D800e Red Oversaturation

Started Apr 15, 2013 | Discussions
Randy Redford
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D800e Red Oversaturation
Apr 15, 2013

I just printed my first image with the D800e -- shot raw and processed through ACR and PS (latest versions) and the reds are all way oversaturated to the point of almost being blown.

Have any of you had this issue?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  I am trying to decide between this and a Fuji x-e1 for an upcoming trip to India.

Thanks.

Randy

Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon D800E
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FourT6and2
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to Randy Redford, Apr 15, 2013

Randy Redford wrote:

I just printed my first image with the D800e -- shot raw and processed through ACR and PS (latest versions) and the reds are all way oversaturated to the point of almost being blown.

Have any of you had this issue?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  I am trying to decide between this and a Fuji x-e1 for an upcoming trip to India.

Thanks.

Randy

If you edited the photo through ACR and PS, then it's not the camera's fault. You need to go back and review your workflow process. Shooting RAW gives you the ability to have complete control over your color. If your reds printed over saturated, then maybe bring back the reds a bit in PS. Just a thought...

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michaeladawson
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to Randy Redford, Apr 15, 2013

Randy Redford wrote:

I just printed my first image with the D800e -- shot raw and processed through ACR and PS (latest versions) and the reds are all way oversaturated to the point of almost being blown.

Have any of you had this issue?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  I am trying to decide between this and a Fuji x-e1 for an upcoming trip to India.

Thanks.

Randy

All I can say is "yes".  In all my years of owning Nikon DSLRs, going back to the D100, I have always had the most difficulty with the red channel.  I am not saying this is a fault of Nikon.  I don't know.  All I do know is that you have to be very conscious of the red channel because that is the one that will tend to blow out first.

Is it any worse than Canon or Sony?  Don't know.  The only thing you can really do is expose for the red channel and handle correction in post.  The good news is that the D800 has a lot of DR and you can bring up the shadows a ton with very small degradation in quality.

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Robin Casady
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to Randy Redford, Apr 15, 2013

Randy Redford wrote:

...the reds are all way oversaturated to the point of almost being blown.

You have to watch what color space you are using, and what your printer can handle. Photoshop has a Gamut Warning that will tell you when a color is blown for the color space being used.

If you are using ProPhoto RGB, or Adobe RGB, and your printer can only handle sRGB, you are likely to process colors beyond what your printer can render.

Lightroom 4.4 and ACR use camera profiles for rendering color for different cameras. If you wish, you can open one of the Adobe camera profiles in the free Adobe DNG Profile Editor and make adjustments for reds. Then save it as a new profile and apply that to your files.

With digital RAW, the color is up to you.

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Tony Beach
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to michaeladawson, Apr 15, 2013

michaeladawson wrote:

Randy Redford wrote:

I just printed my first image with the D800e -- shot raw and processed through ACR and PS (latest versions) and the reds are all way oversaturated to the point of almost being blown.

Have any of you had this issue?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

All I do know is that you have to be very conscious of the red channel because that is the one that will tend to blow out first.

This is very infrequently true.  The green channel blows out first far more often than the red channel.

The only thing you can really do is expose for the red channel and handle correction in post.

How are you evaluating exposure for the red channel?  Do you set your camera up with neutral settings such as a linear curve?  Do you use uni-WB?  If not then it is likely you are underexposing the entire file to address a problem that lies elsewhere.

Yes, you can underexpose and then correct that in post processing; or better still, you can expose properly and address the problem with oversaturated reds in the conversion of the Raw file by avoiding high saturation, possibly applying a negative exposure compensation, and watching your output gamut.

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Steve Bingham
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to Randy Redford, Apr 15, 2013

Generally speaking, red channel problems CAN be a product of all DSLR files that I have seen. When shooting red roses, California poppies, or magenta clothes, the red channel can sometimes become blown (R=255) or merely super saturated (R=190-250). The solution most always ends up becoming a PP one and might well include some initial exposure compensation, like -.5. If the problem is simply too much red saturation, that can easily be taken care of in your raw conversion.

If the red channel is truely blown, the solutions are many:

1- Cut initial exposure

2- Do a double raw conversion and mask the reds. Most effective

3- Simply reduce the saturation in raw conversion

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39matt
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to Steve Bingham, Apr 15, 2013

In Lightroom 4 and I am guessing ACR in Photoshop the default Adobe Standard is too saturated. I found this with my D800.
If you change the camera profile to Camera Standard this gets it back to being virtually spot on with out of camera jpegs when set to camera standard.
It might not work for you but it solved my problem with over saturated images.
Hope that helps

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39matt
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to 39matt, Apr 15, 2013

Wasn't clear. I meant change the camera profile in Lightroom or ACR in Photoshop not on the camera

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mlewan
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to Steve Bingham, Apr 15, 2013

Steve Bingham wrote:

If the red channel is truely blown, the solutions are many:

1- Cut initial exposure

2- Do a double raw conversion and mask the reds. Most effective

3- Simply reduce the saturation in raw conversion

What does "double raw conversion" mean?

