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Curve Confusion

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by gbenic, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. If I use the trial version of NC to load a custom curve, it is only used when I select Custom, correct? I assume that if I choose the Normal processing, the downloaded curve doesn't have any effect on my imagaes. The reason that I am asking is only one curve can be installed at a time and I didn't know if the settings in the D70 counted as a curve or not.

  2. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Each setting, More contrast, less contrast, normal contrast and none are curves built into the camera. Custom is a curve you can define yourself. Whichever curve you choose, either built-in or custom, will be applied to the picture you see on the back of the camera AND to any jpeg image files your camera makes. The RAW files do not have any curve applied until you actually convert them. Nikon's software will apply the curve as a setting, but you can change that.
  3. rbsmith


    Apr 13, 2005
    Saltillo, Ms
    I have wondered the same thing. I think. Are you talking about toggling back and forth between custom and normal to use the curve on custom then changing to normal and not using it?
  4. Greg,

    If I understand your question.......................I believe you have a choice of either a custom curve or the standard camera curve, but not both. By installing a custom curve you are nullifying the camera's curve. Somebody jump in here and correct me if I'm wrong.
  5. Okay, I will jump :lol:

    As stated earlier, all the tone compensation settings except custom are built into the camera and always there. You can only change the custom tone curve, and you can flip back to any of the built in tone settings like normal and less contrast.
  6. Rory,

    Great, thanks for clearing that up.
  7. By the way, Rory, can I change the low exposure level noise setting without messing up a custom curve?
  8. Thanks guys. You're the best! :D 
  9. Hi Chris

    That's a good question. I would guess that you can, but I am not certain. Different tone curves certainly can impact the amount of noise in the image. In the absence of an expert opinion my only advice is to try.
  10. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Iliah is the one to ask :>))))))))) Or Peter Dove
  11. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Noise level in shadows depends (all things being equal) on how "good" is the data for conversion from RAW to RGB. You can plug shadows, letting them - and noise - go. This can be done with a camera curve, or in post-processing. Or you can bump the shadows with a camera curve, providing information for converter in a more "convinient" form, and then plug in postprocessing at acceptable noise level. This method provides 0.5-1 eV better range for the price of time and effort in post; and also allows for better noise reduction technique.
  12. sfoxjohn


    May 1, 2005
    Marlton, NJ
    I have been laboring under the understanding (delusion?) that a custom curve only affects JPEG files, and that downloading NEF files into ACR would not apply the curve. And since I always use RAW/JPG there seemed no need for NC.
    Do I understand that you are saying that NC will apply the curve to RAW files when downloaded? If I always post process my RAW files can't the same result be obtained in PS anyway?

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, just thought that I had finally settled it in my own mind until read your quote above.

    No wonder this thread is so aptly titled: curve confusion.

  13. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Dear John,

    Adobe CR ignores all curves embedded in NEF files, except for the compression curve, if present.
  14. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    Nikon Capture, displays the RAW (NEF) shot with the curve applied, as well as any other settings you had in effect. That is the one feature, or capability that Nikon Capture has that I find absolutely necessary for me. It reduces the amount of post-processing on most of my shots to either none, or maybe using the auto-contrast, and I often will do that using the Batch Processing utility to all of my shots at one time.

    I love Nikon Capture.....find it very easy to use.
  15. sfoxjohn


    May 1, 2005
    Marlton, NJ
    Thank you Iliah.

    So, I was wrong in assuming that the custom curves did not affect RAW files in the camera. I had thought that they were only used when the camera processed JPEG files. And it certainly follows then that the data is there for NC to use. Is it correct to assume that the raw data itself is the same and the curve is some kind of a tag that NC utilizes?

    How about my question that I can always obtain the same result in post processing anyway? I realize that it takes more time, but a set of actions to accomplish what I want a curve to do should help.

  16. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Dear John,

    Camera curves are embedded into NEF files, but they do not affect RAW data exept for the case of original D1. The moment curve is used is when Nikon software (be it in-camera rendering engine, as it is with JPEG thumbnails, PPM thumbnails, or out-of-camera JPEGs, or Nikon View/Nikon Capture/PicturePerfect) starts converting RAW files to RGB. Until conversion to RGB trough Nikon software or some third-party converters the curve is sleeping - it is just a tag.
  17. sfoxjohn


    May 1, 2005
    Marlton, NJ
    Thanks Iliah. All is now clear.

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