Author Topic: Picture Control  (Read 852 times)

Kim Pilegaard

  • "Nikea"
  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 215
  • Copenhagen
    • Profile at Nature Photographers in Denmark
Picture Control
« on: April 11, 2021, 09:22:56 »
Is there any effect/benefit of adjusting Picture Control other than for the out of camera jpegs?
Kim

John Geerts

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 7298
  • Photojournalist in Tilburg, Netherlands
    • Fotoverhalen
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2021, 10:23:45 »
To review the image on your camera.

Ilkka Nissilä

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1375
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2021, 19:49:11 »
If you use Nikon Capture NX-D, ViewNX-i or NX Studio, the picture control settings made in the camera show as default settings for each raw image so the raw images and jpgs look alike. You can then make changes to the settings in the editor.

golunvolo

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 4383
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2021, 22:02:30 »
I´m with John here. I use to shot in "standard" mode but realize that the "neutral" gives me more control over exposure so all my cameras are set to shot in that mode and I go from there on the computer. Only when fancy strikes I put the Z6 viewfinder in monochrome, it leads me to different images.
 
   If shooting jpgs the story changes as it will affect the output big time.

Akira

  • Homo jezoensis
  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 10556
  • Tokyo, Japan
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2021, 23:16:29 »
I´m with John here. I use to shot in "standard" mode but realize that the "neutral" gives me more control over exposure so all my cameras are set to shot in that mode and I go from there on the computer. Only when fancy strikes I put the Z6 viewfinder in monochrome, it leads me to different images.

Since the "flat" setting had been added to the option, I have used it all the time for the very same reason, when I used Nikon.  I even set the sharpening to zero to start the process literally from scratch in CNX-D.

My current SIGMA fp has the Color Mode (corresponding to Picture Control of Nikon) "off" in which the truly unprocessed raw data can be available.   8)
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2363
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2021, 01:45:07 »
Is there any effect/benefit of adjusting Picture Control other than for the out of camera jpegs?

Yes, as noted Capture NX-D and NX Studio apply the in camera Picture Control settings to NEF when opened. Also modified Picture Controls can be saved in camera and in software. Then there is Nikon Picture Control Utility 2 installed with CNX-D and NX S. In PC Utility 2 you can create your own custom Picture Controls and you can add custom curves to your custom PC. Those PC(s) can be installed in your camera and in CNX-D and NX S. The picture control system is quite useful if one uses Nikon software to develop NEF files.

I normally shoot with Auto PC and then switch to Standard or Neutral PC in Capture NX-D. In extreme situations I’ll use the Flat Picture Control. If I understand correctly Flat is primarily intended for Video. I’ll switch to NX Studio when Nikon rolls out a few bug fixes disguised as upgrades.

Capture NX-D can "Save all adjustments" in an *.NXD file and NX Studio does the same with *.NKA files. Unfortunately NX Studio does not read *.NXD files from CNX-D just as CNX-D didn't read the adjustments save in NEF files by Capture NX2. Currently the only bridge between *.NXD files and NX Studio is a clumsy use of both CNX-D and NX S when the adjustments are saved in the *.NKSC (Side Car) files. To save the *.NKSC (side car) file switch to a different NEF file or close CNX-D.

Anyway Picture Controls are useful to Capture NX-D and NX Studio when developing NEF(s) and I think they were to Capture NX2 but it's been a long time since I used Capture NX2.

Best,

Dave
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2363
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2021, 02:01:37 »
Since the "flat" setting had been added to the option, I have used it all the time for the very same reason, when I used Nikon.

I start with the Standard PC but if I'm loosing diffused highlights I switch to Neutral or if the problem is severe I swtich to Flat.

Dave

---

When using Nikon software don't over-look the "Latest picture control" option and the use of Sharpen, Mid-Sharpen and Clarity together to customize the look of an image. Latest picture control can be set as the default in the preferences of Capture NX-D. Here is a link with a good explanation of these features and how to use them...

Sharpening and Softening Images - NPS

Note you can not only sharpen images with these options but you can soften them also. This is all part of the Picture Control system and it applies to NEF development not just SOOC Jpg(s).

Dave
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

Kim Pilegaard

  • "Nikea"
  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 215
  • Copenhagen
    • Profile at Nature Photographers in Denmark
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2021, 07:59:41 »
Thank you very much for the explanations.

I understand that Picture Control settings are preserved when importing to Nikon NX Studio and the older versions of Nikon software.

How about Lightroom? There is a default setting for importing raw images that can be set to "Camera Settings" ("Select this option to keep the settings of the camera from which the raw image was taken"). It is not clear whether this refers to the Picture Control settings and/or other settings.

The default can even be set to a specific camera. From the help text: "You can set default settings for your raw images based on the camera model. You can even specify different default settings for multiple cameras of the same camera model based on their serial number."

Does anyone have experience with these settings?
Kim

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2363
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2021, 10:55:50 »
How about Lightroom? There is a default setting for importing raw images that can be set to "Camera Settings" ("Select this option to keep the settings of the camera from which the raw image was taken").

