User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  1
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Exp. comp vs Active d lighting

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    03 Feb 2010
    Location
    Melbourne (Melton)
    Posts
    212
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Exp. comp vs Active d lighting

    I have a Nikon D60 and am trying to familiarise myself with the functions (it's a long time coming). In any event I am unclear as to the difference between exposure compensation and active d-lighting buttons.

    I really don't understand the manual on this, nor is google enlightening me any. Can anyone please help?

    TIA

  2. #2
    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Jun 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,641
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I expect somebody will be along soon with a detailed explanation (Arthur?) but briefly the exposure compensation will alter the exposure across the whole image from what the camera meter selects (that is it will darken or lighten your picture)

    Active D Lighting is a rather complex algorithm performed by the camera to preserve shadow detail while holding the highlights. Generally it will lighten part of your picture.

  3. #3
    Member robcran's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Aug 2010
    Location
    Westleigh
    Posts
    222
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think D-lighting is something equivalent to applying an S curve in post-processing. The dark pixels are pushed up a bit lighter and the light pixels are pulled down a bit darker. But shooting RAW would give you more options and flexibility in post-processing.
    Robert
    Nikon D300 and various Nikkor and Sigma lenses

  4. #4
    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
    Join Date
    18 May 2007
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,358
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just quickly, an S-curve increases contrast (boosting highlights and darkening shadows). D-lighting does the opposite doesn't it... retain more shadow and recover more highlight detail.

    Anyways...do you know what your meter does? It measures the light level in the scene. If you leave exposure compensation on 0, it'll try to get a 'middle exposure'.
    Try photographing a black, white and gray piece of paper (make sure you cover the whole frame when you photograph it). In the auto or semi auto modes, the camera will always try to expose them so that the resultant picture is roughly middle gray regardless of whether the paper was white, black or gray to begin with. Ignore the colour differences since we're only talking about how bright the image is at the moment (try this test shooting in B&W mode if your camera has one).
    When you use exposure compensation, you tell the camera I want the picture to be lighter (+) or darker (-).

    D-lighting can change the exposure slightly but its mainly a way of processing the picture such that the dark areas arn't so dark and the light areas arn't so light. But overall the general brightness stays the same (the lightened shadow area is offset by the darkened highlight areas).
    Nikon FX

  5. #5
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 May 2007
    Location
    Marlo, Far East Gippsland
    Posts
    4,873
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by swifty View Post
    D-lighting can change the exposure slightly but its mainly a way of processing the picture such that the dark areas arn't so dark and the light areas arn't so light. But overall the general brightness stays the same (the lightened shadow area is offset by the darkened highlight areas).
    Pretty much seems to sum up how the in camera D lighting works.

    Shoot raw.
    Turn D lighting off.
    Expose to the right to get full control of the highlights using whatever exposure compensation is needed.
    Download View NX 2 and apply D lighting to the raw file using the controls to adjust the amount of highlights that need preserving / increasing and the same for the shadows / dark areas.
    There is far more control of the D lighting process in either View NX 2 or Capture NX 2 than the low / medium / high presets available in camera.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    23 Jan 2011
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    62
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I see there have been a few replies while I was writing mine but here it is:

    Active-D only affects you if you are shooting in JPG. Shoot in Raw (NEF) and don't worry about it. Active-D is more of a Nikon sales gimmick. That said the only time I use Active-D is when I shoot a 1000 image time lapse(s) (in JPG of course) and don't want to post process the images or clog up the card with 1000+ RAW images. In that case it is very useful!!

    Answering the initial question, exposure compensation has nothing to do with Active-D. Exposure comp really only affects the "exposure" on the P, A, S, and any of the other auto settings. If you shoot in M-manual it only affects the "meter read-out", you still have to adjust your exposure manually. In general exposure compensation is most useful when the subject is very dark or black or very bright or mostly white. If you are shooting in snow adjusting your exposure compensation to +2.0 should render your snow as white. If in a black painted room set the exposure compensation to -3.0. With subjects at different darker or lighter tones between black and white you may find various compensation will work between those settings. If the meter sensor is pointing directly at a light source the meter or compensation may fail by compensating too much. I personally like to shoot M-manual when ever I can and use the A and S modes sparingly this is where your exposure compensation will have the greatest effect. ....oh and just don't bother with P or the other auto modes.

