I’m trying to reinvent my photography. I mounted the Nikon kit lens on my D5100. I like the lens because it is light and easy to zoom. I shoot in RAW. To keep as close as possible to the analog photography of the past, I only worked on the light aspect of the ‘flat’ RAW. Contrast, Shadows, etc. But I did not use any sharpening or any noise reduction. I used the RAW (or DNG, ‘Digital NeGative’) as if it was an analog negative. In analog photography you can not ‘sharpen’ the print. And I guess you can not perform ‘noise/grain reduction’. So, no sharpening, no noise reduction. The noise of the sensor is retained and works a bit like the grain of film. I know noise and grain a somewhat different, but if you let the noise just be, and refrain from sharpening the picture, you get a nice soft image, which does resemble the analog film feel. Shot with Nikon D5100 AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6G VR | Camera settings: 55 mm, f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/4000 sec, 0.00 eV | RAW processed with Lightroom 5 and DxO FilmPack 5 (2016, Egmond aan Zee)
The thing with modern digital camera’s is that they take pictures sharp as hell. I have a IQ monster myself with the Sigma DP2 Merrill. But sharpness isn’t everything. A photo needs to be alive. It needs to express itself. Sharpness is just one of the methods. It is not the ultimate heaven of ‘a good photo’. Grain, for instance, is an opposite of sharpness. Grain is somewhat like Noise, but has its roots in analog film where you have the chemical ‘grain’. Emulate grain takes a digital picture back in time to the analog film days. It can be quite pleasing. I have started to like grain, esp. in black and white shots. But I don’t want to shy a way from using color. Here I shot Sarah and Charlie with my Sigma DP2. You will see it is not razor sharp although the Sigma DP’s are renowned for being sharp IQ monsters. The 1/15s exposure caused some blurriness. Does that matter? Not at all. It makes the photo breath of life. And when I run the flat RAW through DxO Filmpack 5 and emulate color film and grain you get the end result presented here. A ‘living picture’ without being distracted by things like razor sharpness. Shot with Sigma DP2 | Camera settings: 41 mm (fixed), 1/15 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, 0.00 eV | RAW processed with Lightroom 5 and DxO Filmpack 5 (2016)
Believe it or not but this shot has no sharpness added. It comes straight from the 55MB RAW (X3F). In SIGMA Photo Pro 6.3 I had the Sharpness slider set to -2.0. Note that the default 0.0 setting means SIGMA Photo Pro performs some sharpening. So, set the slider to -2.0 to see the real RAW. The only thing I did was to boost the contrast a little bit. That’s all. Click on the picture to see the full sized shot (JPG with quality set to 100%). Shot with Sigma DP2 Merrill | Camera settings: 45 mm equiv (fixed), 1/400 sec, f/4, ISO 200, 0.00 eV | RAW processed with SIGMA Photo Pro 6.3 and Lightroom 5 (2016)
… is because I wanted to be able to make shots like this one. My mother was visiting us. She is ill. So good, pleasant shot opportunity are scarce. My wife, kids and our dog Charlie were sitting around my mother. The sunlight fell perfectly through the window. I needed to capture that moment. No time to get hold of the big Nikons, or other cameras in the house. No, no time to loose. So I took my Lumia 930, and made the shot. It came out perfect. I’m really impressed. Don’t argue over the last pixel detail. The shot itself is perfect. The composition and the smiles. And the quality is way above average. It is a true keeper. Shot with Lumia 930. DNG processed with Lightroom 5 (2016)
Shot with a Nikon FM10 + 50mm f/1.4 Ai-S lens and Fujifilm Superia 200 film. Negative placed on a light table (Kaiser Slimlite LED Light Box) scanned with a Nikon D5100 + 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6G VR + Hoya Close-up +4 HMC 52 mm filter. Further processed with Lightroom 5, sharpening, color correction and flattening the noise. Run through DxO Filmpack 5 with Fujifilm Superia 200 film (so we get Superia 200 squared:)
Another example of my first serious experiments to shoot with film. Charlie. As processed from color negative through Lightroom 5 and Silver Efex Pro 2 to the final black & white end product.
The Fujifilm Superia 200 negative
Made into positive with the help of Lightroom 5
Crop and further enhance in Lightroom 5
Black & White processing with Silver Efex Pro 2
Charlie shot with Film. The end result
Shot with a Nikon FM10 + 50mm f/1.4 Ai-S lens and Fujifilm Superia 200 film. Negative placed on a light table (Kaiser Slimlite LED Light Box) scanned with a Nikon D5100 + 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6G VR + Hoya Close-up +4 HMC 52 mm filter. Further processed with Lightroom 5 and Silver Efex Pro 2.