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Thread: Anyone using On1 Photo Raw?

  1. #1
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    Anyone using On1 Photo Raw?

    In my continuing quest to find a sustainable alternative to PS (I have CS5 which works but is now legacy software, and I use it with Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw—I have never used Lightroom), I’ve just about decided to buy Affinity Photo.

    But it apparently lacks a browser and that makes its raw converter a pain for more than a handful of images at a time.

    So, I’ve been considering On1 Photo Raw as well, as more of a production raw “developer”.

    These will be for LF scans in the ProPhoto color space out of Vuescan, MF scans from my Nikon 9000, and digital photos from a new Pentax 645z.

    Opinions?

    Rick “getting conflicting views from online research” Denney

  2. #2
    mitch
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    Re: Anyone using On1 Photo Raw?

    Hi Rick
    I use it with no problems and have used on one products for several years I find it much easy to use and I am not very good at such things.
    contact me off line at wager123@ Hotmail.com and lets talk
    mitch

  3. #3

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    Re: Anyone using On1 Photo Raw?

    Rick,

    I've used ON1 products for many years; currently using ON1 Photo Raw 2018.1. I don't process large files like what you've suggested, buy my Canon 5D II files are no issue. I find Photo Raw very easy to use with fantastic results. Also, I really like the fact that all adjustments are non-destructive. Btw, I also have Affinity Photo and, though it okay software, I much prefer Photo Raw. One other note... Being a PS user since v5.5, I find AP just a bit cumbersome to use even though it's touted as being nearly identical to PS. YMMV, of course.

  4. #4
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    Re: Anyone using On1 Photo Raw?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    Rick,

    I've used ON1 products for many years; currently using ON1 Photo Raw 2018.1. I don't process large files like what you've suggested, buy my Canon 5D II files are no issue. I find Photo Raw very easy to use with fantastic results. Also, I really like the fact that all adjustments are non-destructive. Btw, I also have Affinity Photo and, though it okay software, I much prefer Photo Raw. One other note... Being a PS user since v5.5, I find AP just a bit cumbersome to use even though it's touted as being nearly identical to PS. YMMV, of course.
    So, are you using Photo Raw in lieu of Lightroom and doing any additional editing it doesn’t do in Photoshop?

    I’ve always divided up LR and PS this way:

    LR: cataloguing, and uses catalogues as the basis for converting batches of raw files into batches of PSD files. Stores the conversion parameters with the catalogue. Provides many features supposedly designed for photographers, including perhaps enough to stand alone sufficiently to not need PS.

    PS: raster image editor originally designed for pre-press, but expanded over the years to provide features for photographers. Some batch processing, but really designed to work with one file at a time.

    Bridge: a browser hub, for selecting raw images to be converted, or converted files to be edited and printed.

    ACR: a one-file-at-a-time raw converter that points the converted result into PS.

    So, LR is a powerful alternative to Bridge and ACR, I gather, and Photo Raw is an alternative to both?

    I have always used PS (also since 5.5), ACR, and Bridge, and I learned my workflow from scanning, before LR was available.

    I ask my 5D to produce both raw and JPEG files. If I’m taking a bunch of snaps to Costco for printing, I use the JPEGs. I can usually use JPEGs for blurb books and the like. If I’m doing something more serious with the few images I want to print, I use my scanning workflow. But I use that camera for event gigs and documentation, while I use film formats for stuff where I have artistic objectives, however unlikely it is they will be realized.

    My medium and large-format scans are, of course, big—90 megapixels and 48-bit color depth. I usually ask Vuescan to work in ProPhoto, which has more gamut and is less likely to clip during scan processing. Only once have I stitched enough images together to need the PSB file type.

    I’m adding a digital camera with far more resolution than my 5D, and may need more of what LR offers (and I may use Photo Raw for that). But I do not want to use catalogues—I already organize my folders the way I want them. I gather that LR insists on it, and is moving in the direction of requiring catalogues to be in the cloud. Anathema!

    But I don’t want one workflow for digital and something radically different for LF scans, so the software has to handle those big files.

    So, I’m considering On1 and Affinity Photo as partners in a new workflow. But it has to support my scanned images.

    I have Corel Draw for vector drawing and PhotoPaint came with it. But it’s like ancient PS—USM and other important filters won’t work with more than 8-bit, and I rejected further use out of hand.

    Rick “who rarely does production work” Denney

  5. #5

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    Re: Anyone using On1 Photo Raw?

    Rick,

    First, let me preface my comments by saying that I'm still using PS CS6 and LR6. I've had the Adobe Photo Cloud Plan a couple of times, but have let it expire both times because I don't think it really provides anything benefit that I don't already have with other tools. Also, I'm more than a little concerned that Adobe is pushing its photography customers to a total cloud-based workflow now that LR CC is a reality. I believe LR Classic will vanish some day. Have you seen the prices they want for even 1TB (which ain't much!) of cloud storage?

    I shoot a Canon 5D II and scan B&W film in all formats from 35mm up to 8x10. For culling, setting pick flag, etc, I use ON1 Photo Raw; its significantly faster than LR (even the the newest version) for this task. I should add that only my digital files are handled with LR. Since I don't scan every piece of film, I don't use anything to catalog these files. I simply keep the files in the Pictures folder and view with Explorer.

