Friday, 18 January 2013

RPP vs ACR vs Capture One 7 (Fuji X-Trans RAF)

* 2013-01-20 Important update about "zipper" effect. Please see new test results below.

Finally I had a chance to process Fuji raw files with highly regarded  Raw Photo Processor
RPP is "no frills" free converter developed by Andrey Tverdokhleb. I recommend to read RPP for Beginners, it is really a good starting point to learn the basics of the tool.

For my RPP vs ACR vs C1 comparison I used the file provided by DPReview, here is the link . All "Tram 1051" pictures are property of

What can I say? RPP works and works pretty well. It can easily be integrated with Lr/CS workflow with optional (via donation) plugin. Surprisingly but RPP interface is very easy to understand and use. You can also download great presets from Fuji Forum to simplify your adjustments.

As you can see RPP does much better job than ACR. No water color or smearing effects, the image is very clean.

But unfortunately , as with many other DCRAW based converters, I still can see so called "zipper" effect ( check the tram doors). 

Capture One 7 compared to RPP (no "zipper" effect)

Capture One 7 compared to ACR (no "watercolor" or "color bleeding" effects)

ACR vs C1 vs RPP

My results are posted at my Dropbox

Bottom line: RPP is free and it works very well. RPP can be easily integrated with Lr/CS workflow. But it is prone to so called "zipper" effect and as of today Capture One 7.0.2 still remains my favorite raw converter for xtrans sensor.

2013-01-20 Update

Mark-vdi developed PS action set that completely eliminates so called "zipper" effect, link to DPR discussion is here. I followed these steps:
1. Process RAF file in RPP as per settings in this DRP thread
2. Open saved TIFF file in Photoshop (8 bit mode)
3. Add JPEG (8 bit) as a layer (Opacity and Fill 100%)
4. Run two actions (RPP Remove zipper and Add High pass sharp RPP)
5. Merged visible layers and save the final image
Mark can provide his action set on request.

Marks' method compared to original RPP

Zipper effect is gone.

The process sounds cumbersome but in reality with additional RPP plugin and Mark's actions  it was very easy to integrate additional steps into my existing workflow.



  1. Zipper effect is probably part of X-trans design. Tho JPEGs seem quite free of it. I guess with different demosaicing algorithm it could be avoided, but it would be probably pretty computational heavy..

    Photivo works nicely too, I "solved" zipper effect by upscaling image to 200-400% and downsizing back with Genuine Fractals. But obviously can be done with anything, some Lanczos filter is most likely best choice.

    Tho if Fuji simply used DNG as RAW, nothing like this was needed..

    1. Hi Corwin,

      I think that zipper effect is related to DCRAW engine. If someone can come up with cure then RPP would be almost perfect stand-along raw converter for X-Trans.

  2. The issue with jaggies seems cured, see my update

  3. hi there

    no offense but aren't these zipper effects overrated? I printed several up to 13x18cm and I wasn't able to see them. Of course it depends on what you do with your photos...

    1. No offense at all. Zipper effect is real as "water colour" or "colour bleeding" effects with ACR. Not everyone is affected. Perception is reality.

    2. Overrated? Not really. Well printed on 13x18cm .. no chance to be visible. But if you will print A3 size at 300 DPi, then on close inspection, it will be visible. If you print A1 size, its visible easily, like watercolor effect.

      Thing is all these "issues" are matter of how you use your files and how perfect you want to have them at 100% view.

      Point with 100% perfection is that you can print really large, cause there are no deffects and when there are no deffects there is way less limits. I can use my old 6 mpix camera and some of my pics can be printed what you would consider insanely big, just cause it doesnt have any flaws per-pixel. Thats where is importance of 100% per-pixel perfection. Which I understand isnt important for everyone.


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