There has been a lot of discussion on the fact that D100 images aren't exactly "out of the box"; they require post-processing to look good. As someone moving up from a consumer camera (Olympus 3040) this has caused me considerable confusion and expense. I hope this post will incur comment to help me clarify what is going on, and perhaps help others not familiar with Nikon's thinking.
I returned my first D100 to Nikon. The pictures looked so poor I spent two days taking identical shots with the Olympus 3040 and the D100 both on default and auto and found the D100 suffered in the following repsects:
- colour balance and accuracy
- dynamic range (the 3040 handled high contrast subjects *much* better). The D100 images were so flat, dull and uninspiring they could make a bright August day seem like January in Glasgow.
I sent a CD of the comparison images to Nikon UK, and the SR agreed the D100 images were poor by comparison.
The camera was replaced under warranty. I found Nikon UK efficient and helpful. It is not clear to me that the replacement camera is different. It may be. I still find the images are flat and dull.
This is not an exposure issue. Increasing the exposure only worsens the camera's behaviour in high contrast situations. Increasing tone or sharpness in the camera produces harsh images in situations where the 3040 produces lively, vibrant images. I have not found an in-camera adjustment that results in images that look anything like the 3040 images (which in turn are closest to RL). My benchmark scenes are around my house and garden, and I only have to look away from my monitor and look at the street to compare image to reality. The 3040 wins.
So now, my conclusions, based on reading this site and others.
The dullness and flatness of the D100 images is a deliberate choice by Nikon to preserve the maximum visual information, avoiding loss of detail in highlights.
No in-camera adjustment will produce an image with the out-of-the-box vibrancy of a good consumer camera like the 3040. I have taken 1000's of images with 3040 under every condition, with lots of "found light" pictures at night in the streets, and it is f****** marvellous.
Simplistic post-processing of D100 JPEGS doesn't give good results. Playing with brightness, contrast or intensity to improve them makes them worse (e.g. genuine blacks are bloomed by brightening). No simple combination of these produces a picture as good as the out-of-the-box 3040 picture.
Playing with levels (Photoshop) or tone curves (Corel Photopaint - my favourite) *does* start to fix things. It is as if the dynamic range of colour values has been compressed (like Dolby) and downshifted into the dark end. Applying an appropriate tone curve starts to bring back all the highlights and life into the image.
The most frustrating thing is that the in-camera image viewed on the internal display looks fine - the dynamic range is there. It is the downloaded JPEG that looks like it has gone through a sludge filter. Why is this?????????
I know some of the dynamic range is lost in the 12-8 bit JPEG conversion, but JPEGS can be lovely, and Olympus doesn't have a problem with JPEG conversion.
I know many people are using NEF and ducking the issue. I don't need counselling on image processing (I work in this area). What I believe (and people like me need to know this) is that the D100 cannot produce out of the box images like a good consumer camera. It isn't a step up. It is a step sideways, offering higher image quality on the condition that each image is significantly post-processed. I am still adjusting to this understanding, as it is not what I had anticipated when I bought the camera.
I still don't understand what I don't understand; that is, why the 3040 works so well under conditions where the D100 doesn't.
Please treat this post kindly - I have spent a lot of hard-earned money, I am not stupid, and I really want to make the D100 work for me, as I have worked my Olympus into the ground and needed something better.
#1. "RE: Flat , Dull D100 Images" | In response to Reply # 0
I bought a Fuji S2 instead of a D100 because of its (arguably) better straight-out-of-the-box image quality. True, if you shoot EVERYTHING in RAW many reviews claim D100's images actually look very good but I use JPEG most of the time anyway.
I ain't a pro but I enjoy shooting. I prefer to spend more time on shooting rather than file conversion or Photoshop. I have had enough of adjusting images from my D1h.
PS I just bought a AFS Nikkor 28-70. With the central AF sensor chosen AF speed of this overpriced lens on D1h and S2 in rather poor light is almost identical. Cool.
#2. "RE: Flat , Dull D100 Images" | In response to Reply # 0DrMark Basic MemberFri 30-Aug-02 10:31 AM
>There has been a lot of discussion on the fact that D100
>images aren't exactly "out of the box"; they require
>post-processing to look good. As someone moving up from a
I took these pictures to show what a 24-85 f2.8-f4 lens can do, they are all in adobe98 not sRGB so check them out that way. ZERO post processing. What do you think, the other gallery with the flower does not have processing either.
