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Active D-Lighting With the D700

Blufox

Nampa, US
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Blufox Registered since 24th Feb 2007
Thu 11-Feb-10 12:34 AM

I have never used it, but I was wondering if anyone here does, and if so, under what conditions? Does it make a big difference? Just curious ...

Thanks,
Larry

"Every moment in life is unique and will never be repeated. These are the moments that present the greatest opportunity for a photographer..."

Timbo1961

Pickering, ON, CA
60 posts

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#1. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 0

Timbo1961 Registered since 08th Oct 2008
Thu 11-Feb-10 01:54 AM

I use it all the time when I shoot in NEF. You can turn it on and off in Capture NX2. It does make a difference when you view the .jpg and the nef back and forth ... I find in some lighting conditions you can really see the darker areas come up and the highlights don't get blown so easily.
As I said, I leave it on and can turn it off if needed... so it really doesn't harm anything.
Give it a shot .... test it out once and see if you like it.
Good luck.

robsb

San Jose, US
14973 posts

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#2. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 0

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Thu 11-Feb-10 04:52 AM

It depends on what you use as a post processor. ADL is one of the few camera controls that affects RAW files. If you shoot JPEG it works well and if you shoot RAW and use NX2 OK too. You have to keep in mind that Nikon intended this setting to be used in high dynamic range/high contrast situations only, not all the time. The problem is if you don't use NX2 and shoot RAW you are looking for trouble. When you select ADL Nikon does 2 things to the file. First it lowers the exposure and second it moves shadow and highlight data into different locations according to a proprietary algorithm. Only Nikon post processing SW can read this algorithm and treat the file properly, other 3rd party post processors cannot and don't handle the file properly.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

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Old age is a special gift that very few receive. Be thankful if you get it.

Wingman

Kimberley, CA
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#3. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 2

Wingman Silver Member Awarded for sharing his excellent work and continued contribution to the forums, most notably at the Aviation forum. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2002
Thu 11-Feb-10 06:54 AM

A confusing answer, Bob. I've been wondering about ADL too. I tried it briefly when I got my D300 a year or so ago, and shied away because I thought it was bringing up a lot of noise in the shadows at higher ISOs. I just got a D3 a couple of weeks ago, and have been experimenting (just in jpg so far) with both high ISOs in poor light and ADL, and love the results in these jpgs. When I get into RAW and NX2 with my D3 images what should I expect with ADL? How does ADL done in the camera differ from ADL done after the fact in NX2? How do either differ from gentle use of curves or the shadow/highlight tool in Photoshop?

Sorry, this is a rather jumbled post -- it's late at night after a long day. Anyway, any insight into ADL would be welcome...


Neal Nurmi

---Wingman Photo---

MikeLG

Bonn, DE
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#4. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 0

MikeLG Registered since 14th Oct 2008
Thu 11-Feb-10 09:39 AM | edited Thu 11-Feb-10 09:39 AM by MikeLG

I agree with robsb, in that I would only use it in situations where you have a high dynamic range.

The reason for this is that sometimes you might want darker shadow areas (shooting low-key in the studio, for example), so you wouldn't want the camera to be trying to compensate for those carefully lit scenes.

In other areas, such as shooting outdoors during the day, it can be very useful, but I tend to set it to normal, rather than auto, so it doesn't go too far and introduce unnecessary noise.

The option in NX2 actually works slightly differently if you're attempting to introduce it after the fact, but can make a big difference when needed.

Again, I would echo the advice to just play with it by shooting the same subject/scene with it on and off and with the different settings (Auto, Low, Normal and High).


Regards,

Mike ~ an Englishman in Bonn, Germany.

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Please visit my web site.

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Alx

Nashville, US
391 posts

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#5. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 4

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Thu 11-Feb-10 12:16 PM | edited Thu 11-Feb-10 12:19 PM by Alx

I leave my D700 on A-D-L AUTO all the time. Shoot Large Fine and Raw simutaneously, just for backup and options, but never seem to need the RAW files anymore. The JPEGs now come out with much better shadow detail and no blown out highlights, with the dynamic range compression "Active D Lighting" on Auto.

It would be better names Adaptive Dynamic Range => ADR, but I think another camera company is using the acronym and name.

My understanding of the feature in Nikon is the ADL HAS NO EFFECT on the RAW NEF files as the camera records them, but only on JPEGs.

The Auto option of this feature is one of the main reasons I traded my D300 up to the D300S, as well.

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cchoc

Marietta, US
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#6. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 3

cchoc Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, most notably in Landscape Photography Charter Member
Thu 11-Feb-10 12:40 PM

What Bob is saying is to not use ADL with raw unless you have NX2. If you use ACR or Lightroom they cannont read the proprietary information that Nikon encodes when you use ADL in camera.

NX2 does know how to read the proprietary data so it can process the file correctly and give you the same starting point for editing as the jpeg. You and also change the ADL settings after the fact in NX2, which you can't do in the Adobe products.

I have NX2, CS4 and Lightroom and when I use ADL on my D700 I preprocess the raw in NX2 and convert to TIFF for any further processing I want to do in CS4 and also for import into Lightroom, which I use mainly to create web galleries.

Charlie...
www.chocphoto.com

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

briantilley

Paignton, UK
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#7. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 5

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Thu 11-Feb-10 01:00 PM

>My understanding of the feature in Nikon is the ADL HAS NO
>EFFECT on the RAW NEF files as the camera records them, but
>only on JPEGs.

As Rob points out above, Active D-lighting used in-camera can and does alter the chosen exposure value for shots in some lighting situations. A change in exposure affects both NEF and JPEG image files, and can be difficult to "undo" after the event.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

Alx

Nashville, US
391 posts

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#8. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 7

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Thu 11-Feb-10 02:09 PM

I expect the change in EV for those shots, where the ADL system directs, is for a better exposure that does not need to be undone, but that the amount of actual exposure change is subtle enough that the latitude of the NEF file will easily cover the difference between the ADL exposure and a corresponding file taken without ADL.

If you are using the Matrix meter system anyway, it is making/suggesting changes in the exposure based on a mess of algorithms, and although it comes up with a simple exposure solution, aperture and shutter speed, you are trusting it to make these decisions. If you are in Program, and Matrix, the added automation of ADR is a logical and complementary addition.

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briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#9. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 8

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Thu 11-Feb-10 03:37 PM

>If you are using the Matrix meter system anyway, it is
>making/suggesting changes in the exposure based on a mess
>of algorithms, and although it comes up with a simple exposure
>solution, aperture and shutter speed, you are trusting it to
>make these decisions. If you are in Program, and Matrix, the
>added automation of ADR is a logical and complementary addition.

I don't disagree with any of that. The camera manual states that 3D Matrix Metering should be used when ADL is engaged in any case

I was simply pointing out that your statement about Active D-lighting having NO effect on a NEF image was inaccurate.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

Alx

Nashville, US
391 posts

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#10. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 9

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Thu 11-Feb-10 04:11 PM | edited Thu 11-Feb-10 04:13 PM by Alx

ok, I guess I was keying on the "difficult" thing, not seeing the agreement.

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cchoc

Marietta, US
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#11. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 7

cchoc Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, most notably in Landscape Photography Charter Member
Thu 11-Feb-10 04:18 PM

I believe ADL also generates different tone curves that it applies to the jpeg, and which NX/2 can apply to the raw file, but Adobe and other vendor's products cannot apply to the raw file since the data and algorithms are not publicly documented.

Charlie...
www.chocphoto.com

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

Alx

Nashville, US
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#12. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 11

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Thu 11-Feb-10 09:29 PM

RE. Will Rogers ..... in the signature above.

He sure could turn a phrase ....
.... a couple of my favorites ....
"We have the best Congress money can buy" ....
and about the Eighteenth Ammendment, he said it was pretty tough, but "Prohibition was better than having no liquour at all." ....something to that effect.

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Alx

Nashville, US
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#13. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 11

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Thu 11-Feb-10 09:33 PM | edited Thu 11-Feb-10 09:50 PM by Alx

So it would seem that the ADL does not affect the RAW files' tonal curves per se, but only has its adjustment effect on the same basic exposure values as are used to record the JPEGs, which would be to avoid or minimize burn-out, and then on the tonal curves of the JPEGs to improve shadow detail.

If this is the case, then it would benefit RAW files from the get-go, by minimizing highlights' burn-out, while the shadow detail can be restored thru post-processing, in Adobe for instance, even if the exact ADR-suggested and embedded curves are not able to be read by third party software.

I don't see a downside to using the ADR, unless you need the highest frame rate, since it does take a bit longer to write and clear the buffer. The instructions also say that at high ISO values, it might produce some distortion, but then if you are shooting in a situation where a very high ISO is needed, your lighting is not likely to be so contrasty, and proportionally the AUTO ADL will not need to apply itself there.

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cchoc

Marietta, US
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#14. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 13

cchoc Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, most notably in Landscape Photography Charter Member
Thu 11-Feb-10 10:09 PM | edited Thu 11-Feb-10 10:09 PM by cchoc

If you are shooting only raw and don't have NX2 I see no point in using ADL, since you can use exposure compensation yourself to get the correct exposure in camera in situations where the highlights would get blown, or just use bracketing and HDR in very high range shots.

If you shoot only jpeg and/or always use NX2 for raw then I can see where ADL could be useful, and if I were in this category I'd probably use it more.

Since I do have NX2, I occasionally turn on ADL in situations with a lot of dynamic range where HDR would be impractical, but leave it off by default.

Charlie...
www.chocphoto.com

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

Alx

Nashville, US
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#15. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 14

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Thu 11-Feb-10 10:21 PM

Agreed, but one of the main reasons for having to shoot or use RAW, (and then spend the time post-processing and converting,) is obviated by having a JPEG that does not need the post-processing in the first place.



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Blufox

Nampa, US
668 posts

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#16. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 0

Blufox Registered since 24th Feb 2007
Thu 11-Feb-10 10:32 PM

Thanks, guys; I have had my question answered (I don't have NX2), so I will leave you all to continue the discussion.

