I have been a DXO client for half a year and I use PhotoLab, ViewPoint, and FilmPаck. During this time, I never assumed that in professional software there could be a critical error concerning the attached ICC profiles during export.
What is the problem? I work exclusively in sRGB workspaces, as my final product is designed for sRGB devices (photo labs, photobook producers, and budget monitor computers). My pictures come out of my Nikon camera with attached sRGB 18.104.22.16802 ICC profile. After editing, I export the picture with original option to the ICC profile field.
I expect the ICC profile attached to the photo to remain the same - Nikon sRGB 22.214.171.12402.
BUT NOT! When you try to include this photo in a photobook using the Smart Albums, the following error occurs:
Opening the photo in another photo software makes things even more mysterious. They recognize the workspace, but not the profile. Worse, the message for missing ICC profile is not displayed in Photophop.
My attempts with the “sRGB” and “Custom” options in the ICC profile field ended in the same, unsuccessful way.
Оnly the AdobeRGB option worked as expected.
If the image opens in other software and just overwrites (this software attaches the default ICC profile), the problem is resolved. This only proves to me that the problem is caused during the export from PhotoLab.
In conclusion, I am unpleasantly surprised. This is not an error that is acceptable for professional photographic software, even more undetected for a long time.
I am currently evaluating color management in PhotoLab 2 as compromised.
Koko, that’s certainly a frustrating situation. DxO should clean up the sRGB profiles attached to exported images if this is a wide spread issue. What might help you here is to both check and then manipulate the sRGB profile via EXIFtool. EXIFtool is command line but there’s lots of GUI software which will work with its data. GraphicConverter is one such tool on Mac.
I see you are a Windows user and as I’m not, I can’t recommend the right GUI software for Windows based on EXIFtool but there’s lots out there (better choices than Mac). Perhaps someone else could point you in the right direction. @Al99 gave me some very good tips on lens profiles and EXIFtool.
Thank you for the useful software
I will use it in some EXIF read data.
However, the problem is another - EXIF color space information is available, but the ICC profile itself is missing.
An ICC profile is essentially a simple table of correspondence between the value of a given pixel as a number and its corresponding color. In other words, if a pixel has a value of 55, for different cameras it can mean a slightly different color, even though they use the same color space.
Therefore, the lack of this table compromises color management.
For now, I’m working on plan “B”: I add the missing profile to the batch process in the software of the Nikon Capture NX2. But this is a temporary and unprofessional solution. And in practice, I supplant my qualitative control after PhotoLab 2.
I opened a ticket to DXO support team and sent them the files they requested.
I can wait a while, but I certainly will not upgrade to PhotoLab 3 if the problem is not resolved.
My blog post has the idea to help put Photolab on the professional photographic software market. At the same time, I would like to help other users of the forum. We are all in a boat.
Following up on @uncoy and @mikerofoto comments:
Exiftool by PhilHarvey with ExifToolGUI for Windows will let you import the ICC profile as well as other metadata with only a few mouse clicks. See the import dialog below.
However, I am not inclined to use such a long-term workflow. My investment in DXO software is equal to the 3 year subscription to the Adobe photographic package. For this price, I expect truly professional reliability.
This is not an insignificant mistake or a missing function. DXO is very lucky that this bug was not found in the leading reviews.
I would not suggest EXIFtools for a moment as a long term patch. It’s just a short term solution mostly to allow you to do further testing and to help with your urgent image processing requirements. You might want to dig up a good Windows GUI for EXIFtool as it will make fiddling with EXIFtool less tedious.
I tried about myself with extracting the ICC profile since I never had any issues with the pictures exported by PhotoLab.
My camera embeds an sRGB profile of about 1MB of size. PL1, with the option to use the profile as imported, embeds an sRGB profile of less then 2kB. (I didn’t check the contents of these profiles yet.)
To be honest, I always understood this as: use sRGB when the import is sRGB, use AdobeRGB when the import is AdobeRGB. I didn’t expect it to use the same profile bit by bit.
All software I use recognizes this and doesn’t display any errors. Also I was under the impression that there is only one sRGB color space, regardless of the name of the profile.
So you have a problem with one specific photo book software that coughs on the embedded profile. Are you sure it is not a problem of that software only? What other symptoms are caused by this?
What do you hope to gain from a Nikon sRGB profile in the exported file? After all the profile in the file has to match the data that the software generates.
The profile is not necessarily exactly that of Nikon, as long as it is correct. Ie Photolab has internally converted the data from the photo to the output profile. But even if I set sRGB as the source profile (or even custom), the problem exists.
Initially, I thought the same. But once the problem arose only with images exported from PhotoLab and imported into the photobook software directly without touching other photographic software, I looked a little deeper.
Opening a photo exported by Photolab to a Photoshop does not show an error message but accepts that the profile is a photoshop’s sRGB. With Capture NX 2, the problem is similar - there is no error, but it assumes that the profile is Nikon sRGB.
This behavior is not observed when exporting from other photographic software.
The color space defines all the colors that can be displayed. The ICC profile determines matches the numeric value and a color.
Are you sure about this? I used Exiftool to look at the color information attached to NEFs and JPEGs from my D700. All I found is very basic color information in the form of DCF tags identifying the color space as sRGB. There is no embedded ICC color profile.
The only way I found to embed the Nikon sRGB 126.96.36.19902 profile in a JPEG is to open it in Nikon Capture NX2 (verify that the default RGB color space is set to Nikon sRGB 188.8.131.5202) and then save the file with the “Embed ICC Profile” option checked.
thank you for your inclusion in the discussion. You are right. I’ve been running extra experiments with JPG files from D800 and really they come out of the camera without a profile. The profile is attached from the software (Capture NX2, Photoshop …).
The problem, however, is that PhotoLab2 seems unable to attach a sRGB profile (or makes it wrong).
Any other software I have, successfully attaches a sRGB profile, even Aurora (a SKYLUM is not a model for stable software).
Yes, I use this way.
For me, I do not have to export the photos with Nikon’s profile… I want to be able to export with a sRGB profile. Whoever it is.
I am currently finishing the processing of many photos at Capture NX2. For these photos, I add the profile there. But attaching the sRGB profile at PhotoLab export is important to me to make sure that the photo will look one way in any software with color management function.
I believe I have found a solution to this problem.
The default location for custom ICC profiles is C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color and you should copy you Nikon sRGB profile here in order to make the “Custom” option work.
So, this is what you can do:
Extract the Nikon sRGB 184.108.40.20602 profile from a JPEG processed by NX2. ExiftoolGUI can be used to accomplish this.
Rename the extracted file to something you will recognize, say Nikon sRGB.icc.
Copy this file to C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color.
When you are ready to export an image, choose Custom from the ICC Profile drop down menu. A dialog window opens that will let you pick the desired Nikon sRGB ICC profile. This should remain the default Custom profile for future exports.
I can post the Nikon sRGB 220.127.116.1102 profile from my images if you want.
sorry, the Custom option also does not work correctly for me. I tried several sRGB profiles with no success. Only the Adobe RGB option exports the file correctly.
For 4 days I have no response from the DXO support team.
I cordially thank you for looking for a solution.
I contacted DxO support about two different issues in the past and they responded within two days. However, my issues were relatively simple.
It just occurred to me that since NX2 is installed in your system, the Nikon sRGB profile should already be in the system color folder. Please try the “Custom” option and look for the file NKsRGB.icm. This is the Nikon sRGB 18.104.22.16802 profile. I hope this works. It works for me.