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Author Topic: how to get my canon files to look more like nikon (warm tones)  (Read 10997 times)
jessterb
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« on: May 22, 2012, 10:25:05 AM »
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Hi all, while Iíve been here before, itís my first time posting in this forum.  I realize my subject line is a loaded question, but please bear with me.  Smiley

Iíve been shooting Canon for a few years now and currently have a Canon 5DmkIII.  While this may seem strange to some, I actually love the rich warm colors Nikon delivers and am trying to get my canon files to look like more or less like that.

To give you an idea, if you visit danielaguilarblog.com, this is a perfect example as this photographer shoots in JPEG (with his Nikon D700), so what you see is very close to SOOC.  Obviously different lighting will yield different results, but I find the tones in Nikon files to simply have a nice golden/brown-ish/tan-ish look to themÖ as opposed to the orange/yellow (yet often red-ish) tones Iím getting when bumping up the temperature and adjusting my canon files in lightroom.

Iíve worked with the HSL sliders, curves, split tones, etc, for countless hoursÖ but I just canít get that rich subtle golden look of the Nikon files.

Can I accomplish what Iím trying to accomplish via camera calibration perhaps? 
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neile
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2012, 12:28:29 PM »
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Did you try adjusting the temp slider more towards yellow?

Neil
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jessterb
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2012, 12:34:53 PM »
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Hi Neil,

Yes, but I get more yellow (and orange) 'pee-like' by doing that.

I can reduce the orange by playing around with the HSL orange saturation and luminosity and while that helps a bit in that area, it also flattens out the skin tones (ie. I don't get the richness of the Nikon warm tones).  And again, that does help get rid of the "too yellow" warm look, as opposed to the golden/tab/brown tones.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2012, 01:21:40 PM »
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I might be totally wrong, but those photographs do not look like SOOC, at least not with default parameters. Most cameras these days have a range of controls to adjust in-camera jpgs, from contrast/saturation, to various profiles (landscape, portrait, etc.) to various "art filters".

The only way to really compare two cameras is to shoot side by side with default parameters and then compare the results and try to match one to another.
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Slobodan

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jessterb
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2012, 01:35:42 PM »
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close to SOOC  Smiley

he shoots in JPG and does some dodging and burning in photoshop, but that's it.

Here's another exampled I managed to find (incidently someone else asking the same or question as me), this one with an image completely SOOC:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/weddingphoto/discuss/72157626762577636/
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2012, 02:36:35 PM »
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Again, how do we know if it is really SOOC or close? And, as I mentioned above, SOOC does not mean much if parameters were adjusted in-camera. The next big (really big) issue is the light in the picture. If daylight, then what time of day, direction, reflective surfaces (say a lot of brick walls or similar might influence the color), under/over exposure... if mixed light, who knows what was the proportion of the various light sources, etc. etc.,

Take these examples, of my 13-year old daughter, shot with a Canon in an alley with a lot of brick walls, within minutes of each other. Those might not be the colors you are after, but their purpose is to illustrate different light sources and their impact on color.

Shot #1 was done backlighted.

Shot #2 is a result of pure happenstance: there was a car passing behind my back and reflecting low sunlight back into her face. There is no way you are ever going to match that color, no matter what presets you might use as, for instance, we do not know the color of the car.

Shot #3 was illuminated directly by the setting sun, with brick walls around serving as reflectors





« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 02:39:06 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

Slobodan

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jessterb
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2012, 03:47:24 PM »
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I canít offer any guarantees, but heís said so himself and I can tell you itís not his character to lie about it.  Also, whatever parameters would have been adjusted in-camera would be basic stuffÖ all basic stuff that could be just as easily adjusted in lightroom shooting RAW.

Iím not sure if you saw the flickr link I included, but there was also an example of the warm and rich Nikon tones I was referring to:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2705/5740371895_24c4eba5a5_b.jpg
Per the poster, that shot is SOOC (taken at 9am with overcast conditions).

So unless a bunch of Nikon photographers out there are lying about their shots SOOC  Smiley  I can see a similarity in the tones from one Nikon shooter to anotherÖ and am trying to find out a way to see if I can somehow get my canon files to more or less look the same.

