Author Topic: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition  (Read 773 times)

jpgrahn

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Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« on: November 14, 2018, 21:43:04 »
Maybe this is a very basic problem. And if so, please point me in the right direction.
If I go out with just one camera body it is no problem. I go back, ingest the files and work on them as best I can.
But if I bring more than one body it is easy to notice the differences even though pictures were taken very close to each other.
How to best deal with this?
Today I tested the same setup. Outside a cloudy day so the lighting was extremly similar between the shots.
My five bodies were V1, V3, D2Hs, D700 and D800.
On the V1 and V3 I used a 32 mm lens.
On the other bodies my 58 mm lens. D700 and D800 were set to Dx format.
White balance se to auto on all cameras.

I realize that it is very hard, if not impossible, to get exactly the same result between such different camera bodies. Different sensor size and different ages of course. But I would like to get a bit closer.
What is the best course of action?
Thanks!
Johan Grahn

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2018, 22:10:56 »
Start by getting color calibration right. Get a Macbeth color checker and figure out how to use it. You should strive to make your images match reality as closely as possible rather than trying to make them match one another.

As you mentioned, differences in cameras and lenses will make it nearly impossible for results to match between cameras, so perhaps get rid of some of the older ones and trim down to two cameras which complement each other and give similar results. Sometimes this is two identical bodies, but could be two different cameras each with a distinctive use. Or finally, get rid of all of them and get a single good all around camera like D850.

pluton

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2018, 01:29:27 »
This could be a tall order when one takes into account the wide range of cameras involved!
Assuming that this is a question of how to get raw files to match upon conversion,  I'd probably start with Jack's suggestion.  If you use Lightroom or ACR, it is very fast to do the calibration with the Color Checker. Save each camera's calibration as a 'User Preset', which can be applied at the time of import into ACR/Lightroom.
Without the Color Checker, I'd shoot an identical scene all with cameras.  Cameras would be set to a fixed white balance, like Daylight. 
Then I'd process the test shot from one of the cameras, and then take them all through processing to match the first.  Save the settings of your raw converter manually or if the converter allows, as a user preset applicable to that camera's files upon/after import.
If you are shooting JPEGs, you can try the laborious process of adjusting the Picture Control of each camera, shooting, reviewing, adjusting again.
Most will probably agree that you've got a better chance of matching all the cameras by shooting raw, since JPEGs have much less processing latitude.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

MFloyd

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2018, 05:33:58 »
I used to set up specific calibration profiles for my D610, D4s, D5’s combined with some specific lenses. To finally notice that their color rendition is very similar. A a result, I abandoned the use of these profiles. And I only make a specific calibration set, in the very rare occasions I need a precise (calibrated) color rendition.
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charlie

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2018, 06:38:25 »
Capture One has a tool called Normalize, with it you can sample the exposure and/or white balance from one image and apply it to another image. In theory it should do what you are seeking.

Lightroom has a function called Match Total Exposures, it will equalize exposure between different images but not color/white balance.

You might try auto settings in the software you are using seeings how all of the image are being processed through it. Otherwise you're relying on 5 cameras auto settings to come to the same conclusion.

Other than tools such as these it would be a manual procedure as already mentioned. Shooting color cards and/or noting exposure and white balance differences between cameras and compensating in the field.

 


jpgrahn

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2018, 09:05:51 »
Thanks for all your helpful suggestions!
I understand it is my lack of knowledge that is the biggest problem.
And I did not believe I could get exactly the same output from the cameras.
It was just that the differences were so striking.

The first thing I will try is to set cameras to daylight white balance.
That is easy.
I also suspect that LR might be doing something to the photos when I import.
I used a setup with a color checker passport included in the pictures. Thought that I could set the white balance this way.
It was overcast and I believed that WB would be the same. Probably wrong.
Thanks again! Will try again.
Johan Grahn

MFloyd

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2018, 11:27:18 »
And remind that a color checker can do more than adjust WB. You can adjust the whole photo for a set of specific colours e.g. skin tones.
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jpgrahn

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2018, 20:19:48 »
Tried again today.
All cameras set to WB Daylight.
Exposure according to camera. It varies slightly.
V3 stands out I am trying to learn why.

How can I do to make the output closer to the other cameras?

Some time ago Nikon changed the motherboard in my V3 and after that change the color also changed.
So, is there a way to adjust this?
Thanks for any idea you might have!
Johan Grahn

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2018, 20:45:07 »
Are all camera set to the same white balance? same colour space?

That V3 really is off.

Are the RAW files processed in the same software, too?

jpgrahn

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2018, 21:11:13 »
Are all camera set to the same white balance? same colour space?

That V3 really is off.

Are the RAW files processed in the same software, too?

Color space is sRGB and WB is daylight for all cameras.
I can make it look much better in LR but I am hoping to find a way to make it happen automatically.
These are jpgs directly from the cameras. No processing in LR.
Johan Grahn

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2018, 21:26:01 »
Your V3 must be faulty. Return for repair. A daylight exposure should never look like this.

jpgrahn

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2018, 21:55:00 »
Thanks,
next is to contact Nikon.
Johan Grahn

charlie

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2018, 19:08:47 »
Your D800 image looks flat compared to the others, I wouldn't be surprised if it had a different picture control setting applied than the other cameras. Since you're dealing with out of camera JPG's check to make sure all picture controls are set to similar settings across the different cameras. Personally I'd start with the Neutral setting on all cameras and then go from there. If you don't plan on shooting NEF's Picture Controls are where you can make adjustments to get the images more similar to one another, for example the older D2Hs has lower dynamic range than the newer D700 & D800, so reducing the contrast in the D2Hs might help in equalizing it with the newer cameras.

As for the V3 you may want to try doing a factory reset on it before anything else, just to be sure there are no in camera settings out of whack to give it the color cast you're seeing.   

jpgrahn

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2018, 09:45:29 »
Thanks for the help. I messaged Nikon and started to think...
I guess that is something I should have done at first.
Good suggestion to reset the cameras!

Back to basics. Read the manual.
Which I did.
The V3 is now significant closer to the others and I think the diffences are now just the fact that the cameras have different sensors and that they were manufactured at different times.
So I will live with this.

As for the suggestion to get rid of all these old clunkers and get a D850 instead. As much as I would like to do this it is unfortunately not possible at this time!
Johan Grahn

Øivind Tøien

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Re: Equalize output from different cameras under same condition
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2018, 10:53:30 »
The last V3 image seems to perhaps lean towards magenta. The auto white balance on Nikon 1 and DSLR bodies can be tweaked under the WB menu item (on my AW1 I press right when the Auto WB is marked in the menu), both in the blue-yellow and green-magenta direction. (All of the last images were exposed with auto WB).   This setting needs to be used with caution as I do not think it is registered in the file, just affects the outcome of the WB measurement. It is easy to forget that one ever made a change or even that the WB tweaking option exists.
Øivind Tøien