Lets be clear on Clarity.

PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,845Member
edited October 2015 in General Discussions
Made some comments in another post about Clarity control but then noticed a post on another big Nikon site on the subject and well apart from turning into a riot it did not clarify anything ( sorry about the pun)
So I thought this subject deserved its own thread. I know this does not affect raw unless you are using NX but you may one day want ot shoot RAW/JPEG so better get prepaired.
My experience ..With my D3200/7100/800 I always run Picture control Standard +9 sharp Contrast 0. So when I got the D810 I set the Clarity at 0 assuming it had no effect. The effect was that I thought I had little depth of field as not much of the picture was sharp. Next I tried clarity +5, Standard , sharp +9 and as Severncrossing suggested the whites were a bit burnt.
I then tried all the others Landscape portrait Flat and Neutral but using Neutral my wife complained the colours did not match the D7100. So I took one photo on the D7100 and put the same card in the D8100 so it was easy to match.
Taking pictures of my grandson who has blondish hair showed at clarity +5 it burnt his hair out badly and could not be recovered. This burningseems to affect white shiney objects the most. I reverted to Standard put the clarity to +1,sharp +9 and then did what I have done with other poor lenses ( ie Sigma 17-35) upped the contrast to +2
This seems to give me what I want with the 28-300 though having spent all this money I question why I am struggling to match the quality of the D7100 !!! ,,A wedding on sunday will show the truth
I am interested to know what other D750 and D810 users have found. Is it on DF ?
Post edited by Pistnbroke on
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Comments

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,845Member
    I dont like bad information being left on the internet and I have had to revise my thoughts on this clarity control so have revised the above post.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Clarity for me is set at +19 on 99% of images shot with D4 or D800E. Part of a basic set up which includes reducing highlights slider to left) and increasing shadows (slider to right). LR5.7 I also increase contrast about +10.

    These are where I start with RAW images.
    Msmoto, mod
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    edited October 2015
    I will often shoot 200 or 300 images at a time per shooting situation such as a large number of portraits of different people at one time or a sporting event. Shooting mostly JPEG works for me in those situations because as long as I have my exposure correct and don't have a situation where I want to recover shadows I can let the camera do most of the post processing as pre-processing. Then I need very little post processing work per image and I can get through those 200 images faster. I use Picture controls standard normally (vivid if I want Kodachrome look or landscape if their are red flowers), with sharpening set to +9, saturation set to +1, and clarity set to +1. The post-processing I find myself usually doing is to reduce highlights just a bit, maybe like -2 or -6, increase shadows a bit more like maybe +10 or maybe zero, increase contrast a bit on some images like maybe +10, increase clarity a bit like maybe +8. Just small tweeks depending upon the image. Some are perfect as is. I like to post process in Photoshop Elements and avoid the step of going through Lightroom in RAW. However, if there is anything "important" I am shooting I will set my camera to shoot JPEG on one card and RAW on the other card so I can more quickly process the JPEG image but can always go back to the RAW image if I need to recover more shadows, etc. This is just a quicker way to work for "normal" images where time is important. I don't like to spend 6 or more hours post processing a shoot of 200 to 300 images. However, if I am "being an artist" I take a different approach. I shoot RAW and post process that image; usually doing the same steps of lightening the shadows a bit, reducing the highlights a bit, adding a bit of contrast, adding a bit of saturation (I like deep colors and often shoot at exposure compensation -0.3) and add a bit of clarity. All my adjustments are made according to what looks good to my eye concerning this particular image. Because I normally increase the shadows a bit I wonder if I should use Active Dynamic Lighting more? I often am working in studio and find ADL screws me up in setting the lighting so I turn it off. ADL will automatically reduce highlights and increase shadows so I think I should use it more in natural lighting situations. I do like the clarity setting and am glad Nikon added it to picture controls.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,845Member
    Very useful Donaldejose .I will have a look at the saturation instead of contrast and see how I go ........but I think Msmoto you missed the point we are taking about cameras (7200 750 810) that have the clarity control availble in camera for the JPEGS and to be honest its a pig to get it to do anyting useful !!!
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    edited October 2015
    Pistnbroke: I don't do weddings but I often shoot like you do; which is to say hundreds of images at a time and I want to spend as little time as possible in post processing so I want to get as much right in camera as possible with as little time tuning any singe image in post processing. I don't have a D810, just a D800 which does not have clarity control in-camera. But I did have an experience recently which shocked me. I was asked to photograph a kids nightime football game (not good lighting on the field). I used my newly purchased D750 with auto ISO set up to 12,800 and an old 80-200 f2.8 lens. I shot on manual at f2.8 and f4 with a shutter speed of 1/800th of a second to stop movement (mostly). and let the camera set the ISO. I had Picture Controls set to Standard, sharping at +8, clarity as +2, contrast at +1 and saturation at +1. I uses Auto Active-D Lighting and auto WB. I shot at times with exposure compensation at -0.3 and other times at 0. I shot at times with matrix metering, center weighted averaging and other times with the new highlight protection metering mode. The camera chose ISO's from 6,400 to 12,800. The images amazed me! Sure there was some loss of detail but color was very strong. The following image is right from the camera with only some cropping, no other changes:

