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How to post process when using legacy lenses

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by jai, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    These days I shoot almost exclusively with legacy lenses, not least because I just enjoy using them more.

    As great as my rokkors are, there definitely are weaknesses when compared to modern lenses. It seems to me that my photos are high resloution but lack local contrast. Sometimes they look a little washed out (is this from flare?).

    I often find that my image tends to be compressed in the middle of the histogram, highlights too close to the shadows. I don't know if the lens is causing this.

    What are some tips for post processing shots from legacy lenses to overcome some of these problems?

    Thanks!

    Jai
     
  2. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Do you have hoods on your lenses? It can make a huge difference in contrast depending on the situation.

    During processing you can bump the contrast up, set white/black points, increase the blacks or whites, etc. Depends on the shot.

    Post one up we can play with and we'll process it and post it up along with what we did to it. :)
     
  3. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    I think it's hard to find one universal workflow. Images tend to vary greatly depending on shooting conditions. So I usually create one preset per session and then fine tune each photo after applying it.

    The great problem with adding contrast to legacy lenses is that you will destroy bokeh by adding definition in the out of focus areas. Sometimes you can use brushes but that feels a bit like cheating.

    I find Viveza can add contrast without ruining bokeh. And of course, as Bimjo said, use hoods. Prevention is the best cure. :)
     
  4. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    I do have a hood that came with my big zoom lens (80-200mm), i should try and use that more. It seems to work on my 50mm rokkor without vignetting, but wont fit on my 35mm lens because its a 49mm thread.

    That would be great! I have posted the original version here:

    DSC03649-original | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    If anybody want to have a go, or even just point out where i went wrong when i tried to process it:

    DSC03649 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Probably my biggest mistake was underexposing it in the first instance? Prevention is better, like you both say

    Thanks

    Jai
     
  5. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    That's a great photo and your edit works. There are a few things you could do to make it pop a bit more. But as you say, it's a bit under-exposed. The hood wouldn't have helped here.
     
  6. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    yes is a little overexposed, you can say exactly if you threw in Raw or JPG? so this way we can tell you or help you to make the PP a little better, are two very different things. Working on Raw works much better since you have more information to manipulate without losing much quality otherwise JPG.
     
  7. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    Unfortunately I was just shooting jpeg, at the time I was underexposing to try and capture the red tones of the sunset, but I guess that limits me now in pumping up exposure levels.

    But this is only really one example, I was asking for more general tips, because there are probably things in the workflow that help bring out these flatter photos?

    One thing I was reading was sharpening tools may help with this contrast issue:

    Sharpening

    Another trick I have been using is to increase the "exposure" but at the same time decrease the "brightness"

    I don't really understand why this works, and I worry it makes my photos look over processed and unnatural. Also, I have noticed the issue Jaf-photo mentioned about the negative effects on the bokeh
     
  8. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    Well, in bright daylight conditions, underexposure works fine. In gloomy conditions, you probably should aim for a normal exposure to get a good balance between shutter speed and details.

    Shooting legacy lenses is not that different processing-wise. The same basic principles apply, sometimes you just do a bit more or less of something. If anything colour information tends to be more subtle and nuanced. But I find that the shooting conditions really dictate the processing. You probably should't edit a daylight shot in the same way as an indoor shot or an evening shot.

    The best tip I can give is probably to get a good book with tips and tricks on how to use Lightroom. That way you can learn exactly what the different settings do at different levels. I use Scott Kelby's book, which I find good, if a bit chirpy ;)

    In that particular shot you could use a gradiated filter on the sky to bring it down a bit and increase contrast and saturation. Then you can try lift highlights and mid-tones in the foreground to make it pop.

    And always shoot raw, as mentioned above. Then you can fix most photos.
     
  9. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    I did a super-quick edit on the fly, I don't know if you think it's any different?



    Compared to the original:

     
  10. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Definitely a difference there, Jaf. What did you do?

    Tony
     
  11. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Ok, I didn't have time to get to this yesterday, but here's my cut at it. I opened the file in Adobe Camera Raw first,and then just in PS. Keeping in mind your goal of enhancing the sunset colors here's my settings:

    Exposure: +065
    Contrast: +10
    Shadow: +60
    Clarity: +35
    Vibrance: +50
    Luminence: Red/Orange/Yellow -40
    Saturation: Red +45/Orange +60/Yellow +30
    Noise Reduction: 30
    Sharpened just a smidge.
    edit1.

    For a straight jpg edit in PS the first thing I did was move the white point to the right edge of the histogram bump.Then I set the Saturation to +20 and the Contrast to +20. Same smidge of sharpening.
    edit2.

    Forgive the artifacts in the sky, I didn't save these with that in mind. Interesting exercise. :)
     
  12. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    The main issue was the underexposure of the foreground and the subdued sky. So I masked them both separately, increased clarity over the whole picture (ie foreground, middle ground and sky), increased exposure by +1 on the foreground, left exposure on +-0 on the sky but increased saturation and contrast a little to bring out the clouds and layered colours.

    So I'm emphasising the natural light and colours that are already there:

     
  13. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Nice guys. Thanks for the tips.

    Tony
     
  14. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Nice work guys :thumbup:
     
  15. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    Thanks guys. Both look quite different. Nice colours in Bimjo's version, it looks surreal but it actually was that amazing in real life. I think Jaf-Photo managed to rescue a bit more of the detail.

    You both bumped up "clarity" which is interesting, I will have to read up on what that actually does. I use Aperture and I dont think i have that setting.
     
  16. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Clarity is like contrast, but it only targets the midtones as opposed to the entire histogram.
     
  17. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    Cool. It turns out aperture has an equivalent, and but it is called "definition"
     
  18. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Here's my stab at it.

    i-Tt58sx8-1200x1200.
     
  19. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    I'm just waiting for someone to edit out the cheeseburger from her hand.


    Sent from my iPhone using TalkNEX mobile app
     
  20. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    :laugh1: