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Thread: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

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    A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Hi there
    I'm trying to catch up with last years photos.
    Here are a few picks from last May.
    Mostly shot with the Nikon D3.

    It's been interesting revisiting them for the website. The file quality is wonderful, but I still have trouble with the colour for the landscape shots.

    May 2008 with a Nikon D3

    There are a few shots with either an Olympus E3, or a Leica M8 (exif should be intact).

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Lots of beautiful shots, Jono. Ambience and lighting and ambience and lighting and ambience and lighting, lots of it

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    Thumbs up Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Wonderful close-ups and macros, Jono
    Browsing your galleries is allways a pleasure and a treat for the eyes (and mind).
    Mmm, I didn't spot the M8 though

    Thanks for sharing.
    Bart ...

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi there

    ...Mostly shot with the Nikon D3.

    The file quality is wonderful, but I still have trouble with the colour for the landscape shots...
    Jono

    Your comment above surprises me. Just curious in what way are you having trouble with the D3 color for landscapes? I certainly was not seeing any issues on the link you posted.

    Thanks

    Rob

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Lots of beautiful shots, Jono. Ambience and lighting and ambience and lighting and ambience and lighting, lots of it
    Hi Jorgen
    Thank you - I'm flattered. In the absence of people, one has to go for ambience . . . . the question is whether it's worth the effort.
    Personally, I feel that a pretty girl on a pink moped is worth a hundred landscapes . . . it's just that there aren't many around here
    So I have to settle for the boring old ambience

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by Knorp View Post
    Wonderful close-ups and macros, Jono
    Browsing your galleries is allways a pleasure and a treat for the eyes (and mind).
    Mmm, I didn't spot the M8 though

    Thanks for sharing.
    Hi Bart
    Thank you.
    Weren't there any M8 shots? sometimes one has to beat oneself up a bit, just now it's being used a lot (the M8 that is).

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by routlaw View Post
    Jono

    Your comment above surprises me. Just curious in what way are you having trouble with the D3 color for landscapes? I certainly was not seeing any issues on the link you posted.

    Thanks

    Rob
    Hi Rob
    I think it's because Nikon are very careful to organise their colour for skin tones. The result of this is that I've had continual difficulty with landscape in the early morning and evening (too much yellow is usually the problem). Abandoning AutoWhiteBalance and settling for Daylight did help, but still I was always fiddling about with the colour and being dissatisfied.
    Both the A900 and the M8 produce colour which is 'satisfactory' (i.e. I accept it, or even like it). I've sold 3 sets of Nikon gear on the basis that I was unsatisfied with the colour . . . and then bought back in again . . . and then been dissatisfied again. I won't do it again.

    The reason you can't see a problem with the shots I've posted . . .is that the shots I had a problem with I haven't posted!


    . . . . of course, it's my opinion, and I'm a silly old man.

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    I found that using Capture NX with the Landscape Picture settings does a really decent job with natural colour. In particular, I hate yellow-ish greens that many cameras produce but the landscape colour curves from Nikon create nice 'blue-ish' greens that I see every day. Much more semi-velvia in look.

    Just a thought ...

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Jorgen
    Thank you - I'm flattered. In the absence of people, one has to go for ambience . . . . the question is whether it's worth the effort.
    Personally, I feel that a pretty girl on a pink moped is worth a hundred landscapes . . . it's just that there aren't many around here
    So I have to settle for the boring old ambience
    I can list 101 advantages of landscapes over pretty girls on pink mopeds. At least 100 of them used to be on the inside of my wallet

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Funny, I gravitate to Nikon color. Canon was to pastel for me, and the M8 is too difficult with skin tones (neon reds in lower light.) But, I shoot mostly people ... when and if I shoot "landscapes" there are people as the main subject ... or if no people are present, I shoot them with a MF camera (film and digital.)

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    I find that the Nikon color is very similar to DMR color. Yes there is a yellowish bias in the greens which has to be corrected for. (When you get it right apply as a preset) You also get the most natural skin tones in the 35mm world IMO.

    Correct color is a serious issue and no one does it correctly across the entire color spectrum. If you shoot mostly landscape and little portraiture then perhaps the A900 is the better choice for you. If you do 50/50 I would opt for the D3 or D700 as the camera of choice. JMHO and YMMV

    Woody

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Curious as to how people have noticed any change in color using Nikon with non-Nikon (e.g. CV, ZF or Leica via the leitax option) glass?