Larry

"Every moment in life is unique and will never be repeated. These are the moments that present the greatest opportunity for a photographer..."

robsb

San Jose, US
14973 posts

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#17. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 5

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Thu 11-Feb-10 11:40 PM

Your inderstanding of ADL is incorrect as it DOES affect the RAW file as I explained in my post. That is why you should not use it in RAW if you are not using NX2. I got my information direct from Nikon over a year ago when I asked them how this worked. They were the ones that told me the the highlight and shadow data was moved to different loctions and they were the ones that also told me that the intent was for hi contrast/ hi dynamic range situations.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!
Old age is a special gift that very few receive. Be thankful if you get it.

robsb

San Jose, US
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#18. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 6

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Thu 11-Feb-10 11:41 PM

Charlie has it right.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!
Old age is a special gift that very few receive. Be thankful if you get it.

robsb

San Jose, US
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#19. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 13

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Thu 11-Feb-10 11:49 PM

Even Thom Hogan says not to use ADL with RAW files processed in anything other than NX2. What is happening is the lower and higher bins are being moved! The lower bins are spread up to higher bins and the higher to lower ones, according to the algorithm. So while you can make adjustments to the lowering of exposure, you can't get the rest of it right and according to Thom it can make the file much worse. Remember 3rd party tools don't read anything except WB. If the RAW file has been modified in the way I have stated you are never going to figure out how to correct it.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!
Old age is a special gift that very few receive. Be thankful if you get it.

Alx

Nashville, US
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#20. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 17

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Fri 12-Feb-10 12:23 AM

The Auto selection .... did you hear anything specific about this ?
Was your information before/after the ADL setting of AUTO was introduced. AUTO ADL is on the D700, the D90, and the D300s, but was not available AUTO ADL on the D300.

The only sense I can make of an AUTO setting is if it knows when the contrast is hi, when the dynamic range needs correction, and that if it does not need correction, it doesn't adjust, and an appropriate amount in between.

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robsb

San Jose, US
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#21. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 20

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Fri 12-Feb-10 07:15 AM | edited Fri 12-Feb-10 07:19 AM by robsb

I asked the question after I got my D700 as my D200 did not have the feature. Now i will agree that if in Auto a correction is not applied you have no problem, but how would you know? The whole point of the conversation is ADL is most useful for JPEG shooters and for those using NX2. In the first case its baked in. In the second case you can adjust it. If you leave ADL off, you never get a choice in NX2 as it never turns it on. So that is an argument to turn it on if you are unsure. If you shoot RAW and use 3rd party it can't process it properly. I do think there are valid uses for ADL, it is just that Nikon really did not intend for you to use it all the time, but rather in these high ratio situations where it does a good job. Another argument can be made that if you are a control freak in the best sense ofthe meaning, you are letting Nikon make the adjustment with ADL and by leaving it off you could keep total control by making all your changes in post with exposure and highlight and shadow controls.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!
Old age is a special gift that very few receive. Be thankful if you get it.

Alx

Nashville, US
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#22. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 21

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Fri 12-Feb-10 10:12 AM

Good logical points ..... as for the JPGs, it comes down to trusting Nikon to have made the AUTO ADL work effectively and accurately when needed and not kick in when it's not needed. On the control freak issue, (not meant derogatory) Matrix, AUTO ISO, AUTOFOCUS, and PROGRAM Exposure, are all in the same bucket as ADL. I don't see much sense in singling out ADL from the rest.

Or having acutal-use data of the feature and comparing its effect on the RAW files, whether it is ruining them or has little effect. Since I have not had to mess with the RAW files nearly as much since I started using the AUTO ADL, I haven't personally seen the problem.
I have several Adobe Photoshop versions, but avoid installing any Nikon software.

I would be curious to see the effects of conversion from NEF to DNG RAW, ... re. the tonal curve changes that only NX2 can read.


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cchoc

Marietta, US
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#23. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 22

cchoc Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, most notably in Landscape Photography Charter Member
Fri 12-Feb-10 01:00 PM | edited Fri 12-Feb-10 01:03 PM by cchoc

Here's a link to a patent Nikon supposedly licenses for their ADL algorithm if you are curious how it works. This doesn't address, of course, how Nikon actually modifies the NEF to encode the generated adjustments. I wish Nikon would at least document a metatdata tag that could be used to identify the raw files that have had ADL applied.

FWIW, I don't use auto ISO or program mode, but I do use auto focus and matrix metering most of the time with good results.

Charlie...
www.chocphoto.com

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

robsb

San Jose, US
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#24. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 23

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Fri 12-Feb-10 11:16 PM

Where did you determine that Nikon uses this patent? A very interesting article that shows the complexity of the process.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!
Old age is a special gift that very few receive. Be thankful if you get it.

cchoc

Marietta, US
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#25. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 24

cchoc Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, most notably in Landscape Photography Charter Member
Sat 13-Feb-10 10:27 AM

I saw it referenced in a discussion here. I don't know where or how the poster got the information, though, and can't say for certain that it is correct, but it seems plausible based on reading the patent. That's why I said 'supposedly' when I referenced it.

Charlie...
www.chocphoto.com

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

Alx

Nashville, US
391 posts

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#26. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 25

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Sat 13-Feb-10 12:25 PM

Depending on who you listen to, the issue of whether the RAW files are affected by ADL is still open.
http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00R3bF
From the same site cited above, the following quoted posts...

> S Y, I made a similar experiment with my D3. With exposure set to M and similar exposure time on both, and quality set to NEF+JPG I get the ADL effect on the JPG:s. But the RAW files are absolutely identical when viewed in Adobe Camera Raw 4.5. I see this as an evidence that the ADL is an effect created not in the individual CMOS photosites but in a later process step. <
........
>S Y , Oct 05, 2008; 04:11 a.m.
Hello, I have make a small test on D300 and compare RAW output from ADL-High and ADL-Off with exactly the same aperture and shutter settings. RAW was processed in UFRaw, which does not use any special info from D300 NEF. Resulting histograms and images were found the same. Camera exposure meter show 2/3 stop below without ADL and exact for ADL with that settings.........<

Now speculation is not the same as fact, but I haven't seen that my RAW files have been damaged by the ADL, and Nikon designers are pretty careful. Following COMMON SENSE, they would have reasoned that RAW files' tonal curves WOULD NOT be modified as they are recorded. RAW files are supposed to be the raw data, and are meant to be post-processed for corrections. There is no good reason to have the camera spend extra TIME and processing resources to apply changes to the RAW data, while those same resources are busy applying and recording any needed tonal curve changes to the JPEG.