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Tony Beach
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to mlewan, Apr 15, 2013

mlewan wrote:

Steve Bingham wrote:

2- Do a double raw conversion and mask the reds. Most effective

What does "double raw conversion" mean?

Convert once optimizing the EC for one part of the image (e.g., the sky, in lieu of using an ND filter), and then again optimizing for some other part of the image (e.g., a dark foreground, or a bright red rose).

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Stacey_K
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to Randy Redford, Apr 15, 2013

I used to shoot with olympus and have found the nikon files do tend to over saturate reds. It's not a hard thing to fix in photoshop or in CNX2 but it is something I have noticed compared to the files from my E1/E410 olymnpus dSLRs. At first I was seeing totally blown out reds and thinking "????". Now I've learned to under expose when there are hot reds in the scene and be ready to desaturate them in post if needed to keep them from being blown.

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digital ed
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to Randy Redford, Apr 15, 2013

Randy Redford wrote:

I just printed my first image with the D800e -- shot raw and processed through ACR and PS (latest versions) and the reds are all way oversaturated to the point of almost being blown.

Have any of you had this issue?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  I am trying to decide between this and a Fuji x-e1 for an upcoming trip to India.

Thanks.

Randy

I use DXO Optics Pro8 for 90% of my development and it is very easy to de-saturate the red channel without any change to the other channels. Occasionally need to do this for D800 photos of red flowers.

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mlewan
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to Tony Beach, Apr 15, 2013

Tony Beach wrote:

mlewan wrote:

Steve Bingham wrote:

2- Do a double raw conversion and mask the reds. Most effective

What does "double raw conversion" mean?

Convert once optimizing the EC for one part of the image (e.g., the sky, in lieu of using an ND filter), and then again optimizing for some other part of the image (e.g., a dark foreground, or a bright red rose).

And that assumes Photoshop and Smart Objects? Fair enough. I had missed that the OP already had PS.

My experience is that red oversaturation is less of a problem if one uses View NX or Capture NX. If one has Capture NX one can of course also use control points and adjust saturation or exposure locally directly.

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Robin Casady
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to mlewan, Apr 15, 2013

mlewan wrote:

If one has Capture NX one can of course also use control points and adjust saturation or exposure locally directly.

Or brush layers in Lightroom 4.4.

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jfriend00
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to Robin Casady, Apr 15, 2013

Robin Casady wrote:

mlewan wrote:

If one has Capture NX one can of course also use control points and adjust saturation or exposure locally directly.

Or brush layers in Lightroom 4.4.

You don't even need a brush layer in Lightroom.  You can just turn down the saturation or luminance of the reds with the HSL control.

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iJoost
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to Randy Redford, Apr 15, 2013

It's perhaps best if you show an example of the problem.

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bgbs
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to Randy Redford, Apr 15, 2013

I don't get it  You said you printed the file and the print has blown reds. What were you seeing on the monitor then? Sounds like you're having calibration and profile problems. The first solution is to calibrate your monitor and profile your printer. What you see on screen should come very close to your print output.

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Randy Redford
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to bgbs, Apr 15, 2013

I do have a calibrated monitor, and the reds were blown on it as well.  My printer tends to print darker than the screen (I don't have them calibrated together, but know about the amount of the difference) and the reds were much more blown on the monitor.

RR

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j_photo
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to Randy Redford, Apr 16, 2013

Isn't the solution to expose the image properly, so as not to blow the red channel?

If any channel is blown, then it cannot be really repaired in post processing--data has been lost that cannot be recreated.

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jfriend00
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Re: D800e Red Oversaturation
In reply to j_photo, Apr 16, 2013

j_photo wrote:

Isn't the solution to expose the image properly, so as not to blow the red channel?

If any channel is blown, then it cannot be really repaired in post processing--data has been lost that cannot be recreated.

It is always better to get the best exposure possible.  But, since it was shot as a RAW, the blown highlights may only be in the developed image - there is probably more data if it is developed properly.

An after-the-fact fix like this involves going back to the RAW processors and using soft proofing capabilities to bring the red channel into the range of the print/paper using a profile created specifically for the printer/paper combination so that detail can be seen in the reds in both the soft proof image and the print.

If it's hopelessly blown in the RAW and a good RAW processor can't recover any detail, then the only answer is to reshoot or live with the best result possible.  Otherwise, back off on the saturation or luminance of the reds to bring them into the range of the printer/paper.

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