A Simple Tip to Get More From Your Leica RAW Files in Capture One

Are you using this trick?

The Leica RAW files from the Leica SL2-S and the Leica SL2 are pretty great. But they can be made even better. These cameras use the Adobe DNG Raw format. And in Capture One Pro 21, you can get even more from the images you shoot. Do you shoot portraits? Or products? Or anything that really requires you to be careful with the colors? Then you’ll want to try this trick in Capture One Pro 21.

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored tip from Leica Camera. The Leica SL2 and Leica SL2-S are some of the few cameras that can use the Capture One ProStandard profiles. Try them!

Start off by importing your Leica RAW Files into Capture One Pro 21. After you’ve done your culling and selecting, use the Color Adjustments Panel. Select the ICC Profile, and choose the ProStandard option. This isn’t available for every camera, but it will work with the Leica SL2 and Leica SL2-S.

According to Capture One Pro, here’s what the ProStandard Profile does:

The ProStandard profiles render colors more naturally, so there is a better transition between the hues and better retention of colors after the adjustments have been applied. Overall, the colors look natural from shadows to highlights with the ProStandard profiles.

This means a whole lot if you edit the way I do. After making the most basic of white balance and exposure adjustments, I’ll work with the Color Editor. But sometimes, I go straight to working with the color editor if the colors in my scene aren’t complicated. Using the ProStandard mode, you can manipulate the specifics of the scene. You can boost the overall reds, blues, greens, etc. Of course, this will vary depending on the white balance and the tint.

Leica images are often great right out of the camera. The famous Leica color will please most people, and they won’t even bother with trying to get better colors. But where this goes even further is with black and white editing. How does that work? 

When editing Black and White photos in Capture One Pro 21, you’re going to use the Black and White adjustments section of the color editor. Then you’ll have various color channels to work with. Believe it or not, even in Black and White, Capture One can understand the color effects. Change the photo’s white balance from 3200K to 5500K and then mess with the blue channel. You’ll see a profound difference in the image. By using the ProStandard ICC Profiles with your Leica camera, you’ll get more from your black and white photos.

Here are a few other tips on getting better colors from your Leica camera before editing:

  • Lock the white balance. If I’m shooting in my local community garden during the day, I’ll lock the camera to Daylight. The light typically isn’t changing all that much. So there’s no point. It will just mean that if I want to edit later, the colors are more consistent. That way, I can spend less time in front of the computer than I spent shooting. 
  • I personally use the Vivid color mode. I’ve found that it applies to both JPEGs and RAWs even though Capture One doesn’t translate that into the ICC Profiles.
  • Use the Leica in-camera rating system. I like going through the images on the back of the camera and putting a star on anything I like. Just make sure you’re playing back the RAW images. When you import them, you’ll be able to get to those photos faster. 

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored tip from Leica Camera. The Leica SL2 and Leica SL2-S are some of the few cameras that can use the Capture One ProStandard profiles. Try them!

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.