don’t look too close…

…the main point of interest isn’t in focus.

That’s one of the things I face by continuing to use reversed lenses (and concomitant rock-back-and-forth-type manual focus) and wide apertures. Alhamdulillah, I have some fun gear.

It’s one of those perennial things, the lust for new gear. Spurned on by the announcement of a new full frame Nikon—pretty much the camera I wanted the previous two low-end full-framers to be, and pretty much everything (aside from the 1/8000th shutter speed and a faster flash sync—the first of which I don’t need if I just tighten up the aperture some; the other is far more important, but I don’t do much with flash anyway, and Nikon doesn’t make a camera with sync speed over 1/250th, and all those start at over $3000: is 1/3 stop worth $1000 to me?)—I started looking again at my kit, the coverage I have with a 1.5x crop sensor camera, the quality I get out of the equipment, and maybe it’s time to buy an actual macro lens? Especially if I upgrade to full frame at some future point, the rocking-back-and-forth is getting harder, and an actual focus ring would be of some benefit methinks.

But enough about that… I’ll either talk myself into it (the lens, the camera, or both) or I won’t: Allahu Alim.

And I discovered something in Lightroom… In the Develop section: Camera Calibration. Lightroom does some preliminary calibration to RAW photos on import. Lately, I’ve noticed a massive increase in the fuchsias and reds. Flowers like this would start out looking cartoonish.

This could be something in the monitor calibration… I should check that… Let me go do that…

And… I think it’s the monitor. This Dell is 6 years and 4 moves old. It gets hot and cuts out from time to time. It’s a great monitor, but I think maybe my next investment will be a new monitor. If I can’t be confident of the color/contrast/brightness I see in the monitor, then all the cameras and lenses in the world will be of little use (unless I go back to analog and convert the downstairs bathroom into a wet darkroom… and it’s unlikely the Hanabibti will go for that).

The initial calibration (from March) looked a bit red/brown to me, but I trusted it. Calibration 1 from today shifted everything to green; calibration 2 shifted everything purple. Ugh. Now I have no idea what this picture looks like to anyone.

If you have confidence in your monitor calibration, please tell me: is the background all green? Or does it have some yellow/brown in it? Or does it have weird purple splotches in the highlights?

Thanks in advance.

But I digress.

So Lightroom Camera Calibration settings… My Lightroom is set up to use ‘Adobe Standard’ (or was… I think I changed the default settings for RAW processing to ‘Camera Standard’ for the D7000; other cameras have other options: All of them offer Adobe Standard (even jpegs), but RAWs from the D7000 have options for Camera Landscape, Vivid, Standard, Portrait and Neutral, and the Olympus 5050-Z’s RAWs offer ACR 2.4 and 4.4.

I cycled through the various options, and the Standard and Neutral options looked the most like what I expected (from the jpeg preview, anyway). Strange that the Adobe Standard would make the reds so much hotter than any of the camera profiles. And I just noticed this recently, maybe 3 months ago. I wonder if something’s off somewhere

Adobe has a short explanation of this feature and how to create my own profiles, but what I’d really like to see is the RAW file, or, rather, the profile that made the embedded jpeg and not some interpretation from Adobe… and after a bit of hunting around the internets, other people have similar complaints about the Adobe Standard profile and the D7000.

Maybe Adobe should do something about that. Or maybe I should write my own profile.

But I’ve gone on long enough. Here’s the shot you shouldn’t look too close at:


D7000, mamiya/sekor 50mm f/2, reversed. ISO100, AP mode, f/4. Minimal processing in Lightroom 5.

UPDATE: after calibrating the macbook’s built-in screen—only 2 years old and somewhat more trusted, since it doesn’t cut out or get really hot—I found the 2408wfp calibration from March to be much closer to a suspected good one than either of my earlier attempts. So I think something in went wrong in the calibration. I’ll go back and try again when I have more time.

UPDATE2: and I went back and tested again, this time with all the advanced settings and the 1000000000 colors instead of the 64 or whatever, and *poof* a calibration that is very close to the one from March that I’ve been happily using for all this time.

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