Q+A Ask Ja­son...

Our res­i­dent Nikon ex­pert Ja­son Par­nell-Brookes an­swers your ques­tions and solves your prob­lems. If you’d like Ja­son to come to the res­cue re­gard­ing your Nikon-re­lated ques­tion, email it to mail@npho­tomag.com. Please note that we re­serve the right to edi

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Do cam­era set­tings like Pic­ture Con­trol (Stan­dard, Neu­tral, Vivid, etc) and White Bal­ance have any im­pact on Raw files? Jim O’Neill, via email

Ja­son says... These set­tings work di­rectly on images when you’re shoot­ing in JPEG qual­ity modes but, for Raw files, they’re only stored as mark­ers or ‘flags’, rather than af­fect­ing the ac­tual pic­to­rial data. This en­ables you to change the set­tings at the edit­ing stage.

Nikon’s own Raw pro­cess­ing pro­grams, like ViewNX and Cap­ture NX-D, work seam­lessly for al­ter­ing Pic­ture Con­trol set­tings, but at­tributes like Stan­dard, Neu­tral and Vivid aren’t sup­ported in many in­de­pen­dent edit­ing pro­grams. Re­cent ver­sions of Adobe’s Light­room, Pho­to­shop CC and El­e­ments soft­ware have op­tions to em­u­late Nikon’s Pic­ture Con­trols, but they’re not ex­actly the same and you have to se­lect them man­u­ally.

The screen on the top panel of my D7100 seems to re­main live even when the cam­era is switched off. Won’t this drain the bat­tery? Peter Power, via email

Ja­son says... The power re­quired by the mono LCD on the cam­era’s top plate is neg­li­gi­ble, at least when the back­light isn’t switched on. For ex­am­ple, ‘retro’ LCD watches can run for sev­eral years or more be­fore need­ing their tiny coin-shaped bat­tery to be re­placed.

Can you rec­om­mend an af­ford­able grad­u­ated ND fil­ter sys­tem to im­prove land­scape shots with my D5500 and Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 lens? Brian Chadwick, via email

Ja­son says... Your Sigma is a smart buy as an ul­traw­ide-an­gle zoom lens for DX-for­mat cam­eras like the D5500, but it does have an over­sized fil­ter at­tach­ment thread of 82mm. This, cou­pled with a wide an­gle of vie w (stretch­ing to 110 de­grees at the short end of the zoom range), lim­its your choices of fil­ter sys­tem.

The pop­u­lar and low-cost Cokin A se­ries and P se­ries sys­tems, which use square fil­ter sizes of 67mm and 84mm re­spec­tively, will both be too small for use with your Sigma lens. The same ap­plies to com­pet­ing sys­tems of the same sizes from sup­pli­ers like For­matt-Hitech and SRB.

Larger 100mm sys­tems from com­pa­nies like Lee Fil­ters are often very ex­pen­sive, at around £300/$350 for a starter kit with three ND grad fil­ters. I’d rec­om­mend the Cokin Z-Pro 100mm fil­ter sys­tem, which costs about half the price for a sim­i­lar kit.

Us­ing Cap­ture NX-D (see pre­vi­ous page) it’s easy to change Pic­ture Con­trol set­tings at the edit­ing stage, for ex­am­ple be­tween Stan­dard and Vivid Stan­dard

The Cokin Z-Pro ND Grad Kit (£75/$100) in­cludes three fil­ters but you need to buy the fil­ter holder and adap­tor ring separately, at about £80/$100


The top-plate LCD re­main­ing ac­tive has no no­tice­able im­pact on the dis­charge rate of the cam­era bat­tery

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