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Archive 2005 · D200 Banding is real.
  
 
SebRogers
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p.5 #1 · D200 Banding is real.


'Could anyone with banding and a grey card try that and see if the banding is visible?'

Tried that - different ISOs, different exposures. No banding. But then, banding only affected around 10% max. of the pictures on my sample, anyway. Ironically, drawing a blank on the grey card test helped persuade me to return the camera as faulty, because it proved to me that the problem was not repeatable.

'Are there shots taken in portrait mode that show banding? More important, do the bands still parallel the short side of the shot, or are they also vertical?'

Yep. The banding runs vertically up and down the sensor (when the camera is held in the normal, landscape position), so they run side to side on a portrait shot.

It seems to me that the banding issue is

a.) real
b.) variable, in that affects some cameras all the time and others - like mine - just some of the time
c.) probably not all that widespread

Having said that, I also suspect that there may be more of the intermittently banding samples out there than will ever be identified. My own experience (~10% or less of shots affected, only visible in NEFs at 50% or greater and not in fine / L jpegs written to the card at the same time) suggests that owners with less than fastidious (obsessive? ;-P) post-processing habits and a sample like the one I had may, in fact, never notice a problem.



Dec 31, 2005 at 02:26 PM
Kerry Pierce
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p.5 #2 · D200 Banding is real.


SebRogers wrote:
Tried that - different ISOs, different exposures. No banding. But then, banding only affected around 10% max. of the pictures on my sample, anyway. Ironically, drawing a blank on the grey card test helped persuade me to return the camera as faulty, because it proved to me that the problem was not repeatable.


This is very curious. An intermittant problem suggests faulty connections or something, unless the problem is caused by a certain type of exposure and processing.


It seems to me that the banding issue is

a.) real
b.) variable, in that affects some cameras all the time and others - like mine - just some of the time
c.) probably not all that widespread

Having said that, I also suspect that there may be more of the intermittently banding samples out there than will ever be identified. My own experience (~10% or less of shots affected, only visible in NEFs at 50% or greater and not in fine / L jpegs written to the card at the same time) suggests that owners with less than fastidious (obsessive? ;-P) post-processing habits
...Show more

Your experiences seem much different than reported by others. Why would it affect NEFs and not JPGs? Have you subjected your other cameras to the same scene and processing, to test for artifacts?

Given your admitted obsessive habits and your speculation that others will have the problem without noticing it, strikes me as something less than a sound basis for stating that the problem is "real".

What you've described seems to me to be rather insignificant. If you can't reproduce the problem on demand and describe the shooting situation definitively, then there doesn't seem to be much substance to it.

I've seen samples where the scene was extremely high contrast, well beyond the scope of the sensor, which appeared to be edited to bring up the shadows. That's not a fault, IMO. I can do the same thing with any digital camera and find nasty artifacts.



Dec 31, 2005 at 03:40 PM
rob_r
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p.5 #3 · D200 Banding is real.


well... i have banding "at last".. i found it on some underexposed flash shots last night, i notice it at viewing magnifications other than 25 & 50% in Photoshop and slightly in 100% view.. it's very apparent at the other view default steps. I shall have to print one off to see if it is visible

has anyone done any prints of such shots yet?

100%

50%


seems to me i have to look quite hard to see it. i'd care if it prints out though...

bounced SB800. 100 ISO 1/60s f/9.0 - 17-55 @ 55mm



Dec 31, 2005 at 05:25 PM
KenBates
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p.5 #4 · D200 Banding is real.


Anyone thinking about electronic or RF intereference, like was a cell phone operating near by when banding occured? this sort of issue hapens in some other areas of endeavor and shows up as seeming random occuring noise


Dec 31, 2005 at 06:51 PM
Kerry Pierce
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p.5 #5 · D200 Banding is real.


rob_r wrote:
well... i have banding "at last"..

seems to me i have to look quite hard to see it. i'd care if it prints out though...


Rob, would you mind posting the complete frame, so we can have some idea as to the conditions and exposure?

Is this kind of exposure "normal" for your type of photography?

thanks.



Dec 31, 2005 at 07:06 PM
SebRogers
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p.5 #6 · D200 Banding is real.


'Your experiences seem much different than reported by others. Why would it affect NEFs and not JPGs? Have you subjected your other cameras to the same scene and processing, to test for artifacts?'

Not that different. I know of at least one other poster on this forum whose experience has been broadly similar. No idea why it would affect NEFs and not jpegs, but my guess is that has something to do with the demosaicing algorithms and compression artefacts introduced by the in-camera processing.

'Given your admitted obsessive habits and your speculation that others will have the problem without noticing it, strikes me as something less than a sound basis for stating that the problem is "real".'

I don't recall 'admitting' that I'm obsessive Thorough, certainly. It's what I'm paid to do...

Just because the problem goes unnoticed, it doesn't mean it isn't there. Many D200 users won't be shooting RAW and viewing at 100%. They're still entitled to expect to be able to do so.

'What you've described seems to me to be rather insignificant. If you can't reproduce the problem on demand and describe the shooting situation definitively, then there doesn't seem to be much substance to it.'

You're entitled to your opinion, of course. But I wonder whether you'd describe it as 'insignificant' if your own D200 were affected?

I've described my experiences, for the benefit of any other D200 users who may be experiencing difficulties, as accurately and completely as I've been able to. I do have better things to do than attempt to track down an intermittent fault on a new camera, in fact (I somewhat regard that as Nikon's problem). But the substance remains: significant and destructive banding in some mid and quarter tones on affected images at various ISOs. It doesn't happen with my D2X, nor did it happen with my D100.

And yes, I'm talking about correctly exposed images.

'I've seen samples where the scene was extremely high contrast, well beyond the scope of the sensor, which appeared to be edited to bring up the shadows. That's not a fault, IMO. I can do the same thing with any digital camera and find nasty artifacts.'

Yeah, but you shouldn't find banding. And that's not what we're talking about here, anyway (see above).

There was an earlier poster on this thread who pointed out how irritating it is to a.) find that your new camera has a fault and b.) to be variously accused of imagining it / pointing it at too bright a light source / bringing up the shadows too much / underexposing 3 stops / not having a clue. I'm beginning to realise what he meant.

Believe what you like. My D200 was faulty, Nikon asked me to return it for repair, I declined and am awaiting a replacement from my dealer. Which, I'm sure, will be fine.

Right, enough of this. I'm off to plan some more pictures




Dec 31, 2005 at 09:45 PM
digitalArtform
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p.5 #7 · D200 Banding is real.


After a bunch of shooting with no stripes, I followed the geometric noise "recipe" outlined by jmeagher in post #45 of this thread: http://www.nikonians.org/dcforum/DCForumID202/15664.html and I got the stripes myself. Here's a 100% crop:


http://www.digitalartform.com/archives/2005/12/nikon_d200_firs.html



Dec 31, 2005 at 11:50 PM
Kerry Pierce
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p.5 #8 · D200 Banding is real.


SebRogers wrote:
experience has been broadly similar. No idea why it would affect NEFs and not jpegs, but my guess is that has something to do with the demosaicing algorithms and compression artefacts introduced by the in-camera processing.


I'm beginning to believe your guess is at least partly correct, with the demosaicing.

Just because the problem goes unnoticed, it doesn't mean it isn't there. Many D200 users won't be shooting RAW and viewing at 100%. They're still entitled to expect to be able to do so.

heh, well, lots of people have lots of expectations. Whether or not those expectations are reasonable, is another matter.

You're entitled to your opinion, of course. But I wonder whether you'd describe it as 'insignificant' if your own D200 were affected?

I'm coming to the conclusion that this issue probably affects every d200. I dealt with some files, provided by another d200 user. It seems that the issue only comes about under extremely harsh lighting conditions, with significantly blown out areas of exposure in the frame. Yes, I still describe it as an insignificant issue, at least at this point.

The problem seems to be easily avoided, by making proper exposures, under lighting conditions that don't far exceed the capability of the sensor. Failing that, the banding is easily and quickly dealt with, by a very minor application of NR.

I've described my experiences, for the benefit of any other D200 users who may be experiencing difficulties, as accurately and completely as I've been able to. I do have better things to do than attempt to track down an intermittent fault on a new camera,

That's part of this issue, IMO. You have better things to do than to track down the cause of the problem, but you don't have better things to do when it comes to bashing the camera for that fault.

I don't view that as being a benefit at all. Making a mountain out of a mole hill, isn't helpful.

But the substance remains: significant and destructive banding in some mid and quarter tones on affected images at various ISOs. It doesn't happen with my D2X, nor did it happen with my D100.

I don't have either of those cameras, but I'm willing to bet that they have their own issues with inappropriate exposures and post processing.

And yes, I'm talking about correctly exposed images.

So, where are the samples of such correctly exposed images that have this artifact?

There was an earlier poster on this thread who pointed out how irritating it is to a.) find that your new camera has a fault and b.) to be variously accused of imagining it / pointing it at too bright a light source / bringing up the shadows too much / underexposing 3 stops / not having a clue. I'm beginning to realise what he meant.

When you shout fire, you need to be ready to show where that fire is located. That's the way things work in normal life. It should be no different here.

It might very well be that your camera suffers from abnormal banding, but if it doesn't, exchanging the camera isn't going to solve anything.

OTOH, if the issue is caused by inappropriate exposure and nikon issues a firmware NR "fix" due to unreasonable internet hysteria, that is not a good thing.



Jan 01, 2006 at 12:33 AM
island man
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p.5 #9 · D200 Banding is real.


It is reproduceable in my D200 - I am also using the recipe posted in link above.





I am sure the exposure is not correct for the entire frame but can't I expect to be able to spot meter and not see banding in the mid tone areas? Forgive my ignorance here... I am not hoping for hysteria or personal vindication. I am pretty darn inexperienced with DSLRs so don't really know what to expect. I am not seeing this banding in any shots I would normally keep so am not worried about the near future. In the long run I trust it will get sorted one way or another.

b



Jan 01, 2006 at 12:43 AM
digitalArtform
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p.5 #10 · D200 Banding is real.


When I did this test I shot both jpegs and nefs. I see the problem in both, although it seems more subdued in the jpgs.


Jan 01, 2006 at 01:09 AM
 

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Kerry Pierce
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p.5 #11 · D200 Banding is real.


island man wrote:
It is reproduceable in my D200 - I am also using the recipe posted in link above.


Yes, that is not surprising to me. At this point, I'd be surprised if anyone couldn't reproduce the problem.


http://www.seawead.org/d200/corduroy.
I am sure the exposure is not correct for the entire frame but can't I expect to be able to spot meter and not see banding in the mid tone areas? Forgive my ignorance here...


If you're sure the exposure is not correct, then that means you've shot a scene that is far beyond the limits of the ability of the sensor to capture. The crop shows the noise, but it would be beneficial to see the entire shot.

As for spot metering, when your scene exceeds the capability of film or digital to capture, you're going to end up with a less than perfect image. These issues are not new. With respect to this particular problem, it seems to be easily corrected in post, just like many other defects found in digital.

I am not hoping for hysteria or personal vindication. I am pretty darn inexperienced with DSLRs so don't really know what to expect. I am not seeing this banding in any shots I would normally keep so am not worried about the near future. In the long run I trust it will get sorted one way or another.

I would ask you this. If you're not seeing this issue in shots you would normally keep, why is it a problem?

I'm not trying to be rude or unkind here. It's a serious question. Obviously, if you're not seeing it in the shots you normally keep, you're going to the trouble of making proper exposures and not expecting to shoot "keepers" in very bad lighting conditions.

There are long established rules of photography that proscribe shooting under these kinds of lighting conditions. There are good reasons for that.

I own 5 digital cameras. I can easily set up shots that exceed the limits of any of the sensors in those cameras, to produce poor photos that contain artifacts. I do not see much point in shooting photos under conditions that I know will produce poor photos with said artifacts. Even without artifacts, bad lighting will give you bad photos.

Having said that, I also understand that there are times when we all will take the shot, regardless of conditions. Nothing wrong with that, so long as you understand that the resulting image will be less than optimal. A suboptimal image is, at times, better than no image at all.




Jan 01, 2006 at 01:53 AM
tonyfield
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p.5 #12 · D200 Banding is real.


Kerry Pierce wrote:
If you're sure the exposure is not correct, then that means you've shot a scene that is far beyond the limits of the ability of the sensor to capture.
...
I own 5 digital cameras. I can easily set up shots that exceed the limits of any of the sensors in those cameras, to produce poor photos that contain artifacts. I do not see much point in shooting photos under conditions that I know will produce poor photos with said artifacts. Even without artifacts, bad lighting will give you bad photos.


Another side to this - if other cameras (even other D200's) in a person's brace of camers do not do this in a given shooting condition but only a specific D200 does, then the D200 needs to be fixed. Nikon was supposed to solve the banding issues in the D1 when they invented the D1h. That is a LONG time ago. There is no excuse to reinvent this problem - other than for single and hopefully rare examples.

The only "overexposure" problems I will "accept" are colour fringing and blooming.



Jan 01, 2006 at 03:07 AM
Kerry Pierce
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p.5 #13 · D200 Banding is real.


tonyfield wrote:
Another side to this - if other cameras (even other D200's) in a person's brace of camers do not do this in a given shooting condition but only a specific D200 does, then the D200 needs to be fixed.


Perhaps. I would agree, if one d200 was much worse than normal, then it needs repaired or replaced. I don't agree that a single difference like this, makes any camera worse than the others in a person's brace of cameras, unless all of the other cameras in that brace, are perfect.

The d200 has many improvements over many other cameras, that also have their own faults, to varying degrees. This issue is insignificant when compared to many of the other issues I've seen with other cameras.

I see no logical or reasonable basis for using this issue as an excuse for returning or refusing to purchase the d200.


The only "overexposure" problems I will "accept" are colour fringing and blooming.


