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Is it my imagination?

Discussion in 'Nikon Capture and View NX' started by Lykele, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Lykele

    Lykele

    28
    Jun 4, 2009
    Kentucky
    I took some pictures of our dog outside. I looked at them in ViewNx and were a bit disappointed that a some of them just weren't as sharp as I expected. Especially one where he was sitting and told to stay. That photo was taken at 1/400s @f7.1.

    However, when viewing the same photo in Capture NX2 it was sharper. I even had both applications running and photo at 50% and used the ALT-Tab to toggle back and forth between them. It sure looks sharper in Capture NX2.

    Now I did have a bit of sharpening set in the camera, but thought that ViewNX also read those settings. If not, then that could be the explanation.

    Or am I just imagining all this?

    Thanks for any help.

    Jim
     
  2. I would not judge sharpness of an image at less than 100%. You are probably seeing different interpolation algorithms at work, and possibly not a difference (although I have never done a direct comparison).

    It is also my understanding that View NX and Capture NX should display camera settings faithfully.

    If you did look at them at 100% and still noticed this, then that is very interesting. I have never really like ViewNX when I did quick jpeg conversions of raw files, so maybe this has something to it.
     
  3. Jim,

    This sounds really bizarre and well worth following up. Please PM me if you would like me to to look at your image file on my system.

    Is the difference noticeable enough at 100% that a screenshot of the image displayed in the two applications would be apparent to us? If so, please post those screenshots.
     
  4. Jim sent me his NEF. I need the help, please, of you folks who know about Picture Controls and the D700. (I use a D80, which has no Picture Controls.) I think the issue has something to do with an incompatibility between View NX and the D700 that I'm not familiar with. I assume something has to be downloaded from the Internet to fix it but I'll leave that up to you folks.

    The difference in image sharpness that he describes also appears on my system; the image in View NX is noticeably not as sharp as in Capture NX2.

    View NX is configured to read the preview. My copy of IDimager is also configured to read the preview. The image looks exactly the same in IDimager as in View NX.

    Jim's NEF contains the [M3] D2XMODE3 Pictures Control setting. I looked up a help screen in ViewNX and learned that that Pictures Control setting is installed by default in View NX. So, I don't think the issue has to do with that, but I may be wrong.

    I opened the file in Capture NX2 and made an adjustment to make NX2 "think" that I had adjusted the image. I then deleted the adjustment and saved it as a version named "Unchanged." After doing that, both IDimager and View NX display the image exactly as Capture NX2 displays it. It doesn't matter whether they display the "original" version or the "unchanged" version.

    I think that corroborates my suspicion that the issue has something fairly simple to do with something that Jim has to do to render View NX compatible with his D700. Once the camera is removed from the equation by editing the image in Capture NX2, the issue goes away. Any ideas?

    Jim, I suggest that you also do what I explained above to determine if you get the same results. If you don't know how to configure IDimager to read the preview or display at 100%, just let me know.
     
  5. Mike, I shoot D300, which does have picture controls. IIRC, the D2X modes need to be installed, may come with the latest version of NX2, not sure for ViewNX but I am looking. I downloaded ViewNX and when I launch the Picture Control utility it shows the D2X modes. Jim, do you see these? If not, go to NikonUSA and be sure to get and install them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2009
  6. I shoot w/ a D3 and D2x and my images look sharper OOC when viewed in Nx compared to View NX.
    So, I don't think it has anything to do w/ the D700. My theory is that View NX uses the jpg preview file whereas NX/NX2 shows the actual nef file. That could also explain why View NX is much faster than NX/NX2.
    I sort out my images in View NX but do all my editing in NX2. So, no problems for me.
     
  7. Your theory is confirmed in the help screen. :smile: The issue, though, is that something about the preview is not being read by View NX until Capture NX edits the file.
     
  8. Lykele

    Lykele

    28
    Jun 4, 2009
    Kentucky
    Mike- Thanks very much for allowing me to send you that file to confirm what I was seeing.

    I took your "correction" one step further. I loaded up my original dog picture in NX2 then, without making any adjustments, I saved it back under a different NEF name. Once I did that it was just as sharp in ViewNX as NX2.

    Retief - Yes, I do see the D2X modes in both ViewNX and NX2

    Joey - My previous camera was a D2X which also had a jpeg preview file attached to the NEF's if I remember correctly. But never noticed what I am currently seeing.

    I think what I am going to do tomorrow is take a few pictures using each one of the Picture Controls. That way I can see if the problem is only affected by the D2x modes.

    I very much appreciate the input from all of you.

    Regards,

    Jim
     
  9. All NEFs have a jpeg preview. Without it, it would take forever to load the image to view in the camera's LCD.

    The only difference between some of the previews is that the earlier cameras did not build a full-resolution preview. The cameras beginning at about the D70 do (not sure exactly when the change was made). Regardless, once Capture NX2 edits the image, the NEF is saved with a full-resolution preview.
     
