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What are your ACR defaults?

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Old 08-23-2010, 04:04 PM
strictlygunners strictlygunners is offline
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What are your ACR defaults?

I am just curious as to what the majority of you guys use as your Camera Raw defaults.

I tend to zero everything out and apply a mild S curve.

I'm just not sure about what I should be using for Noise Reduction and Sharpening. I've read conflicting statements about using the defaults, or zeroing them out and doing both in Photoshop.

Please share your default setup so I may learn a thing or two

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Old 08-23-2010, 06:03 PM
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gene_spark gene_spark is offline
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Location: Germany, little Town near the Ruhrgebiet
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Re: What are your ACR defaults?


I also have zeroed out everything...but then i have to adjust the Brightnes Slider to the Camera.meter...i Photographed a very exakt lit Greycard and adjusted the RGB numbers to 119 not 128 because the Middle grey of the Card is measured in Lab 50, 0, 0 and that translates in a 2.2 Colourspace like sRGB oder ADOBE RGB to 119...
Now the Konverter is calibrated to your Camerameter...and in normal cases you dont need to touch the Brightness slider anymore...If your Pictures are over ore underexposed you have to change that with the exposure slider... to refine the Konverter even further more you can take a Phot of a Color referenz Chart like the Colorchecker and refine the colors ..but this is explained in Detail by Bruce Fraser:

this can be automated with a script by tom Fors:

or a better and faster one by Rags Gardner:

you have to go to the Technology section..there are a lot of interestimg informations and the mentioned Script..


Last edited by gene_spark; 08-23-2010 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:41 PM
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MacBurg MacBurg is offline
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Re: What are your ACR defaults?

Mostly I'll use ACR to correct white balance and a light capture sharpen, I often tweak colours through the HSL tab mainly their luminosity and hue. Everything else is handled in Photoshop...
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:04 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Re: What are your ACR defaults?

Since I upgraded to CS5, and watched new tutorials as a reward for my purchase, I found that there are reasons to make more adjustments in Camera Raw rather than Photoshop. The main reasons are 1. all adjustments are non-destructive 2. adjustments are not moving pixels in ACR - they are simply applying instructions for future use in Photoshop, so adjustments take little time to be performed.

I make many more adjustments in Camera Raw now, especially all the large-scale ones, and leave adjustments of small areas to Photoshop.

Deke Mc Clelland has a free video on Camera Raw in which he makes a number of adjustments on one of his photos.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:26 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: What are your ACR defaults?

The reasons CJ said wrote plus additional reasons:
- There are a number of things you can do in ACR which would take more steps, time, and adjustment layers to do in PS.
- The Clarity slider is not available in PS
- The Orange sliders in the HSL Tab of ACR is a huge time saver for tweaking skin
- The Temperature and Tint sliders emulate LAB (Blue/Yellow; Green/Magenta), so tweaking color balance manually is a breeze and it's like taking a quick trip into LAB.
- The Vignette adjustment is very handy for certain specialized lenses that require it at extreme settings.
- Split Toning is swift and easy in ACR

I have Sharpening turned off and only do it and Noise Reduction in PS.
Regards, Murray
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:31 AM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: What are your ACR defaults?

Zeroing out ACR is kind of dumb (sorry). I think I know where this idea came from. Something about how ACR handles data with curves which is nonsense. You want to do as much heavy lifting in ACR or Lightroom, rendering the best possible data and image quality (desired color appearance) before you end up in Photoshop! ACR is a raw processor, it creates optimized RGB pixels using metadata edits. Being sloppy in rendering and trying to "fix" this in Photoshop is a waste of time and quality.

Capture (and optionally output) sharpening in LR or ACR is far more robust than what's possible with simply Photoshop sharpening routines and based on this idea:
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:05 PM
punctum punctum is offline
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Re: What are your ACR defaults?

I almost do all adjustments on camera raw and use I ps for retouching, compositing, local adjustments etc.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:01 PM
davecam davecam is offline
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Re: What are your ACR defaults?

If i remember correctly, when you've finished adjustments in ACR, hold shift key while you click on 'open image'. You can then double click on the icon in layers pallete and you're back in ACR. This can be very useful.
Dave c
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:30 AM
kkamin kkamin is offline
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Re: What are your ACR defaults?

I share the workflow like many others here. I try to do an much in ACR as possible because it is such an elegant program for adjustments. Also you are processing a RAW file, and have image data that extends past the absolute white and black points. Get that data back into the image in ACR because you simply can't in PS. Use the adjustment brush to fix tones in the tricky areas.

And like the last person to reply mentioned, you can open up files from ACR in PS as a Smart Object and easily return to ACR from further editing. Also you can bring in multiple copies of your RAW file in PS at different exposure settings and mask in different parts.

I bring everything I do into PS eventually, but ACR does a significant part of my heavy lifting.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:49 AM
bakerser bakerser is offline
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Posts: 91
Re: What are your ACR defaults?

I can identify with those talking about 'zeroing out' ACR defaults. I once thought about things this way too, wanting to get as neutral a starting point as I could when I worked on each image. Unfortunately, I didn't have all the information.

As it turns out, '0' on some of the ACR sliders is not a neutral value - for most, it is effectively a negative one. Likely because camera makers don't use values of 0 by default in their conversion software either, the decision was made during ACR's early development to use Brightness 50 / Contrast 25 / Medium Contrast (curve) as the 'neutral' (or '0') values. The only value which isn't 'zeroed' as shipped is the Blacks slider, which is 0 in a neutral rendering.

In any case, to directly answer the OP's question, my default values are tuned to camera body and ISO, with color profiles for each body applied automatically and NR set to my preference for the ISO the image was shot at. The remainder of settings are all neutral, though as above not all 0.
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