Do you use Active D Lighting on your Nikon camera

paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
edited February 2015 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I would be interested to know how many members use this process on their camera. Do you find it an advantage or just Hype.
ADL is primary to help the camera's Dynamic range when used in extreme lighting conditions, is it a disadvantage in flat light conditions
Does it make any difference whether you use Jpeg or Raw
Does it make any difference depending on which type of metering the cameras is set to
Do different PP software recognise ADL or does just Nikon NX2 do this

There seems to be conflicting opinions on the subject when looking at the internet.
Post edited by paulr on
Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
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Comments

  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    It's only working for JPGs, RAW already have all the dynamic range the sensor is capable of, so I use to do the "ADL" in post processing. I don't use the Nikon converters, non of them convinced me. No one of the other three converters (AA, C1, DxO) looks after the ADL.

    In the beginning, I played with ADL, but the results were not to my liking.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Technically ADL does affect RAW files, in exactly this way: When ADL is enabled, it pushes the exposure up to 1 stop to the minus side (underexposed). It does this because ADL can recover shadow better than blown highlights. The evil twist is that the histogram is sampled from the JPEG, not the RAW so you don't know it's happening until you get home.
    This is why most experienced RAW shooters use a flat or relatively basic picture profiles, because the histogram and highlight display is based off of the tiny JPEG that gets imbedded in the RAW file automatically.
  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    @Ironheart Can't say enough thank you for your post, you're right, it pushes the exposure down.
  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    edited February 2015
    I checked all my settings (banks and user setting). Turns out I switched off ADL in each - except the one I use most of the time :| . It might be sometimes easily corrected in post, but if I'm already in exposure mode "highlight protection" and "ADL strong" all the reserves I need might be gone until I see the result in post.

    A well exposed picture doesn't have to be corrected so often in post.

    And btw @PitchBlack "I stand corrected": I've said the same and I don't know if a lot of people know what ADL is doing the way it's doing.
    Post edited by funtagraph on
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited February 2015


    A well exposed picture doesn't have to be corrected so often in post.
    I think that depends on the subject

    I don't think any of my photographs get published without adjusting
    the high lights
    the shadows
    clarity
    the blacks and white nearly allaway need tweaking
    finally at least one but upto 5 graduated filters are added

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    What I meant, @sevencrossing: "well exposed" to me is "all reserves of 14 bit RAW with it's dynamic range are well placed at the end" If I've already given up 1 stop I'll get problems with shadow- or highlight-recovery.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,491Member
    What I meant, @sevencrossing: "well exposed" to me is "all reserves of 14 bit RAW with it's dynamic range are well placed at the end" If I've already given up 1 stop I'll get problems with shadow- or highlight-recovery.
    This is a great definition of "good exposure".
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    no
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,491Member
    no
    Not sure I disagree with you. What is your reasoning?
  • JCTibuJCTibu Posts: 44Member
    wow... interesting post..

    I do use my ADL in normal... even shooting in RAW.

    Nikon D750 - Sigma 24-105mm f4 - Nikon 50mm 1.8g - Nikon 55-300mm - SB700 -SB400
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member
    edited February 2015
    ADL is basically useless, that is unless you are shooting jpegs. Not only that slows the camera down and makes the buffer smaller.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,203Member
    ADL is basically useless, that is unless you are shooting jpegs. Not only that slows the camera down and makes the buffer smaller.
    Ditto - that has been my experience. My experience was with the D300 and then later with the D7100.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    I use ADL at maximum .Noise reduction at max Sharpeness at max JPEG large basic but then I am not wrapped in this RAW Prime fettish senario .I just take pictures by the thousand and sell them to happy people.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    It is good to have some people here who "swim against the current." As has often been said "there is more than one way to skin a cat" but I guess that phrase is politically incorrect these days.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member
    edited February 2015
    There is no doubt that RAW shooting is not right for everyone. For those who like to work with their images it opens a lot of doors. For those who don't like post processing, don't care too much about the final product, or only make 4x6 or 8x10 prints, jpeg shooting is fine.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    PB-PM
    One of the comments I often put at the bottom of my posts is.......

    Always listen to old people or they die and you live on in ignorance.....
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 394Member
    I'm finding that I like Nikon's RAW processing better (using Capture NX-D) so if I get WB, ADL, NR, Picture Control right in capture, it reduces the time needed to push those buttons during post. Get it wrong, or if I set Auto WB, ADL, PC etc., then NX-D requires some diving to correct them.

    So to the question, I use ADL selectively when looking at tough lighting scenes with a lot of highlights vs shadows. As with many Auto settings, it often gets it wrong, so I like to choose between low/med/hi effect.
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    Please don't forget the D400 Phantom discussion. I think that thread will become the first book published by NRF. :D
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    I have to admit that I knew this subject would bring out all kinds of debate and opinions. However is that not the basic principle of sharing opinions in a cordial manner that NR exists for. The use of ADL or any other aid fitted to your camera is for the photographer to use at their discretion.If they consider it will improve or help the image achieve a better result, then use it. However no too images are the same and it is the judgement of the photographer and their experience that should be the primary factor, sometimes it works and sometimes it does not, depending on the subject matter in a given condition.
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    I have never used Active D Lighting, I have never shot jpegs
    but my understanding was, if it did turn it on. Active D Lighting would not affect my RAW files
    Is this correct ?

    This is purely theoretical question

  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I have never used Active D Lighting, I have never shot jpegs
    but my understanding was, if it did turn it on. Active D Lighting would not affect my RAW files
    Is this correct ?

    This is purely theoretical question
    The answer is fuzzy.

    Nikon does not modify it's raw data based on in camera parameters, but id does carry those parameters imbedded in a 'header' are of the file.

    If you use Nikon Capture to process the raw files, all in camera parametes including Active D Lighting will be acted upon when you open the file, just as if it were a jpg, but you can then adjust or back them out without any ill effect because the raw data itself is never changed.

    Other raw processors (like ACR) will act on those parameters they support (exposure, contrast, sharpening etc) on open, but not Active D Lighting.

    hope this helps ... H

    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,409Moderator
    I think the situation is that things that 'only affect jpegs' may also give you your starting point for editing your RAW files. I just put one shot up as ADL extra high and a second similar shot with ADL off. Both images look the same on screen as the jpegs do on the back of the camera i.e. the extra high ADL shot has a flatter tonal range than the one with ADL off. I don't see any reason to think that would not be the same for all 'jpeg only' settings.
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,409Moderator
    HAH! You beat me to the click haroldp!
    Always learning.
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    For those who like to work with their images it opens a lot of doors. For those who don't like post processing, don't care too much about the final product, or only make 4x6 or 8x10 prints, jpeg shooting is fine.
    How many who meet those criteria would bother with this forum.

    ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

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