Understanding Selective Tone control

1 adobergb for jpeg, i knew that it didn’t matter for raw but i was set oocjpeg on srgb because of the preview in camera lcd . Which can’t preview adobe (i think) (because i edit oocjpegs only when i use creative which don’t have rawfiles i just let it on sRGB it is thus better to set camera on adobe?).

So i need to set dxo pl in workspace sRGB not auto from exifdata, and set camera to adobeRGB to maximalise my oocjpeg colorspace so i can push colors around more.
Does it have any drawbacks?
I suspect AWB is measuring from the camera’s sensor colorspace so isn’t effected by a different output colorspace.

I’m not sure I understand your question. It seems you use the in-camera creative styles (picture styles, etc.) for your out-of-camera jpegs. If you are sure you are never going to print them in a decent lab, and if you’re sure that you won’t have a wide gamut monitor in the future, then I guess sticking to sRGB is fine, as long as you don’t do any crazy edits on them. If you push your sRGB jpg in PhotoLab too much, you’ll see things like banding pretty quickly, much quicker than with Adobe RGB jpgs. Do experiment with this before settling on sRGB jpegs for ever.

But I don’t like making those kinds of decisions at the moment of capture – that’s why I shoot for raw, which means I have to adjust my exposure parameters not on the basis of the jpeg preview but on the basis of how my camera really meters. You could use UniWB for that, or some cameras offer the possibility of calibrating the zebras so that they indicate raw green channel clipping (as confirmed by FastRawViewer, RawDigger or RawTherapee). If I cared about SOOC, I’d underexpose all my raw files.

I’m not sure which setting you are referring to – if it’s the one in the Export dialogue then if you set your camera to Adobe RGB and you wanted to output from PhotoLab for web, then choose sRGB in your export options.

I shoot raw plus jpeg so i have all jpeg only features of the camera, like panorama, stars, and such.
i use raw mostly as source for my endproduct and delete the oocjpeg when i am done. (i use wifi to my smarttv for preview with my G80 which needs soocjpegs.)

The reason i did sRGB in camera was for few reasons:
1 don’t have calibrated wide gamut screen for editing or viewing.
2 print nearly nothing, (yes on a office toner mfp for fun but no photolabprinter things)
3 and this:

Which is after a search my mistake:

i remember again, DxO has no preset on there work(color)space like other applications:
it’s always in AdobeRGB (1998) and down sample colorspace to display setting:
in my case non calibrated generic sRGB. or current profile for the display device.
(which is also sRGB but from win10 or my driver of my videocard i suppose.)

So the camera setting adobeRGB or sRGB has only influence on my rawfile proces if i set export in “Original”.

indeed, my mistake.

i use Panasonics Idynamics just for that: it auto underexpose 1/3 2/3 3/3 in highdynamic scenes so the highlight is protected in the rawfile more. (it uses the soocjpeg processor to calculate it’s intended to use for soocjpeg.) so in that case i set camera to wides colorspace for less reaction of idyn. on sky’s and foilage hue’s. (idyn does contrast heykey low key correction and exposure to fit inside histogram)
the rawfile is only influenced by the exposure compensation of -1/3— -3/3 so it’s a great auto EV correction on highlighted scenes. :sunglasses:

conclusion set a camera in AdobeRGB profile when you shoot raw and only use soocjpegs when you need to.

Fair enough. If you keep your raw files in the archive, then all is good – you can always retrieve them later if you ever needed to re-process the photos for wider gamut output.

If so, then the all-sRGB workflow might work – you just don’t have as much wiggle room for edits with the jpegs (but you do with raw files), and as long as you don’t create banding in your output, you don’t have to worry about it. Plus, you can always go back to the raw file and re-edit in case of problems.

Not many applications actually let you control the working colour space-- I know that RawTherapee and newest darktable do. With PhotoLab it’s indeed Adobe RGB – the result of the calculations is converted (not downsampled) to the display space for preview or output space for export.

