Saturday, June 21, 2008

Nikon D300 and Lightroom

My obsession over the past couple of weeks has been trying to get my D300’s Matrix Meter to behave. I said in my last post that I neglected to set the brightness to -1 on my camera when using Nikon’s D2xModes. Unfortunately, this has no effect when I use Adobe Lightroom to process my RAW NEFs. Zip. Nada. This is because adjusting Nikon D300 Picture Control settings has no effect on NEF files imported into Lightroom.

For the moment, I’ve settled on parking the exposure compensation at -1/3 EV for outdoor shots for when I don’t have time to tweak the exposure settings. This seems to be a good compromise between protecting the highlights and the shadows. Tastes vary, and you should know that I prefer the look of blocked shadows over clipped highlights and so I don't mind accepting a slight underexposure at capture.

The default settings Lightroom uses when opening up an image aren’t necessarily the best to use with the D300. They can make images appear overly bright. If you like them, that’s fine, but I also recommend you have a look at Michael Kirk’s MLK Preset. His preset is designed to make images from the D300 appear similar to those from the D200, which for me is a better starting point. I found the preset here in the Adobe Lightroom Forum, and unfortunately, you need to be a member to access it. Fortunately, membership is free.