#3. "RE: Flat , Dull D100 Images" | In response to Reply # 0
Indeed you are discussing an issue that has dogged the D100 since its release. Nikon has clearly chosen to deliberately underexpose the images on the D100, so that you can maintain highlight detail, or at least has made the Nikon View software import the images that way. I, too, have noticed that the display on the back shows a great exposure with all the detail, but that the imported image is low-contrast and dark.
I understand why they did it, and agree to a point, but I do think they went a bit to far in being conservative. Could it be that the camera is doing its job, but that the Nikon View software is deliberately toning down the image? I am about to buy the "Bibble" software (http://www.bibblelabs.com) to see if it does any better. When I shoot in RAW mode, and then pull the images in with Nikon View, the images are low-contrast (dull), but when I push them into Photoshop using the Nikon View Photoshop plug-in, the image springs to life, and becomes colorful and contrasty. It still may be a tad dark on some images, but a little Levels adjustment does the job.
I, as have many others, also found that the D100 deliberately underexposes flash pictures when using the SB-50DX or SB-80Dx by about one f/stop. It seems that using the pop-up flash on the camera provides a less underexposed picture. I can almost hear the discussion at Nikon, "We must give the amateurs a good exposure, so when the pop-up flash is used, we will expose more toward the highlights...but, when an external flash unit is on the camera, we must be working with a pro, so let's underexpose by one stop, so that he can get the best pictures. He can deal with it"
It seems to me that most people are handling this issue by deliberately overexposing the image. I generally leave my camera set to +0.3 EV compensation for exposure, and +0.7 EV for external flash. When I am using the pop-up speedlight flash, I leave the flash compensation set to +0.03 EV instead of +0.07. I have found that this helps. But, I try to stay out of extremely high contrast images anyway, since I have been shooting Provia slide film for years, and so have become sensitive to how easy it is to overexpose a slide. The D100 is slightly worse in this respect, thereby explaining your problem when in high-contrast situations.
The overexposure compensation seems to help the "problem" a good deal. Myself, I do not mind getting into Photoshop to adjust the image, since I know how. But, it really is frustrating to a lot of people when the image comes out low-contrast and darkish. The clue that it really IS making the proper exposure is in the fact that the little monitor shows all the detail. You could NOT see that detail if it was not there. You have to bring that detail back out with an image manipulation program.
This is not a "consumer" camera, so I suppose they are asking us to work a little harder to get a good image. It really is a good idea NOT to blow out the highlights in the image, since detail can never be recovered. But, if a bit of underexposure takes place, well, there is plenty of both shadow and highlight detail. So, I do agree with the slight apparent underexposure.
I find that, after I have made a bit of adjustment to the image, it is sharp, colorful, and contrasty.
Here is a comparison of the D100 with Provia slide film. These were shot in similar light. I prefer the color and contrast of the D100 over the Provia:
Hey, I just noticed something about these two images. They were both shot at approximately the same lens settings. Notice, though that the two buildings are the same size in both images, even though the +1.5 Field Of View (FOV) on the D100 image is smaller. This proves that the 1.5 FOV is NOT an image magnification, but merely a crop. Notice that the Provia image has a wider field of view, and the D100 image has a narrower field of view, but in both cases the subjects are the SAME SIZE! No magnification, just a narrower field of view.
Check out my incomplete D100 review: http://www.nikond.com/D100Review.htm
#11. "RE: Flat , Dull D100 Images" | In response to Reply # 3BJNicholls Charter MemberFri 30-Aug-02 09:38 PM
The building shots were most certainly not shot in similar light. The reflected sunset light on the brick building and the deep shadows show it to be very late afternoon. The other shot is clearly earlier in the day. If you want to do this kind of comparison, shoot the shots at the same time.
#12. "RE: Flat , Dull D100 Images" | In response to Reply # 11Fri 30-Aug-02 11:46 PM
These shots were taken on different days. The Provia shot was taken at about 7:30 PM, while the D100 shot was taken about an hour earlier.
I did not say they were taken in exactly the same light, only in "similar light" which is very true. Note that the building on the left is in "similar" light in both pictures. The building on the right just happens to be blocked by another building about an hour later in the day. I was more concerned in this thread with under and over exposure issues, and dropped this image in as a side point about the Field Of View differences in 35mm and the D100.
Sorry that it disturbed you. I will shoot a whole series of same time shots very soon, and post them in your honor!
#33. "RE: Flat , Dull D100 Images" | In response to Reply # 3
As a newcomer to the D100 ranks (after swapping my rarely used F-5 for one of these pretties a couple weeks ago) I have found your thoughtful posts accurate and very helpful. Especially after reading some of the plush reviews on this camera that fail to mention any of this underexposure business.
