By popular demand: Nikon Z7 and D850 JPEG picture controls and ACR profiles

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I’m giving in to the large number of people asking me for Z7 and D850 Adobe Camera Raw profiles that are compatible with Workflow III. Now available is a supplementary pack that includes these profiles, as well as a bonus: what are arguably the best SOOC JPEG profiles available at the moment for the Z7 and D850. I’ve been looking at ways to make my own workflow more efficient for the majority of cases where I don’t need perfect files, so I can spend more time shooting (or doing other things) rather than being stuck behind a computer. Inspired by the results from the PEN F, I spent some time using Nikon’s byzantine picture control management software to make a set of curves that plays nice under the majority of situations. The monochrome picture controls were calibrated specifically for velvety rich shadows and smooth highlight rolloff; I think of it as ‘Acros Plus’ with a light orange filter; for some odd reason getting monochrome right was much more difficult than color – I put it down to the sensitivity of Nikon’s curve implementation.

Included in this pack are:

  1. Nikon Z7 ACR flat color profile, for use with Workflow III and PS
  2. Nikon Z7 ACR flat monochrome profile, for use with Workflow III and PS
  3. Nikon D850 ACR flat color profile, for use with Workflow III and PS
  4. Nikon Z7 monochrome picture control (SOOC JPEG)
  5. Nikon Z7 high contrast color picture control (SOOC JPEG)
  6. Nikon Z7 low contrast color picture control (SOOC JPEG)
  7. Nikon D850 monochrome picture control (SOOC JPEG)
  8. Nikon D850 high contrast color picture control (SOOC JPEG)
  9. Nikon D850 low contrast color picture control (SOOC JPEG)

The profile/picture control pack is available to purchase here for $60.

All sample images in this post were shot with the Z7 and one of the three picture controls; PS was only used for batch resizing. More samples and notes after the jump. Expect an email from me after purchasing, within half a day at worst in case I’m not at the computer.

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Important notes:

  • How much is your time worth? If you spend several hours less in post processing, it’s paid for itself…
  • Z6 users: the Z7 profiles and picture controls apply for you, too – they are not 100% optimised for the Z6 (I don’t have one to do the long term testing/tuning)  but they have been evaluated by my colleague and he reports the results look quite close to what you’d get from the Z7, barring inherent sensor differences.
  • ACR profiles:
    • The Z7 ACR profiles include vignette compensation for the 24-70 S that should be zeroed out if you are using another lens.
    • ACR profiles go here: (Mac) /Users/[yourname]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw; (Windows 7 and above) C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles; (earlier Windows) C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles
      you might need to load them manually the first time from last tab in the upper right of your ACR panel to get them to show; after this, the ‘three line =‘ menu in the upper right corner of the same tab allows you to set them as camera raw defaults, to be automatically pre-applied when you open ACR.
  • Picture controls, and usage notes:
    • The D850 and Z7 picture controls are as close as I can make them to being cross-consistent: if you shoot with both cameras, you can match picture controls and get interchangeable results. The cameras however require different settings to get the same output, and the picture controls are not interchangeable.
    • The NIKON folder for picture controls need to be copied to the root directory of the memory card, then use SHOOTING MENU > MANAGE PICTURE CONTROLS to load them from your memory card.
    • All picture controls are designed to work with ACTIVE D LIGHTING set to LOW; VIGNETTE CONTROL on NORMAL, and HIGH ISO NOISE REDUCTION on LOW or OFF. These settings are not embedded in the picture controls.
    • You need to select the picture controls to apply them
    • White balance is critical as you can’t change it afterwards
    • When using picture controls for SOOC JPEG, use the histogram to expose for your final intent; do NOT ETTR. I have compensated for this with the curve to some degree to still yield an decent RAW file; if you ETTR with the picture controls, your JPEG will be too bright. -MT

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Comments

  1. Hello Ming,
    Would you consider tweaking your Nikon profiles for the cheap-and-cheerful D3500? I have one (with the 18–55 VR, and the 70–300 VR, used from B&H) and continue to be amazed. I only want to shoot jpegs with this camera, and if you do tweak the profiles for the D3500, I would like to buy!

  2. Would you consider a reduced price for selling only the Nikon Z7 profiles?

  3. Ming Thein: I was one of the lucky ones who got your original group of Camera Raw Presets, including the Z&. I cannot say enough about how valuable these presets have been for my work. I wonder whether you have worked up something for the new TEXTURE feature in ACR? If so, how might I get a copy of the presets with that added?