Now AGAIN, I realize that this is speculation, but in the absence of any NIKON statements to the opposite,(Nikon does not warn that the ADL should be turned off when recording RAW, and could/probably does simply and automatically turn it off for RAW anyway), and based on my own (limited) experience with the ADL and RAW files, and based on the statements of others (quoted above) and based on common sense, it seems to me that with ADL, the RAW data is unchanged, and the suggested tonal curve changes are probably embedded in data that is not accessed by any editing programs except for Nikon's own software.
'Hard to believe that Nikon would go out of their way to mess up a great feature. The several third party statements to the effect that the RAW data are messed with could be attributed to misunderstanding the relative slight underexposure WITHOUT the corresponding shadow boosts.

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briantilley

Paignton, UK
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#27. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 26

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sat 13-Feb-10 12:52 PM

I don't think anyone has suggested in this thread that the camera processor applies any adjustment to the raw image data when ADL is engaged, so you're really arguing against nothing...

To repeat, what ADL can and does do in some lighting situations is to adjust the exposure value when the shot is made, and when this happens the NEF file will be different from what it would be without ADL.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

Alx

Nashville, US
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#28. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 27

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Sat 13-Feb-10 01:03 PM | edited Sat 13-Feb-10 01:08 PM by Alx

RE. Post 27 .... useless post

READ POSTS #2, #19, #17. AGAIN, .... so you're really argueing against nothing ....

This whole discussion is about the effect or lack of it, of ADL on RAW files.

Read the entire thread before you go off again.

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robsb

San Jose, US
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#29. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 26

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Sat 13-Feb-10 04:19 PM | edited Sat 13-Feb-10 04:36 PM by robsb

So let me get this straight, you think that it might be ok though specualtion to listen to a bunch of guys on a forum who have done little experiments about ADL than Nikon itself? If you go to Thom Hogan's book on the D700 starting on page 333, he clearly suggests not using ADL with third party tools, because of Nikons proprietary tone curve application that is changing exposure and moving data bins . He says if you do you will get an underexposed image that will increase noise in you image if you try and correct it. He also talks about the movement of binning data. So if you would like to speculate that what hs been said here is not correct and that Thom doesn't know what he is talking about either, be my guest.

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briantilley

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#30. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 28

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sat 13-Feb-10 05:22 PM | edited Sat 13-Feb-10 05:29 PM by briantilley

>RE. Post 27 .... useless post

OK - I'll try to make sure this post is useful, but it's probably going to sound repetitive to everyone else!

I'm pretty sure I understand what Rob and others have been saying, and if I do understand it, I believe them to be correct. You appear to have misinterpreted what Rob's saying, and arguing against it needlessly, when in actual fact we are probably all on the same page.

Given that Larry has had his original question answered, further argument is likely to be pointless. So here's my summary, hopefully for the final time...

Whe ADL is engaged, it can make two interlinked adjustments (the degree of which depends on the lighting situation and the actual algorithms in the camera's processor).

First, the exposure used for the shot is adjusted downwards, to avoid blowing-out of highlights. This adjustment affects both NEF and JPEG in exactly the same way.

Second, adjustments are made to the "tone curve" of the image, to bring the shadows and mid-tones back up and maximise as far as possible the dynamic range. These adjustments are "baked-in" to the JPEG, but are simply encoded along with the RAW image data in the NEF file. The actual content of the RAW image is not changed by this "curves" adjustment, but the data encoded in the NEF with it can be interpreted - by Nikon processing software - to give you a starting point for further adjustment.

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robsb

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#31. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 30

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Sat 13-Feb-10 10:04 PM | edited Sat 13-Feb-10 10:25 PM by robsb

Brian that is not what I remember Nikon telling me, and I am willing to go back to them and ask the question again just to clear it up. I specifically remember them telling me that the NEF IS changed. Here is a quote from Thom Hogan's book on ADL:

"NEF shooters beware! Only Capture NX2 can apply the proper linearization curves automatically to get essentially the same effect as what the camera does for JPEGs and TIFFs. If you use another raw converter, though, consider not using Active D-Lighting. The reason for that is simple: your're going to end up with images that are underexposed, and you may have to manually apply corrections to the shadow area, mid-tones, and highlights simultaneously."

If in fact the NEF was not changed by the shuffling of data bins and the exposure, you would see no effect upon opening the NEF because the other processors would NOT SEE IT, and Thom's comment would not make sense.

EDIT: I have filed a question with Nikon support asking specifically if ADL changes the NEF or if its actions are just part of the processing list that would be ignored by 3rd party PP. When I get an answer I will post it here.

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#32. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 30

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Sat 13-Feb-10 11:28 PM | edited Sat 13-Feb-10 11:35 PM by Alx

READ POSTS #2, #19, #17. AGAIN, and again, I guess. It's pretty clear what was said.

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#33. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 29

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Sat 13-Feb-10 11:33 PM | edited Sun 14-Feb-10 03:47 AM by Alx

Waiting for word on what Nikon says about it ....
Hopefully not from some sleepy consumer-level customer service trainee in New Delhi reading from a scripted blurb, but from an engineer-level technically informed representative.

