D7100 - I need help solving the "green shadows" in skin tones problem

Started Apr 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
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RudyPohl
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D7100 - I need help solving the "green shadows" in skin tones problem
Apr 3, 2013

Hi Folks:

I'm in a real dilemma and have decided to make it known on this forum and enlist your help.

Here's the situation: My 15-day trial period for this D7100 is over tomorrow (Thursday), but I still have a huge problem to solve and I'm essentially out of time. My immediate work commitments prevent me from spending any more time with the camera or in post processing until this Friday at the earliest. The problem I am having with the camera is so unacceptable to me that I cannot live with it, and last night while I still had some free time available, I returned the camera to the store for a refund, which I got.

However, I have fallen in love with this camera for my primary purpose, which is wildlife photography, and I do not want to give it up. Yet, if I can't solve this particular problem I can't keep the camera. Today I plan on calling the camera store and asking them to hold the camera for a few more days and if my new-found friends on the dpreview forum, or anybody else, can find a good work-around, I'll repurchase the camera on the weekend. If not, I'll wait for Canon's answer to the D7100 and see what it does.

OK, so here's the problem... it's the dreaded "green shadows" issue that I was told by every staff member at the camera store last night, has been the bain and Achilles heel of many Nikon camera models over the years. Of course, it's especially unacceptable in skin tones, which is where I am having the problem. Yesterday I took over a hundred shots of my wife in natural, indirect light at various exposures and they all had green shadows, and of course, the darker the exposure the worse the shadows. I have posted one example below of what I think is a reasonably well exposed shot. Unfortunately, I no longer have that particular NEF file, but I do have a few others that I didn't delete before returning the camera.

Regarding the green shadows problem, here's what mosswings wrote in this forum 3 days ago:

The D7100 is a camera designed to support computational photography.  It's not all about absolute noise levels as much anymore. It's about the options that you have in working with the file.

  • Need super-low noise levels for a landscape? Do a 16 shot high speed burst and align and average in post for another stop or so lower noise level.
  • Got minor pattern noise? Pattern-aware NR plugins make short work of it.
  • Worried about loss of perceived sharpness in a print by downsizing?  It doesn't quite work that simply. Higher resolution means better estimation of the edge brightness levels in the print.
  • Got greenish deep shadows?  Er, well, uhm, get Nikon to stop clipping its blacks. THAT's a potential problem with the D7100."

Yep, that's a potential problem alright, it's certainly a deal-breaker for me, and since I can't get Nikon to stop clipping the blacks, I need a good post processing work-around solution.

If I may pass on what I think are a couple of important observations that are relevant to the type of solution I am looking for.... I believe I need primarily a post processing solution more so than a Nikon in-camera setting solution. I need to find a good processing technique, especially in Photoshop CS5 which I know and own and have used in our web design business for years.

Here are my observations and why I say this:

1) When I view the NEF files in View NX2 the green shadows are quite visible and pronounced.

2) When I convert the NEF files to high quality JPEGs and open them in Photoshop the green shadows are completely gone, the skin-tone shadows look fabulous, nice rich smooth skin-colours and good gradients. No complaints there at all.

3) Then when I convert the Photoshop file to a JPEG and upload it to Flickr the whole thing looks awful once again. Flickr automatically makes images darker and adds contrast, so on critical images I always lighten them up and de-contrast them before uploading in order to compensate for this, and I often make 3-4 adjustments and uploads to get it just right. The problem is that in order to get rid of the green shadows I have to globally lighten, reduce contrast, reduce green and add red so much that the rest of the image looks terrible.

Flickr is the number place where I post my images. I like the interface and especially the community I'm a part of so whatever images I produce in the future have to work on Flickr.

In summary:

While I'm certainly interested in knowing about any in-camera settings, etc., that will minimize the creation of green shadows with this camera, more importantly I need a good PP tutorial on how to make green shadows less green and more natural, I really need it for the expensive, powerful tool I already own, which is Photoshop CS5. As I said, I really love this camera for wildlife photography.., I've had more fun and excitement shooting those BIF in the last 2 weeks than I've had in a long time. And yes, I have thought that in time I'll probably take the plunge and get some high-quality lenses. I'm pretty sure the camera shop will hold onto the camera for me for a few more days in hopes that I can find a PP solution to mitigating these green shadows. If I can find one, I'll re-purchase the camera, if not, I'll have to leave it there.

P.S. If you do a search for my posts in this particular forum you will see that one of my first ones almost 2 weeks ago was an inquiry about the pronounced green shadows under the chin of a person's portrait. Plus, given everything that people are saying, including mosswings, this is a BIG problem for a lot of people. Therefore, by working together to find a good green-shadow-busting PP solution, you would be helping not just me keep this camera, but apparently many others as well. Well anyways, that's it, I'm done... here's hoping.

Thanks for your time and your help,

Rudy

My wife Marny for the past 41 years.... (..don't know how she put up with me that long!)

Nikon D7100
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