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P: Film emulation presets and profiles.

Explorer ,
May 29, 2023 May 29, 2023

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I've always wonder why, a company that has the most well known software for  photo editing, doesn't have a huge choice of film analog emulation presets and color profiles. Surely the freedom for editing raw files by applying color profile and presets is the most easy (compare to others softwares) but why Adobe has never create a good starting base for editing? I personally don't think that old style, analog film, is old enough to get rid of it. The defaults presets that are in, are just fine, but why not implement them, with a rich choice of new/old profiles? Probably I'm asking too much, and is too much work, and probably also there's always the problem about brands rights, but it would be awesome to have a rich choice of analog film profiles and presets inside Camera raw and Lightroom (mobile and classic). 

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9 Comments
Enthusiast ,
May 29, 2023 May 29, 2023

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ACR installation comes with a lot of crap - they just don't name those using film stock names ... go to "Presets" and just use what you like - unless you can't like something w/o it having a film stock name ? you can rename a preset yourself then

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Explorer ,
May 29, 2023 May 29, 2023

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You are saying that is enough be happy with “aged photo”, Bleach bypass, cold tone, cross process, and so on?

I’m talking about Ilford, Agfa, Fuji, Kodak, I mean, the classic film, most of them are the base, the legacy..

Why we can’t have them inside a Lightroom? It would be awesome.
By the way I had to buy them externally from a third part, but it would be awesome to have them from Adobe.
Who knows more than Adobe how to treat colours?






Nicolo Cerana

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Community Expert ,
May 29, 2023 May 29, 2023

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I'm going to be the devil's advocate here, so be warned, because this is the type of reaction you'll be getting a lot. Yes, I shot Velvia and Kodachrome back in the day.

 

The immediate problem here is that you are really asking for a tiny subset of the processing controls already available. Technically, color transparency film was very inferior to what we have today.

 

The useful dynamic range of color transparency film was by general consensus about 5.5 stops. Kodachrome even less at 4.5 - 5. Good sensors today can capture 12-14 stops, processed into 7 or 8 for most standard output. So how would you emulate that?

 

We all wanted the Kodachrome look. The National Geographic photographers all used that, because the high contrast looked great in print. But try finding shadow detail in those shots! There wasn't any. But that was the paradigm of the day. Impenetrable black shadows was what everybody wanted.

 

Now we don't have to, because the tools are so much better.

 

I remember I struggled enormously with color reproduction in transparencies. It was impossible to get it right. Greens turned cyan, magentas turned red. When digital came along, I jumped at it, and never looked back. It made my life as a photographer much more interesting.

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Explorer ,
May 29, 2023 May 29, 2023

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Well,

I don’t want to be the fire starter here, but, even thinking by clipping shadows, I won’t be disappointed.
I know is crazy, with AI that will create from scratch a new composition, or a new subject in a click, is for me a selfdefense stepping back and detach myself from a perfection.
That’s why, I’m still looking for them, colour profiles and if is possible Presets.

But I don’t want to upset anyone, after I saw what Firefly can do, I need to find a comfy spot, where imperfection is photography. Unfortunately, films around are less, and in Europe, Developers are even less than less.
So that’s why my request.

Thank you for your time.
Nicolo Cerana

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Community Expert ,
May 29, 2023 May 29, 2023

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OK. Hope I'm not too discouraging, it's just that there are more efficient ways to accomplish this. The existing profiles give you a wide range of different starting points. Then there is a secret weapon: presets. If you find a look you like a lot, make a preset of it, so that you can pull it up whenever you feel like it.

 

I don't use presets much myself, but if you're into "a certain look" - there are many legitimate reasons for that - then presets is a much more powerful tool than a range of film emulations.

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Explorer ,
May 29, 2023 May 29, 2023

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Well Thank you, at the Moment I’m using RNI colour profiles and presets.
Very useful in my mind I was looking something more, from Adobe… I’m not very fun to keep saving presets every time, coz you know, every pic has its own story…
But creating those washed colours, likewise the Portra 400 … uhhhh that one is the best. Or even the Kodak Portra 160.

I can’t really find the way to approach to it. Even using RNI colour profile (that is certainly more near than ever) and using a negative saturation, still I’m stuck.

Anyway, thank you 🙂
Nicolo Cerana

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LEGEND ,
May 29, 2023 May 29, 2023

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I can make a preset (profile), up the Vibrance +3 and Saturation +2 and call it "Velvia". It isn't. If you feel that produces a look that is more 'Velvia-like" so be it. 

If you want a profile/preset that produces a match of your raw to the film Velvia, you expect the ability to set up a film camera and your digital camera and (exposure and DR otherwise) a colorimetric match; forget it! Ain't going to happen. 

Even Adobe's Color Matching Profiles (for raw to 'match' JEPG), no one promises nor should anyone expect an exact match. 

People make 'preset/profiles' give them names, and sell them. Could you make them yourself for free? Sure. If you buy such preset/profiles and feel they produce a better visual match to your expectations, fine. Naming something doesn't make it that thing, from Adobe, with AI or otherwise. 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Explorer ,
May 29, 2023 May 29, 2023

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Thank you .
I didn’t want to declare war to anyone. Was just an idea. Nothing more than that.
Anyway very kind to spend time explaining.



Nicoló Cerana’s iPhone

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Enthusiast ,
Jun 06, 2023 Jun 06, 2023

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I agree, there should be a wider range of default film presets!

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