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D2H to D2X-Steep learning curve, urgent help folks!!!

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by bendheim, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. Note - I've also posted this on DPR for maximum advice coverage; I hope no-one minds that. Apart from "good luck" with some marathon shots I did last week I've had some pretty poor results lately; here I share them and would appreciate advice. Thanks...post follows >

    I was, I must confess somewhat amazed and flattered when reading a review of the D2Hs the other day on the web, to find my name mentioned as having images that shone with color from the D2H. I must confess, I loved the D2H, and found it an absolute pleasure to work with. Somehow, I just clicked with the LBCAST sensor from virtually day one, and it was a camera I felt very comfortable with.

    Perhaps it's that they share the same body, and perhaps I was just being a bit over-confident, but somehow I felt I'd just pick up the D2X and shoot in my D2H style and get the same results, but just with a lot more resolution.

    For me that has not quite been the case, and I'm sure that the inadequacies are fully mine and not those of the camera. I've found that my bright daylight pictures are quite muddy looking and that A-WB is a lot more sensitive to me than it was with the D2H. I never ever really altered the fine-tuning settings for A-WB on the D2H.

    My recent D2X stuff in daylight all has to be corrected by adding blue or cyan, and correspondingly reducing yellow and red. I seem to need to fine tune A-WB a lot more which is a pain when I'm in the field doing fast-moving Photo journalism assignments. Tomorrow, for example there is a huge demonstation in turn with work stay-aways. I know I can correct it in post, but WB is so important to get right at the time the shot is taken, otherwise it introduces noise in to image.

    I'm shooting in A-mode as always, using Adobe Color space II, either at normal or - contrast, using as a guide and getting great balanced histograms, stuff that looks OK in the monitor (which is set at -2 ; I always find Nikon monitors unrealistically bright) BUT I'm getting horribly muddy results.

    Also, I seem to be battling with the Mac version of CS2 Raw, which seems to by default (which I can't find the setting to switch off) set its parameters to Auto - which ALWAYS sets the exposure number to some horrible -EV value rather than 0, and compensate by adding in a high brightness number...why it does that I don't know.

    So, while I'm sure I'll figure this all out in the long run, I feel somewhat depressed after having such a great pal in the D2H and well developed workflow -- and I'd REALLY REALLY appreciate the advice of some of you folk who have made the transition smoother than I have!

    Also, I know that Ron Resnick's USM settings for the D2H on Capture were 66/5/4 which in CS translated into 330/1/1.

    Now that he recommends 50/5/4 for the D2X on Capture, does anyone know roughly what this translates into using USM on CS2.
    Assistance, advice, all VERY GRATEFULLY received. BIG, BIG assignment, tomorrow.
  2. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  3. Bendheim the most qualified person on the site to answer your question would be Boobie Joe, he is teaching how to use Nikon cameras.
  4. Hi Paul

    Nah, I'm never ashamed that there is always lots to learn with a new camera, before one can "tame" it. I remember hating the D70 after the D100, now I use it every day vitually with my eyes closed. I know inherently it's my fault, so I was just hoping for some words of wisdom from those more experienced with the D2X than I. I seldom blame the camera.

    I remember finding Moose Petersen's settings for the D2H to be my "starting" point - reminds me I should see what he says about the X.

    You will have seen from the snowdome pics how muddy and murky the skies look in the original, on what was a blue sky day. I need to experiment, I suspect with color space and fine tuning on the WB.

    As for your own images, they are really very good indeed, I enjoyed looking at them lots (and suggest others look as well!). But I think the light in Europe is somehow softer and more subdued. When I've taken shots with the X in subdued light it's been pretty spot on. African light can hard to deal with - contrasty in the extreme, harsh and ultra bright.

    As to the assignment, I used the D70, and will do so until I've developed my confidence a bit more and got the results that I need to get.

    And I'd be endlessly grateful for some words of wisdom from others out there....
  5. The CS2 auto thing is fixed in the ACR window by using the "Save New Camera Raw Defaults" menu item in the popup actuated using the button to the right of the settings popup. After changing all of the setting to what you prefer.

    Personally, I have found that ACR is not usable for D2X RAW files. Either the demosaic has problems (hair moire, etc.) or the white balance is off.

    I thought Adobe and Nikon worked that out? I guess not.

    Do you own a copy of Nikon Capture? I think you pretty much need it with the D2X.
  6. biggstr6


    Apr 26, 2005
    Peter , Id reply if I was qualified , However Im still learning the X as well .

    My shots need a little PP to get up to snuff too. I figured that was nessesary with all digital cameras. I would love nice shots right out of the camera So I will follow this thread ,and if you get the camera settings figured out ,Please post them.
  7. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Peter, I put my 2X on +3 Hue and left it there.

    This is what Yves experimented with on & off, and I think he's settled on leaving it @+3 Hue too. Can't help you with CS2 raw business, since I use NC4. Also noticed he uses sRGB Mode I a lot too, and so do I exclusively.
  8. tweber


    Feb 12, 2005
    St. Louis

    My 2 cents: I'm using the +3 on hue and the only difference is that I am setting WB manually when it's either sunny or cloudy. I rely on Auto WB in changing circumstances. I just returned from vacation with over 700 shots, many in bright sunlight, with outstanding colors. I'm shooting jpeg fine unless it's in a formal portrait session.

