9 Replies Latest reply: May 3, 2012 5:00 PM by jay pegg
jay pegg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Research on the internet suggests that only Nikon conversion software will read Picture Control settings in Nikons. I had trouble telling the difference between diferent Controls in test shots I did with the d7000. I'm now thinking there probably wasn't if A3 doesn't recognise this facility. Anyway, I'm quite interested in using Picture Controls so would appreciate any help on this. Cheers, jp

  • 1. Re: A3 reading Nikon Picture Controls
    CalxOddity Level 3 Level 3 (680 points)

    Jay,

       As you have already concluded, Picture Controls (on raw files) are not recognised by Aperture, but the intent of Picture Controls can still be achieved.

     

    Consider whatPicture Controls do:  they are, in effect, a set of preset instructions attached to the raw file in-camera, and modify the raw file though addition or subtraction of contrast, saturation brightness etc etc (see link below:

    http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/microsite/picturecontrol/

     

    You can (pretty much) replicate these in Aperture through the use of presets.  I recall Rob Boyer some time ago posted either on his website or in this forum his results of attempting to match some of the Picture Control settings with customised Aperture presets, and I think he got very close.

     

    Is there a particular effect or look that you're after with the Picture Controls?

  • 2. Re: A3 reading Nikon Picture Controls
    DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)

    Jay,

     

    As our Ozzie friend noted, only Capture NX (and perhaps View NX) will automatically note and decode Nikon's in camera settings.

     

    Adobe releases a line of presets in Lightroom that mimic these effects, but you have to engage/disengage them yourself.

     

    Aperture has a range of presets which, while not labeled the same as Nikon's, produce most of the same effects.

     

    As noted, Rob Boyer published the "formula" for creating your own copies - Shoot a RAW+JPEG pair with the different Picture Controls, analyze the JPEG and then adjust the RAW. See his site for various tutorials and videos.

     

    The bottom line, however, is that there is NO Nikon magic involved - the Picture Control settings are simply variations of saturation/contrast/brightness/sharpening. You can easily make your own.

    --

    DiploStrat

  • 3. Re: A3 reading Nikon Picture Controls
    jay pegg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks CalxOddity and DiploStrat. I sort of expected that there was not going to be an easy answer. People talk of using Capture NX as an "external" editor to A3 but I can't find info on someone actually having done it. Thanks for the Rob Boyer info. I never used picture controls until attending a workshop by two very reputable photographers (Canon) who absolutely swear by Picture Controls. I asked these photographers how Lise Sarfati got those lovely muted tones in her photos. I was presuming she used software but they told me to try using Neutral Picture Control with +3 sharpening. I learned a lot from their workshop but the only reason they gave for using Picture Controls (shooting RAW+jpeg) was that the jpeg gave you the "feeling" of what the scene was like when you shot it. So, I'm still confused but will access Rob Boyer's website and see what he has to say. Cheers, jp.

    Photos by Lise Sarfati

     

    Screen shot 2012-04-29 at 10.02.21 AM.jpg

    Screen shot 2012-04-29 at 10.01.12 AM.jpg

  • 4. Re: A3 reading Nikon Picture Controls
    Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (23,795 points)

    Unless you have an overwhelming reason to be shooting RAW then the simplest solution here is to just shoot JPG.

     

    If you're happy with the JPG's as they come out of the camera then you have little to gain by shooting RAW.

  • 5. Re: A3 reading Nikon Picture Controls
    DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)

    I think you are still missing the point - the ONLY advantage to in camera settings is that someone at Canon or Nikon sat down and said something to the effect of, "Photographers routinely make these edits, so I'll build them into the camera." Convenient, but nothing that you can't replicate in Aperture, Lightroom, Photoshop, GIMP, or whatever.

     

    While I actually dislike the look intensely, I would guess that the effect in the photos you linked is mostly a drop in saturation and maybe a kick up in contrast.

     

    I agree that it is nice that Nikon offers things like Portrait, Vivid, etc., but one of the reasons I shoot RAW is so that I am NOT locked in as I would be with an out of camera JPEG that had already been de-saturated, sharpened, or whatever.

     

    Scholars differ on this, but I would suggest that what you really want to do is learn the editing formulae to achieve any effect you want.

     

    You can't really use Capture NX as an external editor as it is also a RAW developer. If you want to use Capture NX, either:

     

    -- Run your images through Capture NX first and then import the TIFF into Aperture, or,

     

    -- Take a look at Catapult: http://brushedpixel.com/

     

    Best wishes,

    --

    DiploStrat

  • 6. Re: A3 reading Nikon Picture Controls
    jay pegg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks DiploStrat. I may not have explained myself very well but I do agree with you. I've always shot in RAW. And to be honest I thought Picture Controls were something for the "point and shoot" mindset (and Ken Rockwell). And in answer to Frank, the overwhelming reason to shoot in Raw is the flexibility it gives me with post processing. Which is your point DiploStrat - all the picture control stuff can be done here.

     

    I presumed that the effect of the photos you intensely dislike the look of (no sitting on the fence here - an admirable trait) was done with PS or simlar software. However, as I've mentioned, my weekend workshop tutor said try picture controls, which obviously work for her. I learned a lot from the workshop but somebody has yet to convince me why I should use Picture Controls. So, at present I'm with you DiploStrat, and learning the editing formulae is the way to go.

     

    Not a futile discussion though, I've learned a bit (discovered Rob Boyer) and feel more comfortable that Picture Controls are not something I need to worry about.

     

    Thanks for the below info - I'll check it out. Cheers, jp

     

     

    -- Run your images through Capture NX first and then import the TIFF into Aperture, or,

     

    -- Take a look at Catapult: http://brushedpixel.com/

     

    Best wishes,

    --

    DiploStrat

  • 7. Re: A3 reading Nikon Picture Controls
    jay pegg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your reply Frank. As I mentioned in my reply to Diplostrat, I feel more comfortable knowing that the RAW file contains All the recorded info. I can see how jpegs could be of use in some situations, especially if you had a big shoot (wedding) where editing a 1000 RAW images would be time consuming. I have not used the RAW+jpeg system but I have it on my list to do some research. Cheers, jp 

  • 8. Re: A3 reading Nikon Picture Controls
    DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)

    I presumed that the effect of the photos you intensely dislike the look of (no sitting on the fence here - an admirable trait)

     

    Only because I tend to shoot NatGeo style and so I want the most "accurate" reproduction possible. Although I am quite happy to use Brightness and Shadows to create faux HDR, etc. Similarly, in most cases, I would prefer to shoot at f8 or above to get everything in focus.

     

    But one glimpse at my website will show why no one has ever accused me of being artistic.

     

    --

    DiploStrat

  • 9. Re: A3 reading Nikon Picture Controls
    jay pegg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had a look at your website DiploStrat and Yes, I can see why you would dislike the photos I attached! Two ends of the spectrum. Great though, how there is such variation in a medium - endless permutations. Thanks again for your help. Cheers, jp