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Author Topic: Help rescuing RAW files  (Read 735 times)
RedKite2013
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« on: May 27, 2013, 06:22:34 AM »
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I was hoping the forum might be able to give me some advice on the best way to deal with the following issue.

I recently returned from an international trip. I shot RAW on a Nikon D7000. I paid close to attention to my exposures and getting the best histogram in camera. I was happy with my results until I imported into Lightroom. The histogram in LR shows an underexposure of an average 1 stop compared to the in camera histogram.

After research I think the issue is that I had active D-Lighting switched on in camera. I wrongly assumed that this would not affect a RAW image just JPG. However the way ADL seems to work is to underexpose to allow the ADL processing to take place. This would also affect the in camera histogram which is based off a JPG rendition.

I’ve downloaded Capture NX2. The histograms/exposures using CNX are the same as in camera because it is able to read the ADL tags where LR cannot.

I am a proficient LR user but have no experience at all with CNX.

What is the best way to process these RAW files now? I have about 1500 photos.
1. Learn CNX from scratch.
2. Process them solely in LR as I would with any other underexposed image.
3. Adjust in CNX for levels, WB and turn sharpening off. Then batch export as 16bit TIFF’s to edit further in LR.

All help gratefully received!

Michael
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PeterAit
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2013, 07:19:08 AM »
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You can't (obviously) add information to a RAW, just do the best job of extracting what's there. I expect the best approach would be to determine the amount of underexposure and then batch apply an exposure correction to the whole lot (in LR). You'll likely be missing shadow detail in some cases, but there's nothing to be done about that.
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Peter
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Jack Hogan
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2013, 08:22:52 AM »
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I am a proficient LR user but have no experience at all with CNX.

What is the best way to process these RAW files now? I have about 1500 photos.
1. Learn CNX from scratch.
2. Process them solely in LR as I would with any other underexposed image.
3. Adjust in CNX for levels, WB and turn sharpening off. Then batch export as 16bit TIFF’s to edit further in LR.

All help gratefully received!

Michael

Hello Michael,

I like ADL and have it on about 90% of the time.  CNX2 processes NEFs accordingly and is all I use in the majority of cases: it speeds up post processing by opening them to look just like the OOC images that I strived to create.  Its rendering engine is continually updated and a touch better than the competition, although not miles ahead as it used to be.  I also think it is better than the rest in a few automatic little things under the hood (CA and Moirè corrections for instance).  Selection/Control Points are great as is having the Raw data, all the adjustments and a final jpeg rendition neatly stored in a tight package (the NEF).  On the other hand its sharpening and noise reduction could use a face lift - I tend to make up for those with InFocus and Denoise when needed.  Should you wish to invest the time to learn CNX2, Odell's ebook is highly recommended.

Alternatively you could run a batch with your CNX2 trial copy to set in-camera Sharpening to 1 (I would advise against turning it off completely because apparently that way you lose the benefit of the mild low-level sharpening applied during demosaicing), save your 1500 images to TIFF  and do the processing elsewhere from there.  There is also one more (manual but cheaper) option:

4. Open the images in free Nikon ViewNX2, adjust if needed Picture Control, image lightness (Exposure Compensation but not Brightness or Contrast) and/or WB, then convert to TIFF and finish them off in LR.  I don't think you can turn off sharpening completely in VNX2 like you can in CNX2 though.

Cheers,
Jack
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 08:24:26 AM by Jack Hogan » Logged
RedKite2013
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2013, 11:46:30 AM »
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Thanks Peter and Jack for your replies - much appreciated!
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