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Thread: D300 Noise reduction

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    D300 Noise reduction

    Fell free to shoot me down if this has been discussed before but i did do a search and found nothing.

    I recently started using the D300 after stepping up to it from the D80. One of the first things i noticed was the increased levels of noise in my shots. I felt this effectively limited my ISO usage. Well things came to the crunch on the weekend and I should have shot at 1600 instead of 800 and stuffed up a number of important shots. I started googling to find WHY the D300 was so noisy.

    I have been shooting in RAW on both the D80 and the D300. Long story short , I was under the impression that nulled out all of the in camera picture settings IE Vivid etc. I went into Shooting Menu | Set picture control |SD| and turned the sharpening to 0. And wow what a difference it has made to me.

    I don't know if any else has the same problem or it is just common knowledge to everyone but me

    Cheers
    Ollie
    Last edited by ollie; 18-01-2011 at 11:07pm. Reason: typo
    A heap of Nikon stuff and some really bright lights!

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    If you are using Nikon software for post process on the computer, then I think it uses the in camera jpeg settings as the default for what the computer uses to post process. So, I would suggest turning all jpeg controls to 0 on the camera so as to work with a "blank slate"so to speak. If you are not using the Nikon software, then I am stumped!

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    Cheers Lance, I have been using Lightroom for all my post production stuff.

    If i have taken a couple of images @ ISO 200 sharpen on and off as well as ISO 1600 sharpen on and off. It makes a huge difference from i can see.

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ollie View Post
    Cheers Lance, I have been using Lightroom for all my post production stuff.

    If i have taken a couple of images @ ISO 200 sharpen on and off as well as ISO 1600 sharpen on and off. It makes a huge difference from i can see.
    Maybe, just maybe, Lightroom also recognises the settings in the camera as well. I think some software does this. Some more knowledgeable people in this area on the froum will hopefully chime in.

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    Hi Ollie,
    I am also using a D300. You mentioned that you changed the sharpening setting on your camera to 0. What setting was it before?
    Cause I've never really had a complain with the ISO performance of my D300. I also started with a D80, but ISO of the D300 was way much better than the D80.
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    D300 does hav a weak spot at iso400, think due to the fact that in camera nr kicks in there but should be quite noise free at 800-1600

    I really didn't think the picture controls affected the raw file, though if you open in nx2 those settings will be th default for that image but you can reset them all I thought

    Lr will ignore the pic controls and instead apply an adobe profile on import

    I've not seen this discussed re sharpening and noise before, so, interesting observation, I'll have go do some tests myself at some stage on my d300
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyvaldezjr View Post
    Hi Ollie,
    I am also using a D300. You mentioned that you changed the sharpening setting on your camera to 0. What setting was it before?
    ......
    The default value from the factory is 3. Of course the user has the option to change that value from 0-9 or Auto.

    From what I've seen, LR3 doesn't recognize any in camera settings, except maybe for WB temperature, but I usually find that the TINT is set differently in LR when compared to any Nikon software.
    I have noticed a few times tho, that when I open an image initially via LR3, the image is instantly rendered as it may be with the Nikon software, but then after a couple of seconds, it revers back to an Adobe rendered version.
    I'm assuming that in this initial few seconds, LR may be displaying the embedded jpg in the raw file, but then once the raw file is fully loaded into it's memory from then on, LR displays a jpg file based on it's interpretation of the raw data.
    I've noticed this on a few images, but I don't really use LR all that much, and really only on difficult high ISO images that Nikon software has trouble with noise levels.(I really like the speed and ease of LR's noise reduction ability).

    I haven't delved deeply into LR's settings/configs, but is there a way you can set it to display the embedded jpg file, instead of it rendering it's own version from the raw data?
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    Ak, you ar right how lr works, when you do an import the thumbnails are the embedded low res thumbnail jpegs in the raw file and are replaced as imported with the raw adobe conversion. You shoul make sure that you are using the d300 profiles which get reasonably close but not accurate as the nikon Nx conversion

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I've just been trying to get some info on how to set colourspaces and profiles in LR(3), and it seems you don't get much in the way of options.
    They apparently give you freedom to choose when printing, but not when editing per se.
    The way LR handles colour space is kind'a strange, and must be one reason for the discrepancy in how images are rendered in Nikon software(and possibly PS/CS) compared to LR3.
    Apparently what LR does, is to use it's own automatic color profile rendering based on the quality of preview you require. If you use a low to middle quality preview, it uses aRGB, and if you view your preview as a higher quality rendering, it switches to ProPhoto colourspace. All of this is done without input from the user, which is both good and bad.
    They really should allow the user to specify a working colourspace, as from what I've seen from color space manipulating whilst editing, the image may not be 100% WYSIWYG. This could be an issue if you dont' have a wide gamut monitor, that if my low quality monitor can only render colour and tones in the sRGB colourspace, and LR3 is working in the higher quality aRGB or ProPhoto colourspaces, I may not be seeing the same quality in the file that the PC is capable of producing due to my monitors limitations(even tho it's calibrated).