I find it surprising that someone in the professional ranks can't get a good read from Nikon to support our assumptions, or tell us what they have in mind to make this camera more usable for the shooter who does not want to have to post process, or even deal with NEF files. Seems to me they're leaving themselves vulnerable to Canon, or others by not being straight-up on these issues. Let them be mysterious with the $4000 + D-1 and leave us folk alone who just want to upgrade our Sony's, etc by using good glass.
Hopefully, in your unfinished review you'll share some of the hints and kinks you've discovered. Most of the reviews and e-books seem to be just an expanded version of the users manual, but without much help on how to best overcome the grimlins that can bite. A personal thanks for your contributions to this conference. They have been most helpful.
#34. "RE: Flat , Dull D100 Images" | In response to Reply # 3
I'm a novice, so please humor me. Something about your shots of the building and your conclusion that D100 simply crops the image bothers me. I've pinned it down to perspective. Those two shots have different perspective. They were shot from different distance? If the film plane is the same distance from the lens as a 35mm body, and, the "film" size is just smaller, that would not change the focal length, but it would crop the image as you said. But then there would be no reason to talk about focal length. Nikon could just say the angle of view is smaller (as they do with recent Nikkor lenses). As I understand it, though, they moved the film plane (either physically or optically) to compensate for the smaller "film" size. That would not crop of the image, but it would decrease the angle of view as would any longer focal length, other things being equal.
Back to your images. Any two images could be the same size if shot with different focal length lenses, if they were shot from carefully chosen distances. Of course, the perspective would be different. So Darryl, were you just messing with us?
#4. "For out-of-the-box JPEGS just the way you want them..." | In response to Reply # 0
...you might consider getting Nikon Capture 3, which allows you to download custom tone curves to your camera. Perhaps in this way you can achive the results you want from JPEG output without post-capture processing.
I also own both an Olympus C3040 and a Nikon D100, and have made the following observations:
The C3040 is very prone to blowing out highlights. I do a lot of garden photography at my home. If I don't underexpose by 0.3-0.7 EV anything remotely white or yellow is completely blown out, in any light--direct sun or thick overcast. Underexposing and then increasing gamma post-processing does the trick, opening shadows without destroying highlights. The D100, used under exactly the same conditions, appears to meter about the way I would use the C3040 in the garden, but without the abovementioned exposure compensation. That is, the D100 appears to underexpose about 0.3 EV to better hold highlight detail. In direct sun, I'll add -0.3 EV to the D100 to hold highlights. (This is in JPEG mode.) Then again I tweak gamma in post-capture processing to bring the image back into nice contrast. This can be automated in Photoshop if required. In my opinion, the D100 with +0.3 EV compensation set would be roughly equivalant to the C3040 at the metered exposure. In both cases, you get good overall tonal range, but the highlights are just irretrievably lost. You might want to experiment with D100 exposure compensation settings to place the JPEG histogram right where you want. If I were shooting snapshots, I might just dial in a little +EV on the D100 and let some highlights get bright, but for images destined for enlargement, I might actually dial in -EV to hold highlights and tweak in photoshop later.
Regarding color balance, the first thing you should do with any digital camera is turn off the AUTO mode. This mode is highly unpredictable, and rarely accurate. If you fire off three frames of the same subject, you'll get three different white-balance color temperatures. (Even very small changes in lighting are enough to make a significant change in the AUTO-determined WB setting.) For the D100, I find that a WB setting of SHADE+3 is pleasing and accurate (similar to daylight film balance) for outdoor shooting. (Alternatively, I find CLOUDY-3 an appropriate setting, but it seems a little too saturated in certain colors for garden photography.) A fixed WB setting will give you consistent color frame-to-frame. I usually set my C3040 to CLOUDY. These settings give a WB of approximately 6700K which is appropriate for very slightly warm images in daylight.
For color saturation, be careful in your assessment means. When shooting in mode II (Adobe RGB) images will look washed out and poor in NikonView 5.1, as this application does not appear to be Adobe color-aware. Images in Photoshop look beautifully saturated, with more color range than in the sRGB modes.
I hope you are able to resolve your issues with the D100. It is definitely different than a film camera, and requires a different approach to image capture. In addition, the D100 has a slight underexposure quirk that is reminiscent of many Canon SLR film bodies. As with a film camera, you have to shoot test shots of typical subjects, and decide upon what amount of expsoure compensation (if any) is required to expose images to your specifications.
