12 Replies Latest reply on Sep 25, 2010 9:52 AM by ChuckFilm

    Apply DNG Camera Profile to scan?


      I am setting up a workflow to scan and process a large volume of slides.  I am scanning with a Nikon LS5000 and Vuescan, outputting as (linear)DNG and then processing in Lightroom.

      For me this is efficient as it unifies my digital and analogue workflows.  I could also just output a raw tiff (not color corrected), but I like the smaller file size and the embedding of LR settings with DNG.

      I have done test scans for which I then created a custom color correction profile in the DNG profile editor.  I am very happy with the level of control over color in the profile editor, and would like to use this to apply color correction to batches of scans shot on a particular film type (kodachrome for example).  I know these tools are designed to be used with camera raw, but they perform equally well with linear files.

      The problem is that as the dng file was not created by a camera, but a scanner (even though the EXIF data shows the LS5000 as 'camera') I can not get the profile to show up in the Camera Calibration/Profile tab in order to apply it to an image.



      1- Is there any way to force the profile to load anyway? (LR could have an 'other' option in the profile tab)

      2- Can I get LR/Profile Editor to consider the LS5000 as a legitimate camera, as opposed to just producing a generic tiff?

      3- Can I somehow manually embed my custom profile into a DNG so that the embedded profile is automatically the right one?



        • 1. Re: Apply DNG Camera Profile to scan?
          JimHess-DIrcbP Level 3

          The only way you would be able to apply a profile to those files is if Adobe created profiles recognizing your scanner, and it's doubtful that will ever happen.  Even though your files have a DNG extension, they are not true raw files.  The scanner applied settings to the image that have become part of the image, so you are actually dealing with a TIF file.  My suggestion would be for you to create presets that you could apply to batches of images after they have been scanned.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Apply DNG Camera Profile to scan?
            otopho Level 1

            Thanks, Jim.

            The puzzling thing is that in the profile editor it lists the Base Profile as 'Embedded (Nikon LS-5000)', suggesting that there is a generic default profile attached to the DNG, and that it can identify my unique 'camera' (scanner).  Why would it not let me apply a custom profile based on the generic embedded profile that is unique to the LS-5000?

            Although my scanner files don't need de-mosaicing, they are raw in the sense that they have not had any base curve or gamma adjustment applied to them.  In essence they are similar to raw files produced by sigma's foveon sensors, which does not use a bayer pattern. 

            I could create presets, and I could apply colorsync scanner profiles before bringing them into LR.  I have however had frustration and mixed results with these methods.  In terms of accuracy and efficiency I am much more impressed with the potential of the profile editor.

            • 3. Re: Apply DNG Camera Profile to scan?
              JimHess-DIrcbP Level 3

              Lightroom is treating your scanned DNG files just like it treats any other JPEG, TIFF or PSD image.  Yes, Lightroom is able to determine that your scanner is the source of the image.  But it's also telling you that the profile is embedded, which is no different than how Lightroom handles any non-raw image.  The image data is not raw data.  The file has been saved with whatever settings were in place in the scanner at the time.  And just like you cannot "uncook" a hamburger, you cannot change the settings that the scanner used when creating the image.

              I have read that some Nikon scanners actually save files with the NEF extension.  And people have mistakenly expected those files to contain raw data.  But it's the same issue.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Apply DNG Camera Profile to scan?
                otopho Level 1

                I am aware of the issue with the Nef files, as I found out that they are different from Nef camera files and not read by the DNG converter, or anything other than nikon scan.


                There are options though in vuescan with any scanner that allow you to disable all adjustments and export as a 'raw' file, either in tiff or dng format.  Vuescan is then primarily used to control the hardware.  The only processing that is applied to the scan is the calibration (correcting for variations in intensity in the ccd), and optionally IR-dust removal.  The important part is that there is no base curve, gamma, and no color adjustment or icc-profile applied.  For practical purposes LR could treat it as raw.

                As a hamburger it would be very rare and decidedly pink on the inside.  The main 'cooking' should ideally be happening in LR by applying the base curve and color adjustments in one action (camera profile + adjustments) as opposed to in two stages (scanner software followed by PS/LR).  My objective is to minimize the 'destructive' scanner software step, as I only want to scan once.

                • 5. Re: Apply DNG Camera Profile to scan?
                  JimHess-DIrcbP Level 3

                  I won't bore you with any more replies.  But even if you set all the scanner adjustments to off (or whatever), the profile is still being embedded into the image.  Argue all you want, but I don't believe the scanner-created DNG files can be considered raw image data.  I could be wrong, and if I am I hope someone else will set me straight.