    That's almost certain to be why I get very slight differences in colours and tone between CNX/VNX and LR3.
    I haven't yet set either of CNX/VNX to work in the aRGB colourspace to compare again, but I will in a little while.

    The adobe versions of Nikon camera Picture Control profiles(STD, VIVID, D2XMODE3 etc) are pretty good tho, and 99% comparable to what Nikon produce, but there are annoying anomalies between them, sometimes LR3 is slightly nicer(eg more vivid in colour), sometimes Nikon is nicer.

    One last thing too, (and sorry for getting OT on this).. how do you set the colour label preferences? I want to switch LR3 to Nikon's default versions of colour labels.
    I use ratings and labels all the time in ViewNX, and I want to match up my VNX colour labels to LR's.

    eg. label 9 I need it to be Pink, where it's currently Blue in LR3, and I want to change Blue to label 6 to match VNX .. etc.

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    Cheers for the discussion everyone. I must admit the noise is worse at 400, but even at 200 i find more noise then i would have thought. I am though starting to think i am pixel peeping too much.

    I do feel my initial statement was incorrect. The in-camera previews shows that the reduction in sharpening made a huge difference but when i was in LR3 and I was sure that i was viewing the NEF it made no difference.

    I do have a calibrated monitor but feel that LR3 does not always seem to represent things quite right re color space. I find once the images have been outputted and are being viewed in a different color space the results are much better.

    Re the ISO noise i think i will have to setup a test and just expose at each ISO from 200-1600.

    I currently have the in camera NR turned off as i had read it made a difference. I think i might test that too.

    As for the D300 profiles, i do know if you are using say SD or D2XMODE1 you can set LR3 to change it on import.

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    Lr3 ignores whatever you use in camera. Have you downloaded the nikon d300 lr profiles ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Lr3 ignores whatever you use in camera. Have you downloaded the nikon d300 lr profiles ?
    Only the ones that come with LR3, Landscape, Portrait Standard, neutral, D2XMODE etc. Is there more?

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    D300(and that also means D90 and D300s and any other Nikon camera with the same sensor(D5000??), all seem to have the same routine, re the ISO/noise balance.
    In camera NR is zeroed out from ISO Lo-1 up to about ISO400(maybe ISO640 or so.. can't really remember the exact number!), BUT at ISO800, in camera NR kicks in.
    Even when you set in camera NR to zero/zip/nada/zilch!.. the camera is set to do some magical processing that reduces noise at ISO800. Irrespective of whether adobe can properly read the camera processed raw file, it always reads this hidden NR magic in the file,as apparently this is done during the DAC(digital-analogue conversion process.. from sensor through those CPU's and onto the card)
    This is why the D300(and offshoots) all prduce slightly nicer quality images from ISO800 compared to ISO400! Dynamic range is also slightly higher at ISO800 cf ISO400.
    This is just a fact of life that you have to live with, and is a problem for a lot of astro photographers apparently. Nikon raw files are not as raw as other manufacturers produce(that I know of, Canon). They go through pre processing before they end up on the card. There are ways you can get pure raw NEF files, but this is annoyingly cumbersome to achieve.

    I would dare say tho, that ultimate detail at ISO400 can be/will be/should be higher, even tho the noise level is technically higher than at ISO800.

    Noise at ISO200 should not be present at all. You may see some graining as you sharpen the image, either via USM or highpass or whatever method(highpass on a very low scale is generally better tho).
    Graining is not noise, it's artifacts of sharpening where sharpening is not needed(usually in the non detailed blues and yellows).
    To combat that, you should selectively sharpen instead of wholesale USM with extreme predjudice
    (can LR even do that?.. paint USM with the brush tool over the detailed areas that may need it)

    Anyhow, your thread has re-sparked my interest in a topic that I'd long forgotten about. 99.9% noise free images from the D300 at ISO6400, with no NR either externally or in camera(apart from the NR inherent in the non user settable routine, previously explained).
    Hopefully soon, I'll get the chance to post the images(most likely landscapes ) once I get the time and opportunity to get the shots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ollie View Post
    Only the ones that come with LR3, Landscape, Portrait Standard, neutral, D2XMODE etc. Is there more?
    Umm, no, that's probably it....but there ar presets and profiles, two different things

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    Last edited by kiwi; 23-01-2011 at 8:31am.

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    Thanks Kiwi

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