#5. "Some Progress" | In response to Reply # 4Fri 30-Aug-02 04:46 PM
Firstly, thank you for the considerate replies so far. If it hadn't been for this list I think the camera might be winging its way back to Nikon.
I have made some progress, along the same lines as other people. It is a pity Nikon don't bother to spell it out, as it has taken me 5-6 hours of reading through dozens of posts, downloading etc to make this progress.
I obtained a 30-day evaluation copy of Nikon Capture 3, and indeed, it takes only minor tweeks to exposure and curves to produce stunning pictures. They are so much better than trying to tweek JPEGS back to some semblance of what I saw when I looked through the viewfinder. I am in the process of batch converting 90 images I took yesterday to see what happens. What fun ...
I have also uploaded a new tone curve to the camera. I haven't tried it yet, but I hope I can use it for non-critical "here's wot I did on me hols, mum" stuff. That might be the simple answer to getting reasonable, quick JPEGS that don't need the facilities of NASA's Image Processing Lab for further treatment.
I bought myself an SB80DX this afternoon, and I expect to undergo further chastisement in the form of trying to figure out when it is underexposing, what all the TTL metering options are, and all the usual stuff, but at least I have read the threads here and know roughly what to expect, and what to do about it.
I also took another deep breath (after shelling out for the flash unit) and bought a microdrive, having resigned myself to the inevitablity of RAW mode. I am a one-man consumer boom, courtesy of Nikon. This is good, techy stuff. Canon and Fuji haven't a chance - you just point and click with them, but Nikon .... nooooo .... it's a 3 month intensive just to take a picture of the cat.
Further comments still welcome, as I hope other naive fools (like me) don't have to spend so long covering this ground. Some kind of FAQ is needed, and I may even write one, as none of the web reviews I have seen really set an accurate expectation about the kind of image quality one can obtain from JPEGs straight from the camera.
#6. "RE: Some Progress" | In response to Reply # 5genec57 Basic MemberFri 30-Aug-02 05:06 PM
I think you are being a bit harsh to blame the learning curve on Nikon or the D100. As new digital convertee I have had to go through the same learning curve with my new D1X. It is a whole new world. I think that my options for artistic creativity have just greatly increased. Of course, as a direct result of the array of options offered we have to go through learning them.
I spent many hours with the Manual and every book ane review I could get my hands on. The result is worth every last minute spent studying. My advice is to do the homework, experiment with all the capabilities and options of your camera, and then go out and make the best images of your life.
Yes, RAW mode is the way to go if you have time for the buffer to empty. Otherwise, you should get a good result with JPG fine. This is more than a new camera body. It is a whole new methodology of capturing images. I have an excitement about photography that I haven't felt in years.
#8. "RE: Some Progress" | In response to Reply # 6Fri 30-Aug-02 06:26 PM
>I think you are being a bit harsh to blame the learning
>curve on Nikon or the D100. As new digital convertee I have
>had to go through the same learning curve with my new D1X.
>It is a whole new world. I think that my options for
>artistic creativity have just greatly increased. Of course,
>as a direct result of the array of options offered we have
>to go through learning them.
I am not hugely wealthy and the D100 was a lot of money for me. I thought I was buying better optics and a better sensor than I could obtain on the consumer cameras, plus the obvious advantages of an SLR. The initial disappointment was enormous. I had one of the first retail cameras in the UK (July 2nd) and there wasn't the user experience that there now is, so I had no obvious way to find out what was going on. Nikon UK were helpful, but not at the level of explaining the reasoning behind the image quality. Let's face it, even pre-loading a point-and-shoot tone curve into the spare tone slot would have been a thoughtful touch. So I don't think I am being harsh - my expectations were poorly set. It is worth pointing out that I have now read about a dozen detailed reviews, both online and in the photo press, and none indicated that a specific post-process was necessary (as opposed to optional) to extract usable pictures.
On a positive note, I am now extremely pleased with the result of batch processing my RAW (and JPEG) pictures with NC 3 - they are very, very pleasing. Summer now looks like summer. I don't feel like I am back in Glasgow again I wouldn't have gone down that road if it hadn't been for the time and trouble taken by various people on this list.
You are certainly correct about a new world opening up. I have about 60 CDs filled with images from the 3040, and the fun I have had with digital over the last 18 months has been enormous. The D100 is a great camera to use, and now that I have some idea on how to treat the images I feel a tremendous excitement.
