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Help With D300 Photos


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#21 nopro

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 10:31 AM

Just got my new computer running and checked the thread. ;)

Quite a few new things to consider. I usually shoot raw + jpg. The pictures were 14 bit raw files converted in photoshop elements 6.0 without adjustment so I could see what I actually shot. I no longer have the original jpg files to compare because I wrote over them with the photoshop files.

So now I need to know if Photoshop even handles 14 bit files and if I should load the Capture NX & viewer software. I never bothered with my Canon because I also have a high end Nikon point & shoot for my wife and for times I didn't want to take my dslr out of the housing. Too much software already.

Thanks for all the thought provoking feedback.

#22 Benthic7

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 11:31 AM

I have now downloaded CaptureNX 1.3.1. When I checked for updates from version 1.3.0, the software claimed there was no update. Until the previous post I never thought to go to the Nikon website and try to download the software (appearantly Nikon doesn't understand what 'checking of updates' means... ;) ).

Once again this forum helps me out! Thank-you!

Greg


Have you tried downloading NX2 - its available as a free trial.

#23 John Bantin

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 11:42 AM

So now I need to know if Photoshop even handles 14 bit files and if I should load the Capture NX & viewer software.
Thanks for all the thought provoking feedback.


CS3 handles 8-bit, 16-bit (14-bit) and 32-bit files. Like CS and CS2 it comes with Bridge, a browser that allows you to see what's on your RAW files. I tend to do all my work in 16-bit and then convert to 8-bit (CMYK) TIF for the printer's PDF at the final stage.
It may not be the best way to work but that's what I do. You can of course open your RAW files directly as 8-bit.

I hope this helps and I hope someone doesn't now tell everyone I'm doing it wrong!

I tried NX but found it was less intuitive but then it could be simply to do with what I'm used to.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#24 ordvr

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 09:34 PM

Have you tried downloading NX2 - its available as a free trial.


I haven't tried NX2. Is it an improvement, or easier to use? Has anyone used both, and have enough experience with both NX and NX2 to state whether it is worth going to NX2?

Capture NX doesn't seem to be as easy to use as I'd expected. And it does more than I expected. That means I'm just going to have to spend time with it, and see how I like it. For now I'm considering buying an 8GB card (versus the 2 4GB cards I currently have) and shooting both Raw and JPEG for a while. I can probably shoot until the battery dies with that, so I can make it through a day of diving without having to open the housing up.

My fear is that if I got to JPEG I'll end up with some fantastic shot, and I'll then realize that it would be better or more marketable if I'd shot it in RAW format in the first place. [Feel free to tell me I'm being paranoid, or down-right stupid.]

If I didn't enjoy this so much I'd really be put off by all the work and learning I have to do!

Greg

#25 ATJ

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 10:32 PM

For now I'm considering buying an 8GB card (versus the 2 4GB cards I currently have) and shooting both Raw and JPEG for a while. I can probably shoot until the battery dies with that, so I can make it through a day of diving without having to open the housing up.

My fear is that if I got to JPEG I'll end up with some fantastic shot, and I'll then realize that it would be better or more marketable if I'd shot it in RAW format in the first place. [Feel free to tell me I'm being paranoid, or down-right stupid.]

I don't see a problem with shooting raw+jpeg - in fact that is exactly what I do. The jpeg files don't add that much more space. That way you have the best of both worlds. An alternative would be to shoot just raw and use CaptureNX to batch convert the raw files to TIFF. I considered this, but you'd lose some of the raw conversion options if you had a difficult picture - slightly over or under exposed - although as you still have the raw you could manually process it with CaptureNX.

#26 ornate_wrasse

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:09 PM

I haven't tried NX2. Is it an improvement, or easier to use? Has anyone used both, and have enough experience with both NX and NX2 to state whether it is worth going to NX2?

Capture NX doesn't seem to be as easy to use as I'd expected. And it does more than I expected. That means I'm just going to have to spend time with it, and see how I like it.


Hi Greg,

There are lots of comments on www.nikonians.org from folks who are saying the the minor improvements in NX2 are not enough to justify the $$$ they want for the upgrade. As for myself, I have not used NX2 so I can't say whether it's worth the upgrade.

As for learning Capture NX, I have been very pleased with the Capture NX workshop offered by www.nikonians.org You can attend a workshop in Seattle (not many are offered in Portland unfortunately). I found that it was well worth the money spent. Also, have you bought the ebook on NX offered by Jason Odell? It has been very informative and helpful in learning to use the program.

I see you bought the Aquatica housing instead of the Subal :D I hope you get to use it soon!

Cheers,

Ellen
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#27 John Bantin

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:16 PM

I used to shoot RAW & jpeg but the RAW converter browser simply brings them all up side-by-side. I started to wonder what the point was simply because if you open a RAW file at Camera Settings and press Save As Jpeg you instantly get the same effect. I came to the conclusion it was simply for those who took no computer with them and needed to send a jpeg instantly after shooting (like maybe a wedding photographer or newsman needs to do.) So I abandoned the idea and simply shoot RAW files. You can get really quick doing the conversions with a decent computer and practise.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#28 ATJ

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:31 PM

I used to shoot RAW & jpeg but the RAW converter browser simply brings them all up side-by-side. I started to wonder what the point was simply because if you open a RAW file at Camera Settings and press Save As Jpeg you instantly get the same effect.

