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Subject: "Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark." Previous topic | Next topic
steveZ Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2007Thu 21-Apr-11 06:40 PM
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"Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
Thu 21-Apr-11 06:58 PM by steveZ

Englewood, US
          

Yep, when I record the shot, the histogram shows no clips, left or right,
and the camera monitor shows a picture just like that. Import LR and raws
are 2-3 stops darker, histogram darker, shadows way off scale, I'm in trouble.
Never before in my digital Nikon life for 12 years anything like this. In VNX the pix appear a little lighter, but still too dark, and grainy (200) when lightened. Please advise?
anyone? Note D300 images from same shoot are as normal as ever.

Steve Z
www.stevezavodny.com

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark.
chris_platt Silver Member
21st Apr 2011
1
Reply message RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark.
steveZ Silver Member
21st Apr 2011
2
     Reply message RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark.
mholka
21st Apr 2011
3
     Reply message RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark.
Mr Moose
21st Apr 2011
5
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gpoole Platinum Member
21st Apr 2011
4
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briantilley Moderator
21st Apr 2011
6
Reply message RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark.
aolander Silver Member
21st Apr 2011
7
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gpoole Platinum Member
21st Apr 2011
8
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steveZ Silver Member
21st Apr 2011
9
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JPJ Silver Member
22nd Apr 2011
10
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steveZ Silver Member
22nd Apr 2011
11
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mdallie Silver Member
22nd Apr 2011
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elec164 Silver Member
22nd Apr 2011
13
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mdallie Silver Member
22nd Apr 2011
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Covey22 Moderator
22nd Apr 2011
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PAStime Silver Member
23rd Apr 2011
18
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steveZ Silver Member
22nd Apr 2011
16
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Robman3 Gold Member
23rd Apr 2011
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steveZ Silver Member
24th Apr 2011
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Robman3 Gold Member
24th Apr 2011
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steveZ Silver Member
26th Apr 2011
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chris_platt Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Apr 2009Thu 21-Apr-11 06:52 PM
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#1. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 0


Newburg, US
          

Any chance you could post links to the raw files?

Visit my gallery.

  

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steveZ Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2007Thu 21-Apr-11 07:25 PM
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#2. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 1
Thu 21-Apr-11 07:26 PM by steveZ

Englewood, US
          

Sure, thanks

http://architecture.stevezavodny.com/raw%20samples/_D7T3885.NEF

http://architecture.stevezavodny.com/raw%20samples/_D3N4499.NEF

LR is darkest, CS5 bridge & VNX about the same, but quite darker than:
Camera monitor perfect.
Adobe rgb, lossless compressed, picture control neutral.
D7000 firmware A 1.01 B 1.01 L 1.002

Could I have possibly thrown out the Camera Raw profile?

Steve Z
www.stevezavodny.com

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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mholka Registered since 04th Jan 2011Thu 21-Apr-11 07:42 PM
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#3. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 2
Thu 21-Apr-11 07:44 PM by mholka

Brownstown Twp, US
          

They look fine in CNX2.

They both have an EV correction of -0.3. It seems to improve the image by correcting to 0 in CNX2. But the image you posted as is, appears well exposed and has good color tone, contrast and saturation.

I would have thought you would use Active D-Lighting. Seems you have it off. It helps to preserve details in the shadows.

Shoot, shoot and shoot some more!

--Martin
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Mr Moose Registered since 05th Jan 2011Thu 21-Apr-11 08:10 PM
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#5. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 3
Thu 21-Apr-11 08:15 PM by Mr Moose

US
          

Active D-Lighting should be turned off when shooting raw, its used with JPG only. If used with raw, it will under expose up to 2 stops. The only exception is if you use the Nikon software, which I don't use.
Do a search, you'll find that most all these fancy shooting modes are JPG only.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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gpoole Platinum Member Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004Thu 21-Apr-11 08:10 PM
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#4. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 2
Thu 21-Apr-11 08:19 PM by gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
          

Steve,

Here are the imbedded JPGs extracted from your NEFs with PhotoMechanic and the histograms I get with capture NX2. These should be the same as you saw in camera. To me the images are consistent with the histogram and properly exposed. If you are seeing very dark images, they must be due to your ACR settings.