#7. "RE: Some Progress" | In response to Reply # 5Fri 30-Aug-02 06:24 PM
I get a feeling of deja vu when I read comments of this type about the D100. When people who were used to the compact digitals first started to get their hands on the D1 the reactions were much the same. And I still remember my own reaction to my first round of D1 JPEGs: I thought I'd made a very expensive mistake....
Roger has given an excellent summary of the behaviour of the D100, but there's one other aspect that was often mentioned as a major factor in the comparatively 'flat' look of D1 JPEGs: the CCDs of these cameras are able to capture a wider dynamic range than those of the compact digitals, and the camera compresses the whole of this range into an 8-bit JPEG, so you don't see as much differentiation in the mid range as you would be used to. To get some of the 'punch' back you either need to allow highlights to burn out or modify the tone compensation curve to compress parts of the range (usually the highlights) while expanding others (the low and mid tones), hence your success with adjusting curves in NC3.
I'm a bit surprised by your apparent antipathy towards RAW mode, though, since it allows you to get the absolute best possible results from the camera and, if you choose to use software such as Bibble which is constantly evolving, you get to take advantage of advances in processing algorithms that can offer significant improvements in resolution and colour accuracy over what the camera can do internally.
It'll take a while for you to get a feel for how the camera behaves - personally I find it somewhat less tolerant of overexposure than my D1 - but once you do you should be able to get consistently good results that can be batch processed by NC3 or Bibble so you don't end up having to individually tweak each shot.
#9. "RE: Some Progress" | In response to Reply # 7entman Registered since 11th Aug 2002Fri 30-Aug-02 07:22 PM
I find this website entertaining. Since I bought my D100 I too feel excited by the challenge of learning something new. I found your comment about being ..."a one man consumer boom" quite funny. Just relax and feel good knowing you are not alone. digital dave
#13. "RE: Some Progress" | In response to Reply # 7Mon 02-Sep-02 02:02 AM
I just returned from my annual trip to the US Southwest ( this year Northern New Mexico) where I shot a few hundred shots with my new D100 and a hundred or so with my F100 (Velvia and Provia). I have not seen my slides yet ( of course!) and in this case have not seen much of the digital shots either as my "photo computer" crashed on boot up and will not load Windoz no matter whatI do to fix it. (Off the subject, but I think it is a hardware config problem but I don't know what it is and will have to take it to the shop after Labor Day where it will languish until I return from a business trip) In this case I will see the slides long before I can Photoshop my digital shots. Sorry for the digression, but it does make a point: digital is great but it can be problematic, too.
What I *have* seen on my older computer certainly backs up what Colin said in his first post. It has been my experience that most of the jpegs as well as the RAW exposures are " off" and must be processed before either viewing or printing. When they are " shopped" or worked in NC3, they are truly great. Sharp, bright colorful. In other words we have to just get used to the digital way of shooting and not look at the previews in the LCD as anything more than...well... a preview.
Lots of great advice on this thread. Thanks to those who have shared with us newbies in the world of the dslr.
#26. "RE: Some Progress" | In response to Reply # 5
Colin, I like you am attempting to keep Nikon in business, having bought vertical grips, flash guns and micro-drives to keep my D100 content and to help keep the slowing consumer boom going! Another item you might find useful is a Mindstor hard-drive (yes I know it is yet more money). It saves carting a lap-top around and with a firewire connection it means you can push images onto your computer at lightening speed. A second card is useful so one can be downloading while you merrily fill the other!
However I digress - what I wanted to know is where you got your trial copy of Capture 3 from? My D100 did not seem to come with this (unless I missed it in the excitement!!). I am toying with buying it, but want to make absolutely sure that it is worthwhile. Most of the images I am asked to supply are as JPEGs, so obviously the RAW format is not a possibility at the moment unless someone knows an easy way of converting them en-mass in Photoshop (Is this my inexperience showing through?)
I appreciate what you are saying about the post processing. This is my first foray into the world of digital, and I have to say that I really hit the ground with a bump when I took my first few pictures. However I am fast learning and your comments as well as the others posted here make fascinating reading. I feel I now can approach some of my commissions with a little more confidence - Thank you!
#28. "RE: Some Progress/NC3/Viewing 12 bit colour" | In response to Reply # 26Thu 05-Sep-02 05:29 AM
>However I digress - what I wanted to know is where you got
>your trial copy of Capture 3 from? My D100 did not seem to
>come with this (unless I missed it in the excitement!!). I
>am toying with buying it, but want to make absolutely sure
>that it is worthwhile. Most of the images I am asked to
>supply are as JPEGs, so obviously the RAW format is not a
>possibility at the moment unless someone knows an easy way
>of converting them en-mass in Photoshop (Is this my
>inexperience showing through?)
