Converting gray scale images before import

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22 comments

  • Walter Rowe

    Are you on macOS or Windows? For macOS I imagine there is a method via Terminal window to do this easily, and probably not hard to create an AppleScript wrapper for it so you can choose images in Finder and run them through that process. Image Magick is one piece of software that I’m sure can do this. The macOS utility sips appears to be able to with the -M (match to profile with specific rendering intent).

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  • Marco Hyman

    I've used the convert program, part of ImageMagick, to convert grayscale to RGB.  With convert the command is

    convert "file name" -type TrueColor rgb-"file name"

    You can use sips to remove the Gray Gamma 2.2 profile, but the "space" will remain "gray" and sips treats "space" as read only.

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  • Walter Rowe

    marchyman – I think sips has matured.

    sips -M /System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/AdobeRGB1998.icc relative test.tiff

    This command took a gray scale color mode TIFF and converted it to RGB with Adobe RGB 1998 color profile. No change in bit depth. I used Affinity Photo to first make sure the image was a grayscale file format.

    Here is the file info in grayscale.

    Here is the file info after running the sips command above.

    When I open both versions of the file in Affinity Photo it also confirms these color file changes. To be doubly sure I wasn't being fooled by Affinity Photo, I converted the TIFF to gray scale in Adobe Photoshop 2020 CC. The mode then said Gray Scale. I ran the sips command and again opened the TIFF in Adobe Photoshop 2020 CC. I saw the mode change from gray scale to RGB, and the color profile change from gray scale to Adobe RGB 1998.

    Unless I misinterpreting something, sips does exactly what we want.


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  • Peter Elias

    The replies are much appreciated. I know of ImageMagick but have not used it. SIPS confused me at first. I found initially a SIPS program for converting astronomy and other scientific images that appears to be Windows only and I use a Mac. I was not aware of the sips for Mac.

    I'll look into both of these, but I suspect it will be easier for me to do batch conversations on GraphicConverter, as I already have that software and some familiarity with it. It has an if...then option in its batch converting, so I may be able to set it up so I don't have to pre-sort which images for it to convert.

    It took me a very long time and much frustration to figure out that grayscale was my problem. I think I will suggest as a feature request that attempts to import grayscale images result in a pop-up that says something like "This image needs to be converted from grayscale to some other colorspace such as RGB before it can be imported and edited."

    Thanks, all.

     

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  • Marco Hyman

    Unless I misinterpreting something, sips does exactly what we want.

    Interesting.   I tried various RGB profiles, but stopped before trying Adobe RGB.   sips on Catalina 10.15.4 was giving me some form of "Invalid replacement profile".   I can confirm that it works using Adobe RGB.  Many thanks.

    $ sips -g space -g profile Fam-192x-0001.jpg 
    /Users/marc/tmp/Fam-192x-0001.jpg
      space: Gray
      profile: Gray Gamma 2.2
    $
    $ sips -M /System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/AdobeRGB1998.icc relative Fam-192x-0001.jpg
    $
    $ sips -g space -g profile Fam-192x-0001.jpg
    /Users/marc/tmp/Fam-192x-0001.jpg
      space: RGB
      profile: Adobe RGB (1998)
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  • Marco Hyman

    Additional benefit of sips over using ImageMagick's convert -- smaller file sizes.

    Original file size: 12.3 MB

    sips converted file size: 13.0 MB

    ImageMagick convert file size: 17.3 MB

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  • Walter Rowe

    ImageMagick might embed the color profile in the image file. How large is the AdobeRGB1998.icc file? Is it about 4MB? That might explain it.

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  • bml

    The hint with sips should be published in the FAQ.

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  • Thomas Zoller

    Thank you very much ! This is the first good solution which seems not to alter the image. I tried to batch convert my images using Fotostation software, but always my images appeared like overexposed, and unusable for Capture One, maybe due to profile settings, but I couldn´t resolve the problem.

    For all others, if you want to batch process all images in one certain folder, simply replace the filename with *.*

    sips -M /System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/AdobeRGB1998.icc relative *.*

    Lastly, how you get the correct path to your folder before the *.*, just switch on displaying it in finder like so:

    defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool true; killall Finder

    And finally: It is a S H A M E for a professional Photo Software like Capture One not being able to process greyscale images - completely ridiculous for the price you paid. Lightroom simply does the job without problems. As I gave up using LR long ago, it tooke me so many wasted hours of my life to find this solution ! I filed a feature request to Capture One - no response.

    Please all who read this: send a feature request !!!

