Ugly Hedgehog® - Photography Forum
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Jan 6, 2017 03:38:32   #
You should get different responses depending on the lens and the focal length of interest. Some feel that Nikkor tops Zeiss for some lenses but not for others. In the case of the lenses you mention, Nikkor has issued 12 releases of its 50mm 1.4, as of the D, so the question is maybe a little soft.

Some better lenses can have attributes which may not be valuable to you. For example, portraits have less need of sharpness than...whatever other subfield. The Zeiss Milvus is majorly close to the Zeiss Otus, from my reading; just an opinion. There is a differentiator, if not several, like use in the movies, but is that differentiation worth an extra dollar to you? 2,000 extra?

If I get what you are trying to understand, I'll make just one remark about Zeiss lenses vs. Nikkors that suggests the age of the lens counts for something: you are more likely to acquire a Zeiss lens made with lead in the optical glass than in Nikkors because Zeiss has kept using lead longer than did Nikkor. Now, nobody knows for that sure, so that's just my observation, but there are enough indicators. Lead can be a strong contributor to rendering, for example, in black and white work and much more. Tying it all together, Zeiss excels in several ways, but the appeal involves the lens-issuance timeframe, what you shoot, and what you care about.
Jan 6, 2017 02:55:54   #
Had an antiques appraiser as a very close friend, he much older.
He would say, when a proud owner presented a lamentable antique, "Interesting!"
He's long gone and my wife and I still get a belly laugh when we have a chance to bring it up over coffee.

Some forums are intolerable due to food fights, trolls, ... A very few are enjoyable and useful. To me UHH is enjoyable and useful, including the department discussed here.

Remember, that submitters of images and commenters are two legs of a three-legged stool, the third being the readers who want to learn, perhaps by testing themselves silently against the commenters. While usually on the third leg of that stool, often enough I find myself with no choice but to praise the submitter, so compelling is some unremarked attribute of a submission.
Jan 6, 2017 02:32:44   #
Was reading today and a prominent author described Nikon's PRE, which lets you use a gray card. He spoke of the Expodisk (class of device) and the gray card as if equivalent.

White balance is a path to better images, esp. colors, on the camera back (LCD); I value the camera's feedback.

So many ways to set WB!! Anyway, in the case of Expodisk (sp??) we're talking about direct measurement with a neutral target, set up with the (Nikon) Preset Manual menu. Likewise with a neutral card like that of Whibal.

I have the Whibal card and the Expodisk and already have a representative shot set up and done with Auto WB.
Tomorrow, I'll take three more shots and compare:
-camera Auto WB option
-camera Flash WB option (I have strobes in the studio setup)
-Preset Manual ("custom" WB) with Expodisk
-Preset Manual with Whibal

Then I'll know the answer and move on to see what Adobe does with each, with and without Auto Tone in Lr.

David Busch seems to think Auto WB is good enough almost always and that using a card is complicated, which it is.
Not hard; just many steps, not every one intuitive.
He has a better explanation of how to do custom WB on a Nikon D810 than does Nikon and than does Sparks, having read all three this week.

I hope to find, from my tests tomorrow, that the Expodisc is not better than the neutral gray card.
Why? I don't want to constantly dismount my camera from the tripod, which I must do with Expodisc to get the tool into my subjects' studio lighting. Off-tripod work is probably easier.

I've learned a lot about color casts, starting from abject zero. One thing I learned is that WB anchored in white, black, and gray from a neutral target necessarily gives you correct colors.

I'm still not good enough to have WB intuition, like many commenters here seem to have.

BebuLamar wrote:
$49 that's a lot of buck. I wouldn't buy one. It's no better than a gray card. Besides, correct white balance may not be the best white balance settings.
Jan 6, 2017 01:40:40   #

boomer826 wrote:
Why all these megapixels ? Are people really that crazy for these large files to mess with? Are they making prints the size of a billboard? Pretty soon you will need a new super computer to go with your new camera!!
Jan 6, 2017 01:30:00   #
Brooke, a few points:

I'm using the D version, a lot for studio close ups and macro, with a hood and with a sock over the hood and lens barrel, to keep black out of shiny objects made of metal.

For walking around, consider that the G might be faster to focus; you could check on that.

Check also if the build of the D is better than
Jan 6, 2017 01:22:00   #
Is the red really overexposed like the histogram says?
Probably, for example if a rose petal is visibly missing detail. Still, the histogram is taken from a JPEG, of a raw file, so indications of overexposure in any histogram can be a false positive, due to untoward squeeze applied.