The link to NC 3 has been posted several times on various topic threads. I don't have it on me, but go to www.nikon.com, go to the US regional site, follow the D100 link, and it is under support or downloads or something obvious like that. I would have bought it there and then if there had been a WWW purchase option, but there wasn't. Some companies still have a lot to learn about digital. Bibble, on the other hand, have the full, must-have-it-now, impulse-buy interface fully implemented. As do most one-person-and-a-canine-assistant outfits who can't afford to watch sales evaporate.
I like NC 3. It doesn't do a whole lot, but what it does, it does well, and it is simple and obvious to use.
One thing that puzzles me a little is what to do about 12 bit NEF colours. It is great, intellectually, to think about all that increased colour and tonality, all those sublime extra shades etc, but how the f*** does one view them????? My video card and monitor does the full 24 bit RGB colour, but I don't think it can actually display more than that. Ditto for my Epson 1290 printer; in fact, I would be surprised if it could even display as large a gamut as the monitor.
Perhaps it is something to do with professional printing. Perhaps this deserves a separate thread.
#10. "RE: Flat , Dull D100 Images" | In response to Reply # 0
One man consumer boom?
Here is what I have spent so far myself!
$2195.00 USD for D100 Body
$ 358.98 USD for 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G EDIF Lens
$ 250.00 USD for Microdrive #1 (IBM one-gig)
$ 250.00 USD for Microdrive #2
$ 96.00 USD for two extra D100 Batteries ($48.00 each)
$ 20.00 USD for Microdrive PCMCIA Adaptor
$ 14.95 USD for a Hoya UV filter 67mm
$ 159.00 USD for Nikon SB-50DX Flash
$3343.93 USD Grand Total
But, I just am very thankful to have this little jewel! I just shot a wedding rehearsal with my F5 and D100 in a old dark church (built in the 1700s). This little camera rocks! It isn't quite as fast as my F5, but it works well. I never ran out of buffer, and I was shooting fast. I shot RAW mode all the way! I am also very suprised at how well the little SB-50DX external flash performed. I had the camera set to +0.03 EV, and the flash set to +0.07 EV. Here are some small images:
#21. "RE: Flat , Dull D100 Images" | In response to Reply # 0
>There has been a lot of discussion on the fact that D100
>images aren't exactly "out of the box"; they require
>post-processing to look good. As someone moving up from a
>consumer camera (Olympus 3040) this has caused me
>considerable confusion and expense. I hope this post will
>incur comment to help me clarify what is going on, and
>perhaps help others not familiar with Nikon's thinking.
I didn't know what to think when I first looked at my images on my computer screen.
I also thought the same actually, as I was comparing them to images shot with my D1H.
A couple of things to consider,
the standard setting on the D100 monitor brightness compared to my D1H is extremelly bright. When I first took both of them out, I thought, wow, the monitor seems much brighter and better than my D1H. That is, until you import the images and look at them on a CRT. You quickly notice that even though they look much brighter and better exposed, they're not.
Images from both my Nikon DSLRs look very similiar, apart from the fact that the H does have slightly better colour pre-sets standard.
I don't know how many of you guys actually bother using your camera meter with digital SLR's. My practice is to use it to get the a rough idea of the first shot, and then simply use my histogram to judge what the exposure is doing. Working this way gives me images that are as good looking as anything I've seen straight out of a digital camera, (viewed in photoshop). But, I do admit that they aren't as sharp as I'd like them to be (compared to my D1H). I do have to fix the keepers by unsharp masking the lighting channel of Lab mode before reconverting to RGB.
My intention with this camera was to use it as a backup for the sports I cover for publication. I've been so pleasantly surprised by it's focus ability (my specialty is ringsports...Boxing, Kickboxing, and martial arts etc), that I now use it for about 30 of the images, and leave it ringside attached to a longer tele.
I've found it to be great in general, though, I have to admit I was a little concerned at first until I got all my settings sorted.
For the price I highly recommend it to everyone.
#29. "RE: Flat , Dull D100 Images" | In response to Reply # 21n0exp Registered since 07th Sep 2002Sun 08-Sep-02 03:17 AM
I guess for some reason I dont see the " Dull lifeless " images from my D100. given proper light I get great shots.
