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D800 and HDR post processing

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Fri 27-Apr-12 12:20 AM

I have been doing HDR for a couple of years with two D300 bodies and good Nikon glass...mostly a 24-70mm f2.8. I just received my new D800 yesterday, and immediately went into test mode shooting HDR. I use CS5 to merge 5-7 RAW frames shot at 1 EV increments. I mostly use Topaz plug-ins in addition to ACR after I complete the merge process.

When I started processing my D800 HDR frames, I noticed a loss of sharpness and details with each additional layer of Topaz tweaks (DeNoise, Adjust and Clean). I found that starting with Infocus helped, but I still feel like I am losing what I captured in the first place.

A professional photographer friend says he switched from Topaz to Nik plug-ins when he started using a medium format Pentax. He suggests that I do the same for my D800 work. He says Nik works better with the high pixel density.

Can any of you shed some light on this topic? I would really like to keep shooting HDR, but I also want to keep all of the sharpness and details the D800 provides.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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outdoors4me

US
246 posts

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#1. "RE: D800 and HDR post processing" | In response to Reply # 0

outdoors4me Registered since 16th Nov 2009
Thu 26-Apr-12 11:35 PM

If I ever get my D800 I'll let you know how Photomatix processes HDR.

Good luck,

Beck

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therrien

CA
14 posts

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#2. "RE: D800 and HDR post processing" | In response to Reply # 1

therrien Registered since 29th Mar 2012
Thu 26-Apr-12 11:57 PM

The D800 comes with the ability to shoot and produce HDR images in-camera albeit at a somewhat reduced resolution. That is, it will only do it as a jpeg; not raw.

RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
3373 posts

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#3. "RE: D800 and HDR post processing" | In response to Reply # 2

RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter Member
Fri 27-Apr-12 11:36 AM

Quote>The D800 comes with the ability to shoot and produce HDR
>images in-camera albeit at a somewhat reduced resolution. That
>is, it will only do it as a jpeg; not raw.<Quote<<<

I tried in-camera HDR and died.
The camera has to be mounted on a very sturdy TriPod.
A remote shutter helps.
The subject has to be absolutely stable.
Even a light breeze can mess it up.

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#4. "RE: D800 and HDR post processing" | In response to Reply # 1

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Fri 27-Apr-12 11:46 AM

Knowing how Photomatix works with D800 images is not my issue. The merging process with either CS5 or Photomatix works fine...actually seems faster than with smaller D300 images. The issue is using the plug-ins to "improve" the image after the merge. I typically merge 5-7 RAW files (not JPEG and not in-camera), then store the merged file as a TIFF so I can bring it back into Adobe Camera RAW 6.7 for processing. It is after I leave ACR and go into CS5 that I have the issue with Topaz plug-in modules.

My question is: should I expect better results with Nik plug-in modules than with Topaz for these D800 HDR images?

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

MotoMannequin

Livermore, CA, US
8582 posts

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#5. "RE: D800 and HDR post processing" | In response to Reply # 0

MotoMannequin Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Registered since 11th Jan 2006
Fri 27-Apr-12 07:33 PM

I'm not familiar with the Topaz tools but "DeNoise" and "Adjust and Clean" sound like noise reduction filters to me. I'd fully expect these to soften details & sharpness. Why are you running noise filters? Do you have visible noise?

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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www.tempered-light.com

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#6. "RE: D800 and HDR post processing" | In response to Reply # 5

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sun 29-Apr-12 08:04 PM

I run Denoise because my D800 HDR merge files contain some noise.

Clean is not a noise reduction tool.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

G