"new d5000 user, need help with oversaturated reds"
I'm new to this forum and to owning a digital Nikon, just got a d5000.
I am struggling with the color settings, and appreciate any pointers to avoid the over saturated reds I am getting.
A couple of examples from this afternoon, slightly overcast; shot with the following settings; I cropped the photo, in which other flowers like blue iris are fine. The poppies reds blend together with no subtleties.
1/160 f/6.3 iso 200 Exposure Auto focal length 44.0 mm lens 18-55mm f/3.5-6.6
max aperture value f/5.3 metering mode pattern light source cloudy weather scene capture type Standard
#1. "RE: new d5000 user, need help with oversaturated reds" In response to Reply # 0
It's also helpful if you can post the actual full photo complete with EXIF information intact so we can see camera and image-processing settings at time of exposure. At first glance, the red channel is probably blown or overexposed. Exposure histograms on the latest model cameras can show you Red-Green-Blue histos which you can use to determine if a particular color channel is blowing out. If that is the case, you can use several steps to compensate:
First, it's notable that in-camera picture settings are exacerbating the problem - I try not to use settings like Vivid - things like saturation are best applied in post-process on the PC. Set your settings to a more neutral preset - while the picture may look "flat" on the LCD, it has plenty of potential to be boosted in post-process.
Secondly, it's an exposure problem. Try applying negative exposure compensation (EV), so dial in about -0.3 to -0.7 for starters. Reshoot and see if the reds are less blown. Also, note the abundance of a *mid-tone* color in the photo; the green background. You can use spot-metering instead of matrix metering. Spot-meter on the green parts, lock the exposure using the AE-L/AF-L button (set to AE-L only of course), recompose and refocus, shoot.
Thirdly and most important, get out of Auto! Auto is killing your control - you've surrendered virtually every setting to the camera's discretion. Go to P - it's close enough to Auto, but lets you override the settings, especially the first point above regarding the picture settings. P is a good compromise, it will strike a balance by giving you sufficient Depth-of-Field without encroaching into shutter speeds that preclude hand-holding.
#2. "RE: new d5000 user, need help with oversaturated reds" In response to Reply # 0
Digital sensors just like film have a sensitivity to specific light lengths. The Nikon sensors are sensitive to the red end of the spectrum. You can use the RGB histogram shot information screen, page 117, to evaluate the image's colors and then you can modify the color curve or picture controls (pages 106-113).
#3. "RE: new d5000 user, need help with oversaturated reds" In response to Reply # 0 Mon 18-May-09 04:01 AM by meohman1
I own a D80, D90, and a D300. If you have tweaked the settings to Vivid or beyond - you will get hot reds. I have toned my cameras back to compensate for this. I go back and look now at pics I took with the D80 in Vivid + and I can see way more color saturation than I care for.
Ken Rockwell often advises Vivid for Nikon camera setup menus - I have found this to be too saturated - especially in the red channel. I do not think that I am alone in this train of thought. And I shoot ONLY Jpeg Large Fine with minimal post processing.
#4. "RE: new d5000 user, need help with oversaturated reds" In response to Reply # 3
thanks very much for all the helpful replies.
Armando, When I read what you said about shooting in Auto vs Program, I thought hmm I thought I had shot in Program.. how come the notes I copied from the exif showing in Bridge (CS$) show an Auto setting?
I fortunately had not erased the sd card and looking at the data there, seems I did shoot in Program. I don't know why this info differs when I look at it in Bridge.
