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Thread: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

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    D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Hi,

    I wanted to share the Color Calibration settings that I use in Adobe Camera Raw. I know Jono and others have had a hard time dealing with the extra Yellow in landscapes that seems to be the default with the Nikon profiles. A while back I calibrated my D3 (I have calibration for the D300 as well if anyone is interested) and colors have improved dramatically from the Adobe defaults. I get much more natural blues, reds and greens now. Since the profiling was done against my specific D3 it may or may not work effectively for others but it's certainly worth trying. If you do try I'd be interested to know if things turned out better or worse for you.

    Below I've posted 2 sets of examples, the first is a quick and dirty landscape showing various shades of green and some red from a brick wall. The second set shows an indoor portrait shot showing the difference in skin tones and blues.

    Ok, first the default landscape (no calibration):

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Ok, now for the calibrated landscape shot:

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Now for the portrait. By the way, this is an ISO 10000 shot so it shows a bit of noise.

    First the non calibrated version:

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Ok, and finally the calibrated portrait shot. Note the subtle improvements in the skin tone which brings out the reds a bit. Also it's hard to tell here but the blue chair is improved a bit as well.

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    I see it more in the bottom right Greg the green grass and the red wall. In the calibrated it is a little less yellow and more natural in the grass for sure . The bush I know it is there just harder to see because so much going on with leaves
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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    It is hard to tell but i do see more red in the cheeks.

    Also the D300 has some yellow issues as well. Your calibration would most likely help D300 shooters as well
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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Ok, here are the calibration settings I use. You set these under the Camera Calibration tab in ACR.

    Shadows: 0

    Red Hue: -2
    Red Saturation: +13

    Green Hue: +18
    Green Saturation: +9

    Blue Hue: -1
    Blue Saturation: -18

    Let me know if this works for you.

    Thanks,

    Greg

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Folks you can also use these in LR and save as a preset too. There exactly the same raw processing engine ACR and LR
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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Greg nice work and the forum thanks you for posting this and taking the time to do it.
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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Greg nice work and the forum thanks you for posting this and taking the time to do it.
    No problem Guy, give me a couple of minutes and I'll post another thread with D300 settings...

    Greg

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    hi Greg
    one thing's for sure; the colour on the iPhone isn't that great (I can't tell one from the other!)
    I use Aperture, but I'll give it a go tomorrow. Still, I think my problem, which is an overwhelming yellow cast in greens in late evening light, is probably not quite the same thing. I actually like the skin tones (I think the M8 tends to make everyone look slightly inebriated)
    Anyway. Many thanks for starting the thread; I'm sure this one will run and run!

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Just another note here folks be it D3 or D3o0 settings if you save them as a preset in LR when you import your raws you can set the preset to the images as they come in. So it is already tagged with the corrections. Makes life very easy like this.
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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    How do I save these settings so that each time I open up a D3 image the settings are applied. Thank You

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    I'm having a hard time telling much of a difference on the shots. I think I will take the presets and try and apply them to one of my shots and have another look.

    Disregard...thought I was still on the D300 calibration thread.
    Last edited by Terry; 20th April 2008 at 20:07.

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    I am wondering if these settings would be lens dependent. I tried them with some images I shot with my D3 and a Zeiss 85. The reds look over saturated but I know the Zeiss tends to be very contrasty. I have to try with an image shot with 28-70.

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Interesting post - now all people have to think about is whether their monitor and printer is profiled/calibrated in exactly the same way....as the poster...

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    HI There
    Back at a proper monitor - thanks again for starting this thread, much better than suffering the slings and arrows of outraged fanboys on dpreview!

    First of all, I think that your landscape conversion is okay - but that sort of scene never really created the problem anyway, it's evening sunlight that really screws things. I'm not even certain that you've improved the grass, I think you may simply have made it too blue (this is all rather subjective).

    As far as the skin tones are concerned, I think the Nikon skin tones are pretty good, and although the little pink you've introduced might be grand on a 15 year old, it's a catastrophe on an old geezer who's been drinking a bit. This really isn't me sphere of 'expertise' though, and I'll bow to your better judgement

    So, although interesting, I don't think this addresses what I see as the real problem with the Nikon RAW files - which is that the yellow cast changes with the light - which means that you really cannot do a preset which sorts it properly. This is not the case with either Leica (pretty good) and Olympus (excellent).

    in the next post I'm going to show the kind of picture which really causes me grief - it was taken about an hour before sunset.

    Just as a taster, here is the same scene taken a couple of days earlier with the Leica - the sky is different, but the lighting was actually very similar.

