I've got, but also the most damaging to sharpness/detail. Does it have any settings for how much is applied beyond regular and heavy? The "old girl" has served me well, but I think a camera upgrade is in the very near future (he says, looking at his watch.)

edit- I just found I can fix much of the loss of sharpness with DFS. I've always kept any sort of sharpening to a minimum, but up at 400-500%, higher than I've ever used, things improve greatly.
36  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Having trouble reducing noise in raw on: October 03, 2019, 12:22:53 AM
My D200 is an antique and hopefully I can upgrade soon. In the meantime, no matter what I do with the RAW preferences, my noise levels are way higher than the jpegs produced in the camera. The noise looks like multicolored cottage cheese, mostly visible in darker areas, but it's really everywhere. The jpegs will be almost perfectly smooth. Even going into the image editor I can't get the noise that low without losing detail. Any hints for settings to try or where I could be screwing up?
37  Technical Discussions / Printers / Re: Canon Pixma Pro-100S Cleaning Cycles on: September 03, 2019, 08:29:00 PM
I just use my PRO-100 and feed it factory ink when needed. I don't actually print that much so it can go quite a long time between power-ups. Is the ink usage really in grams? That seems like a lot and you'd need a really big internal sponge after a while to hold it all.
38  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: suport for apple file format on: August 23, 2019, 04:55:59 PM
IMHO, the raw processing is no hack and works well for me. I've tried quite a few and keep coming back to Qimage. As for the Apple format, after reading various articles, the jury is still out. Not much supports it yet and it may or may not become a popular standard, save for phone images in a storage sparse environment. As mentioned in a post above, history is not on its side. OTOH, maybe Mike will decide it's a desirable feature.
39  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: color management on: June 15, 2019, 02:04:49 PM
Here's "uncle Conrad's" method. First, forget the monitor and get the printer correct. Download a reference image. I like the ones here http://www.gballard.net/dl/PDI_Target_Folder.zip Start with the sRGB one. Print it with Qimage and don't alter it at all. It should be spectacular, with red strawberries you want to eat, perfect flesh tones etc. Pay attention to the steps of the grey scale- all or all but one should be visible. If that's not the case, you need a different profile or have some setup problem. It's essential that a reference image (there are many out there) print correctly without alteration. BTW, you have to view your print under correct illumination. In the interest of saving energy, many rooms are too dim!

Once that's done, you can address the monitor. I don't have calibration tools for my monitor, but they wouldn't do me that much good. The room illumination changes depending on the time of day, the weather and if I have the lights on. Unless you can standardize the monitor conditions, "calibration" may not give you the results you need. At best, you'll still have to tweak it slightly. Use the reference image again, and be sure what you see on the gray scale is a good match for the print.
40  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Copying raw refine settings to other images on: June 01, 2019, 02:09:03 PM
Thanks! I'll run some tests with that. Many of my images are sets, to be used for focus stacking, panorama stitching and such. It's usually important that they be processed in exactly the same way for best results. In the past I've just let the camera do jpegs. I doubt it's very smart (the camera), so if I use manual exposure mode and fixed white balance, the images tend to come out the same. I've been trying to move my workflow to raw, so now have to think more about things like this.
41  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Copying raw refine settings to other images on: May 31, 2019, 08:44:45 PM
Yes, that helps. It's how I thought the ODR box worked, but can't see how that would be useful very often unless the images were near identical. Here's what I really want to know- let's say I have an image with a grey card, color chart, a crying baby and a partridge in a pear tree. By the ease of ODR boxes and such, I arrive at suitable raw refine settings for it. Now I want to apply that exact same math to other images, shot under the same conditions, regardless of the content of those images. What boxes do I check or not check?
42  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Copying raw refine settings to other images on: May 31, 2019, 05:32:21 PM
When you copy settings to multiple images, you get the window allowing you to select the specific things to copy. Dumb question, but if I select nothing, are there any settings still copied? Also, are physical locations of selection windows copied and acted upon, or is only the "math" from the first image that gets applied.
43  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: RAW ISO on: April 20, 2019, 03:09:51 AM
Silly me- I didn't notice it was changing as I refined the image. Thanks!
44  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: The bit depth question on: April 20, 2019, 03:01:24 AM
Thanks! The "problem" is really your own fault- I happen to like the raw converter in Qimage better than the other ones I've used. It has what I need without a lot of complication and I get better results in the end. It now makes more sense to me why things come out in 8-bit, knowing about the corrections and sharpening.
45  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: The bit depth question on: April 20, 2019, 12:19:39 AM
Replying to myself after so many views with no response suggests I've stepped into some sort of digital meadow muffin. Most of what I do, at least lately, is destined for either focus stacking programs or stitching programs like MS ICE. Some is destined for mammoth display backgrounds where 16-bit data is expected (even if it isn't ultimately used). I don't know for certain that 16-bit data is better in any practical sense, but it seems desirable to keep it until the final edit. Opinions?
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