With all ACR defaults, including Adobe Standard (2012) camera calibration, when I open a Raw image (NEF from Nikon D3x or D3s), the blacks are blocked up and the entire histogram is "squashed" down and both ends are pulled in toward the middle, further reducing the dynamic range. The resulting excessive contrast looks horrible. All other settings are at zero, except lens correction is checked On. (Clicking that on or off has almost no effect on the histogram.)
Just changing the Camera Calibration to 2010 helps the image tremendously. But I notice it has set Blacks +25, Clarity +7, and has made a custom Point curve that is essentially an inverted S-curve. This successfully unblocks the shadows, but it seems bizarre that the new default Adobe Standard would be so far off.
I don't know if I'm missing a new, hidden setting, or if that's an issue unique to Nikon D3-series.
Any insight would be appreciated.
Have you done anthing to modify the Camera Raw Defaults?
With what you are talking about you apparently have some sort of modified "Default" being applied to your file. I would suggest going up to the ACR flyout menu and choosing Reset Camera Raw Defaults to get back to the original ACR Defaults. By default, PV 2012 should tend to be lighter and flatter, not darker and blocked up.
In my CS5 setup I defaulted ACR to a liner point curve versus the default medium contrast one. I have noticed that when converting 2010 raws to the 2012 process ACR created an inverted like point curve. I think the point being that curve in 2012 closely matches the liner curve in 2010. For the most part all the raws converted to 2012 process changed little in the conversion to the new settings. Some photos did a bit. I have no idea why. Nor do I care. Once in 2012 I got rid of the conversion point curve. Back to linear and basically tweaked and learned the new controls for each photo and in the process got better results for most photos. I also noticed that clarity was chopped in half in the conversion. The new algorithm is much stronger.
Thanks, Jeff. I hadn't made any changes to ACR, but went back and reset them anyway, with the same results.
What's puzzling is that the NEF opens pretty much the same in ACR 2010 as it does in Nikon's Capture NX2, with a histogram that looks similar to the JPEG one on the camera. When I use PV 2012, I get blocked up shadows, and an overall darker image. From top to bottom: ACR6, ACR7, Capture NX2.
Norman, my default was also the Linear Point Curve, and I noticed the same inverted S-curve in the PV 2012 version when I changed Camera Calibration to 2010. I also saw where the Clarity of +14 was halved to +7 because of how strong the new one is. I just don't know why the new defaults are so much darker, when the consensus seems to be that it's typically lighter and flatter, which is just what I wanted.
Tom Vadnais wrote:
I just don't know why the new defaults are so much darker, when the consensus seems to be that it's typically lighter and flatter, which is just what I wanted.
In looking at the 3 images, you'll note that ACR 7 PV 2012 actually is maintaining some of your highlights that ACR 6 PV 2010 show as clipping. To mu eyes, PV 2012 looks the best and there's still plenty of adjustment to be had. You're expousre is way to the left and the scene is a high dynamic rages scene, obviously there's gonna be a lot of tonality to the left of middle. But I would not call PV 2012 "so much darker" than the other two renderings...
What you are not showing is what the curves settings may be...
Jeff, both Point curves are Linear, and all ACR settings are default. It was definitely a high contrast scene, but the shadow detail is the worst in ACR7, and much better in ACR6 and Nikon Capture NX2 (also at default settings). This image is just one example. Even others that don't have near the contrast range of this one have darker shadows.