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

My apologies, I misread your statement. What I wrote was not what you tried to say: it’s what you DID say. Sorry about that!

You could try DCRAW - if you’re not afraid of using the terminal…

Below’s a compiled version that runs on my iMac, If it will run on your machine, I can neither tell nor guarantee. I’ll give no support either.

Copy dcraw here:
Bildschirmfoto 2021-01-14 um 21.45.25

The bin folder does not necessarily exist. Installing Exiftool (another CLI app) will create it. (203.9 KB)

Open, then enter “dcraw” and press enter. Read and learn!

I don’t find that to be so, except of course that PhotoLab doesn’t convert them. RAFs can be used in just about any other photo editing software (Lightroom, Photoshop, ON1 Raw, Luminar, Affinity Photo, Pixelmator, GraphicConverter, etc.) Silkypix (mentioned by others) and Capture One have versions that are free and do raw conversions from RAF to several other formats. Again, it’s not more of a hassle than any other raw format.

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

The software is not compatible with all X cameras. A list of compatible Fujifilm cameras and computer-OS versions may be found here.

Of course, you can always use the convert-to-JPG feature of the camera itself. Fujifilm X Raw Studio is merely a more convenient interface to it. If the goal is to convert a RAF file to a JPG, Fujifilm does a better job than anyone because they are the only one who truly understand their (proprietary) film simulations.

Maybe that’s how you do things, but it’s not what I said or meant. To make it more clear for you, everything else about that image was all set up and done ahead of time, and all my concentration was on the jet ski. Maybe I should select a better word than “oblivious”, but that fit. Camera was fixed, composition was fixed, everything was steady, and the jet ski eventually moved into the viewfinder and reached the spot where I wanted the photo to show it. Multi-tasking is probably good, but that’s not how I do things. Pretty difficult to not be aware of the sky, or the water, or the boats, but no need to pay attention to them. If it was a still life, and static, things wold be different.

The only way I’ve found to capture things like this to my satisfaction is to have everything else “done”, and wait for something important (animal, radio controller, boat, motorcycle, whatever) to hopefully fit into the composition I was planning on - and when things get all screwy, to do the best I can.

…and the instant the camera goes CLICK my attitude changes, looking for something else that might be worthwhile.

The big thing of course, is to plan properly for the photo I hope to capture. Without planning, results become just luck, or the lack of.

I’m only aware of one photo of yours, and it was lovely. I enjoy scenes like that, but when possible, I want some “life” in the photo, maybe a bird, whatever. But that’s just my goal. Joanna’s photos are often static images frozen in time, and that IS the image. I love to see all the small details, and I picture Joanna with her camera set up on a tripod “visualizing” what she sees onto the film. …Like many photos from Ansel. I used to do that in India, spending hours setting up a scene, and at dusk, having two or three minutes in which to capture what I wanted. Too early, or too late, wasn’t what I wanted.

When I left to take the photos yesterday, the camera was set to RAW + JPG. I already had my jpg images, and that’s what I used last night to edit the photos. Next time I do this, I’ll just shoot in RAW (RAF) and plan on converting later.

Shooting with the Fuji “feels” like shooting with an ultra-modern version of my Leica. I wish my Leica was more like my Fuji, with a viewfinder that could switch back and forth between optical and digital.

I don’t know much about other Fuji cameras. I know people like them, a lot. Do you use one, and if so, which model?

I have an aging (but still very much loved) X100s; my main camera these days is an X-T30. I absolutely agree: Fujifilm cameras are fun to use. They are also better than anything else I’ve found for shooting in JPEG mode. The various film simulations are amazing. I downsized from a Nikon D750 in late 2019 and never looked back. I do have some information about that here.

I enjoyed reading your story. Agreed about the quality of the Fuji in every way, I still have my D750, along with a newer (older, actually) Df, along with two Leica M cameras. I bought an X100 first, then the X100s, and finally the X100f. The older ones have found good homes.

One of the features of the Fuji is an inability to take a technically bad photo. If I use it set up like that, all I need to do is compose. I enjoy selecting the controls manually though. I’ve still got a wide-angle add-on lens for indoor photos of groups, but I rarely use it.

I know what you mean about the jpg images - awesome. I almost wish they weren’t that good, as then I would have been using raw for a lot longer now. On my trips to India, it’s easier to just leave the camera in jpg mode, and 99.9% of the time I’m satisfied.

