Still testing the D700 (improved shot added)

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Evan in my garage today. I like the lack of crop factor with my portraits. This was taken with my 180mm at f2.8. I may be crazy, but I think I prefer the skin tones from my D2Xs in good light.:confused: Am I nuts??

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Here's a shot from a wonderful new production of Sleeping Beauty. Starring a new actress, Samantha, as the Queen. These were shot in what I suspect was once a dungeon in our local performing arts center with no flash allowed.:eek: ISO 6400 with almost no noise! I'm impressed.

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Mitch, are you shooting jpeg? If not what raw conversion tool are you using, perhaps that has something to do with the tones.
 
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Fantastic portrait of Evan. He gets more and more handsome all the time!! I sometimes have a frustrating time with skin tones on my D300. It seems to produce too much red to me. Does the D700 do the same?
 
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Fantastic portrait of Evan. He gets more and more handsome all the time!! I sometimes have a frustrating time with skin tones on my D300. It seems to produce too much red to me. Does the D700 do the same?
Thanks, Terri.

I'm too new to the D700 to make a general statement about the colors. I keep looking at this shot and think I need to revisit the WB. Looks too cool to me with not enough yellow.
 
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Thanks, Terri.

I'm too new to the D700 to make a general statement about the colors. I keep looking at this shot and think I need to revisit the WB. Looks too cool to me with not enough yellow.
Do you use a camera profile in ACR? I used to convert my raw in NX2, but have been using Lightroom since the camera profiles are available. I ALWAYS struggle with skin tones. It's really hard for me to see.
 
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Tweaked the WB and I think this is much improved. I'm happier with it. Any comments?

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Mitch, revised shot looks better. I have found that pre-setting WB on the D700 is pretty critical to getting JPGs to look good. The JPG engine is so good on the D700 I don't shoot RAW anymore. It takes about 5 seconds to pre-set WB, so there's really no reason not to do it.

That said, you're not nuts for liking skin tones on the D2Xs better...I still think the skin tone on the D2Xs/D200 is preferrable to the skin tones on the D300/D3/D700. Nikon did something when they changed the base ISO from 100 to 200 and greatly improved the noise performance. Something changed with the skin tone rendering...not sure what it was. Something about the portraits from a D200 and 85/1.4 that was just magical...I haven't been able to reproduce with the D700 and any other lens.

But the image you revised is beautiful...well done!
 
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Mitch, revised shot looks better. I have found that pre-setting WB on the D700 is pretty critical to getting JPGs to look good. The JPG engine is so good on the D700 I don't shoot RAW anymore. It takes about 5 seconds to pre-set WB, so there's really no reason not to do it.

That said, you're not nuts for liking skin tones on the D2Xs better...I still think the skin tone on the D2Xs/D200 is preferrable to the skin tones on the D300/D3/D700. Nikon did something when they changed the base ISO from 100 to 200 and greatly improved the noise performance. Something changed with the skin tone rendering...not sure what it was. Something about the portraits from a D200 and 85/1.4 that was just magical...I haven't been able to reproduce with the D700 and any other lens.

But the image you revised is beautiful...well done!
Thanks for the info, John.

Stop shooting RAW? That's a big leap of faith for me.:eek: You shoot JPG even with mixed lighting?
 
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That is a lovely image of your son.

I am finding the white bal on D300 always too cool, I now use pre or include a whibal in the shot to be sure. I have ordered a D700 so I will be having fun with that soon :) In Lightroom I am also selecting Portrait mode and going from there. I find judging skintones very hard though.
 
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That is a lovely image of your son.

I am finding the white bal on D300 always too cool, I now use pre or include a whibal in the shot to be sure. I have ordered a D700 so I will be having fun with that soon :) In Lightroom I am also selecting Portrait mode and going from there. I find judging skintones very hard though.
Good luck with the new gear. This was clearly a case of operator error. I was careless when I set my WB in camera Raw.

Thanks, Steve!
 
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The 2nd shot with the adjusted WB is much improved.

Just my .02 on skin tones....Capture NX2 translates my D300 shots very well and the skin tones look much better than when converted in LR. I am using D2XMODE1 picture control for the portraits and when NX2 sees this it applies this to my raw image.

It is convenient to use this for me. I'd have to get used to doing a pre-set for just casual shots. I guess it doesn't take long if you are trying to get a few portraits in the same lighted area.

Does the pre-set with an 18% gray card work the same as using a WB card? I've used a WB card to set the white, black, and gray points in NX2.
 
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