Howdy, Stranger!

If you're just starting out in the world of photography and want to learn how to get the most out of your camera, then this forum is your new secret hangout spot!

Take better photos today with my Nikon D5100 Cheat SheetsCheck 'em out!

Nikon picture controls and Active D Lighting

edited February 2015 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
Not sure where I read this, but is it true that when shooting in RAW all the internal picture controls of the D5100 are ignored as a RAW file is basically an unprocessed image? Also is it true that LR will not recognise what are Nikon specific image controls?

If the above is true, and a photographer is not using ViewNX or the like it would appear that it is only the basic camera controls that are of relevance. If I am right, is the answer to do basic edits in VNX2 an then export a tiff to LR?



  • edited February 2015
    I don't know how Lightroom reads a RAW file. If it does ignore some camera controls and if you want them to apply, then yes, it would be appropriate to open the files in View NX2 or another program that sees all the controls, and export the result to a TIFF or a JPG. Of course, once you do that, changes you make to the file cannot be instantly reversed as they are in Raw. If you are not manipulating the file beforehand, a number of readers will accept a Raw file but are actually displaying the JPG overlay in which all the controls are in effect, as does View NX2. Some free ones like Irfanview and Faststone provide good fast bulk conversion and a good viewing window if you do not want to do any Raw manipulation. I often use Irfanview to look through the images even if I am going to work on them in View NX2, because it's convenient and looks good.

    I don't use Lightroom, by the way, but I did read that Lightroom cannot read the Active D-lighting info in a RAW file, among other things. So indeed, if you're relying on that control, I would suggest you use another program first or leave it off and use other post processing to recover shadows. Active D-lighting adjusts exposure and compresses the dynamic range to allow a little more detail in shadows, but if it's read wrong it can appear as underexposure and increase noise. Apparently only Nikon software can get it right. Because it often washes out dark shadows, I leave D-lighting off, and if I need to recover shadow info I use the "shadow recovery" option in View NX2 instead, which I think often does a better job.
  • edited February 2015
    Thanks Bruto. The shame is that CNX2 is effectively dead and the replacement, CNX-D has a pig of an interface (imo) and no local adjustment capability. It is also likely that it will replace VNX2 as there is no need for both! It would help if they took plugins - then we could all still use Nikon and control points. :-(

    Thanks again. I have turned Active D Lighting off.
  • edited February 2015
    I would tend to agree on CNX-D. I have it and have tried it. In some areas it seems a little more versatile (e.g. the sharpening options), but my default NEF opener is still VNX-2. For the moment, Nikon continues to support it and has added support for recent cameras.
Sign In or Register to comment.