Like similar features use by other camera makers the Nikon Picture Controls are proprietary so Lightroom can't read and apply them. Lightroom has its own defaults. I believe the "camera settings" are basics like white balance and I'm not sure what else. I've never used Lightroom so someone else will have to explain Lightroom's features.

Dave
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

Ilkka Nissilä

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1375
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2021, 23:38:18 »
LR/ACR can read the main picture control setting and obey that (I don't remember the details of how it is turned on) but not the nuances and they use Adobe's interpretation of the camera profiles and WB so it's not the same as using Nikon software. Furthermore I noticed that if I use multiple photo shooting banks in the camera, Adobe software seems to take the picture control set for bank A and not necessarily the one corresponding to the shooting bank that was active when taking the picture.

IMO this kind of lack of communication between Nikon and Adobe is ridiculous. A lot of the camera features can't be used across software platforms because the camera manufacturer and software makers do not care to communicate the details with each other.

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2363
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2021, 01:56:10 »
IMO this kind of lack of communication between Nikon and Adobe is ridiculous. A lot of the camera features can't be used across software platforms because the camera manufacturer and software makers do not care to communicate the details with each other.

Licensing and fees? Territorial? I wish Nikon would smooth out the transfer of TIF files to Photoshop. I start in Capture NX-D and "Save all adjustments" in the same folder with the original NEF as an *.nxd file. Then I export a TIF file to the same folder and open it in Photoshop. Finally after final post processing in Photoshop I delete the TIF file as I can create a new TIF if I need it using the *.nxd file in Capture NX-D. I should not have to use Windows Exporter or MAC Finder to accomplish this. I should glide effortlessly from Capture NX-D to Photoshop. In the macOS I can't even cut the file name of the NEF and paste it when I save an *.nxd. I ignore the *.nksc (side car) files and consider them Nikon's temporary files. I can't directly control when the side cars are saved and can't name them uniquely. There is no practical way of saving multiple *.nksc (side car) files. If Nikon cared this could all be smoothed out for the user. I'm sure Adobe is not the least bit helpful.

What if Capture NX-D or when it's debugged NX Studio were used with Photoshop, seamlessly instead of ARC? Am I talking trash? I'm surely engaging in wishful thinking as I'm sure Nikon and Adobe will never work out the details.

Dave
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

Ilkka Nissilä

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1375
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2021, 13:49:21 »

I believe Adobe could use Nikon's SDK which provides the raw conversion capability and algorithms that Nikon use but I think they consider it too limiting (I don't know if it provides all the options that Nikon software provide for raw conversion) and that they can not add their own value to this approach.

Ann

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 579
  • You ARE NikonGear
    • Photographs by Ann Shelbourne
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2021, 01:56:18 »
I work entirely differently.

I always shoot RAW .NEFs; and I use the most flat or neutral Picture Controls (with no in-camera sharpening) because I intend to ignore all of them entirely.

I have used xRite's CPP to make my own Camera Profiles and have created separate Profiles for each camera body and also for every possible source of Lighting.

I use ACR for processing but I do not use any of Adobe's Profiles nor their Default Preset.
 
I prefer Deconvolution sharpening to Adobe's USM sharpening; and I find that their Vibrance and Saturation settings are a bit too extreme for my taste; so I have created my own Default Preset.

ACR always opens automatically with my personal Default Preset and with my most frequently-used Camera Profile for the camera which I used to take the shot. I can change to a  different Camera Profile from the Profiles menu if I shot under Tungsten lighting instead of "Sun & Shadow" for example.

It did take a bit of time and effort to set all this up but the result is that, now that I have everything preset to my way of working, I can easily process more than 1000 raw NEFs to a reasonably finished state in a day.

I do any necessary final tweaking, and add Output Sharpening, only at the time that I actually intend to publish an image and have determined it's final size and method of reproduction or screen display.




Ilkka Nissilä

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1375
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2021, 10:24:16 »
I use xrite profiles in the studio. For example it gives the advantage that I can use LEDs for some shots and flash for others and the profiling brings the results closer to each other in colour. However, when subjects see the Nikon or Nikon-imitating Adobe camera profile versions they often express a preference for them (neutral or standard) over xrite. So there ...

Ann

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 579
  • You ARE NikonGear
    • Photographs by Ann Shelbourne
Re: Picture Control
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2021, 21:29:22 »
Ilkka:

It is possible to set ACR to use your own personal Camera Profiles and your own Default Presets and to ignore Adobe's ones entirely.

That is how I have set my ACR Preferences: especially my start-up Profile and Presets.
I have programmed those to relate directly to the actual camera which took the shot so I never even see any of Adobe's Profiles when I am editing NEFs. (You do need to set all of your own Profiles as "Favorites" so that they stay in the Profiles Menu.)

I work with ACR being hosted by Bridge or occasionally by Photoshop.
I never use Lightroom (I hate it with a passion!) so I am not entirely sure if you can escape from Adobe's Profiles & Presets in Lr but I would imagine that you can?