    Almost forgot, always set the compensation back to zero when you have finished shooting as you may forget and the next time you use the camera and the photos may turn out too light or dark.
    Last edited by Keith Young; 27-05-2011 at 5:54pm.
    D7000, D300, Nikkor 50mm F1.4D, Nikkor 18-200mm, Tokina 11-16mm F2.8, Sigma 8mm F3.5, SB800, 3x SB600


  7. #7
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    7,744
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Young View Post
    .....

    Active-D only affects you if you are shooting in JPG. Shoot in Raw (NEF) and don't worry about it. Active-D is more of a Nikon sales gimmick. That said the only time I use Active-D is when I shoot a 1000 image time lapse(s) (in JPG of course) and don't want to post process the images or clog up the card with 1000+ RAW images. In that case it is very useful!!

    ......
    I dunno about this sales gimmick comment, but it does seem to work for me irrespective of file format mode!
    How well it works when compared to other methods of processing images is up to each individual user to determine.
    (Ken Rockwell seems to think it's the bee's knees, last time I checked )

    For me, I get hit and miss results(and hence why I rarely use it). There seemed to be no consistency and in effect you lose some control over the overall exposure in some situations.
    I have used it, with some good results, will use it for specific conditions if the need arises.
    As for sales gimmick, I don't think this comment is fair on Nikon, as it does work, as it's intended to do.

    The comment on how it only affects jpg images is true if you don't use Nikon's software to view/process your NEF files. ADL works better on NEF files than it does on jpg files if the truth needs to be told.
    You need CaptureNX to do this, but when you use it on an NEF file in camera, you can adjust the amount of ADL you've set on the raw file, or turn it on/off if you wish.
    So if you set ADL to low, and in fact you wanted high, you make the change via CNX on the PC. From what I've seen(so far) it works exactly the same way as doing it in camera.
    Conversely, if you turn ADL on and then you find that the image doesn't look as good as you initially thought, when you use CaptureNX, you can reset the ADL tone curve to off, and in 99.9% of instances the image reverts back to an exposure as if you hadn't turned ADL on at all. (there have been instances where the exposures have been slightly different when doing this reverting, but this is not very common).
    If you use Adobe software(and many do) and you shoot NEF, setting ADL mode is a futile endeavour. You simply won't see any benefit.

    On jpg images, once set, it's set! There is no option to undo, redo, or un-re-do.

    There is some accuracy in the comment about just shooting in NEF mode and not to worry about it, but as I've seen, you are best off using Nikon's CaptureNX2 to do that.
    In Capture NX2, there is a D-Lighting function for processing the NEF file on the PC, in the same manner as ADL does in camera. ADL in camera is a process which involves one less click to make the effect work on an image, but batch processing a series of images with D-Lighting is hardly an arduous task either!
    ViewNX does allow you to alter the ADL setting on an NEF file, but not with the same degree of flexibility as CaptureNX does.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    23 Jan 2011
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    62
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I dunno about this sales gimmick comment, but it does seem to work for me irrespective of file format mode!
    Yes if the NEF file is opened in Nikon CaptureNX(2) ONLY!

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    (Ken Rockwell seems to think it's the bee's knees, last time I checked )
    I think we can all take anything Ken Rockwell says with a grain of salt as he admits to being a serial JPG shooter, nuff said. Ken Rockwell is great for any technical equipment specifications, but not how to take the best pics.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    For me, I get hit and miss results(and hence why I rarely use it).
    OK? So is this you now agreeing with what I said?

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    There seemed to be no consistency and in effect you lose some control over the overall exposure in some situations....
    ....ViewNX does allow you to alter the ADL setting on an NEF file, but not with the same degree of flexibility as CaptureNX does.
    And so to summarise this bit you can undo, redo, or change the ADL settings or just simulate the ADL in a non-Nikon bit of software. Thanks for the clarification.

