Nikon D3s Sample Images – Part II

by on January 30, 2010

in Nikon

Nikon D3s

In the first set of sample images from the Nikon D3s, I gave you a number of JPEG images straight out of the camera, which were no joke to begin with.  Now, I’ve gone back and converted some of those same images from the NEF files to JPEGs and used both Nikon ViewNX and Lightroom 2 in the process.

We’ll start off with another HDR image from the D3s though.  The following image was compiled from 9 bracketed exposures at ISO 3200 and then put through Photomatix for the HDR creation.  Finally, I tweaked the exposures in Photoshop using layer masks.  For a detailed walkthrough on HDR, see Trey Ratcliff’s HDR tutorial.

Nikon D3s HDR - Times Square

Below, you will find a number of images along with links to the originals.  Additionally, I have taken a couple of 100% cropped sections from different processing methods and put them side-by-side for the sake of a quick comparison.

As you can see in the charts, I’ve labeled the settings for the software and in-camera settings.   All images were shot using the Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.

You can download the full-res file (for personal use and inspection only) by right-clicking any of the links below the respective images and choosing “Save link as…” from your menu. Please do not republish any of these images on the Internet or elsewhere without permission.

Nikon D3s ISO 12800 Comparison

Again, this is a 150×300 pixel crop shown in actual size from the hot dog stand shots that you see a little further below.

Nikon D3s ISO 12800 Comparison

ISO 12800 is where I’m finding to be a reasonable limit for the D3s and usable images.  But, holy cow!  That’s ISO 12800!

8×10 prints are no problem at ISO 12800.  Sure, you aren’t going to get shots accepted at iStock at these higher settings, but wedding receptions and sports at dusk? Check.

ISO 12800 just became the “new ISO 3200.”

Nikon D3s ISO 25600 Comparison

Nikon D3s ISO 25600 Comparison

Not that you would, but you just might be able to if it was a do or die scenario.  I was really stunned when I went back and looked at ISO 25600 in some of these files.  Like I said though, it’s not like you would go out looking to shoot ISO 25600; however, if shutter speed was a critical concern, you can probably get some smaller prints out of it.

You can also see in these two examples how that Nikon’s NEF format looks better coming through Nikon’s software export.  That said, I am still working in Lightroom up to ISO 12800.  If noise control is critical though, switching over to Nikon’s software is always an option.

Nikon D3S Sample Image
ISO 1600 – f/4 at 1/30s

Default JPEG file

ViewNX NEF Conversion

Lightroom 2 Default

Lightroom 2 No Noise Reduction

Lightroom 2 +50 Luminance Noise Reduction

Nikon D3S Sample Image
ISO 3200 – f/4 at 1/60s

Default JPEG file

ViewNX NEF Conversion

Lightroom 2 Default

Lightroom 2 No Noise Reduction

Lightroom 2 +50 Luminance Noise Reduction

Nikon D3S Sample Image
ISO 6400 – f/4 at 1/125s

Default JPEG file

ViewNX NEF Conversion

Lightroom 2 Default

Lightroom 2 No Noise Reduction

Lightroom 2 +50 Luminance Noise Reduction

Nikon D3S Sample Image
ISO 12800 – f/4 at 1/250s

Default JPEG file

ViewNX NEF Conversion

Lightroom 2 Default

Lightroom 2 No Noise Reduction

Lightroom 2 +50 Luminance Noise Reduction

Nikon D3S Sample Image
ISO 25600 – f/4 at 1/500s

Default JPEG file

ViewNX NEF Conversion

Lightroom 2 Default

Lightroom 2 No Noise Reduction

Lightroom 2 +50 Luminance Noise Reduction

Nikon D3S Sample Image
ISO 51200 – f/4 at 1/1250s

Default JPEG file

ViewNX NEF Conversion

Lightroom 2 Default

Lightroom 2 No Noise Reduction

Lightroom 2 +50 Luminance Noise Reduction

Nikon D3S Sample Image
ISO 102400 – f/4 at 1/2500s

Default JPEG file

ViewNX NEF Conversion

Lightroom 2 Default

Lightroom 2 No Noise Reduction

Lightroom 2 +50 Luminance Noise Reduction


ISO 3200 – f/4 at 1/160s

ViewNX NEF Conversion


ISO 6400 – f/8 at 1/125s

ViewNX NEF Conversion


ISO 12800 – f/8 at 1/125s

ViewNX NEF Conversion


ISO 6400 – f/4 at 1/160s

ViewNX NEF Conversion


ISO 12800 – f/4 at 1/500s

ViewNX NEF Conversion


ISO 102400 – f/4 at 1/5000s

ViewNX NEF Conversion

The Nikon D3s  is available from B&H Photo at the following link:

Nikon D3s at B&H Photo

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