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07-19-2008, 08:54 AM   #1
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K20D.... adjust contrast ?

I'd like to adjust (sharply reduce) contrast.

(I can always bring contrast back up in Photoshop if that's desirable.)

Most of my outdoor light results in very high contrast...deep shadows, blasted brights.

Is there a K20D setting that adjusts contrast?

I'm probably missing something obvious.

07-19-2008, 02:18 PM   #2
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Please remember that the knowledge base is only for posting reference articles, not questions. Thread moved.

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07-19-2008, 02:29 PM   #3
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Off the top of my head without having the camera in front of me I think you can do the following:

1. Hit the Fn button
2. Hit the ok button
3. You get to select the colot schemes, like Bright, Natural, Sceneray, etc.
$. Choose the scheme you want to use and then use the down arrow to set the Satyration, contrast, and sharpness to your liking.
07-19-2008, 02:43 PM   #4
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Page 154 of the manual tells you how to adjust the contrast from -4 to +4 range.

Rusty

07-19-2008, 04:47 PM   #5
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Make sure you are in Natural picture mode, not Bright or Vibrant as these will significantly increase contrast and saturation leading to the kinds of issues you are describing. If you are looking for a major decrease in contrast I have a feeling that even at -4 it may not be enough, the adjustments in camera are relatively subtle. I would also test to see whether lowering contrast in-camera and boosting in Photoshop in PP gives good results - my guess is that it's not the same as leaving contrast at zero (middle setting), but don't have anything to back that up
07-19-2008, 06:35 PM   #6
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I have a feeling that even at -4 it may not be enough, the adjustments in camera are relatively subtle. I would also test to see whether lowering contrast in-camera and boosting in Photoshop in PP gives good results - my guess is that it's not the same as leaving contrast at zero (middle setting), but don't have anything to back that up [/QUOTE]

Thanks Talisman...It's GREAT when someone like you responds to questions from experience (or hunches). I try to do that too.

I think you're right to have doubts about -4 vs PP but I'll test that carefully and further and report back. My assumption has been that those settings didn't reliably produce anything useful in a RAW file, but I've got a lot to learn about digital.

In essence, I'm looking to produce something like N-1 or N-1.5, which would be easy with B&W exposure and processing or chrome selection and exposure (eg expose Astia by a half stop)

Oakland? Good people, smart.
07-19-2008, 07:05 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by janosh Quote
I'd like to adjust (sharply reduce) contrast.

(I can always bring contrast back up in Photoshop if that's desirable.)

Most of my outdoor light results in very high contrast...deep shadows, blasted brights.

Is there a K20D setting that adjusts contrast?

I'm probably missing something obvious.
Are you shooting RAW or jpg? The contrast setting is just a tag in a RAW file and means relatively little for anything. Just use the photo editor to shape the curve to your liking.

Gets kind of interesting when you compress it/convert and uncompress it.
You can see how dirty the sensor is.......

I suppose I should include an "as shot"

Last edited by jeffkrol; 07-19-2008 at 07:57 PM.
07-19-2008, 10:05 PM   #8
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Excellent demo, thanks..perfect examples of contrast control for high contrast scenes (if colder than mine). I'm shooting only RAW...don't have a use for JPEG except when posting, and that follows PP.

Smart people in Wisconsin, too!

07-20-2008, 03:42 AM   #9
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What about using a polorizer in the highly bright times.

Dave(who thinks jpgs are just fine)Brooks
07-20-2008, 07:39 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentkon52 Quote
What about using a polorizer in the highly bright times.

Dave, 4 answers: It's "highly bright" almost all of the time here, except when my subject is entirely in the shade. Polarizerers makes viewing difficult with a DSLR (darkens screen tremendously). Polarizerizers tend to exaggerate contrast. Polarizers make special sense for landscape photographers, but that's not my interest area.

Dave(who thinks jpgs are just fine)Brooks
JPEGs certainly are fine, no question.

But not with Photoshop, which I always tinker with when I'm going to print (dodged, burned, copied, contrast/brightness/color adjusted).......JPEGS are very lossy when manipulated, and that's the main justification for TIFF and RAW.
07-20-2008, 08:23 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
Are you shooting RAW or jpg? The contrast setting is just a tag in a RAW file and means relatively little for anything. Just use the photo editor to shape the curve to your liking.
jeffkrol: What program were those screen shots taken in? Just curious.

Will
07-20-2008, 08:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
jeffkrol: What program were those screen shots taken in? Just curious.

Will
RAWShooterEssentials 2006. Unfortunately they were absorbed by Adobe.
Development and RAW support stopped in the D era, though some have hacked the program to allow it to process later cameras. Not exactly my editor of choice since it doesn't do red very well for Pentax... but it was efficient.
07-20-2008, 08:47 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by janosh Quote
Excellent demo, thanks..perfect examples of contrast control for high contrast scenes (if colder than mine). I'm shooting only RAW...don't have a use for JPEG except when posting, and that follows PP.

Smart people in Wisconsin, too!
Thanks....
07-20-2008, 09:16 AM   #14
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Ah, well if you're shooting RAW then the contrast setting on the camera doesn't do anything (it only affects how JPEGs are processed, including the JPEG previews accompanying RAW files). In that case all the contrast adjustment will be happening in post processing.

Don't know if you have a film background, but digital has lower dynamic range than film so produces higher contrast images (that is, details in shadows and highlights get lost more quickly because the ends of the spectrum are compressed relative to film). That's just a fact of life at the moment.

But there are tricks you can do in post processing to try to pull out detail without just flattening the contrast into oblivion. I use Aperture, and its Shadow Recovery tool is pretty miraculous. I wouldn't know how to replicate it exactly in another app though - it's doing some clever stuff with curves.

Here's an example of a very high dynamic range image, with the sun coming out from the clouds and areas of shadow. I underexposed to keep detail in the clouds.



And here's what Aperture was able to pull out of the shadows (I probably overdid it a bit)

07-20-2008, 11:54 AM   #15
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Talisman, that's another great demo. I do have a lot of film background (started at 8 and I'm 64)...my scanning has been super-satisfying (it's better than enlarging in every way), but I'm very optimistic about K20D (in fact I held back on DSLR until the 20, wouldn't have bought Pentax but for the pancake lenses).

..I'd approach a shot like your cloud/citiscape by under-exposing, dodging/burning, but my environment rarely offers nice, low contrast opportunities like that one. I've yet to study my Wacom tablet, but that's eventually going to be part of my workflow. I inkjet print my own, typically to 11X17.

My big desert/altitude challenge is large, blown-out highlight areas...eg a person's face with blown out background...highlight/shadow range is far too big to be fully dealt with unless I get more fussy about spot metering or switch back to film for B&W.
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