I don’t know how this works, so I can’t comment. If you look at a raw histogram of your raw file (e.g. in FastRawViewer or RawTherapee) you can see if you exposed your file optimally. Histograms in other applications don’t give you that information.

That’s what I do, but I realize that offering this as a general, universal piece of advice for everybody is not a good thing. So my conclusion would be: switch the in-camera setting to Adobe RGB if you know what you’re doing; if in doubt, stick to sRGB.


look here

This can too: it’s only on jpeg and tiff not rawfile doh

Thanks for the links. Oh yes, I forgot about Silkypix and its various clones for Panasonic, Ricoh/Pentax, Fuji and Nikon cameras. They have some weird colour management settings that are far from obvious and require some digging around.

Hmm…I could have sworn the topic here was “Understanding Selective Tone control”. :smile: Of course, I have been a bad boy, too, and added my own comments to the color space discussion.

Back to the original subject: I wanted this thread to help PL users understand how the selective tone control works, but also to discuss workarounds for any deficiencies. People contributed some workarounds, and I have been trying out a number of them.

I’ll suggest another workaround: chain the processing with another image processing tool. Many RAW tools will handle DNGs, TIFFs and JPGs.

I was working with an image where I needed very precise control of small tonal ranges. I took it as far as I could in PL. Then I loaded the result in Darktable. Whoa! Suddenly, I could control the tonal range selections with ridiculous flexibility.

In addition to a multitude of tone controls, I could combine these tools with parametric masks, which themselves could be combined with painted masks. I was floored by the flexibility of the masking system–it includes features I could only dream about in PL. (I have a feature request for combining control points with painted masks which attempts to achieve just a tiny bit of what Darktable already does–it’s garnered 0 votes. See https://forum.dxo.com/t/combine-painted-masks-with-control-points/9834).

On the down side, darktable has the typical complex UI of many open source projects. Also, the DxO folks probably nail the technical details a lot better. I would stick with PL for lens correction, lens sharpening, vignetting, PRIME noise reduction, smart lighting, clear view, etc. I had an image where PL did remarkable highlight recovery. In darktable, nothing brought out the details buried in the highlights. It was a testament to the power of PL.

I do wish that PL would pick up a subset of darktable’s masking system (i.e. local adjustments). I mean, I like being able to define a mask based on luminosity or hue proximity, but on the A or B channel of LAB space? And while I understand how the mask might be based on the output of a control, it’s really hard to imagine how to apply that to the typical image changes most of us make.

Since we did drift into color management, it looks like darktable is also ahead of PL here; for instance, soft-proofing is supported and the histogram is not tied to the monitor’s color profile.

I was using the first release candidate for darktable 3.0.

PL can be chained with a lot of other tools, of course, including my ancient Photoshop CS6.


Sorry for off-topic posts.

And I agree – darktable’s local adjustments are just another level completely, just like PRIME is with PhotoLab. Concerning darktable and highlights – there about a million ways to tackle highlights in that program. See the discuss.pixls.us forum, esp. the Processing/PlayRaw subforum.

Oeps! well to defend myself: tonecontrol and adjusting them needs understanding of colorspaces and hue, luminancevalues, saturation and “vibrance” behaviour. :woozy_face:

About two step adjustment: How about “looping” a 16tiff file?
dxo pl: do your thing export in tiff and import again? (didn’t test it but it should work.)
I don’t think/suspect you gain anything, so except you feeding a tiff into a “better” processor for color recovery by replacing/rebuilding “lost” pixels working from the rawfile to endproduct is most commen to recover out of gamut pixels.
But i know chain processing from different processors to use the strongholds of each is done.
by feeding a linear DNG exported by DxO into a other RAWprocessor where you further proces the WB and colors. i tried that with DxOPL => dng => Sp5pro => tiff => Define2 => jpeg.
biggest problem is colorshift by different interpretation of “WB”. second problem is balancing the proces “of what do you where?” (don’t know Darktable except from hearsay that it is rather difficult to grasp.)
you can try to use “export to application” to darktable at some point, and take it back in dxo for further refinement. (no DNG only Tiff and colorspace selection (adobeRGB

