21 Replies Latest reply on Jan 24, 2009 12:58 PM by (Tom_Knoflook)

    ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts

      Using LR 2.2 or Photoshop CS4, conversions of D700 NEFs often result in peculiar color 'artifacts' (posterization?) in certain images, when using the new camera specific profiles like Camera Standard (or particularly Camera Landscape). Typically, the Adobe Standard or ACR 5.2 profile don't exhibit this behavior, at least not with significant changes to saturation and contrast.

      An example of this can be seen at http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3400/3179948383_cfda478eb8.jpg (LR 2.2, Camera Standard profile). Question is whether these sorts of results are expected? I'm otherwise quite happy with the new profiles. Thanks,

      Mike
        • 1. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
          PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional
          I strongly suggest to try to host a file in yousendit, and posting a link here for the engineers to take a look.
          • 2. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
            Level 1
            Sure thing. An example NEF is at http://www.yousendit.com/download/WnBTQmtWSWhEa1YzZUE9PQ . But I was wondering if other people had seen this sort of thing? I doubt I'm the only one using LR 2.2/Camera Standard with D700 NEFs! Thanks,

            Mike
            • 3. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
              Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP
              I've not seen this, but that looks ugly (LR 2.2 using Camera standard)! The green is present in the Adobe standard and ACR 4.6 profile conversion too but it is much harder to see. It actually looks like it might be a real optical effect (like a rainbow), but it is rendered really badly in the camera standard profile clearly.
              • 4. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                Level 1
                Yes, I should say that the colors do appear to be part of the original NEF, and can be seen in Nikon's own Capture NX. The problem is whereas NX requires large adjustments from the default before you get the 'rainbow' look, ACR produces it 'out-of-the-box.' If I use Camera Neutral, it's usually less obvious, but even then...

                For reference here's what NX produces (Using the 'Landscape' style): http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3448/3190986631_8c634a9301.jpg . Not great, but certainly usable.

                Thanks,

                Mike
                • 5. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                  Ann Shelbourne Level 1
                  Mike:

                  That looks like lens-flare.

                  If you want to accentuate it, try using the Camera Vivid profile!

                  That lens has a less than stellar reputation anyway; but are you using a filter in front of it?

                  If so, get rid of the filter! If not, consider buying a better lens?
                  • 6. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                    Level 1
                    No filter (incidentally, I'm open to good alternatives to the Tamron 24-135, but I've yet to find anything with a 24-100+ range, decent macro ability and equivalent or better IQ). More to the point, my 24-70/2.8 produces this effect too (though not so egregiously so far): http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3316/3192070752_b0f262a8f8_o.jpg . This is a crop, shot away from the sun.

                    Thanks,

                    Mike
                    • 7. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                      Panoholic Level 2
                      Mike,

                      this is an excellent example for the effect of lossyness. Change the raw format to 16bit losslessly compressed; pls post the result.
                      • 8. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                        Ann Shelbourne Level 1
                        Mike:

                        I also have the Nikor 24-70/2.8 and it certainly doesn't make those green/magenta blotches.

                        I always shoot 14-bit NEFs with no compression at all.
                        • 9. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                          Panoholic Level 2
                          I meant 14bit, of course, not 16; sorry for the mistake.
                          • 10. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                            Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                            >I always shoot 14-bit NEFs with no compression at all.

                            You should at least use the lossless compression as that will not at all impact the RAW data. Not using lossless compression is a major waste of card and disk space for no benefit whatsoever. Also, 14 bit might not yield you anything too. There might be an extremely tiny effect in shadow areas with files that have been pushed more than 4 stops, but that is doubtful that it will help in this case and I doubt this problem has much to do with bit precision. Of course, if you have the card/disk space and don't need the high rep rates that you loose with 14-bit shooting, just use it. There of course is no such thing as a 16 bit RAW from a D700. 14 bit is the max.

                            There are certainly some smaller problems with the camera matching profiles. Somebody else showed purple splotches in darker areas that were absent in the standard profile and the NX conversion. I think that was with a D3: same sensor as your D700 and probably identical camera-matching profiles.
                            • 11. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                              Ann Shelbourne Level 1
                              I do have the card space the D3 has two slots (and I think the D700 does too?) so you can always have masses of space.

                              The repeat rates are perfectly adequate in the D3 too and Buffer capacity is the same for compressed or non-compressed files..

                              I wonder if Mike could have wet-cleaned his low-pass filter recently and left an oily residue on it? Or was the lens steamed-up from going out in the cold from a warm car?
                              • 12. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                                Level 1
                                Thanks for the comments and suggestions so far.

                                These samples (indeed all my shots) are from 14-bit lossless compressed NEFs. I'd be happy to try uncompressed NEFs too, but from what I understand, there should be no difference between those two formats.

                                Incidentally, here's a link to the second NEF (24-70@24), if anybody would like to experiment (look at the water for blotchy areas): http://www.yousendit.com/download/WnBTNU1EQzdFc0lLSkE9PQ

                                Thanks,

                                Mike
                                • 13. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                                  Panoholic Level 2
                                  Mike,

                                  both NEF files are compressed
                                  b lossily.

