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RAW Developer


Well-Known Member
I'm still pretty new to the Foveon world (and I'm loving it). One of my earliest experiments was to process my X3F files in both SPP and PS to see what kinds of results I got using my uninformed, untrained, and unscientific approach to nursing beauty out of RAW. In all of those experiments, I was consistently more impressed with the output of SPP.

Now I've started experimenting with RAW Developer and I'm seeing even more improvement in my output. Part of this comes from having more experience in general, I'm sure. (The samples below show how I was trying to get the red rose closer to life. Both still have problems.)

Now I'm wondering what other packages support X3F RAW, and which ones people like best and for what reasons.


SD14 150mm EX Macro ISO 50 F22 13s, incandescent kitchen light bulb

#1 post-processed with SPP (green is truer)
#2 post-processed with RD (red is truer)


  • Roses6-s.jpg
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  • RosesRD-s.jpg
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Well-Known Member
Hi Jesse,
Thanks for sharing this, I've been wondering recently what other free programs can manipulate X3F RAW files. The side by side comparison helps.
The second pic, done in RD looks more like it was shot under incandescent kitchen light.
I'm usually pretty impressed by how reds come out of the SD14 on my monitor.


Well-Known Member
RAW Developer is free to try, but requires a license to save images without a watermark.

Even though there is a yellowish (incandescent?) cast in the RD version, it seemed I just couldn't quite get the red right in SPP. But that may only speak to my level of inexperience.

In addition to helping me work the color, RD has some other fine tuning tools that really brought out the details in the rose petals.

RD is indeed something special (the best ?)if you want (and who doesn't want
that ?)sharp,detailed (neutral) images from your foveon with an authentic look .
But SPP (although very slow on my mini-mac) also has his strong points too (especialy in addition with PhotoStudio Darkroom; see the threads of Klaus-r on red garish problem and hi-iso), for example with X3 fill light I get better results in recovering overexposed flashphoto's than I can with RD .

Your flowers with RD are indeed much better than with SPP .


Well-Known Member
Another point of despair

I've now looked at these two images on four different computers and they look different on each of them. Of course the web browsers don't render the files the way they look in my local image viewer either. It's not a new problem, but I inevitably end up wondering which monitor I should be shooting for?



Well-Known Member
Hi Jesse,

Thank you for posting the side by side comparison. It makes it easy to see similarities and contrasting differences. For starting discussion, I have two questions:

1) Did you change the white balance in either SPP or RD?

My personal experience with the soft white (2700k) version of the CFL's in my home, subsequently shooting in AWB and then adjusting the white balance in spp works well. As opposed to using the incadescent mode in the camera settings. However, red is always a challenge and takes tweaking. Slightly underexposing red, seems to help. I still practice.

2) On the other topic of monitors, could you see all 20 shades of gray and where they LCD?

Personally I use Samsung LCD's. SyncMaster 204B and SyncMaster 910T.
And I have a much older Mag Innovision, 15 inch. Between the three the rendering of colors appears consistent.



Well-Known Member

I find that using several programs...helps with the coloring...I am partial to NX2 for quick fixes...but I use nikon too...Aperture...does a bang-up job...I first process in SPP then use another program to enhance that image...

I know people are looking for free software....but Lightroom/Aperture/PS really do make a difference, once you learn there individual quirks....

Tony C.


Well-Known Member
I think I would personally prefer something between the 2 examples. RD does a better job on the flowers though it seems.

As for's a toss, really. even if your monitors are perfectly calibrated, the majority of people looking at your images don't have calibrated monitors (and you wouldn't believe the colors some people have on their monitors, sheesh).

I have a 20" NEC at home (forget the model), but it was around $1k a few years ago. This monitor has awesome brightness and color, even without using a calibration tool. When I develop an image on that monitor and take it to work on my calibrated monitors....way too dark. *sigh* I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles.