Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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I am shooting with Nikon D7000 and 18-105mm lens and RAW only not (RAW+JPEG). When I import my pics in Lightroom 4 and zoom it at 1:1 both in Library and develop modules I see a lot of noise, though when I export them out as jpeg without any retouching they look fine. I even tried changing the file handling settings for catalog preview quality as high and preview size as 2880 pixel but of no use. Is there anything we can do to avoid such previews? I don't mind if LR loads fine quality pics but takes more time.

EDIT BTW the maximum resolution of my monitor is 1366x768

Example from LR Zoomed at 1:1 enter image description here

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As I understand the question, you're asking why - if you export the RAW to JPEG without applying any noise reduction - the noise is still less than in the RAW file. Is this what you meant? –  Bart Arondson Jul 17 '13 at 13:04
    
@Bart exactly.looking at the raw file i went back to analysing if there is something wrong,with my equipment, settings or something else –  V.B Jul 20 '13 at 8:34

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

When you shoot RAW, your camera does not do as much processing on the photos in-camera as it normally does when shooting JPEG. One of the things that it does not typically do is reducing the noise.

See this excellent guide to what RAW file really is: http://www.bythom.com/qadraw.htm

My solution to this problem was to create a custom develop preset, and a custom import preset that uses the custom develop preset. In the develop preset I do minimal corrections to the images:

  • I apply lens corrections - barrel distortion removal, purple fringing removal
  • I bump up Clarity a bit ( +10)
  • I bump saturation just a little bit (+5)
  • I Apply some noise reduction that by experimenting proved to be reasonable for my typical photos (I don't remember the number, but you will have to find it yourself)
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Noise is affected by viewing size and distance. When you view an image at 1:1 you will see each individual pixel of the image as it has been demoasaiced from the RAW file as a single pixel on your screen. When you view at more normal sizes, each pixel on your screen is an average of several pixels from the full-sized image. In the case of your D7000, if the image is displayed to fit height-wise on an HD monitor (1920X1080), each pixel on the screen is representing a 3X3 square of nine pixels, so the noisy pixels are being averaged out by the surrounding pixels.

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