I bought my camera 2 weeks ago and have 2500 shots taken already. Today I followed the train museums trip froom Duluth to Two Harbors along Lake Superiors North shore. I got countless shots which are have great color saturation, sharpness and contrast. using color III and cloudy +2. ( Read that setup in Moose Petersens article)
I have ver 1.01 , I wonder if that makes a difference ? Thought the new version was to fix WB problem when bracketing.
Anyway My 2 cents worth
#31. "RE: Flat , Dull D100 Images" | In response to Reply # 30Sun 08-Sep-02 11:35 AM
Press the monitor button to playback an image, then press the multi-selector to the right three times to get the first shooting information page: that has the firmware version on it. Unless your camera was a very early one (like mine) you'll have 1.01.
Incidentally, I asked Nikon UK about this issue and they insisted that the only change in the 1.01 firmware was to correct the WB bracketing, and that if you didn't use the feature then there was no compelling reason to have your camera updated.
#35. "Happy Camper" | In response to Reply # 0
I took about 400 pictures yesterday, and I feel very happy with the camera now. I took some very fine photos (for me), but I can't send them for various reasons. I have attached a couple of fun ones, both taken with the el-cheapo 70-300 mm lens. The bubbles were at 300mm handheld. Both are highly compressed and have been very mildly tweaked in NC 3.
I tried Bibble, but found it slow and jerky and I think I'll buy NC 3 unless some compelling reason not to is presented. In Nikon fashion, I haven't a clue how to buy it here in the UK, and if it hadn't been for the US site I wouldn't have been able to download the trial version.
The SB80DX flash is great. I've never used a flash of this quality before. Indoor shots with bounce from the ceiling were perfectly coloured and evenly lit. Bloody expensive, but worth the money.
I downloaded a tone curve into the camera to give instant JPEGs, and it works a treat. The way I did it was to take a picture from outside my study window, then sat and tweaked the picture in NC 3 while looking out the window. When the tonality, saturation etc looked right, I uploaded the curve to the camera. Neat.
Paradoxically, now that I have done it, I feel all insecure about highlights and have been using the default tone curve, for the reasons discussed in this thread (and others). At least I know *I can* get lively, quick-and-dirty photos out of the camera, and no longer feel oppressed by Nikon's high-minded attitude about how I should receive my images For casual snaps it makes sense - I don't feel like processing a gigs worth of images when none of them are especially great, but collectively they are memories.
So thanks for all the feedback/images etc - very useful to me, and I hope to others.
Best wishes to all,
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#14. "RE: Happy Camper" | In response to Reply # 35Mon 02-Sep-02 09:35 AM
>In Nikon fashion, I haven't a clue how to buy it here in the
>UK, and if it hadn't been for the US site I wouldn't have
>been able to download the trial version.
You should be able to get NC3 from the dealer that sold you the camera, but the demand is high and you may have quite a wait - I've been waiting 4 weeks now and the demo version has just expired on me...
Glad to hear you've been able to sort the dull image problems with a custom curve - and I wouldn't have thought this would loose too much highlight detail if what you've done is to compress the upper end of the range a bit.
#15. "RE: Happy Camper" | In response to Reply # 14SzennyBoy Registered since 28th Jan 2002Mon 02-Sep-02 02:54 PM
Alan, where is the download site for the trial version of NC3? I've tried Bibble and DigitalPro and so far DigitalPro seems to be more user friendly. I wouldn't mind trying NC3 before deciding on what to stick to...
Szen ARPS... A London Nikonian
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
"d100 unaltered image"glasseye Registered since 12th Jul 2002Wed 16-Jan-08 12:07 PM
I too have been playing the "Thats not what I shot" game, But I just assume everything is a snapshot until I get a well composed shot, Then I photoshop it for printing. Here is one shot yesterday no altering except size and crop. No sharpening..Harry
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#20. "RE: d100 unaltered image" | In response to Reply # 19glasseye Registered since 12th Jul 2002Tue 03-Sep-02 11:57 AM
Sorry, d-100,jpeg-fine/ 28-70/2.8 at f22 speed unrecorded about 1/4 to 1/2 second, no noise reduction,auto white bal, still looking for the right settings. I have been stumped by the not so sharp pics? I cannot find a focus point on my shots..I used a tripod and composed and used the self timer.I have another post about these focus concerns.Am I doing something wrong,this is my first autofocus camera.I am set for center focus,hold button half way,aim at subject,recompose and shoot.But what happens with the self timer mode? does focus stay at initial focus point. Thanks All, Harry
#22. "RE: d100 unaltered image" | In response to Reply # 20Tue 03-Sep-02 02:06 PM
Don't feel alone. You are not. The D100 is a good camera, I am convined of that, but it is not a point and shoot right out of the box. That is, if you want the best the camera can offer. For point and shoot type shooting, I just use jpeg, large, auto wb, tone normal and high sharpening. Up to 8x10, that is OK. For the best it can do, in my experience, you are going to have to shoot RAW, no sharpening, and adjust the wb as you shoot according to the wb situation ( some people use a " cloudy -3 " setting, but I am not sure what they mean by that except perhaps wb at cloudy and a -3 on the exposure compensation. Then every picture will have to be processed in NC3, or in my case, Photoshop Elements. If your exposure was good, and focus accurate, the RAW " negative" can produce some really stunning photos. BUT! It is not the same as shooting a good slide of Velvia and saying WOW! when you get it processed.
