LR: Read out Active D-Lighting option out of NEF Nikon Raw.

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Pictures taken with the Active D-Lighting option activated appear underexposed in lightroom. The jpeg preview looks very nice instead. So Raw files have to be corrected manually.
A solution would be to read out Active D-Lighting option out of NEF Nikon Raw.
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DanielBr

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  • confused

Posted 6 years ago

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Lee Jay

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And do what with that knowledge? LR doesn't have the magic Nikon formula for that. Should it just boost exposure by a whole stop?

If you know you're shooting in raw and going to process in LR, just shut of Active D-Lighting (in Nikon), iContrast (in Canon) and all the other features of all the other cameras that are useful for nothing but the out-of-camera JPEG.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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With iContrast and D-Lighting, the camera underexposes to keep the highlights from being blown and then digitally increases the brightness of everything except the highlights, in a non-linear way known only to the camera manufacturer's engineers, to make the exposure look normal, again. Lightroom is starting with the raw data and just sees the underexposure.

The power of the Adobe Raw Engine is that you are not merely accepting the Auto setting from the camera, you are able to make your own adjustments that are different for each image.
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DanielBr

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In my opinion it would help to clarify the difference between the appearance of the pictures opened in i.e. viewNX and LR. If a "magic Nikon formula" is not applicable in LR, it would be enough for the user to know, that the photographer has forgotten to switch D-Lighting etc. off. The user is then able to decide whether to "correct" the image with LR functions or to to use Nikon respectively Canon propietary tools to get the better results for that image.
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jdv, Champion

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One supposes the photographer is aware of the proprietary camera settings they are using, or should be.

These settings are unlike any other setting you might find in the reasonably easy to search metadata. This is a whole different way of producing JPEGs from raw images that is Nikon specific.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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The photographer is reminded when they see their underexposed image without Adobe having to do anything.

If you are using non-Nikon-licensed products to adjust your NEFs, keep things shut off that only affect camera-produced JPGs to avoid underexposure and confusion.
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Rob Cole

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My memory from Active D-Lighting tests I did way back when is:

Amount of under-exposure depends not only on setting, but light metering.

If I remember correctly, then there is value in using it, even when shooting raw, and processing with Lightroom.

Am I wrong?

R
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Rob Cole

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I often do not expose perfectly.

And exposure often needs to be adjusted even in perfectly exposed shots, to meet editing goals.

So, in my opinion, it's best to simply take a pass after import, using quick develop, and adjust exposure and the other basics, before fine tuning adjustments per-photo in develop module, whether ADL was on or not...

I mean, the whole purpose of Lightroom is to "correct" raw files "manually", right?

Although I have a work-around "solution" to this "problem", I don't use it. Although some people who work hard on in-camera settings when shooting, are using it:

ExifMeta: http://www.robcole.com/Rob/ProductsAn...
CollectionPreseter: http://www.robcole.com/Rob/ProductsAn...

Speaking of work-arounds - if you want to have initial imported version look like your jpegs, shoot raw+jpeg, import separately, then use Stacker to automatically stack the jpeg on top of the raw until you are ready to edit (or just filter/sort to see the version of interest). Or, shoot raw-only and use NxToo to extract jpeg from raw, and stack it...

Stacker: http://www.robcole.com/Rob/ProductsAn...
NxToo: http://www.robcole.com/Rob/ProductsAn...

