Nikon colors in RAW

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
DeCorday
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Nikon colors in RAW
7 months ago

Not sure if this is the proper place for this question...

So I've been shooting a Nikon D200 for about 6 months now... easily put over 10k frames through the thing. I love it, it's bulletproof, but I'm already thinking of upgrading because the high ISO performance leaves so much to be desired. Also I'd like to go FX within the next year or two.

Here's the question: When I go through my old shots from my ancient D70s, I'm really taken with the colors, compared to the D200. This surprised me, as they are both CCD sensors. In the future, I'd love to get a camera with color akin to the D70. The D70 regularly puts out RAWS that come out of Lightroom with little to know post processing with colors like this:

or this:

or this:

When I look online for discussion of the D70's color, most people seem to find it too desaturated and look for more vivid cameras. Me, I love this and wish I could get images like this out of my D200.

The question is, if I'm looking to upgrade, what should I expect out of CMOS sensor RAWs, color-wise? further deviation from what strikes me as a very film-y D70? Should I quit worrying and just beef up my chops in post?

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Osvaldo Cristo
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Re: Nikon colors in raw
In reply to DeCorday, 7 months ago

I think you have to try more options in your raw developer. ACR as all raw developer I know (NX2, DxO, just to mention two I also use) has option to choose your developing profile. If you like more saturated, even if you would like to simulate the default from another camera, all is possible.

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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to DeCorday, 7 months ago

Just a few thoughts from an amateur.

Surely the color profile, even RAW, is a result of some processing. Thus, with the correct profile, you can get what you want from any camera, more or less, no? Yes, some more processing involved, but, the D70 was processed also, just more to your liking. What that says is, you need to find the RAW developer and profile to match your likes.

No?

Here, D300, processed with Leica M9 profile (just trying, but been using D3 profile with excellent results), in Capture 1 mainly, then slightly finished in Photo Ninja.

Looks quite film-like I think, from what I remember of film prints.

No?

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hirejn
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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to DeCorday, 7 months ago

RAW files by nature do not include processing like contrast, sharpness or color enhancements like JPEGs. You can't change RAW recording. RAW is unprocessed data from the sensor so there's no in-camera tweaking you can do. Think of it like a film negative. The film is what it is. You can change only how you develop it. RAW file are similar. I think RAW files have become better with new cameras and you won't find desaturated files.

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issac sam
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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to hirejn, 7 months ago

Hi

D70 was my first Digital Body & I used it for paid assignments (people, Architecture, product). At that time, I loved its output. Progressed through several Nikon DSLRs and currently use a D800. Comparing the colors with the D70s colors, I always wonder about the desaturated look from it.

To me it looks awful. Only positive was its sort of 3D look which simply is not seen in any of the current DSLRs (both Nikon & Canon included). But that's just about it which looked good.

~Issac Sam

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DeCorday
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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to issac sam, 7 months ago

issac sam wrote:

Hi

D70 was my first Digital Body & I used it for paid assignments (people, Architecture, product). At that time, I loved its output. Progressed through several Nikon DSLRs and currently use a D800. Comparing the colors with the D70s colors, I always wonder about the desaturated look from it.

To me it looks awful. Only positive was its sort of 3D look which simply is not seen in any of the current DSLRs (both Nikon & Canon included). But that's just about it which looked good.

~Issac Sam

That "3D" look is a much better way of describing what I'm talking about...

So, ok. I won't get that out of the box with any new DSLR. Have you had any luck replicating that feel in post?

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Trevor G
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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to DeCorday, 7 months ago

DeCorday wrote:

When I look online for discussion of the D70's color, most people seem to find it too desaturated and look for more vivid cameras. Me, I love this and wish I could get images like this out of my D200.

The question is, if I'm looking to upgrade, what should I expect out of CMOS sensor RAWs, color-wise? further deviation from what strikes me as a very film-y D70? Should I quit worrying and just beef up my chops in post?

Before you replace the D200 whuy don't you shoot a series of scenes back to back with both cameras, at default settings?

I'm wondering if you changed one of the Picture Control settings in the D200, or maybe more than 1, and didn't realise...

It's sometimes better to start again from a position of knowledge rather than supposition.

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b2martin_a
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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to DeCorday, 7 months ago

What camera profile are you using in Lightroom to convert the images for the D70 and D200?  The Default profile is Adobe Standard, but I don't get good results using this profile.  The D70 and D200 cameras do not support Nikon Picture Control Profiles, but Adobe supplied Picture Control profiles for both cameras - they are named Camera Neutral, Camera Standard, etc.  Lightroom does not read the profile you have selected in the camera, it will use it's default of Adobe Standard unless you select something else.

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DeCorday
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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to b2martin_a, 7 months ago

I'm importing with Camera Mode II on both, which I assume is a different setting for each camera based on some kind of Adobe-magic.