  10. Interesting. My guess is that by installing them, the help screen is also changed to reflect that they have been installed. Either that or I downloded a revised version that automatically installed them and the revised help screen.

    BUT...we now have it confirmed that Jim and I both have the DX modes installed on our copy of View NX and that does not resolve the issue.

    Back to the drawing board. I'm out of chaulk. :biggrin:
     
  11. IIRC, saving the NEF back rewrites the JPG preview. Alos, IIRC i'm old so I don't trust my memory :wink:, the file size grows as NX2 writes back a full size preview. Hmmmm, is it possible that what we see is a difference in caused by NX writing a full size JPG preview back to the file? Does the file size grow after a save in NX from the original?

     
  12. The change that I made caused it to grow from about 14.5 MB to about 15.1 MB. I have no idea if that is attributable to tags that are stored in the RAW file, changes to the preview, or both.
     
  13. That's the preview growing. Tags add very little, which you can see by saving a bunch of versions.

    Read This Thread from Camerabits, the Photo Mechanic Folks.

    Down in the middle you will find the following, I have highlighted the pertinent section:

    "Like you, I find the Extract Embedded Jpg feature extremely useful.

    Be aware that the quality of the the jpg will vary depending on:

    1. Has the image been edited in NX2 (or NX)? If so, the jpg embedded in the nef file will be full resolution and excellent jpg compression. Typically, a nef file size will increase after NX2 editing because the quality jpg compression has gone from good to excellent. For a D40, this may be a 2-3mb file size increase.
    2. For some older cameras, like the D2h, the original (unedited by NX2) jpg image is not full resolution. After NX2 editing, the embedded jpg will be full resolution.

    The file size expanding when using Save As can be explained as follows: Let's say NX2 embeds a jpg compressed in excellent quality and that this coincides with a PM equivalent of 95 quality. At this quality level, there is some minor (visually lossless) compression going on. When you use PM to Save As at quality 100, the image is loaded from the nef (using the embedded jpg) and then saved without (or very, very little) compression. The result is a slightly larger file size.

    Deven"
     
  14. Bill,

    Why in the world would I bother reading the article when you are so nice to provide the excerpt for us? :biggrin:

    I think that is also the answer to the situation being discussed in the other thread. How come you didn't come up with it sooner? :biggrin:
     
  15. Because the rest of the thread is interesting as well :wink:

    There is another thread here? I thik I can only keep track of on e at a time .... Maybe you, know that you know, should just refer to this thread which refers to that other post, excerpting as you deem wise, yeah, THAT's the ticket all right!

     
  16. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  17. Lykele

    Lykele

    28
    Jun 4, 2009
    Kentucky
    So wouldn't it follow that Mike, with his D80, would also be able to see a difference in sharpness between ViewNX & NX2? Or Retief with his D300 could also see it?

    By the way, when viewing a photo in ViewNX at 100% I found the "RAW" button. When pressed it then presents a quality equal to NX2. The RAW button is on the top gray border on the left. It blends in so well that I didn't even know it was a button!

    One last thing is I use some in camera sharpening. Currently 3 on a scale of 9. No need to get off on a tangent about the pros and cons of that. However, comparison between ViewNX and NX2 is probably more dramatic for me than someone using no sharpening.
     
  18. Bill, thanks for that explanation on files size increases--I've been making up stories to explain that for far too long.

    Lykele, thanks for pointing out the RAW button--I've always wondered what it meant!
     
  19. It's all very confusing and I thought it was the medication.
     
  20. Here is what ViewNX Help (?) files say about the RAW button (hang on to your meds!):

    When showing a RAW image in the Image View area, switch between the preview image (temporary view) of a RAW image and adjusted RAW data.
    When RAW is clicked, preview image (temporary view) in a RAW image is displayed.
    When RAW is clicked again, the adjusted RAW image is displayed.


    ViewNX usually shows the preview data (temporary view) in the RAW image when you display a RAW image. Using this function, you can show the RAW data with the set adjustment value in Image Viewer Mode or Full Screen Mode.
    The preview data in a RAW image is a large thumbnail stored under a RAW image file and shows a RAW image for temporary view and quick view.
    If there is no preview image in the RAW data, ViewNX shows the RAW data separately by clicking RAW.
    Note You cannot click RAW when the following image is displayed.
    • A RAW image which does not have a saved preview image.
    • A RAW image saved with the Capture NX software series.
    • A RAW image edited with nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 using Nikon Capture 4 or PictureProject.
    • An image other than RAW image.
    • A RAW image shot or adjusted using an optional Picture Control that has not been installed in ViewNX.
     
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