doing HDR with D610

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by larry_johnson|6, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. I've read that the D610 does only three exposures when it brackets. In many cases that will be enough, but in more extreme natural light (canyons, forests) it seems five (or more) would be better. Since I shoot everything from a tripod would it be a reasonable practice to do a set of three skewed to the plus-side, and then quickly do three more skewed to the minus -- and then process them with one of the standard HDR software products? I'm hoping to make the digital camera model decision in the next two months. The price of the D610 gives it an edge. I'm coming from a film 67 system, and working with HDR tastefully will solve a lot of the situations that have given me headaches in the past. I want full-frame because I sell large prints. Some of the larger (3'x4') will still be produced from the 67, but the 610 should be good for the smaller 24"x32" I understand.
  2. Try shooting RAW before you get into HDR. In most cases a correctly exposed (ETTR) single RAW exposure can generate more than enough dynamic range for tricky lighting or contrasty subjects. Don't believe the pro-film lobby myth that film has more dynamic range than digital. That hasn't been true for at least 5 years, and current generation FF DSLRs can easily outpace film when it comes to retaining shadow and highlight detail.
  3. It's rare that more than three carefully selected exposures are required. But if you need more, set your camera to M exposure mode and make as many exposures as you need.
    You'll probably want to use manual focus, as well, so the focus doesn't drift between exposures.
    If you use Auto white balance, you might need to set all of the raw files to the same WB in your raw processor before importing the files into the HDR software. If you want to skip this hassle, set the white balance to the same setting for all exposures.
    Make sure that "D-Lighting", Auto ISO, and anything else that can change your files is switched OFF.
    Manual settings are advised any time you intend to combine multiple exposures, either into a single frame or into a time lapse series.
  4. Thanks, Joe and Dan: This is the kind of feedback I was hoping I'd receive. As I understand it, the D800 twins offer more bracketing exposures, and some of the 610 reviewers had sounded as if "only" three was a shortcoming. After shooting transparency film for more than 15 years, I know I've been dealing with a constricted dynamic range (est 7 stops), but I've dealt with it because of the luscious color and the smooth way light transitions between high- and low-levels. For at least three years I've been reading everything that comes along re working in digital and, yes, I expect to work exclusively in RAW.
  5. Larry, a few string recommendations:

    First: Do not use raw capture software in your HDR application. Those raw converters are only there as a convenience, and they lack the basics that are covered well in NX/C1/LR. For example, chromatic aberrations will not be wel corrected, and you will have oversampled CA artifacts.
    Second: Use only the "neutral" (NX, C1) or "linear" or "camera linear" (LR) settings for capture profile. Capture to 16-bit TIF, and feed these to your HDR application. You need to use the most linear numbers you can get. The interpolation software assumes what is coming in is in linear space. Otherwise, the computations are skewed.
  6. Assuming at ISO 100 in RAW with a D610, you've got about 14 EVs of Dynamic Range...even if you did your three frames as -3 - 0 - +3 , that's kinda like a 20 EV spread!
    I'd think that that's probably enough even for those film guys...:)
  7. If you want more bracketing capability you may want to look at a Promote controller:
    A pricey work around.
  8. If you want a more natural appearance by default than most HDR programs and plug-ins produce by default, try the
    Enfuse plug-in for Lightroom.

    Try your brackets at 1.0, 1.3, and 2.0 stop increments.

    You might also check the custom settings menu to see if Bracketing can be done at 5 or 7 instead of the default of 3.

    Also if the D800 is in your price range I'd go for that over the D610. You might find you can retire the 6x7 camera. Joe is spot on about the increased dynamic range of newer cameras and this is especially true of the D800.

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