D-Lighting

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
DK FYN Regular Member • Posts: 301
D-Lighting

Hello, I have a Nikon D5500 camera. Am I better just to leave the active D-Lighting setting to Auto for general photography or will I see a difference “lighter-Darker” image if I was to set it at a High setting?

Nikon D5500
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romfordbluenose Veteran Member • Posts: 5,334
Re: D-Lighting

Yes you will see a difference depending on what you are taking.

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Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,653
ADL
4

DK FYN wrote:

Hello, I have a Nikon D5500 camera. Am I better just to leave the active D-Lighting setting to Auto for general photography or will I see a difference “lighter-Darker” image if I was to set it at a High setting?

ADL overrides your set brightness and contrast settings. In settings higher than "low", it also affects the actual exposure by adjusting aperture/shutter speed/ISO either alone or in combination depending on the exposure mode set. In manual exposure mode (no auto ISO) it only affects the meter and not the actual aperture/shutter speed/ISO....but will still affect the brightness, contrast, and tone curves. Some Nikon software  can reverse this in manual exposure mode with the raw file. Note though if shooting in other than full manual and ADL set to higher than "low"....the effects on actual exposure can not be un-done, even with the RAW file.

It's possible to "add" a similar treatment with tone mapping and selective brightness/contrast control (with things like Photoshop) but it's not really the same exact thing as taken by the camera. If you shoot raw, only Nikon software can apply the tone mapping accurately. For that reason, if you use third party RAW conversion it's suggested to turn ADL off.

It's designed to work with matrix metering and there is no way of knowing if it was actually active as it's dynamic and scene dependent. So if you have ADL set to "normal" (as an example) and the scene is very straight forward with no major highlights or shadows (small dynamic range)...ADL may not even be noticed and your normal brightness and contrast settings get applied.

I often have ADL set to "normal" and shoot RAW only. The DR of the scene determines if I change that. Shooting multiple HDR exposures is also another place where ADL seems to have a very positive affect on the final product. I do not recommend using ADL with flash.

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OP DK FYN Regular Member • Posts: 301
Re: D-Lighting
1

Thanks for the info that is very helpful. I think I need just to use the setting more and review the results. Thanks

billmcl Regular Member • Posts: 278
Re: D-Lighting

Thanks for bringing this up as I've been wondering the same myself. Lately I've been shooting the moon and made a few adjustments ie: spot metering, bracketing etc. Would you also advise turning off D-Lighting because of the intensity of the highlights? I will give it a try next clear night. I use Capture One for Nikon for raw developing.

Thanks!

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Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,653
3rd party

billmcl wrote:

Thanks for bringing this up as I've been wondering the same myself. Lately I've been shooting the moon and made a few adjustments ie: spot metering, bracketing etc. Would you also advise turning off D-Lighting because of the intensity of the highlights? I will give it a try next clear night. I use Capture One for Nikon for raw developing.

Capture One is not Nikon developed software and does not read/render the ADL instruction set.  So what you will likely get by using ADL then processing the RAW with capture One...will be a bunch of shots that simply look underexposed.  If using ADL in a RAW workflow...you have to first convert from RAW with Nikon software to get the IQ benefits of ADL.

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billmcl Regular Member • Posts: 278
Re: 3rd party

Great! Thanks for that. Will give it a try without and compare.

Cheers!

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David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 12,596
Great reply Mako!

Very informative and very knowledgeable. I tried ADL about 10 years ago and hated it. Seemed very idiosyncratic and as you say, bizarre results with flash. I use flash with the vast majority of my photos.

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