8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 20, 2014 5:54 PM by MRPin1963

    D800 / CAMERA RAW SHARPNESS ISSUES

    MRPin1963

      Perhaps somebody else is also having this problem:

       

      I own a Nikon D800, which performs beautifully, but I have hit a snag with it:  If I open its raw files using ACR (for later edition either in Lightroom or Photoshop) even though they contain a staggering amount of detail, they somehow fail to live up to the expectations a full-frame 36MP camera generates regarding image sharpness.

       

      To further illustrate:  I also own a Fuji XE-2, which has an APS 16MP sensor, which, however, offers stunning, razor-sharp images almost every time I press the shutter.  Opening these files in ACR is a delight and you have to edit them much less than the D800 files to get the image you had previously visualized.

       

      However, if I open the NEF files using Nikon's own Capture NX-D software, voilà!  The images look as sharp as they should have from the start in ACR. But, if I export the resulting edit, via TIFF, either to Lightroom or Photoshop, again you feel disappointed, they are too soft:  I did not pay a hefty chunk of my cash for the camera and lenses to get soft pictures.

       

      The gist of the problem here is that Capture NX-D is a fine piece of software but it handles a little stiffly when compared to ACR and introducing it in my workflow would slow things down.

       

      Does anyone have an idea how to overcome this problem to get sharp images from NEF files in ACR?

        • 1. Re: D800 / CAMERA RAW SHARPNESS ISSUES
          JJMack Most Valuable Participant

          Have you tried the different Camera Profiles Adobe includes for your camera.  Have you tried setting camera raw defaults you may like better for your camera.  If Nikon RAW converter defaults meet your expectations I feel the detail are there in your raw file and that ACR can bring out the details you want. You may want to start the conversion process with a different set of ACR defaults for you camera.

          • 2. Re: D800 / CAMERA RAW SHARPNESS ISSUES
            MRPin1963 Level 1

            Thanks for the tips.  I'll try them and see how it goes from there.

            • 3. Re: D800 / CAMERA RAW SHARPNESS ISSUES
              MRPin1963 Level 1

              Okay, I tried different profiles, to no avail.

               

              Your hunch that the sharpness data are embedded in the NEF file is, of course, absolutely logical:  how would NX-D show a sharp image without them?

               

              So, the problem is simple:  why is ACR not using the full data from the NEF file?

               

              I tried the latest codecs straight from Nikon, but there is no change.  I'll keep looking.

              • 4. Re: D800 / CAMERA RAW SHARPNESS ISSUES
                JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                ACR has very good sharpening and noise reduction you can set you own default setting for these features have you tried setting your own personal defaults for your camera(s) profile? I feel you should be able to create camera profiles for your cameras that meet your expectations..

                • 5. Re: D800 / CAMERA RAW SHARPNESS ISSUES
                  ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Nikon has a raw conversion software in their camera and computer-based applications which consists of algorithms and parameters that guide the application of the algorithms to render a JPG.

                   

                  Adobe has a raw conversion software which consists of algorithms and parameters that guide the application of the algorithms to render the raw data as an RGB image that you see, and eventually save as some file format.

                   

                  The raw conversion algorithms are proprietary within each company and Nikon parameters that may be embedded in the NEF file are only relevant to Nikon software.  Let’s say the sharpening parameters in the NEF file are +3.  What does that mean to Adobe which has an Amount slider of 0 to 150?  So Adobe ignores the Nikon-specific sharpness parameters.  Until Adobe and Nikon are the same company (as well as Canon and Sony and Panasonic and Olympus and Leica, etc) Adobe will have different algorithms and parameters to guide the raw conversion than the camera manufacturers.  Some day we may live in a society where the state provides all photography hardware and software and everything is the same, but until then, there is competition between various companies and intellectual property rights and patent laws that keep each from knowing exactly what the other is doing.

                   

                  Adobe converts raw files from many models and brands of cameras.  For the most part they use the same algorithms and parameters for each of these models and brands. 

                   

                  Suppose you work for a photography company with many photographers where some use Nikon and some use Canon and some use Sony, etc, and it is your job to work on each of those raw files.  If Adobe had one set of sliders for Nikon files and another set for Canon files and another set for Sony files, in other words if Adobe tried to do the things as specific to the camera manufacturer as possible, then it would be difficult to work on the raw files across the various camera manufacturers.  If you use Adobe software it shouldn’t matter what brand or model of camera you’re working with, the workflow should be similar and the results similar to the extent the raw data, itself, is similar.

                  • 6. Re: D800 / CAMERA RAW SHARPNESS ISSUES
                    JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    You talk of comparing the sharpness in the two converters "when opening" the images. Does that mean before or after you make adjustments? Can you make adjustments in ACR that rival the Nikon software? If you can, then make those sharpening adjustments and save new defaults in Camera Raw.

                    • 7. Re: D800 / CAMERA RAW SHARPNESS ISSUES
                      MRPin1963 Level 1

                      Yes, your evaluation of the whole situation is correct.

                       

                      I feel that this could eventually lead to some kind of compatibility crisis in the future; it would be as if almost everybody (for software purposes) spoke different languages.

                       

                      I suppose that unified standards would be of help, and that this ecosystem of codecs and algorithms does nothing to muddle our perception of the relative qualities and merits of different cameras and lenses:  Suppose we have an excelent camera with superb lenses which has poor software support, versus a so-so camera with excelent compatibility...

                       

                      Anyhow, my work is based on web and screen-based applications, the reason why I'm so set on correcting this issue.  I'll keep fiddling with the ACR paramenters or else I'll have to find a way to integrate such a stiff bit of software as NX-D in my workflow.

                      • 8. Re: D800 / CAMERA RAW SHARPNESS ISSUES
                        MRPin1963 Level 1

                        I mean that just opening the images in NX-D and ACR, before any adjustments, yield significant visual differences.

                         

                        And it is hard to use ACR to achive the look I get in NX-D.