Old 03-05-2011, 02:16 AM   #1
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Default Active D-Lighting?

Still new to the D300..

Anyone out there with a later model Nikon Camera (D90, D300/700 D3) use Active D-Lighting for shooting trains? I've been using it while shooting landscapes and portraits, but I'm always having to adjust contrast like crazy in post processing with train pictures..

My last batch of accepted shots from the 1st of March had horrible contrast issues that took me forever to correct.. It seems to be the worst on high and low, but on normal its decent..
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:18 AM   #2
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I don't use it in camera, but do quite often in NX2 for converting from NEF to TIFF's.

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Old 03-05-2011, 04:53 AM   #3
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Thanks for the input, I need to pickup Capture NX2. I bought my D300 used from B&H and apparently the original owner kept the software..
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:52 AM   #4
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Most of the time you need to buy it. Nikon is greedy! I've yet to get it with a camera!
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indecline View Post
Most of the time you need to buy it. Nikon is greedy! I've yet to get it with a camera!
Even with a D3s? Geez, you would think they would give you free software with a $5k camera..
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:12 AM   #6
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Nope - but I had it to go with the D2x (and had to buy it for that, too)
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:59 PM   #7
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I sometimes use active D-Lighting on my D90 during the summer months when sun angles aren't the best and I want just a bit more detail in shadowed areas. When I do use it, I use the minimal setting. The higher settings just make the image look way over-processed...at least in my opinion. Most of the time, I leave the feature OFF.

As for Capture NX2.... I find it annoying that Nikon does not include it with the camera. It is not particularly expensive at about $130 from B&H. They do however, allow a free 60-day trial and the download isn't too large. I did the trial and found the program to be pretty capable, but it was less straightforward to learn than the Adobe Products. I also tried Lightroom 3 and when that became available before Christmas for $150 on Amazon.com, I went for it. I find that Lightroom allows me to quickly review all frames from a shoot, select the ones I like best, then get those shots postprocessed as efficiently as possible.
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:08 PM   #8
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When I had the D700 (although I never used it for trains) I never used d-lighting - I mean, I always shot RAW so it didn't make a different. If I was shooting jpeg, I would use it - It exposes to preserve the highlights (same way as I shoot) and brings up shadow detail that would otherwise be lost to black in the conversion. It's the next best thing to RAW for tonal range, and tonal range is something I hold dear and abuse regularly!
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indecline View Post
Nope - but I had it to go with the D2x (and had to buy it for that, too)
I had a demo copy with my D80 as well, I just now cracked it open(3 years later) and I'm using until it expires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
I sometimes use active D-Lighting on my D90 during the summer months when sun angles aren't the best and I want just a bit more detail in shadowed areas. When I do use it, I use the minimal setting. The higher settings just make the image look way over-processed...at least in my opinion. Most of the time, I leave the feature OFF.

As for Capture NX2.... I find it annoying that Nikon does not include it with the camera. It is not particularly expensive at about $130 from B&H. They do however, allow a free 60-day trial and the download isn't too large. I did the trial and found the program to be pretty capable, but it was less straightforward to learn than the Adobe Products. I also tried Lightroom 3 and when that became available before Christmas for $150 on Amazon.com, I went for it. I find that Lightroom allows me to quickly review all frames from a shoot, select the ones I like best, then get those shots postprocessed as efficiently as possible.
I will keep that in mind, I like the look it gives for landscapes. I like Lightroom because I can process a ton of images in no time, but I've heard the camera brand software is always best for raw files.



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When I had the D700 (although I never used it for trains) I never used d-lighting - I mean, I always shot RAW so it didn't make a different. If I was shooting jpeg, I would use it - It exposes to preserve the highlights (same way as I shoot) and brings up shadow detail that would otherwise be lost to black in the conversion. It's the next best thing to RAW for tonal range, and tonal range is something I hold dear and abuse regularly!
Went to the darkside for a while? So do you always overexpose when you shoot? Sometimes I try to underexpose by at least one stop. I never had a problem with shadow detail with the old D80, the meter was very inaccurate..
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Old 03-06-2011, 05:00 AM   #10
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Oh, I read something that gave me the impression that D-lighting was like highlight tone priority on Canons, except with boosted shadows. I always underexpose just below where the highlights would clip, if I can help it.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainboysd40 View Post
Oh, I read something that gave me the impression that D-lighting was like highlight tone priority on Canons, except with boosted shadows. I always underexpose just below where the highlights would clip, if I can help it.
Ah I see I misunderstood you.
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:18 AM   #12
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Trains and other non-sports subjects I shoot RAW, but I will use it in NX2 to see if it helps. Usually using a color control points to selectively bring up shadows on a RAW image works better and more subtly than blasting the whole image with a global D-lighting adjustment.

When shooting soccer, I use .jpg, and have D-lighting turned on at the lowest setting in-camera.

D300, FWIW.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:26 AM   #13
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I have the D3100. I use active d-lighting quit a bit and I am pretty satisfied with it. It really seems to enhance the photos. I use Adobe photo shop to adjust any things that are off on the photo.
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