I’ve also got a Canon G7X Pro Mk II, which I sometimes use instead of the Fuji both because it is smaller, and it as the pivot up/down back. The newest Fuji has that now.

If I use the Fuji nowadays, I’d be converting to tiff, and each file would be 70 megs. I have to reconsider that. Yes, the Fuji is awesome, with a capital A. :slight_smile:

That sounds very scientific, like a chemist working with different materials to create a scientific end result. That is certainly one way to do things, and it will probably lead to a scientifically good end result, but will it be beautiful?

I think you would learn a lot by watching this video by PhotoJoseph ( and spend more time concentrating on the “looks” rather than the “science”. He uses all the tools available to him, including the Zone System, to manipulate image data to get the visual effect he is trying to accomplish. As he puts it, there are often many different ways to get to the same effect. The important thing is the effect itself, not how he got to it.

I’d like to ask you one question, in your words: “What makes a photograph good?”
Seeing, thinking, experience, and interest will lead to a technically good photograph.
But in my opinion, that’s not enough.
The most important thing(s) is/are lacking.

I think we both agree on that, but as I wrote, that’s not enough.
The most important thing(s) is/are lacking.

If the goal is simply to produce very good photos just about any modern camera can do that if set to AUTO. None of that is “enough”. What are we not considering? Something very important. I have my words for it, but I’d like to hear it in your words.

Hey folks, we’ve come way off topic of this thread: Treating derivates of X-Trans raw files…

While we know that PhotoLab cannot handle X-Trans raw files and .dng files derived from it, we can talk about how to deal with jpeg or tiff files in DPL.

We can also discuss means to convert X-Trans raw files to tiff and jpeg.

Although it can help individuals to let off steam, I strongly feel that it does not help to help others to learn how to work with PhotoLab.

Please try to stay within the scope of the forum.

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I apologize for anything I’ve written that may have upset you. Since I don’t know what that was or is, the best thing I know how to do, is to just stop responding to you.

For reasons I don’t understand, the jpg images I get from the Fuji were good enough that I started using jpg on the camera, rather than raw. I wish I never did that, but I didn’t have access to PhotoLab back then.

Curious, have you ever tested how jpg images from the Fuji compare with TIFF images (converted from the raw files)? I tried out some other things on my Fuji today, re-learning how useful the built-in neutral. density filter is. If I take it out for testing, I’ll shoot in RAW+JPG FINE, then convert the RAW to TIFF, and see how the resulting TIFF files compare to the in-camera JPG images.

I find this stuff annoying, but maybe it’s a necessary evil if I use the Fuji again on my next trip to India, and shoot in RAW. The most annoying thing will be when people at the hospital want copies of my images. I’ll also need to see how the file sizes compare. Sending just 25 images, 70 megs each for TIFF, is going to be another issue…

I’ll take just one image from today’s excursion, and post it here before/after PL4 and the ‘dop’ file.

When I travel (one camera, one lens and an iPad), I set my camera to record both raw and jpeg, the latter in 1/2 of the linear size of the raw. I review (and cull) the jpegs on the iPad in the evening and send a photo or two to friends and family back home or post the photos to a shared album in Apple Fotos. It’s all fairly easy because my Canon gear is fully supported in all the apps I use.

You are a lot more trusting than I am. :slight_smile: I flew to Italy to document a world championship r/c car race for the US magazines. I had my working-fine Nikon D2x, and a new D70. I took only the D70, smaller, lighter, and newer. Turns out there was a bug in the new D70 cameras, and the first day at the race, the camera stopped working. It’s one of those European things - all of Italy was shut down for a week. No way to get it fixed, no way to buy another one… Grrr… Fortunately I had many friends in the R/C car racing world, and one of them loaned me the cheapest, simplest, Nikon DSLR, a D40. I’m way too stubborn to give up on things, so I forced it to do what I needed. Not one person back home complained about the photos after I submitted them along with the report. So much for needing really high tech gear…

Since then, I never go anywhere important without two cameras.

Back to what you wrote, I like that concept. You get home with the full set of RAW images to work with, and you immediately have small jpg images suitable for email and so on, and you’ve already selected which raw images are best (and which can eventually be discarded).

