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Do you change the default Levels in NX?

Discussion in 'Nikon Capture and View NX' started by Aqualung, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. In Scott Kelby's PS Elements book, he recommends changing the default Levels for Black, Mid & White (highlight).

    For example, he suggests setting Black to 10, 10, 10 (RGB); CNX2 default is 10, 10, 10.

    CNX2 offers the ability to change them as well (earlier versions probably did as well but this is the first time I'm looking at this).

    My question is whether any of you change them to match PSE? (Not sure if Scott recommends the same for CS).

    Neutral defaults in CNX2 are 128, 128, 128 and Scott's recommended settings for PSE are 240, 240, 240. Seems like a much wider difference than Black.

  2. Gaius


    Jul 1, 2008
    Levels Defaults

    Probably the main reason for increasing the black level and reducing the white level is that since levels operations are usually one of the first adjustments, we don't want to use up all the tonal range early in the game.

    Many subsequent operations such as removing color casts, USM, and LCE can stretch the histogram so we want some leeway for downstream operations. We can always make the final adjustment near the end of the editing process.

    I would leave the neutral point at 128 and experiment with the black/white levels with your images to see what works.
  3. Gaius


    Jul 1, 2008
    In older times, people would test their printer's ability to hold tonal differences at the ends of the range and adjust the levels in the image accordingly. Today, custom printer profiles generally take care of that issue.
  4. If you get Jason O'dell's ebook, he has suggested settings that seem to work well. I am not at my NX computer, so I can't post them, but in any case the ebook (IMHO) is incredibly helpful on many fronts.
  5. thanks guys...Keith, thanks I have his first one, I'm just starting to play w/ NX2, will get his new one too. (and check his first one).
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