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katsntx
3 Apr 2012, 3:47 pm
I'm brand new to LR and to shooting RAW. When I output my files to jpg they look terribly grainy. This is what I did:

Upload RAW images from Memory Card to customer file on computer
Import RAW files to LR
Edit color, crop, send a few to Photoshop for tweaking. When file is done in Photoshop I just hit SAVE and then continued in LR
After all editing was done, I exported files to jpg's back to my customer folder on computer.
I posted a few on facebook and they look very grainy. Then I printed an image on a CD cover and that looked grainy too.

They look terrible. I'm confused by all the export options. Do I need to save multiple versions of these files for different uses? I am burning a CD for my client and I don't know exactly how they will use the images. I'm sure she will want to print some and then use some online for facebook etc.

Do most of you shoot RAW or Large JPG. I only started shooting RAW since getting LR. I thought this would make great quality images but so far... not so good. :o(

Thanks for any insight you might have!
Kat

b_gossweiler
3 Apr 2012, 5:12 pm
Welcome to the forums, Kat :)

Re: Raw vs. JPEG
Without knowing the number, I would think that most of the regulars here shoot Raw (or DNG, which comes down to the same). In general, you should be able to achieve at least the same (usually better) quality by processing a Raw in LR than when shooting JPEG, and you are able to recover a lot more critical shots in postprocessing when shooting Raw. One common reason for shooting JPEG (possible along with Raw) is critical timelines, where photographers need to supply the result of their work within minutes after shooting.

Re: Export size/quality for clients
If you don't have a clue what your clients will want to do with the JPEGs you supply to them, I would export without resizing (or resizing with the original image size of the Raw if you want crops to be enlarged), and in 100% quality. This provides the best derivate of your Raw to your clients. Since output sharpening is output size dependant, you should export in a specific other size when you know how (in what size and where, i.e. Print, Web) the images will be used.

Re: Grain
I suspect what you describe as "Grain" is noise (due to high ISO).

What Camer Model are you using?
What ISO were the pictures taken with?
What postprocessing did you apply to them?
What were your export settings? (please provide a screenshot of the export dialog)
Could you upload a sample Raw image, along with the JPEG you exported, to somewhere in the web (i.e. www.yousendit.com (http://www.yousendit.com)), and paste a link to them here?


Beat

b_gossweiler
3 Apr 2012, 5:13 pm
Oh, and please be aware that your post might end up in moderation when including a link, so it might take a while until it's approved by one of the mods and shows up here.

Beat

katsntx
3 Apr 2012, 5:47 pm
Thanks, Beat. I am shooting a Canon 7d and 85mm 1.8 lens and the ISO's were mostly around 320 - 400 so shouldn't be an issue. I'm not sure now what the settings were when I output to jpg. I also uploaded the jpgs to Express Digital Darkroom which is what I've been using for several years but the colors seemed quite dingy and much different from viewing in LR. Since I don't know much about how to process these images, I just played around with the sliders until it looked good on screen. Now that I think of it, since they were portraits, I did use alot of -clarity to soften the skin. Could this be part of the problem?

b_gossweiler
3 Apr 2012, 5:55 pm
Is there a sample we can see? Negative clarity should not introduce "grain", but "flatten" the details.

Beat

Victoria Bampton
4 Apr 2012, 4:16 pm
Hi Kat, welcome to the forum!

One more question - grainy compared to what? LR doesn't apply noise reduction by default, so skipping down to the Detail panel in Develop and moving the Luminance slider might make you much happier.

firefly by the sea
23 Jul 2013, 1:54 pm
Did you ever find what the problem was. I am experiencing the same, with ISO at 200 using both D300 and D7200 Nikon with 50/1.4 lens. Basically the exact same settings I have always had. Raw files look sooooo grainy! The JPGs don't/ Is this a standard thing with RAW?

clee01l
23 Jul 2013, 2:57 pm
Did you ever find what the problem was. I am experiencing the same, with ISO at 200 using both D300 and D7200 Nikon with 50/1.4 lens. Basically the exact same settings I have always had. Raw files look sooooo grainy! The JPGs don't/ Is this a standard thing with RAW?Welcome to the forum. I see from your response in the other thread that you've discovered the benefits of Camera Neutral. This is a good starting point.

Where are you seeing "sooooo grainy"? Is this a screen view after develop, a paper Print or an Export to JPEG? Without knowing these particulars and a few more, I'll be just blind guessing as to what your problem is.
The Image on the camera back is a camera processed JPEG, it is embedded inside the NEF envelop. It it the first image that LR initially displays. RAW files (if you could see them as an image at all) are flat, toneless, and noisy. It is up to some computer program to make a silk purse out of the sows ear that the camera calls RAW. That computer program could be that tiny underpowered one in your camera or something powerful like Adobe Camera RAW. NX2 or some of the really big number crunching programs dedicated to getting the most out of what your camera can do.