Mike, I did set the Picture Control to NL or Neutral ( not Vivid )
I took a pic of the camera display of that image info. ( using my old Canon G7 )
#5. "RE: new d5000 user, need help with oversaturated reds" In response to Reply # 4 Tue 19-May-09 01:57 AM by phlscot
I read a lot about what camera to select for my first digital slr, and did consider 2nd hand d200, refurb d90 etc.. I am pretty sure I made a good choice with the d5000, as its lighter weight and price were very important factors. And the sensor.
thanks again for your advice.
here's the intact exif for that image Camera: Nikon D5000 Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160) Aperture: f/6.3 Focal Length: 44 mm Focal Length: 43.6 mm ISO Speed: 200 Exposure Bias: 0 EV Flash: No Flash
File Size: 6.1 MB File Type: JPEG MIME Type: image/jpeg Image Width: 4288 Image Height: 2848 Encoding Process: Baseline DCT, Huffman coding Bits Per Sample: 8 Color Components: 3 Orientation: Horizontal (normal) X-Resolution: 300 dpi Y-Resolution: 300 dpi Software: Ver.1.00 Date and Time (Modified): 2009:05:15 16:25:13 White Point: 0.313 0.329 Primary Chromaticities: 0.64 0.33 0.21 0.71 0.15 0.06 YCb Cr Coefficients: 0.299 0.587 0.114 YCbCr Positioning: Co-sited Exposure Program: Program AE Date and Time (Original): 2009:05:15 16:25:13 Date and Time (Digitized): 2009:05:15 16:25:13 Compressed Bits Per Pixel: 4 Max Aperture Value: 5.3 Metering Mode: Multi-segment Light Source: Cloudy Sub Sec Time: 50 Sub Sec Time Original: 50 Sub Sec Time Digitized: 50 Color Space: Uncalibrated Sensing Method: One-chip color area CFAPattern: Custom Rendered: Normal Exposure Mode: Auto White Balance: Manual Digital Zoom Ratio: 1 Focal Length In35mm Format: 66 mm Scene Capture Type: Standard Gain Control: None Contrast: Normal Saturation: Normal Sharpness: Normal Subject Distance Range: Unknown Gamma: 2.2 Maker Note Version: 2.10 ISO: 200 Quality: Fine White Balance: Cloudy Focus Mode: AF-C Flash Setting: Normal White Balance Fine Tune: 0 0 Color Balance1: 1.91796875 1.1875 1 1 Program Shift: 0 Exposure Difference: 0 Flash Exposure Comp: 0 ISOSetting: 200 Image Boundary: 0 0 4288 2848 Flash Exposure Bracket Value: 0.0 Exposure Bracket Value: 0 Crop Hi Speed: Off (4352x2868 cropped to 4352x2868 at pixel 0,0) Serial Number: 3015246 Color Space: Adobe RGB VRInfo Version: 0100 Vibration Reduction: On Active D- Lighting: Unknown (65535) Picture Control Version: 0100 Picture Control Name: Neutral Picture Control Base: Neutral Picture Control Adjust: Default Settings Picture Control Quick Adjust: n/a Sharpness: 2 Contrast: Normal Brightness: Normal Saturation: Normal Hue Adjustment: None Filter Effect: n/a Toning Effect: n/a Toning Saturation: n/a Timezone: -05:00 Daylight Savings: No Date Display Format: D/M/Y ISOExpansion: Off ISO2: 200 ISOExpansion2: Off Lens Type: G VR Lens: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Flash Mode: Did Not Fire Shooting Mode: Single-Frame Auto Bracket Release: Auto Release Lens FStops: 5.33 Shot Info Version: 0215 Noise Reduction: Off WB_ RGGBLevels: 2848 0 0 0 Lens Data Version: 0204 Exit Pupil Position: 93.1 mm AFAperture: 5.3 Focus Position: 0x66 Focus Distance: 2.24 m Lens IDNumber: 154 Min Focal Length: 18.3 mm Max Focal Length: 55.0 mm Max Aperture At Min Focal: 3.6 Max Aperture At Max Focal: 5.7 MCUVersion: 156 Effective Max Aperture: 5.3 Retouch History: None Image Data Size: 6348868 Shutter Count: 177 Flash Info Version: 0103 Flash Model: (none) External Flash Flags: (none) Flash Commander Mode: Off Flash Control Mode: Off Flash Group AControl Mode: Off Flash Group BControl Mode: Off Flash Group CControl Mode: Off Flash Group AExposure Comp: 0 Flash Group BExposure Comp: 0 Flash Group CExposure Comp: 0 Multi Exposure Version: 0100 Multi Exposure Mode: Off Multi Exposure Shots: 0 Multi Exposure Auto Gain: Off High ISONoise Reduction: Off AFInfo2 Version: 0100 AFArea Mode: Auto-area AF Auto Focus: Unknown (2) File Info Version: 0100 Directory Number: 100 File Number: 0106 Compression: JPEG (old-style) XResolution: 300 YResolution: 300 Resolution Unit: inches Preview Image Start: 10536 Preview Image Length: 22933 YCb Cr Positioning: Co-sited GPSVersion ID: 18.104.22.168 Compression: JPEG (old-style)