    Can't help on ACR as I use capture.

  9. Thanks for all the input. I think I'm going to try the +3 hue that Tom, Steve and others are trying. I also think I'm going to try SRGB space for the bright outdoor shots and see how things pan out.

    I'll report back in due course....It's just a matter of time before we all conquer the beast.


  10. Hello Bendheim,

    On dpr is a posting in the d100/d2 forum from Andrew Raszevski and he made a curve for the D2X it works really nice. You can find his posting here http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=13805782 i hope that this is not against the rulles for posting this from other forum. If this is against the rules of this forum i am terrible sorry.

    I normally am Adobe photoshop CS and CS 2 freak but with my D2x i found out that it don't work in my favor if i try to open my raw files. I get also overexposed shots or alot of noise. While when i use Nikon Capture 4.3 it keeps so much more detail and so much better colors.

    So i open my raw files in Nikon Capture and save them to highest quality JPG that gives me around the 4mb to 9mb JPG files to work with in Adobe photoshop. But i hardly edit my photos in Adobe photoshop CS because i only resize them for the web and some times i do some doging and burning or little processing. Or it must be portraits then i do some more work if i have to smoothen up a face.

    I still have to learn alot to but finding out that Adobe photoshop doesn't like the Raw files to much from my D2X is a fact. And yes sure you can alter the settings until you get a right setting. But nikon capture gives me more easy editing my photo's. Only thing i hate of nikon capture it can be so darn slow. While i have 3,2 ghz pentium 4 extended edition with 1gb of ram so i will put in some more ram memory soon. But with my D70 i never used nikon capture with D2x i can't without it at the moment.

    Hope we all can help each other in getting the best results with NC and PS CS2.

  11. I gave that curve a good week's try. About 400 images. I haven't used it since. Wasn't happy with the results overall.

    I came away thinking that underexposure leads to more noise.

  12. Yes i had with that curve also more noise in Adobe photoshop CS but not with nikon capture 4.3 by setting the same EV as in your exif data. But i am thinking to try out some more test with the curve
  13. I am hoping more curves will be developed. Might try it myself.

    Something milder.
  14. Yes, I agree - I also tried the curve and it didn't work for me - I found it introduces a fair amount of noise.

    I still think that with all the D2 series cameras on-the-nail exposure and WB is the only surefire path to success. It's about finding the right in-camera settings to do that well every time. Perhaps I need to get Ron's book, seeing that I'll never actually get to meet him in person.

    It's all really trial and error as it has been with all my DSLR's to date until you get the settings right that work personally for you. Once you cracked it for yourself, the parthway is wide open.


  15. This is probably going to sound argumentative but have you tried using the default settings? I took mine out of the box, charged the battery and in a couple months shooting I've changed two settings... More Sharpness and Less Contrast.

    I never use Auto WB. If I'm in the studio I use one of mr Preset WB settings, if I'm outside I use what comes closest to the lighting conditions. I figure that if Photoshop can't do ANY Auto-adjustments correctly why would I think a thing as delicately balanced as a DSLR could do any better.

  16. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Just a thought from a new guy to this hobby. Try to include something neutral in a shot, like a gray card or Gretag color checker, and use that as a WB reference later. When I have the time I try to get a shot with a whibal card and sometimes it does make a difference in the midtones.
  17. marc

    marc Guest

    mr bendheim

    i have taken over 5000 exposures with the d2x, while i did have some focus problems at the beginning, they were almost certainly camera related

    i shoot pj, sports and people

    the d2x is not that complicated, i love it

    in almost all daylight conditions i use either 5900k or cloudy -1 for wb
    with sb 800, indoors i always use flash wb, maybe in very poorly lit situations i will use auto wb.

    metering , that's up to you mostly matrix, some spot
    aperture priority mostly, unless sports, where i use either manual or shutter p

    hue 0
    tone maybe low contrast, more often normal
    in camera sharpening , have been playing around with +1, i like it.

    what i have found is using low contrast , to reduce blowing highlights, requires post to brighten and adjust contrast.
    pictures look good, but pop after adjustment, i shoot raw+jpeg for really important stuff
    and jpeg fine for everything else. i cannot see much difference.
    maybe i am just getting good and making better shooting decisions.

    as a professional photographer, the d2x is should be a joy for you.
    i don't know if you will read this, or if it will help you.

    good shooting!

    ps if you are getting muddy shots, then you might want to check all of your in camera settings.

    also, put the camera in m mode, and see what it tells you
  18. Is that what you meant to say or did you mean "were almost certainly NOT camera related"

    Could you please clarify?

  19. marc

    marc Guest

    i think , what i said was correct, the focus problems, were camera related.
    why, do you know something that would correct me.

    nikon sent me a new d2x, after 3 tries, i am a fairly experienced photographer and, while there is some learning curve, i shoot a lot of people and sports, i have been doing so for many years, and when i take a new camera out ,and shoot something that is standing still, with a nikon lens, i have used 100's of times and the photos are unexplained soft.
    that is camera not user related.
    my new d2x, amazes me, and it is just as easy to use as my d2h or d100.

    i hope that clairifies what i said for you.
    camera error, not user error

  20. [/quote]why, do you know something that would correct me.[/quote]

    Not at all. I was just curious because that part didn't seem to go with the rest of your post... and there's been a lot made of user-error and OOF (?) images from the camera.

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