     

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  • FirstName LastName

    I just submitted a request for greyscale support. How does Capture One expect people to convert from Lightroom when they don't support greyscale scanned tif files. I can throw a rock and hit 5 photographers who have these files and want them supported. It's 2020 and we really have to batch convert before importing to Capture One? Also my files are scattered through different folders so this solution would take many hours of work. UNBELIEVABLE.

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  • Alexander Rutz

    That’s a real showstopper for me too, and shouldn’t be hard to implement.

    I’ve just checked: Exported a 16-Bit grey TIFF as DNG with Lightroom, retaining bit depth and mode. And voilá! Perfectly editable in C1 20. So why no TIFFs? Why is not even Metadata editable? Makes no sense to me.

    I really want to get rid of Adobe Lightroom, this is the only thing currently stopping me.

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  • Francis Paulin

    I just ran into this roadblock too. I have thousands of scanned black and white files, and C1 is staring back at me with thousands of readonly eyes. I'm a recent LR convert, and not in my wildest dreams had I imagined that this would be a problem.

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  • Thomas Zoller

    Yes, like with the missing negative conversion feature C1 have there very special way to tell customers what’s needed and what not. Crazy: just for negative conversion with NLP and for handling scanned grayscale images, I am using again Lightroom - which I wanted to give up using. I will not buy any C1 Upgrades until C1 starts a real Dialoge with customers, at least not being silent. Eventually, I may see myself switching back to LR, getting fed up with waiting for nothing.

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  • Francis Paulin

    So, I had a go at converting some of my images using imagemagick in Linux under WSL2:

    find . -type f -exec convert '{}' -type TrueColor '{}' \;

    C1 did not notice that they had changed, so I had to remove them from the catalog and reimport them. Furthermore, each black and white file is 45MB, but the converted images are 134MB. Is it possible to convert them in another way, and not end up with such huge files? I have thousands of images, and right now I don't even have enough disc space to handle all of my images being 3x their current size.

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  • SFA

    Francis,

    This forum is primarily a User to User facility even though provided by Capture One.

    If you wish to address Capture One directly the best options from here would be to raise a Support Case by using the "Submit a request" option. 

    Capture One is software undertaking RAW interpretation from RGB based sensor data and, as such, expects to discover RGB based data to provide optimal interpretation. 

    In the event that you continue to use C1 with your B&W conversions you might find that initial processing using a session workflow would be a better option than working with a catalog. If you convert before importing to the catalog that would also improve the C1 part of the process.

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  • Alexander Rutz

    @Francis there is a way to retain grayscale images and still gain ability to edit in C1 (which makes the reason why it’s not possible with TIFFs even more obscure), which is to convert the images to DNG format. You can do that in Lightroom if you still have it around, or the Adobe DNG converter (though that might be more picky regarding the source image format).

    When I scan B/W-negatives with Vuescan I am now saving directly to DNG in order to be able to edit in C1. I think I have already submitted a request for the ability to edit grayscale TIFFs, but apparently that’s not very high on their list, even though I have to ackknowledge P1 has gotten slightly better in listening to it’s customers.

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  • Alexander Rutz

    @SFA

    > Capture One is software undertaking RAW interpretation from RGB based sensor data and, as such, expects to discover RGB based data to provide optimal interpretation. 

    PhaseOne is building a monochrome medium format back and editing grayscale DNGs works perfectly fine. I can see no sensible reason why TIFF-editing is limited to RGB files.

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  • Francis Paulin

    Thanks for your tips Alexander! I installed the DNG converter, but sadly it does not support converting TIFF files as the source. I also had a poke around at calling it with the command line, but to no avail. It's a bit silly that it doesn't work, when you can do it from LR. I went to my profile on Adobe's page, and tried to install LR6, but they don't host the installer anymmore; sigh. Maybe I'll install a trial version of the latest version to do the conversion.

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  • SFA

    Alexander,

    That is a discussion that you might need to have with Phase One rather than Capture One.

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  • Alexander Rutz

    @Francis I think I remember being confused about why the DNG converter doesn’t allow this too, so I quickly double-checked in LR6. It really works if you uncheck the »convert RAW only« checkbox before conversion. Otherwise it will quietly fail and do nothing.

    There are direct download links to the v6 installers in this article

    @SFA I only mentioned the Phase One achromatic backs because these are supported by their very own software Capture One and so as to underline the fact that C1 is perfectly capable of interpreting grayscale RAW image files.

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  • Francis Paulin

    I installed the trial version of the latest LR Classic, imported the images, and exported them all as dng. They're importing into C1 as we speak, and are no longer read only. Many thanks!

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  • Alexander Rutz

    @Francis great, I’m happy this works for you!

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