Rodney Campbell's Blog

Technology

Compared @ 200mm : 24-200 Vs 28-300 Vs 70-200

by on Jul.05, 2020, under Life, Photography, Technology

A reader was interested in the performance of the new compact all-in-one Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens from the perspective of a landscape photographer. He was particularly interested in how it might stack up to say a 70-200/2.8 when compared @ 200mm

So herein lies some sample images taken of a distant cityscape scene (it has nice sharp lines to compare)

I’ve tested three lenses:

All shooting the same scene using a Nikon Z7 body on a tripod and using a remote shutter release. All three were compared @ 200mm at f/8 and focused on the same area in the midground tree’s

Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200

Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/50 sec at f/8, ISO 64

Nikon F 28-300 @ 200

Nikon F 28-300 @ 200

NIKON Z 7 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 200 mm, 1/40 sec at f/8, ISO 64

Nikon F 70-200 @ 200

Nikon F 70-200 @ 200

NIKON Z 7 + 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm, 1/40 sec at f/8, ISO 64

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

I’ve also included a shot below with the 28-300 set to 300mm. To show the extra “reach” you might get with the 28-300 when shooting subjects near infinity. I already covered the massive difference induced by focal breathing when shooting closer subjects with this lens in another post: Testing Nikon 28-300 @ 300mm Vs the Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200mm – Focus Breathing. In short the 24-200 @ 200mm has a greater “reach” than the 28-300 for closer subjects

Nikon F 28-300 @ 300

Nikon F 28-300 @ 300

NIKON Z 7 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, 1/50 sec at f/8, ISO 64

When looking at the full size images it’s hard to see a lot of difference between the three lenses @ 200mm

So we’ll have to dig deeper for any apparent differences for landscape work. What follows are some 100% crops of two areas of the image for comparison

The first trio are on the buildings towards the centre of the frame. The second set are on the trees in the far bottom left corner of the frame

Looking at the centre shots full size on my monitor there isn’t a whole lot in it. The differences are pretty subtle and very much pixel peeping. The 24-200 and 70-200 are a little sharper than the 28-300 – e.g. when looking at the lettering on the building. If anything the 24-200 is perhaps even the tiniest bit sharper than the 70-200

Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200

Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/50 sec at f/8, ISO 64

Nikon F 28-300 @ 200

Nikon F 28-300 @ 200

NIKON Z 7 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 200 mm, 1/40 sec at f/8, ISO 64

Nikon F 70-200 @ 200

Nikon F 70-200 @ 200

NIKON Z 7 + 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm, 1/40 sec at f/8, ISO 64

The 100% crops from the extreme corner however tells a different story. There the 28-300 is well behind. The 24-200 and 70-200 are closer together but the 70-200 wins this round with the sharpest corners

It seriously would want to however… the 70-200 is a pro f/2.8 lens being stopped down 3 whole stops to f/8 vs the 24-200 only being stopped down from f/6.3 to f/8. It’s almost three times the price and also three times the weight

Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200

Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/50 sec at f/8, ISO 64

Nikon F 28-300 @ 200

Nikon F 28-300 @ 200

NIKON Z 7 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 200 mm, 1/40 sec at f/8, ISO 64

Nikon F 70-200 @ 200

Nikon F 70-200 @ 200

NIKON Z 7 + 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm, 1/40 sec at f/8, ISO 64

In the end I’d say I’d be more than happy to use the Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR for (longer focal length) landscape work. It’s not quite as composed at the 70-200 in the extreme corners but it definitely holds up very well

It gives me the convenience of the 24-200mm focal range all in one small and light package. Especially when compared to the 24-70 + 70-200 combo (570g vs 2430g – not even including the FTZ )

 

Comments Off on Compared @ 200mm : 24-200 Vs 28-300 Vs 70-200 more...

