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Raw Processing Using CS2 – Questions

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  • Raw Processing Using CS2 – Questions

    I have some concerns when using CS2 to process Canon 20D raw files. One major concern is noise. I’m finding it very difficult to arrive at appropriate noise reduction settings that will reduce noise but maintain detail, particularly if any exposure adjustment is needed. I’m not even talking about high ISO – just simply ISO 400 and below. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    The second "problem" or at least issue that I’ve noticed is differences in the way PSCS2 treats exposure vs. the in-camera jpeg conversion.

    If I understand correctly, the histogram that the 20D displays after taking an image, is based on the jpeg. If I open the jpeg file in PhotoShop CS2, the histogram PhotoShop shows is pretty much identical to that displayed by the 20D, with more than a reasonable amount of room on the right.

    However, if I open the Raw file (for the same image) in PhotoShop Camera Raw, it shows that there are a lot of blown highlights?

    I tend to like to expose to the right based on the histogram. This has always worked well with the 10D and raw as well but it sure doesn’t seem to work well with the 20D.

    Any comments on what is happening with the 20D in the same scenario? Why are the jpeg and raw results so different with the 20D?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Jim . . .what do you have your exposure compensation set on? And could your 10D have been underexposing . . .hense your compensating for it?

    If the exposure meter is on the middle . . .exposure should be right on target . . .it is with both my 10D and 20D.

    As far as noise in CS2 RAW . . . .I've not experienced that either . . .but it's often caused by exposure when high ISO's are ruled out. Could you possibly post an example along with the exif data?

    Kind Regards


    • #3

      Here's a book that should help you learn PSCS2 RAW, but in the mean time, Billie has some good points. Check them out.

      I LOVE my lab, H&H!


      • #4
        CS2 will automatically make adjustments. It seems to overdo it sometimes. If you uncheck auto it probably looks OK.


        • #5
          Thanks for the book suggestion Michael. I actually already have it on order and I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival!

          Diana, I am cautious with the auto adjustments. I agree that depending on the image (if it is not standard) CS can over-compensate with the auto settings.

          Billie, I only compensate for exposure in the camera when I think that the particular situation warrants it. I actually find the exposure from the 20D more reliable than the 10D – for the jpeg. I’m just seeing more blown highlights when I open the file with Camera Raw. The histogram for the jpeg matches the camera display, but it shows blown highlights in Camera Raw. Maybe it’s due to the curves that are being applied.

          With respect to the noise, the following are 100% crops. One was converted with Breezebrowser and the other was converted with CS2 Camera Raw.

          I realize that it is hard to evaluate, as it is largely subjective. The Camera Raw image contains more detail but it also has more noise in the smoother areas. I used the "normal" conversion for Breezebrowser (with the same amount of positive exposure compensation). I sharpened both images in PS in the best way I could to increase sharpness without over doing it.

          Again this all very subjective.

          The Camera Raw settings are:

          Exposure: +.30
          Shadows: 6
          Brightness: 50
          Contrast: +21
          Saturation: 0
          Sharpening: 25
          Luminance Smoothing: 10
          Color Noise Reduction: 25

          The EXIF is:

          Shutter speed: 1/60 sec
          Aperture: 11
          Exposure mode: Manual
          Flash: External E-TTL
          Flash exposure compensation: +2
          Metering mode: Evaluative
          Drive mode: Single frame shooting
          ISO: 200
          Lens: 24 to 70mm
          Focal length: 42mm
          AF mode: One-shot AF
          Image size: 2336 x 3504
          Image quality: Raw
          White balance: Flash
          Saturation: Normal
          Sharpness: Normal
          Contrast: Normal
          Tone: Normal
          Custom Functions:
          CFn 2: Long exposure noise reduction: On
          CFn 16: Safety shift in AV or Tv: Enable

          Thanks for looking at this!

          Attached Files


          • #6
            Jim . . .are you by any chance a frequent visitor to Your name is familiar

            I'm seeing the noise you're pointing out . . .but it appears to be noise one would obtain when sharpening. I definately prefer the image on the left without the sharpening. I rarely ever sharpen anything but the eyes in portraits. But if you MUST sharpen . . . Scott Kelby of NAPP recommends only sharpening the lightness chanels

            Kind Regards


            • #7
              Um … I wouldn’t describe myself as a frequent poster on DPReview, but I probably look around there more than I should. My nickname there is "Jimmer" (don’t ask! )

              I tend to think that I’m pretty conservative with sharpening myself. Oddly enough, I sharpened the Breezebrowser image a lot more than the CS one.

