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D2X Settings Help.

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I've been using the Canon 20D but to cut a long story short sold it, I now have a Nikon DX2 with Subal Housing. My question is to all DX2 users, I'll be taking it in the water in the next couple of days and wanted to know what setting should I start out with, i.e. menu setting etc, I'll be using the 10.5 MM to start with and am comforable about shutter speeds and f-stops etc. Thx

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If you can wait til monday and have space on the boat then I'll come out and you can see exactly what I use!

 

I leave most settings in default. Here are mine from the Shooting Menu:

 

Image Quality - RAW

Hi-Speed Crop - OFF

JPEG compression - Optimal quality

RAW compression - OFF

WB - Auto

Long exo NR - ON

High ISO NR - HIGH

ISO - 100

Image sharpening - A

Tone Comp - A

Color Space - Adobe

Color Mode - III

 

Alex

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Alex,

 

Thanks for the list of D2X settings you typically use. I'm in much the same situation except that I'm still waiting for the Stepaneks to make some more housings, so still limited to learning the camera by playing with it above-water, taking shots of the Denpasar market and my new dog playing on the beach, all of which has been a lot of fun.

 

A couple of questions:

 

1) Any reason for using color mode III ( nature or landscape) instead of II ( for images that will be subject to extensive digital processing). I started out shooting mostly in mode III, but now prefer mode II. Above-water and outdoors, at least, the camera seems to do better avoiding over-exposure and the accompanying jpegs also look better to me using mode II than mode III, but I can't really figure out from the Nikon manual what this setting actually does.)

 

2) A broader question (which I haven't been able to figure out from the manual) is which of the many settings (including color mode, but also other settings such as tone compensation, sharpening, NR, etc. affect RAW files and which only affect the JPG (assuming the camera is set to generate both RAW and JPEG files).

 

The white balance setting obviously does not have any effect on the raw file, while color mode apparently does. I'm unsure about all the others.

 

(It may be that Thom Hogan's new book on the D2X may answer this question, but the payment system on his website won't let me order the book - yet another incident of discrimination against people who happen to live in places like Indonesia.)

 

Frogfish (Robert Delfs)

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Sorry for the slow reply - been asleep! I agree with you Robert, about the colour mode. I really like mode III as I find it very similar to saturated slide film. I think if I shot more above water (especially with people in the shots) then I would not use it. It does have a tendency to over saturate, particularly on the JPGS.

 

Once you get the camera underwater I would suggest trying both.

 

I also am unsure which factors effect the RAW and which effect the JPG. Generally I have found that the defaults work very nicely - and I have taken the "if it ain't broke approach..." with them.

 

I am sorry to hear of your wait for housings. But you are not the only one. IMO Subal seem very interested in chasing the new world market these days. And certainly it seems much easier to get hold of D2X Subal's over here (as Kriptap has shown) than it is in Europe or the Far East. In the UK, two of our best known photographers have been waiting for their Subal D2Xs for a long time now.

 

Alex

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Just to add to that, I walked into a known photo shop and bought it off the shelf, sorry, it was the last one :)

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Hi ,

 

My wife and I also just got back from Bali where I was shooting the D2x. I used the same settings that Alex listed above with good results.

 

I did experiment with WB while there. It seems that the jpg's being generated are more affected than the RAW files when WB is changed. Testing Auto, Flash and Cloudy modes, the resulting jpgs were more saturated with Flash and Cloudy settings. I didn't think it was a big difference , however, and continued with Auto WB.

 

The jpgs coming out of the camera are so good i did not even bother with the RAW files. Im starting to post some at my website (www.fishlens.com) and most of the pictures were the jpg files. Nikon has done a really great job (in my opinion) with the jpgs. Compared to my d70, they needed almost no color correction (levels and saturation). I also felt Nikon Capture did a better job with the NEF files than CS2 raw converter.

 

While in Bali, I got to see the Subal d2x housing (marty snyderman had two). There is one major difference between this housing and my Nexus that I thought would be advantageous... The Subal has an AF lever that can be easily used in conjunction with the shutter release lever....a feature some people use but I was not familiar with until this trip...

 

Alex, I have some Magic Filter photos for you!! I'll post some later on my site.

 

M.

 

oops... I shot at ISO 200 and LCD at -1......saw that difference from Alex's settings.

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Thanks for the advice, one other thing, Nikon Capture is very slow on my computer, I'm a computer tech as well as DM and my computer is new and runs great with all other programs but it does take quite a lot of time to load a RAW image.

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Alex,

Thanks for the reason you use Color Mode III versus II. I just took two flower RAW shots side by side and loved the color using III much better....

