Capture NX LCH vs Levels & Curves

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by craig_shearman|1, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. I use Nikon Capture NX to process my NEF files from by D200. I have used LCH a lot, particularly to brighten up shots that are a little underexposed by sliding the right (white) triangle leftward to the right edge of the histogram. Most of the time this is fine, but sometimes the results on the screen look at touch brighter than I think they should be, even though this alignment is theoretically supposed to be the correct exposure. My concern is that when I look at the same thing in Levels & Curves, it seems to call for less adjustment than LCH calls for. When I drag the triangle in Levels & Curves to get "correct" exposure it brightens the image less and is closer to what my eye tells me is correct. Now I realize this could be a monitor calibration issue. But my real question is this -- which of the two really is "correct" and which one -- LCH or Levels & Curves -- should I be paying attention to. I honestly don't trust my own judgment on what is "correct" exposure and would prefer to be able to set it in an objective way such as lining up the triangle with the histogram, but I'm getting two different results from adjustments that I thought were both supposed to be more or less the same thing.
     
  2. How about "Quick fix" "Exposure Compensation"?
     
  3. I agree with Lorne. The "Quick Fix" toolset is generally the better spot to make simple bumps to under/over-exposure. I sometimes find cause to nudge up the "Highlight Protection" and then push brightness and/or contrast.

    The only time I'd reach for the LCH or Levels/Curves tools would be when I'm in the mood to actually curve the response. Just moving those endpoints compresses the response, whereas putting a node or two on the curve and shaping it provides far more nuanced control.

    As for "correct," it's all very subjective. Make it look the way you want it to look. But if you have an exposure target (say, an 18% grey target in your exposure), you can move things around until that's in the middle of your histogram.
     
  4. Havent' tried quick fix but I will give it a try. Thanks.
     

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