Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next 93 Replies Latest reply: May 17, 2014 10:09 AM by Jean-Marie Foret Go to original post
  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,555 points)

    Somewhere after the D300 and before the D7000, Nikon made a decision, by their own admission, to treat all flash as Fill.  The result of that, if ISO is set to Auto, is that the shooting solution without Flash is used even when firing a flash.  See ISO is at 640 For me this produces an image that is harder to adjust -- can't say what its effect is on RAW decoding.  On my D800 I even see ISO as high as 1600, when on an older Nikon, firing a flash, would be more like ISO 200.  I dislike this assumption a lot, and go to lengths to set ISO to manual 200 or lower when I know that I will fire a flash.  Otherwise I prefer Auto ISO.


    I don't know if this is involved, or not, in your observed issue.


    I did find a NEF online to download.  Unfortunately it did not download with camera Preview, but the decoding looks like what I saw online.  See:



    This image decoded to what appears to be a wonderfully exposed image, before any adjustment.


    I will have to check the WB behavior on my D800, but since WB does not impact RAW files, I purposely set it to Auto nearly every time.



  • Stylophile Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm using Aperture 3.4.3 and two Nikons, a D600 and a D7000, both of which are set to shoot RAW + JPEG (basic).  When I import from the D7000, everything looks fine.


    When I import from the D600, everything looks fine until I click on the preview image.  Then, I get the "darkening" problem that everyone is discussing.


    Have you tried looking at Black Point (in the Exposure section)?  When I import from the D7000, it is set to 0, and the exposure and contrast look fine.  When I import from the D600, it is set to 5, and things are much too dark.  When I reset it to 0, things look fine to me.


    Hopefully, this will work as a quick fix until Apple addresses the issue.




  • Jason Sims Level 2 Level 2 (180 points)

    Same thing I suggested earlier in this thread. Apparently nobody read my posts.

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,555 points)

    Hi all,


    I went over to my local camera shop to buy a new camera case, and while there I had one of the pro photographers shoot some random shots with a D600, in RAW.  What follows are screenshots of three of the photos, first showing the camera Preview captured before ever letting Aperture generate a new one, and then on the right the display of the default rendering of the RAW w/o any editing.  You can also see the EXIF data along side.


    Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 4.27.38 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2013-03-12 at 4.28.04 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2013-03-12 at 4.29.00 PM.jpg


    Although the Black Point is defaulted to 5.0, I don't see much problem with darkening.  In most cases, as viewed on my Retina MBP, the rendering by Aperture from RAW would be a better starting point for further adjustments, than the camera Preview JPEG.


    If anyone wants to see larger size/resolution images, I can arrange that.  I have sent them by email to Mike Bisom, who started this thread.



  • robbinewmanphoto Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Me too...the issue is quite disturbing...I have reset my camera to non D Lighting plus adjusted the black  and white import levels.

    This has not happened with prior cameras at all.

  • robbinewmanphoto Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    absolutely correct comment about software being 'dumbed' down across the Apple software line. I get the impression that cash flow is more important than quality.

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,555 points)

    Why would you expect Active D Lighting to work with RAW?


    Found the following discussion, not about Aperture, but about Lightroom that is applicable:




  • Régis Corbet Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


    I've turned off Active D Lighting, and miracle, Newer NEFs I've produced since are now displayed correctly.I think that active d lighting is underexposing shots, and only Nikon software are able to understand and compensate that properly.

    Thank you Ernie, I think you spotted the origin of the issue.


  • Mike Bisom1 Level 4 Level 4 (3,535 points)

    A general repy to all...


    Active D lighting can effect metering. Hence the "active". D-Lighting, is simply a post-processing curve. For the record, I have never used Active D-Lighting on any of my cameras.


    Ernie, you had sent me a higher resolution of that first image you posted in the thread. If you turn on the View > Highlight Hot & Cold within apertures, you will see that you the blacks get crushed. You go from zero blue to blue all over the place. It is just that with these images, the crushing of the blacks isn't as visually disturbing. The next step would be to take the Raw file and see what kind of image you get out of CNX2.


    Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 12.01.12 PM.jpg

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,555 points)



    I have just emailed you an original size JPEG of a photo I went back to the shop and shot with flash.  If you analyze it similarly, you will see that the Cool indications are only on subject matter that is truly under-lit.  Blacks in the middle of the photo, where the flash reached, have not been "crushed".  Also, the detail is quite good if you either turn off high and low, or if you correct the Black Point.



  • Mike Bisom1 Level 4 Level 4 (3,535 points)

    And? My point this whole time is that Aperture doesn't do a very good conversion on D600 files. In my eyes, it's an unacceptable conversion. Can you tinker with it to get a better version? Sure. But I don't have that kind of time. Espeically when you consider that CNX2 (best conversion) or Lightroom (better conversion) give a better, no tweak needed, starting point for the Raw file. And that I have never had anywhere near this poor of a conversion from Aperture and I started back with v1 @ $500. And I illustrated that with your "comparison" image. You can clearly see that the conversion crushed the blacks. Do those crushed blacks matter? Probably not. But what are you going to do when they do matter? When you actually have some shadow detail that simply looks better before Aperture crushed it as in my wedding formal shot.

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,555 points)

    I cannot speak to the conversions of images you have shot.  For those test shots I did in the camera store, I think the black lows would have been there with any camera I have used.  I think I would see the same with the same shot made with my D300, my D800, or the test D600.  The photographer in the camera shop thought the render from RAW was the better starting point compared to the Preview from the camera.  That is a subjective judgement of course.


    I think it will not be easy for Apple to find the fix, if we rule out all in camera settings that might have resulted in the JPEG Preview looking better, even with CNX2.



  • Mike Bisom1 Level 4 Level 4 (3,535 points)


    I cannot speak to the conversions of images you have shot.

    I can though! And I have even illustrated it with your test shot! I would imagine the wider the dynamic range, the more drastic the effect. And again, I have no doubts that CNX2 will always provide the best conversion of NEF files... no backwards engineering required. But Apple should be able to provide a better algorithm than what they have currently given us. That is one of the reasons to use Aperture, a decent Raw conversion. I don't have a D800 so I have no idea what conversion from that look like. When I started with Aperture, we had Canon 10D-40D Cameras. We now have a D300s (can't part with it!), a pair of D7000's, and the D600. We have had a D80, a pair of D90's and even a D5000 thrown in the mix. I have used Aperture to process files from Canon 7D's, 5Dc & MII, and even a couple of Fuji S2 (if memory serves) and I have never had this issue. So yeah, I am thinking it's something the engineers can put their thinking caps on and resolve.


    OK- If you twist my arm, I will say that I was never thrilled with the Fuji conversion either. But as it wasn't my camera and I didn't have anyting to compare it too... I could live with it!

  • Mike Bisom1 Level 4 Level 4 (3,535 points)

    If anyone is still following this (or if Apple ever takes notice), I know at least part of the issue is in how Aperture interprets the white balalnce issue. I took the camera (D600) out for fun the other day and was using a set Kelvin WB. In Aperture, the WB is NOT a consistent Kelvin.

  • gobigdave Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I gave up a few weeks ago and migrated everything to Lightroom. I was tired of waiting and not hearing anything.