USING THE DUST-OFF REFERENCE PHOTO
Load Nikon Capture and then open an image within it. We will do a test on this image. You might want to do a File … Save As… and save the image under a name like TestImage.NEF, or use a junk image, just in case we damage it.
Now that we have an image open in Capture, let’s use our reference photo. First, let’s make sure Nikon Capture has Tool Palette # 2 open, since that is where we select our reference photo.
Click the View menu in Nikon Capture, and make sure that the “Show Tool Palette 2” selection has a check mark to the left of it. (See Figure 4 below)
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|Scroll down on Tool Palette 2 until you find the Image Dust Off tool just above the Vignette tool. (See Figure 5) Be sure to check the checkbox so that a green checkmark appears next to the Image Dust Off title, instead of a red X. Here is a screenshot of what you’ll see:||
|Now, we are ready to load our reference photo and use it to check the test photo we have already loaded into Capture. Click the Change… button in the Image Dust Off tool, and use the Browse for Folder window that opens to find the location of your dust reference photo. As mentioned earlier, I have mine saved on my computer’s C: drive in a folder named DustOffRef. (See Figure 6) Once you’ve located the folder containing your NDF reference photo, just click OK.||
|Nikon Capture will now apply the dust-off reference photo to the current image. You should see the dust spot disappear. The process will take a minute or so, and there will be a message window open with a progress bar to keep you informed.
The dust reference photo information (date and time) will now show up in the Image Dust Off tool. See Figure 7 for example.
At this point, the process is complete, and your image has been cleaned.
If, after selecting a dust reference folder containing the dust-ref image (figure 6), you see a warning that the dust-off photo does not closely match the current image, you can probably choose to continue. I have seen no problems with detail loss due to any “mismatch” between the dust-off image and the image to be cleaned. In Figure 8, you’ll see the message that pops up with a mismatch.
It may be a good idea to create several dust-off images. Create each image in similar light to the ones you want to clean. From the message in Figure 8, it seems that Nikon Capture will select whichever image is the best match for the image to be cleaned.
Nikon has truly given us a powerful and convenient tool to keep our images looking their best. This feature alone makes it worth purchasing the USD $100 Nikon Capture program. Use this cool Nikon Capture tool to keep your images looking the best they can be!
Keep on capturing time…
Footnote: Creating Dust Off Reference Photos for D1-Series and D100 Cameras
In addition to D2-series, D200, D70s, D70, and D50 cameras, Dust-Off reference photos can be taken with the D1X / D1H (firmware version 1.10 or later), and D100. Dust Off reference photos can not be created with the D1 or with earlier versions of the camera firmware for the D1x and D1H. Dust Off refeference photos taken with the D100, D1x, or D1H have the extension “.nef”; do not change this extension.