    To me this shows an obvious warm evening glow, but without any sign of a yellow 'tint'



    Next post I'll look at ACR

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Okay
    Now then,

    First of all here is the shot with the D3, using ACR with the standard presets:



    Note here that you can tell it's evening light, but it's nasty and vulgar

    Here is the shot using Greg's settings:



    It IS an improvement, but I don't think it goes anywhere towards correcting the problem.

    Next post is Aperture.
    Last edited by jonoslack; 21st April 2008 at 03:31. Reason: spelling

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Right - I use Aperture, which nowadays has very similar colour controls to ACR.

    Here is the picture with the basic Aperture settings



    Here it is with Greg's modifications



    Finally here it as as I felt it should be:



    Quite a difference - this was achieved by altering the white balance and the tint plus the green and blue sat and hue.

    It's closer to accurate, but it's lost the delicate glow that evening light can give, and which the Olympus and Leica simply give you every time.

    one thing I HAVE found with the D3 is that altering the AWB setting to B1-M1 seems to help a bit.

    Right whaddyathink?
    Last edited by jonoslack; 21st April 2008 at 03:31. Reason: adding a bit

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    I can see a difference between the first shot and all the others.I think though that the first shot has the benefit of a darker sky in top right with the clouds and more shadows lower left as the shooting pposition is different to all the others posted - how much difference would this make to perception about colour and kelvin? hmm I dont know..but I see a definit contrast difference between first and all others as well..

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Hi Jono,

    Those clouds in the Leica photo are going to give the scene more blue light so part of the difference in this example has to do with that. It would be very interesting to see comparisons under the same lighting but I suspect you're right that there is a difference in the sensors. Just guessing but perhaps the Nikon sensors are more sensitive to red or less sensitive to blue.

    You may already know this, but regarding Aperture 2, have you tried using the the selective color editing? Rather than being stuck with the default color hues, you can now use the color picker in the Color Adjustments pane to point at the color you want to adjust and tweak the hue, saturation, and luminance. I've found this makes it really easy to control the look of things since you can make quite subtle adjustments with this technique.

    If you don't mind sending me the RAW for your photo I'd like to see if I can tweak it a bit via Aperture.

    Check out http://www.mediafire.com for free hosting where you can post RAW files for others to download. It's much nicer than yousendit since your files don't have download limits and stick around as long as you want them to.

    Thanks,

    Greg

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    For those that want to really see what is going on shoot a Greytag Color card and compare. Which i may do with the D300 , this will help see the changes made
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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    For those that want to really see what is going on shoot a Greytag Color card and compare. Which i may do with the D300 , this will help see the changes made
    HI Guy
    that really misses the point - of course, when shooting a colour card you must first do a white balance, and make sure the lighting is even. The point about this issue is that the lighting around sunset is very mixed - you could of course do a grey card, but then you don't have any evening light!

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    HI Greg

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Seitz View Post
    Hi Jono,

    Those clouds in the Leica photo are going to give the scene more blue light so part of the difference in this example has to do with that. It would be very interesting to see comparisons under the same lighting but I suspect you're right that there is a difference in the sensors. Just guessing but perhaps the Nikon sensors are more sensitive to red or less sensitive to blue.
    Hi Greg - actually, I don't think those clouds have much of an effect - they are all behind the scene, and the sky above was blue - but I agree, it'd be interesting to do a comparison in the same light - I'll see what can be done!

    What I have noticed with the D3 is that the white balance is all over the place in quite consistent lighting (I went out today in slightly overcast conditions, and the WB ranged between 4200 and 6000 - the Leica would have been much more consistently around 5000. The problem's really seem to start when there is greenery AND sky involved.

    I've been here before with the D2x, and like all of us, I'm a wiser bunny these days! Increasingly I'm thinking that it's something to do with the WB (which is, incidentally, picked up identically in ACR and Aperture).

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Seitz View Post
    You may already know this, but regarding Aperture 2, have you tried using the the selective color editing? Rather than being stuck with the default color hues, you can now use the color picker in the Color Adjustments pane to point at the color you want to adjust and tweak the hue, saturation, and luminance. I've found this makes it really easy to control the look of things since you can make quite subtle adjustments with this technique.
    Yes - it's great, but I don't want to be tweaking colours on 200 photos every time I go out for a day (it never was neccesary with the M8, nor with the Olympus cameras, but it WAS necessary with the D200 and D2x).