Nikon apparently made a basic decision about how they wanted this camera to operate. That has become rather controversial because they do not tell you that in the literature, etc. A bit of a shock for a lot us. But, as I have said, once you accept the premise, you can make some good pictures. Or, you can send it back to Nikon and wait for another model...or go to the Kwanon D60 which , frankly, is a heck of a lot easier to use right out of the box. For those of us who are Nikon committed with other cameras and many lenses, however, that is not a choice.
My course: strap on the learning curve and be very careful about what I buy in the future.
#23. "RE: d100 unaltered image" | In response to Reply # 22Tue 03-Sep-02 02:12 PM
I'm sorry, Harry. I forgot about your focus question. I do a lot of landscape work and rarely us the autofocus for those pictures. I find autofocus then to be more trouble than it is worth. For everything else, though, I leave it on.
By the way, this applies to my other film based cameras, too.
#24. "RE: d100 unaltered image" | In response to Reply # 22w4npx Registered since 10th Aug 2002Wed 04-Sep-02 02:21 AM
Bob, I believe that you are referring to shooting with WB set to Cloudy, which will give you a warmer picture. Then you can add a +3 or a -3 to the WB to go a little warmer or cooler than the Cloudy setting gives you. The +3 or -3 refer to mired WB numbers (covered in the D100 Manual) and are accessed by going to the Shooting Menu, to White Balance, Cloudy and then clicking the right arrow and you will see a box where you can increase or decrease the numbers from the default zero using the menu control button on the camera.
All said and done, I cannot understand why Nikon cannot fix the JPEG sharpness problem. The image data is certainly there. While I love the camera, I notice immediately that my local store has them sitting on the shelf whereas the D 60 has a large backorder. I considered the D 60, but found it lacked in trigger focus speed over the Nikon.
My D 100 Shoots great in RAW, but a lot of people, particularly the high end consumer market that Nikon must have been hoping to reach with the D 100 are sure going to be turned off when they take their first JPEG. I hope that Nikon can address the problem.
#25. "RE: d100 unaltered image" | In response to Reply # 24Wed 04-Sep-02 05:55 AM
Thank you very much for the explantion of the wb "numbers". It is just one of those things I missed although I have changed the wb setting frequently. Thanks again.
As for the other comments you made, you are absolutely correct. Just an antecdote, I know, but today I was in my store picking up some rolls of processed slide film when somebody called in wanting to get a D60. The salesman told him that the list for those was over thirty cameras long and was getting longer as Canon could not meet the demand. The salesman suggested a D100 if the customer did not already have a big investment in canon lenses. The store,he said, could get D100's much quicker. The customer said no having not heard good things about the D100. From what you are saying, that story is typical.
Like you, I do not understand the jpeg "problem" either. Perhaps it makes sense from a design view, but it certainly creates a marketing problem.
#36. "RE: Happy Camper" | In response to Reply # 14
I spent some time yesterday (20 minutes) developing a custome curve to use when photographing people with the D100 and SB80. I took several shots of my daughter with on camera flash, connected it to the computer and used Nikon Capture Control to load one of them as the sample picture. I adjusted the curves until I liked what I saw and uploaded the custom curve to the camera.
I took some test shots this morning using the standard curve and the custome curve to get ready to take Christmas Card pictures of the kids. Attached are the results. It should be obvious which is which! I have to say I am very pleased with the ability to do this.
The photos are right out of the camera. They were taken with th 24-120mm with an 812 Tiffen, D-TTL (not balanced fill flash) Program Mode, Matrix Metering SB-80DX off camera with an SB-50DX set up as a slave.
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