    • Thanks! I’ve experimented with texture and find it to be something very much ‘to taste’ – use judiciously, too much is definitely bad because it puts simulated micro contrast where there shouldn’t be any, and nothing added is also just fine 🙂 For the most part, I prefer the results without…

  4. I miss the man with the bowler. I miss the hovering apple in picture 8…… but still one of my all-time-favourites of your work 😉 !
    (The other one for eternity is this picture: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mingthein/6637733067/ )

  5. Klaus Hoffmann says:

    Do you have profiles for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 MKII?

  6. Svein Aage Christoffersen says:

    I have still in use PS6 and hence a ACR which can’t take raw-files from d850. So for the most time I use Capture One. But sometimes I open a raw-file in Capture NX-D and then transfer it to ACR/PS6 as a tif-file. So my question is: will the ACR flat colorprofile have any impact in this case, compared to the picture control I can apply in Capture NX-D, before I go to ACR?

    • The flat profile should work in ACR still, but you should use Adobe’s DNG converter utility to convert the files then open in ACR – this can be done as an automated batch that lets you skip NXD and C1. Or if you use NXD, the picture controls will generate the same file as if you’d used the JPEG profiles.

  7. Hi Ming, Your work is inspiring.Thank you. I have followed your blog for some time and purchased one of your “how to” DVDs a ways back. It was quite the learning curve, but I was pleased with the results. I am contemplating purchasing a Z7. Not already owning a Z7, I was wondering if the custom SOOC JPEG profiles can be controlled by assigning it to the U1 U2 U3 custom dial or do you need to go menu diving? If one does have to go menu diving, how difficult is it to access theses profiles? Thank you.

    • It’s very easy – no menu diving required after you do the initial setup. You can assign the profile to U1/2/3 along with a host of other settings – or assign any of the custom buttons to change profiles (this is how I have mine set).

  8. Nenninger Julian says:

    Great, bought the Z7 profile for my Z6.
    I’m working with Z6 and an iPad Pro on affinity photo do You have know if it can work with this app? (Also, I shoot in raw + jpeg and usually, the photo have the jpeg profil when I import it on affinity).
    Thanks a lot for your amazing work and blog, we have the same passions : photo and mechanical/automatic watches.
    Kind regards,
    Julian.

  9. Ron Sprunger says:

    Ming, I’m having some difficulty using the ACR profiles, using Win10 and Z6:
    1) The directions in your email specify placing in directory c\users\[username]\…\CameraProfiles\settings. That folder doesn’t exist, and after futzing around a while, I read your instructions above, which specify c:\users\…\CameraProfiles, which makes more sense, and that does seem to be where ACR wants them to be.
    2) When I load the settings from the ACR Basic panel “Load Settings”, that works fine (though the monochrome profile does not switch me from color to B&W). I can then save new camera raw defaults, as you suggest. But I can’t find any way to get the MT mono and color profiles to appear as options in the profiles lists. Am I missing something? Exporting as XMP does not seem to do anything I can recognize, and loading them every time I want them seems awkward.

    Installing to the camera works fine, and though I don’t often (as in never up to now) use SOOC Jpeg, it looks interesting.

    Last question: I see you have a bunch more of these profiles for various cameras included in your A3 training package. Do these include profiles for Sony DSC-RX100 and Pentax 645Z? I remember a few years back you were fond of the 645Z, and my son now has one.

    As always I appreciate your intelligent, thoughtful approach to photography.
    Ron

    • It seems the windows directories vary a bit depending on how your users are set up. ACR should be the same, however. You’re looking for ‘Presets’ (the last or second to last ACR panel, depending on your version) – if you load them here both will appear as selectable in the list:

      Screen Shot 2019-05-12 at 09.39.24 (2)

      Lastly, the A3 pack includes a profile for both the 645Z and RX100.

      • Ron Sprunger says:

        Ah, the “Presets” panel. I was working in the “Basic” panel, where the camera profiles are commonly accessed. In the Presets panel, the MT-Mono-2019 preset shows up under “User Presets” which I can’t seem to get to show in Basic. Thank you.

        I’m going to go to your link right now and purchase the A3 and Mono workflow courses, understanding that I will get the profiles for my cameras there as well. I have resisted purchasing your workflows up to now, just because as an old man and a total amateur I’ve always thought that figuring it out on my own was half the fun. But I have to admit that PS has gotten so good and so complex, that my sporadic efforts do not produce the most consistent results.

        One last question on the Z7 ACR profiles: you say in the comments above that Lightroom can only handle one curve, while using the profiles in PS gives the full effect. But how do you apply an ACR profile (preset?) in PS? Do you mean that ACR on the way into PS does the job, or that I should open the raw as smart object in PS? I don’t get the distinction. I do know that opening a raw file in ACR (from Bridge, for instance), applying the preset, and moving on to PS results in a very flat image in PS, not at all comparable to the SOOC jpeg from the same capture.