....'Not really convinced by a third-hand account of what someone else says they were told by someone at Nikon.

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#34. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 33

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Sun 14-Feb-10 03:41 AM | edited Sun 14-Feb-10 07:10 AM by robsb

I already got a response, but it was not clear enough so I reframed the question and asked again. Maybe I'll have an answer tomorow. Maybe a clue to the answer is found right in the Nikon manual on page 408.

"Computer displays
NEF (RAW) images
differently from
camera.
Third-party software does not display
effects of Picture Controls, active Dlighting,
or vignette control. Use
Capture NX 2 (available separately)."


In the mean time, I will stick with Thom's advice.

Bob Baldassano
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#35. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 33

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Sun 14-Feb-10 06:40 AM

If you did not believe my first hand account about my discussions with Nikon over a year ago, I can accept that because a year is a long time to remember exactly what was said, but when I get a response, I am not allowed to post it on the internet, so I am going to have to tell you FIRST HAND what I was told. After that I am done discussing this topic. I can tell you the response I already got so far was not clear enough for me to determine exactly what the answer was so I had to rephrase the question to specificially address what is happening in the NEF file. I hope to get a clearer answer most likely by Monday or Tuesday, or maybe sooner.

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#36. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 31

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sun 14-Feb-10 07:50 AM

>EDIT: I have filed a question with Nikon support asking
>specifically if ADL changes the NEF or if its actions are just
>part of the processing list that would be ignored by 3rd party
>PP. When I get an answer I will post it here.

Thanks, Bob. Hopefully that will clear up any confusion

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

sidewinder

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#37. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 35

sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010
Sun 14-Feb-10 07:56 AM | edited Sun 14-Feb-10 08:20 AM by sidewinder

robsb,

These links may prove interesting:

http://www.nikonusa.com/Learn-And-Explore/Nikon-Camera-Technology/fsqd6p6h/1/Active-D-Lighting.html

http://static.nikonusa.com/pdf/nikonschool/sun.pdf

http://www.wikipatents.com/GB-Patent-2417381/dynamic-range-compression-preserving-local-image-contrast

The first link says:

Active D-Lighting's image optimization, which takes place in the camera at the moment the photo it taken, applies digital processing only to the necessary portion(s) of the image.

The second link is a PDF file that contains this text:

Active D-Lighting - This option is an attempt to stretch the dynamic range of the camera. Every camera, whether film or digital, has a limited range of light that it can record. With today’s digital cameras that tends to be around eight stops of light. Anything beyond that will record as either black or white (under or overexposed). Active D-Lighting stretches that range a bit by underexposing the image (thus saving more highlight detail) and then adding extra processing to pull out detail in the shadows (that would have been lost due to the underexposure). Some Nikons offer set levels of D-Lighting, and the newer ones also offer “Auto.” We’ve found Auto to be very effective, and something most people should at least try.

The final link is a to a patent on technology said to be licensed to Nikon and used in Active D-Lighting.

All of this information points to sensor data being adjusted before it is written to the NEF file. In other words, it supports the idea that the RAW data is altered when Active D-Lighting is enabled.

I look forward to hearing what your query to Nikon reveals. But, I suspect your recollection of what Nikon told you a year ago is more or less accurate. It agrees with the information Thom Hogan represents as from Nikon and it agrees with the information found on Nikon's web sites.

Scott

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#38. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 31

cchoc Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, most notably in Landscape Photography Charter Member
Sun 14-Feb-10 10:48 AM

Thanks Bob, it will be very interesting to see what Nikon has to say.

At the end of the day, though, even if ADL only adjusts exposure and generates tone curves to bring out shadow and highlight details, it still makes no sense to use ADL if you shoot only raw and don't use NX2.

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#39. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 37

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Sun 14-Feb-10 02:53 PM


Neither quote above states or implies that changes in tonal curve are applied to the RAW files. The "extra processing" can readily be understood as only applying to the processing the cameras do to the JPEGs, since RAW files do not get in-camera processing as they are written.
> All of this information points to sensor data being adjusted before it is written to the NEF file.<
No it doesn't. That statement is begging the question. Of course the data is being adjusted - for the JPEG file, but not necessarily for the RAW files.
Why would Nikon want the ADL to make the changes to RAW files ? The simplest answer is USUALLY the correct one. As in, they would not.

I have researched somewhat in Nikon's websites and not yet found anything definitive either, so we are waiting for more information.

sidewinder

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#40. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 35

sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010
Sun 14-Feb-10 04:55 PM

robsb,

One other point. Let's look at this quote form the Nikon site:

Active D-Lighting - This option is an attempt to stretch the dynamic range of the camera.

This quote makes no sense if the RAW data is not altered. The only way to extended the dynamic range would be to alter the data at the sensor. Once the data is written to the NEF, TIFF, or JPEG file, the dynamic range is fixed.

There is a very clear difference between "D-Lighting" in post processing and "Active D-Lighting" in the camera.

