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11-08-2007, 01:45 PM   #1
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K10D contrast/saturation settings matrix

Okay, so, I had some time to kill on the train this morning and did some in-camera raw conversions of a snapshot I took this morning -- all the same image, but with contrast from -3 to +3 going across and saturation -3 to +3 going down. This is a near-center crop converted at 2mpixels and then scaled down further -- click for the unscaled version in PNG format (warning: huge, at about 60mb each) to really view the experiment, because a lot is lost in the thumbnailing. Sharpening is left at +0. More comments below.

Bright mode


Natural mode


Personal views: I think it's still pretty clear that saturation +2 or +3 is off the table if you're not purposely trying to go for weird colors. +1 might be okay in natural mode. I'm drawn to the low-saturation high-contrast quadrant, particularly in bright mode.

If I look at just the extreme corners, top-right seems not only pretty nice, but the only one of the four that's even usable. Is this just some personal artistic bias of mine? The center-top and center-right images look pretty decent for extremes too. Actually, although I did declare it "off the table" just a paragraph ago, center-bottom isn't too bad in natural mode (but veryf oompah-loompah-like in bright mode).

I also kinda like the overall Andy Warhol effect of the grid itself.

Anyway, I'm posting this in hopes that my little moment of obsession is useful to someone else, and also because I'd like to hear your thoughts.

11-08-2007, 01:55 PM   #2
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I looked at contrast a different way

by the method I described in an earlier post,

You can see the difference the range of F Stops where there is good detail change based upon the slope of the curves. Low contrast pictures haf 6 good stops of detail, hiogh contrast have 4

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 07-19-2010 at 05:55 PM.
11-08-2007, 02:11 PM   #3
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Thanks Lowell. The graph is nice, but I find it personally more helpful to look at photographs rather than plotted lines. Don't get me wrong -- clearly it's helpful to understand the underlying data-level implications at least in a general way.

I know that the price of high contrast is loss of shadow and highlight detail, but I'm more interested in producing an image I enjoy looking at than I am in maximizing a numerical spread. Do you really prefer the left column of images to those in the middle (or even more towards the right)?
11-08-2007, 02:22 PM   #4
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WOW... 49 x 2 conversions, not counting the errors and re-dos... what an effort! Much Thanx. I gotta look @ the full rez on my big wide-screen monitor @ home.

11-08-2007, 02:26 PM   #5
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Matt, wow, Impressive!

-Bert -Bert -Bert........
11-08-2007, 02:44 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Thanks Lowell. The graph is nice, but I find it personally more helpful to look at photographs rather than plotted lines. Don't get me wrong -- clearly it's helpful to understand the underlying data-level implications at least in a general way.

I know that the price of high contrast is loss of shadow and highlight detail, but I'm more interested in producing an image I enjoy looking at than I am in maximizing a numerical spread. Do you really prefer the left column of images to those in the middle (or even more towards the right)?
Not a question of reviewing the images and picking the ones I like out of the grouping, In general I agree with you. But knowing how the camera works can impact the number of keepers and help you adjust on the move. in this respect, it is easier to remember (for me anyway) a curve as opposed to 49 shots.

I use the contrast adjustment quite a lot, to compensate for the lighting.

I thought about doing a set of shots like you have, but then to really make it work, you would need to go with hard and soft lighting as well. then you might pick a different contrast and saturation setting. the only problem is that it really does pile up the number of shots.
11-08-2007, 03:55 PM   #7
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WOW!!!!, thanks Matt for sharing these great images. It just shows me that with a proper setup on the K10, the image can be tailored to whatever the shooter needs.

Cheers,

Rene R
11-09-2007, 05:43 AM   #8
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I want to do another one with fall leaves in the bright sunlight, but I have to wait for there to actually be sunlight.

11-09-2007, 07:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I want to do another one with fall leaves in the bright sunlight, but I have to wait for there to actually be sunlight.
Hey! I live in Boston too, so I know for a fact that today is sunny. Stop procrastinating, quit your job, and get out there before we run out of leaves!

Last edited by Miserere; 11-09-2007 at 01:59 PM.
11-09-2007, 08:37 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
Hey! I live in Boston too, so I know for a fact that today is sunny. Stop procrastinating, quit your job, and get our there before we run out of leaves!
Yeah it's surprisingly nice today. I'll see what I can do.
11-09-2007, 10:22 AM   #11
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Matt... thanks for that great demonstration. I have to agree with you that looking at images is what it really boils down to (at least as far as I'm concerned). I know what I like to see and I would agree that the images falling in the middle of the bright mode and those falling in the middle and slightly to the right of the natural mode are where it's at for me. You've given us a lot to think about. Thanks again.
12-16-2007, 07:17 PM   #12
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For future reference

Just for future reference in linking to this thread, note that I continued the experiment here.
09-30-2009, 12:33 PM   #13
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Modes

I may be asking you to regress a bit so that you can be at my level but I would really appreciate it if you would. When you are talking Bright Mode and Normal Mode you lose me. Are those alternate terms for one of the Sharpness,Contrast, or Sat settings or something else all together? Thanks for your help.
09-30-2009, 04:33 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by FishrOfGrizz Quote
I may be asking you to regress a bit so that you can be at my level but I would really appreciate it if you would. When you are talking Bright Mode and Normal Mode you lose me. Are those alternate terms for one of the Sharpness,Contrast, or Sat settings or something else all together? Thanks for your help.
when you look at the camera settings, aside from contrast, and sharpness you have a menu option for bright or normal mode, at least on my K10D and K7D
10-01-2009, 05:33 AM   #15
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Oh yeah, Image Tone. Got it. I was going to post a question to ask how or to what advantage this was used. I hadn't recognized it as Natural or Bright. So, as in the Bright setting, does this more or less override the need for Contrast or Sharpness adjustments with the slide bars or does this add even more Contrast and Sharpness to whatever you've already adjusted - if you had adjusted?
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