I’m pretty happy with the image settings I came up with to make the D4 in-camera histogram approximate the real raw histogram. Using those settings, however, means not having the convenience of the D4’s exemplary automatic white balance. I guess I’ll use it with fixed white balance when I really care about getting the ultimate image quality, and with auto white balance when I want to minimize the time spent in Lightroom.
I still need to figure out if this trick works over a wide range of subject matter and lighting conditions. I also need to find out how transferable it is to other camera models.
John Barrow says
This is a fascinating series. Thanks! How do your findings tie in with the UniWB approach sometimes recommended? UniWB involves loading a linear Custom Curve and using a preset WB. It also results in a more accurate camera histogram but at the cost of a greenish image on the camera lcd.
Thanks for the pointer. I had not heard of UniWB. I’ve looked at this web site: http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutorial/uniwb/index_en.htm
The UniWB technique described there seems to have the same goal as my ad hoc approach, but proceeds in a much more organized fashion, and will almost certainly yield more precise results. It’s unfortunate that the shortcut mentioned at the end of the article won’t work with some cameras, but it’s simple and elegant for those cameras that don’t prevent it from operating.