_D7T3885



This histogram shows small areas of tonal values in the upper half of the range. These correspond to the highlights in the bright reflection at the right side of you image





_D3N4499




This is a very normal histogram





Gary in SE Michigan, USA. Co-organizer of the Southern Michigan Chapter
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
D4, D800e, D300, D90, F6, FM3a (black), FM2n (chrome)
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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)
Attachment #4, (jpg file)

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 21-Apr-11 08:27 PM
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#6. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 4


Paignton, GB
          

Thanks for extracting those, Gary.

I agree that the images and histograms look pretty consistent, and exposure seems fine.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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aolander Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006Thu 21-Apr-11 09:24 PM
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#7. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 0
Thu 21-Apr-11 09:28 PM by aolander

Nevis, US
          

I looked at the DNG conversions of the NEF files using Picture Window Pro, and they look underexposed. Being that the JPEGs of the images look good, it would seem like there is a tone curve being applied (as when using Active D Lighting) that Lightroom and others can't read. The portions of the JPEG images that show the outside should be much more overexposed (one exposure was f/11 at 1/8 second) than they would usually appear with a normal curve. Also, the EXIF data of the NEFs show -2/3 Exposure Compensation was used, and that the "Exposure Difference" was -2.9, which if I understand that correctly, means that the difference between the metered exposure and the actual exposure was a negative 2.9 stops. The EXIF data does say that Active D Lighting was off, however.

Alan

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gpoole Platinum Member Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004Thu 21-Apr-11 09:57 PM
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#8. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 7


Farmington Hills, US
          

Yes, as you observed, Active D-Lighting was off in both images. Also both used the Neutral picture control, which shouldn't do anything unusual in the tone curve area.

I agree that Lightroom is probably doing something different than Nikon software when interpreting the raw data. IMO that difference isn't due to something in the settings that only Nikon software interprets.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA. Co-organizer of the Southern Michigan Chapter
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
D4, D800e, D300, D90, F6, FM3a (black), FM2n (chrome)
YashicaMat 124, Graflex Speed Graphic 4x5
My Nikonians Gallery & Our Chapter Gallery

  

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steveZ Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2007Thu 21-Apr-11 10:55 PM
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#9. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 8


Englewood, US
          

So to be clear, I am showing you a D300 image & a D7000 image. I've been running this D7000 all over New Zealand and it did everything perfectly, I'm happy to say. In fact, only today is something awry. I know how easy it is to miss a setting, but I have found no misses. In fact, judging by the embedded jpeg, you can see why I thought I was on course.

#2 above: " would have thought you would use Active D-Lighting."
By the histo and appearances, I judged it was not necessary. If necessary,
I would bracket for HDR blending in these situations

#4: "the imbedded JPGs extracted from your NEFs"
Yes I very expected this. I'm still agitated with those other
interpreters, ACR & LR & even VNX because their raw view was not close to this
and for they always have been close.
They showed me different histo's with drop off's left. I never miss by this much,
especially on tripod with time to look at every setting. Of course I hate to use
lower tones boosted to make the picture. I can assure you every exposure's
histo was examined. aargh.

#7:"the difference between the metered exposure and the actual exposure was a negative 2.9 stops"
In manual mode, I dont care what the meters say. I see a good monitor image
and histogram and go with it (for years), and previously yes, with the D7000 too.

#8: "something in the settings that only Nikon software interprets"
Never had ACR & LR sabotage me before. And if there is truly clipping, I'm in trouble. Hoping some solution will pop up that shows the NEF does have more substance like
in the jpg.

Thanks folks for advising. Anyone, please continue to suggest. Thanks !

Steve Z
www.stevezavodny.com

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JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2009Fri 22-Apr-11 01:28 AM
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#10. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 9


Toronto, CA
          

After a little playing around my opinion is this is related to your picture control settings.

You are using a custom picture control setting: Neutral with contrast set to -3 and saturation set to -2. These settings impact your histogram by reducing the dark tones in your photo. Your camera LCD shows you the photo with these settings applied. Ditto opening it in any Nikon Software. I opened your first NEF in CX2 and set your Neutral picture control setting back to default contrast and saturation (0 for both) and sure enough the histogram clips to the left and it looks very much like the photos in LR and CS5 when I set the camera calibration to Camera Neutral.

Only Nikon's software will recognize your picture control settings. If you want to use a custom one better use Nikon's software to convert. Otherwise shoot with the picture control setting set to camera neutral with default levels to avoid this issue and when converting in LR3 or PS5 set camera calibration to Camera Neutral.