I ended up with full migration to DxOPL elite and only export a 16b tiff for those cases i hoped to improve some more in a other application in those rare moments that that image was worth the extra effort
if you stay in dpl i think using all tone(color) managing tools in a selective order and decide every time a certain path.I think i go for Virtualcopies and create a few paths to see which will be better for end result using different groups of tools. Kind of stacking adjustments from global and local one’s and use the VC’s to create “safepoints” and or “duplicates” to try out two roads at the same time and brances off to the best outcome.
This will give a learning curve to speedup the chain of adjustments and get less sidepaths.

Because every type of tool has it’s own con’s and plusses. if you uses the plusses and avoid to wander in to the con’s you can get results who are most interesting.
The “desaturation” trick to see what you effecting is most useful for any local adjustment tool and also in HSL. The selective tone palette in corporation with contrast palette is less useful in the colorcontrol department but can helpout in the luminance-control and contrast and sharpening(microcontrast/finecontrast) preservation.

Oh and an other thing hit me: if you export to NIKcollection as a Tiff, i did that in sRGB with out a thougth. But now i think it’s needs to be AdobeRGB so you have some extra wiggle space.
(you develope and feed it in to a new “workspace” which also does preview rendering to sRGB but uses the AdobeRGB for adjustingroom. and push back to DxO in sRGB or AdobeRGB (don’t know if i have a choise) and export as jpeg in sRGB to finalize.

(maybe you/we need to make a “Understanding Selective Tone Control the summary” and short-storytelling the highlight’s of this path we took. use this thread to discus and trails and the second as conclusion script :slightly_smiling_face:)



Good idea. I can edit the OP and add an Update/Summary section rather than add a new thread. There is a lot to summarize, so I would focus on the highlights and not the details. It will take a me a little time to go through all the posts and capture everything.


Thanks, you’ve given me a lot of things to check out. For what it’s worth, after using the Nik tools and sending the image back to Lightroom, I usually edit one more step in the image by holding down the OPTION key and sliding the “black” and “white” sliders until I can just see “something” showing up on the blank screen. After doing so, it almost always looks good to me.

Specifically, moving the tone control is something I’ve done, and it seems to work.

While I’m in the middle of editing, I notice I’d like the entire image a little lighter or darker - I will try things out again to accomplish this. It’s probably just me, as a “newbie”, not knowing what to do.

There are so many filters - what I am starting to work on, is copy all the filters from Nik Collection into an Excel spreadsheet, add my own notes after each one, along with a “number” for how useful it is for me, then sort the list by “most important”. There are so many, even with keeping notes, it’s still difficult for me to remember which one to use for an effect I’m after.

Finally, when I send a photo from Lightroom to edit in Nik Collection, what preset or filter is applied automatically before I start editing with the Nik tools?

The first really decent stereo audio system I owned had a pushbutton on the front panel called “loudness.” I pushed it. I decided the audio sounded better so I left it pushed in; never changed it. OK, occasionally I would push it to the off position; nope, sounded better on. Thinking back, I really didn’t care what it was for.


i had one called Dolby B (noise suppression on low volume parts) and my mum yelled always “get that volume down!!!” so loudness was not my always active knob… Now i know the system behind it they both manipulate the soundwaves so it sounds better.

Apologies for continuing this off-topic discussion - but I figure this is now the relevant place to do so …

On the basis that one is shooting in RAW, may I ask why you suggest this?

My understanding is that a RAW file is not specific to either sRGB or AdobeRGB (instead, it contains data “in the native colour space of the camera”). So, when a RAW file is read by PL it converts the RGB values from this native colour space of the camera into AdobeRGB (which is PL’s working colour space).
Note: I’m quoting Wolf, from DxO, here.