Nikon Z 24-200mm Handheld VR Tests

by on Jun.27, 2020, under Life, Photography, Technology

Today I’m testing the Vibration Reduction (VR) capabilities of the new Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens. This is one of the first Nikon Z FX lenses to include VR in the lens. In theory the specs say the Vibration Reduction is rated for up to 5 stops

For these tests I waited till early twilight and shot with the 24-200 attached to my Nikon Z7 at 200mm handheld

Common wisdom would say that to shoot acceptably sharp images handheld with this combination would require a 1/focal length (1/200 sec) shutter speed. Probably even faster given the Z7’s 46MP high sensor resolution

The way I completed the test is that I

  • shot in Manual mode
  • with the aperture fixed at f/8
  • I adjusted the shutter speed and ISO between sets (doubling the shutter speed and ISO each time)
  • with Vibration reduction turned ON in the camera’s menu settings Note the 24-200 doesn’t have a physical VR switch on the lens like older F-Mount lenses. The function is completely controlled from the camera

On the Nikon Z50 DX camera body (which doesn’t have IBIS) the vibration reduction works alone. The lens adds 5 stops of built-in optical vibration reduction, but also works in tandem with IBIS on Nikon bodies that include IBIS like the Z6 and Z7

I shot sets at various shutter speeds – if we say that 1/200 sec is the target “normal” then I took sets of images at 1/6 sec (5 stops slower), 1/3 sec (6 stops slower) and 0.6 sec (7 stops slower)

For each set at a certain shutter speed I took 10 images handheld with good handholding technique

When reviewing these sets of ten images in post I had roughly 4-6 images which were as sharp as what you see below. The rest would be what I would call not acceptably sharp to varying degrees. Still a 50% hit rate to me is more than acceptable at these very slow handheld speeds

In this post I’ll be showing pairs of images taken at the different shutter speeds handheld. The first of the pair is the complete image frame and the second is a 1600 pixel wide 100% crop from the frame. I’ve tried to align the 100% crop across the sets so you’ll see roughly the same spot on the tree

Vibration Reduction On (5 Stops)

VR On (5 Stops)

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/6 sec at f/8, ISO 250

Vibration Reduction (5 Stops)

VR On (5 Stops)

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/6 sec at f/8, ISO 250

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

Vibration Reduction On (6 Stops)

VR On (6 Stops)

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/3 sec at f/8, ISO 125

Vibration Reduction On (6 Stops)

VR On (6 Stops)

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/3 sec at f/8, ISO 125

Vibration Reduction On (7 Stops)

VR On (7 Stops)

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 0.6 sec at f/8, ISO 64

Vibration Reduction On (7 Stops)

VR On (7 Stops)

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 0.6 sec at f/8, ISO 64

Lastly here is what you get when you take the shot with VR turned off – yes a blurry mess

Vibration Reduction Off

VR Off

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/2 sec at f/8, ISO 64

Vibration Reduction Off

VR Off

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/2 sec at f/8, ISO 64

Finally here’s one I took wide open at 200mm, earlier in the day at a more sensible 1/200 sec shutter speed handheld

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/200 sec at f/6.3, ISO 280
Comments Off on Nikon Z 24-200mm Handheld VR Tests more...

Testing Nikon 28-300 @ 300mm Vs the Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200mm – Focus Breathing

by on Jun.25, 2020, under Life, Photography, Technology

Having watched Ricci’s excellent youtube video comparison of the Nikon Z 24-200mm Vs Nikon 28-300mm, one thing he showed us was the crazy levels of focus breathing that existed in the older F-Mount 28-300mm lens. Especially in comparison the the new Z-Mount 24-200mm lens which appeared to have essentially none

Why does this matter do you ask… Well for one thing – it means that whilst:

  • focusing on objects near infinity, the 300mm end of the 28-300 “may” give you a magnification and Field of View (FoV) of a more telephoto 300mm lens
  • however when you focus on objects that are closer, that so called 300mm lens actually gives you a field of view of a much wider (less telephoto) lens (much less than 300mm and as it turns out less than 200mm even)

So there will be folks who might be wondering about the “reach” they might be giving up if they were to switch from the F-Mount Nikon 28-300mm ultrazoom lens to the new Z-Mount 24-200mm ultrazoom lens

How much less do you ask – well I figured as I now have both lenses (my new Z 24-200 just arrived :)) I’d do some test shots

So here I’ve setup a ruler standing in front of a window and I have my camera (a Nikon Z7) on a tripod

I’ve taken pairs of test shots from the exact same camera and position (tripod hasn’t moved). All I’ve done between the two shots is swapped the lens. In the first shot I’m shooting with the Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200mm and in the second I have the Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR @ 300mm attached to the Z7 using the FTZ adapter. In both cases the in camera sensor plane is exactly the same distance from the ruler