Jason

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steveZ Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2007Fri 22-Apr-11 06:57 AM
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#11. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 10


Englewood, US
          

Actually it was only recently (hate to admit) that I knew what you say about picture control in others' software. And I will certainly do what you suggest. Meanwhile I'm still puzzled why these pictures, the entire shoot, are different as a group because in 8 years of digital, never happened. That's why I was never concerned about the camera jpg showing PC settings and hence never needed this investigation. By the way, the image in question above opened in VNX, utilizing the PC, is still way off my expectation
and reveals an inferior capture. At least pushing these photos into camera neutral in LR gives me some substance.

Why here is a scene (raw no settings in LR screen shot) earlier in the day, typical of what i expect and get:




Thanks for the info

Steve Z
www.stevezavodny.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.




Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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mdallie Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jan 2011Fri 22-Apr-11 11:00 AM
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#12. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 11


Novi, US
          

I've been shooting a long time and was often a RAW shooter, but have moved to RAW + JPG. The picture controls and other adjustments that the camera applies to create the JPG give me a much better "out of the camera" result than I get from RAW, and I have found that adjusting the RAW to be as good as my JPG isn't that easy.

I find that if I can nail my white balance (try to do custom, at least indoors) and get the exposure right, my JPG is excellent. I spend last time behind the computer and more time behind the camera. If I shoot RAW only, I am spending a lot more time trying to get my pictures to look right.

Gary Poole recently showed us how Photo Mechanic will pull the JPG right out the RAW. That is a pretty interesting approach to having your cake and eating it, too, by only shooting RAW but being able to get your JPGs. I think VNX will do this too. At least I can see the JPG using VNX, but I haven't yet figured out how to export it.

Mike

  

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Fri 22-Apr-11 12:36 PM
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#13. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 12


US
          

>At least I can see the JPG using VNX, but I haven't yet
>figured out how to export it.

You can use a program such as Preview Extractor to extract the embedded JPEG.

But just keep in mind that the camera created embedded JPEG is only a basic sized JPEG and the tonal information is highly compressed (a loss of tonal information).

To me this is one of the inherent dangers of using the histogram to check exposure and tonal information for NEF’s, for it is not accurately portraying what the data in the raw capture is. If you later edit the NEF in ViewNX/NX2 or CNX/NX2 they will replace the embedded basic JPEG with a version that is better than a fine camera JPEG, which will have a dramatically different look then embedded basic JPEG or the out of the camera fine JPEG.

I just tried an experiment with NEF files from my D80 and D7000 that were never edited before. Using ViewNX2 to just bump up sharpening one notch (which should not have affected tonal information all that much) caused ViewNX2 to replace the basic JPEG with a much better quality one that was very different in appearance. The camera embedded version looked a bit brighter and more highly saturated then the one embedded after editing the NEF whereas the ViewNX2 embedded better quality image looked like the converted NEF. Also the camera created fine/JPEG looked about the same brightness as the embedded NEF JPEG, but you could see an obvious difference in the tonal information between the two.

So from that experience (and in MHO), the embedded JPEG may be good in a pinch, but it is a crippled version of what it could have been and you would be better to do your own conversion from the raw data. Of course the old saying that YMMV always applies and I would be interested in other thoughts an opinions on this.

Pete

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mdallie Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jan 2011Fri 22-Apr-11 01:05 PM
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#14. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 13


Novi, US
          

Pete,

I think your point is well made. I think what you are pointing out is that while the embedded JPG in a RAW file is Basic, the Nikon software will/can reprocess the RAW and give you a higher quality JPG (e.g., fine).

The question I have is: can I get this higher quality JPG exported out of ViewNX2 or do I need capture NX?

Mike

  

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Covey22 Moderator Expert in various fields including aviation photography Awarded for his contributions to the Resources and The Nikonian eZine Charter MemberFri 22-Apr-11 09:16 PM
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#15. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 14


US
          

ViewNX2 will let you take any file it can read (by virtue of that, the high-quality JPEG extract of the NEF file), and save it as a JPEG or 8-bit/16-bit TIFF. Right-clicking on the file in the Viewer, you select the Output context menu choice (on the Windows version anyway)...

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Get out of the car.
Get closer to the subject.
Pick the right mid-tone this time.

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PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009Sat 23-Apr-11 11:29 AM
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#18. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 14
Sat 23-Apr-11 11:34 AM by PAStime

Kingston, CA
          

>The question I have is: can I get this higher quality JPG
>exported out of ViewNX2 or do I need capture NX?

