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How to make your D300 reasonably better at higher iso's....

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Sandro Bravo, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Sandro Bravo

    Sandro Bravo

    Nov 18, 2005
    Maybe this isn't anything new, but since my D300 has ben used mostly in good light at ISO 200 (i bought it for being DX, higher-res and faster focusing...), the only high-shots i did was to test it soon after i bought it....and though i liked it over the D200, it didn't quite catch my eye...too much NR going on, killing detail...or maybe just bad processing on my part...:biggrin:

    I shoot raw, like most of you, and the only thing i did when shooting high-iso on the D300 was to set NR to Normal and bump the sharpening to +5....done....:tongue:

    I use Nikon NX for all my pp but i have to admit i don't pp the high-iso stuff and just convert to Jpeg...which is a gross mistake since the NR applied to the NEF files on NX is not in the "Best Quality" methode...

    So, if you haven't already, try to create your own NR Custom Settings where you replace "Fast" method for "Better Quality" and add on top of that a change in the Color Moiré Reduction to "Medium"...i've done it for ISO 800 /1600 / 3200 and it works great....dare i say, one stop closer and one stop away to the FX camera's results...at least to me, 3200 is looking very, very close to all those 6400 shots i saw from D3's and now the D700.

    Small sample below and full-resolution ISO 800 / 1600 / 3200 Jpegs on the link below ( Jpeg straight conversions and the altered NR versions )

    ISO 3200


    It would be interesting to hear some D300 user's opinion and some unbiased :biggrin: D3's shooters too.

    P.S: BTW, the book in the shots is an amazing one...a true story about an SAS ( Special Air Service, British Special Forces) patrol during the 1st Gulf War.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2008
  2. Sandro,

    I have seen here on the cafe where someone suggested to change to "better quality," but this is the first to change Moire to "medium."
  3. kiwi


    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    This has no impact on high-iso shots taken in JPEG to start with right ?
  4. avyoung


    Dec 17, 2007
    Thanks for the tip Sandro!

    I was testing it out and I can see an effect of the color moire noise reduction,but I'll need sometime with it, now that I am aware of it to make any conclusions. I have been using CS3 mainly, and noise ninja, but have been finding high ISO is handled by NX capture much better than CS3 at times. Because NX Capture is so slow on my computer it is hard from me to (wait) see the differences of each change I do. Frustrating!!!!!

    Do you just add the medium color moire reduction ontop of your usual noise reduction settings or do you make any complementary changes?
  5. Before getting "On Topic" I just HAVE to ask you about the book. Does this have something to do with the very first British Open Golf Tournament? I'm not a golfer, but since you reference the "1st Golf War" I figured I'd get some clarification :wink::wink:

    Good tips, and yes, it really does work. One more thing to remember, that helps as well, is what you do with sharpening. I turn off all In-Camera as well as USM prior to my NR, you can also have these set in your Custome NR settings files. Then when you apply USM, rather than using a "standard" such as 50/5/4, go to 5/20/10. I didn't figure this out, but learned it from Jason O'Dell in his NX eBook. It seemed counter-intuitve to me, but darned if it doesn't work. What you don't want to do is to sharpen the noise, especially before you apply NR.
  6. If you have not already, check out the NX Performance Threads in the Technical forums, you might find some tips there to help your speed issues.
  7. avyoung


    Dec 17, 2007
    I've been reluctant to investigate into NX..

    Because I find it sooooo slow on my computer, but I am finding it handles the RAW files much better than CS3. I'm going to take up your suggestion and do some reading...thanks!

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2008
  8. avyoung


    Dec 17, 2007
    I haven't applied any noise reduction or sharpening...

    to this photo as any noise reduction seems to destroy any detail in the trees and any sharpening seems to increase noise dramatically.