Thanks for sharing those examples and yes, I absolutely agree about different lighting conditions and other variables affecting the colors/tones.  I know that in my case, I especially notice the yellow orange look of my canon files when Iím processing RAW images I shot in direct 2pm harsh lighting.  And while itís not as yellow orange when Iím shooting indoors natural light (white walls), itís still very different than the warm tones that my Nikon buddies getÖ

Ö which brings me back to my original question, whether or not itís something I could possibly get with my Canon files from within Lightroom.

Iím now looking at getting a colorchecker chart and creating some custom camera profiles, but wondering if this will really help achieve what Iím after?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2012, 04:15:13 PM »
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I have a feeling we are talking past each other. My position is that there is no way those examples you posted are representative of so-called Nikon colors, nor they are a result of default settings. If those are SOOC colors, something is seriously wrong with that camera.

You have not posted any link or quote to support that those are SOOC. Take, for example, the last link you posted above: the image in that link has a significantly different color than the same image on his blog, so which one is "Nikon color"?


 
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Slobodan

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jessterb
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2012, 04:36:30 PM »
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For that last example, I think you may have confused the author of the image with the OP of that thread.  Go back to the original flickr link of that image in question (http://www.flickr.com/groups/weddingphoto/discuss/72157626762577636/) and scroll down halfway through the page, youíll see the author of that image (nessa k) posted 3 examples of it:  SOOC, LR edit and Alien Skin edit.
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Schewe
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012, 04:50:12 PM »
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...youíll see the author of that image (nessa k) posted 3 examples of it:  SOOC, LR edit and Alien Skin edit.

You'll also note that she claims "I really do just use a modified Kodak Ultra Color 100UC with no grain. " That's a color neg film. So, it seems she's not even shooting digital which basically blows this discussion up...

Look, in LR it's all about getting your image to look the way you want it to look. There are several ways of adjusting color (depending on what version of LR you are using) to get a desaturated very warm look to an image...pretty easy to pull the saturation on the image, add warmth from Temp/Tint and then paint in a warming color using the adjustment brush or doing a global Split Tone adjustment. In LR 4 you can use RGB color curves to further edit color casts.

The thing you need to get past is camera brand having some magic impact on the rendering of an image. If you shoot raw, the image can look pretty much any way you want them to look if you know how to do it in post.
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jessterb
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2012, 05:20:08 PM »
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Sheís referring to the ĎKodak Ultra Color 100UCí filter in the Alien Skin software.  She actually uses a Nikon D700 from what I could quickly gather (http://www.formspring.me/nessak/q/245313237568988990).

Please trust me, with the investment I have in Canon gear, I donít want to get stuck into looking at another brand as the magic answer.  I simply started this thread because, for a while now, Iíve noticed that Nikon warm tones are clearly different than Canonís, which I personally feel has been confirmed by seeing SOOC photos (like the one I shared) and other times Iíve gotten to see SOOC files (such as at a workshop).  Iíve also heard other working professionals claim that you just canít get Nikon files to look like Canon and vice versa, as I guess you could say thatís somewhat what Iím trying to do, in a way.

Now, while Iíd prefer my files to have that look SOOC - giving me a better/easier starting point with less work to do - Iím certainly not against trying to achieve that look with some post processing love.  Unfortunately, I feel that no matter what Iíve tried thus far (saturation, temp/tin, HSL sliders, split tone, etc), I never end up with the right balanceÖ and so I thought maybe my starting point (in the post processing) might not be a ďgoodĒ one and I could perhaps look at creating custom camera profiles as a possible solution.  If anyone would like to comment on that, as to whether or not custom camera profiles might help achieve the look Iím after, Iíd be most grateful.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2012, 06:39:21 PM »
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... Iíve also heard other working professionals claim that you just canít get Nikon files to look like Canon and vice versa...

And both are galaxies away from the Leica "look" (which can only be approached, but only remotely so, by the Zeiss "look" - sarcasm alert). Well, if you are in that school of thought (or shall I say "school of belief", because thinking has very little to do with it), I am afraid there is no one here who could really help you. 

We are going in circles here.

You keep insisting there is such a thing as "Nikon golden/brown" color. So far two people on this forum told you it ain't so. Now, I like to think of myself as a guy who knows a thing or two about a thing or two, but forget about me, Jeff Schewe is the expert. We also keep telling you that your insistence on SOOC "proofs" is misguided, as any SOOC jpeg is a result of several parameters and numerous possible combinations that can impact color (contrast, saturation, tint, white balance, exposure).

