Monday, February 1, 2010

D700 & D300 Lightroom Camera Profiles

The weather was wet and miserable last weekend so I decided to have a play with Lightroom 2 camera profiles. I created a custom profile using the Adobe DNG Editor and an x-rite mini Color Checker for my D700 with mixed results. If I created a profile at a single white balance temperature it was pretty good although the reds were a bit over saturated. The problem with this is the profile is only useful on images where the colour temperature is close to that of the profile. I created a dual temperature profile using daylight balanced  lamps and tungsten lamps and this is when the results started to go awry.

The dual temp profile had a cyan hue twist in the blues and was over saturated in the reds, even more so than the single temp profile. I decided that Adobe probably had much more accurate equipment to create the standard Lightroom profiles so I would use one of theirs and just tweak it.

After a few hours of testing and adjusting I managed to get some really predictable results. I used the 'Adobe Standard' camera profile and adjusted it as below...

Further testing showed this worked really well with the D300 as well. I then adjusted the default Lightroom develop settings by reducing the standard Brightness control from +50 to +40. The initial image was a little bright.

The 'Adobe Standard' profile has too much red saturation and a hue twist towards magenta. The blues also had a hue twist towards cyan that made skies look unnatural. Although my monitor is calibrated I removed it from the equation by comparing the results I shot of the Color Checker to a jpeg image of the Color Checker accurately created in Photoshop in the sRGB colour space. Comparing the images directly removed any calibration errors in my Mac system.

I then went on to check out various images in my Lightroom catalogue paying particular attention to skies and bright reds just to be sure the profile held up under different conditions.

You can download the absolute (resets everything) Preset I created or just the camera profile Preset and try it yourself. The image below illustrates the colour shifts pretty well. The bike is metallic orange.

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