R
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Richard Uchytil

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I have a Sony A55. One of the cool things it can do is in-camera HDR and DRO (Dynamic Range Optimization). Sometimes in very tricky lighting (very bright with lots of dark shadows) these options work fantastically and my JPG right out of the camera looks perfect. Then I load the RAW into LR and all of that in-camera adjustment is gone. I understand about Camera Profiles in LR but that's not what I'm talking about. I don't know if this is even possible but it would be really neat if I had an option to apply the JPG adjustments to the RAW file. It would be similar to the Auto Tone button, all of the sliders would move to match the JPG adjustments. Then I could do some further editing if I wanted. This may not be possible, or rather we need camera makers to embed this information in the RAW file so it could be applied if desired. It's just a shame when I'm shooting in RAW + JPG, use the DRO option, the JPG looks almost perfect, then I have to work with the RAW to get it match the JPG. Sometimes using DRO the blacks don't pop enough and all I want to do is just up the blacks some. Anyhow, I figured it doesn't hurt to suggest this. :)

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Camera RAW: Apply camera JPG adjustments to the RAW file..
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Lightroom is a tool that knows how to do things Adobe software engineers have programmed it to do.

Your Sony A55 knows how to do things that Sony software engineers have programmed it to do.

Since Sony and Adobe are distinct companies neither knows what the other has done inside their product, so Adobe cannot duplicate Sony processing and Sony cannot duplicate Adobe processing.

Even if Adobe could somehow know what Sony was doing in their camera, Lightroom supports 100+ cameras and it would take too much time to program it to do what each camera does.

Lightroom can work with Photoshop to create multi-image HDR photos, and you can perform tone-compression using the various Basic Toning sliders in LR but nothing is going to automatically be the same as your Sony camera processing.

Learn how to get Lightroom to do what you want it to do.
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Richard Uchytil

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I realize this is a dream request, but never hurts to ask. I mean look at some of the things they've done with Photoshop/Lightroom that we thought could never be done!

I do know how to use Lightroom to get the results I want. I'm lazy and was just dreaming how this would be like Auto Tone/WB and get you to a starting point quickly. :)
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Adobe improving their PV2012 Auto-Tone is very necessary.

Adobe reverse-engineering a particular camera's auto-toning is never going to happen, although the fact that Sony programmers can do it means other smart people might also be able to figure out how to do it, and maybe some of those smart people will work for Adobe at some point.
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Gavin Goeldner

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I'm guessing that few of the 'experts' here (and elsewhere) suggesting it's not really a problem, actually have a D7000 or D5100 and have experienced the full impact of the problem.

We just want to be able to start with a "reasonable" approximation of what the JPG looks like (as you might get if you hit the 'auto' button) - It's BS to use the argument that Adobe doesn't know this or that. FFS Nikon and Adobe have stated that they are cooperating so both companies customers get a good experience. Even if they weren't Adobe could have a guess to get into the ball park, so we start with a similar image to what any other camera user would get straight up.

Also, it's not a question of "learning to use ACR" or whatever - from my point of view is simply the cost of effort and extra time required to deal with these images.
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Butch_M

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I'm no defender of Adobe by any stretch of the imagination ... just check my posting history here and on the U2U forum for the past year or so ... many of the regulars actually cringe when they see I have joined the discussion because I have been very vocal in my displeasure with many decisions Adobe has made recently ...

While Nikon does indeed provide an SDK ... I would appreciate it if you would point out in that SDK exactly where Nikon offers the code and algorithms to replicate D-Lighting ... or any other in-camera processing available for Nikon DSLR's ... because, to my knowledge it doesn't. So, no, there is absolutely no special sauce included in the SDK as it would pertain to replicating in-camera image processing. Sure, it would be very easy for Adobe to spot settings within the NEF file that indeed D-Lighting was used in the capture of that image ... but they would also have to reverse engineer each and every possible application of the feature for each and every model used ... and as I said, the time and effort to do so is likely very prohibitive ... and the resulting application of such defaults would very likely not please a significant number of users.
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Rob Cole

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Gavin,

Nobody is claiming Adobe couldn't at least approximate the ADL processing, although replication by way of SDK is impossible, since it comes as part of a whole raw rendering package. This is not speculation - you can see for yourself by reviewing the API in the Nikon SDK (it's freely available to anyone who is willing to fill out a short web form).

But, I don't think Adobe is losing lots of customers by not having it.