Get more histogram truth (Tip)
A more reliable histogram is easily available by shooting a raw test shot with the Picture Control style, Flat, introduced on the D810. See Busch.

Must you care if overexposed?
Busch says it may not matter in some cases and is up to the shooter, FYI. He is not the first to say so.
Jan 6, 2017 01:18:30   #
Thanks. Watched the video last night.

The ONLY solution for blown-out red
Today I stumbled on a page-long full discussion by David Busch in the D810 book (may be in his other books, too). He says the "only" way to fix this is to reduce exposure.

So you and Busch and I (post above from me) have cited the same cure.

Let me add that it may be easy to forget that the exposure can be reduced with lighting changes, including reorientation of the subject and light source(s) -- as discussed in my earlier post.

jamesl wrote:
I found a link to a video by Mike Wallace showing the red problem you were talking about and how to correct for it.

For more, about histograms, see my post below.
Jan 6, 2017 00:49:24   #
Fine. About your 1 and 2, I'll add that David Busch (D810 book) suggests adding fill lighting to manage shadow pull-up noise when you reduce exposure to fix this - p. 135.

See my earlier post and for more on Busch remarks see my later (than this) post, all in this thread, FYI.

selmslie wrote:
Schewe's article is nearly seven years old. It does not identify the ISO used in the initial example. It is as disingenuous as other pro-ETTR articles we have been subjected to here. It's about as honest as a laundry detergent commercial.

It begins with an ISO setting high enough to cause a problem and then shows that increased exposure can reduce the appearance of noise. Duh! The scene is static. If he had used base ISO in the first place there probably would have not been any visible noise in the normal exposure.

The second article is even more out of date, regardless of when it was posted, since it is talking about cameras with a 12-bit raw file. It's basically a rehash of Reichmann's initial article.

It will probably take years to clear the air on ETTR.

Just follow this simple advice:

1. Use the lowest practical ISO.
2. Expose normally but don't blow the highlights.
3. When in doubt, bracket and delete the images that did not work (or combine them into an HDR).

Do your own tests. Believe what you see, not what you are told.
Schewe's article is nearly seven years old. It do... (show quote)
Jan 6, 2017 00:25:01   #
Guuuud, [chop ending-3]Pete [/chop ending-3]. LoL.
Peterff wrote:
And it took you 186 words and 985 characters (with spaces) to say that. Perhaps you should have posted a picture!

Or have used Twitter: #BrevityRules! Verbosity will be assimilated @Loquacious of Borg!
Jan 3, 2017 17:58:49   #
My remarks assume full photographer control over both lighting and the numerous antics of the camera, like auto ISO, not to mention PP effects like Lightroom ACR's Auto Tone. Now, about that spurious red:

I’ve been shooting a collection of 19C silver subjects like a coffee pot. I am deviating from histogram orthodoxy in that my camera's histogram is pushed signirficantly rightward, intentionally; yet, these raw shots are never touching the right edges of the D810's JPEG histograms.

This higher exposure makes silver shinier, which is what my customer wants. The shots are high-key, with no blown highlights and with no shadow-recovery issues -- I guess I am doing ETTR, but surely for my own reasons, as amfoto1 has suggested above can be legit.

Yesterday, I noticed some unwanted red on my new 34" curved IPS monitor. I found I could easily take down the red with the Lightroom's Saturation slider for red. An alternative is to lower the Exposure slider (or shoot accordingly). I am also able to (barely) discern some blue and green. I eventually experimented and found with my pro strobes (I.e., not speed lights so I'm talking about shooting in manual mode...), that a cure for my red was to change the power setting to less power on one strobe!

Consider your lighting. If your red is blown out to the point of losing detail, then crank down one light bit-by-bit until you cure the problem according to Lr Develop module's rendering of the image and histogram -- or try adjusting any other lights, as needed. You could perhaps introduce a diffuser close to the subject and distant from a light source, as well, to prevent blown highlights.

I am finding that minor adjustments in lighting sources' (1) intensities, (2) tilts, and (3) twists are useful to test. The inclination and elevation of your subject wrt your camera may influence what works in your subject, as concerns highlights and shadows. For example, a slight rearward tilt of a coffee pot rid me of an obnoxious reflection -- presumably by changing the angle of incidence of the reflection. The effects of this give-and-take may be easier to see with silver (specular) subjects, but how light works does not depend on the subjects.