    Unsharpened. (no noise reduction)

    USM 50/5/4 (no noise reduction)

    USM 50/20/10 (no noise reduction)

    I like the significant sharpening effect of the USM 50/20/10; and it does not seem to cause an unreasonable amount of noise. I will keep exploring in the future! Thanks guys.

  9. Sandro Bravo

    Sandro Bravo

    Nov 18, 2005
    You're right, this onlly applies to RAW.

    Just add that small change, nothing more.

    :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:....nice catch Bill....i missed that typo...:tongue:
  10. Triggaaar


    Jun 15, 2008
    I understand you should apply NR before sharpening. I assumed it doesn't matter if you have in-camera sharpening on, as long as you switch it off as soon as you open the file in CNX?

    Where (what page) does Jason suggest USM of 5/20/10?
  11. madone


    Jan 9, 2006
    Sandro, are you also checking the "Edge Noise Reduction" box?
  12. Cool! Glad you found this of some help.

    I just had this wonderful image of the SAS storming some Golf Course. Just think what Bill Murray and company could do with something like this :wink:

    I keep my in-camera sharpening set so that I can get a half-way decent look at focus on the LCD. Then I turn it off in the Settings files I load as the first step in NX2. You have the sequence correct, or at least the same as I do :biggrin:

    In the NX2 guide it is Page 269 of the PDF. Look in the "Capture Sharpening after Noise Reduction" section. Jason has done a super job of showing the results of this, it was a huge find for me and really helped my D200 images even more than the D300 images.

    I don't know about Sandro, but I do. I have never taken the time to completely test this, but I have not found a case where it hurts the image, and have found many where it helped.
  13. orfeas


    Jul 8, 2008
    What about intensity / sharpness sliders in NX2 ??
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2008
  14. Triggaaar


    Jun 15, 2008
    Cool, just checking.

    Oh yes, thanks. I tried searching for 5/20/10, but the scamp had them on separate lines.
  15. My advice: turn the NR off in camera, once you've imported the NEFs, run them through DxO which has a proprietary high ISO NEF treatment that runs (automatically) rings around the competition. It will also polish you NEF in other ways by default (although you can turn features off). You can then finish PP in your TIFF file or DNG file as a master file, and then later convert to JPEG for distribution.

    Your final prints will look like they came from a D3. I kid you not.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2008
  16. Triggaaar


    Jun 15, 2008
    Sorry for the newbie questions, but once you've imported the NEFs into what? And what is DxO?
  17. DXO is another converter, find info on it http://www.dxo.com/intl/photo. Like all converters, including NX2, it takes time to learn. Personally I have not had much luck with it myself, but this can be as much an issue of what you can get your brain around, and what does or does not make sense to you, as much as to the converter itself. Once you have converted with DXO you will then have to convert to another format to process in anything else, as Harry notes. If you want to further process in NX2, for example, you will not be able to do this via a NEF in NX2.

    I don't believe that you will need to turn anything off "in camera", as to my knowledge, and from my last conversation with DXO, they do not use the in-camera settings anyway. This may have changed in the last version, I don't know.
  18. See My Post in this thread. I was quite surprised at what a difference this made, I just with I had been smart enough to figure it out.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  19. orfeas


    Jul 8, 2008
    I mean the two sliders in NR / Color Noise Reduction tab.
    If I move the 1st one even in position 1%
    the result is a blurry image.
    Can't figure out how this works.
  20. yamo


    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA

    Greetings. Thanks for the tip on the Color Moire Reduction... er, it works on D3 files as well :wink:, uh, so as far as one stop closer to FX the target sorta moves if you apply the Color Moire Reduction to the D3 files for comparison.

    In any event, your D300 shot looks pretty good.

    As far as noise reduction... I just don't find the NX NR very good. I've been pretty happy with Neat Image (the chroma noise reduction is particularly good, I might try it in combination with the NX Color Moire Reduction since it is in the conversion rather than post-conversion)...

    A good tweek for selective noise reduction in PS is flattening the contrast with curves (balanced against detail contrast).


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