In this first pair of shots below (Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200mm on top and Nikon 28-300 @ 300mm bottom) I’ve taken the images near the Minimum Focusing Distance (MFD) of the lens (near 0.5m)

In this case you can see that the Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200mm actually has a narrower field of view than the Nikon 28-300 @ 300mm (so that 300mm lens is actually providing significantly less than 200mm of magnification here)

Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200mm near MFD (~0.5m)

Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200mm near MFD (~0.5m)

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/200 sec at f/8, ISO 160

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR @ 300mm near MFD (~0.5m)

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR @ 300mm near MFD (~0.5m)

NIKON Z 7 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, 1/320 sec at f/8, ISO 280

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

It’s actually not till after 1.7m away that the 300mm end of the 28-300 even comes close to matching the 200mm of the 24-200

Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200mm at 1.7m

Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200mm at 1.7m

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/200 sec at f/8, ISO 220

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR @ 300mm at 1.7m

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR @ 300mm at 1.7m

NIKON Z 7 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, 1/320 sec at f/8, ISO 400

So what does this mean… well for shooting closer subjects (like < 2m away) the Z mount 24-200 actually provides greater “reach” (a narrower field of view) at 200mm than the old F-Mount 28-300mm does even at 300mm

Comments Off on Testing Nikon 28-300 @ 300mm Vs the Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200mm – Focus Breathing more...

My Nikon Z7 Settings…

by on Jun.21, 2020, under Life, Photography, Technology

About a year ago I purchased a new Nikon camera body (the Nikon Z7)

It was to be a replacement for my full frame Nikon D750 D-SLR and my first foray into the mirrorless camp. One year in and the conversion, along with an accumulation of excellent Nikon Z series lenses, has been an outstanding success

I’m a compulsive researcher and ADD list maker so I’d done much research on all those little settings which are available in camera. Therefore I figured I might just share the result of my detailed study and how I’ve setup my Z7 for daily use (basically all my default settings)

Also for those who are interested I’ve previously published my recommended settings for the Nikon D90, D7000, D600 and D750

Note these settings would equally apply to the Nikon Z6 and many would likely also translate to the Nikon Z50

Firstly I should say that I primarily shoot in Aperture priority mode or Manual. This is mostly because I like to be able to control my depth of field – and because I’m mostly taking shots of landscape, people, portraits or things

So on to the Z7 camera settings I use… The following lists mostly show the settings I’ve changed which are different from the Nikon Z7 Defaults…

Z7 Settings:

Turn off touch shooting on the touch screen (only Touch AF On)
Release mode: Continuous L (2fps)
Monitor Mode Button: Prioritize viewfinder (Automatic display switch -> Viewfinder only -> Monitor only -> Prioritize viewfinder)

Z7 Playback Menu:
Display options: Highlights & RGB Histogram & Overview
Image review: On (monitor only) / Off (Default On)
Rotate tall: Off

Z7 Photo Shooting Menu:
File Naming: …
Image Quality: NEF (RAW)
Image size: RAW Large
NEF (RAW) recording -> NEF (RAW) compression: On – Lossless compressed
NEF (RAW) recording -> NEF (RAW) bit depth: 14-bit
ISO sensitivity settings: ISO 64, Auto ISO: [Max: 25600, Min Shutter: Auto]
White balance -> A Natural light auto
Set Picture Control: Neutral (Default Auto)
Long exposure NR: Off
High ISO NR: Low? (Default: Norm) – JPEG only
Vignette control: Off (Default: Norm) – tags RAW EXIF
Auto bracketing: AE bracketing (Default AE & Flash bracketing)

Z7 Movie Shooting Menu:
File Naming: …
Frame size/frame rate: 2160p25 (4K 25fps)
Movie quality: High
Movie file type: MOV
ISO sensitivity settings: ISO sensitivity (mode M): 64 (Default 100)
Set Picture Control: Neutral (Flat?) (Default Same as photo settings)
High ISO NR: Normal (Default)
AF-area mode: Auto-area AF (Default Single-point AF)