        Thanks again,
        Ron

        • Glad that helped.

          PS and curves: you will need to open the raw file in PS, which results in the flat/netural starting point. This is correct: it won’t look like the SOOC JPEG (you have the picture controls in the same pack for that purpose). You’ll find that applying curves to this will yield very nice rolloff in highlights and shadows, and you can apply sequential curves if you want to work progressively. This is for situations where your SOOC JPEG doesn’t work because of light that needs rebalancing with gradients, or extreme dynamic range, for instance.

  10. Thank you for your response. I will give the profiles a try.
    Cesare

  11. Cesare says:

    I’d like to buy the 850/Z7 profiles for my D850. I use PS but I’m not really overall computer savvy. Is it complicated to load the profiles? Thx

    • Nope, pretty easy – copy them to the root directory on your memory card, then go to the ‘manage profiles’ option on the camera to load.

  12. Craig Carlson says:

    Ming, I’m considering buying Nikon’s Z6…Do you think these would work similarly with the Z6 as they do with the Z7? Thanks, Craig

    • I’m told they also work satisfactorily (I have a couple of Z6 owners using the profiles too, but have not tested or verified it extensively myself).

  13. Ming Hello!
    Two questions:
    1. Will there be profiles for Nikon D850 also work in RAW?
    2. Do I understand correctly that low contrast color picture control is particularly well suited for portraits, including RAW?

    Thanks a lot!

    • 1. Picture controls work for camera JPEGs and the preview image. The RAW file has the JPEG settings tagged (and will be applied) if opened in Nikon software; but this produces an identical result to the camera JPEG. For ACR, there is a neutral profile included in the pack – this provides a good starting point for further editing in PS.

      2. Please see the first comment re. RAW vs JPEG for camera profiles. But yes, it’ll work just fine for portraits (actually they all will, depending on your lighting and creative intent etc.)

  14. Ming, Sorry if this sounds a little daft but will the ACR profiles work with Lightroom Classic CC?

    • Not daft at all. No, they won’t (not designed for it – there are some PS specific adjustments).

      • Ming, Giles, I am quite surprised by Ming’s answer to Giles. I had the same question as Giles’s and tried the profiles on both ACR and LR Classic and I find that the profiles give exactly the same results in both SW. What I have done to check it is the following:
        I have edited several pictures with Ming’s profiles in both SW:
        – I have checked all settings in both SW and they are exactly the same (can’t find any setting in ACR which is not applied in LR Classic)
        – I could not see any visible difference in tonalities or hues with pictures opened in the two SW
        – to make sure, I exported a JPEG (highest quality) with both SW and opened them with Preview (on a MAC) and checked with 2 tools. Firstly I used MAC Digital Color Meter to check different parts of the image and found very exactly the same values (measured as RGB or Lab). Secondly, I used the Preview histogram on both JPEGs and found that they are exactly the same.
        Maybe I am wrong here, but my feeling is that your ACR profiles give exactly the same result with ACR and LR Classic. This makes sense, I believe, as both applications are using exactly the the RAW processing and all settings are the same (to my knowledge).
        Ming, could you eventually let us know which settings you believe you made with ACR which is not captured by LR?
        (As a side note, for using Ming’s profiles in LR Classic, I just used the .xmp files and not any conversion or translation to the .lrtemplate format; my understanding is that Adobe is now abandoning this old LR format and using .xmp for both LR and ACR, which helps a lot).

        A final note, Ming, your profiles are really great, thank you!

        • Thanks Jerome. I should have clarified this a bit: LR only allows for one curve. The profiles get you to a flat/neutral starting point, which then requires a second curve to finish to final output. It doesn’t look the same if only one curve is applied; the shoulder and toe for shadow/highlight rolloff respectively don’t quite look the same. But I agree that the starting point is definitely the same after conversion. I suppose this could be gotten around by exporting a finished file from LR then running another set of adjustments, but that seems a bit of a faff compared to just using PS all the way to begin with…:P

  15. Ming I just purchased the profile but I do not see where I can download them? This for Nikon z7 and D850

    • Sorry for the delay, they’re sent manually via email. Was away from the computer most of today for family stuff, have just sent them. Please also note your email server was rejecting my messages so I’m not sure it went through…

  16. Can you use any of these for D750?

  17. Sean Hardie says:

    I’m a happy purchaser, excellent (and transparent) results with the usual tweaking. Thanks Ming! You’ve saved me more than a few hours trying to make my own (and probably inferior) presets.

