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Nikon D850 Monochrome: Blending Two Exposure Bracketed Frames for a 4X Reduction in Noise

Background: The Nikon D850 monochrome is a Nikon D850 with its color filter array (CFA) removed by maxmax.com. The NEF files are converted to monochrome DNG via LibRaw Monochrome2DNG and “Method B”, then processed using Adobe Camera Raw. Doing so avoids any demosaicing and thus retains full spatial resolution.

This page looks at using exposure bracketing with the goal of blending frames for reducing noise and extending dynamic range, as applied in black and white from images taken on the Nikon D850 monochrome.

Nikon D850 monochrome

Anyone having gone to the trouble of shooting an exotic camera like a Nikon D850 monochrome will presumably want to get the very best from it—and as good as it is in a single shot with terrific dynamic range, it can be spectacular with some additional effort, as shown here.

I considered frame averaging for this same scene—shot the frames and tried on the computer—but wind causes motion and that is a problem for frame averaging at least without a lot of touchup—it blurs water and grass and anything moving. Plus if the wind should happen to move the camera 1/2 or 1/4 pixel between frames, details soften.

Blending Frames for Low Noise, Dynamic Range (Twenty Lakes Basin View To Mt Conness Eastern Ridge)

Includes images up to full camera resolution for single shot versus frame blending, plus a 182 megapixel version of the blended frame upscaled using Gigapixel AI.

Twenty Lakes Basin View To Mt Conness Eastern Ridge
f8 @ 0.8 sec electronic shutter, ISO 31; 2019-09-26 18:07:25
NIKON D850 monochrome + Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 + filter B+W Dark Red 091
ENV: Twenty Lakes Basin, altitude 10350 ft / 3155 m, 53°F / 11°C
RAW: USM{12,50,0}

[low-res image for bot]

 


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