I could mention, wrt your own exposure concerns, that Lightroom tripped me up this week until I noticed it wants to do Auto Tone for me, which is not done very well at all for my silver subjects. So, I’ve been undoing Auto Tone until I figure out how to permanently prevent it in the Library module and in the Develop module.

All of !! the above is based less on any expertise than on my learning-by-doing during the last few days with silvery stuff, a demanding subject matter, especially as mine is not tented. Lacking abundant expertise, I'm not certain that I am on the beam, however, and not sure what you are shooting, either, but maybe this can help out.

jradose wrote:
I have an issue with ETTR, exposure to the right. On paper, it makes sense to me, slightly overexpose so you don't get a lot of noise in shadow or dark areas of the photograph. However, I have found, at least with me, it usually overexposes particular colors, especially reds. Even when my histogram shows that I haven't gone off the scale to the right, my reds are overexposed, and I lose some detail. What am I doing wrong? I am interested in hearing what other fellow hoggers feel about ETTR.
Dec 4, 2016 12:29:47   #
Nicely put: "The processor in your camera tries to give you "nice" pictures but it cannot give you outstanding images because it has no way of knowing exactly what it is you want to create."

Bugfan wrote:
The modes are for different situations. When I'm shooting macro I often opt for "A" since depth of field is my biggest issue at that moment. When I'm chasing a moving subject "S" is the answer since the shutter speed becomes the issue. And when I don't want to be bothered "P" is a nice compromise though the best images do not come from that setting.

However, if you really want to learn photography and become creative in your craft you must learn how to use "M", manual. The processor in your camera tries to give you "nice" pictures but it cannot give you outstanding images because it has no way of knowing exactly what it is you want to create. It always tries to average everthing regardless and "average" can often be equated to "mediocre". Manual allows you to push the camera and create effects that you can never achieve with the other modes. This mode also helps you to better understand what's possible.

As to scene modes, the camera, not knowing what you want to do, needs help sometimes and the scene modes are that help. Each one programs the camera for a certain effect to give you better pictures for each scene. But as usual you will get an average image from the scene mode, it will simply look better than a normal one. You should be able to create the same effect using your menus and this is something you need to learn too. If you know how to configure the camera you are able to get even more impressive images after a bit of practice. Good luck!
The modes are for different situations. When I'm s... (show quote)
Dec 4, 2016 03:33:50   #
Great question.

My short answer: I was never sure if good and bad were due to me or to the camera -- until I went to manual exposure mode with auto ISO off.

Two advantages of migrating to manual and setting ISO manually are worth mentioning:
-Manual with auto ISO off develops your intuition about exposure settings, as do use of an ExpoDisc, digital light meter for incident lighting, and the Buff Cyber Commander.
-As a newbie, I found cameras doing stuff I did not expect, above all in scene modes. For example, in aperture, shutter, and program modes, I'd set ISO and the camera might pick another ISO. Likewise, letting the camera pick the shutter speed can lead to conflicts with your strobes.

Manual exposure mode in a studio does not seem to slow me down but if it actually does, it is not much slower or enough to be an issue. Outside the studio, there are so many unfamiliar situations that I'd look to my camera more for advice.
Dec 4, 2016 02:03:06   #
Adding to my prior post, Nikon designed the 55mm 3.5 lens with copy work in mind as a core mission.
Dec 3, 2016 19:08:25   #
A few points:

1) Lighting setup, reflections, etc. for your scenario is described in the last two editions of Hunter et al., "Light, Science,..."
2) Nikon's 55mm f/3.5, with and without the M2 appliance, may have the best fine detail or nearly so, as it approaches theoretical resolution; not costly; comes in manual and AF. There is the issue of lens resolution, mentioned here and then there is sensor resolution, mentioned earlier
3) The formula for resolution depends on aperture -- cf. apaflo remarks on fine detail -- which IMO is important, and critically so, to hand-written artifacts as well as to graphical artifacts
4) I look askance on zoom lenses for this kind of work; the prime lens in (2) will focus from something like one foot to infinity, however
5) Nikon made a killer copy stand, still available used; I mentioned that stand in an earlier UHH post. Choice of stand is a big deal. For example, you may end up with paint flakes on your artifacts if you buy the wrong stand. And then there is awkwardness that can kill your pleasure.
Nov 11, 2016 15:28:05   #
Lived in Montreal in the '70s. Picked up lots of lore, attended concerts. He's his own muse and a poetry genius who will amaze and influence those yet unborn. He was born to be immortal.

My wife, from Montreal, is named Marianne; she can't get enough of the "Marianne" song and its story.

There's no such thing as hearing too much Cohen.
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