Scott

robsb

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#41. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 39

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Sun 14-Feb-10 06:02 PM

One reason I rephrased the question to Nikon was their answer was not complete. They did say that ADL was applied to JPEGs in camera and by NX2 for RAW using metering data from the original scene which is stored in the NEF. It is the last part that is fuzzy. This could be interpreted in many ways, and that I why I gave them two scenarios and asked which was the correct interpretation. One in which the moved bin data is what is stored as a Changed NEF or the steps to apply the correction are stored in the edit list and that is how it is applied. If it is the second case, the worst case is no app but NX2 can apply it to the file. If the first than it is more in alignment to what I remember. So I like all of you await the answer. Last night I did a search on Bing and also looked at past threads here on Nikonians and the answers are all over the map, but most of them seemed to support my recollection. But as I said yesterday, why should we believe a bunch of guys on the Internet doing unscientific tests, even though some of them were quoting Nikon Engineers they had spoken to.

Bob Baldassano
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#42. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 40

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Sun 14-Feb-10 06:11 PM

Scott there is plenty of reliable sources that show that D Lighting and ADL are not the same. ADL is much more sophisticated in that it is doing area mapped corrections. They don't have to alter the data at the sensor. The sensor data is already binned as it moves off the sensor, so algorithms can be applied to that data after it is analyzed. The binned data could be adjusted and saved as a matrix in the edit file as an example and that data applied to the file by the in camera processor for JPEG,and that data could also be processed by NX2 for the RAW. One of the other fuzzy areas discussed here before in 2008 when ADL showed up on the D300 is since the exposure is lowered, that would be saved in the NEF. So let us wait until I get a better answer from Nikon because right now I could believe either approach would work.

Bob Baldassano
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Alx

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#43. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 40

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Sun 14-Feb-10 08:58 PM | edited Mon 15-Feb-10 04:47 AM by Alx

> Active D-Lighting - This option is an attempt to stretch the dynamic range of the camera. <

This quote is congruent and not at all contradictory of the feature acting on just the JPEG file and recording the RAW file without the dynamic range adjustments. With the RAW data recorded and unaltered, the camera's Expeed processor with ADL could then apply the adjustments in tonal curve to the JPEG it creates from the RAW data. The JPEG picture would have its dynamic range effectively extended. 'Doesn't have to happen at the sensor or on the RAW file.

Well we have the definitive answer in post #44, and some added comments in the next post #45. The short of it is that the RAW data itself is unaffected by ADL except for the slightly lower EV used by the camera, and the added data that ADL embeds in the RAW file is invisible to any other post-processing programs like Adobe Photoshop, except for Nikon's NX2, which can read and interpret the instructions and use them to process the file. BUT THESE RAW FILES CAN READILY BE PROCESSED IN ADOBE PHOTOSHOP JUST LIKE THEY COULD BEFORE.

So you can have the benefits of ADL in your JPEGS and no penalty in the RAW file if you shoot AUTO ADL, or any ADL, with RAW-plus-JPEG, and use any NEF-enabled post-process program you want on the RAW files. As long as you know how to boost shadows accurately, you can get the needed dynamic range adjustments. If you have NX2, you apparently can let the cameras ADL-embedded data do it for you.

Besides being the answer to the thread, it makes the most sense from a sofrware design standpoint.

PLUS if the AUTO ADL feature is working as it suggests, its adjustments are only applied to the JPEGS and embedded next to the RAW data when they are needed, and to the extent needed.

robsb

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#44. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 41

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Mon 15-Feb-10 02:31 AM

OK here is the final answer on ADL. The ADL data is recorded to the NEF just like other camera settings, and as such unless the third party software is using Nikon's publicly available SDK, the ADL results will be invisible to third party tools except that the reduction in exposure is recorded in the NEF.

So if you set ADL in camera and shoot JPEG the ADL lowering of exposure and area adjustments made by the ADL algorithm will be applied to the JPEG output. The information will be stored in the NEF just like any other Nikon setting and NX2 will see it and make the proper adjustments to lower exposure and increase shadow detail while holding highlights.

While I thought the first response was confusing because they had said that third party may or may not see the information, the clarification indicated that any third party vendor who chose to use the Nikon SDK would not only be able to read the ADL data, but would also be able to output a properly adjusted file. But since many companies choose not to use the Nikon SDK, like Adobe, they can't. So if you opened a RAW image that had ADL applied in a third party tool that did not use the SDK all you would see was a reduced exposure image and you would not see any of the other ADL adjustments.

So bottom line is if you use JPEG and ADL you are OK. If you shoot RAW and use ADL, you will be wasting your time if you use third party tools that do not use the Nikon SDK. NX2 will always properly process the file. As far as I am concerned this is the official answer and closes the discussion, and I for one am not entertaining any other theories about how this works.

The only question I would want to ask is are there any third party post processors using the Nikon SDK?

Bob Baldassano
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#45. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 44

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Mon 15-Feb-10 04:17 AM | edited Mon 15-Feb-10 04:46 AM by Alx

That is a great answer. Very definitive. Your added interpretation is slanted against the use of the ADL with RAW files if not processed in NX2, because the indicated corrections will not be read by third party software like Adobe Photoshop. But we have a RAW file that has data-UNTOUCHED except for the slightly lower EV. So, just as any NEF RAW file can be manipulated and corrected by any skilled user in Photoshop, as long as they understand how to lighten shadows, the equivalent corrections, or better, can be applied to the RAW file, or it CAN BE LEFT ALONE, except for the slight boost in EV needed to make it just the same as if not shot with ADL.

My original statement was that I am shooting all the time with AUTO ADL in JPEG Large Fine, plus RAW, and that the JPEG files are improved, while the RAW files are unaffected. The presence of added data instructions to be read by NX2 does not in any way harm the file or make it not usable by Photoshop etc, so it is essentially untouched for all practical purposes other having added data for NX2. It is just as if the added data is not there, unless read by NX2. Thom Hogan's alleged statement that the RAW file will not be usable in Photoshop etc. is obviously inaccurate, OR ONLY MEANT that the camera's specific ADL instructions will not be followed.