    When I started shooting Canon, I of course used L glass. Who the hell wanted to fart around with adapters, manual focus and stop-down metering? The result (I won't talk about fine detail resolution and QC) was iffy skin tones, yellowy greens and the infamous Canon over-the-top reds. Any differences (color onlY0 between the various bodies was minimal. This color tendency re: reds, greens and some over-saturation is something I've also I've noted when testing some of the new G zooms on a D300 and D700.

    On a lark one day I picked up a CZ lens (28/2.8 IIRC) and a cheap adapter , slapped it on my Canon body at the time and the first pic resulted in a "WTF?". Blew me away how much difference the glass and coatings (and possibly the electronic interface to the camera and any resulting hidden firmware image tweaks in raw?) made to image color - regardless of the body used (1D2, 1Ds, 5D, 30D, 1DS2).

    Since then the Leica, CV SL (90 & 180 APO) and Mamiya APO glass I use almost exclusively tends to deliver those "as remembered" colors (allowing for variations between the three lens makes and their coatings). PP time is now all but minimal.
    Last edited by robmac; 3rd March 2009 at 08:07.

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post

    I think it's because Nikon are very careful to organise their colour for skin tones. The result of this is that I've had continual difficulty with landscape in the early morning and evening (too much yellow is usually the problem). Abandoning AutoWhiteBalance and settling for Daylight did help, but still I was always fiddling about with the colour and being dissatisfied.
    Both the A900 and the M8 produce colour which is 'satisfactory' (i.e. I accept it, or even like it). I've sold 3 sets of Nikon gear on the basis that I was unsatisfied with the colour . . . and then bought back in again . . . and then been dissatisfied again. I won't do it again.
    Jono

    A couple of thoughts regarding Nikon color especially D3 images, which hopefully will be helpful. Will try and make this brief as possible for now but can elaborate later if required or needed.

    You did not say which converter you use for your D3, which will make a difference though at least in my experience nothing that is insurmountable. There are those who claim only NX or NX2 will give reliable and decent conversions for their Nikon cameras, I am not one of those and prefer instead the LR/ACR conversions.

    For what ever reason NX sees color differently from other software, or perhaps it could be said the other way around ACR/LR et al see color differently than NX. Regardless, when using a custom WB via the custom WB pre-sets color accuracy will increase substantially. So if you are using lets say the daylight pre-set for your landscapes while using ACR for your conversions and given that ACR sees color differently than NX/NX2, then most assuredly you are not getting an accurate let alone the best initial conversion possible. With auto WB it could be anywhere and most likely worse still. Curiously ACR/LR and perhaps all of the other converters as well disregard Nikon in camera settings regarding color, contrast etc except one, that being the "custom" pre-set WB. You can store up to four of these custom pre-sets permanently and a 5th setting that is ever changing as needed.

    I use a Whilbal gray card to set daylight color (in order to simulate a roll of daylight film, say around mid morning) for a given batch of lenses like the newer nano crystal coated ones and will have other stored pre-sets for some older lenses like my 80-200 F2.8 which does render color differently than the newer glass. As a rule I don't bother to implement a custom WB for other times of day, otherwise you might kill some juicy sunset colors, and yet another reason to be cautious about using Auto WB. Hope this makes sense. Likewise I do the same for my in studio settings and lighting for a given setup. By now I have photographed hundreds of paintings, which really do require accurate color, using this method with excellent results and only minor tweaks in PP. In any case I don't find Nikons to have a predilection toward flesh tones, vs landscape color or any other situation. Its all a matter of how one goes about their custom white balances, IMHO.

    Hope this helps.

    Rob

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Jono

    Forgot, since we are on the subject of landscapes here is a sample done with my previous description, using the D3, Cambo Ultima and Rodenstock 105 mm digital lens with a 9 frame stitch. I felt this was very representative color of the scene, with just some minor tweaks in the sky. Incidentally I also shot about 4-5 sheets of 4x5 Velvia film of the same scene but tossed them once back from the lab. They just did not hold up to the digital file, which ended up at 150 mb.

    Rob
    Last edited by routlaw; 7th February 2010 at 13:04.

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Very nice

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Bart
    Thank you.
    Weren't there any M8 shots? sometimes one has to beat oneself up a bit, just now it's being used a lot (the M8 that is).
    Wonder what I was looking at
    After revisiting your gallery I counted at least 18 M8 shots
    Makes this thread also qualify for the Leica forum ...

