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Finally Discovered an efficient DNG converter for Oly ORF Files
Old 09-11-2018   #1
Benjamin Marks
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Finally Discovered an efficient DNG converter for Oly ORF Files

I bought an OM-D E-Mi, Mark II earlier this year and have been very pleased by it. The silent shutter mode - even on the rapid-fire (low) setting is effectively silent in the street. Even in an indoor setting it is quieter than any of my Leicas. The only think approaching it would be one of those noise-cancelling "blimps" I used in the 1990's on movie sets.

BUT, the ORF files defy my older stand-alone version of Lightroom and PS5. The jpgs are pretty good, but I prefer having all my options open.

Enter Adobe's DNG converter v. 10.5. Easy peasy, not like the OEM Olympus software, which I find slow and inefficient.

Download link is here:

https://supportdownloads.adobe.com/d...jsp?ftpID=6383
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Old 09-13-2018   #2
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Addendum: turns out that the RAW files (in my case ORF) can't be mixed in with other files in a directory. You have to copy all the files to a folder and then turn loose the software on the whole directory. Very efficient, and much better for batch processing than the native Olympus software, at least with respect to processing time. I have not done an A-B image quality comparison.

When Adobe came out with their DNG format (kind of "TIFF-plus") I decided to store all my images in it so I wouldn't be trying to track down NEF or ORF converters years from now. Luckily, Pentax and Leica, two of my faves, have DNG as a RAW file option. No conversion issues there. . .
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Old 09-13-2018   #3
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I never, ever shoot JPEGs in my Olympus Pen-F. Fine detail resolution is an order of magnitude greater with RAW processed in Lightroom than with the out of camera JPEGs.
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Old 09-13-2018   #4
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I'm confused here. Is "ORF" a RAW format? Why can Chris process his Pen-F RAW files with Lightroom and Benjamin can't?
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Old 09-13-2018   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
I'm confused here. Is "ORF" a RAW format? Why can Chris process his Pen-F RAW files with Lightroom and Benjamin can't?
Yes, ORF is Olympus's RAW file format. I can process them because I have the latest Lightroom CC, while Benjamin is using an old version of Lightroom made before the camera he owns was introduced.
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Old 09-13-2018   #6
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Try https://www.iridientdigital.com/prod..._download.html

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Old 09-13-2018   #7
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Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
Yes, ORF is Olympus's RAW file format. I can process them because I have the latest Lightroom CC, while Benjamin is using an old version of Lightroom made before the camera he owns was introduced.
Exactly! I stopped my software upgrade cycle with PS5 and LR 5.7. I do photography in intense bursts, and it feels sort of odd to pay a monthly license fee for something that I already "own." Of course, I don't own it, not really. None of us do. If I was doing photography professionally, or every week in personal pursuits, then the CC model would make more sense for me. It does mean that I have to think about new gear purchases carefully, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
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Old 09-13-2018   #8
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I use the 64 bit edition of Lightroom 5.7 (which is a standalone version) and it does not have a problem with handling RAW files from my Olympus cameras (an OMD EM 5 and a EPL 2. Maybe the earlier version of Lightroom which apparently you have is the problem.

But having said that, in the past I have from time to time used Adobe's DNG converter to convert other RAW files for processing when the earlier version of my editing software failed to cope. It is not a bad solution given the ubiquitous nature and universality of DNG files.
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Old 09-13-2018   #9
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I use the 64 bit edition of Lightroom 5.7 (which is a standalone version) and it does not have a problem with handling RAW files from my Olympus cameras (an OMD EM 5 and a EPL 2. Maybe the earlier version of Lightroom which apparently you have is the problem.

But having said that, in the past I have from time to time used Adobe's DNG converter to convert other RAW files for processing when the earlier version of my editing software failed to cope. It is not a bad solution given the ubiquitous nature and universality of DNG files.
Peter: yes, same with older files from those cameras. The newer cameras though have newer versions of the ORF file. Why the camera makers insist on "updating" their formats, I cannot guess. Still, with the new-ish OM-D EM-1 Mk II (ye gods, who comes up with those model names?), the files are unreadable by older versions of Lightroom/PS etc.
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Old 09-13-2018   #10
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I once converted all my 5d raw files to DNG files after reading some internet nonsense about dng being a future proofed universal format blah blah blah.