But that's just it, you don't get the same effect at all when you are using any raw converters other than CaptureNX. I use Lightroom and shoot raw+jpeg. The raw images look nothing like the jpeg images when viewed in Lightroom - they are not even close. I use the jpeg to determine what the image "should" look like (the way it would look in CaptureNX) and then I can adjust the raw to something close. And if I can't get it close, I use CaptureNX to convert.

#29 eskasi

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 12:57 AM

Great thread....being new to Nikon and having used Lightroom ever since it came out, I never really noticed how different the color reproduction was for Capture NX and Lightroom. At times I will admit I was scratching my head wondering why I had to constantly tweak the photos so much to get things right.

After installing Capture NX which came free with my D300 (a whole 2 months after I got my camera!), I can actually see the difference. It certainly is not as intuitive or as easy to use for batch processing of multiple files. However, I may just use this to convert my files to TIFF and then batch process them in Lightroom. What a pain though. Having said that, I will admit that it does a lot more than I expected it to do..... U-point technology is incredible. The learning curve may be steep but I find that Capture NX will definitely come in handy for many of my "keepers"

#30 craig nelson

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 07:26 AM

HI All

I'd like to add my comments to this thread if i may. :D

When i moved from shooting "transparency" to digital I remember feeling almost "what the hell have i done" pretty much like i guess anyone switching from Canon to Nikon or vice versa.

it can be a difficult transition, I started with Canon "film", then went to Nikon "film" and have stayed with Nikon since.

What i've learnt from the digital revolution is what most are saying in the latter areas of this post, That you cannot depend on just one form of post production software.

Each of them have their merits and pitfalls, I like to use NX or Capture (older version) when i want my images to arrive as I shot them and dont require too much correction, e.g a wedding shoot.

for underwater work i'll use a combination of various software packages dependant on what results i'm looking for. but my favored is PS for underwater work.

I dont own a D300 so cant pass any advice on settings for you. But i'm sure you have a very capable tool in which to capture your image, the rest is in the eye and mind of the user.

happy shooting and PP

regards

craig
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#31 Benthic7

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 11:20 AM

Hi Greg,

There are lots of comments on www.nikonians.org from folks who are saying the the minor improvements in NX2 are not enough to justify the $$$ they want for the upgrade. As for myself, I have not used NX2 so I can't say whether it's worth the upgrade.

As for learning Capture NX, I have been very pleased with the Capture NX workshop offered by www.nikonians.org You can attend a workshop in Seattle (not many are offered in Portland unfortunately). I found that it was well worth the money spent. Also, have you bought the ebook on NX offered by Jason Odell? It has been very informative and helpful in learning to use the program.

I see you bought the Aquatica housing instead of the Subal :D I hope you get to use it soon!

Cheers,

Ellen


Another option is these training videos that Vincent Versace has for NX and now NX2.

http://acmeeducational.com/index.html

I bought Jason Odell's ebook also but found these videos to be more helpful, especially being able to see the process rather than just read it. I'm new to digital and I'll tell you, some of the things that Versace could do with his images with NX made my jaw drop - it really allows for artistic creativity - which was somewhat of an epiphany for me. One of the coolest things from a tech perspective (in my opinion) is that every camera setting other than ISO can be changed in NX. To me that means I can concentrate underwater on the image and composition and not have to fuss around with settings too much. Being that I'm new to all this digital stuff, I never used Photoshop so I can't say that one is easier or better than another. But NX2 costs less than Lightroom and a lot less than CS3.

#32 DavidScubadiver

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 10:14 AM

I was just annoyed that buying the D300 when I did, it only came with a trial edition of Capture. Frankly, I want the full version, with the camera. But alas, I got a discount on the 18-200 lens that is useless underwater. ;(
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#33 Benthic7

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 10:16 AM

I was just annoyed that buying the D300 when I did, it only came with a trial edition of Capture. Frankly, I want the full version, with the camera. But alas, I got a discount on the 18-200 lens that is useless underwater. ;(



Thats strange since my D300 came with a full version of Capture NX.

#34 hobodiver

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 08:32 PM

I recently upgraded from a Canon XTi to a Nikon D300. I had a year to learn the Canon and was getting fairly comfortable with it. After my first dives with the D300 I'm uncertain why I'm unhappy with these photos. Every shot seems soft and low on contrast. The dive conditions were fair for Hood Canal, 20 - 25 ft visibility in 50 degree water. I'm in my drysuit so already limited in handling my Ikelite housing with two DS-125 strobes. I'm not sure if this is my settings, the conditions or a little fogging. I wasn't using any desiccant but have some on order. I noticed a little condensation inside the housing but didn't see any on the lens or port.

The first shot was with a Nikon 60mm macro behind a flat port. It was shot with TTL flash, 1/60th @ f/8. I used ISO 200, center weighted metering, continuous focus on 21 point around my initial focus point, adobe RGB.

The second shot was with a Nikon 12-24mm @ 24mm behind a 6" dome port. It was shot with TTL flash, 1/60th @ f/11. I used ISO 200, center weighted metering, continuous focus on 21 point around my initial focus point, sRGB.

I was getting as close as I could and would appreciate any suggestions about improving sharpness and contrast.


According to what I have read on dpreview, by default, Nikon applies less sharpening to their images than Canon does. You can change the settings on the camera, or in post processing.