    All the best.
    Last edited by Knorp; 3rd March 2009 at 10:59. Reason: typo
    Bart ...

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Very nice
    Many thanks!

    Rob

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Beautiful landscape and colours, Rob.

    Obviously, Jono has to buy his fourth portion of Nikon gear as a backup for his fancy Sony. The D3X is a rather satisfying little camera, or at least, that's what I've heard. It slots nicely in between the A900 and the Leica S2

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Jono, Rob....Killer...love it
    Mike

    website under construction

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi there
    I'm trying to catch up with last years photos.
    Here are a few picks from last May.
    Mostly shot with the Nikon D3.

    It's been interesting revisiting them for the website. The file quality is wonderful, but I still have trouble with the colour for the landscape shots.

    May 2008 with a Nikon D3

    There are a few shots with either an Olympus E3, or a Leica M8 (exif should be intact).
    Spring & sunshine, its only a distant memory now, some lovely compositions and light Jono, enjoyed looking at your images!

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Rob
    I think it's because Nikon are very careful to organise their colour for skin tones. The result of this is that I've had continual difficulty with landscape in the early morning and evening (too much yellow is usually the problem). Abandoning AutoWhiteBalance and settling for Daylight did help, but still I was always fiddling about with the colour and being dissatisfied.

    . . . . of course, it's my opinion, and I'm a silly old man.
    .
    I have news for you Jono, you're not a crazy old man! Nikon never got their skin tones right either that's why I never kept any of my of Nikons in the past, including the D3 which I owned for a very brief period. Too much yellow is an issue with skin tones too...

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Beautiful landscape and colours, Rob.
    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    Jono, Rob....Killer...love it
    Jorgen, Mike thanks for the comments much appreciated!

    Rob

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    I found that using Capture NX with the Landscape Picture settings does a really decent job with natural colour. In particular, I hate yellow-ish greens that many cameras produce but the landscape colour curves from Nikon create nice 'blue-ish' greens that I see every day. Much more semi-velvia in look.

    Just a thought ...
    HI Graham
    It's evening and morning - I tried a whole load of different processors, and it never seemed to get it right. Whereas, with the A900, I don't even think about it.
    Could be just me though

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Hi Rob
    Quote Originally Posted by routlaw View Post
    Jono

    A couple of thoughts regarding Nikon color especially D3 images, which hopefully will be helpful. Will try and make this brief as possible for now but can elaborate later if required or needed.

    You did not say which converter you use for your D3, which will make a difference though at least in my experience nothing that is insurmountable. There are those who claim only NX or NX2 will give reliable and decent conversions for their Nikon cameras, I am not one of those and prefer instead the LR/ACR conversions.
    Well, I no longer have my D3, but I tried Lightroom, Aperture, NX, Bibble. In each case I could make some kind of preset which would sort some pictures.

    But I don't want to be applying presets to each picture to change the colour!

    Quote Originally Posted by routlaw View Post

    I use a Whilbal gray card to set daylight color (in order to simulate a roll of daylight film, say around mid morning) for a given batch of lenses like the newer nano crystal coated ones and will have other stored pre-sets for some older lenses like my 80-200 F2.8 which does render color differently than the newer glass. As a rule I don't bother to implement a custom WB for other times of day, otherwise you might kill some juicy sunset colors, and yet another reason to be cautious about using Auto WB. Hope this makes sense. Likewise I do the same for my in studio settings and lighting for a given setup. By now I have photographed hundreds of paintings, which really do require accurate color, using this method with excellent results and only minor tweaks in PP. In any case I don't find Nikons to have a predilection toward flesh tones, vs landscape color or any other situation. Its all a matter of how one goes about their custom white balances, IMHO.

    Hope this helps.

    Rob
    Nice of you, but not really! There has been quite a lot of discussion around here about landscape and WB in the past. For me, I want to set ONE white balance, and then use it for all outdoor work (except for very rare circumstances). That way I'm using the camera like a film type - I'm familiar with what I'm going to get (of course I can change it later if I want to).
    On that basis I want to be able to have a WB which (as you say) mimics daylight film, and then provides good colour for sunrise and sunset (AWB is obviously a nonsense, who wants to make white's white in the evening!). Changing it for different lenses isn't helpful as I may forget to change it back, and anyway I'd rather get to know the different lens characteristics.