Long story short all those files are stuck in 2010 level raw conversion technology and look like junk compared to current conversion technology on the same files, and there's nothing I can do about it. I personally would just update to adobe CC or find a way to pirate it. Never ever unnecessarily convert your raw files to any other format.
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Old 09-13-2018   #11
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Originally Posted by gavinlg View Post
I once converted all my 5d raw files to DNG files after reading some internet nonsense about dng being a future proofed universal format blah blah blah.

Long story short all those files are stuck in 2010 level raw conversion technology and look like junk compared to current conversion technology on the same files, and there's nothing I can do about it. I personally would just update to adobe CC or find a way to pirate it. Never ever unnecessarily convert your raw files to any other format.
LOL. I am reasonably sure my standards are lower than yours. I say this because I have no files that look like junk. I have 2010 images I love, and 2018 images that I love. Heck, I have ERF files from the Epson RD-1 that look better than I remember. I can discern no difference in file quality -- resolution, yes, but I really don't print large or need big files. I need dynamic range. However before we start a flame war over my low standards, rest assured I am keeping both copies (ORF and DNG because life is long and storage is cheap). I am thinking of buying stock in Seagate, though.
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Old 09-13-2018   #12
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My LR5 handles the Olympus raw files.
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Old 09-13-2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Marks View Post
LOL. I am reasonably sure my standards are lower than yours. I say this because I have no files that look like junk. I have 2010 images I love, and 2018 images that I love. Heck, I have ERF files from the Epson RD-1 that look better than I remember. I can discern no difference in file quality -- resolution, yes, but I really don't print large or need big files. I need dynamic range. However before we start a flame war over my low standards, rest assured I am keeping both copies (ORF and DNG because life is long and storage is cheap). I am thinking of buying stock in Seagate, though.
All's well if you're keeping the original ORFs. To give you an idea of what I mean when I say the old converted DNG files look like junk, the ISO1600 files from 2010 look like the same files at ISO 3200 pushed 1 stop converted with current technology. Roughly 2 stops better in high iso performance just by converting using current RAW conversion software. Basically the difference between having really noisy photos taken at night, and acceptably clean ones.
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Old 09-13-2018   #14
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My LR5 handles the Olympus raw files.
It won't handle files from newer models like the Pen-F or OMD-EM1 mkII
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Old 09-13-2018   #15
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Yes, my Olympus cameras are older models.
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Old 09-13-2018   #16
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Benjamin, update your adobe raw developer, it should allow you to work the files. Check the update function in the help pull down and see if it will do that for you. Another supposed advantage to converting to DNG is that, at least the new version of LR, you can "validate" your converted files to be sure that none have been corrupted. Oh goody, another step in post.
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Old 09-13-2018   #17
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DNG files are raw data files. If your DNG files look like junk, it has nothing to do with them being DNG files and everything to do with whatever raw processing has been done to them.

DNG Converter simply writes the raw data from whatever native raw format you hand it into the DNG raw file format. It doesn't do any other processing or conversion.

I use Lightroom v6.14, the very last perpetual license version. It will process native Olympus e-M1 II and Pen-F .ORF files as well as any DNG files derived from them with identical results. As well as my Leica CL native DNG files...
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Old 09-14-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
DNG files are raw data files. If your DNG files look like junk, it has nothing to do with them being DNG files and everything to do with whatever raw processing has been done to them.

DNG Converter simply writes the raw data from whatever native raw format you hand it into the DNG raw file format. It doesn't do any other processing or conversion.

I use Lightroom v6.14, the very last perpetual license version. It will process native Olympus e-M1 II and Pen-F .ORF files as well as any DNG files derived from them with identical results. As well as my Leica CL native DNG files...
Depends upon the type of DNG file it is. If it is linear DNG then the demosaicing has already happened and the data is no longer just 'raw' sensor data. On these files the file size is about 3x larger than native raw. This is what the Iridient Transformer I linked to above outputs. This lets you use their demosaicing and sharpening which on the Fuji files is better than what LR can do. It also lets LR open the files much faster than native RAF.

