What is LightZone? Obviously it is more than just a graphical front-end to dcraw. The quote from LZ website: "LightZone is professional-level digital darkroom software for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, that includes RAW processing and editing. Rather than using layers in the way that other photo editors do, LightZone lets the user build up a stack of tools which can be rearranged, readjusted, turned off and on, and removed from the stack. It's a completely non-destructive editor, where any of the tools can be re-adjusted or modified later — even in a different editing session. A tool stack can even be copied to a batch of photos at one time. LightZone always operates in a 16-bit linear colour space with the wide gamut of ProPhoto RGB"
I tested LightZone using very basic editing technique.
I really like the interface. It is simple and well organized with two modes: Browse and Edit. While in Browse mode I made two changes in Preferences:
un-checked Auto Save
and changed colour profile to ProPhoto RGB
you can also hide/unhide Folders and Info tabs to browse files in a full screen mode.
In Edit mode you have Styles (presets) / History on the left and Tools/Info on the right. In my example I decided to leave Raw Adjustments tool at its default settings. Then I added Hue / Saturation tool and bumped up Vibrance /Saturation a bit.
You can always compare adjusted image to the original by clicking and holding the Orig button at the top. You can also add the same tool several times (you'll see Hue/Saturation 1...2..etc) to the stack, re-arrange tools or delete them from the stack. Reminded me Perfect Effects 8
My next step was to sharpen up the image. I chose High-Pass Filter from Styles:
Immediately Sharpen tool showed up on the right side. Very clean results, now I am wondering if they using Richardson-Lucy Deconvolution algorithm for this.
To improve the image contrast I applied Soft Wow 2 filter
which added two more tools (another Sharpen and Relight) on the right side. I can further adjust the image by increasing or decreasing sliders on each tool and then save my favourite set of tools/values as my own style
Now I can save the final image
Here is before and after:
I've just scratched the surface of LZ capabilities with this very basic example where I used only global adjustments. You can also apply selective adjustments using regions and Zonemapper/Zonefider.
I suggest to check tutorial (screenshots) if you would like to use these options more seriously than I did.
Overall I am very pleased with LightZone 4.1.0~beta9. It is stable, works with all main operating systems, fairly fast and gives you tones of creative options. And it does support tricky Fuji x-trans raw files really well.
Thanks for dropping by,