Controling Capture One Pro with a Tangent grading panel

Capture One’s interface and the majority of the tool set can be controlled using a grading panel from Tangent.

Working with a Tangent grading panel

Color grading control panels have traditionally been the preserve of colorists using high-end video-editing and grading software, however the panels from Tangent are the first to be adapted to a stills application - Capture One Pro.

Each Tangent panel model is supported by Capture One Pro with a default control layout, called a map. In its simplest implementation, the three tracker-balls in the Tangent Ripple, Element Tk, and Wave panels can be used to adjust the tint and saturation (with the outer ring controlling the lightness) of the three color wheels in the Color Balance tool, but they’re not limited to that.

Using the Tangent Mapper application (downloaded from the Tangent website) each of the models, particularly the more sophisticated panels with their additional knobs and buttons can be customized or mapped to control your favorite tools.

With the fully-featured and modular Tangent Element system, for example, consisting of the individual Tk, Kb, Mf and Bt panels, you can control just about every tool in Capture One and perform even the most complex tasks.

To edit and create custom maps, the Tangent Mapper application is required. The Tangent Mapper reveals over 460 properties that can be mapped in practically any configuration. Tangent grading panels can be purchased from Tangent resellers and some Phase One partners.

Capture One’s interface and the majority of the tool set can be controlled by grading panels from Tangent.

Video: An overview of the Tangent Element grading panel

Get an overview of the workflow using a Tangent grading panel with Capture One Pro in this in-depth video tutorial. (Click on the image to the right). A Tangent grading panel provides photographers with a highly responsive and precise surface to control Capture One and make adjustments.

Enabling Tangent support

Capture One has built-in support for Tangent panels, which includes a default control layout or map for their devices whichever you have. Each map controls the Capture One tools directly and is completely independent of Capture One shortcuts. If customization of the layout is required, Tangent offer the optional Tangent Mapper application, which is available to download from the Tangent website.

  1. Connect your Tangent panel, using a powered USB hub if necessary.
  2. Open Capture One, and go to Capture One > Preferences (Mac) or Edit > Preferences (Windows). The global Preferences dialog opens.
  3. Select the General tab and under Tangent Integration, verify that the Enable Tangent device support is checked. If not, select it.
  4. Quit and restart Capture One Pro to ensure the support is enabled.
  5. Your Tangent panel should now be ready for use.

Customizing the layout with Tangent Mapper

Before you can customize the control layout of your Tangent panel, the Tangent Mapper software is required. (Please see the Tangent Mapper - User Manual for more information.) Tangent Mapper is a component of the Tangent Hub application. This can be downloaded and installed from the Tangent Wave website.

  1. Go to
  2. Select your Tangent panel model. 
  3. Go to Application Support.
  4. From the What application do use? drop-down menu, select Phase One Capture One Pro application from the list.
  5. Download the appropriate OS installer from the list and install the Tangent Hub application.

Customization of your Tangent control panel requires the Tangent Mapper software solution.

Color wheel layout

Capture One’s color wheels used in the Color Balance and Color Editor tools located in the Color Inspector can be displayed with the chroma (color) hue reference phase rotated 90-degrees to imitate a Vectorscope layout, as found on high-end video-editing software.

A Vectorscope is used to adjust the color balance to give images a certain look, called grading by colorists, in much the same way as it is in Capture One. In addition to the color hue rotation, both the saturation and lightness sliders are reversed in the Color Balance tool and the Color Editor (Skin Tone mode only).

Familiarity with this layout, with red near to the top, should be of benefit to anyone working with both mediums, especially so for example when trying to color balance between stills and video from a range of scenes. A convergent workflow is particularly relevant with the three color wheels in the Color Balance tool, especially when working with the Tangent Wave grading-panels. 

Note the change in layout does not affect the functionality of either tool. Also note the layout cannot be altered in features where the system color picker is adopted (which can display a color wheel on a Mac), such the option found in the Appearance inspector in the Preferences.

Changing the color wheel layout

  1. Go to the Capture One (Mac) menu > Preferences. The Preferences dialog box opens.
  2. Click on the Color tool tab.
  3. Go to Color Wheels section and select the layout from the two options. Red to the right is the default. Red close to the top imitates a Vectorscope. The selection is made without the need to restart Capture One.
  4. To return to the default selection, repeat from step 1.