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Old 09-14-2018   #19
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Depends upon the type of DNG file it is. If it is linear DNG then the demosaicing has already happened and the data is no longer just 'raw' sensor data. On these files the file size is about 3x larger than native raw. This is what the Iridient Transformer I linked to above outputs. This lets you use their demosaicing and sharpening which on the Fuji files is better than what LR can do. It also lets LR open the files much faster than native RAF.

Shawn
Yes, I'd forgotten about the linear form of DNG output. That's a pretty rare thing to use for most cameras that I'm familiar with ... I'm not surprised that that it is useful for the Fuji files, which are non-standard/non-Bayer mosaic in their original form. Linear format DNG is not supported by a lot of raw processing apps

However, I was referring to Adobe's DNG Converter, not the Iridient Transformer, where DNG Converter does not default to the linear form in any case ... you have to select it intentionally. The Iridient Transformer was probably designed by Iridient to allow better processing of Fuji XTrans and other quirky sensor data and likely does more for that purpose.

(I've avoided any Fuji cameras because of their oddities in raw file format: I just don't see any advantage to it at all, and it complicates the processing quite a lot. My opinion ... No issues if you disagree.)

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Old 09-14-2018   #20
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I used dng from adobe only a short while. For me, my work flow went from processing my canon cr raw files using acr. I didn’t see any advantage using dng converted raw cr files over the raw files from my camera processing with acr. Then I made jpegs which got delivered to the clients.

As I understand, Leica picked dng for their raw file format for some of their digital cameras.
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Old 09-14-2018   #21
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Quote:
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I used dng from adobe only a short while. For me, my work flow went from processing my canon cr raw files using acr. I didnít see any advantage using dng converted raw cr files over the raw files from my camera processing with acr. Then I made jpegs which got delivered to the clients.

As I understand, Leica picked dng for their raw file format for some of their digital cameras.
My Leica M9, M-P 240, M-D 262, SL, and CL output raw files in DNG format, as did my Ricoh GXR and Pentax K10D. (I believe all Leica M digital output DNG, can't remember whether this is also true of the Leica X2 and X113. It's certainly true of the Leica T/TL/TL2 as well.)

The advantage of DNG files is that the raw processing parameters when using ACR and Lightroom can be stored in the DNG file rather than in sidecar files, making file management a little simpler. If you use the Adobe suite of image processing tools, DNG files make interactions between the different applications easier to manage.

Another advantage of DNG format when used to convert some native raw file formats is that the DNG format files can be created with 100% lossless compression, which can save a lot of storage space. This was a significant advantage for some raw file formats in the past when storage space was much more expensive, but is less advantageous now since most native raw formats have incorporated lossless compression and storage space has become far far less expensive.

The presumed 'future advantage' of DNG format is that since DNG is a publicly disclosed format, if support for processing a particular camera type's raw files is ceased, a DNG format file of that camera's raw data will continue to be processable. I haven't seen this happen as yet, but as long as DNG Converter continues to support all the past native raw formats it remains a viable future option should that happen.

The disadvantage of DNG format is that if you want to use the native raw processing software provided by Nikon, Canon, and Olympus (as well as potentially some other manufacturers' software) for their cameras, DNG files are not compatible those processing apps.

There is no difference in the results achievable between native and DNG format raw files when processed with software that supports both raw formats correctly.

I used to regularly convert all my digital camera files to DNG for sake of easier file management and reduced storage space requirements. Of course, since I'm only shooting with Leica M-D and CL cameras now, the question of whether to convert isn't a question any more...

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Old 09-15-2018   #22
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Quote:
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...Another advantage of DNG format when used to convert some native raw file formats is that the DNG format files can be created with 100% lossless compression, which can save a lot of storage space. This was a significant advantage for some raw file formats in the past when storage space was much more expensive, but is less advantageous now since most native raw formats have incorporated lossless compression and storage space has become far far less expensive....

G
Yes, all Leica digital cameras AFAIK save out raw files in DNG format. I think most save in losslessly-compressed DNG, but for one the Leica Q does not offer compression. Its original DNG files average 44Mb (using Mb = 1000x1000 bytes and a 100-file sample) while the average of files converted and compressed by DNG Converter is 26.8Mb, a worthwhile saving.

Pentax digitals have an option to save as DNG instead of the Pentax raw PEF format.
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Old 09-15-2018   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
DNG files are raw data files. If your DNG files look like junk, it has nothing to do with them being DNG files and everything to do with whatever raw processing has been done to them.