              I used PhotoKit Sharpener "Edge Sharpening" for both but for the Breezebrowser image I used strength 3 whereas for the CS image I only used strength 1.

              Here is the CS one again with no sharpening (PhotoKit uses layers when applying the sharpening so it’s easy to turn it off simply by hiding the layer) other than the Sharpening 25 applied by Adobe Raw.

              I'll have another look at my Scott Kelby book and review what he says about sharpening.

              Attached Files


              • #8
                This last one (which I think looks pretty good) was done using CS2 and Neat Image (with Neat Image applying some sharpening and noise reduction). But I don’t want to be using Neat Image on ISO 200 images!

                I tried the luminosity sharpening (per Scott Kelby) but it looked worse than the one that I posted previously.

                Attached Files
                Last edited by Jim Pope; 06-14-2005, 11:52 AM.


                • #9
                  Well . . there's obviously noise in this one, so guess that rules out the oversharpening theory

                  This was taken with a studio strobe? Have you tried using a sync speed of 125 or 250?

                  When shooting in studio, I usually have my aperature at around 8, sync speed at 125 and ISO is at 100

                  Kind Regards


                  • #10
                    oh . . .and lower the flash compensation to 0 Hope that helps

                    Kind Regards


                    • #11
                      well I am just now loading cs2 and am finding the same thing.... lots of noise when I havent changed anything.....

                      Uhhhhhh I dont have time to read a novel on this cs2 I hope it's easy to figure out....

                      I didnt copy my actions and pref's from my other computer so I've got to reload all those anyone know how I do that?



                      • #12
                        I just installed CS2, and I have noticed some strange things with the Auto settings in RAW as well. I have some that were exposed correctly that the Auto settings wanted to set the exposure compensation to -0.95. So the first thing I think would be to see if your image really needs to be at +.030 exposure compensation.

                        There is also a setting for noise in Camera Raw 3. Have you played with that setting?

                        In the studio I would agree with Billie. Try shooting ISO 100 with a shutter speed of 1/200.
                        Last edited by John Silks; 06-17-2005, 06:13 AM.


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the comments regarding the camera settings – I’ll make a note of that. Having said that, I should mention that the sample wasn’t from a studio image. It was an on location set-up for a client that needed something done quickly. I picked it for a sample, as it was an image that I knew could benefit from some adjustments during the raw conversion.

                          I’ve tried tinkering with the noise settings in ACR, with some success, but I find that if you’re not careful you end up losing too much detail. I just got the Bruce Fraser book so I’ll be dutifully reading it to see if there are any helpful hints there.

                          It’s a little frustrating, but so far I’ve done much better with CS2 conversions using 10D raw files than 20D.

                          With respect to copying the actions, basically you just need to save the actions on your old computer, copy that file to your new computer and then load them into CS2.

                          Just open CS1 (which is still hanging around even after you install CS2!), go to the Actions Palette, click the little menu arrow, uncheck "Button Mode" if it is checked, click on your action set, click on the little menu arrow again, and select save actions, name them whatever you want to and save them somewhere you can find them again. Then copy the file to some media that you can use to transfer them to your new computer.

                          Then open CS2, go back to that menu and select Load Actions, find the file that you copied and load them into CS2.


                          • #14
                            Thanks Jim I ahhhh knew how todo it manually... I was thinking there has to be a pref file that they are in... no big deal I only have several hundred actions to do that with.... I'm honestly aggravated with cs2 my images look awful.... I'm ready to do the c1 switch for processing .
                            Lori Blaser


                            • #15
                              Wow Lori – I thought that I had quite a few actions but nothing compared to what you have there! But aren’t yours all in a few sets so you can import a whole bunch at once?

                              Back to CS, I have to confess that I’m fairly aggravated with CS2 myself. As I mentioned I did some conversions using old 10D images and they looked really great (I was so happy), but I can’t get the 20D conversions to look nearly as good. Worse is after awhile I start second-guessing myself and it can become a huge time issue. I can't afford to spend hours on this stuff (well I guess I have to but ....).

                              I know there are a lot of other people who really like CS2 and I’d like to hear more from them and how they are handling this.