#6. "RE: new d5000 user, need help with oversaturated reds" In response to Reply # 4
When I read what you said about shooting in Auto vs Program, I thought hmm I thought I had shot in Program.. how come the notes I copied from the exif showing in Bridge (CS$) show an Auto setting?
Not certain. It may be a matter of Adobe Bridge not reading the EXIF correctly or replacing nomenclauture - when Bridge says Auto it means Program.
In either case, EV comp is needed, but I would also try the spot-meter. Note spot-metering isn't an exact exposure setting, you can still apply EV even in spot, because while the color of the object may be *near* mid-tone, there could still be a need to compensate for it being slightly darker or lighter than mid-tone.
#10. "RE: new d5000 user, need help with oversaturated reds" In response to Reply # 0
In addition to the comments above (which are quite accurate), note that with most Nikon DSLRs (surely the ones I use, anyway), it is very easy to blow the red channel even with the default color settings and even if you've got a good exposure. And it doesn't just happen with what looks red, either. For example, I blew the red channel pretty badly with some yellow flowers last week, and it took almost a stop underexposure to avoid the problem. Fortunately this isn't all the time, but it's definitely something to think about in the field.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#12. "RE: new d5000 user, need help with oversaturated reds" In response to Reply # 0
My two cents here.
Try backing the saturation and contrast down to whatever level is minimum for the D5000. The images will look more flat out of the camera, but since you are shooting jpeg right now, you can always stick on a curve and retain the detail in whatever editor you are using.
The red channel here is not blown, it is simply oversaturated.
I cropped and edited the flowers only in NX2 to show as an example.
#14. "RE: new d5000 user, need help with oversaturated reds" In response to Reply # 13
>how do I do this "backing the saturation and contrast down to whatever level is minimum for the D5000"
Looking at the D5000 manual, it looks like your choices are limited in controlling this aspect of the image capture. I'd set the camera to "Neutral" for minimum saturation and leave it there. Going to Adobe RGB and RAW would improve the situation, as well.
Also, if you shoot RAW and used Capture NX 2, you will find it is very good at allowing you to recover highlights and selectively control different parts of the image with control points to tweak image appearance for contrast, saturation, etc. You can give it a free 30 day trial.
#15. "RE: new d5000 user, need help with oversaturated reds" In response to Reply # 14
On the subject of over-saturated reds.(I been battling over-saturation...and doing LOTS of testing).Keep in mind - that ALL these modes are FOR us - to use in different situations ... like , at the car show I went to stronger colors,or you my want softer(rounder pixel edges?/or flatter overall...). So... here's ONE of my BEST (custom) modes ; TRY IT AND SEE ! ; (custom =) NL plus 3 on sharpness(because in testing , those shots w/out increased sharpness lacked)(don't forget you can USE that too...and say add soft to it in RETOUCH...)and minus 1 insaturation(I also tryed minus 2 in saturation - but that was unsatisfactry). So try NL+3sharpness-1saturation and get back to me in the morning.!!