DNG Converter simply writes the raw data from whatever native raw format you hand it into the DNG raw file format. It doesn't do any other processing or conversion.
Not all DNG are just raw files. One of the DNG formats available in the converter pre-bakes them.

As far as I can remember there were two options for processing to DNG using adobes converter and the one that I used 'finalized' the conversion using the current at the time process. So the later process builds of lightroom which had much improved converstion weren't applied to it unlike the standard CR2 files.
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Old 09-15-2018   #24
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Yes, I'd forgotten about the linear form of DNG output. That's a pretty rare thing to use for most cameras that I'm familiar with ... I'm not surprised that that it is useful for the Fuji files, which are non-standard/non-Bayer mosaic in their original form. Linear format DNG is not supported by a lot of raw processing apps

However, I was referring to Adobe's DNG Converter, not the Iridient Transformer, where DNG Converter does not default to the linear form in any case ... you have to select it intentionally. The Iridient Transformer was probably designed by Iridient to allow better processing of Fuji XTrans and other quirky sensor data and likely does more for that purpose.
Lightroom certainly supports Linear DNG but I don't know about others. Sigma sd Quattro cameras have the option of shooting in their raw format X3F or they can shoot in DNG. They are stored as linear DNG due to cameras three 'layer' sensor architecture. This allows processing in things like LR instead of requiring Sigma Photo Pro.

Iridient Transformer was definitely designed to allow for better processing of Fuji raw than LR. See http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1468746/1 for some comparisons for example.

Now Brian has expanded that functionality to other camera makes as well. The betas are free to try. And it would allow for users of older versions of LR to continue to use it with the newest cameras.

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Old 09-15-2018   #25
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Originally Posted by gavinlg View Post
Not all DNG are just raw files. One of the DNG formats available in the converter pre-bakes them.

As far as I can remember there were two options for processing to DNG using adobes converter and the one that I used 'finalized' the conversion using the current at the time process. So the later process builds of lightroom which had much improved converstion weren't applied to it unlike the standard CR2 files.
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Lightroom certainly supports Linear DNG but I don't know about others. Sigma sd Quattro cameras have the option of shooting in their raw format X3F or they can shoot in DNG. They are stored as linear DNG due to cameras three 'layer' sensor architecture. This allows processing in things like LR instead of requiring Sigma Photo Pro.

Iridient Transformer was definitely designed to allow for better processing of Fuji raw than LR. See http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1468746/1 for some comparisons for example.

Now Brian has expanded that functionality to other camera makes as well. The betas are free to try. And it would allow for users of older versions of LR to continue to use it with the newest cameras.

Shawn
All true, but the exception rather than the rule. To store linear DNG format, you have to do the demosaic transform to separate the channels, but you don't do the gamma correction. Fuji XTrans, Sigma, etc are all "odd" sensors that do not use the Bayer mosaic architecture.

However, linear DNG is completely unnecessary for converting Olympus .ORF files to DNG (the subject of this thread), and I'd recommend against it. Its use is not warranted by any of the tests I've done as providing any benefits, and it expands DNG file size by approximately 3x. Why argue about an edge case solution that has little added value?

Of course, the right solution is to obtain a version of Lightroom or some other raw converter that is enabled with the right camera calibration profile and can understand the native Olympus raw files. As I said up-thread, Lightroom v6.14 is still available, is the last perpetual license version, and handles nearly all currently available cameras ... Olympus and otherwise.

BTW: Improvements to the Lightroom 6 raw engine enable my 2003 generation Olympus E-1 to produce very clean, high quality color images at as high as ISO 1600 sensitivity, and very good quality B&W images at up to ISO 3200. That's a two-stop speed gain on a fifteen year old camera that was last updated firmware-wise in 2007. Not bad at all..
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Old 09-15-2018   #26
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I use LR5 to open ORF files from EP2 and-EPL1, and I let LR convert the files to jpg after some slight PP here and there, if needed.
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Old 09-22-2018   #27
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Got it. Thanks, Chris.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
Yes, ORF is Olympus's RAW file format. I can process them because I have the latest Lightroom CC, while Benjamin is using an old version of Lightroom made before the camera he owns was introduced.
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