    I have no idea how many serious Nikon shooters put CaptureNX(2) into their workflow. Might be time for a poll? I have it, tried it, but don't use it. In my workflow I have replaced it with DXo Optics Pro 6. The "U-point" technology in CaptureNX is absolutely brilliant, so that's why I use the Nik/Adobe plug-ins instead.

  9. #9
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 May 2007
    Location
    Marlo, Far East Gippsland
    Posts
    4,873
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Young View Post
    I have no idea how many serious Nikon shooters put CaptureNX(2) into their workflow. Might be time for a poll? I have it, tried it, but don't use it. In my workflow I have replaced it with DXo Optics Pro 6. The "U-point" technology in CaptureNX is absolutely brilliant, so that's why I use the Nik/Adobe plug-ins instead.
    Might go and start a thread and poll specifically dealing with Capture NX just so that this thread relating to D lighting doesn't run off the rails too far. Stay tuned.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    23 Jan 2011
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    62
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    LOL thread hijack Alert!

  11. #11
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 May 2007
    Location
    Marlo, Far East Gippsland
    Posts
    4,873
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Young View Post
    LOL thread hijack Alert!
    Nah, just this thread is about D Lighting which is something that doesn't have to be tied in with PP software.

    Feel free to air your views on NX2 over HERE.

  12. #12
    Perpetually Bewildered fillum's Avatar
    Join Date
    13 Sep 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,134
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    From what I can work out there appears to be 2 steps to ADL. The first is to reduce the measured exposure value prior to taking the shot, and the second step is to boost the shadows (and mids?) after the exposure. My feeling is that this second step is similar to applying standard D-Lighting in PP. Some simple (unscientific) testing found the exposure reduction be -1 stop on the 'High' setting, but I don't know if this is constant or varies with the scene being shot. (For example if the scene is low contrast maybe there is minimal/no reduction in exposure?)

    I don't believe it's a gimmick, but is probably of little use to many shooters. I think it's probably aimed at reducing blown highlights in contrasty situations when using matrix metering, particularly for less experienced shooters who don't review the histogram. More experienced shooters are likely to use the histogram and dial in the exposure adjustment themselves, and then do any shadow adjustments in PP (eg D-lighting in CNX or Fill lighting in LR, etc).

    If you generally shoot jpegs using matrix metering it might be a good idea to turn on ADL (and maybe leave it set at 'Normal'), otherwise it's probably better to keep an eye on the histogram and make exposure adjustments as required.

    Then again, I could be completely wrong...



    Cheers.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


  13. #13
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    7,744
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Young View Post
    Yes if the NEF file is opened in Nikon CaptureNX(2) ONLY!.......
    Not necessarily! If you choose to use Adobe software only, then yes. If you choose to use software from other manufacturers, then you may be in luck. While other software manufacturers may not have the power to vary the level of ADL, you can still view the NEFs with the ADL setting active. The may be due to the rendering of the jpg image embedded in the raw file. Can't remember if Bibble had the ability to render the raw file as per Nikon's standards.
    So, whether you see the effects of ADL on your raw file is dependent on the software you choose. Some do, and others don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by fillum View Post
    ...... Some simple (unscientific) testing found the exposure reduction be -1 stop on the 'High' setting, but I don't know if this is constant or varies with the scene being shot. (For example if the scene is low contrast maybe there is minimal/no reduction in exposure?)

    I don't believe it's a gimmick, but is probably of little use to many shooters. I think it's probably aimed at reducing blown highlights in contrasty situations when using matrix metering.......
    I would have expected ADL to pull out all stops to protect highlights as a priority, but it doesn't. At least not in a consistent manner.

    So to the OP. If you choose to use any Nikon software, even if it's the free ViewNX.. I'd give Active D-Light a try, especially on portraits. It'll give you a good exposure on your file from which you can then rework as you please.
    A stronger ADL setting will produce a lower contrast setting in the image.
    This is similar to using a lower contrast Picture Control setting, such as Portrait or Neutral, but each of these in camera settings will produce a result of a different nature. They all produce similar effects in that they lower contrast, but to varying degrees.

  14. #14
    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Jun 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,641
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post


    I would have expected ADL to pull out all stops to protect highlights as a priority, but it doesn't. At least not in a consistent manner.

    Same here.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •