Something is WAY off

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by shutterstruckstudio, May 24, 2015.

  1. I have been doing photography for a little over a year. No I am not perfect with my settings but I have never had issues like I am starting to have now. I use a Nikon D810 with an AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm 1:2.8G lens. First it started with bad noise at VERY low ISO (200), the pictures were still in perfect focus but the images were extremely noise. It was so bad my D90 took images with less noise. The automatic color temperature is shooting at crazy temperatures. My photos were lacking contrast. Then yesterday I did a session and the results were AWFUL! All of my images turned out like the one I am posting. I have never had an issue like this. Can anyone offer some kind of reasoning for this?
    Photo taken around 6pm with D810 24-70 2.8 F2.8, 160s, ISO160 52mm
    Nothing has been done to the picture it is straight from the camera besides resizing.
    I shot in RAW uncompressed. Focal point was on the left eye.
  2. What is it that you're seeing wrong with the shot? My experience is that for images of people, with high resolution cameras you probably should be using a faster shutter speed to avoid movement and camera shake related blur. I would not go below 1/250s if I can avoid it; 1/400s would be even better. The skin tone reflects the colour of the grass.
  3. Thank you so much for your response. Yes my shutter speed could have been higher but this was taken with a tripod. There should not have been any camera shake and the subject was still. So the skin tone is off because of the grass?
  4. Looking at your image, the skin tone is pretty good, although you are picking up some spill from the grass. You appear to have overexposed by about 1/3 stop, because some of the white shirt is clipped in one or more channels. You were in manual mode, and I think you metered a too-dark area in the image. At the size you have posted, I cannot tell anything about sharpness or noise.
  5. I agree with Ilkka about the skin tone. It looks normal to me if I mask off all of the green around the subject. Keep in mind also that it can be based on the individual monitor you are viewing the photo on. Do you calibrate your monitor? I also don't see any abnormal noise in the photo. As far as focus, using f/2.8 at this distance gives a very narrow DOF. If your lens is back focusing or front focusing even the slightest bit it can throw the focus off in such a small focus area. I normally shoot portraits at f/5.6 or f/7.1 which gives a larger DOF for the face or faces. This may require bumping the ISO up to 400 but that is not an issue with the D810. Can you post a photo with the noise problem you mention?
  6. To the point Les brings up about overexposure, for this photo you had your camera set for an exposure value of +2. Was that intentional?
  7. Yes I calibrate my screen every two weeks. Is there a way I can upload or send the original file maybe via email to
    someone? The problem is not going to show up with this very small resized image. And as for exposure compensation, I
    shoot in manual. I was under the impression exposure compensation is only used for Apature mode which I never ever
  8. You could upload the full image here--it just won't show in-line. You could also upload a 100% crop of (say) the face area. I do not have a D800/810, but I expect the exposure comp will work in manual.
    EDIT: What manual metering technique do you use? What area do you meter?
  9. "I was under the impression exposure compensation is only used for Apature mode which I never ever use."

    Exposure compensation in manual mode biases the meter, so, yes, it affects the exposure.
  10. Here is an explanation from the Nikon website:
  11. WOW Barry thank you so much!!! I did not know that exposure compensation had an effect on the image when in manual mode! My husband uses my A mode and I guess he forgot to 0 it out when he was done and I never check it because I thought it did not affect the image! That information is most helpful!!!! Thank you! I am going to crop the image in on the face and upload so the noise, color and focus can be seen. I love this image of my son and would really like to be able to save it somehow. I have not tried to fix it in photoshop yet but I was devastated when I uploaded all of my images from all my sessions yesterday and saw they were all like this! I appreciate each and every response to this post! I know something is wrong and I just don't know what could cause 300 pictures to all have this issue when the manual settings were changed throughout the day. Like I previously stated, I have never had pictures to turn out this bad and I photograph weekly multiple times a week. Even my studio pictures were turning out like this!
  12. Automatic White Balance is best guess, nothing more. If you're shooting portraits like the one above you should do one of the following:
    1. Custom White Balance on a WB target before the shoot
    2. Shoot a WB target or colorchecker and then use that in raw processing to set the WB. in raw processing.
    Option 1 is recommended because it gives you the right color already in camera, so back LCD, histogram etc is correct.
    Exposure compensation in manual mode biases the meter, so, yes, it affects the exposure.​
    Maybe nitpicking here but to be honest it affects the in-camera exposure meter but not the exposure. The exposure is determined by the ISO, aperture and shutter speed setting you choose.
  13. Ara, you might want to try a factory reset to get everything back to where it was when the D810 was shipped. You would then need to go into the menus to set everything where you want it.
  14. There may be some settings off and some other are trying to compensate for that:
    - as mentioned exposure +2,
    - brightness and hue have value of -124 (normal?),
    - as for color balance. It is unknown and exiftool prints nonprintable characters for that,
    - power up time starting at the year 2000,
    - maybe others...
    I'd check my camera settings first, then I'd try to refresh/reload the camera firmware if needed. I'd check also my View NX2 color space definition.
  15. I can't personally see anything so badly wrong with the shot. Even in the crop I can't see the noise you describe, and the skin tone looks fine. The only thing I can see wrong is that the camera seems to be focused on the brim of the hat, rather than on the boy's eye.
  16. Agree with Seaman. Certainly can't call this photo "terrible". Don't see the noise and WB problems which the OP describes. Maybe camera/lens needs some focus fine tune.
    Maybe nitpicking here but to be honest it affects the in-camera exposure meter but not the exposure. The exposure is determined by the ISO, aperture and shutter speed setting you choose.​
    If one relies on the in-camera meter to set the exposure parameters (which is generally the case when shooting in manual mode), it surely affects the exposure.
  17. John Seaman the focal point was dead on the left eye. I have taken many many pictures with my D810 so I know what kind of image it is capable of producing. This image is FAR FAR from that!
    I think I will have to try that. Kari I was wondering if it was some kind of internal setting issue but I knew it would have to be something more than just the exposure compensation. Where do you find the reading of -124 brightness and hue value. I am not familiar with that setting at all. Also what does power up time starting at the year 2000 mean? How would those things have been changed and how do I change them back to what they need to be? My husband did do a firmware update on the camera. I have been having issues since the update. I am wondering if it is possible for him to have messed something up by doing that. It was the first firmware update we have ever done. Barry and Kari you are both amazing for offering so much help!!! Thank you!!!
  18. Regarding Exposure Compensation...or not...?
    Exactly how did you determine your 'correct' exposure parameters? Did you check the histograms of taken shots during the shoot? or maybe use live histograms?
    I'd guess as you took them in 14 bit RAW, you could recover most or all of the blown highlights, although it doesn't really look 2 stops over. You're supposed to get like 13 stops of Dynamic Range with the D810 @ ISO 160.
    Underexposure tends to increase noise, not overexposure. Curious!
    If one relies on the in-camera meter to set the exposure parameters (which is generally the case when shooting in manual mode), it surely affects the exposure.​
    Maybe I'm odd, but I never use the in-camera meter when in Manual. I rely on the histogram.
  19. I see no perceptible noise. The only minor flaw is it's slightly out of focus. Most folks wouldn't notice or care about the slightly soft focus.
    If you're seeing any serious problem your system calibration may be off. Occasionally a system glitch, or the installation of new software can mess up our calibration without even noticing it until our photos look odd.
    The overexposure isn't a problem - Lightroom could recover that easily.
    EXIF data shows you're using ViewNX. It's barely adequate software. Try Lightroom, DxO, Capture One... almost anything other than ViewNX will be better. ViewNX is mostly for viewing Nikon photos with complete proprietary metadata, tagging and organizing. That's the only reason I keep a copy on my PCs.