But your answer does not preclude Photoshop processing, just as if ADL were not used at all. It is not any more a waste of time than using Photoshop in the first place.



robsb

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#46. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 45

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Mon 15-Feb-10 05:17 AM | edited Mon 15-Feb-10 05:31 AM by robsb

Well I guess I disagree with your interpretation of what I said. If by applying ADL camera setting you wind up with a RAW file that is underexposed and has additional data that you can not use to create the same results as the JPEG, how is this good? If you just increase the exposure, you increase the noise in the shadows if you do this in Photoshop. Also as Thom pointed out in his book to even try and get the same effect as ADL you would have to make simultaneous changes to shadows, highlights and mid tones on a trail and error basis. This is not a simple fix. That is why he suggested leaving it off and then making your corrections using Photoshop's tools, but you will not get the same result. Otherwise I agree that for non NX2 users, it is generally good news that there is no hidden changes to the RAW file, and other than the reduced exposure you don't have to contend with what ADL would have done if it was baked into the RAW data. I also said shooting JPEGs you got the benefit out of the camera. I am very experienced in Photoshop and I know how to improve images with wide dynamic range, but knowing how to do it and taking into account the time and effort involved, I see no advantage to using ADL if you shoot RAW and are not going to use NX2.

Also the Thom Hogan quotee was not "alleged" it is a quote repeated here:

"NEF shooters beware! Only Capture NX2 can apply the proper linearization curves automatically to get essentially the same effect as what the camera does for JPEGs and TIFFs. If you use another raw converter, though, consider not using Active D-Lighting. The reason for that is simple: your're going to end up with images that are underexposed, and you may have to manually apply corrections to the shadow area, mid-tones, and highlights simultaneously."

So lets look at the important parts of this quote. NX2 is only Sw that will apply the PROPER liniarization curves AUTOMATICALLY. He is also saying that you MAY have to Manually apply corrections. If the ADL effect was very low, I would agree that as you said you may not have to do anything to the image, but if is a medium to large change now you are in an area where you are applying corrections to the file where you have no idea what those corrections really are and here is the important distinction IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THE RAW LOOK AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE to the JPEG. If that is not your goal than yes you can make all kinds of image corrections in Photoshop including blending multiple images in an HDR mix to captue the fullest dynamic range, but it is not going to be what ADL did for the JPEG and it is not going to Automatic.

So if you still want to use ADL and you are shooting JPEG +RAW keep doing it. If you don't want to use NX2 for the RAW processing and still want to use Adobe recognise the outputs are unlikely to be the same.

I have no argument if you want to use Adobe if that is your choice, no do I think my statements were incorrect, just practical. I for one like to spend the least amount of time making my images look their best.

Bob Baldassano
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#47. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 46

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Mon 15-Feb-10 06:01 AM | edited Mon 15-Feb-10 06:19 AM by Alx

Your main point in the previous paragraphs is that the RAW files would not exactly match the JPEGS. I don't see any importance in this. If you are only shooting RAW, you don't have the original JPEGS to compare. If you are shooting JPEGS with RAW, and have ADL effects, why would you bother with the RAW if you wanted the photos to look just like the JPEGS, which you have already ... ?

You say you know what to do, to boost shadows in a RAW photo that has too great a dynamic range and would result in blocked up shadows in the JPEGS ? Of course you do, whether or not the ADL tells you how. The ADL won't somehow make you forget how to use the RAW software, or do something else than you would have done anyway with a RAW file.

The exposure changes that ADL applies are minimal, and in the beneficial direction to avoid blowing out highlights. As everyone knows, highlights cannot be reclaimed once blown out, but shadows are much more amenable to bringing back. If you have blocked up shadows, and they need to be boosted, it would add noise but that is the balance trade-off. If you shoot ADL, it is recommended to use Matrix, and everyone knows that Matrix is not necessarily going to always give precisely considered Zone System exposure. It is an automation feature that generally helps, very much in the same vein as ADL, and Auto ISO.

Making "all kinds of image corrections in Photoshop" ... "on a trial-and-error basis" does not describe the way to use post processing. It does not have to be such a random procedure.

robsb

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#48. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 47

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Mon 15-Feb-10 06:11 AM

We are just arguing in circles over nothing significant. I did what I said I would do which was to get the correct answer from Nikon. If you don't believe that using ADL on a RAW file not processed in NX2 is a waste of time OK, I don't really care. You may do what you like with the information and how you intend to use ADL in the future.

Bob Baldassano
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#49. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 48

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Mon 15-Feb-10 06:16 AM


We appreciate your effort and success in getting an answer from Nikon. No one needs permission to do what they want with the information, but it is odd that you insist on creatively mis-understanding the answer you got.

briantilley

Paignton, UK
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#50. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 49

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Mon 15-Feb-10 08:30 AM


>We appreciate your effort and success in getting an answer
>from Nikon.

Yes, we do. Thanks very much, Bob

>...but it is odd that you insist on creatively mis-understanding
>the answer you got.

We have the official answer, Scott, and I believe we are all agreed on how ADL works, though we might use the feature in different ways. It's time to drop the matter now.