    DSC_4028crop

    Shot at expose compensation -0.3 (although I would say leaving it at 0 generally was best), 1/800 sec, f2.8, ISO 10,000. It seems to me this is good enough for web use, for viewing on cellphones and tablets and likely good enough for viewing on computer monitors. No post processing other than cropping a bit. What surprised me most was how the colors are not washed out at ISO 10,000. If I shot another night time game there I would use the same setting with one change; I would try Active D Lighting at high and very high to see if it brought up the shadows without making the background too light. I didn't want to use it this time because I wanted black backgrounds for dynamic effect. However, it could be turned up some as long as the background didn't turn gray.

    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,845Member
    Its great to have someone admit they shoot JPEG...So far I feel that Clarity at +2 or more may be a problem particularly with white cars/dresses/men it shiney suits or wastecoats with a silvery finish. I am tending to +1 in those situations.
    Certainly colour saturation in your football game is not a problem ..bold is good ..but for me accurate is essential and matching through 3 cameras .
    Your high iso shots look brilliant encouraging me to up my max iso from 6400 on the D810 for these winter weddings..
    More experiments today..
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited October 2015
    Here is another football shot...Exposure Data: D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 with TC-14EII, ISO 20,000, f/4.5, at 1/450 sec

    Lennox Football II 2015-8

    Processed with the following in LR5.7
    Exposure -0.25 Contrast +42 High lights -100 Shadows +42
    Blacks -10 Clarity +19 Vibrance +5 Saturation +4

    Some brush work of course...

    I think the adjustments in camera are for me best set so as to obtain the widest dynamic range, i.e., anything that looses shadow detail, as in these horrid shooting conditions of night shots of football, should be avoided.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    edited October 2015
    "I think the adjustments in camera are for me best set so as to obtain the widest dynamic range" Agreed. How do you do that when you are shooting JPEG as your primary output so you have less post processing? Do you use Auto D Lighting? If so, at what setting? Extra High? Notice the graphic at the bottom of this page. It seems to show that the greatest dynamic range when shooting JPEG will be to use Auto D Lighting set at Extra High. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d600/14 I used Auto D Lighting in Auto for the above posted shot and I think I should have used Auto D Lighting High or Extra High in this situation.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,845Member
    I do and always have used Auto D in extra high..but my clients are not critical they expect mobile phone quality ...its me who does not
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I shoot RAW and spend hours in post processing. To obtain about a half dozen football images I shot maybe 150, spent one to two hours in post
    Msmoto, mod
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,845Member
    edited October 2015
    Usefull site that donaldejose
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d600/14
    Its D600 but as they say Nikon keep consistant results across all there camearas.If I am to up the saturation I find its boosts the red and I must do it on all 4 cameras so I think I stick to 0 on saturation. From the site above it seems Portrait has the greater tonal range so will look at that.
    Its interesting Msmoto ..you keep 5% of your shots from the highly mobile game. I must keep 95% of my static wedding shots only taking 2 of each to avoid blinkers. Horses for courses I guess.
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Well, to be honest, I have shot one wedding, and I probably kept 30%, as pointed out, multiples to avoid blinkers. In most static settings 30% is probably about average.

    The 5% figure is shooting at about 10 FPS, and in the race car scenes, many are just garbage.

    Back to clarity in camera....my perspective, purely what I like, not right or wrong, is to have the camera capture as much information as possible, then do all my fixings in post. Highly time consuming, but I just cannot do it any other way. I am, in 90% of my shots attempting to produce a finished image which looks like a snapshot anyone could do, has a full range of tones, and is something easily reproduced in a magazine. (Of course this does not happen as I do not shoot professionally.)