    With the D3 (and all the other Nikons I've owned). If you got a decent daylight setting (whether it was the cameras setting or with a grey card), then sunsets always had a disgusting yellow cast on them.

    With the A900 - I simply leave it on daylight, and it produces lovely subtle gradients in the morning and the evening.

    As for your landscape - it's lovely Rob, but I simply don't believe in those colours - especially the sky - I've never seen sky that colour (although I've often made it that colour in my landscapes - and I still think the grass is too yellow. Now - that's fine, because I'm not after accuracy (as of course one is when photographing product and paintings for instance). I do want it to 'feel real' though, and I want subtlety too, and that's where I felt (and STILL feel) that Nikon really doesn't provide it.

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I can list 101 advantages of landscapes over pretty girls on pink mopeds. At least 100 of them used to be on the inside of my wallet

    But you don't have a wife who's trying to persuade you to do the countryside on a horse (and of course, one then needs a box). I suspect it may be even more expensive than pretty girls on pink mopeds!

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Funny, I gravitate to Nikon color. Canon was to pastel for me, and the M8 is too difficult with skin tones (neon reds in lower light.) But, I shoot mostly people ... when and if I shoot "landscapes" there are people as the main subject ... or if no people are present, I shoot them with a MF camera (film and digital.)
    Well, I think it's very much a matter of taste.
    Rob's lovely landscape rather proves the point, in that colour in nature is never going to be accurate - even if you fix a white balance, do you fix it on the light or the shade?
    I quite agree with you about the M8 for skin tones (I think there's still IR leakage, even with filters). For landscape though I do like the M8 colour . . . the Sony colour feels to me to have real subtlety - which was always lacking from the Nikon files (of course, this is my opinion).

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    I have news for you Jono, you're not a crazy old man! Nikon never got their skin tones right either that's why I never kept any of my of Nikons in the past, including the D3 which I owned for a very brief period. Too much yellow is an issue with skin tones too...
    HI David
    Thank you - I'm afraid it only means I'm not a crazy old man about Nikon colour though
    I don't often take pictures of people (we live in the middle of nowhere), when I do, I usually convert them to black and white anyway, so I hadn't noticed the 'yellow problem' there.

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Anyway, Jono - lovely Nikon series, in spite of everything

    David and Jono, did you ever try creating your own customized Picture Controls and Curves to your Nikon camera using Picture Control in Capture NX ?

    With Capture NX Picture Control you can
    - create and save your own customized Picture Controls and Curves (or load and store prefabricated ones)
    - export them to your memory card and install them in your camera
    - and then select the appropriate Picture Control in your camera on the fly








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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Hi Steen
    I did (although never with a cow's bum!).
    My trouble was always that, if I got it right for normal daylight, then sunsets had a nasty yellow cast.
    Basically there wasn't a 'one size fits all' way of getting it right, and I like to keep the camera as 'neutral' as possible.
    Once you had that yellow cast in a sunset, it was ruined - there seemed to be nothing you could do by changing the wb or anything else in lightroom, photoshop or aperture which would make it look right.

    Why faff around with difficult colour . . . when you can have it right straight out of the box?
    Incidentally, it isn't just Sony that get it right, Olympus have really good colour as well.

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  30. #30
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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    Anyway, Jono - lovely Nikon series, in spite of everything

    David and Jono, did you ever try creating your own customized Picture Controls and Curves to your Nikon camera using Picture Control in Capture NX ?

    With Capture NX Picture Control you can
    - create and save your own customized Picture Controls and Curves (or load and store prefabricated ones)
    - export them to your memory card and install them in your camera
    - and then select the appropriate Picture Control in your camera on the fly
    I shoot manual lenses 99% of the time and I kill for D3's finder. I did try a lot of different settings but in the end, its still the same. You know its like fish, it might good for you and all that but if you don't like it, you'll never enjoy eating it and no matter how its cooked, its still fish. That's the problem here. Its about the skin toneS and not just skin tone. If you look at live caucasian skin you see transparent and milky white with patches of pink and red in different intensities and tonalities. Shoot with a Nikon or at the least the D70/D2x/D300/D3 that I tried make the skin very homogeneous and wash over all the nuances, specially the D70 and the D2x were the worst. Now try the same with a Fuji, Kodak or Leica and you'll find all those shades and tones there, that's without getting into Nikon's yellowish tint .