Z7 Custom Settings Menu:
a Auto Focus:
a2 AF-S priority selection: Focus
a9 Focus point wrap-around: Wrap (Default No Wrap)
a11 Low-light AF: On (Default Off)
a12 Built-in AF-assist illuminator: Off (Default On)
c Timers/AE lock:
c3 Power off delay: Playback: 10s/20s, Menus: 1m, Image review: 2s, Standby timer: 30s
d Shooting/display:
d1 CL mode shooting speed: 2 (Default 3)
d5 Shutter type: Auto
d9 Framing grid display: On
d10: Peaking Highlights: Peaking Level: 1; Peaking highlight color: Yellow
e Bracketing/flash:
f Controls:
f1 Customize i menu: See Below
f2 Custom control assignment: See Below
f3 OK button: Zoom 100% (Default RESET center focus point)
g Movie:
g1 Customize i menu: See Below
g2 Custom control assignment: See Below
g3 OK button: Zoom 100% (Default RESET center focus point)

i Menu for Photo mode:

Auto bracketingShutter typeSplit-screen display zoomWi-Fi connectionSilent photographyAF-area mode
White BalancePeaking highlightsMeteringApply settings to live viewVibration reductionFocus mode
i Menu for Photo mode

Button customization in stills mode:
Fn1: Press -> MY MENU (Default: White Balance)
Fn2: Focus mode/AF-area mode (Default: Focus mode/AF-area mode)
AF-On: (Default: AF-On)
Sub-selector: Focus point selection
Sub-selector center: Select center focus point (RESET) (Default AE/AF lock)
Movie [Rec] button: Auto bracketing

i Menu for Video mode:

Highlight DisplayFrame size and rate/image qualityMicrophone sensitivityWi-Fi connectionElectronic VRAF-area mode
White BalancePeaking highlightsWind noise reduction?Headphone volumeVibration reductionFocus mode
i Menu for Video mode

Button customization in video mode:
Fn1: Default: White Balance
Fn2: Focus mode/AF-area mode? (Default: Focus mode/AF-area mode)
AF-On: AE/AF Lock? (Default: AF-On)
Sub-selector center: Select center focus point (RESET) (Default AE Lock)

Z7 Setup Menu:
Time zone and date: …
Monitor brightness: -2 (Default 0)
Clean image sensor: Clean at shutdown
Copyright Information: …
Slot empty release lock: Lock (I want the camera to prevent me from taking a picture if a memory card is not installed)

Z7 Setup MyMenu:
Setup menu: Airplane mode
Setup menu: Format memory card
Setup menu: Non-CPU lens data
Setup menu: Monitor brightness
Setup menu: Battery info
Shooting menu: Choose image area
Shooting menu: Focus shift shooting
Custom Settings Menu: d4 Exposure delay mode (great for tripod use)
Custom Settings Menu: a5 Focus points used
Custom Settings Menu: a4 Auto-area AF Face Detection
Setup menu: Time zone and date

On top of this I also use the three User settings mode dial slots (U1, U2 & U3) to store extra customised shooting settings for quick access (e.g. one tailored for tripod style landscape shooting, one for tripod style long exposure/night photography and one for action photography). These U1, U2 and U3 slots start with the above general settings and have the following additional starting point customisations.

U3 – Landscape: Aperture Priority & f/8, ISO 64, Auto ISO Off, Single-Point AF (centre point selected) (Pinpoint AF?), Vibration reduction: Off, a4 Auto-area AF Face Detection: Off, a11 Low-light AF: On, c3 Power off delay: Playback: 20s, Menus: 1m, Image review: 10s, Standby timer: 1m, d5 Shutter type: Auto, d10 Peaking highlights: On/2

U2 – Long Exposure/Night: Manual & f/8, ISO 64, Auto ISO Off, Single-Point AF (centre point selected) (Pinpoint AF?), Vibration reduction: Off, a4 Auto-area AF Face Detection: Off, a11 Low-light AF: On, c3 Power off delay: Playback: 20s, Menus: 1m, Image review: 10s, Standby timer: 1m, d5 Shutter type: Auto, d10 Peaking highlights: On/2

U1 – Action: Aperture Priority & f/2.8, Auto ISO On [Min Shutter: Auto*2], Continuous-Servo AF (AF-C), Dynamic/Auto Area AF, RAW 12 bit compressed (increases buffer depth), Metering Center-weighted?, Vibration reduction: SPT (Sport), a1: AF-C priority selection: Release, a3 Focus tracking with lock-on: 4, a5 Focus points used: 1/2 Every other point, a6 Store points by orientation: On, a7 AF activation: AF ON only? (back button focus), d1 CL mode shooting speed: 5fps, d8 Apply settings to live view: Off, d9 Framing grid display: Off?