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Seitz View Post
    If you don't mind sending me the RAW for your photo I'd like to see if I can tweak it a bit via Aperture.
    I can tweak it - the problem is not whether one can 'make it right' or not (right, after all is pretty subjective), the problem is that it's obviously wrong in the first place, and that I'm absolutely certain there is not a consistent way of dealing with it.

    It may be that it becomes necessary to abandon AWB (that's my next step), which isn't a problem, but it's a bother.

    I don't really want to get into a competition about how to process one single file, when I know that whatever one comes up with it won't be compatible with other files (which are often right in the first place). If you really want a go I can post it for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Seitz View Post
    Check out http://www.mediafire.com for free hosting where you can post RAW files for others to download. It's much nicer than yousendit since your files don't have download limits and stick around as long as you want them to.

    Thanks,

    Greg
    I can host files okay if necessary. Good tip though.

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I can see a difference between the first shot and all the others.I think though that the first shot has the benefit of a darker sky in top right with the clouds and more shadows lower left as the shooting pposition is different to all the others posted - how much difference would this make to perception about colour and kelvin? hmm I dont know..but I see a definit contrast difference between first and all others as well..
    HI Peter
    As I said to Greg - the first shot was only shown as an indication that it's possible to get good colour 'out of the box'. In fact, the building is almost entirely lit by a strong slanting sun, the sky above was mainly blue in both cases - the clouds are all behind the scene as it were, and I don't think they contributed very much.

    But you weren't supposed to be comparing the first with the others, but the others with each other!

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Jono:

    When I shoot scenics I will tend to put the camera (DMR, M8) on daylight and deal with it in processing of the RAW files. This gives you a starting point as if you were shooting slide film and the AWB is not adjusting out all that nice warm evening light.

    Robert

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Greg


    Yes - it's great, but I don't want to be tweaking colours on 200 photos every time I go out for a day (it never was neccesary with the M8, nor with the Olympus cameras, but it WAS necessary with the D200 and D2x).



    I can tweak it - the problem is not whether one can 'make it right' or not (right, after all is pretty subjective), the problem is that it's obviously wrong in the first place, and that I'm absolutely certain there is not a consistent way of dealing with it.
    No problem, I was thinking you were consistently seeing the same shift so once you got things to your liking you could apply the same settings. Since you're seeing wildly shifting auto white balance I agree a single approach won't solve the problem for you until you get consistent white balance.

    This time of year, we don't get too many days with clear blue sky especially in the morning when we usually go hiking. I'm usually roaming around the woods so most my shots don't involve lots of sky in them so for me I haven't really noticed much of a problem. For my own amusement I'd love to have your file to play around with - I promise not to post the results so no chance of it turning into a competition!

    Greg

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Jono:

    When I shoot scenics I will tend to put the camera (DMR, M8) on daylight and deal with it in processing of the RAW files. This gives you a starting point as if you were shooting slide film and the AWB is not adjusting out all that nice warm evening light.

    Robert
    HI Robert
    Thank you - I've done that with the M8 (we all know why). The E1 and E3 seem to grab it well.
    I do completely agree with you though, I'm going to try doing that next time I go out and see how I get on.

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Seitz View Post
    No problem, I was thinking you were consistently seeing the same shift so once you got things to your liking you could apply the same settings. Since you're seeing wildly shifting auto white balance I agree a single approach won't solve the problem for you until you get consistent white balance.

    This time of year, we don't get too many days with clear blue sky especially in the morning when we usually go hiking. I'm usually roaming around the woods so most my shots don't involve lots of sky in them so for me I haven't really noticed much of a problem. For my own amusement I'd love to have your file to play around with - I promise not to post the results so no chance of it turning into a competition!

    Greg
    Hi Greg - I tend to agree that it's better in the woods, it's also better in 'ordinary' light.

    I think Rob's suggestion is probably the best answer.

    You can certainly have the raw file (and you're most welcome to post the results as well). Maybe a competition WOULD be fun! I just didn't want this to seem like 'how to make this file look right', I can do that (not that it's that great a picture, just a good example).

    It's up on my website - Click on downloads at the top, then right click on the picture and choose 'download linked file' (it's a bit clunky but it should work okay).

    Everybody can have a play

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Thanks Jono, downloading it now.

    Greg

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    I see Jono - yes well..I have never 'trusted' the WB settings in any camera LOL my workflow is always adjust the raw fil on calibrated screen and printer set-up to taste..I treat teh staring raw file as a sarting raw file..if you get my drift..

    however regarding these shots posted- I agree - but have noted same issue with Canon as well...interestingly an R lens on Canon body somewhat cools images down straight out of the camera

    also have not noticed this caste with Zeiss on the D3 - however havent shot late afternoon slanting light yet..

