Even though we ARE Nikon lovers,we are NOT affiliated with Nikon Corp. in any way.

English German French

Sign up Login
Home Forums Articles Galleries Recent Photos Contest Help Search News Workshops Shop Upgrade Membership Recommended
members
All members Wiki Contests Vouchers Apps Newsletter THE NIKONIAN™ Magazines Podcasts Fundraising

Live view focusing in dark conditions

stenrasmussen

Hundvåg, NO
447 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author
stenrasmussen Registered since 19th May 2006
Fri 11-Jan-13 07:09 AM

First let me say that I often like to shoot using the vivid or some other high contrast/saturation picture control.
While trying to set focus using LV under dark conditions I've cursed the D800 more than once for its grainy, dark rendering making manual focusing almost impossible.
Last night I discovered something that makes life easier:
Say you are shooting with picture control set to vivid.
Doing so, LV looks like a extremely dark, grainy image.
Now, create a new picture control (I named it "LiveView".
Set the sharpening, contrast and saturation to minimum/zero.
I've also made it monochrome to further ease focusing but haven't tested it for many different scenes where colour might be useful.
Anyway, using this customised LV picture control the LV image is still grainy but clearly more useful for manual focusing.
My process is now:
Set camera to "LiveView" picture control, focus, set the camera back to your desired picture control and shoot.
The image below was shot with very modest ambient lighting.

Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
7065 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#1. "RE: Live view focusing in dark conditions" | In response to Reply # 0

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006
Fri 11-Jan-13 06:50 AM

Very cool! Thanks for sharing.

---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

Antero52

Vantaa, FI
2675 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#2. "RE: Live view focusing in dark conditions" | In response to Reply # 0

Antero52 Silver Member Awarded for his expertise in post-processing, being  consistently helpful and professional. Nikonian since 07th Jul 2009
Sun 13-Jan-13 01:48 PM | edited Sun 13-Jan-13 01:49 PM by Antero52

Sten

Thanks for the tip. I’ll try it as soon as I get my D800E back from service (probably shutter oil on the sensor or its protective filter).

I have a comment or question, though. While I’ve never used any of the picture controls in the D800E (because Adobe software do not honor them), I often try the near-equivalent settings in Lightroom or ACR. Yet I almost never settle on Vivid with my D800E photos, particularly for the reason that shows in your top photo. The contrast is fearsome and dynamic range very small. So it looks like that if you use Neutral or Portrait presets, you have a much better starting point than by using Vivid.

I may be mistaken, but as I said, I can’t test myself as long as my camera is in service.

Regards, Antero

stenrasmussen

Hundvåg, NO
447 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#3. "RE: Live view focusing in dark conditions" | In response to Reply # 2

stenrasmussen Registered since 19th May 2006
Mon 14-Jan-13 05:12 AM

Whether I use Vivid or some of the other picture controls (I have a Canon Vivid and Canon Neutral as well in my camera) depends on what my subjects are.
NEF's aren't affected by the picture controls set in the camera unless you use ViewNX or CaptureNX. For jpeg's the story is different of course.
For subtle transitions in the sky for instance I tend to stick with no or very moderate boost of contrast/clarity/sharpening in ACR as this has a nasty habit of creating banding.
Despite the D800's DR I often use selective contrast enhancements in order to avoid the banding issues.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Gromit44

UK
730 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#4. "RE: Live view focusing in dark conditions" | In response to Reply # 3

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Mon 14-Jan-13 11:44 AM

>For subtle transitions in the sky for instance I tend to stick
>with no or very moderate boost of contrast/clarity/sharpening
>in ACR as this has a nasty habit of creating banding.

Just to clarify, do you mean ACR creates banding in the JPEGs (not the NEFs)?

jamesvoortman

Durban, ZA
1468 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#5. "RE: Live view focusing in dark conditions" | In response to Reply # 0

jamesvoortman Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Sep 2004
Mon 14-Jan-13 03:25 PM

If you use View NX2 or Capture NX2 then no need to reset to "vivid" between focusing and shooting. Just apply the different picture control in software afterwards.

The in-camera editing options probably also allow you to this - I have not explored them yet.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit

SheriB

Southern York Co, US
1973 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#6. "RE: Live view focusing in dark conditions" | In response to Reply # 0

SheriB Gold Member Awarded for sharing her exceptional images and details of rural farm life. Nikonian since 11th Sep 2010
Mon 14-Jan-13 08:25 PM

I have also found that carrying a small flashlight to illuminate the subject for focusing to be a help.

Sheri Becker

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

stenrasmussen

Hundvåg, NO
447 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#7. "RE: Live view focusing in dark conditions" | In response to Reply # 4

stenrasmussen Registered since 19th May 2006
Tue 15-Jan-13 11:59 AM

>>For subtle transitions in the sky for instance I tend to
>stick
>>with no or very moderate boost of
>contrast/clarity/sharpening
>>in ACR as this has a nasty habit of creating banding.
>
>Just to clarify, do you mean ACR creates banding in the JPEGs
>(not the NEFs)?

Jpegs are only 8 bit so there is much less headroom for subtleities.
I meant NEF's. When aiming to preserve the smoothest transistion possible I avoid increasing said parametres overall. Instead I go for selective adjustments.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

G