sRGB or Adobe RGB?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Terry, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. Terry

    Terry Guest

    I am very confused by sRGB vs. Adobe RGB. I have a Canon 20D and Photoshop
    CS2. Both have settings for sRGB or Adobe RGB workspace. I know the Adobe
    is supposed to have more colors, but Canon cautions against it in the owners
    manual. "Design rule for Camera File System 2.0 (Exif 2.21)" What?

    I have been told to use sRGB or I will have problems. I watched a Radiant
    Vista video the other night, and they advised to use Adobe. Do the settings
    have to be the same for the camera and PS; i.e., both on sRGB or Adobe? I
    hear conflicting opinions depending on who I talk to.

    Thanks to anybody who can explain this to me in plain English.
    Terry, Jan 20, 2006
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  2. Terry

    Terry Guest

    BTW I shoot everything in RAW if it matters.
    Terry, Jan 20, 2006
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  3. Terry

    C Wright Guest

    If you shoot raw you will be able to save your image in any color space that
    you want. That should be selectable in your raw converter.

    Adobe RGB is a wider color space than sRGB. If you were to shoot JPEGs and
    process and print your own images using a program that understands color
    spaces, like Photoshop, I would definitely set the camera color space to
    aRGB. SRGB is there because most computer monitors will display it
    acceptably and because many labs expect it. An aRGB image can look toned
    down and a little muddy if viewed by a program that only understands the
    sRGB color space. That is why I think that you find the caution in your
    C Wright, Jan 20, 2006
  4. Terry

    rafe b Guest

    If you know your way around ICC color management,
    and use ICC-aware applications (eg. Photoshop) to
    do your editing, and if your monitor and printer are
    profiled, then use AdobeRGB and be happy.

    If any of this is greek to you, your best bet is to
    stay with sRGB -- and then maybe study up a bit
    on the color management game.

    sRGB is the color space to use if you'd rather not
    fuss with ICC-based color management. It is, in effect,
    the "default" profile for monitors. It's also the color
    space to use for images that are intended for viewing
    on the web, or on a monitor (rather than on print.)

    rafe b
    rafe b, Jan 20, 2006
  5. The in camera setting really only affect the resultant camera produced jpg,
    not raw.
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Jan 20, 2006
  6. Neither shoot RAW and in ACR use the PhotoPro RGB 16 bit color space
    when in ACR Continue in that until you need to got to some other color
    space. Those color spaces are only for in camera JPEG's and that's
    not a good format for color images.

    Go read Fraser's book on RAW in CS2.

    "A combat photographer should be able to make you see the
    color of blood in black and white"

    David Douglas Duncan
    Speaking on why in Vietnam
    he worked only in black and white
    John A. Stovall, Jan 20, 2006
  7. Terry

    Clyde Guest

    Most "expert" photographers and Photoshop "gurus" tell you that you
    should use AdobeRGB. It has a wider gamut. That means that it can
    display more colors out at the extremes.

    In the world of color spaces, AdobeRGB is only slightly wider than
    sRGB. If you really want to handle a lot of colors use ProPhotoRGB. You
    will be able to work with many more colors.

    One of the problems with wide gamut color spaces is that you can't SEE
    all the colors. sRGB was designed to define the capabilities of CRT
    monitors. If you use a color space wider than what your monitor and
    printer can handle, you won't be able to see it. Photoshop has to spend
    time working on colors that never get used.

    OTOH, some people claim that you want all those other colors during the
    editing process so you won't get banding, stripping, or other averaging
    errors. In theory, this would be very true. In practice with real
    photography, I've never seen it matter. i.e. I can't see any difference
    in my photographic tests.

    Another problem with using a wide gamut color space is that something
    has to convert all those extra colors to the color space of your output
    device. If you have colors that can't be printed, what is going to
    happen when you try to print them? Some conversion process has to
    happen that will make that printing possible. If they are colors you
    can't see, you won't be able to see how the conversion is working.

    Of course, there are many ways to convert "out of gamut" colors into
    workable colors. Some of them work well, some don't, and some work well
    some of the time. The problem is that all conversions do some guessing
    and a lot of averaging. That may or may not be what YOU want. You can
    get Photoshop to do them and with some work get good results. You could
    get your printer driver to convert them too. The problem with that (and
    many others) is that you don't control the conversion process. That
    leaves room for unexpected results.

    I would rather not have unexpected results at any point in my
    processing. I shoot in RAW, but have Adobe Camera RAW bring it into
    Photoshop in sRGB. sRGB is the only RGB color space I use. OK, I do
    most of my editing in LAB, but always convert back to RGB in sRGB color

    I use a ViewSonic Professional Series monitor that is calibrated with a
    Spyder2. I have an Epson R800 printer. According to "Windows Color
    Management" utility (and others) the profile of my calibrated monitor
    is almost exactly the same as sRGB. Interestingly, the profiles for
    most of the papers I use in my R800 are close to or smaller than sRGB.

    So I have no output device that can see or use the extra colors in the
    wide color spaces. Therefore, the only reason to use a wide color space
    is to avoid editing errors. As I have said before, I have never been
    able to see any editing errors in a photograph from using sRGB vs.
    ProPhotoRGB or any other wider color space. Using ProPhotoRGB, I HAVE
    been able to see some differences in test gradiants of the full color
    spectrum. However, I don't take pictures of full spectrum color
    gradiants. So it doesn't matter.

    For me sRGB lets me see all the colors that I am working with. It also
    lets me see all the colors I will be printing. Since the final print is
    what really matters, it lets me quickly and confidently edit to get
    exactly what I want.

    Clyde, Jan 20, 2006
  8. Terry

    Keith Guest

    I'd agree with the above.

    Martin Evening who wrote Adobe Photoshop for Photograqphers, (a
    brilliant book btw) recommends photographers should use aRGB for most of
    the workflow, especialy when printing to their own personal icc profiled
    printer, such the latest Epsons with the large gamut inks. These kinds
    of printers can apparently make use of the 'extra colours'

    As far as I can tell the only realy 'issue' is either...

    When saving for web, you should convert to sRGB, thought in tests can't
    really see any difference on my monitor! (this strips out the icc
    profile by the way).


    when sending files on-line for printing, many bureaus only seem to work
    with sRGB, as their printers can't make use of the extra colours as
    their use a different process to the Epson type of printer.

    Having said that - this one I've found in the UK seems to ask for aRGB - - when using their 'larger' print sizes.

    If you shoot in Raw you can decide to use either colour space at any
    time, so it is much less of an issue really. If you shoot jpeg then you
    are stuck with whatever colourspace you set your camera to at the time,
    yet another reason for shooting in Raw I guess.
    Keith, Jan 21, 2006
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