Using PL4 to edit images from a Fuji X100 camera using X-Trans sensor, after changing the file format

I bought a new Fuji x100f a year and a half ago, and early this year I sent my previous Fuji X100s to a friend of mine at the hospital I volunteer at in India. He has the camera up and running, and is asking me questions, but I hate to admit it - I’ve lost track of how the thing works. So, I got out my own Fuji, went through all the settings, helped him as much as possible, then went to to take some photos with it today. Geez, my brain is turning to mush. I couldn’t remember how to get it into spot metering (turns out you have to turn off eye detection, then that works), and other similar non-logical stuff. For many reasons it was a great camera for me to use in India, but since January it has just been sitting. Anyway, I needed to process today’s images, so I can send them to my friend tonight.

Fast forward to a few hours ago. I know PL4 doesn’t understand the X-TRANS sensor on the Fuji, so I set the camera to capture RAW+JPG. When I got home, I used Photo Mechanic to ingest the files from the memory card into my new 2021 filing system, lumping images from all cameras together.

I tried to edit the Fuji RAF files, but PL4 as expected didn’t work with them. Knowing I was wasting my time, I converted the RAF images to DNG files, which made things even worse - I couldn’t even see the small image from the thumbnail. So, I simply used PL4 to edit the JPG files. That worked fine. I was able to use most of the PL4 tools I’ve been learning about, excluding tools that require raw images such as deep prime.

While I didn’t feel limited by the originals being jpg, I know it would be better if I could use RAW, and second best would be TIFF. I will be passing all this onto my friend in India.

Here’s one of the 7 images from today:

_DSF4311 | 2021-01-13-Fuji X100f testing.jpg.dop (13.0 KB)

And here’s what I edited:
(small changes, the composition I wanted, and at the exact time I wanted to shoot)

My sort of more serious question here, is going from RAF format to JPG format, I know I’m throwing away a lot of the potentially useful data. Am I correct that if I can find a good converter from RAF to TIFF, that would be far better for potential editing? I think I’ll call Fuji Tech Support tomorrow morning - they’ve always been very helpful.

Thanks in advance, and as usual, if anyone wants to try to get something prettier out of the original, you’re welcome to do so.

As a general rule converting a raw file to tiff rather than jpeg before editing in PL4 would be preferable.


That is my plan, but I need to find an appropriate tool to convert RAF into TIFF. Lots of them seem to be available, even online conversions, but I’d like to know which one(s) are good. Thanks!

I can’t help you with that.


This might be an appropriate solution to the problem:

I’ll find out in the morning.

Capture One may also be used to convert RAF files other file formats. There is a free version for users of Fujifilm cameras available; it is rather basic (unless you spring for the paid Fujifilm-only upgrade), but for raw conversion it is just fine. It even knows what settings you used on the camera when you took a picture. In any event, in my opinion, Capture One does a better job at RAW conversion than most, including Adobe Camera Raw and Silkypix.

To convert RAF to JPEGs, I think the best conversion is done by the camera itself. You can download Fujifilm X Raw Studio from their web site for either Mac or Windows. It’s a very different piece of software because you connect the camera to the computer via USB, load a raw file from your computer into the program, then adjust all the parameters just as you would if you were using the camera to shoot, and when done, click the Convert button. The raw file with your selected parameters is then sent to the camera, which converts it into a JPEG and sends that file back to the computer. This is handy because with one RAF file you can produce different versions of a JPEG. Not sure which film simulation to use? Easy: shoot in raw and try them all!

One thing you write puzzles me. You stated that, “I was able to use most of the PL4 tools I’ve been learning about, excluding tools that require raw images such as deep prime.” I believe this to be incorrect because DeepPRIME is a method that combines raw conversion and de-noising into a single step. Since PhotoLab cannot work with RAFs (oh how I wish it could!), I don’t thihk you can use DeepPRIME (or even PRIME, for that matter) with anything other than raw files. You will also encounter that limitation with other functions that rely on raw formats.

Good luck!


Regarding using the camera; have your friend download a manual from here:

Thanks - I sent him the manual, but it got lost somehow, so he printed out another. The manual is great about a lot of things, but I’ve found two things just today that are adjustable, but not in any obvious way. I think my friend is doing pretty well so far. I’m the one who is a very slow learner, and I believe I should be able to find all these things easily in the menu. In my particular case, they ought to have had BOTH the spot metering, AND the ability to focus on the eye. They should have allowed me to switch to spot metering, and just turned off the focus on eye code when I did so - but this is all minor stuff. It’s a wonderful, lovely, powerful, light, easy-to-use camera that can be used manually or automatically. Thanks for the link. Manuals are great for reading ahead of time, but I never have one with me when I need it. :frowning:

Lots of good info there. I have several of those editors. What I would like is something similar to Adobe’s DNG Converter, where it does nothing more than take an RAF file and convert it into a TIFF file. I found several other ideas here, but I’m too tired right now to make a decision:

As to Deep Prime, what I wrote is I was able to use most of the PL4 tools I’ve been learning in these discussions, but NOT things like Deep Prime as I can’t edit the Fuji raw images. What you wrote, is what I tried to say.

