#13. "RE: Active D-Lighting... again, sorry!" In response to In response to 12 Wed 02-Jan-13 09:49 AM by briantilley
Your gallery images do show the difference in the JPEG images from using ADL at various settings - thank you
What I was getting at in my previous post is something that seems to be much misunderstood in some quarters.
So to clarify again - applying ADL in-camera has two distinct effects. Firstly, the camera will reduce the metered exposure by a certain amount (as listed by Eric) depending on the ADL setting - thus making the whole image darker. Then the camera calculates a suitable "tone curve" to lighten certain areas and bring back some tones without blowing out the highlights, and stores this setting alongside the image data in the NEF file.
As a result, the exposure reduction will be seen in the NEF image whichever RAW converter you use. However, the tone curve adjustment will only be recognised by Nikon software - Capture NX2 and View NX2. So, it is a fact that - if you shoot in NEF and use Aperture, Lightroom, PSE or similar - you will only see the effect of the exposure reduction and the whole image will be darker than you or the camera meter intended. That's what I meant by saying the effect is "detrimental" in those circumstances. It may be that an individual image may benefit from underexposure, but that can be achieved by using exposure compensation under the control of the photographer - it doesn't require ADL.
For completeness... if you are shooting JPEG's, then both the exposure reduction and the tone curve adjustment are "baked in" to the JPEG image file as saved by the camera, and the (beneficial) effect will be seen however you view the images.