I guess having an iPad makes things easier. I’ve almost always got a laptop with me (and an iPhone).

I think doing it your way leaves you more free to enjoy your trip. That’s good. I go to “work” on the laptop around 10pm, and force myself to stop early enough to get “enough” sleep.

Why do you wish you had never done that if you’re happy with the jpegs? On several occasions, I have shot RAW+JPG; in most cases, I end up throwing out the raws and keeping the jpegs. Why burden yourself with 70 meg files if you don’t have to?

When I have photos taken in challenging light, or images I want to work on extensively, I keep the raw file, but that’s the exception rather than the rule. Given the size of memory cards, you could keep all your raws and send jpegs to people who want copies from your cell phone using the Fujifilm camera remote app to download the photos you want from the camera to your phone.

As to your question, no I have not compared TIFF images converted from raw files to JPEG images from the camera. When I work with RAFs I don’t usually convert them to TIFF; I use Photoshop or, if it’s a particularly difficult image, Capture One.

This was all in India. For the purpose of sending people photos, everything was great, but then the hospital wanted full size images of some, and the absolute best I could do for a few more. At least the jpg images were the maximum size.

RAF images were around 50 megs each.
The TIFF images I worked on. were 70.
The JPG images were between 12 and 13.

Yes, I felt pleased with the images, but when the hospital wanted to do a lot of work on some to make them the best they could, and print them the size of a huge window on a building, I felt sorry I didn’t. capture them in raw.

If it’s images to give away, jpg makes life easy.
I can’t help it though - I feel “guilty” if I take “shortcuts”.
Something always seems to happen later, making me wish I had done my best.

On the other hand, huge files are not compatible with slow internet speeds that I usually got to work with in India. I don’t really have an answer. But you are right - 99% of the time, the jpg images are all I really needed.

My Leica M8.2 makes horrible jpg images.
My Leica M10 creates great jpg images (but then I’m limited in processing).
My Fuji - same thing, unless I learn yet another editor.
The Canon - same as the Fuji, but PL4 has no problem with the CR2 files.

I suspect I would be just as happy with the Fuji X100 cameras, if they used a more accepted sensor. …but it makes up for that in always seeming to create perfect images technically, if I don’t mess things up that is. It is my ONLY camera where the built-in flash still leaves the images looking perfect!

I should add though, that now that I’ve settled on PL4 to do my editing, I need to adjust my cameras if necessary to make the images compatible with PL4.

One more Fuji photo. I went walking around with the Fuji looking for scenes near the building I live in, and drew a blank. Nothing intrigued me. After mostly giving up, I walked by a home with the front of the yard lined with bamboo trees. Unfortunately, nothing looked like an interesting composition, and I finally settled with some trees with green shrubbery behind them. Took the photo in RAW, and used my new converter tool to create a tiff file. The tiff is the my very definition of a “flat” file, no contrast, no color, no nothing. So I worked at it in PL4 for a long time, as ever time I thought I was finished, there was something else to touch up. The end result is not what I was looking at. PL4 brought out all the colors and texture I hadn’t really noticed when I was taking the photo.

Cropping was also an issue, as I was never satisfied. I wanted to cut off the top with an apartment building showing, as I thought that was distracting, and I cut off the bottom because it didn’t add much to the photo.

One problem I have, is the more I worked on it, the more I liked it. I think I’m just brain-washing myself as at first I thought there was nothing there to turn into a photograph. I’d like to be more objective about it, and the real test is to forget about it over night and see if I still like it in the morning.

…of course, there is always the possibility that one of you will take one look, change it, and say here’s what you could have done! That happens a lot when I post here, and I try to not repeat my “mistakes” too much.

_DSF4353 | 2021-01-15-Fuji X100f photos near my home.raf.dop (679 Bytes)

The 70 meg TIFF file is too large to upload here, so here is a link to it, as the forum suggested:

I think I’m going to stop using the Fuji for questions here, as the RAF file is big, and the TIF file is even bigger. Time to go back to the Nikon or Leica.

Everything is choices, and after thinking about this for a while, I’ve sort of decided that for me, for a while at least, the first choice to make is my editor, which for many reasons will be PL4. Next is what format to shoot in.