People tell me I should pick one camera and stop using the rest. To me, that’s like someone looking at my toolbox and telling me I have too many tools. I know I do, but they all serve a purpose when they’re needed. The two cameras I’m concentrating on are the Leica M10, and the Nikon Df. That leaves maybe a dozen or so cameras sitting around collecting dust. Some are just collector cameras though. To me, each one is a tool, and each one is better in some ways than the others. I forgot until this afternoon how much I loved working with the Fuji. I’ve also got a Canon G7X Mk II Pro, which fits into a belt pouch. In the Leica forum I read about people with two, three, or maybe four digital Leica M cameras.

I keep telling myself that the camera doesn’t matter. The camera to a photographer is like a wrench to a mechanic. Pick the appropriate one for the job you’re working on.

If you’ve never read it before, check this out:

Basically RAF files are one huge PITA to do anything with - even converting them is not simple or, as far as I can tell, free. It seems like most, if not all, of the solutions involve spending money on an app that you really only need to cope with the RAF format, especially if all you want to do is convert it to TiFF.

I have used Affinity Photo, which is relatively cheap and I use it for stitching panoramas, stacking, etc. as well.

I tried this and ended up deleting it. I couldn’t get it to work with the RAF files I have.

Nope. Just tried it and got this message…

Capture d’écran 2021-01-14 à 11.39.15

… when I tried to open a RAF file

So it would seem that even Fuji don’t support their own format that well :crazy_face:

Here’s my version of this image. Just suggesting a few minor tweaks…

And here’s the .dop…

_DSF4311 | 2021-01-13-Fuji X100f testing.jpg.dop (26,5 Ko)

Main differences are:

  • I took the vertical edge of one of the buildings in the centre of the image as the reference for the horizon tool
  • I used the HSL saturation instead of Colour accentuation vibrancy and saturation
  • I changed the length of graduation on the graduated filter local adjustment. By starting the transition, as you did, at the top of the image, the graduation starts immediately and fades out quite quickly, so most of the sky is hardly affected by it. I placed a short transition just above the horizon, to ensure that the full effect covered most of the sky…

This is a matter of personal taste but it is closer to how I would use a physical graduated filter on the front of the lens.

Just thought I would check something out and found that GraphicConverter will open RAF files and convert to TIFF (amongst others)

Fascinating to see this image as you saw it.

In my adjusted view, both masts from the large sailboats go up and to the right. In your view, the mast of the sailboat at the left goes up and to the left, and the other mast goes up and to the right. The boats were moving around a little, but your view looks more “stable”, and the horizon line at the right looks more level. I thought I leveled the photo - several times - but it never looked “right”. Without realizing it, when you did the adjustments, the two masts sort of “anchored” the image as being level. From now on, I need to do what I think is right, then do something else, and come back to the window after a while. After staring at it too long, my eyes tricked me into thinking I had it right.

HSL saturation tool - is it more “sensitive” than doing what I did? Why would I use that instead of going to saturation and vibrance as I did? I’m guessing it gave you finer control of the change you were making.

Graduated filter. Yes, I just did what I always do, start at the top, and go down to where the effect would be finished, but I think you’re saying that the upper part of the sky was already good enough, and just some of the lower parts needed a little boost.

Looking through the viewfinder, I was oblivious to the sky - I was seeing the boats, and timing my shutter release until the jets got to just the right spot. It’s a subtle difference, but your rendering of the sky looks more interesting than what I did.

I noticed you used only micro contrast. Somehow I thought that I should use a little “contrast” and use more of “micro contrast”. I will try this next time.

I’ve never had nor used a physical graduated filter for my lenses, so I’ve got zero experience at doing it that way.

I’ve taken similar photos before, same place, but they usually look dull and boring. The jet ski added color, action, and a place for my eye to jump to. I intended to take a photo showing the sailboats, but ended up with a photo of the jet ski with the sailboats being “props”. That’s what I was trying to explain to Gregor, that to me, being technically good isn’t enough. Balance and timing are essential. This photo would not have “worked” if the jet ski was any place other than where I caught it.

I woke up thinking about this. I was wrong, and so was Ken Rockwell. The camera certainly DOES matter. Joanna couldn’t get the precision prints she makes without an appropriate camera. My race photos would be infinitely more difficult to capture without a camera designed for sports. Ain’t no way I would get a good photo of the moon, without an appropriate lens.

