Very odd issue i cannot figure out why it is happening.
I click to open my RW2 files and they auto open up ACR....i edit the photo in there and save it as a preset and close ACR.
I can click that same RW2 file it will open up ACR again and i can select that preset and it looks perfect and i can save it and the resulting image is perfect..
If i open that same RW2 file, then click on open object, it will open in photoshop itself, i then turn the layer into a smart object, select Camera Raw Filter, i select that same filter i created but the image will look different, and i mean a lot different. I tested to see and save that file and sure enough it is different than using that same filter directly in ACR.
I checked and everywhere, both in ACR and in photoshop settings i am viewing and editing as SRGB. I have tried multitude of tests and the results are the same even with other raw files like DNG files but with very little difference but still there is a difference.
final photos attached
This seems like normal and expected behavior to me.
The ACR filter is not a raw conversion engine, it does not work on raw data. It works on demosaiced, rendered RGB files, and treats underlying smart objects as such (and that's exactly what it logically should do).
The same preset applied to a raw file, and applied to an RGB file, will yield very different results. This is not a flaw, but a logical consequence of the fact that raw and RGB are two very different creatures. They have to respond differently to the same numerical adjustment.
If you open a raw image as a smart object and want to work with the original raw settings then you need to double-click on the little icon in the corner of the picture in the layers display. Every time you open the camera raw filter it takes the image "as is" and considers that to be the default and you were from that point. Even if you open the camera raw filter multiple times on the single image, all of the adjustments will be at default settings to begin with.