    In some respects, this is like going to a grocery store and purchasing lots of food, then deciding what to eat after returning home....may not be the most efficient way to do things, but I am willing to allow Nikon to give me the best information profile, then do my changes from that point.
    Msmoto, mod
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    edited October 2015
    Different horses for different courses is right. I shoot both ways, as I mentioned previously, and sometimes both ways as once since I have two cards so one can be for JPEG and one can be for RAW. If I am shooting to obtain a few images of the best possible quality I shoot RAW and spend more time post processing those few images. If I am shooting to obtain a lot of images and want to reduce post processing time I shoot JPEG. For example, when I shot that football game for a friend's son's team, I shot about 300 images and kept about 200 so all team members could have many photos of themselves. Contrast that with msmoto shooting 150 and keeping 6. If I had shot that football game to deliver only 6 images I would have shot it in RAW also, picked my 6 best images and post processed only them. However, I had to post process 200 images so I wanted to cut that post processing time down as much as possible and shooting in JPEG allows me to do that as long as I can get close enough to the "right" settings in the first place. As to clarity perhaps it is different horses for different courses again. I don't shoot white wedding dresses so I have not noticed clarity +2 burning out fine detail in white fabric. If I did I would reduce my clarity setting. I have tried Auto D LIghting in Extra High for landscapes and found it sort of produced a HDR look at times bringing the shadows up too much creating an unnatural look so I went back to Off in the studio with artificial lighting and Auto in the field. However, for that nighttime football game I think I should have used a stronger Auto D Lighting setting. Different horses for different courses is a good phrase for us to remember. We tend to think "my way is the best or only way to do it" when in fact there are many different "best" ways to do it matched to different "courses."
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 845Member
    edited October 2015
    It is always fun to read how different we do things. I shoot raw, use LR and I shoot mostly birds. I have around 250,000 exposures on the two cameras I've ever owned and I have kept around 1500 photographs.

    About clarity: I usually use a brush and put +8 on the bird. Sometimes I put negative clarity on the background using a gradient filter. I almost never use clarity on the whole image.

    The contrast slider I rarely use at all.

    The time consuming part of post processing is for me the selection of which images to keep. I wouldn't save any time shooting jpg, only lose possibilities.
    Post edited by snakebunk on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited November 2015
    I think this thread has drifted towards how we post process, or add flavor in camera. Great topic!

    One of the techniques i use in shooting the cars and bikes is to desaturate the background, lower contrast, darken, and sometimes reduce clarity and sharpness. This is all done very subtly. Here is an example ......

    Road_America_TransAm_08.27.15-2
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    Good idea, it makes the subject "pop out" more.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,845Member
    Yes this topic has degenerated ..it was about how we use the "new" Clarity control on D810 and D750 which has a tendency to burn the whites ,,,,,,
    Tested at Sundays wedding I am sticking with Sharp+9 Clarity +1 Contrast +1 and Portrait rather than standard
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    Good to know your settings Pistnbroke. I am sticking with Clariity +2 but will reduce it to +1 if I have a white dress.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    I like my settings but these are interesting.... can these be set to U2 so that they dont mix with my "standard" settings ?
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,845Member
    donaldejose...Well at present I am happy ..I only used portrait because the graphs show it has a greater dynamic range and the colour seems to be the same as std.
    I could use +2 but the only true test is a real wedding and I know +3 burns slightly.
    Heartyfisher ...yes as far as I know the settings are saved in U modes.
    Now I have it right (and focus adjust is critical) it is superior to the 7100 but dont tell the wife she will want one!!!
    I have consistantly found that with a new lens the focus adjust moves as the lens runs in ...I think the lens frees up and the brake mechanism that stop it at the focus point have less friction to work against .
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    "I have consistantly found that with a new lens the focus adjust moves as the lens runs in ...I think the lens frees up and the brake mechanism that stop it at the focus point have less friction to work against ."
    Makes sense, I should test my lenses.
  • esquiloesquilo Posts: 71Member
    So, what IS clarity really?
    I know what sharpness do (unsharp mask without radius controll), what saturation do (enhance color separation) and what contrast do, but I have no idea what clarity actually do.
    Nikon D7100 with Sigma 10-20 mm, Nikon 16-85 mm, Nikon 70-300 mm, Sigma 150-500 mm, Nikon 28 mm f/1.8G and Nikon 50 mm f/1.8G.
    Nikon1 J3 with 10-30 mm and 10 mm f/2.8
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/microsite/picturecontrol/adjustment/articulation.htm
    When you set it to a positive amount, Clarity seems to work by increasing overall contrast with an emphasis on mid-tones without creating halos. Nikon hasn't been forthcoming on the exact technology or technique. See for yourself on the above link.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited November 2015
    My impression is that clarity increases the contrast across the edges, less so in the middle of a constant tone. But, as one increases clarity, the effect is similar to increasing contrast. I will play with this and see if I can come up with an example.
    Lightroom 5.7
    Clarity 0.0, Contrast +100, Exposure +0.30
    Contrast +100,Brt +0.30_11.04.15

    Clarity +100, Exposure +0.30, Contrast 0.0
    Clarity +100,Brt +0.30_11.04.15

    These two examples can show some differences, but more are at
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/albums/72157630044833773/with/22590115150/

    I think if one opens the larger images in separate windows, drags them together, then some differences can be seen.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    Increasing contrast at the edges could be what Pistnbroke sees as burning out the whites in a white wedding dress. But I am surprised any overexposure would occur at only a +2 clarity sent in-camera. I would expect you would need to go much higher in-camera settings to overexpose parts of a white dress. However, I do not argue with what anyone sees; especially if they do objective tests to determine whether or not the in-camera clarity setting are causing this burning out effect at so low a clarity setting.
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