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DeCorday
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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to Trevor G, 7 months ago

I am almost certain that they are both running in mode II with very few settings deviating from default, but I will check. My understanding was that these options only affected JPEG output... am I mistaken?

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rhlpetrus
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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to DeCorday, 7 months ago

I don't have any problems getting great colors from the D7000.

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b2martin_a
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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to DeCorday, 7 months ago

I don't understand what you mean when you are importing with Camera Mode II.  I assume you are talking about importing into Lightroom, but Lightroom will not read what camera profile you have selected in the camera.  It will use what you have set as it's default for the camera and if you have not changed it Lightroom will use Adobe Standard.

The camera profile you have selected in the camera will be used by the camera to generate jpg images.  If you open the NEF files with Nikon software (View NX2 and Capture NX2) it will use the profile you selected in the camera, but you can change it if desired.

Adobe does not have matching profiles for the camera profiles available in the D70 and D200.  The profiles available in Lightroom are Adobe Standard, Camera D2X Mode 1, Camera D2X Mode 2, Camera D2X Mode 3, Camera Standard, Camera Neutral, Camera Portrait, Camera Landscape, and Camera Vivid.  The profiles with names of Camera xxxxxx are matching profiles for Nikon Picture Control Profiles that are available in the newer cameras - I believe starting with the D300.  You change the camera profile under the Camera Calibration tab in Lightroom.

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DeCorday
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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to b2martin_a, 7 months ago

b2martin_a wrote:

I don't understand what you mean when you are importing with Camera Mode II. I assume you are talking about importing into Lightroom, but Lightroom will not read what camera profile you have selected in the camera. It will use what you have set as it's default for the camera and if you have not changed it Lightroom will use Adobe Standard.

The camera profile you have selected in the camera will be used by the camera to generate jpg images. If you open the NEF files with Nikon software (View NX2 and Capture NX2) it will use the profile you selected in the camera, but you can change it if desired.

Adobe does not have matching profiles for the camera profiles available in the D70 and D200. The profiles available in Lightroom are Adobe Standard, Camera D2X Mode 1, Camera D2X Mode 2, Camera D2X Mode 3, Camera Standard, Camera Neutral, Camera Portrait, Camera Landscape, and Camera Vivid. The profiles with names of Camera xxxxxx are matching profiles for Nikon Picture Control Profiles that are available in the newer cameras - I believe starting with the D300. You change the camera profile under the Camera Calibration tab in Lightroom.

Sorry, I should have been more precise... With the D200 I'm using "Camera D2X Mode 1" or "Mode 2." With the D70, "Adobe Standard"

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b2martin_a
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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to DeCorday, 7 months ago

Ok, now I understand.  I found that the Camera matching profiles used with the D200 were too bright and required reducing exposure.  I modified the profiles using Adobe's DNG Profile Editor to reduce the brightness.  I converted an NEF file to DNG, opened the DNG file in the DNG Profile Editor, selected the base profile under the Color Tables Tab, and then under the Tone Curve tab selected Camera RAW Default as the Base Tone Curve.  I then selected Edit > Export Nikon D200 profile.

I also generated a profile for the D200 that is a close match to the Mode I you select in the camera.

I don't have a D200 now, upgraded to a D700 several years ago.  I use Camera Neutral with a custom tone curve to match Neutral in the camera with contrast set to +1.

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DeCorday
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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to b2martin_a, 7 months ago

b2martin_a wrote:

Ok, now I understand. I found that the Camera matching profiles used with the D200 were too bright and required reducing exposure. I modified the profiles using Adobe's DNG Profile Editor to reduce the brightness. I converted an NEF file to DNG, opened the DNG file in the DNG Profile Editor, selected the base profile under the Color Tables Tab, and then under the Tone Curve tab selected Camera RAW Default as the Base Tone Curve. I then selected Edit > Export Nikon D200 profile.

I also generated a profile for the D200 that is a close match to the Mode I you select in the camera.

I don't have a D200 now, upgraded to a D700 several years ago. I use Camera Neutral with a custom tone curve to match Neutral in the camera with contrast set to +1.

Awesome, that's super-helpful. Once I export the profile, is it selectable upon import? do I have to load it into lightroom? (sorry... I'm a bit of a digital newbie)

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b2martin_a
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Re: Nikon colors in RAW
In reply to DeCorday, 7 months ago

You do have to save the profile to the correct location and this depends on your operating system.  I am using Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit operating system.  I save the profile to C > Users > (your user ID) > AppData > Roaming > Adobe > CameraRaw > CameraProfiles.  I don't know if you have to close and reopen Lightroom before it will be available.  If you have a Mac, it will be in a different location.  I have been using Camera RAW in Photoshop CS6 and when I installed Lightroom 5 it shows all the profiles I have.

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