Review: Kubota Lightroom Presets Vintage Delish
By Betsy Finn, Cr.Photog., CPP
Photographers often turn to presets and actions to help them save time during the editing phase of their workflow, but sticking to the same effects job after job can be stifling. Vintage Delish is the latest Lightroom preset bundle from Kubota Imaging Tools. This set of 42 presets provides you with a variety of options to enhance your images, ranging from subtle aged image effects and warming tones to cross-processing and strong vignettes.
If you are tired of ordinary image effects, then look into these Vintage Delish effects as a way to spice things up. I tested these presets out on some of my portraits and discovered that, while I’m not a fan of every last preset in the set, there are definitely some that I enjoy, and they add a subtle enhancement to the image. Some of the more dramatic and drastic preset effects may be useful for particular types of images, so I understand the necessity for a range of presets.
It would be impractical to show you examples of all 42 presets, so I’ve chosen four effects that I think work well. Take a peek at the before and after versions I created using Lightroom 3 and the Kubota Vintage Delish presets.
The first preset is called “Zero it Out.” It adds contrast, pop, and color saturation to help an average image transform into something with a little more oomph.
I found this worked well on extremely detailed images like the example above, or on images with a low starting contrast. When I tried it on images created in-studio with 3:1 lighting ratios, though, I felt the highlights were a bit blown out.
Some of the presets did work nicely for my studio portraits, though—“066 Beetle,” for example. This preset’s more subtle toning effect added a nice warmth to the portrait below and created more interesting contrast in the background without sacrificing highlight detail.
The “Vintabulous” preset did nicely at adding the effect of a warm afternoon light to this outdoor portrait. Of course, it also pumped up the contrast, as do nearly all of the presets in the Vintage Delish set.
Based on the preset names, you would be correct to assume there are a number of presets that create antique and aged effects. I felt the subject matter of this portrait below could work with the “Tin Type” preset , though I wouldn’t normally enjoy having the contrast reduced to this extent.
There’s also a preset called “Auto Everything,” which clearly sums up what the preset does. In addition to boosting the contrast and saturation, and making things pop more, it also auto white-balances the image. I didn’t really find this preset worked for any of my files. I use a custom white balance though, so maybe it’s made for the photographer who photographs with auto white balance, or who wasn't able to control the quality of light in the images in a particular situation.
If you’re looking for a range of effects to add to your preset arsenal in Lightroom, and you like what you’ve seen so far, check out the Vintage Delish product page where you'll find an extensive downloadable gallery of before/after images using the effects.
The Kubota Lightroom Presets Vintage Delish is available as an instant download for just $39.00. The presets are fully compatible with Lightroom 3, but are also compatible with Lightroom 2. All of the examples used in this article were created using Lightroom 3.