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D2X at ISO800

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Beezle, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. There I was deciding on what camera to use for an event this weekend that will involve low light, all hand held. This of course meant some fun measurebating would be involved.

    And I am someone that lives in both camps. I mostly have Nikon gear, but I also have a 5D and some four Canon lenses. So in this case the natural choice would be the Canon, right?

    Now I usually process D2X NEFs through NC. If anything, I have found I get the best color, and sometimes the best demosaic too when difficult textures are involved. This included high ISO images.

    So I found myself with some ISO800 images in NC, some in CS, shot with the 85 1.4 and the 135 f2 on the Canon. And dang if the Canon images didn't show much less noise. Ah well. Then something interesting happened.

    I accidentally opened a NEF in ACR. So what the heck, I used the same luminance smoothing and color noise settings as the 5D image. The next thing I knew, I was mistaking the Nikon images for the Canon ones. What the heck?

    This lead to more testing, and I came to the conclusion that the best processing I have here (I have NC, CS2, Bibble and a few others) for these D2X ISO800 images is either in-camera JPEG or ACR. And the results are really just as good and with just as much detail as anything I've seen from the 5D.

    I am beginning to think this whole noise thing really is more a case of processing than anything else.

    I didn't gather examples along the way, but here are some practice shots at ISO800, wide open or nearly so. The first two are NEFs the third an in-camera JPEG with NR set to normal. That is not moire you see on the red motorcycle armor. That is the actual texture of that material.

    I would consider all of these difficult light.

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  2. general


    Apr 30, 2005

    Usually I shy away from measurebation but you have aroused my curiousity. I will have to experiment. Thanks.
  3. The more I try to figure out to how to minmize noise, the more I end up scratching my head. It isn't simply exposure, though that matters of course.

    For me measurbating is just learning how to get the best out of these great tools we have. On a very long path towards becoming a good photographer.

    Beyond just the EYE, there is often for me the question "how did they do that?" And the neat thing about that is there is always an explaination for it, if you can find it.
  4. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    Ok I have to ask, why do you have both Canon and Nikon high end gear?
  5. Well, the original intention was to use the Canon for high ISO stuff. I figure the more different gear I have, the more things I can try. Not so different from why most of us have far more lenses then we tend to actually need.

    And along the way, I keep finding out that the assumptions we hold about much of this gear isn't really true.

    But more likely, it is just out of curiosity and because I have the means and the desire to use as wide a range of gear as I can. I have also used and/or owned the KM 7D, ID Mark IIn, 20D, Pentax DS, etc. I probably won't buy any more machines at this point for a generation or two. I'm at the point where I feel more need to become proficient than to goof around.

    Unless someone makes a B&W camera (imagine the resolution!) or if someone like Fuji ups the DR bar even more than they have.
  6. Neilss

    Neilss Guest

    So far I've found far less noise using NC for high ISO shots from my D2HS than using ACR. NC shadows are cleaner without any color cast compared to green noisey ACR shadows. At ISO 800 very little difference but at 1600 theer is a big difference.

    Of course right now since I did the latest NC update I no longer can open NEFs in ACR, before the NC update I could. I think that is because I went to CS2 after I loaded NC the first time. Suddenly then I had ACR NEF's when I didn't before.

    I know that if I remove the NC NEF plug-in I can get back to ACR NEF's in CS2. But that doesn't affect using NC as normal does it? Silly question I know.

    ACR is fast but I think NC may do a better job overall
  7. Not surprised to hear that at all. I've already seen some variation from what I thought I figured out not 12 hours ago. I am even thinking that the LENS matters. Or should I say I see a difference between say the 85 1.4 and the 28-70 2.8, shooting the same scene, same exposure. One looks cleaner in NC, one looks cleaner in ACR. :confused:  :confused:  :confused: 

    Removing the Nikon plugin from CS2 has no effect on NC at all. Just changes what you get when you drop a NEF on CS2.
  8. PS, some of this came about after I noticed a post on DPR where someone appears to have achieved ISO 2500 looking pretty clean. He hasn't provided any details so I'm looking for my own.
  9. voider


    Nov 11, 2005
    Hamburg, Germany
    I don't have a 5D so I do not know what luminance smoothing and color noise settings you used. Could you give some info on that? At the moment I use Capture for Raw files and initial PP and then switch to PS CS2 to do the rest of PP with a Tiff file.

    Some general question: If I edit a raw file in capture and then in edit the same file in PS as raw then how does it work? Will there be any conflicts?
  10. "Luminance smoothing" and "color noise reduction" are just settings in the Adobe Capture RAW (ACR) plugin that are applied when a RAW is converted. You can't use the same functionality on a TIFF created in Capture then opened in CS2.

    If you convert the same RAW in both applications (NC and ACR) you are taking separate paths and creating two different images.
  11. espn


    Dec 11, 2005
    Care to share some of the settings you applied in NC for hi-ISO images? :)  It would be beneficial to most as a guide.
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