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ND SetUp settings



I had time today to "play" again a little bit with my ND. It is kind of difficult, if someone is used by the "automatism" of other DSLRs to find the right sittings now with the ND.

So I would be interested in your experience about the best set-up settings within the ND. I guess all settings there will only affect the Jpeg file and not the RAW files (I hope at least).

There are the settings:

Tone curve
Edge emphasis

which are most interesting. If I set tone curve to "standard", images look darker because of the weighting towards the mid-tones. If I put it on "linear", the whole image is brighter, but I guess it will not give sufficinet tone levels in the dark area because of the linear structure of the tone-levels - or did I misinterpret this?

Kent mentioned, that he was most successful with over exposure a little bit (max +1). I can agree only partially to this, in case I have set the tone curve to "standard". But in most cases so far with my snapshots, I prefer to shoot without exposure correction. Maybe it is because of the things I take pictures of. I have to use the ND a lot more before making a real judgement though.

But it would help already to know, who is using the setting "standard" in which situtaion and when "linear" (I am talking so far about Jpeg1, not RAW)

Edge emphasis I have set to "standard". But I did not experiment with it yet...

White balance seems to be in "enabled mode" around 5500K. Unfortunately the wording "auto" with the ND does not mean that the ND switches this automatically to the number it needs, it seems to switch always to 5500K. If I shoot indoor with artificial light, I have to change that in the settings to "preset". Does anybody know whether the ND adjusts within those "enabled" and "preset" mode the Kelvin number according to the light situation, or is it always fixed to 5500K and 2600K?

(I know that I can change the K-numbers manually, but I try to understand how the camera makes the decision and how the automatic works really in different situations to be able to have control over it...)

Chroma I put also always on "standard" so far. I have neither made any test shots in different settings so far with this...

But I can tell you, it is a pleasure to have that camera in my hands. "feeling" and handling are great for an "analogue dinosaurier" like me

I just have to get used to the fact that I have might have to treat the ND more like an analogue camera, with a lot less "auto modes" than other DSLRs. I have to start again to think first, which is good IMO

Have a nice evening and congrats also to Jack for his new ND...



Although I no longer have my ND (Kenny Pops is the new proud owner
) I always shot raw as soon as Photoshop supported it. This will give you much more latitude and you won't have to make any of those decisions where you can't change your mind later on. The one drawback is you won't get the preview, but that's no different than with film, is it?
You just need to get familiar with the meter's behavior.

I use spot metering which gives me more control and repeatability, as I choose the metering area, and then adjust compensation as to where I want that zone to be, using the tonal zones for visualization.

So if I choose a caucasian skin tone I place it say with +1 compensation. If I choose a cloud I may want to use +3 but the ND only has +2, so I put it on +2 and find something one stop darker just by moving the spot around, much quicker than it sounds. I think you get the idea. This also lets you move the exposure as far right as you can without blowing the critical highlights.

The main thing is get to know the meter's behavior, and the spot meter is the easiest to repeat because it doesn't do any choosing from multiple options like matrix/evaluative metering would do. I would shoot a few ex&les of varying light situations in both a JPEG with settings in default and raw. Check the meter behavior in the JPEG histogram, make a note of the JPEG histogram then compare to the histogram in ACR with all settings at 0 (not Auto or camera defaults, but manually set everything to 0).

I have saved an ACR setting I labeled Zero so I can quickly call this up instead of my camera default. This should give you a fairly close approximation of the sensor's actual response, before the raw developer does its magic.

Does any of this make any sense


Well-Known Member
DJ, could you tell us a few of the reasons why you choose to keep your 1DsII rather than ND ?


Well-Known Member

The other setting I tend to use is making croma "+". I find the image pops a bit more straight out of the camera. If shooting JPGs expect to do a little Photoshop on almost everything. You can get fantastic results but the corrections are best made in PS and not in the camera.

Auto white balance, I believe, is just that- Auto. It reverts to 5500 when you turn the camera off, which drives me a little nuts.Hopefully someone will read this and mention a method by which it will "hold" the previous setting.

Give the croma a try. The other thing you can do is load the alternate last firmware update, which I believe is hotter and contrastier in bias. Marc and some other folks can probably give you a better idea as to how it works (I believe it is 1.08).

Below is a link to that upgrade, which Kyocera described as "high contrast". If you are going to try it I'd make sure you have the current firmware version in case you want to go back.

Take care,


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Well-Known Member
As far as auto white balance goes, I remember the ND manual indicated that if the EV is lower than certain value, the auto white balance will set to 5500. It kind of nice feature to shoot low light and maintain the warm ambient tone. I use this a lot for weddings.

As it has been mentioned before, shoot RAW with the ND. ND's jpeg really sucks comparing to RAW. With the Canon, jpeg is really close to raw most of the time. I am sure u know all the pros and cons of RAW. ND really shines in RAW with those CZ lenses. Using CS2 bridge, processing RAW is so much more powerful and faster than ever before.


Joseph, the big plusses would be

- 17MP is a huge plus over 6MP in anything over 8x10.
- Can use CZ AND Leica lenses.
- Relative performance over ISO 200 much better
- Battery lasts forever

There are a few things that don't hurt with the switch but which I wouldn't consider deal breakers:

- Can review RAW
- ISO visible in viewfinder
- Moveable spotmetering area
- Instant on

I think the only thing I'd take over an ND without much mulling over is the EOS 1DS II. With much mulling because of the wide angle experience would be the Nikon D2x or the Leica DMR.


Thanks for all the replies. I will certainly shoot more in RAW modus than in Jpeg in the future.

But there will be still situations, where i need jpeg images. The parents of my wife are living abroad. So whenever I will be there and have no computer with me, I will be limited to Jpeg to be able to give them prints immediately there.

This is why I try to experiment to find out all the pro and cons about the ND internal conversion. Although these shots will be pure "P&S" for the family album, as a contaxian, you always try to get the maximum out of it, even out of ND-Jpegs

One correction to an earlier statement of mine. I have the impression, that the Display on the ND shows images (in Jpeg) always slighter brighter, compared to the same image on my screen. I have to investigate a little bit further with more images. But if this is true, it would be really better to make a exposure correction of +1/3 or +2/3 as Kent mentioned earlier.

It is really fun to experiment with the ND for getting maximum results. It is like a "personal" fight to show at the end of the day how good the ND can be, once you know to deal with its weaknesses.

There is an old review of Irakly at luminoius landscape about the ND by the way:

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Dirk, if there ever was any camera you can shoot jpgs with, it's this one. I shot over 300 vacation jpgs with it , and not one had blown whites. For the occasional "really" Important shot revert to RAW or Tiff, otherwise you are good to go using jpgs. Just get those setting right for your kind of shooting and leave them there.

Jpgs eliminates any buffer issue, let's you see the shots on the LCD and the dynamic range of the ND helps keep it easy. Best luck my friend.


Well-Known Member
“…my conclusion is that the camera's hardware capabilities are far ahead of the software and firmware developed for it. Should these issues be resolved, the Contax N Digital will be able to compete even with the Canon 1Ds and Kodak DCS 14n professional DSLRs.” By Irakly Shanidze at 2003.

I enjoyed the review very much. In fact, this review was part of my reason to buy the ND in 2004.

Irakly was so right about the ND was far ahead in hardware capabilities. Photoshop CS2 and ACR3 really brings the ND RAW files back to life again. That’s why I use it more lately to explore the ND + CZ lenses in a more intimate level.


I shot my New Zealand and Java vacations in JPEG, as ACR wasn't supporting the ND at the time. ! can't say I was unhappy with what I got!