I adjust every image I shoot, in Lightroom, regardless of ADL setting. So, having some sort of automated handling is of no value whatsoever to me. The fact that the initial Lightroom rendering could more closely match the initial Nikon rendering is meaningless to me.

I think the people most wanting this feature are those with a lot of shooting experience, but not a lot of Lightroom experience. Once you gain sufficient Lightroom experience, this feature no longer matters... - or so I postulate...

Work-around:
* If photo too dim, increase exposure and/or whites.
* If highlights too bright and shadows too dim, then decrease contrast and/or decrease highlights & boost shadows (but make sure blacks are appropriately seated first).

Reminder: Camera profile matters too...

Summary:
========
It seems the only motivation for this feature request is:
* So you don't have to make any adjustments in case the photo would be good enough with only ADL compensation.

But Lightroom is all about how to make images better, not just "good enough" ;-}.

Bottom line: until Adobe has room in the development budget to appease (which may never happen), your only recourse is to learn to quickly assess what a photo needs, and learn to quickly give it...

(If you absolutely must have initial rendering more closely match, then use the elsewhere-mentioned plugins - that's what plugins are for: doing things some people want to do, but have not made the cut natively).

Cheers,
Rob
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Gavin Goeldner

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For the images that you really want to work on, you are absolutely right - it probably doesn't matter what you start with, but for the rest, "good enough" would be a great start (remember I'm working with thousands of images) and the initial starting point is "dull grey sh*t". This means that every single image needs to be hand adjusted to get to "good enough to look at".

This absolutely makes using any Adobe product useless for my purpose as time required is too great, and I am convinced this feature would be of significant interest to a fair proportion of Adobe's customers. (Why buy a high-tech clever camera only to turn most of its smarts OFF because your raw converter can't handle it!?)

My only choice appears to be using View/Capture NX2 - not my preferred solution, but sadly my only one.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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PV2010 Auto Tone does a reasonable job that might be "good enough" for the "good enough" photos and you can make a Develop preset that will apply it to every photo on Import. It's also possible that presumably-soon-to-be-released LR4.2's PV2012 Auto Tone will do a reasonable job, too, but the LR 4.1's does not in my opinion, so PV2010 Auto Tone is the best using LR 4.1.

Your camera is clever but the raw converter is also clever, just in a different way, like two different siblings who are smart but have had different experiences and good at different things. If you demand that one of those siblings do things exactly the same as the other one, then both you and they will be unhappy.
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Rob Cole

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Gavin,

I hear what you are saying, but I can't speak for Adobe. As a fellow user, all I can do is offer work-arounds. If you don't like the ExifMeta/CollectionPreseter work-around, then another work-around is to use the jpegs until such time you are ready to edit the raws.

Note: NX2 will just give you the same thing the camera did if you don't take the time for manual adjustments there, so you're not gaining anything by using it instead of the camera jpeg if you shan't be editing.

Personally, I would not recommend auto-toning until you are ready to do follow-up edits.

Rob
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Rob Cole

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It's not "rocket science" to determine the in-camera settings, harder though to map effects into Lr settings (but an approximation is possible). But there is little point in Lightroom doing it if you are just going to redo anyway (edit to your own satisfaction). And of course different cameras have different settings...

Tip: If you must peek at the jpegs, do it *after* editing the raws in Lightroom, not before - then it won't matter ;-}. Better still - forget the in-camera jpegs...

You have to adjust exposure if photo needs it, whether Active D-Lighting was enabled in camera, or not - right?

Don't get me wrong: I understand that some people have shooting regimens and workflows that would benefit from matching camera manufacturer's in-camera results in Lightroom. But Adobe has openly stated: doing so is not on their agenda (over and above creating camera-matching profiles, that is).

So, either get used to doing without it, or use plugins to accomplish - it's not hard to do with plugins:

* exif-meta can discern ADL setting, so you can create smart collections.
* collection-preseter assigns matching camera profile, and applies preset with +exposure -highlights +shadows, which is about what the camera (or Nikon software) does to compensate.

Rob