If you shoot using a High ISO you will get noise that even LR can not do justice. For your D300 or the D7200 there is some ISO value lower than the highest setting on the camera that will produce and acceptable image. You need to know that value and plan not to exceed it without expecting some consequences. If you are underexposing the image expect to see some more noise than you would get if the exposure settings were corrected. So I would like to know if there are particular images that have problems or how a correctly exposed image turns out if there is enough light for a correct exposure at f/8, 1/125s ISO 400.

Nikon has a camera feature called ADL, This should be turned off for NEFs that are not processed with CaptureNX2 or ViewNX2. Other post processing software do not understand this dynamic pixel by pixel ISO adjustment and this includes LR. LR has its own method for increasing the sensitivity in shadows and decreasing it in bright sunny areas. Adobe thinks this is the best approach to highly variable light in images and so do I.

So tell me where you are seeing problems in your workflow and what processing steps you used to get to that point. With that information, I can probably guide you into a workflow that is similar to mine that you can use to be pleased with your results. I may need to ask for some develop parameters used and might like to see some example images.

I have a D800, I usually shoot at ISO 1250 or less Although ISO 3200 is possible in the right lighting conditions. I have a Flickr page full of lots of D800 NEFs processed with no noticeable noise.

firefly by the sea
27 Jul 2013, 10:03 pm
Welcome to the forum. I see from your response in the other thread that you've discovered the benefits of Camera Neutral. This is a good starting point.

Where are you seeing "sooooo grainy"? Is this a screen view after develop, a paper Print or an Export to JPEG? Without knowing these particulars and a few more, I'll be just blind guessing as to what your problem is.
The Image on the camera back is a camera processed JPEG, it is embedded inside the NEF envelop. It it the first image that LR initially displays. RAW files (if you could see them as an image at all) are flat, toneless, and noisy. It is up to some computer program to make a silk purse out of the sows ear that the camera calls RAW. That computer program could be that tiny underpowered one in your camera or something powerful like Adobe Camera RAW. NX2 or some of the really big number crunching programs dedicated to getting the most out of what your camera can do.

If you shoot using a High ISO you will get noise that even LR can not do justice. For your D300 or the D7200 there is some ISO value lower than the highest setting on the camera that will produce and acceptable image. You need to know that value and plan not to exceed it without expecting some consequences. If you are underexposing the image expect to see some more noise than you would get if the exposure settings were corrected. So I would like to know if there are particular images that have problems or how a correctly exposed image turns out if there is enough light for a correct exposure at f/8, 1/125s ISO 400.

Nikon has a camera feature called ADL, This should be turned off for NEFs that are not processed with CaptureNX2 or ViewNX2. Other post processing software do not understand this dynamic pixel by pixel ISO adjustment and this includes LR. LR has its own method for increasing the sensitivity in shadows and decreasing it in bright sunny areas. Adobe thinks this is the best approach to highly variable light in images and so do I.

So tell me where you are seeing problems in your workflow and what processing steps you used to get to that point. With that information, I can probably guide you into a workflow that is similar to mine that you can use to be pleased with your results. I may need to ask for some develop parameters used and might like to see some example images.

I have a D800, I usually shoot at ISO 1250 or less Although ISO 3200 is possible in the right lighting conditions. I have a Flickr page full of lots of D800 NEFs processed with no noticeable noise.

Hi! Thanks for your reply!
I import from NEF, then do my white balance, vignetting, exposure etc tweaks, I also bring the color and detail noise reduction to 100%. Once I am done I export to JPG. I can see a huge grain. I use ISO 200 and the files are properly exposed. (Can I email you samples?)38033804

firefly by the sea
27 Jul 2013, 10:09 pm
here is a detail - this is a JPG that I exported from NEF using LR

clee01l
28 Jul 2013, 8:45 am
What I am seeing in the detail is noise not grain. Can you post a complete set of develop adjustment settings? In particularly I am interested in knowing what your NR parameters were in the NEF that you used to create the export JPEG. Also on the export dialog, there is an Output sharpening parameter. What did you use there?
The detail section does not look particularly sharp to begin with. Either the DoF was shallow and this part of the image was OOF, you missed the focus completely, or the lens has a soft focus.
You can post the NEF in a public folder in DropBox or one of the other file sharing web sites. Then if you like you can provide me with a link to that copy of your original NEF. I can then look at the EXIF and post process myself in LR. That way I can better judge what processing steps are necessary to produce the best image possible from your original.