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HDR need not apply with Nikon D3

High dynamic range (HDR) images are a valuable technique (see March 26 blog entry). But the Nikon D3 at ISO 100 or 200 is an incredible camera in terms of its exceptionally high pixel quality, which allows near-black areas to be lightened while maintaining very low noise and smooth tonal gradations. I’ve called the D3 the “poor man’s medium format”™ before, and it’s eminently true—this image can be lightened considerably more with no ill effect. But I like the balance of the image on the right.

  
Westwind Barn interior (as-shot at left)
(Nikon D3 + Voigtlander 40/2 @ f/11)

The image was lightened using the Quick Fix dialog of Nikon Capture NX 2, using the Shadow Protection feature. Effort required: a few seconds (well...maybe a minute to evaluate how much to lighten). I love features that deliver great results with minimal efforts. Read my article on Capture NX 2.

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