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Thread: Nikon colors in D3

  1. #1
    Van
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    Nikon colors in D3

    I anticipate purchasing a D3 soon, waiting for the 70-200 and 24-70 to be available to collect at the same time. My background is in SLR's for 30 years. Recently in the Canon camp but frustrated by AF and IQ. I have really enjoyed reading your forum and recently joined. So, I would appreciate any comments.

    I find that the NEFs I had shot with a D300... the greens have a lot of yellow and blues a lot of cyan, why is that? Even the JPEGs are off. If I gather correctly, a lot of you also find this and need to compensate in saturation and WB. Why is this with Nikon sensors? Does Nikon intend for this to achieve better IQ as a whole? I did not have such a problem with Canon RAW files.

    Speaking of WB, I am amazed at the differences seen in various programs such as NX and LR with NEFs. I am assuming C1 is Capture One? Is that a different program to Capture Four?

    I am managing fine in LR with Canon RAWs but, find the NEFs are a different product to deal with. Is that the same you have found? I really like the IQ from the D3, so much so that I am jumping over and want to have the better program to work with.

    So, I would appreciate any suggestions as to which program to use. I have heard that NX is the one to use with the D3 files but, I had found NX so slow on my Mac G5 and that was with the smaller D300 NEFs.

    Whatever you can contribute would be appreciated. Much thanks. Van

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    Re: Nikon colors in D3

    Welcome.

    Can't talk to you about D300 colors, but may be a simple matter of fine-tuning.

    On NX. At moment, it is THE best program to processing NEFs, it just SUCKS in every way feasible in how it goes about doing it - slow, bad flow, etc. In my D1H, etc days my workflow was to convert from NEF to tif only in (what is now) NX and then port to CS3. The difference in NEFs processed between NX and CS, etc was startling.

    Download some D3 NEFs and try them in NX vs. LR, etc.

    I think as time goes by and more fashion pros return to Nikon (many having gone to Canon in years past) thanks to the D3, you'll see better handling of NEFs in 3rd party software. Until now I think more effort and resources were put into nailing the reverse-design of the CR2 file format.

    As of right now, the guys who developed the firmware and are down the hall (so to speak) from the sensor gurus at Nikon tend to have the best handle on how to wring info from the files.

    C1 tends top be is the universal term used for the latest version of Capture One (in this case 4)

  3. #3
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    Re: Nikon colors in D3

    HI Van - and welcome.
    You have, at least, come somewhere where you can discuss such issues without being shot to bits!

    I actually gave up using Nikon 3 years ago for just this reason - too much yellow in files - especially greens in nature.

    I came back to the D3 for a number of reasons, and immediately found the same problem.

    I had been using Auto White Balance (well, Olympus have it nailed for natural subjects). I think it was Rob who pointed out that it was much better to set the white balance to Daylight / Cloudy / Tungsten . . . or, indeed to do a custom white balance if that's appropriate - and then at least you have a set of files with consistent white balance, which you can easily deal with.

    It's been a revelation to me - the files look much better than allowing the camera to set the white balance - that nasty yellow cast you've noticed just disappears. Of course, as the white balance is consistent amongst different files, you can easily make batch changes.

    As far as NX is concerned, it might be the 'best thing' for Nikon files, but I'm not willing to deal with a workflow like that. I use Aperture, which seems to work nicely for the D3 files, Lightroom is a very similar product, and lots of people using it seem to like it with Nikon files.

    Just this guy you know

  4. #4
    Van
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    Re: Nikon colors in D3

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Van - and welcome.
    You have, at least, come somewhere where you can discuss such issues without being shot to bits!

    I actually gave up using Nikon 3 years ago for just this reason - too much yellow in files - especially greens in nature.

    I came back to the D3 for a number of reasons, and immediately found the same problem.

    I had been using Auto White Balance (well, Olympus have it nailed for natural subjects). I think it was Rob who pointed out that it was much better to set the white balance to Daylight / Cloudy / Tungsten . . . or, indeed to do a custom white balance if that's appropriate - and then at least you have a set of files with consistent white balance, which you can easily deal with.

    It's been a revelation to me - the files look much better than allowing the camera to set the white balance - that nasty yellow cast you've noticed just disappears. Of course, as the white balance is consistent amongst different files, you can easily make batch changes.

