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Best workflow to export RAW for assembly in external app



  • Ian Wilson
    Top Commenter
    You can perhaps recover some highlights in Affinity before creating the TIFF? I haven't had to try out how good the highlight recovery is in Affinity compared with Capture One, but it could be worth trying.

  • Umberto Uderzo
    Well, yes.

    But having paid money for my new shining C1 license now i'm willing to use it as a RAW developer also to make showers 😂. I tought that C1 RAW engine would squeeze more info than Affinity out of the raw even if not developed, maybe i'm in error, didn't try.

    Will give it a spin. Cheers!
  • SFA
    What was involved with your initial development? I know you said without initial development but there will always be some interpretation of the RAW data even if no "editing" has been applied.

    Is it safe to assume that you used the Linear Response curve and made sure no white and black point clipping values were set?

    Bear in mind that C1 when processing internally always has the option to go back to the RAW data.

    Once you have applied adjustments (using C1 tools and methods) you would, surely, expect the export to take account of those changes to produce the new base file.

    If not the target external editor would then have to understand the C1 changes as well reinterpret the file to convert everything to the way IT does things ... in which case you may as well just process the RAW file in the target editor in the first place since the reality is that it will not have an understanding of the C1 RAW file adjustments that would allow it to make further adjustments.

    Historically most multi-image aggregator applications only worked with non-RAW source files (at least that was was how it was when I experimented with a few of them some years ago) so the jpg or TIFF sent to it was all the source data it had.

    More recently some applications will work with RAW file data (perhaps even dng file types?) but they would still need to do that using their own processing engines, though they may 'share' an engine or some components of it with other applications I suppose.

    Affinity (which I own but rarely use) claims the ability to work with RAW files at 16bit and provide 16bit output files from the results. If all you are using C1 for in this context is to convert a manufacturer RAW file to a 16bit TIFF with no changes and all the RAW data included (so far as that is possible) then it suggests to me that you might as well go straight for the Affinity RAW conversion since C1 (or any other convertor) would, in effect, be adding nothing useful to the process that Affinity would (or could) use.

    I may be missing some nuance here so I'm interested to understand more about what you anticipated would be possible.

  • Umberto Uderzo
    Hello Grant,

    Yes, i exported all raw files without touching any development parameters. I mean you are referring to "linear response curve" as the curve parameter tool, as i didn't find anything like a camera profile (except for lens profiles).
    So, in my initial assumption, the TIFF 16 bit should contain same data as the RAW file, on a color basis. I understand that the RAW file is interpreted and the TIFF file contains an interpretation of the RAW file based on the C1 RAW engine.

    Tried with three variants of the same shot. The first is the original RAW file, the second is the exported TIFF file and the third is the merge (more on that later). I only applied maximum highlight recovery on all three files. The result is that the RAW file recovers something (the orange gradient in the lighted part) while the TIFF versions clearly show some clipping has been applied to the information.

    Maybe i should recover everything before the export, then restore the correct luminosity once the entire assembly has been completed?

    About the merge: to minimize noise i shot 8 pictures of the same subject then merge with Affinity to get a noise free picture. I needed to perform this task for each single shot of the Pano shot, which consisted of about 8 different shots, for a total of 64 shots to be processed. I expected to be able to export all information to Affinity under TIFF format and avoid me the need to develop each one in Affinity, as it does develop only one file at a time.

    After the first merging i then created the panorama. Initially tought that the culprit were on the pano stitching algorithm but as you can see from the screenshot, the clipping is present at the very first stage.

    (the signature is a side effect of my last export, don't take it into account)

    So, the only possible solution to keep all info is to pre-develop each shot inside C1, then reverse at the end where needed, which is more difficult. I repeat, this is not C1 failure, only trying to get a fast workflow.

  • Tadeusz Sacilowski
    Hi all,

    Umberto, I was wondering what workflow you finally ended up using?

    I'm new to landscape photography and am using a Fuji X-T3, so have chosen to use C1 for the RAF processing. I've also played around with LR + PS as I try to define a good workflow. One challenge I'm having is how to deal with merging exposure bracketed images.

    I understand that C1 does not do this (yet... maybe eventually with plugins), and that's ok. What I'm trying to figure out is what my workflow might look like if I need to do the merging (and possibly retouching) in either PS or Affinity. As I understand it, it would look something like the following:

    1.) Import RAFs into C1
    2.) Export RAFs (without any development) into either PSD/TIFF
    3.) Import the PSD/TIFF images into PS or Affinity and perform my merge, luminosity masks, retouch, etc and save
    4.) Import the generated file from PS or Affinity into C1 (I'm assuming I can't use C1's PSD round-trip capability since I'm working with multiple images that are being merged into one)
    5.) Develop in C1

    Does the above look correct? Also, and not to get into an image format debate, but is there a difference in the amount of original data that's preserved from the RAF between PSD or TIFF? In a previous post, Umberto mentioned loss of ability to recover some highlights, so I want to make sure I retain as much of the original IQ as possible as I move through my workflow.

    I'm lucky in that I haven't gotten used to a specific workflow or set of tools yet, so I'm hoping to start of with the "right" workflow for my use case, even if it involves a few manual steps.


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