My favorite film is Kodak vivid color. I love it, and think everything else pales in comparison. I don't see the same colors popping in Fuji NPH etc. Now that I am shooting more pics with my D70 and have increasing frustration with my innability to duplicate these colors and vibrancy similar to VC film. When I make color adjustments in photoshop and acdsee, the colors look fake. Supposedly there is a setting to get more vibrant color, but to my knowledge, this is in a program mode and cannot be done in manual setting mode. Is this correct? Or does anyone have any other advice for me?
I use Fred Miranda's new 'Velvia Vision PS plugin, on almost all of my images to one degree or another.
It uses more sophisticated methods to increase saturation than simply using a Saturation slider. I highly recommend it.
Try using a method called 'Image Polish' using the Unsharp Mask filter in PS with these settings:
Note that this can 'blow out' areas that are already on the verge of overexposure.
Yet another option is downloading a custom tone curve for your camera.
Check out this fellow's D70 Tone Curve site, where you can see sample images and get lots of different (and free!) tone curves. Also, see PlanetNeil's site in regard to Nikon DSLR underexposure and custom tone curves.
I don't think that setting in camera saturation/contrast/sharpening features anywhere else but at '0' is a good idea because once you've done that it can be almost impossible to undo without creating damage to your images.
Steve I've been getting a kick out of shooting some film again. The one thing I've been surpised at is how much I've been enjoying the colors from print film. Kodak UltraColor 400, Fuji Reala and even dirt cheap Fuji Superior 100 have given me a pallete that's quite pleasing to my eye. Vivid reds and beautiful greens. Especially when scanned and printed at home. My D2h produced the best color I've experienced from digial but so far but no white balance adjusment or saturation increase has given me the same look. Maybe that Velvia action will do the trick.
I'm glad to see somebody respond like that. Everybody always talks about how great digital is, but I can tell the difference in my F100 vs. D70 right away. I'm trying to determine if it's through my own ignorance of photo manipulation or if it's just "not there yet" according to my judgement/preferences. The flip side is, lets say I can spend ? minutes per image manipulating and optimizing the print, that doesn't save me anything, in fact it costs me in what is most precious - time!
I love my D70 for baby pictures and throwaway shots at the reception that nobody ever buys anyway (table shots, dollar dance etc.) and it has made my studio work better in seeing the instant results and being able to adjust umbrella, aperature, other, but I'm deffinitely now ditching my film for the pixel.
When I first got my D100 I took about 20 pictures tweaking the camera controls trying to get the color of my front yard grass to look like the Fuji film ad. I succeeded and actually got a print where I liked the color. And I did not use Photoshop, only calibrated monitor and printer. Unfortunately we never have the time to achieve these results in the real world.
Remember that Kodak and Fuji have had about 70 years to develop the color produced by the films they sell. With digital we have to do the work the lab did with film, which we used to take for granted, in addition to the film. As we learn Photoshop, and its plugins, and using RAW images we should be able to eventually even surpass the old lab work, but it takes your time to achieve it.
Does the D-70 allow the user to define what color space it's shooting in? I know that some cameras let you choose between sRGB and Adobe RGB. sRGB is often a default setting and can severely limit color range. If the D-70 does have that option and is set to sRGB it would make sense that the colors would seem dull. It would be great if it were a quick in-camera fix like that.
If that's not an issue and we're back to photoshop, then curves are an answer. I would suggest changing the image's bit depth to 16-bits per channel,(Image>Mode>16-bits/channel), before making color edits. This will keep your colors from compressing too much and looking quite so cartoon like. Just make sure to convert back to 8-bits per channel when you're done as a lot of other programs have issues with the increased bit range. And depending on what version of PShop you're using it won't have access to certain adjustments and filters in that mode either. I don't have the latest CS version so I don't kow how well it handles 16-bit/channel images.
In 8-bit mode you might want ot try the variations feature, (Image>Adjustments>Variations), It brings up a nice dialog window that lets you see and compare your tweaks until you're happy.
One final thought. Would this be something you could correct in a RAW editor?
Unless you have shot in 12-bit in the first place, then it does give a significant advantage.
Yes indeed -- but only if you shoot in RAW mode, and load the converted RAW file into PS as a 16-bit file to begin with. If you load a .jpg file that was saved by the camera, it's 8-bit (acually less, since part of the .jpg compression is color space compression), and changing it to 16 won't get that lost color space back magically
Quick side note: the Sony sensor in the D70 is a bit less sensitive in red than, say, Canon's CMOS sensors. If you shoot RAW, be sure to bump the red channel up a bit more in saturation than blue or green to get best results.