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  1. #51
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    1,205
    There is not a doubt in my mind that nikon Capture is the best program for nef files shot with a nikon camera. At first I was set on RSP2006 because the work flow was so fast and intuitive, but after bearing the pain of the slow speed of NC4 (even with my lightning fast computer) I started to see a huge difference in quality of picture, contrast and curves, detail, colour, sharpness, and much more. The ability to make changes on the computer as if you had made them on the camera before you took the shot is awesome. The only element that you cannot change after the pic is already taken is ISO. NC4 connects driectly with Nikon cameras in regards to settings on the camera and other programs don't offer this as well as giving the best results. The engineers that make the camera have made the software to work hand in hand and give the best results- and this is why I use NC4.

    Side note:

    For all of you that subscribe to Outdoor Photographer check the March 2006 issue and go to page 74 where there is an article on a new tool in CS2 which makes it possible to gain considerably more tonal range in your raw images. to put it in laymans terms:

    Process:

    use a tripod take 5-10 pictures with different exposure settings. Make sure you do not move the tripod or camera, and avoid windy days if shooting objects in close range.

    In CS2
    File > Automate > Merge to HDR

    From the popup box you can import the 5-10 pictures and check mark the ones that you want to merge into a final photo. As you check mark the photos the prieview changes so you get an idea which photos work the best. Once you have chosen the pics you can tweak the final image exposure and Gamma, Highlight compression, Equalize histogram, and Local Adaption as well as Curves ect. Click the ok button and voi la (sp).

    So I do use CS2 after I have processed my RAW files to my liking.

    Hope this info helps you.

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    1,068
    Quote Originally Posted by Esoterra
    There is not a doubt in my mind that nikon Capture is the best program for nef files shot with a nikon camera
    All camera manufacturers have an obvious and vested interest in selling software for their cameras, so it's not strange that--by certain measures--the proprietary programs should produce the best results. But it's all relative. Some photographers whose work I admire swear by Olympus Studio for developing Oly RAW files, due to what they see as the most loyal rendition of Olympus color. Studio adds some value also by interacting directly with distortion correction and vignetting correction functions built into the firmware of Zuiko lenses, so you can automatically defish the 8mm fisheye by using Studio, for example.

    But I think any color differences between Studio (or its retarded sybling, Master) and Silkypix is minimal. IMO, Silkypix produces superb color, and it too features built-in distortion and CA correction functions, as well as a speed and workflow that puts poor Master to shame and probably outstrips Studio as well (I haven't used Studio, so I'm just going by hearsay). Overall, it's got a host of other features that make it a bargain in my mind.

    What I'm trying to say is, while each camera manufacturer should have an insider's ability to produce the best imaging software for its respective camera, they may not actually produce the best package. I personally only use Olympus Master on those rare occasions I need a control to see what an out-of-camera jpeg might have looked like. For everything else, it's Silkypix, and rarely, RSP.
    "...and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."
    Green Gables: A Contemplative Companion to Fujino Township

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Monterey Bay
    Posts
    6,029
    Quote Originally Posted by Esoterra
    Side note:

    For all of you that subscribe to Outdoor Photographer check the March 2006 issue and go to page 74 where there is an article on a new tool in CS2 which makes it possible to gain considerably more tonal range in your raw images. to put it in laymans terms:

    Process:

    use a tripod take 5-10 pictures with different exposure settings. Make sure you do not move the tripod or camera, and avoid windy days if shooting objects in close range.

    In CS2
    File > Automate > Merge to HDR

    From the popup box you can import the 5-10 pictures and check mark the ones that you want to merge into a final photo. As you check mark the photos the prieview changes so you get an idea which photos work the best. Once you have chosen the pics you can tweak the final image exposure and Gamma, Highlight compression, Equalize histogram, and Local Adaption as well as Curves ect. Click the ok button and voi la (sp).

    So I do use CS2 after I have processed my RAW files to my liking.

    Hope this info helps you.
    I think the D2X and D200 can do this in-camera as well.

    Second side note: You can approximate dynamic range expansion using the NC4 D-Lighting tool in high quality mode to bring detail out of shadows while maintaining the background contrast (not always though).

    D-Lighting is very cool when you forget to use fill flash as well...

    In this sample the fence was not visible in the original:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    D7000, D70, CP990, CP900, FE.
    50mm f/1.8, Sigma 18-125, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, Nikon 18-105 VR, Nikon 55-200 VR, Nikon 43-86 f/3.5 AiS, Vivitar 28-90 F/2.8-3.5 Macro, Vivitar 75-205 F/3.8-4.8, SB800.
    Ha! See, I can change...


    http://d70fan.smugmug.com/

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,225
    Quote Originally Posted by George Riehm
    I think the D2X and D200 can do this in-camera as well.

    Second side note: You can approximate dynamic range expansion using the NC4 D-Lighting tool in high quality mode to bring detail out of shadows while maintaining the background contrast (not always though).

    D-Lighting is very cool when you forget to use fill flash as well...

    In this sample the fence was not visible in the original:
    George, I suppose you could do something like Esoterra was suggesting in camera, but I suspect photoshops layering tools are significantly more sophisticated.

    The D200 has two modes, image overlay and multiple exposure. With image overlay, the user can select gain between .1 and 2, 1 = as shot, .5 is half, and both images can be adjusted for gain.

    Multiple exposure mode can capture up to 10 exposures, and gain can be set to either auto, or no gain. In auto, gain will be 1/# of exposures for each exposure. With none, no gain is applied. Unfortunately, it would seem very useful if you could use the bracketing tool for a shot like this, but bracketing is disabled during multiple exposure. Therefore, the user would have to set up the under and over exposures individually for each shot of the multi-exposure, and has no control over gain other than understanding exactly what you will get.