Comments Off on My Nikon Z7 Settings… more...

Aurora HDR Pro First Look…

by on Nov.25, 2015, under Life, Photography, Technology

There’s a new entrant in the HDR (High Dynamic Range) software package space called Aurora HDR from the maker of a suite of excellent photography software products for Mac computers macphun.

Aurora HDR is a joint project between Macphun and the worlds most renowned HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff.

It works as a standalone application and as a plug-in to Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture.

Full Disclosure: My copy of the software was provided for free – I’m also using the Pro version of the software. I’ll still tell you exactly what I think but I thought you should know in advance.

I’m also a landscape photographer with a particular passion for seascapes, long exposure and night photography. For the later two the use of HDR techniques are rarely if ever needed, and for my landscape work I don’t find I can get acceptable results using HDR (or rather tone mapping) tools. I much prefer either using filters in the field or exposure blending techniques (using layers and manually painted or luminosity masks).

So in that regard I don’t find I use HDR software all that often.

I do however find it a very useful tool when shooting architecture, especially indoor architecture. Where that enhanced detail and gritty look can often provide that additional level of interest to the image in addition to the contrast and extended dynamic range control. In particular I find it very useful when creating monochrome architectural work.

NIKON D750 + Samyang AE 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC @ 14 mm, 1/8 sec at f/10, ISO 100

History

In the past I’d traditionally used either Photomatix Pro or Google/Nik HDR Efex Pro as my HDR software tool of choice. As I mentioned I’d never really liked what those packages did to images of the natural world (landscapes, seascapes, etc). When I did use them I tended to only make use of the “natural” presets as starting points and work from there.

More recently I’d switched to using them just to create the base 32bit HDR file (without any tone mapping) which I’d then bring back into Lightroom for my normal RAW post processing workflow. This would allow me to process the image with tools I was very familiar with just with a data file with much more dynamic range and data available to play with.

When Lightroom 6 was released with it’s new Photo Merge to HDR feature built in I switched to that as a quick and easy method for creating those 32bit RAW files for editing. The advantage was that this was a simple one step process and there were basically no controls (other than Auto Align (which I enable), Auto Tone which I basically never use and some very simple Deghosting controls (which is probably the weak area of this software)).

Back Story

I’d recently visited a lighthouse on the south coast of NSW here in Australia and had the opportunity to spend time inside with my tripod and Samyang 14mm ultra wide prime. With a dark central interior with small rectangular windows to the bright outside world scattered around the rounded interior it was a typical scenario for dealing with very large contrast differences.

I took a number of bracketed sequences with my Nikon D750 using 5, 7 or 9 auto brackets (spaced at 1EV intervals).

So when the chance to use a new HDR software suite came up I figured I’d run some images through and compare the results.

Note: This is based on Version 1.01 which is the current version of the software at this time.

Comparisons

For the following comparisons I’m editing the same images in at least three ways.

I firstly pre-process the source frames (5, 7 or 9 shots) with a few simple settings in Lightroom (e.g. Remove Chromatic Aberrations, White Balance, Highlight Recovery, etc).

– I then use Lightroom’s Photo Merge to HDR feature to create a 32bit DNG file and then edit that file in Lightroom using my “normal” post processing workflow

– As a reference I take a single D750 RAW file (typically the -1EV frame) and editing just that single frame in Lightroom using my “normal” post processing workflow (in some cases I just copy all the above workflow minus the overall Exposure adjustment to this file)

– I use the Aurora HDR Pro Lightroom export preset to feed the bracketed source frames into the plugin and process

Aurora HDR

I havn’t had enough time to give a detailed analysis of the features of Aurora HDR Pro however I’ll give you my thoughts and impressions so far.