 

I sure appreciate it when everyone "shares" their reasons...makes much more sense than the darn manuals! Thank you....

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Hi Robert,

 

Colour mode and colour spaces used to be muddled up before the D2X. In actual fact, colour spaces really define the gamut of colours available in the picture (range of colours available), while color mode defines how saturated the pictures will be (intensity of colors). The first is an intrinsic quality of the image, while the second is post-processed in the camera.

 

To conclude, I should think that colour modes will only affect JPEG files, and RAW that are used straight off, without tweaking them in the RAW conversion software. Note that it is always possible to adjust colour saturation during post processing on your computer, using a calibrated screen for accurate results...

 

There is an easy to read description of these concepts specifically written for Nikon dDLRs on:

 

http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/n...html?source=rss

 

Cheers,

Mathieu

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Thanks, MattDiver, Alex,

 

I checked the earthboundlight.com article by Bob Johnson that you mentioned, but I didn't really find it completely helpful. I think I know what color spaces are (LAB is my favorite, by the way). Johnson seems to be saying that color mode I on the D1H and D1X meant sRGB color space while Mode 2 meant Adobe RGB.

 

On the D2H and D2X, on the other hand, color space and color mode are obviously separate settings, but clearly still linked, at least insofar as color mode II is only an option in Adobe RGB color space, while Modes I and III can be used with either Adobe RGB or sRGB.

 

For these cameras, Johnson seems to suggest the color modes might be tone curves, following the D100 approach, with Mode III offering more saturation. This would be consistent with Nikon's description of these modes as offering different palettes analogous to different films and its recommendation to use Mode I for portraits and Mode III for landscapes. ( Not many professional portrait photographers ever had successful careers shooting portraits with Velvia.) But this doesn't explain what Mode II really is, if it's anything. Unfortunately, moreover the test shots Johnson provides only compare modes I and III, and even these don't tell me much except that the colors most affected by changing between I and III are reds, oranges and greens.

 

Is Mode II (which Nikon recommends for images that will be extensively processed) supposed to represent a "straight" curve (i.e., no curve applied in camera), while Modes I and III represent special curves optimized for flesh tones (I), while III is supposed to emulate Velvia or Provia emulsion?

 

That seems to make sense, but if color modes are tone curves, then what does the tone compensation setting do - are these both tone curves? Tone compensation seems to clearly mean some kind of contrast-enhancing tone curve, since the manual says users can write a custom tone curve and download it to the camera using Nikon Capture.

 

Here's one possibility, or rather a guess: that what the tone compensation setting does is equivalent to curving the L (luminosity) channel in LAB color space, while modes I and III represent flattened or steepened curves on the A and B (red-green and blue-yellow) channels, which govern color contrast and saturation.

 

In any case, from what I've read here and on other sites, nobody seems to know what these really do, or (more importantly) whether using different color modes or tone compensation settings actually has any effect on raw files. I don't mind doing some tests myself, but it does bother me that the documentation about how these settings actually work on this camera is so vague and unclear.

 

The relevance of all this, in case anybody is mystified or simply wondering, is that if none of these settings (except Color Space) affect the RAW image data, then it doesn't matter in the slightest what settings we use when we're shooting RAW, these camera settings will only affect the accompanying JPEG and/or thumbnail. If these do affect the RAW file, on the other hand, then making the right decisions about color mode, tone compensation, and in-camera sharpening etc. may be critically important issues.

 

Here are some starting working hypotheses regarding camera image adjustment settings, to be confirmed by testing. (In case anyone else wants to test, one important caveat: changes in the appearance of the thumbnail and preview images used to represent raw NEF files in Adobe Bridge (or presumably Nikon Capture) under different settings do NOT necessarily mean that the data in the raw file is actually different. It is possible, if not likely that these settings are only being applied to the thumbnail and preview images.

 

 

Setting...................... Affects RAW

 

Color space................YES

Color mode................ NO... = LAB A+B curves: I=flattened, III steeper, II no change

Tone Compensation.....NO = LAB L channel curves (luminosity contrast)

Hue adjustment...........NO

Sharpening.................NO..... ????

White balance............ NO.....(though WB data is encrypted in the NEF file as metadata)

High ISO NR............... YES....????

 

According to one authority who has tried to reverse engineer the NEF file, contrast, saturation, and sharpness settings are recorded as part of the standard EXIF IFD (as is white balance, color space, and a lot more), while separate values for the camera settings for white balance, sharpening, tone compensation, possibly color mode, plus a whole lot else are stored in (proprietary format?) in the "maker's mark" section of the NEF file. This doesn't prove that these settings are not applied to the raster data that makes up the actual image information in the NEF file, but it is suggestive.

 

NEF

 

Frogfish

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