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New to D700 - I have a question about Active D-Lighting

colin1957

UK
50 posts

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colin1957 Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Feb 2009
Thu 27-Sep-12 07:34 PM

I have recently purchased a D700, moving from a D200. The D700 is my first encounter with Active D-Lighting, this feature not being present on the D200.

I have purchased and read 'Mastering the Nikon D700' and have also purchased and consulted large sections of 'Thom Hogan's Complete Guide to the Nikon D700'.

I shoot almost entirely in RAW, 14 bit lossless compressed in the case of the D700 and process all of my images with DxO Optics Pro v7.

I have 'Active D-Lighting' set to 'Auto' and have found that many of my D700 images are underexposed and require adjustment in DxO. On reading around the use of Active D-Lighting I note that Thom Hogan's guide carries a warning about underexposure for RAW shooters using software other than Capture NX2 and recommends switching this feature off. He doesn't seem keen on this feature even when using Capture NX2.

I'd like to hear the views of experienced D700 users on this subject so that I can better understand how this obviously powerful feature works.

Thanks
Colin


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mklass

Tacoma, US
7421 posts

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#1. "RE: New to D700 - I have a question about Active D-Lighting" | In response to Reply # 0

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Thu 27-Sep-12 08:11 PM

If you're not using CNX or VNX to process your images, leave it off. It does you no good, at best, and causes the problem you describe, at worst.

As for me, I use CNX from almost all of my image processing and leave ADL on Low by default. That give me maximum flexibility in post.

Mick
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cchoc

Marietta, US
5072 posts

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#2. "RE: New to D700 - I have a question about Active D-Lighting" | In response to Reply # 0

cchoc Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, most notably in Landscape Photography Charter Member
Thu 27-Sep-12 09:36 PM

I'll second what Mick says: if you plan on using CNX or NX for your raw processing then you can take advantage of ASL, if you use another product (or plan on switching down the road) ADL won't do you any good. I use Lightroom and CS6 so I don't use ADL at all.

Charlie...
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GiantTristan

Stamford, US
2676 posts

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#3. "RE: New to D700 - I have a question about Active D-Lighting" | In response to Reply # 0

GiantTristan Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006
Fri 28-Sep-12 12:07 PM

The D-Lighting function in DxO Pro is much superior to the in-camera capability. Unless shooting JPEGs, I suggest to turn it off.

Tristan

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William Rounds

Rambouillet, FR
734 posts

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#4. "RE: New to D700 - I have a question about Active D-Lighting" | In response to Reply # 3

William Rounds Gold Member Nikonian since 25th Mar 2011
Fri 28-Sep-12 12:59 PM

I also shoot in RAW and convert with DxO and leave it off.

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jpFoto

US
1114 posts

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#5. "RE: New to D700 - I have a question about Active D-Lighting" | In response to Reply # 0

jpFoto Registered since 25th Jun 2010
Fri 28-Sep-12 09:30 PM | edited Fri 28-Sep-12 09:42 PM by jpFoto

Here is a link to a thread where Robsb, Rob Baldassano, explains everything that you would ever want to know about ADL and much more. Thanks Rob:


https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=set_threaded_mode&forum=226&topic_id=22013&prev_page=show_topic&gid=22013#22058

jP

colin1957

UK
50 posts

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#6. "RE: New to D700 - I have a question about Active D-Lighting" | In response to Reply # 0

colin1957 Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Feb 2009
Thu 04-Oct-12 03:26 PM

Thanks to everyone who replied. I've now adjusted my Custom Settings so that ADL is switched off when I shoot NEF. I'll be practice shooting some JPEGs soon in various light conditions to learn more, ready for the rare occasions when I shoot JPEGs in camera.

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walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16920 posts

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#7. "RE: New to D700 - I have a question about Active D-Lighting" | In response to Reply # 0

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Thu 04-Oct-12 03:44 PM

Quite honestly, this topic is frequently misunderstood. If you pay attention to your exposure (and the histogram in particular), you can leave it off independent of whether you're using NX2, LR, DxO or any other software package. If you're working very quickly or just don't want to check the histogram for blown highlights, leaving ADL on will give you a more conservative exposure and you can then use your raw converter to adjust the image to your preference. Virtually everything out there today has good tools for reining in highlights, lightening the shadows, etc. and that's all that ADL does in NX2. In short, having ADL on or off has more to do with how much attention you want to devote to exposure while shooting and less to do with the software packge you use to process your images.

My personal preference is to get the exposure "correct" and adjust the image to my personal preferences in my raw converter rather than relying on an automated guess at what I want, but it's really up to the individual photographer.

A caveat: if you are in the habit of shooting raw plus jpeg and only use the raw files if you have a big problem, leaving ADL on might be a good idea since jpegs don't have the latitude for post-processing changes that raw files do. Since I don't normally shoot that way, I leave ADL off.

Rick Walker

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