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    Senior Member routlaw's Avatar
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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Rob

    Well, I no longer have my D3, but I tried Lightroom, Aperture, NX, Bibble. In each case I could make some kind of preset which would sort some pictures.

    But I don't want to be applying presets to each picture to change the colour!

    ...For me, I want to set ONE white balance, and then use it for all outdoor work (except for very rare circumstances). That way I'm using the camera like a film type - I'm familiar with what I'm going to get (of course I can change it later if I want to)....

    With the D3 (and all the other Nikons I've owned). If you got a decent daylight setting (whether it was the cameras setting or with a grey card), then sunsets always had a disgusting yellow cast on them.

    With the A900 - I simply leave it on daylight, and it produces lovely subtle gradients in the morning and the evening.

    As for your landscape - it's lovely Rob, but I simply don't believe in those colours - especially the sky - I've never seen sky that colour (although I've often made it that colour in my landscapes - and I still think the grass is too yellow. Now - that's fine, because I'm not after accuracy (as of course one is when photographing product and paintings for instance). I do want it to 'feel real' though, and I want subtlety too, and that's where I felt (and STILL feel) that Nikon really doesn't provide it.
    Jono

    I think you might have misunderstood me regarding WB and presets (or it might be I am misunderstanding your reply ), though since you don't own the D3 any longer its only an academic discussion at this point.

    I did not mean to set or have presets in your converter this is something that is done in the camera through custom presets. But its all a moot point now. I agree however with your notion of one white balanced setting which mimics daylight film, exactly the way I approach things too (except for accounting for different lenses). Understand color from Rodenstock is way different than Nikon glass.

    All that said I just don't get the odd yellow cast, sunsets or otherwise you mention with my D3 or any Nikon I have owned given my workflow. I also set the D3 to neutral color and the lowest contrast which perhaps accounts for some of the differences we get. As for the grass in the photo I can't say with absolute certainty this is an exact match down to the last point of color but can assure you here in Montana during and just after the monsoon season grass is this color, very very vivid (with a brighter yellow component) on a wet year from lots of winter snow & spring rain which describes our condition last June when this was made.

    Likewise we really do get very deep blue skies here in the northern rockies (as does parts of the southwest as well), that is when we are not inundated with wildfires which usually is the situation for our summers in recent years. A day later this image would have been impossible due to the smoke from California wildfires last summer. Yes they really do travel that far. A polarizer was used which creates a somewhat fictional sky, but oddly enough my 4x5 sheets of velvia produced even more fictional color, as the sky on the film had a much redder tint. I find most converters regardless of WB tend to produce skies which are too cyanish in tint especially Aperture.

    In any case it sounds as though you are happy with the results from the A900 and thats a good thing. So congrats on finding a solution to your color problems.

    Rob

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Steen
    Why faff around with difficult colour . . . when you can have it right straight out of the box?
    Incidentally, it isn't just Sony that get it right, Olympus have really good colour as well.
    Hi Jono, 'Amen' to that, it was precisely the white balance issue that caused me to get rid of the D300. It wasn't that you couldn't get it right - you could with a lot of fiddling but then it wouldn't be right for something else. Frankly, I couldn't be bothered with all of the hassle when there are other makes which can get it almost always right OOC. Dissapointing that the D3 exhibits similar issues.

    Ironically, I went to Focus 2009 (big UK photo show) and came back having got hands on a D90, D700 and A900. Mentioning to my wife that I was perhaps considering the D700 she burst out with "Oh no! Don't tell me we are going to have to go through all that Nikon 'green' business again. Just buy the Sony for goodness sake!"

    Just goes to show...

    Jim

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    Re: A touch of Spring Sunshine with the D3 (mostly)

    Really do not know what you folks are talking about.

    I shoot with a D3/D700, a brace of A900s AND a Leica M8 all in the same varying lighting environments at very close to the same time. I don't know what the heck you are talking about in terms of color rendition.

    Also shoot all three cameras in controlled reliabily repeatable light which would show up any color shift tendencies inherent in a specific camera in a heart beat. Still do not know what you are talking about.

    The only irritating aspect of CC is the tendency for hot red skin in the Leica files if you don't set the right WB in tunsten lighting. That is a bear to correct if you have a lot of files.

    ?????????????

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