Iridient developer

I’m very late to this party.

For a while now, I’ve been using Fuji X Trans cameras but struggling to get the best out of their files when using Lightroom – there’s detail in there which Adobe just doesn’t quite manage to extract, a topic which has been done to death in the photography forums.

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X100S images on the way to Brixton tube station at the start of the first work day after the New Year holiday – processed in Iridient Developer (ProNegHi setting) with a bit of vignetting added afterwards in LR

I waited a while, hoping that the new OnOne Raw product might be the answer – and over time perhaps it will; however the feedback from the first release has been mixed at best, with early users talking about far too many glitches and crashes, and speed of operation which hasn’t lived up to the initial hype.  Some of the X Trans images I’ve seen converted with OnOne Raw look massively over-sharpened to me too, even at default settings.

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I decided to give Iridient Developer a try.  So many people, especially on the Fuji forums, talk about it very highly and the more I read, the more convinced I became.  The sale price until 31 December helped too – an important help given how the Pound has sunk against the Dollar over recent months!  I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface so far, but when I’ve compared the detail in images processed using Iridient with what I can get out of LR, there is a difference – perhaps not one you’d see at normal viewing sizes or on web sized images, but it would certainly impact on larger prints.

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X-T1 plus 55-200 handheld images in Sydenham Hill Woods, mostly taken at lower shutter speeds and higher ISOs than I would have liked

I do like the ability to emulate Fuji’s ‘film simulations’ in Lightroom, and was delighted to see that it is possible to download a similar series of emulations to use in Iridient too – in fact until I’d done that, I wasn’t so happy as I didn’t like the somewhat drab colours that were coming out of the developer by default, as it was then impossible to apply the Adobe profiles to the processed image.  Thankfully the problem wasn’t a problem once I’d done more research.

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And the best source of advice was a superb eBook by Thomas Fitzgerald – a straightforward and invaluable guide which explains how Iridient works in a way that even I could understand, and provides brilliant advice on how to set it up, and how to use it as a Plugin from Lightroom – important as I still want to use the latter for DAM and also for further tweaks (there are some things it does that Iridient cannot – for example vignetting).  The link to the eBook, which is worth every penny of its modest price, is here:

Thomas Fitzgerald Iridient Book

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I’m not going to post comparison images here to show how Iridient measures up with LR or any other convertor (I don’t use any other convertor) because people more capable than me have already done that and they’re easy enough to find via Dr Google.  However, if you are struggling to get the best out of your Fuji X Trans images, then I’d suggest you give it a go – there’s a free demo download to try and I reckon it’s worth spending an hour or two on a winter’s evening to give it a whirl.  I know that I will be using it regularly for my Fuji images from now on.

Cheers,

Jon

 

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Published by

Jon Schick

South East London-based, I work for the National Health Service but try and fit in some photography on a regular basis - often on dog walks with Harry my patient Lab-Retriever! Harry and his three cat companions provide some photographic material when the going gets really tough (it's the internet - gotta have a cat photo) but the almost-grown kids stay as far away from the lens as possible!

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