There was an interesting discussion in the recent past on the quality of the embedded JPEG in a NEF and the conclusion was that it is excellent and perhaps not noticeably different (in practice) than extracting it with Capture NX2 or using some other raw converter. There are a lot of heavy users of Photo Mechanic who rely on using the embedded JPEG for their work. It may be advisable to re-render the NEF to JPEG (instead of using the embedded JPEG) if printing 8x10 or larger.

Cheers,
Peter

  

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steveZ Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2007Fri 22-Apr-11 10:08 PM
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#16. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 13


Englewood, US
          

#13: "To me this is one of the inherent dangers of using the histogram to check exposure and tonal information for NEF’s, for it is not accurately portraying what the data in the raw capture is. If you later edit the NEF in ViewNX/NX2 or CNX/NX2 they will replace the embedded basic JPEG with a version that is better than a fine camera JPEG, which will have a dramatically different look then embedded basic JPEG or the out of the camera fine JPEG."

Puzzling:
The software in the camera is so powerful today, everything it does, but NOT show the real capture event in a histogram? If it were my company, I'd tell them then, just show the true clipping ends if the processing power needs to be conserved.

Powerful enough to ignore the real capture data, instead generating the embedded jpg from what?, but then calculate an errant histogram from the proxy file?

And engineers and pixel jockeys from all the most advanced photo software creators, cant take the fundamental element of digital photography, the data that hits the sensor,
and find the black clipping end so that LR and ACR etc, are that inferior?

I wish I could know more.




Steve Z
www.stevezavodny.com

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Robman3 Gold Member Nikonian since 12th Apr 2010Sat 23-Apr-11 08:09 AM
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#17. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 0


West of Santa Monica, US
          

Steve, in CNX2 these look balanced in my rig, on the LT LCD, a bit darker than the IPS.

Question, monitor calibration? yes or no?

Thanks,

Rob

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steveZ Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2007Sun 24-Apr-11 01:53 AM
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#19. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 17


Englewood, US
          


I've never needed it because everything I get back from service bureaus is precise.
Plus, why would the monitor deceive me for just those images?

Steve Z
www.stevezavodny.com

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Robman3 Gold Member Nikonian since 12th Apr 2010Sun 24-Apr-11 02:43 AM
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#20. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 19
Sun 24-Apr-11 05:51 AM by Robman3

West of Santa Monica, US
          

Firstly Steve,

I don't hit the gallery links much, not that I don't appreciate fine art but, usually a lot of other stuff going on at once. So, I'd no real-time check on your career as a photo maker, but your work looks fine on my monitors.

The (inane, or stupid question then) was based on the images as JPEG's in the camera, as we all know these do not render actual RAW files and I merely thought, once in the software there may be differences in contrast, definition etc.

The monitor can have an impact, as a friend of mine found out when he sent a few images out to his "service bureau" quite recently, all of the images he purchased turned out very dark because, wait for it, drum-roll please, his monitor was out of spec.

I haven't followed every inch of this thread either, so how would I know, this camera rendering two images are set asides by you?

Thanks for the reply none the less.

Rob

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steveZ Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2007Tue 26-Apr-11 06:53 PM
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#21. "RE: Yikes camera histo great, Raw waaaay dark."
In response to Reply # 20


Englewood, US
          


Concerning capture data as seen by VNX & LR5:

I took the same image in VNX vs. LR5 and looked at the black point readings.
Raw NEF was "picture control neutral". I'm supposing this setting will show me
the maximum data range out of camera. Since LR does not recognize this raw setting,
I used LR camera calibration "camera neutral". This one moved the histogram farthest
to the right of all choices, hence letting me see LR (ACR)'S idea of the dark side of
the captured spectrum.

Now we have to wonder if the color sampler is calibrated to any standard
for these two programs.

So here is what I got:
VNX showed "20" for the darkest point. VNX uses 0-255.
LR5 showed 4% using 1-100 scale. Convert this to a 255 scale,
and the equivalent measure becomes "10".

Ergo, anything being equal, LR5 shows me a 2% darker image in the histogram,
meaning on the 255 scale, my data is pushed 10 points to the left. Does this matter, does this mean anything? It still does not account for the dramatic differences I mentioned above, but this is what i gleaned in a little exam.





Steve Z
www.stevezavodny.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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