My conclusion from this is that it doesn’t matter which colour-space setting we apply in-camera, provided we’re shooting RAW. Have I misunderstood something ?

John M

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John - I have the same understanding as you.

I have one reason to use adobeRGB in camera.
Panoramashots are ooc-jpegs and focusbracketing video incamera stacking also.

The other i would export a Tiff to for instance to NIK in adobeRGB.
My main export is sRGB so i got some wigglespace when my source is adobeRGB.:relaxed:

Because my screens are not calibrated or Eizo’s i have no use to develop in adobes colorspace, i would prevere to continue in sRGB.
The adobe ooc jpeg and tiff are a wider colorspace source. Like a “raw” is a much wider colorspace then the adobeRGB has.

Ergo setting your camera in sRGB all ooc-jpegs are cut down/compressed go the same level as your export modes which will result in less clipping recovery possibility’s.
By using the wider adobeRGB the image is more wider mapped in which allows you to use those edges beond sRGB in dxopl.

(I assumed always that dxo workspace has not clipped all data beond the set colorspace and dat you can use the extra reach of the collected data in the wider colorspace.
Sort of frame which you can move over the exposurevalues of the picture around to set exposurelevel (lightnes) exposure is done by capturing. And bij pushing and pulling the tonesliders stretching or compressing of your liking wile seeing the sRGB clipping to recover the color using the AdobeRGB colorspace data.)

If it’s a hard cut when set in sRGB workspace non of this is relevant.:tired_face:

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All image related in-camera settings, including the color space, only affect JPEG images and the JPEG thumbnail embedded in the RAW file (this thumbnail is what you see when loading the RAW file in any software before that software could process the RAW data).

Some demosaicing software are able to read these settings (from the RAW file metadata) and to use them for the default settings of the RAW engine (so, the default preview for the RAW file will look similar to the JPEG). For example, this is what DPP does for Canon RAW files.

Another example : if you select b&w on the camera, this will not affect the RAW file but the embedded JPEG thumbnail will be b&w. So, when loading the RAW file in LR or DPL or whatever, the first thing that you will see (usually for a few seconds) will be a b&w image.

Yes, all true & correct, Patrick - - That’s why I was curious about Sankos’ suggestion to …

… when there’s really no need to do so, assuming one is shooting RAW - - which, as Peter/@OXiDant explains, is not always the case for him (in some camera modes).

John M

Sorry for the late reply – I haven’t been very active here recently…

Yes, the camera setting doesn’t matter much if all you do is process only raw files from your camera. The reasons I set my camera to Adobe RGB are as follows: 1) I have to set it to something, 2) if I happen to like the embedded jpg rendition I might use it as a reference for my raw conversion, and since I use a wide gamut monitor which covers Adobe RGB pretty well, I don’t have to needlessly limit my reference to sRGB, 3) the in-camera RGB Histogram is slightly better when set to Adobe RGB (though it’s still not a raw histogram).

If Peter sometimes uses the OOC jpeg set to Adobe RGB, he has to remember to convert it to sRGB before sharing online or printing the photo in an average printing place, that’s why my suggestion.


Hello, I was trying to figure out if this post would help me understand how Selective Tone works, or more to the point understand why the sliders don’t work as I would expect them to work.

There are a lot of posts here, a few tangents and a few discussions about ‘workarounds’ so I am struggling to understand if there is a consensus around if the behaviour of the Selective Tone sliders is good, bad or ugly.

Personally I think they are in the bad catagory as there seems to be a big overlapping of effect between the sliders and it seems like a pointless exercise using them.

Highlights seem also to effect midtones and to some extent shadows , midtones also seem to adjust highlights and shadows, even blacks seem to have an effect on the other tonal ranges.

Not sure if others feel the same or not…

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