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... If anyone would like to comment on that, as to whether or not custom camera profiles might help achieve the look Iím after, Iíd be most grateful.

You see, it is quite possible to achieve "the look you are after", but it ain't "Nikon golden/brown look". It would be a specific look achievable by any camera on the market, most likely the key component of which would be a Cloudy or Shade white balance.

But again, do not trust me. Let's see what your hero (Nessa, the photographer whose examples you posted) has to say on that subject:

Quote
I take photos with the white balance incredibly... too too warm

Quote
You can see from the SOOC image that my exposure was off

Quote
I don't want you to think that the secret to nice photos is in the post processing. Good lighting, styling, and watching your backgrounds will get you everywhere.

Now, isn't that all what Jeff and I have been telling you? Has Nessa credited Nikon for her colors?

Once again, do not trust "experts" or even experts. Do it yourself, grab a Nikon buddy, set both cameras to default settings and the same white balance and see for yourself whether you would get images that much different (there will be some difference, of course, as each manufacturer would have slightly different default parameters, and certain lenses might transmit slightly warmer colors than others, but those differences are nowhere near the look you are after).
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Slobodan

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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2012, 07:25:41 PM »
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Try pulling down the main Saturation and pumping up the Temp and to get an amber highlight add a Split Tone in the highlights.
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stamper
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2012, 02:59:28 AM »
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I am scratching my head over this one. I use a Canon g12 and a Nikon d700 and a Nikon d300 on a regular basis. I find - and a lot of others - that the Canon is described as warm colour wise and the Nikon to be cool. I admit I didn't look at all the images but for someone to see the reverse is strange? BTW what is SOOC?
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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2012, 04:13:40 AM »
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BTW what is SOOC?
Straight out of camera

As other have pointed out a completely useless term given the amazing range of 'looks' you can get by altering the camera's parameters for JPGs.

In Lightroom a preset is probably the best answer.
Camera calibration, whilst a very powerful and useful tool, only has a limited range of effect compared to the image destruction capabilities of a radical preset.
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jessterb
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« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2012, 03:02:44 PM »
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Thanks for your responses, Iím sorry if Iíve upset anyone.

Jeff, thanks, Iíll keep playing with my adjustments and give that a try, much appreciated.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2012, 03:14:51 PM »
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Thanks for your responses, Iím sorry if Iíve upset anyone...

Nobody is upset, just trying to help. Although I understand that the answers so far are not those you hoped to get.
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Slobodan

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jessterb
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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2012, 03:32:26 PM »
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Not at all, in fact quite the opposite.  My biggest fear would be that I canít get the look Iím going after without switching system.  Iíll keep playing around.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2012, 04:19:32 AM »
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Not at all, in fact quite the opposite.  My biggest fear would be that I canít get the look Iím going after without switching system.  Iíll keep playing around.

It' very easy to see a beautiful photograph and be seduced by the idea that some piece of equipment or brand of camera will reproduce that for you - most of us have been there at some point. 

For example the pictures posted above illustrate the point, the mood, the relationship between the couple, the depth of field, the quality of the light, and yes, the colour all contribute to what you enjoy about the picture. Assuming all other things being equal, the colour would probably be the easiest thing to replicate in even fairly basic software.  All the other qualities you probably like about these pictures are down to other factors.  Probably the only thing that is equipment dependant would be the depth of field, because a very wide aperture has been used in this picture and so a particular 'fast' lens would be needed.  In other respects probably an iPhone could have been used.  I am of course talking only about the picture of the couple sat looking out of frame!

Jim
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John R Smith
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« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2012, 04:29:40 AM »
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Not wishing to muddy the waters or anything, but the little Nikon P&S cameras we used at work certainly had a "look" to the jpegs, which was nothing much to do with realistic representation of the scene. The one I've got here now, an old Coolpix 4600, is a good example. It tends to really exagerate the saturation of colours in a hard to define fashion. And it certainly pumps up yellows. Mostly the pix look very nice - it's only if you take a print back to the subject that you realise how much reality has been improved.

John
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