    I haven't actually tried this yet, but I suspect you will just get an average of all the shots, muddied up by the fact that the world doesn't hold still.

    I'm sure there are some very creative people that can make good use of multiple exposure, but I don't think it will extend dynamic range. Now bracketing a set of 9 different exposure (or three, or five), and layering them in photoshop or PSP, and using the layers to get the best from each, would be a useful ability, but any camera can do this. Maybe not at 5 frames / second, but they can do it.

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    1,068
    Quote Originally Posted by erichlund
    George, I suppose you could do something like Esoterra was suggesting in camera, but I suspect photoshops layering tools are significantly more sophisticated.

    The D200 has two modes, image overlay and multiple exposure. With image overlay, the user can select gain between .1 and 2, 1 = as shot, .5 is half, and both images can be adjusted for gain.
    I'm guessing that more and more of the high-end digital cameras will come to have similar features, either alone or in concert with their proprietary RAW developers, as a measure to deal with wide dynamic range. Exposure blending is still fairly esoteric, especially if you use one of the labor-intensive methods of layers and painting, but things are getting much simpler, both with built-in functions like HRD in CS2 (which remains too expensive for me), and with stand-alone programs like Photomatix, as I illustrated in another thread just yesterday. In any event it's an exciting technique, since it allows us to access a much wider range of zones than straight RAW processing permits.
    "...and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."
    Green Gables: A Contemplative Companion to Fujino Township

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Monterey Bay
    Posts
    6,029
    Quote Originally Posted by erichlund
    George, I suppose you could do something like Esoterra was suggesting in camera, but I suspect photoshops layering tools are significantly more sophisticated.

    The D200 has two modes, image overlay and multiple exposure. With image overlay, the user can select gain between .1 and 2, 1 = as shot, .5 is half, and both images can be adjusted for gain.

    Multiple exposure mode can capture up to 10 exposures, and gain can be set to either auto, or no gain. In auto, gain will be 1/# of exposures for each exposure. With none, no gain is applied. Unfortunately, it would seem very useful if you could use the bracketing tool for a shot like this, but bracketing is disabled during multiple exposure. Therefore, the user would have to set up the under and over exposures individually for each shot of the multi-exposure, and has no control over gain other than understanding exactly what you will get.

    I haven't actually tried this yet, but I suspect you will just get an average of all the shots, muddied up by the fact that the world doesn't hold still.

    I'm sure there are some very creative people that can make good use of multiple exposure, but I don't think it will extend dynamic range. Now bracketing a set of 9 different exposure (or three, or five), and layering them in photoshop or PSP, and using the layers to get the best from each, would be a useful ability, but any camera can do this. Maybe not at 5 frames / second, but they can do it.
    Maybe I don't understand auto exposure bracketing. Since my camera will only shoot 3 frames in this mode it was never of much interest, as I can usually shoot...check blinking areas/histogram...erase...and reshoot in less than 5 seconds, and I don't have to go through 150 frames to get 50 good images. Or even easier, I can make minor adjustments in NC4.

    It would seem to me that shooting the same scene at -2EV to +2EV in 1/2 EV steps (in 1.8 seconds) would cover a wider dynamic range when combined in PS, without substantial movement blurr, than say -1/2EV to +1/2EV in 1 second. The result should be about the same as physically changing shutter speeds (in 1/2 stop increments) for 8 frames. My experience is that a stop, is a stop.

    I'm pretty sure that the reason for the 9 image exposure bracketing (vs. say 3 or 4) would be exactly for this purpose, as again I can't immagine sorting through 160 images to get 20 keepers.

    Again, I may not fully understand how this works, or why you would want that many frames bracketed if not for dynamic range extension.
    Last edited by D70FAN; 03-22-2006 at 10:39 AM.
    D7000, D70, CP990, CP900, FE.
    50mm f/1.8, Sigma 18-125, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, Nikon 18-105 VR, Nikon 55-200 VR, Nikon 43-86 f/3.5 AiS, Vivitar 28-90 F/2.8-3.5 Macro, Vivitar 75-205 F/3.8-4.8, SB800.
    Ha! See, I can change...


    http://d70fan.smugmug.com/

  7. #57
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Crapville, Australia
    Posts
    5,148
    Obviously this is a static subject conversation.
    Christian Wright; Dip Phot
    EOS 5D Mark III | EOS 600D | EOS-1V HS
    L: 14/2.8 II | 24/1.4 II | 35/1.4 | 50/1.2 | 85/1.2 II | 135/2 | 180/3.5 Macro | 200/2.8 II | 400/2.8 IS | 16-35/2.8 II | 24-105/4 IS | 70-200/2.8 IS II | 100-400/4.5-5.6 IS
    580EX II | EF 12 II | EF 25 II

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    163
    Quote Originally Posted by George Riehm
    I think the D2X and D200 can do this in-camera as well.

    Second side note: You can approximate dynamic range expansion using the NC4 D-Lighting tool in high quality mode to bring detail out of shadows while maintaining the background contrast (not always though).

    D-Lighting is very cool when you forget to use fill flash as well...

    In this sample the fence was not visible in the original:
    Nice photo George, nice colors...
    Bullitt

    Nikon D200
    Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 Macro
    www.betterphoto.com/?darrell

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    1,068
    Quote Originally Posted by Bullitt
    Nice photo George, nice colors...
    I agree, nice tonal range throughout there.
    "...and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."
    Green Gables: A Contemplative Companion to Fujino Township

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    163
    Can I do better than this photo with RAW if I purchase the Nikon Capture program, and, can I not even view a RAW file without the program?
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Bullitt

    Nikon D200
    Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 Macro
    www.betterphoto.com/?darrell

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