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Thread: Color space - raw image

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    Member Mircula's Avatar
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    Color space - raw image

    Hey,

    I have read though a couple of color space threads in the forum.

    Just one simple question....


    If i shoot raw, import the photos into lightroom and then look at them, what color space am I in then?

    I normaly set the color space when i export the photos to Jpg after all the editing....


    Thank you,


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    Not sure about the 20D, but with the 50D you can set the colour space internally, between ADOBE and SRGB...

    Have a check in the menu and see if it has it?
    Cheers, Brad




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    Ausphotography Regular kaiser's Avatar
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    Lightroom's default workspace is ProPhoto RGB which is an even bigger colour space than Adobe RGB. RAW files will be displayed in ProPhoto as default.
    Like Brad said you can set the colour space in camera - however this colour profile is not applied to the RAW file itself - but rather the files generated from the RAW by other programs. . (eg. jpeg tumbnail preview, TIFF when you go to edit or export to Photoshop.)
    Think of it as a tag that tells the program what colour space to use.
    Last edited by kaiser; 13-04-2010 at 11:40am.
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    Member Michael's Avatar
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    Hi Mirc,

    My understanding of this is that your photo's are in the ProPhoto RGB colour space until you export them to your photo editor of choice, in my case Photoshop. You can convert them to your colour space of choice as part of the step "edit in photoshop" which can be found under preferences - external editors. Whilst ProPhoto is supposed to be the top of the colour tree at this point I don't think you will be able to find anything that can show/use this info without some sort of conversion going on. I use AdobeRGB as my preferred colour space as more and more monitors & printers are able to use the full gamut (or near to it) of this colour space. When setting the colour space in camera I think all you are setting is the JPEG component of your file, if using RAW you will have access to the full colour gamut (even though you won't be able to use it) until you have converted to a TIFF or JPEG in the colour space of your choice for printing etc. It is most likely a wise option to save all your RAW data as is, so as to future proof it to an extent so that when monitors & printers can show/print the full gamut of colours you will still have the file available with this extra info.

    Hope that helps.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    RAW files do not have a colourspace. They are the raw data, when you import them into your editing software that is when a colourspace is defined. So you can alter the colourspace of a raw file by importing it in a different colourspace.
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    Member Michael's Avatar
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    Correct, but I thought he was asking what colour space Lightroom was?

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    Mircula's Avatar
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    yep I was.

    I know that raw does not have a colourspace, but in lightroom just after import it needs to have one somehow...

    Thank you all for your answers

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    RAW files do not have a colourspace. They are the raw data, when you import them into your editing software that is when a colourspace is defined. So you can alter the colourspace of a raw file by importing it in a different colourspace.
    So the "colour space" setting 'in camera' is for jpegs only?

    I wasn't aware that they didn't have a colour space... Learn something new everyday

    EDIT: Just re-read Michaels Post.. Confirmed!

    lol thanks for the info!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mercho View Post
    So the "colour space" setting 'in camera' is for jpegs only?

    I wasn't aware that they didn't have a colour space... Learn something new everyday

    EDIT: Just re-read Michaels Post.. Confirmed!

    lol thanks for the info!

    Thats completely correct. You should though in your camera menu change the default setting from SRGB to Adobe 1998 if possible (if you shoot JPEGS).
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    As Kaiser said, the default lightroom colourspace is ProPhoto, and it is a huge colourspace. But just to confuse you. Most monitors on the market don't even cover the sRGB colour gamut, especially the cheaper ones. There are some great monitors out there that get close to or acheive the AdobeRGB gamut. Now consider that ProPhoto colourspace is huge compared to AdobeRGB. So even using the Lightroom default of ProPhoto, at the present time your monitor cannot display all the colours that ProPhoto can produce.

    Take an Eizo monitor that has full AdobeRGB colour gamut and look at the $$$. Now consider if you could get a monitor to display ProPhoto gamut..how much would that cost you?

    Having said that I import my Raw files into Lightroom in the ProPhoto colourspace, cause in several years time we will be able to get ProPhoto monitors and the results at that time will be worth it.

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    Member charton's Avatar
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    Ok, so I set my camer colour space to AdobeRGB, when I import RAW into LR the default is ProPhoto - I think this is where my last processing problem occured . When I save for web should be in sRGB, I get that.

    Q's
    1) What colour profile once imported RAW into LR should you process in?
    (based on Ricks last comment about monitor gamut I am guessing not ProPhoto??)
    2) If you are exporting to PS using the edit in...option what profile is it sending from LR - ProPhoto?
    3) If you are in LR going to PS, what profile do you send to PS?

    Colour space just confuse the heck out of me! but I am making sense of it now.
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    Ausphotography Regular kaiser's Avatar
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    1) If you only PP in LR, then by all means stay in the ProPhoto colour space. Even though your monitor will not be able to display all the extra gamut - it does not hurt to retain that information in the file. It is only when you export an image that you will need to change - I usually save a master print copy in Adobe RGB and a Web copy in sRGB.

    2) When you send a file to PS via the edit in command - LR will export a TIFF file to PS and the colour space that TIFF opens in depends on the colour profile settings you have set up within Photoshop.
    As a general rule I have PS set up to honour the colour profile of the file being imported/opened - so if LR imported a TIFF for editing it would stay in the LR default - ProPhoto RGB.

    3) All this won't mean a great deal if you don't have a properly calibrated monitor - as you will be seeing inaccurate colours regardless - so if you haven't already, calibrate your monitor if colour accuracy is important to you.

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    Member charton's Avatar
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    Kaiser, I do calibrate my monitor. Thank you for your post.

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