For the reasons posted here, and then after using the Fuji for a while, leading to gigantic TIFF files, that led to thinking about maybe using JPG rather than TIFF in my Fuji. That got reinforced by this discussion:

…and at the same. time, after reading that topic slowly, I decided the Fuji, and ‘jpg’ will be fine for my “snapshots”, but I’m back to thinking I’ll stick with my DNG raw files from my Leica and my NEF raw files from my Nikon DSLR cameras.

This thread has done wonders in organizing my thoughts. The Fuji had been sitting for almost all of last year, and it’s going back into my storage drawer. It will come out for “snapshots” sometimes because it’s small and light, but anything I can do with the Fuji I can do with the Leica, so why have all that other stuff I need to stuff into my brain for instant recall.

(…and the Leica and Nikons are also full frame, which is one more benefit from using them. Compared with the Fuji, both are relatively “larger format”. :slight_smile: Not to mention I’m not locked in to a single focal length lens like I am with the Fuji.)

Thanks to all the help and feedback and information provided in the above 50 or so responses, I guess I “CAN” do everything I want, using PL4 with some restrictions - but the question then is “WHY”. Better to stick with full frame cameras shooting raw images that are compatible with PL4.

Thanks to all of you for your advice.

Well done. As on smart person once said:
Make your choice
Pay your price
And stop complaining

The last point is important. Complaints often come as a feeling about whether the gear is right, if to get that new super camera or lens or if an edit is good or not. Doubt can fuel progress. Or misery.

Hi Mike

The article you cite confirms that, for certain types of photography, there is nothing wrong with using JPG images. The question that is left to the reader to decide is, what types of photography suit it best?

If you take a look at my LF website, every single colour image was taken on Fuji Velvia 100 transparency film, which has a dynamic range of only about 5 stops - that is less than a JPG, which most people reckon can cope with around 8 stops well and sometimes more. And yet every shot appears perfectly exposed, and the only post-processing was scanning the transparencies from the film into the computer.

How is that done?

Take this image…

… where the almost white sand was about 8 stops brighter than the shadows on the wreck.

The answer to fitting 8 stops into a film that only records 5 stops is to use a 3 stop graduated neutral density filter over the sand area.

There is only one colour landscape image on my site that could not be properly captured on a single sheet of Fuji Velvia 100 and that is this one…

This is actually a composite of three sheets of film - one overall shot plus one over-exposed for the shadows under the trees and one under-exposed for the white water passing over the weir. Then I combined the three scans in post processing. That is one expensive way to get a good picture!

So what relevance has all this to shooting JPG over RAW?

The answer is that shooting colour transparency film and shooting JPG and are very much the same process.

  • You need to know if the dynamic range of the subject can be successfully captured in one shot on your camera
    • if not, you need to take more than one shot and combine them later in post-processing
  • For a single shot, processing is done at the time of shooting
    • in the camera for JPG
    • at the laboratory for film

Whether it be transparency film or JPG, there will be certain manipulations that are going to be more difficult than if you had been able to take the image with a medium that coped better with higher dynamic range.

If you really have to shoot in JPG, you need to get things right in the camera, which is why most digital cameras offer you a range of processing options with things like contrast, brightness, saturation, etc.

If, like my picture of the weir, the dynamic range is too great for one shot, some cameras even offer the possibility of composing bracketed shots into an HDR image at the time of shooting, although as I did with film, you can also merge multiple shots in post-processing.

However, a lot of digital photographers forget that you can use graduated filters on digital cameras just the same as on film cameras and this allows you to take “HDR” shots, like my one of the wreck, in JPG mode, without having to resort to taking multiple shots for an HDR blend.

In summary, if you want to shoot really good images in JPG, you need to setup a lot more in the camera, possibly using filters in front off the lens as well, because you will not get the same flexibility in post-processing that you will when shooting RAW.


  • Choose your favourite make and variety of film to give you the rendering you want on the final image. But you then have to shoot the whole roll of 24 or 36 images for that rendering


  • Setup the picture controls in your camera to give you the rendering you want on the final image. You can change rendering for every shot but it is going to take time to change rendering between shots


Although JPG seems to be the choice of “photo snappers”, in actual fact, it takes a lot more knowledge and skill to shoot JPG successfully, because it is virtually the same as taking a colour transparency and sending it off to the lab for processing - essentially, you need to have similar skills to a film photographer - getting it right in the camera :nerd_face: