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Another Active D-Lighting question

Discussion in 'Nikon Capture and View NX' started by daveg, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. daveg


    Jul 14, 2008
    Perhaps more of an observation than a question.

    Whilst away on a holiday recently I turned on Active D-Lighting at some stage and neglected to turn it off. On return and when opening images in NX2 I noticed this and decided that I prefered to work with ADL off in camera.

    No big deal - I made the necessary changes and saved the settings file and applied a batch process to get everything back to where I wanted in order to start processing.

    Now here's where the observation comes in. Thinking that all I needed to do was to untick the top one of the two ADL buttons in the Camera Settings section that's how I did the Batch process. However on examination after the batch process was completed, I noticed that the Contrast and Brightness controls were still being controlled by ADL. In order to regain control of Contrast and Brightness I had to re-tick the top ADL button and turn ADL off in the bottom ADL section.

    So the end result is that I have ADL ticked, seemingly indicating it is on, but immediately below that a dialogue saying it is off.

    BTW when the top ADL button is unticked (and the Contrast and Brightness are showing as being controlled by ADL) the image is brighter than when it is ticked (and the Contrast and Brightness controls are available but set to zero).

    Can anyone rationalize this and have a guess at which is the correct combination? My guess is that ADL should be ticked but off with the Contrast and Brightness available. Does that make sense?

  2. At the bottom of the in-camera settings there are two controls as you found:
    Active D-Lighting Checkbox
    Active D-Lighting Dropdown (that's what I'll call the second one) w/options:
    1. unchanged
    2. off
    3. low
    4. normal
    5. high

    The Dropdown is the important one. And after playing it for a while, it appears that the only purpose in life of the checkbox is to activate the effect of the dropdown below it!

    If ADL is turned on in-camera (your situation), then the ADL "dropdown" will say "unchanged" but there will be an asterisk "*" next to the option that had been selected in camera. It appears, as you found, that ADL will not give back control of the contrast & brightness sliders without setting the dropdown to "off" and the checkbox checked "on".

    In effect, you are turning on the "off" effect.

    The other variable is the Picture Control setting (if you have that option with your camera. To my knowledge D300 and D3 and D700 have this, but maybe not any others).

    I have a camera with Picture Controls and if I:
    • turn on the ADL checkbox, turn "off" the ADL drop down (assuming of course that the camera had ADL turned on)
    • then the brightness & contrast sliders remain grayed out
    • I still must go to Picture Control and change dropdown from "unchanged" to something else to give back control of the contrast & brightness.

    The main thing is to keep the ADL checkbox on and the ADL dropdown "off" when you want to disable in-camera ADL.

  3. daveg


    Jul 14, 2008
    Hi PG,

    Camera is D300 and I change Pic Control from "unchanged" to "neutral" usually.

    I agree with all you say, but does it make sense?

    I think (but I am not sure) that the brightening of the image that I am seeing is NX2 returning the change of exposure applied to the image when ADL is applied back to normal?

  4. Well, there's a lot of discussion around ADL. I use it mainly for "bright & contrasty" days when a normal exposure is apt to allow the hightlights to blow out. ADL underexposes in those situations by 1/2 to 2/3 of a stop and I find it quite useful. (I hate blown highlights).

    I don't believe that turning ADL off adjusts the exposure. It turns off the brightness & contrast for sure and that may be what you are seeing?
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