I was taught The camera to a photographer is like a wrench to a mechanic. Pick the appropriate one for the job you’re working on. Think of this from the mechanic’s point of view. He could remove a nut with a heavy pair of pliers - our a properly sized wrench. One damages the nut, and the other removes it cleanly. Both can do the job - but one is more appropriate than the other. Or, a screwdriver - the wrong screwdriver butchers the end of the screw. The proper screwdriver removes it cleanly.

Ken Rockwell is right in that you don’t need a high tech camera for most general photography, but as soon as you want to do something more specialized, it matters - a lot. …and Ken’s beautiful photos taken with a $3 camera are not representative of any of this, as he is so good at photography. If Joanna were suddenly transported to a photogenic location, for half an hour, with a box camera, she too would come home with lovely photos. I think that’s the point of what Ken was really saying - it’s the photographer, not the camera.

Have you yet found out that you can use the “horizon” tool vertically? Sometimes picking on a vertical can be easier if you can’t see anything long enough that’s horizontal.

I guess it’s all a matter of what you’re used to using. Read what the manual says about vibrancy - it’s subtly different from saturation in how it works. I’m guessing that the two different saturation sliders do about the same - it’s more than likely just more convenient to use the HSL one if you’re already working on selective colours in the wheel.

Not quite. The full effect of the filter starts at the top of the picture and then starts transitioning to zero where you see the equaliser anchor. This screenshot shows the masked area in blue, which will all be fully affected by the settings in the equaliser…

Micro contrast doesn’t mean “a little contrast”, it means that it applies contrast to transitions between tones at a detail level rather than just globally. Often you don’t need “regular” contrast as well.

With LF work, they’re almost mandatory when the difference in brightness between clouds and ground is more than the 5 stops you get with Velvia 100 film. in this shot, there is a hard grad neutral density filter over the sky and lighthouse with the transition following the horizon line. Nothing else was done in post-processing to equalise the light levels.

With a true box camera? Maybe not - unless the dynamic range was within that of the film. With an LF camera? Definitely - after all, it’s still really only a flexible box with a sheet of film at one end and a hole at the other - no electronics - if you don’t know what you are doing with either, there is nothing to save you from yourself :laughing: :nerd_face:

Couldn’t resist playing some more. How about if you’d taken it with Ilford Delta 100?

And, yes, I did retouch the jet skier to give him more detail :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

I need to re-read that for a third time. Between what I read, and what PhotoJoseph explained, I thought I learned the “saturation” over-does what I need, and “vibrance” takes what I would call the main colors and makes them stronger. I will read this again, and experiment with it. I’ve learned to reach for vibrance, not saturation, but sometimes I feel a small amount of saturation “can’t hurt”. Maybe that’s not so valid. I will start working more with the HSL tool - no reason not to.

Yes, I learned how to use the straighten tool vertically if I can’t use it horizontally. What I haven’t learned yet, is to use the tool, look away, and come back to view it. I’m much too likely to see what I expect to see, rather than what’s actually there.

Graduated filter - yes, I understand - I thought I did yesterday too, but I didn’t “angle” it like you did. One more thing to consider when I’m using that tool.

I don’t enjoy the version for Ilford Delta 100 nearly as much as your previous version. Your first version took what I was trying to do, and made it better. The second version looks too “flat”, and “gray”… it looks like a “before editing” version.

I just got off the phone with Tech Support at Fuji. I suggested they display a message when someone clicks on the icon to get to spot metering, rather than do “nothing”. He liked it, and is passing it on for a future release. We discussed RAW FILE CONVERTER EX 3.0. I had already loaded an image, and he told me to click on DEVELOP, then FILE TYPE FOR SAVING, and select TIFF. Then I can do DEVELOP or BATCH DEVELOP. I can then open the TIFF file in PL 4. Try this - easy to do, and reasonably fast. I just converted one image. It looks like a clean image, minimal contrast or saturation, what I’ve gotten to learn is an excellent starting point for PL4.


After reading your responses, I wanted to edit another image, doing things more the way you and others here suggest, and ignoring my previous use of “global” tools.

Conversion from RAF file was simple and fast.

TIFF file opened in PL4 with no problems, and looked dark and colorless. Working with the histogram got things looking nicer, and then little by little, cropping and using local adjustments, trying to make the small green plant in the middle of the image stand out as much as I could.

So far, unable to upload the tif file:
Screen Shot 2021-01-14 at 12.30.26

Strange, as I already uploaded a 7-meg tif file. I will try again later.
…nope, no-go.
Not sure how I downloaded the previous tif file, same size.

This one appears to be 72 MB rather than 7 MB.

Oops, sorry, I meant another 72 meg tif file, which went through with no problems. This is the second 72-meg file I’m trying to send…

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