D200 - LCD Image Bright / PC Image Dark

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bkkstudios, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. Hi,

    I did another posting on studio flash, but the title wasn't quite
    right for this problem so another one here.

    The image on my D200 LCD is not too bad, meaning bright. I transfer
    the pics to my PC, into Adobe Album, and they are much darker, to
    the point of almost unusable.

    I've used about 4 digital cameras in the same setup, same
    application and no problem. I tried the PTP and Mass Storage USB
    options, sRGB, AdobeRGB color space, no luck, always the same result.

    Any ideas?

  2. The me the simplist solution would be to change the brightness of the LCD to match (as close as possible) what you're seeing on the computer.
    Conversely,change you're monitor settings to reflect what you're seening on your LCD (unless of course you have your monitor calibrated for a specific color space and printing process.)

    Mass storage, USB options, sRGB* or AdobeRGB* have no bearing on your problem.

    * its probably best (but absolutely nessesary) that you use the same color space (sRGB or AdobeRGB) on your camera that you print from.
  3. My apologies.
    Part of the last line should read: but NOT absolutely necessary.
  4. It's not a question of "brightness" per se, but the actual photo is not usable. For example, an area that is clearly visible on the LCD is black on the PC. Turning brightness up or down won't fix that.
  5. I don't think its the camera-lots of D200 out there and I haven't heard of a problem with the image brightness.
    Are you shooting in jpeg or RAW?
    Just for kicks see what happens when you view the photo in something other than Adobe album.
    I don't know anything about Adobe Album, but maybe there is a issue between AA and the D200 (I'm just guessing here).
    Without knowing more details about your setup its kind of hard to come up with a diagnosis.
  6. A properly calibrated monitor really helps. PC monitors are dark compared to Mac
    monitors. Most digital imaging is done on Macs, at least in the photo industry. There is a
    huge difference between my calibrated Sony Artisan monitor at work and my cheapo 17"
    PC monitor right next to it. So much so that after entering 3 images for a photo contest
    and viewing them on the PC monitor (where most of the voting will be done) I realized my
    huge error for not making them brighter! :)

    So my recommendation to you is to calibrate your monitor first, then see how the LCD
    compares to your monitor. Personally, I never used the LCD for any kind of exposure
    check. If I had any doubts, I would just bracket up or down and move on.

  7. First set the camera LCD brightness for comfortable viewing
    for the ambient light that you are shooting in, a bit brighter
    for day and dimmer for night. Use the histogram if you want to
    evaluate exposure in the field.<br>
    Second you must calibrate your computer monitor. Calibrating a
    monitor with out a device like the spider thing is difficult and
    very dependent on what utilities that were supplied with your
    display card and more so I can&#146;t give recommendations.
    Without the right utilities is like a dog chasing its tail but
    never catching it. With the right utilities it&#146;s damn
    Third you need to control you computer work environment. I
    recommend a single 48&#148; fluorescent fixture with a daylight
    balanced bulb of high quality. If you can do simple electrical
    work a nice option is a dual 48&#148; fluorescent fixture with
    two ballasts, one for each tube. The fixture will be installed
    over keyboard and monitor so you do not cast a shadow with your
    head on the desk. By installing a pull switch on one circuit you
    can have lower light for photography and twice the brightness for
    other work.<br>
    Fourth eliminate as much color as you can from your line of site.
    Setup a totally gray computer desktop. Color pollution in the
    room or on the computer desktop will affect your sense of color.
    Colorful wallpaper is not a problem if your image editing program
    is maximized as you work.<br>
    Fifth use levels and curves, do not use brightness and contrast.
    The later are &#147;amateur&#148; accommodations. They are lousy,
    quite lousy as the cause clipping and data loss. <br>
    The problem with your images could easily be that the mid tones
    are too dark and need to be raised. If any clipping is needed it&#146;s
    best done with levels where you can see what you are doing.
    Curves can be used for anything you can do with brightness,
    contrast and levels but it&#146;s best used to control contrast
    in specific areas of the image. For example the 1/4 tone can be
    dragged down slightly and the 3/4 tone dragged up slightly to
    increase mid tone contrast. This will be done at the expense of
    shadow and highlight contrast. If this makes the shadows too dark
    or if more separation is need in the shadow area you can pin the
    1/4 tone at 63/63 and then raise the 3/4 tone a bit. <br>
    The use of curves as described here will increase not only
    contrast but color saturation. If the exposure is good and the
    color a bit dull a slight &#147;S&#148; curve can give the image
    extra punch. It can also cause too much color saturation, at
    least for me, so from time to time I follow curves with Hue &amp;
    Saturation and back off the saturation slightly. I&#146;m not a
    fan of Velvia, never was, too contrasty and the saturation was
    too hard for my tasted. Velvia can be good for dull, overcast
    days but not clear bright days, not to my taste. With a DSLR the
    software is a lot of the image quality just as a conventional
    darkroom was a lot of a quality print.<br>
    There is another approach and that is to use custom curves in the
    camera. You&#146;d be doing the same things I mention above but
    in the camera when you want finished or nearly finished JPG files
    from your camera. <br>
    With the D200 and D2 Series cameras you can have your cake and
    eat it too. You can shoot NEF &amp; JPG Fine in large image size.
    This gives less images per gigabyte with your CF cards but it&#146;s
    not too bad compared to shooting NEF alone. You try to get it
    right in camera but have the NEF file for special images that
    deserve the best possible presentation.<br>
    If you are new to this there is a lot to learn. If you&#146;ve
    shot with another DSLR perhaps it was setup with defaults
    tailored to less skilled photographers and to give good JPG
    images, sharpness, color, contrast, etc. right from the camera.
    You can tweak the camera to give you what you want most of the
    time or do it in post processing or both, your choice.<br>
    I hope you find this helpful.<br>
    Dave Hartman.
  8. I have calibrated my monitor with a Spyder 2.

    I have a Leica Digilux 2 also, and have no issues with the LCD vs PC image.

    I tried different applications (like ACDsee) and got the same result, so I'm still a bit lost here, as I've used about 5 digital cameras so far and this problem is new.

    David, thanks for all the time you spent answering.

    I'm familiar with curves and tuning images, but ideally, I'd like my images to be ok first shot!

    I liked your comments on PC environment (fluorescents, grey backdrop), this is something I haven't thought about in my workflow.

    I have to debug more now!

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