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D300 Skin tones in lowlight

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR' started by Eyaldar, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Eyaldar

    Eyaldar

    135
    Dec 21, 2007
    Israel
    Well, I just got me a new D300 and I love it!
    Yesterday I took the camera with me and shoot some ambient light pictures(ISO 400, f1.8-f2.5,shutter speeds of 80-125) and I couldn't get good skin tones out of any picture control, it seems like those pictures lacking some red, causing a very horrifying skin tones.

    Now I'm not blaming the camera because I know what happens to the post when someone blames it and It's probably my fault and ignorance, so I guess my question is how do you get good skin tones out of the D300?

    (picture control settings and some explanations are welcome)
     
  2. fivegrand

    fivegrand Guest

    How did you have your white balance set, and what type/mix of lights were in place?
     
  3. Eyaldar

    Eyaldar

    135
    Dec 21, 2007
    Israel
    It was white lamps in an open environment, I tried Auto at first, and then tried several Kelvin settings, but none of them was right...
     
  4. fivegrand

    fivegrand Guest

    Sorry, I'm not familiar with "white lamps" - are they incandescent? Flourescent? High efficiency flourescents that are supposed to duplicate incandescent, but don't? Halogen?

    How do skin tones look in natural daylight?
     
  5. keko

    keko

    143
    Jul 20, 2007
    Barcelona
    Hi Eyaldar,

    I've posted before about MY issus with D300 skin tones... the D300 is so tweakable, that learning to predict what it's going to do is very challenging for me.

    If you haven't tried it, shoot RAW and play around with the picture controls and WB to see what works for you.

    What works for me is to use portrait pic control with everything set to default except for brightness -1.

    What confused me for quite some time and had me blaming the AWB was using the auto contrast adjustment, which works beautifully on my D50, but does very unpredictable things to saturation on my D300...

    Let us know waht yo come up with, but don't get frustrated trying to learn the D300,
     
  6. Eyaldar

    Eyaldar

    135
    Dec 21, 2007
    Israel
    hmmm closer to Flourescent, some kind of Flourescent lamps which I couldn't decide which of the Flourescent WB setting would be most fitting...
    so the pictures came a bit greenish/yellowish and lacking reds...
     
  7. Do you use NX? If so, when you open a raw file you can try the different picture control settings - even tweak each one.

    If you are not shooting raw do so as changing picture controls and wb are two of the main reasons for shooting raw.
     
  8. Eyaldar

    Eyaldar

    135
    Dec 21, 2007
    Israel
    fivegrand got me thinking it might have been the WB and the scene...
    but I sure need to get more familiar with the camera, no frustration here keko, just trying to get better results :) 

    about taking RAW photos, I take a lot of pictures and I'm too lazy to edit them all *ashamed*, so I'm trying to get the best out of the JPEG...
     
  9. fivegrand

    fivegrand Guest

    I *hate* those HE incandescent replacement lamps, they don't fit any of the WB presets and I've spent an eternity trying to figure out the kelvin as well. I just take the extra moment or two to set a custom WB for the area/room/whatever when that's the only source.

    If you can duplicate the scene, fiddle with that a bit. It's not rocket surgery and doesn't need to be as complicated as some make it out to be. Shooting raw and then having to go back and correct everything doesn't help you to learn the camera and get it right at the time of the shot, which, I assume, is most everyone's goal. It's a new camera to you, and you just need to figure the new/different stuff out about it and make your mental notes about what works for you in which situation/environment.

    There isn't a single thing "wrong" with shooting jpeg. Jpeg's limitations simply make it so that you have to get it "more right" in the camera than raw - kinda like the difference between shooting positive transparency and negative print films. When you're proficient with your camera/shot process such that you can nail it in jpeg every time, you can do whatever you want.

    That's my opinion, anyway.
     
  10. Start with DX Mode I. I find it delivers the best skin tones.

    Invest in an Expodisc. Get the portrait version.

    Use RAW and tweak the tones there.

    Skin tones are not one of the D300's strengths. It takes work and lots of tweaking, Once you get them there, you'll be happy.

    I also find contrast settings play a huge role in getting a good skin tone out of the D300.
     
  11. Eyaldar

    Eyaldar

    135
    Dec 21, 2007
    Israel
    @fivegrand: it's kind of hard to duplicate, the worst pictures came out where my subject was sitting in an half lighten place, between the lamps...
    I just found out I wasn't using the optimal quality of the camera(this weird Optimal Q or Size priority got me confused) so now I'm seeing for the first time this "one stop improvement" everybody was talking about :) 

    @feathermm: I actually had all this modes of Picture control, but none of them suited...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2008
  12. fivegrand

    fivegrand Guest

    Disagree.
     
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