    As far as NX is concerned, it might be the 'best thing' for Nikon files, but I'm not willing to deal with a workflow like that. I use Aperture, which seems to work nicely for the D3 files, Lightroom is a very similar product, and lots of people using it seem to like it with Nikon files.

    You would think Nikon would have corrected for this yellow. What are they thinking, they surely know of it.

    You would think at the price of the D3 it would not be so much of an effect. WB will fix it, but my issue is that the problem affects the exposure on each shot, and it should not be such a problem in something as basic as daylite.

    Have you thought of WB bracketing to effectuate removing the yellowish?

    Has anyone ever tried it?

    If it is so simple to switch to daylite, tungsten, etc wouldn't the camera default to do this. I think dialing in the K temp in each would be the way to go. I only wish I had enough of the same light for all shots or time. I do not do any studio and some static family shots. Its too involved to manual set up for variations, simpler to later PP fix. But I do not like it when it negates the exposure or eliminates a stop because of the exposure.

    What about too much cyan, do you notice it on any photos?

    Thanxs...

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    Re: Nikon colors in D3

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    You would think Nikon would have corrected for this yellow. What are they thinking, they surely know of it.

    You would think at the price of the D3 it would not be so much of an effect. WB will fix it, but my issue is that the problem affects the exposure on each shot, and it should not be such a problem in something as basic as daylite.

    Have you thought of WB bracketing to effectuate removing the yellowish?

    Has anyone ever tried it?

    If it is so simple to switch to daylite, tungsten, etc wouldn't the camera default to do this. I think dialing in the K temp in each would be the way to go. I only wish I had enough of the same light for all shots or time. I do not do any studio and some static family shots. Its too involved to manual set up for variations, simpler to later PP fix. But I do not like it when it negates the exposure or eliminates a stop because of the exposure.

    What about too much cyan, do you notice it on any photos?

    Thanxs...
    Hi Van
    I think that it's all rather subjective, and that it's probably an undesirable side effect of the splendid skin tones. What's more, lots of people like the 'warm and saturated' look. I think that the extra cyan is part of the same issue (I actually find the default Canon colours pretty nasty too).

    I think that the real truth is that Auto White Balance is always going to be a bit of a lottery, and what makes it worse is that it will vary from shot to shot.

    I think there is a real argument to say that you are always going to be better doing a shoot with a 'fixed' white balance - rather like using a particular type of film stock - it becomes predictable, and of course, you can always choose a preset you like for different circumstances and store it in the camera. Leaving the camera to decide simply ensures that there is a big shot to shot variation.

    I've found that having decided to shoot 'daylight' in daylight I rather like the Nikon colours.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Nikon colors in D3

    Van, maybe an idea to show some examples of what you see ?
    Or maybe you should ask for some NEF files from other D300 owners and D3 owners ?

    The reason why I suggest this is that two years ago I personally started to believe that there are actually sample variations among cameras as well, as we know it's the case with lenses. Maybe I'm pretty much alone with that paranoia.

    Actually Jono had a thread about the same colour topic here, where I showed an image with some green in it, and I can send you that NEF file if you like:
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1362
    Also Ray shows some comparison files from D3 and M8 in the same thread.

    Welcome aboard
    Steen
    Last edited by Steen; 30th April 2008 at 00:02.

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    Re: Nikon colors in D3

    Hi There
    This thread might actually be more relevant to your problem:

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1523

    Just this guy you know

  8. #8
    diglloyd
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    Re: Nikon colors in D3

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post

    I am managing fine in LR with Canon RAWs but, find the NEFs are a different product to deal with. Is that the same you have found? I really like the IQ from the D3, so much so that I am jumping over and want to have the better program to work with.

    So, I would appreciate any suggestions as to which program to use. I have heard that NX is the one to use with the D3 files but, I had found NX so slow on my Mac G5 and that was with the smaller D300 NEFs.

    Whatever you can contribute would be appreciated. Much thanks. Van
    Most people make the mistake of leaving noise reduction turned on, which slows down Capture NX tremendously. Turn it off and you'll notice a big speedup.

    Regarding color, I haven't analyzed the accuracy, but I find the D3 renders the most pleasing images I've seen in a long time from any digital SLR.

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