  20. Look carefully at the crop image. The brim of the hat is sharp. The eyes are not sharp. I don't know why, but it hasn't focused on the eye as you expected. Using a smaller aperture gives you better chances in these critical focus situations.
  21. I see no noise, even on the crop. It seems to be camera shake--was this a VR lens? I know a tripod was used, but there can still be shake. I applied a quick shake reduction in PS CC. I would still like to know what your metering technique was--spot? matrix? How did you determine the exposure, and which AF point was used.
  22. Maybe I'm odd, but I never use the in-camera meter when in Manual. I rely on the histogram.​
    Mike: chacun à sa façon. When shooting in manual I prefer to spot meter (on the highlights I wish to keep) and use the in-camera meter with or without exposure compensation (based on the known headroom with that sensor). If you want the most DR your camera can achieve shooting raw, the histogram may lead you to under-expose.
    Lex: That's an amazing improvement.
  23. That was Les, not me. And, yep, that is an incredible improvement. I had no idea the shake reduction tool worked so well.
  24. It works well about half the time, or maybe less. And when id doesn't work, it really doesn't work. Lots of gruesome artifacts. I have noticed it works better with low-noise files, and much faster if you have the Creative Cloud, which I just subscribed to.
  25. Yes I love CC. It is all I use for editing. And I have never had to use camera shake reduction since I purchased my D810.I never had any issues until this whole session turned out like that even at higher shutter speeds. It looks much better after applying the camera shake reduction for this image. I guess this will just be a session that I spend hours in photoshop fixing. I just wanted to find out what went wrong so it won't happen again! I am hoping to find some kind of setting that has been messed up. Thank you so much Les!
    So am I just being picky about how this picture turned out? My husband saw it and said wow what happened to your pictures they looks nothing like the pictures you normal take. I will post one that I did before all these "issues" to show the difference of course this is not the RAW file and it is edited but I did NOT do any type of sharpening to the image at all just artistic editing! You can tell the sharpness of the image is nothing like the pictures in this session. The image is clean, crisp and smooth!
    I answer some questions...I use matrix metering and AF-S. Yes I know AF-C is better for children. And no I do not use my internal light meter. When I do my images are always off!!! I snap one look at histograms and adjust. I always shoot in manual. Someone mentioned firmware messing up calibration. Is this a possibility? It only does this with my 24-70 2.8 and not my 85mm lens.
  26. Here is a screen shot of an image I took. This image was not sharpened ANY! All I did was artistic color edit. Does anyone else see a difference in focus?? This is what my images normally look like.
  27. Is this happening since the Lightroom CC update? Do you need to adjust your default raw import settings in LR?

    One issue you have here has to do with bounced light. The kid has a hat on which is reducing exposure to light from the
    sky and proportionally more light that's hitting the face is green light reflected off the grass. You don't realize how strong
    the effect is when you're looking at it in the field because it's subtle and the eye corrects it automatically, and I didn't really
    understand this effect until I did a stint as an architectural 3d renderer, but you do have slightly imbalanced light because
    of the bounce.
  28. Per right is blown out skin tones are fine. I think the focus is really soft, but Les Berkley's post certainly helped that. Are, have you tried another lens on the camera?
  29. Andy L thank you so much!!! I don't use lightroom I use Photoshop CC and now that you mention it YES it did start around the time I update CC. How do I correct the issue?
    I am so glad to know I am not going crazy! I was starting to think I was the only one that saw it! That makes perfect sense but it drives me insane. Is there a way to avoid this? Thank you so much for your reply.
  30. With regard to exposure compensation in manual mode, I would just add that on a single-wheel camera such as the D 5xxx or D3xxx series, exposure compensation is disabled in manual mode (the [+/-] button being used for the second wheel function). So if you stepped up from one of those, the change might not have been noted.