    I pretty much do all of the 5D processing in ON1 Photo Raw and edit scans in CS6. I use LR only for printing. As I said before, I have Affinity Photo and I've tried to like it more, but I find some of its tools--like sharpening, for example--to be rudimentary. Also, I have plugins, scripts, and automation tools in CS6 that either aren't available in AP or don't work (in the case of some plugins.) Therefore, I seem to always revert back to CS6 because it just works! There is another editor I like (PhotoLine) for various reasons, but, again, I tend to rely on CS6. Sorry, I've never worked on one of my scans in AP so have no comment regarding its use there.

    What I would do is to download trial versions of ON1 and AP and see how they fit into your workflow. I would think that 30 days of working with both products will provide all the info you need.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Re: Anyone using On1 Photo Raw?

    Alan, thanks--that helps. I haven't used any add-ons in Photoshop, so perhaps Affinity won't annoy me as much as it has you. I do like USM to work the way I expect it to, but I doubt I get much past rudimentary anyway.

    I have always done editing in two steps: Capturing and Targeting. This is probably old thinking these days. In the Capturing step, I keep the image to its native resolution, and do everything needed to make it the image I want it to be, when viewed on my color-managed and calibrated monitor. The sharpening in that step is just enough to overcome the effects of an AA filter, or to overcome the effects of a fuzzy scanner pixel. This is very little sharpening, in practice, and I think of it as visually working around the losses incurred by intermediate stuff.

    Then, during targeting, I make a copy of the file, and then manipulate that copy for a particular device (such as a printer). If I'm going to print at different sizes, that copy becomes the master for that device only--a first stage of targeting. Then, I make another copy, and resize it for the display device. Only then to I provide sharpening for the target display. Often, for prints, no further sharpening is required. But it's needed for web displays as a visual trick to overcome the fuzziness of the low-resolution display.

    I could see using Photo Raw as the capturing software. It takes the output of Vuescan (which is already processed into a TIFF), and also the output of my digital cameras, soon to include a 645z, and turns it into an image ready for editing. These would be stored as the "negative", along with any raw files. I used to do this with Bridge and ACR.

    Then, I would use an editor (for me it has been Photoshop) to complete my capture process to get the image looking like I want it to look on the calibrated display. And I would use it for targeting and printing.

    It appears that Photo Raw has some capability to complete my capture process and maybe even (for digital camera pictures) do targeting and printing. But most people seem to use it alongside a full-featured editor like Photoshop, at least for some images. This is where I would use Affinity.

    I do want to get away from Photoshop. At some point, I will need to upgrade my computer, and my version of Photoshop is an upgrade of an upgrade of an upgrade of an upgrade, etc., and I have no faith that I would be able to install it and make it work on a new machine. I started with Photoshop version 5.5, then upgraded it to version 7, then CS (aka, 8), then CS3, then CS5, and then a service update to CS5. I'm not sure I could even put my hands on all those disks any more. And then I have also been reading that Adobe has rather randomly left detritus on machines that prevents the operation of the older software. I just don't have any faith in Adobe, and I don't want to maintain more of a software museum than I already have to to keep my scanners going for 4x5.

    I'm waiting for the new camera to install trials, but doing my research in advance.

    Rick "appreciative" Denney

  7. #7

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    Re: Anyone using On1 Photo Raw?

    Hi Rick,

    It sounds like you work very similar to the way I work. I, too, create a master from which targeted output is created, based on needs. Since nearly all my output is to print, that's generally my target.

    FWIW, I just got a new computer and spent about 1 1/2 days moving everything from the old computer to the new one. I installed CS6 without issue, using an installation that I had saved on my old computer, and when I went to activate it it only asked for my previous serial number (CS5). All my PS upgrades--and I can't remember skipping one--were basically upgrades to my original purchase of 5.5.

    It sounds like AP will provide what you need for pixel-based editing. I forgot to mention that one of the reasons I stick with CS6 is because I utilize luminosity masking quite a lot using Tony Kuyper's TK Actions tools. These panels are not supported in AP and, perhaps contrary to popular opinion, I don't find the luminosity masking capability of AP that robust. But, as they say across the pond..."Horses for courses!"

  8. #8

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    Re: Anyone using On1 Photo Raw?

    I have both Affinity and On1 (and CS5, LR5, and Elements). On1 has pretty good videos in their blog for learning the different areas of the app. I think it's a little easier than Affinity, but there are good videos on YouTube for Affinity. I have both mostly because I'm helping a friend edit some photos of hers for a project she's doing and I've been concentrating on what she needs to do with them so far. For mine, I mostly use my old versions of PS and rarely LR.
    Bethe King
    www.ewfisher.com

  9. #9

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    Re: Anyone using On1 Photo Raw?

    I find that ON1 is more fun, and also easier to use at times than Photoshop. I am a very experienced PS user, but find myself using PS less and less for photo enhancement, and use it more as a design tool (graphics, etc.).

  10. #10
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    Re: Anyone using On1 Photo Raw?

    On1 Photo Raw is annoying and I'm done with this experiment. It will not look into a network drive unless it is assigned a drive letter (which I thought went out the door in about 1997), and it won't let me resize the JPG's from my wife's D500. There are other annoying issues, too, that make me think the software developers are not nearly as experienced as their schtick suggests.

    DXO Photo Lab, though, is pretty much doing what I want for a raw processor and batch converter. That's probably the one I will use, in the hopes that they emerge from reorganization.

    Rick "really unimpressed with the state of software development these days" Denney

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