The user interface is very pleasing and has that very familiar look and feel to anyone who uses software like Adobe Lightroom with it’s column of control sliders on the right. The layout is sensibly organised though in the pro version at least the number of available options is staggering and somewhat overwhelming.

It does however have a number of advanced options you won’t find in any other HDR software packages including the use of Layers (including Blend modes), Masking and built in Luminosity Mask.

The package comes with a number of built in presets along with a number supplied by Trey. I like most people find presets to be a useful means of seeing what end result options might be possible and then finding a good starting point and working from there.

In this instance I found that almost all the preset options were (in my humble opinion) too over the top HDRy. Even the so called “realistic” options were not very realistic to my eye and had too much of that eye popping saturation, crunchiness or inverted light that appears to be so prevalent.

The sliders in the software however do give you ultimate control so with practice and refinement I’m sure you can produce images which will look like you want them to. With as much or as little of that HDR look as you desire.

One thing I really like in this software is that the resulting image updates in real time with the movement of the sliders. This is one aspect of say Photomatix Pro which was annoying in that the image didn’t update till after the slider was moved and let go.

Samples

With this first sample I’ve performed the four processing’s of the image. The source data is nine bracketed frames taken from -7EV to +1EV.

The top image is a Lightroom Merge to 32bit HDR and then processed in Lightroom version.

The second has exactly the same Lightroom processing as the first (minus the overall Exposure adjustment) applied to just the single -1EV frame. What is remarkable here is the dynamic range retained by the D750. The resulting image is very nearly identical to the 32bit HDR merge (which has slightly better shadow detail).

The third is tone mapped in Aurora HDR Pro using the Indoor Realistic preset as the starting point and then with some tweaking of the sliders.

Finally the fourth version is also tone mapped in Aurora HDR Pro using the Dramatic B&W preset as the starting point and then with some tweaking of the sliders.

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

Lightroom Merge To HDR

Lightroom Merge To HDR

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 1/125 sec at f/10, ISO 100

Lightroom Single RAW -1EV

Lightroom Single RAW -1EV

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 1/2 sec at f/10, ISO 100

Aurora HDR Pro – Indoor Realistic

Aurora HDR Pro - Indoor Realistic

NIKON D750 + Samyang AE 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC @ 14 mm, 1/8 sec at f/10, ISO 100

Aurora HDR Pro – Dramatic B&W

Aurora HDR Pro - Dramatic B&W

NIKON D750 + Samyang AE 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC @ 14 mm, 1/8 sec at f/10, ISO 100

Sample 2

As above the source data for the images below is nine bracketed frames taken from -7EV to +1EV and I’ve performed the same four processing’s of the image.

Lightroom Merge To HDR

Lightroom Merge To HDR

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 1/100 sec at f/10, ISO 100

In this instance the 32bit HDR has recovered much more detail from the blown out window. Those -7 to -5 frames proving much more useful here. Moreso than even Aurora HDR was able to pull from the window (with my processing settings).

Lightroom Single RAW -1EV

Lightroom Single RAW -1EV

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 1/2 sec at f/10, ISO 100

Aurora HDR Pro – Indoor Realistic

Aurora HDR Pro - Indoor Realistic

NIKON D750 + Samyang AE 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC @ 14 mm, 1/6 sec at f/10, ISO 100

In the Aurora HDR Pro versions the presence of some unnatural haloing around high contrast boundaries is present. For example that strange darker shadowing around the window area and the central pole. Likewise the lighter halo just beneath the stairs (esp the second stair) at the top left. We also have that telltale HDR “dirtiness” that can sometimes occur – for example on the top of the twisted rails on the left side – esp that one coming up into the bottom left corner.

This would likely be a scenario where ideally you would layer in some of the original frames and blend in some of those images into selective areas to remove any problem areas.

Aurora HDR Pro – Dramatic B&W

Aurora HDR Pro - Dramatic B&W

NIKON D750 + Samyang AE 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC @ 14 mm, 1/6 sec at f/10, ISO 100

I’ve not yet had a thorough play with the extremely extensive options and features available in the software. When I have had a chance to become much more familiar and have had some time to make use of them I’ll post a follow up article on my experiences.

Comments Off on Aurora HDR Pro First Look… more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Copyright © 2015 Rodney Campbell

Images contained on this web site may not be used or reproduced in any way without prior permission.