  31. Barry Fisher, I did go out today and try with a different lens. I used an 85mm and the outcome was much better. I would attribute the first upload as camera shake but the focus is really soft in the whole set from that day and today when using the 24-70. So today I went out and tried both again. The same issue with focus was there with the 24-70 but not with my 85mm lens it was not near as bad but still not as good as my images normally are. I have no idea what is going on. This leads me to believe there is some setting off in the camera settings but there is something going on with my lens. I will upload a screenshot from today and you can see the difference in the sharpness and focus of the image. Again there was no sharpening added to the image just artistic editing.
  32. Overall the shot looks pretty good to me except that it is soft, and the white shirt is slightly overexposed. Easy to correct on the jpg here in PSCC camera raw filter.
  33. Does the 24-70 feel like its hunting focus? Is the little MF-SF-CF set on CF? or MF? I don't know the layout differences between the 810 and the 700 but on the D700 it was always easy to hit that little lever and change the setting. I prefer it on SF for using auto focus, but if it goes to MF, the camera will be in manual focus. Its a real quick check. Otherwise, you will need to look to your 24-70 maybe.
  34. There might be a short list of things to tend to here.
    1) If you're going to use AF, I'd recommend AF-C with 3D tracking. Very slight movements in subject or camera will throw you way off, especially at 36MP. Clearly that happened in this case.
    2) It would not hurt to do an AF fine-tune with this lens, to make sure it is indeed nailing focus where you intend it to be.
    3) If you want to know your true exposure, I'd suggest Uni-WB, or the closest equivalent. But in the case of this picture, you will see that your highlights are blown only because you used a profile with a tone curve. If you use a "neutral" or "linear", you will see that the highlight end has a little more headroom than you think it does. You should be able to save this shot.
    On this last point - remember that the "standard" profile boosts highlights and attenuates shadows to give contrast. This causes highlights to appear blown where they are not blown in raw. You likely have from 1/2 to a full stop of headroom left in the raw. I believe LR is smart enough to do recovery by actually drawing on real data, instead of trying to reconstruct needlessly.
    If you want your in-camera histogram to read (pretty much) correctly, you'd need to shoot at 5600K and use a "flat" or "neutral" profile.
  35. I'm a novice at this exposure stuff, but, if the OP is shooting in RAW, how relevant are the 5600 degree Kelvin and profile
    setttings? Do they relate to the pre-shot image and histogram seen on the back LCD and its effect on the photgrapher's
    exposure adjustments?
  36. if the OP is shooting in RAW, how relevant are the 5600 degree Kelvin and profile setttings? Do they relate to the pre-shot image and histogram seen on the back LCD and its effect on the photgrapher's exposure adjustments?​
    In current firmware, the settings for in-camera JPEG determine the histogram shown on the rear LCD, even when one is shooting raw. Nikon has suggested there may be in the future a "raw histogram" feature as a part of their advanced firmware initiative, but as far as I know, it hasn't materialized yet.
  37. that shot of the boy is out of focus, as mentioned above, focus is not on the eye ->crop.
    for photos like this set the camera to continous af, not single shot af and keep the af on button pressed.
    stay on the eye, take 3-howmany shots you want, use low fps, one burst - avoid weird eye lid positioning by bursting
    also, on the right ear of the boy (left in photo) you can see motion blur.
    out of focus and motion blur.
    your other photosare sharp you say, here is your awnser.
    what you could try the next time.
    breathe out
    take a photo
    just like shooting a gun.
    those photos happen.
    its annoying when it does.
    get over it and move on :;))
    happy shooting!
    one more unasked for-advice.
    do not cut off feet like this.
  38. Ara, I'm sorry but I don't know what the Adobe fix is. I don't use Adobe myself anymore. I just remembered the news
    about new versions of the apps, and that once with an older version the upgrade clobbered my import defaults. It seems
    to me the most likely scenario is software related issues.

    Have you tried viewing the photos in other software, like Capture NX-D, to see whether the images render the same?

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