Thank you.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

cchoc

Marietta, US
5121 posts

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#51. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 44

cchoc Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, most notably in Landscape Photography Charter Member
Mon 15-Feb-10 10:54 AM

Thanks Bob, that clears things up nicely. I agree that if you shoot raw and don't use NX2 there is no point in using ADL in camera.

Charlie...
www.chocphoto.com

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

Alx

Nashville, US
391 posts

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#52. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 51

Alx Registered since 19th Nov 2005
Mon 15-Feb-10 12:44 PM | edited Mon 15-Feb-10 12:46 PM by Alx

We were going to drop it, but no .....

If you shoot ONLY raw and don't use NX2, there is no point in ADL, but if you shoot JPEG AND RAW simultaneously, there IS a point to it. You get the advantage of the ADL in the JPEG file when needed, and no penalty in the RAW data.

cchoc

Marietta, US
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#53. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 52

cchoc Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, most notably in Landscape Photography Charter Member
Mon 15-Feb-10 12:48 PM | edited Mon 15-Feb-10 01:25 PM by cchoc

Sorry, I thought the raw vs raw+jpeg was understood (as in the 'Image quality' setting in camera). I should have said "ONLY" raw just to be clear.

Charlie...
www.chocphoto.com

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

sidewinder

US
737 posts

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#54. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 42

sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010
Mon 15-Feb-10 10:06 PM

>They don't have to alter the data at the sensor. The sensor data is already binned as it moves off the sensor, so
>algorithms can be applied to that data after it is analyzed. The binned data could be adjusted and saved as a matrix in the
>edit file as an example and that data applied to the file by the in camera processor for JPEG,and that data could also be
>processed by NX2 for the RAW.

Bob,

Help me understand something. If the data is processed after it comes off the sensor, how is that any different than processing a RAW file after the fact on our computers? The processing power of our computer systems far outstrips what the cameras can do. If it were done after the data came off the sensor, there is no reason to do it in-camera other than to apply it to JPEG and TIFF files.

Also, you will still be limited to the dynamic range of the CMOS image sensor which would be at the same gain level across all sensors. The only way to actually increase dynamic range would be to have different parts of the sensor at different gain levels.

Look at the comments by Ellis Vener is this link:

http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00R3bF

What do you make of what he has to say?

Scott

robsb

San Jose, US
14973 posts

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#55. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 54

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Tue 16-Feb-10 12:12 AM

Scott if you looked at the excellent link Charlie Choc provided to the patent description you will see how this works. In all cases, not just ADL settings, you start with moving the data off the sensor, which is a series of charge leveles and using algoriths you capture those levels as they have been impacted by the bayer layer and the light falling on them, so they are not all at the same level, although the maximum gain levels are dependent on the hardware. Once you have a set of data points any manipulation is possible depending on what you intend to do with the data. You could for example multiply the charge level or add and subtract values, etc., depending on what you are trying to do. In the case of ADL the major effort is to set the highlights with the reduced exposure and then bring back details in the shadows according to the area mapped data that you see. You are correct that there is nothing different in the processing that goes on in your computer vs the camera, except that computer has a faster more powerful processor. The camera takes the RAW data applies the edit steps to get the effects of the set controls and then converts the 12 or 14 bit RAW file to an 8 bit JPEG file by another algorithm that compresses the data. When you move the RAW file to the computer and for sake of argument you use NX2, NX2 will apply all the edit steps in the RAW file to the RAW data so that it will look just like the JPEG. Now any further edit steps you make will be saved in the NEF file and will also be applied to the NEF if you convert it to a TIFF or JPEG.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!
Old age is a special gift that very few receive. Be thankful if you get it.

sidewinder

US
737 posts

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#56. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 55

sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010
Tue 16-Feb-10 02:25 AM

Bob,

So, you are saying nothing is done that actually increases the dynamic range of the image. All that is done is the exposure is reduced some amount based the dynamic range of the scene and the shadow areas have their level raised.

That means if I am shooting RAW, I can set the exposure at about -.5 stops and use plain old D-Lighting in NX2 and get the same effect, right?

What this really means is that dynamic range is actually compressed.

Scott

robsb

San Jose, US
14973 posts

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#57. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 56

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Tue 16-Feb-10 03:26 AM | edited Tue 16-Feb-10 03:32 AM by robsb

Scott D lighting does not use the same algorithm. ADL is more involved. The exposure is reduced to try to keep the highlights from blowing out, but just doing that tends to block up shadows. That is why you have to manipulate the bins, but ADL I think goes a step further than D lighting in the way it is analyzing the various areas of the image and changing the associated pixels to help keep things as close to normal as possible. The attempt is to keep as much of the full dynamic range as possible while saving both highlights and shadows automatically. So if you underexposed by .5 stops, which before ADL many people did anyway, and then apply D lighting, the results will be close but not exactly the same. Also they are a manually applied change after the fact, both in camera and on your computer, not an adjustment applied at the time of the shoot. But what you said is pretty much what Thom Hogan is suggesting for RAW shooters in general, as you have control of what is adjusted in D lighting. At least that is the way I understand it.Of course if you are using ADL and NX2 you still have some control in that you can adjsut the strength of the ADL setting or even turn it off.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!
Old age is a special gift that very few receive. Be thankful if you get it.

sidewinder

US
737 posts

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#58. "RE: Active D-Lighting With the D700" | In response to Reply # 57

sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010
Tue 16-Feb-10 03:30 AM

Bob,

Good enough. I think I understand it now.

Thank you very much!

Scott

G