Iridient developer is considered by many to be key to X-Trans image quality excellence (Fujifilm X-T2, X-Pro2, X-T1, X-T10, etc….). It is known for providing additional sharpness and avoiding the “worm/water color” effect that some people see when processing their RAW files in Lightroom. So, does Iridient transformer beta 1 deliver?
Yes, and no… I’m a Mac user for my creative work, so I could have switched to Iridient Developer years ago, but I greatly prefer Lightroom. I never found Iridient Developer very convenient for my workflow so I haven’t used it in a very long time. I like to work across my multiple Apple devices using Lightroom and other products that sync my work through iCloud. I was pretty happy with Lightroom, and very happy with the last update that greatly improved X-Trans support, but I have always wanted to give Iridient a try again.
So I bought Iridient Transformer 1.0 for Windows on day one to see how it fit in my work flow and, initially, I was very impressed at the sharpness that it could add to my photos. I ran my recent series of lightning photos through it and imported them into Lightroom for processing, and man did the bolts pop along with the clouds, but then I wanted to see what 100% looked like and it was kind of off… and then at 200% I saw “worms/water color” everywhere. I found this very curious. I barely touched my photos yet I saw something I haven’t witnessed since Lightroom’s first attempt at processing X-Trans files.
Then tried to simplify my methodology to limit anything I might have done to cause the effect, but it was still there, although slightly reduced. I do like some of the Iridient processed files better than the Lightroom ones, but I’m still seeing artifacts that this raw developer is supposed to solve. Another curious thing I noticed is that lens correction is applied differently in Iridient than Lightroom, by default with some lenses. Of course this is beta software one so these things should improve, but I’m curious if the artifact errors show up in large prints. Once Iridient Transformer is final I’ll likely run a print comparison to check.
I created five albums on 500px for readers. One is processed in Lightroom and the other two are Iridient, but one is with the Smooth setting and the other uses the More Detail setting. The last two are 100% crops and full images for closer inspection/comparison. I would host the crops here for you to download, but the site is booming this month and we need the bandwidth. The Iridient processed files can be very big, with some DNG 3x as big as the original RAF they came from, and the JPEGs being 20-30% bigger on export and I didn’t want to compress them.
Since this is only the first beta, I’ll continue tracking the product for changes. It’s amazing the detail that the More Detail setting brings out when viewing the complete image on a monitor. My lightning bolt photos are so much sharper, and you can even see forks that didn’t show up in the Lightroom processed versions. I also really like that you can use film simulation on the Iridient DNGs.
This is a great first beta and I can’t wait to see where the product goes from here. I also included one of my favorite X-T1 pictures in the test to see how the old sensor performed and it seemed to be supported better than the new one. If the performance gets a little better than the X-T1 processed version, I might use it regularly. In future tests I’ll run original X-Pro1 photographs through Iridient Transformer to see how other X-Trans chips are supported.
Make sure you have a viewing resolution at or above 1024×768 when viewing the 100%’s. Also check all the albums to better compares for yourself (Lightroom, Iridient Smooth, Iridient More Detail, 100% crops, Full Images).