Lightroom: Noise generated by ACR 6.5 and earlier for Nikon D7000

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  • Problem
  • Updated 8 years ago
  • (Edited)
ACR 6.5 and earlier supporting Nikon D7000 are introducing a massive amount of noise in underexposed areas. Enclosed files show jpg captures the same portion of an ISO 100 D7000 NEF file seen at 4X,one file is from ViewNX2, the other three are from ACR at zero sharpening, standard 25 sharpening, 100 sharp with no mask, and 100 sharp masked.
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Bijan Khezri

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  • frustrated

Posted 8 years ago

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David Franzen, Employee

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It looks like you have Luminance Noise Reduction set to 0 in all the Lightroom screenshots. Do you think the image improves when you set it to something greater than zero?
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Bijan Khezri

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adding LNR improves the overall image, but not enough to make it comparable to other cameras in the same conditions. The basic noise, amplified in the 100 sharpness without masking is a new kind which does not do well with the math underlying LNR, and the overall image is of inferior quality.
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Bijan Khezri

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The two best files to compare are LR with zero sharpness and the ViewNX 2 file, which has no sharpness. The other files are amplified and masked to show the details better.
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PECourtejoie, Champion

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Doesn't ViewNX apply Noise Reduction by the amount chosen in the camera settings?
Remove all noise reduction in your camera, take another photo, and you'll be able to compare images with similar noise reduction.
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Lee Jay

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Yes, NX applies NR by default while Luminance-NR in LR is literally OFF when set to zero.

My suggestion for the OP:

Set sharpening to 40, masking to 40, L-NR to 50 and detail to 90. Adjust from there.
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Bijan Khezri

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Very, very interesting. It does help a lot. I have never even heard of the combination of 50 LNR and 90 Detail. Thank you very much. I was not aware of the fact that ViewNX applies NR by default. Are you sure it is not Capture NX that does that? What does "OP" stand for?
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Geoff Walker, Champion

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OP=Original Poster
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Lee Jay

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"I was not aware of the fact that ViewNX applies NR by default. Are you sure it is not Capture NX that does that?"

I think all the tools from manufacturers do that.
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Bijan Khezri

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Not material - To my knowledge RAW, or in this case NEF files, do not have any noise reduction applied in camera, unless one thinks of HIGH ISO noise reduction, which would not apply in this case
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Lee Jay

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It is material, because NX applies it in post.
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Bijan Khezri

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I took the same image used here to a friend's Capture NX2 v2.28 and the develop results are astonishingly different. The suggestions you gave about ACR sharpness and LNR are a good improvement, but the results that come through with Capture NX 2 are a world better. Adobe, please fix this. Thanks
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Lee Jay

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You'd have to be a lot more specific, with examples. Most people think the NR and sharpening in LR are now world-class. I can certainly get world-class results with it.
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PECourtejoie, Champion

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Ok, it was just a try to troubleshoot the difference.
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Bijan Khezri

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I agree that the noise reduction in LR has become "World Class", and in most images it works fine. The settings that you suggested work fine, even though details are reduced.

However the issue is not with sharpening or noise reduction. It has to do with how ACR initially processes the images from D7000. Each camera has its own signature, and the algorithm that Adobe uses is not good enough.

I am enclosing the same image as above which was opened in Capture NX2 and saved as tif. I have amplified the sharpening to 100, and as you can see the noise pattern is markedly different from the one posted above. The other image has some noise reduction applied. Completely different quality.
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Official Response
Could you please post the raw file (or if you don't wish to post publicly, you can send via YouSendIt or similar service to madmanchan2000@yahoo.com).

In the meantime, I just revisited my D7000 images here and honestly don't see the issues here. My main comment is that setting sharpening to 100 without luminance NR is going to severely extract / bring out whatever noise/texture there is in the image data. I know you did this just to highlight the differences, but ultimately I suggest using the tool settings that will make the image look its best, rather than look its worst! ;-)
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Bijan Khezri

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Hi Eric, I am sending you the file used here to your yahoo address. I agree with you regarding the combinations necessary to make the image look its best, and I do this all the time, including using Topaz Denoise and layers when I need to do selective denoising when required in order not to lose too much detail.

However, since I got my D7000 it is the behavior of the ACR that is at question and not the performance of the sharpening, masking and Luminance Noise Reduction. It is the starting point that, in my opinion, is wrong. How ACR develops the NEF of D7000, rather than what tools are used to correct the issues. I hope that is clear. The current tools are great, and the images that I have from other cameras behave in most cases superbly. The issue is only with the D7000 and how ACR develops its NEF files. Cheers,
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Bijan Khezri

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I have done further testing with images I have from Nikon D70 and D80. Images from both these cameras develop substantially the same in both Capture NX2 and ACR 6.5. The D70 pictures are the most similar, while the D80 pictures have a small variance in how Camera Calibration profiles are interpreted.

The whole equation is different for the D7000 images. The camera calibration readings are substantially different, and produce markedly different lighting interpretations. I believe the root of the problem to be in the lighting interpretation, which then equates to the darker areas producing the aberrant noise pattern. I would be grateful if I could get a confirmation from Adobe regarding this issue and the timing to solve it. I am available to discuss the matter and submit images as proof. Thanks,