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ...Right whaddyathink?
    Mainly red cast IMHO. I would try red saturation -20 or -30.

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Guy
    that really misses the point - of course, when shooting a colour card you must first do a white balance, and make sure the lighting is even. The point about this issue is that the lighting around sunset is very mixed - you could of course do a grey card, but then you don't have any evening light!
    Well that is part of the issue is at sunset the light temp changes dramatically . So really hard to judge what is right or wrong. What you are really trying to do is get the calibration correct on the camera first . If you tend to lean red let's say than it will show in any light be it morning or afternoon. Now if you adjust to normal light and the camera has the correct reds , greens and blues than it should fall in line better at lower light times. The issue is also AWB you honestly don't know what it is doing either at any given time of the day. Now if you do take a color chart at noon say and even WB it you still will show that the card is reading to red. This really is a camera software calibration more than anything else. I think you need to get this starting point down first so the camera software is acting in the correct way otherwise you will always fight this over red issue in anything you do. I am just using red as a example here but really what you are doing here is correcting any color shift properly with regards to camera and software. You must have some starting point that you know is working between the two.

    Than when you are shooting that excessive amount of red is not there when you bring it in to your software. Than from there you can cool the image down or warm it up to taste. But really this is camera calibration to your software
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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well that is part of the issue is at sunset the light temp changes dramatically . So really hard to judge what is right or wrong. What you are really trying to do is get the calibration correct on the camera first . If you tend to lean red let's say than it will show in any light be it morning or afternoon. Now if you adjust to normal light and the camera has the correct reds , greens and blues than it should fall in line better at lower light times. The issue is also AWB you honestly don't know what it is doing either at any given time of the day. Now if you do take a color chart at noon say and even WB it you still will show that the card is reading to red. This really is a camera software calibration more than anything else. I think you need to get this starting point down first so the camera software is acting in the correct way otherwise you will always fight this over red issue in anything you do. I am just using red as a example here but really what you are doing here is correcting any color shift properly with regards to camera and software. You must have some starting point that you know is working between the two.

    Than when you are shooting that excessive amount of red is not there when you bring it in to your software. Than from there you can cool the image down or warm it up to taste. But really this is camera calibration to your software
    Thank you Guy - I realise I've been foolish with this issue. The reason is that the Olympus really does this well, and with the Leica I always set a manual white balance (which means that you can make batch changes). I've ALWAYS had trouble with Nikon and evening light, so I've assumed it ain't me.

    Of course I've been leaving the Nikon on AWB (sometimes it does it so well). The right way forward is to stop using AWB (I've already done that and things are looking up). As you point out, by using AWB you have a different starting point for every shot, and especially with the kind of landscapes I do with contrast and variable amounts of sky - silly me!

    I think it's really unlikely that I'll be able to set a profile with an adjustment to the red/blue/whatever which works across the board - and of course, in mixed lighting there isn't such a thing as a 'correct' white balance. However, I KNOW what colour I WANT, so by getting the camera to use the same white balance from shot to shot I should be able to at least understand what's going on.

    So, my first step is to stop using AWB, then to look again and see what I'm getting. It's looking up for this evening, and I'll report back on my findings.

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    He Everybody and thank you.
    My problem is sorted - I was so used to shooting AWB with the Olympus E3 (and E1 before it) and getting excellent results, and as most of my Nikon stuff had a yellow cast to it, I just assumed it was something else.

    I've spent 2 days shooting with Daylight / Cloudy / Tungsten as per the conditions, and I'm now completely happy - Rob has it - keep it manual and then tweak as required later on. Yellow cast is substantially gone.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    He Everybody and thank you.
    My problem is sorted - I was so used to shooting AWB with the Olympus E3 (and E1 before it) and getting excellent results, and as most of my Nikon stuff had a yellow cast to it, I just assumed it was something else.

    I've spent 2 days shooting with Daylight / Cloudy / Tungsten as per the conditions, and I'm now completely happy - Rob has it - keep it manual and then tweak as required later on. Yellow cast is substantially gone.
    good stuff Jono!

    Congrats on getting it sorted out

    Woody

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    Re: D3 Color Calibration settings in ACR

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    good stuff Jono!

    Congrats on getting it sorted out

    Woody
    Hi Woody, it's dreadful how one can get stuck in a rut with a problem, and once you start to look at it the wrong way . . .



    No Tweaking

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