  18. Your black and white is incredibly aesthetically pleasing and convincing for a film camera fan.

  19. Truth in advertising requires a disclaimer: “Skill not included.”

  20. Wonderful! I just bought them, but don’t see where I can download them to use them. Where is that please?

    • Sorry, should have stated it’s a manual email (which I just sent you) 🙂

      • For some reason when (Windows 7 PC) I go the USER/(Your Name)/Library…. there is no LIBRARY. Any ideas how I can install them? Whatever you posted the other day and removed work just fine. I got those, but am having trouble here.

        • Sorry – Mac instructions.

          For windows: C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles or C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles

          • For windows: C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles/Settings

            And in Settings, I pasted in the new profiles and they DID NOT appear when I looked at them in Camera Wall. What I had to do was REMOVE all the profiles and THEN install the new ones (and whatever old ones I had) and then it worked. FYI.

  21. That’s very seriously great contribution to our community . Very benevolent of you Ming .
    It’s these selfless services that will give you the spiritual nourishment to evolve into a great human everyday .
    Thanks for this New Year Gift ..
    All the best for everything , Ming

  22. Awesome Ming! Do your Z7 profiles apply to the Z6 as well? Thanks.

    • Picture controls: They’ll load (you can’t load the D850 profiles and vice versa though) but I’m not sure the tonal response is quite the same – haven’t done extended testing on this yet.
      ACR: yes, you should be good here.

Trackbacks

  1. […] This series was shot with a Nikon Z7 and 24-70/4 S, with my custom SOOC camera JPEG picture controls available here. […]

  2. […] Images were shot with a Nikon Z7, almost entirely the 70-200/4 with 1.7x TC, and post processed with Photoshop Workflow III and the Z7 Profile Pack. […]

  3. […] Shot over the last year, mostly with the Nikon Z7 and my custom SOOC JPEG profiles. […]

  4. […] with a Nikon D850, 24-120VR and processed with Photoshop Workflow III – the images predate the custom presets, though these would have worked fine, […]

  5. […] This series was shot with a Nikon Z7 and 50/1.8 S. SOOC JPEG using my custom profiles, available here. […]

  6. […] This series was shot with a Nikon Z7 and 24-70/4 S. No post processing, just the monochrome picture control from the Z7/D850 profile pack… […]

  7. […] This series was shot with a Nikon Z7, D850, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/4 VR. No post processing, just the monochrome picture control from the Z7/D850 profile pack… […]

  8. […] This series was shot with a Nikon Z7, 24-70/4 S and SOOC with my custom Z7 Picture Control profiles. […]

  9. […] series was shot with a Nikon Z7, 24-120/4 VR and SOOC with my custom Z7 Picture Control profiles. I elected to go with the 24-120 on the FTZ adaptor instead of the 24-70S and 70-200/4 for a more […]

  10. […] series was shot with a Nikon Z7, 24-120/4 VR and SOOC with my custom Z7 Picture Control profiles. I elected to go with the 24-120 on the FTZ adaptor instead of the 24-70S and 70-200/4 for a more […]

  11. […] shot with a Nikon Z7, 24-70/4 S and processed with Photoshop Workflow III – I tried using my custom Z7 Picture Control profiles, but they were off base in this strange edge case […]

  12. […] With the exception of one image (D850), this series was shot with a Nikon Z7 and 24-70/4 S. No post processing, just the monochrome picture control from the Z7/D850 profile pack… […]

  13. […] This series was shot with a Nikon Z7, 24-70/4 S and 50/1.8 S. No post processing, just the monochrome picture control from the Z7/D850 profile pack… […]

  14. […] This series was shot with a Nikon Z7, 24-70/4 S and 50/1.8 S. No post processing, just the monochrome picture control from the Z7/D850 profile pack… […]

  15. […] a period of time with a Nikon Z7, Olympus Pen F and various lenses; images are SOOC JPEG using my Nikon Z7 picture control pack, or specific Pen F […]

  16. […] series was shot with the Nikon Z7 and contains SOOC JPEG images using my custom Picture Controls, available here. Similar results are available with other cameras by following the Monochrome Masterclass […]

  17. […] series was shot with the Nikon Z7 and contains SOOC JPEG images using my custom Picture Controls, available here. Similar results are available with other cameras by following the Monochrome Masterclass […]

  18. […] and meetings; post processed with Monochrome Masterclass workflow and the ACR profiles from the Nikon Z7 profile pack. I wish there was an Amazon or B&H referral link for the car, but sadly not! Thank you to BMW […]

  19. […] Images shot with a Nikon Z7 and 24-70, and post processed with The Monochrome Masterclass workflow. There are also one or two camera JPEGs in there, and I now have a very similar SOOC picture control pack available here. […]

  20. […] My ACR profiles and custom JPEG Picture Controls for this camera (and the D850) are available here. […]

  21. […] My ACR profiles and custom JPEG Picture Controls for this camera (and the D850) are available here. […]

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