I have changed my mind.

Started Mar 23, 2008 | Discussions thread
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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 26,184
I have changed my mind.

For many years I have been an advocate of the latest ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) as a raw converter. However, it seems Adobe simply hasn't kept up with what Nikon has been doing with its DSLR files. Adobe blames it on Nikon, Nikon blames Adobe. I really don't care.

Here is the problem I ran into. ACR, with its Nikon defaults, simply is so far off that each conversion takes considerable effort on my part using all my PP skills to get it where I want it. Example: A recent desert wildflower expedition allowed me to get dozens of wonderful California (and Arizona) Poppy photos. These are tough to photograph without clipping the RED channel. Damn tough for ACR without cutting the exposure 1 to 2 stops in raw conversion and then rescuing the other stuff in PP (PS CS3). I use the channel histogram when converting.

So I tried using Nikon Capture NX 1.3 (which I had used before). Hmmm. The red channel didn't clip! No exposure compensation necessary. Then I noticed, as I had before, that the ACR needed some gentle USM sharpening (.4 at 150% and 0). Layering the two raw conversions in PS CS3 (one on top of the other) I then compared the 3 channels. Hmmm. Capture won! Then I examined the edges where USM can sometimes show .. Capture had slightly less ringing (halo effect) and equal sharpening. What? No way. So I kept messing around trying different curves, sharpening, etc in the two raw converters. Could I get ACR to equal Capture quality? Almost - but no. More importantly, I don't have the time to do that much work on every image.

Looks like I will be switching to Capture NX 1.3. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but in this case Nikon has won me over. (And I am a tough sell!)
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Steve Bingham
http://www.dustylens.com
http://www.ghost-town-photography.com

 Steve Bingham's gear list:Steve Bingham's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm F2.8-4E ED VR +20 more
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