That makes no sense to me. You accept 2 problems that are far more visible and destructive to an image. But won't accept something that you have to view at 100% to see and is easily fixed?





Jan 01, 2006 at 03:46 AM
dashley
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p.5 #14 · D200 Banding is real.


Jesh Kerry, it seems you are hijacking this thread!
Enuf said.



Jan 01, 2006 at 04:29 AM
Kerry Pierce
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p.5 #15 · D200 Banding is real.


dashley wrote:
Jesh Kerry, it seems you are hijacking this thread!
Enuf said.


What, I'm not allowed to respond to posts in the thread?

At least my posts are topical....




Jan 01, 2006 at 05:06 AM
tonyfield
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p.5 #16 · D200 Banding is real.


Kerry Pierce wrote:
That makes no sense to me. You accept 2 problems that are far more visible and destructive to an image. But won't accept something that you have to view at 100% to see and is easily fixed?


Banding is a design / adjustment error which should not be in the camera. The only way I have been able to reduce banding is by noise removal - and therefore loss of detail. The other two problems can be "calculated out" without loss of detail.



Jan 01, 2006 at 06:00 AM
chemprof
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p.5 #17 · D200 Banding is real.


tonyfield wrote:
Banding is a design / adjustment error which should not be in the camera. The only way I have been able to reduce banding is by noise removal - and therefore loss of detail. The other two problems can be "calculated out" without loss of detail.


This is absolutely what I found as well. It is also not necessary to have a scene with high dynamic range content to replicate the problem, though, it may be more noticeable in such a scene. See my first picture post as an example. No blown highlights in that sample.

Loss of detail due to this artifact is a flaw in hardware or, possible software (firmware). This is not a minor defect. $1700 may be "cheap" for this level of camera, but if the detail loss brings it close to that of a D70, why bother spending the extra money? I could almost break two D70's (because of the lack of "professional" build, of course) for the price of one D200... The camera needs to be right, or I would send it back for a refund/exchange, or have Nikon repair it, if I ended up with another one with this problem. As I've said before, I'm sure that Nikon will stand behind their product, but we also need to make sure to insist that they do.

Gerald



Jan 01, 2006 at 06:13 AM
Kerry Pierce
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p.5 #18 · D200 Banding is real.


tonyfield wrote:
Banding is a design / adjustment error which should not be in the camera. The only way I have been able to reduce banding is by noise removal - and therefore loss of detail. The other two problems can be "calculated out" without loss of detail.


If it's a design error, then all would be affected equally, would they not? That doesn't seem to be the case, if you believe what Gerald has said.

If it's an adjustment error or simply an issue with the demosaicing, then perhaps something could be done with firmware. But, I'd much rather do my own NR, to contain any loss of detail that might occur, rather than having a firmware fix that goes overboard.

I understand that NR takes care of the problem, in the instances that I have tested, as I indicated earlier. The NR used was very slight and did not have any apparent significance to the images.

I would like to know how you can calculate out blooming and color fringing, without any loss of detail. I've never heard of that before, but I'm more than willing to be educated on the matter.



Jan 01, 2006 at 06:41 AM
Kerry Pierce
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p.5 #19 · D200 Banding is real.


chemprof wrote:
This is absolutely what I found as well. It is also not necessary to have a scene with high dynamic range content to replicate the problem, though, it may be more noticeable in such a scene. See my first picture post as an example. No blown highlights in that sample.


Yours is the only sample I've seen, where significant blown highlights were not involved. If anything, your sample is slightly underexposed throughout. That is substantially different, IMO and I certainly agree that your camera should be replaced.


have Nikon repair it, if I ended up with another one with this problem. As I've said before, I'm sure that Nikon will stand behind their product, but we also need to make sure to insist that they do.


I think they should and will take care of your camera, Gerald. But, I also think that your case appears to be significantly different than most cameras. They will need to figure out what happened in cases like yours and then take care of the problem the best way possible. Flooding them with complaints about cameras that are not like yours, will only serve to bog down and confuse the issue. I don't see how that would be a good thing.




Jan 01, 2006 at 06:54 AM
rgames
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p.5 #20 · D200 Banding is real.


I have seen banding on most of my images taken with the D200, even those that are correctly exposed. So it is, in fact, a problem with the sensor on some cameras. On my camera, it only affects the upper portion of the image.

Has anybody seen an A/B comparison of a "good" sensor and a "bad" sensor shooting the same scene? I am trying to decide whether or not to return my camera but I'm not convinced that it won't show up on another camera. My banding problem is not random - I can shoot the same scene over and over and get the same banding, so I it's pretty east to create the problem. I'd like to see an example of one D200 that shows banding and another that doesn't when shooting the same scene...

rgames



Jan 01, 2006 at 07:30 AM
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