                  • 6. Re: Apply DNG Camera Profile to scan?
                    Greg Barnett Level 2

                    The fundamental difference is that a raw file from a (most) camera(s) consists of mosaic data and requires demosaicing and other significant image processing to create the final image. Scanners (or at least the majority that are in use today) use a linear RGB array that does not require the same type of processing. So a "raw" file from a scanner is just not the same beast as one from a camera. At this point, I'm not aware of any way to get around that in regard to your question.


                    Support for scanners has been a frequent request but I don't think we'll see it any time soon, if ever.

                    • 7. Re: Apply DNG Camera Profile to scan?
                      sandy_mc Level 3

                      There's no reason why LR in principle shouldn't be able to apply a profile to a linear DNG - in fact, if it can't, I'd call this an bug as the DNG spec doesn't differentiate between linear or mosaiced images as regards the use of profiles. And there are "real" cameras that produce linear DNGs. Some multi-shot backs for example.


                      But just to go back to basics, are you sure that your profile is in the right place for LR to find - aka have you exactly duplicated your process with a normal camera, and it works?



                      • 8. Re: Apply DNG Camera Profile to scan?
                        otopho Level 1

                        Thanks for all the response.

                        Sandy, that is my understanding exactly with regards to linear dng.  Besides, it looks and works great in the profile editor, just not in LR.

                        I have made profiles for cameras which work fine, so I am pretty confident that I am doing the right thing.


                        I have just noticed that files that were originally exported as tiff and then converted to dng are labelled 'embedded (tiff)', while straight dng exports are labelled 'embedded (Nikon LS-5000)'.  That seems logical enough.  I will test them again to see if this somehow affects the ability to create a profile that works in LR. 

                        • 9. Re: Apply DNG Camera Profile to scan?
                          otopho Level 1

                          It works!

                          I updated LR, that may have done the trick.  It so far only works with files directly exported as dng, not with converted tiffs.  I will keep testing, as some files work while others don't. 

                          This is encouraging.

                          • 10. Re: Apply DNG Camera Profile to scan?

                            I am trying to do the same thing with the output of my Eversmart Supreme Scanner. Its raw output is in tif format. I take it into Photoshop with Kodak's proprietary DT colorspace and convert it to AdobeRGB and save it as a tiff. Then I convert it in Camera Raw to a DNG. Then I am using the very cool xrite ColorChecker software to create a profile and put it in the appropriate folder on my Mac. So far, so good. But when I open the converted dng in ACR, the profile does not show up (I only see "Embedded"). I am absolutely convinced this would work great if there were not something in the metadata that ACR does not see that it wants. The camera make and model show up in the metadata, so that is not it. If I knew which piece of metadata it was, I perhaps could use one of the editors to change it. This may be easy to automate if I could get to work. Might not. But, I am one step away - I think.  Whether I am sane or not, is a totally different question.

                            • 11. Re: Apply DNG Camera Profile to scan?
                              otopho Level 1

                              First of all, is your ACR up to date?  That fixed it for me.


                              I believe that the Exif field that it refers to is called: Unique Camera Model

                              (Make, and Camera Model Name have the same info, but seem not relevant)


                              If nothing else works it may be worth your while to use Vuescan just to do the dng conversion, because (the recent versions at least) do tag the file with the scanner info as the Unique Camera Model, as opposed to calling it a Generic Tiff.  There are ways to switch off all settings so that it does not alter any image data, including not adding a base curve.


                              As for your work flow, I would skip the Dt colorspace and AdobeRGB steps.  The advantage of the DNG profile is that you only apply a base curve and color adjustment profile once.  Try converting the Raw Tiff to DNG and making a profile for that file, for instance by scanning a colorchecker. 

                              • 12. Re: Apply DNG Camera Profile to scan?
                                ChuckFilm Level 1

                                ACR was up to date. That would have been too easy. I was able to make it work by downloading Vuescan and using their TIFF DNG output. It took me some screwing around to learn VueScan well enough to get that done. Thanks.  I was never successful making the "raw" files work properly out of the Kodak  software hence the dipsy doodle with the color spaces. The good news is that I have it as an action so can easily transform all the files in a folder automatically. Now to see if I can Vuescan to both leave the file alone and if there is a batch function.  This is a lot of messing around because someone at Adobe set to exclude "TIFF" as legal camera type. It appears to be one of those safeguards that software designers put in things because it is easy to do. Blecch.