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Darktable, anyone?
Old 12-27-2017   #1
dmr
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Darktable, anyone?

Is anyone a fan of this software?

I just downloaded it, yes, along with TFM and am presently R-ing TFM.

Seems like trying to take a sip out of a firehose, but the program looks very powerful, plus it appears to do a much better job reading the RAW files from my Fuji HS30.

Anyone use this regularly?
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Old 12-28-2017   #2
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There are a few articles on the internet about DarkTable. One person comments that it couldn't handle his 50k photo archive so he has added another open source software package to handle that.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/59324818

He has used DarkTable and other open source software professionally for two years.

It sounds interesting.

Steve
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Old 12-28-2017   #3
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I've been using it for a while. Cannot compare as I've never tried anything else and haven't felt the need, the only thing I've been missing is a dodge and burn function. I think it's pretty straightforward, but if you have any questions, I'll try to help.
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Old 12-28-2017   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
the only thing I've been missing is a dodge and burn function.
I haven't found the equivalent of a healing brush/stamp or a clone stamp yet, but I'm not through reading TFM yet. (Does it have those? Those I use quite a bit on film/slide scans.)
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Old 12-28-2017   #5
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There is a clone stamp but it's a little clumsy compared to the gimp or PS, in the "corrections" category of tools, called spot removal or something the like. I'm not using the software in English and can't seem to figure out how to change the language, not sure about the exact names. If you can't find it there, you'll need to get it from the additional modules at the bottom of the tools bar. Does this help?
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Old 12-28-2017   #6
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The DP article (above) states that he has to use GIMP for some functions. So maybe, these are missing in Darktable.

I'm going to give it a try though.
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Old 12-28-2017   #7
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I've been using Darktable since it was a tiny little project exclusively for Linux users. I was involved for a few years in beta testing and working out a lot of bugs. It has since matured to a full-fledged program that can do everything that Lightroom does. You can seamlessly import from GIMP and go back/forth. The nice thing about Darktable is that it can read RAW files of just about any type and vintage. GIMP has to have something to render these files like UFRAW before it can even view them.

For mass workflow, Darktable is fast once you get the hang of it. I've used it for journalism work and it has always come through.

EDIT: I forgot to add that the best user experience for Darktable comes if you're using a Linux OS. Second place is Mac. I have no idea if it is even ported to Windoze.

Phil Forrest
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Old 12-28-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
EDIT: I forgot to add that the best user experience for Darktable comes if you're using a Linux OS. Second place is Mac. I have no idea if it is even ported to Windoze.
Since 2.4 it is available on Windows now, but I have not tried it, since I use Mac.

Sadly, this new version is not yet available for Mac. IMHO best user-experience is on Linux with Darktable, yet. I tried it several times on Mac and either it crashed or it just didn't really fit into Apples design- and usability-philosophy.

However, it is at the moment the best free competitor to LR and may suffice for most users and for the basic functionality.
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Old 09-21-2018   #9
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I tried DarkTable before, but I'm using RawTherapee now already for months, for processing RAW files to JPG.

And I'm using Gimp for editing.

All free open source software, works on Linux, Windows, Apple...
I'm using Linux btw, already for months now.
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Old 09-21-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulevardi View Post
I tried DarkTable before, but I'm using RawTherapee now already for months, for processing RAW files to JPG.

And I'm using Gimp for editing.

All free open source software, works on Linux, Windows, Apple...
I'm using Linux btw, already for months now.
I tried RawTherapee long time ago. At that time it was not very usable, but I'm sure, they evolved, so it might be a good solution for many people. Problem often is, that many users, especially photographers don't know about open source alternatives of the Windows/MacOS-Adobe World.

But an even bigger problem is the lack in usability. I started using Linux before the Kernel hit the magic 1.0.x version with Slackware around 1992 and have it used ever since, wrote open source SW myself, much Unix stuff. My experience over all this time is, that there are very different definitions of "usability". The Unix/Linux-Nerd-Definition, which was (and still is in most regards) also my point of view, is that it is best to have extremely flexible and powerful building blocks of SW and competent users, who either are able to single handedly write their own kernel module to solve a problem (I did quite a few times...) or they are not worth to use that stuff anyway. In that world, usability means to be able to program and modify the tools and system to ones wishes.

The other extreme maybe is at least some parts of Windows/MacOS, where the user has no control over anything and just has to take, what is given to him.

Still, for most people, the computer is not even an interesting tool, but only just some tool, that is needed to get a result, but there is no love for it. This may be the biggest group of all users: not interested in the technology, but in the results with as little effort as possible and no need to think "logically" (like a programmer) what would be the most efficient way to do something, but just to do it intuitively. Successful products often have a good design and understanding of this desire. Linux, and almost all of its tools and programs have not... This is not evil-doing by the Linuxers, but a side effect of the culture behind Linux and open source. As I said, I'm not free of this behaviour myself.

So RawTherapee might be a good program, Gimp also in sense of being powerful as an image editor (at least since 16bit-editing finally arrives after years of promise...), but especially the workflow offered by Gimp is just horrible compared to modern engineered SW with a team of usability designers behind the hackers.

Yes, I can start and use Gimp on macOS, but it can be immediately seen, that its programmers never had a look into Apples design guides (or at least, they ignored them). A user that is used to the document-handling-patterns in Apples or Windows' ecosystem will just have a frustrating experience using Gimp as an image editor. Same was true for RawTherapee (I didn't try for some time now). It works on Unix/Linux and will behave somehow familiar for Linux-Users, but not for the other two.

I think, although I over-generalized pretty much here and being unfair towards some good efforts in the open source world, this is essentially an important reason, why Darktable, RawTherapee, Linux and so on are still not a real alternative and choice for many. Which is depressing, because if you just judge by feature lists, possibilities and price, one would wonder, why Adobe LR users still exist. But usability for the non-technical and plain user is the key. For that there is still no solution in open source.

(Sorry for the long post... This topic always makes me agitated)
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