                                  Though it is not the real proof (I determine it from the file content), but the file size too is informative: the losslessly compressed 14bit files are 14-18 MB.
                                  • 14. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                                    Level 1
                                    G Sch:

                                    you're correct. Somewhere along the line, I seem to have munged my settings and gone from 'lossless compressed 14-bit' to 'compressed 14-bit'. Very annoying. At any rate, I'll certainly retest, using proper settings. Thanks a bundle for noticing this oversight on my part. I'd be quite pleased if that solved the issue. That said, I wouldn't object to ACR treating lossily compressed NEFs better either...

                                    Cheers,

                                    Mike
                                    • 15. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                                      Panoholic Level 2
                                      Mike,

                                      please post here or email me regarding the result; I am interested on it. I am not *sure* if the lossiness causes the problem, but I have analyzed comparable cases and proven that the lossiness caused the banding.

                                      (IMO
                                      b lossimess
                                      is a better term than
                                      b lossiness
                                      ).

                                      Happy shooting
                                      Gabor
                                      • 16. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                                        Level 1
                                        Hi folks,

                                        I've shot some more since (using lossless compressed NEFs for real!) and the color blotching doesn't seem to have returned, although it's possible I simply haven't been shooting under the right conditions.

                                        I do still see some strange colors with the profile - grays turning magenta and such - that Nikon's Capture NX doesn't seem to produce. An example of the output (JPG 100%, Landscape profile) is at http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3377/3196991189_c400de9e0d_o.jpg and the NEF at http://www.yousendit.com/download/WnBSSlI4ckk5NVdGa1E9PQ .

                                        Thanks,

                                        Mike
                                        • 17. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                                          Panoholic Level 2
                                          Mike,

                                          I realise that I forgot to tell you:
                                          b the proof is only in comparable shots.

                                          This means: if you want to be sure to nail the problem, you have to deliver positive and negative proofs at the same time.

                                          In order to prove, that the reason of that banding is the lossy compression, you have to make two
                                          b identical shots
                                          except for the lossy compression and show, that one is better than the other.

                                          Regarding the magenta turned greys: this too is a hairy issue.If you want to
                                          b reliably
                                          compare images, you
                                          b unconditionally
                                          need to include something grey/white in the shot (the snow is very suitable) and
                                          b use that for picking WB
                                          with both raw converters (in cleartext: dump the As Shot WB). I compared some points in the JPEG image you posted between left and right and realized, that these have been created based on different WB.
                                          • 18. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                                            Level 1
                                            Hi Gabor,

                                            yes you're right about comparable shots - just didn't have the presence of mind to do so today. I'll see if I can do a lossy compressed v. uncompressed comparison in the next few days.

                                            Regarding the magenta tint, the WB was set to AWB and not modified in either ACR or CNX, so I guess my question would be why ACR should come up with such a different result, particularly given that ACR is nominally using 5400,0 while CNX is using 5500,0 (seemingly pretty close?)

                                            Thanks again,

                                            Mike
                                            • 19. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                                              Panoholic Level 2
                                              Mike,

                                              1. You may be happy if the problem goes away with the lossless compression, but it would be a nice service to the D3/D700 owners' community to
                                              b prove
                                              this. There are many photogs convinced, that the lossy compression does not cause visible loss (Nikon created a myth about this issue already with the D70).

                                              If you can create pairs of shots demonstrating the effect and would not mind my using your images, I would spread this on other forums as well, as I did with the D300.

                                              2. Re WB:
                                              i normally
                                              you can accept the WB interpretations of different raw processors, but not if the issue is just the WB. The fact, that the displayed color temperatures are close, does not mean much: the color temperature is not absolute. I don't go so far as to say, that it
                                              i should
                                              be different between CNX and ACR, but you can not rely on the number.

                                              Even the snow is clearly reddish in the ACR created JPEG. You may complain about ACR's WB conversion, but that is a separate issue. In order to compare the colors, first the greys have to be made grey in both conversions.
                                              • 20. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                                                Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                                >1. You may be happy if the problem goes away with the lossless compression, but it would be a nice service to the D3/D700 owners' community to prove this. There are many photogs convinced, that the lossy compression does not cause visible loss (Nikon created a myth about this issue already with the D70).

                                                Yeah I would love to see this too. I have not been able to see it in my own shots, but banding in skies would certainly make sense as a consequence of the lossy Nikon compression. To be safe, I only use the lossless compression except on cameras that don't support it.
                                                • 21. Re: ACR 5.2 camera profiles and Nikon D700 color artifacts
                                                  Hi,

                                                  I experienced a similar problem (although not as extreme), and it disappeared after creating a calibrated profile with a Macbeth color checker card.
                                                  I posted some instructions here:
                                                  http://knoflook.org/post1052

                                                  Cheers,

                                                  Tom