jamalrob 3:12pm, 4 December 2008
Hi everybody

I've just joined this group, as I recently bought LightZone, and I noticed in one of the other threads that people say they use a separate RAW editor first, and only afterwards process in LightZone.

So I'm wondering: why?
Carlo Ch 10 years ago
Other raw converters may better suit your needs, they are all very different. I like the open approach of LightZone.
jamalrob 10 years ago
Other raw converters may better suit your needs

Thanks for replying Carlo, but that doesn't answer my question. I'm asking why, or in what way.

I'm guessing that there is in fact no reason not to use LightZone for the initial conversion, other than habit. It seems great to me.
Carlo Ch Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Carlo Ch (member) 10 years ago
LightZone uses dcraw, that provides a basic raw conversion functionality, with little room for tweaking. Other converters offer much more control in the conversion itself e.g highlight recovery. LightZone OTOH is strong in processing, both globally and locally.

Personally, I like LightZone conversions better than LightRoom, in particular with respect to grain. But I use LightRoom whenever I have to do things quickly and only globally.

I configured LightRoom to call LightZone and experimented with it, but I never used it really. So in the end my workflow is the following: I use LightRoom for quick and dirty; I use LightZone when I really feel like working on an image, usually for B&W when dodging and burning is required, or selective local contrast.
jamalrob 10 years ago
Thanks Carlo.
plongpr 10 years ago
I occasionally use Lightzone to post-process the tonal zones in my images (but admittedly not very often). I use Lightroom as my RAW converter because it's also my image database and can handle most of the basic corrections I need. Lightroom can also prepare my shootings for web publishing and for printing.
Some software tends towards a different emphasis in conversion.
There are IMHO different needs.

I use BibblePro for speed processing, much quicker than LightZone.
If I have 100 baby shots I'll run them through Bibble because its quicker.

Quality wise Bibble also (IMHO and also a dpreview article see dpreview on the D300) gets a little more detail.

LightZone excels in bringing the most out of individual images.

Some of the controls in Bibble allow more extreme corrections (for instance shooting with a B&W yellow filter I can correct in WB in Bibble but LZ doesn't have the extremes)

Bibble also has some nice B&W conversion plug-ins.

So sometimes because of what I want to achieve I process to 16 bit TIFF in Bibble first:
a) I want maximum detail
b) I want to do something extreme
c) I want a film simulation B&W

On the other hand, I often reprocess from the beginning in LightZone after having done a quick processing in Bibble. If the photo merits then usually LightZone is the only workflow I have.
jamalrob 10 years ago
Thanks for the input people. I currently don't really have a need to quickly batch process my images - I'm happy doing them one-by-one. Also, the convenience and simplicity of using Lightzone for everything is probably enough to keep me away from using Bibble as a separate RAW processor. I wonder just how much difference there is? Maybe I'll try it.

Oh, I do sometimes use the GIMP for things that LightZone can't do, like perspective correction and lens distortion correction, but not much.
The quality difference is not huge or even consistent.
Some images its perceivable, others not...

Were it not the need for batch processing and the fact I like the way Bibble plug-in Andy does B&W I wouldn't use it... you are really not missing out much ...
Lightzone does not load my Sony a850 raw files properly. They have a hideous cast that I cannot remove. Lightroom and the Sony raw convertor do not have this problem. The people at LightZones customer service have been no help so I convert them and export them to LightZone or Paintshop Pro, depending on what sort of correction they need.
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