Image Dust Off is a very useful feature supported by Nikon Capture NX and NX2 NEF raw converter/editor. You can take a reference photo (feature-less white wall) in supported cameras and used it to automatically retouch subsequently taken photos in Capture NX/NX2 to remove the spots in your photos caused by dust particles on the image sensor. Dust spots tend to show up more clearly if you shoot small apertures (high F numbers). Macro and landscape photographers probably find this more of a problem than portrait photographers. If you’d like to learn more about Image Dust Off, please check your Capture NX/NX2 user manual or the help file.

In order for this automatic process to work as expected, the photos you want to edit should have the same dust pattern as the reference photo. To make sure, you need to take a reference photo for each shooting session. For Nikon DSLR cameras that has sensor-shake dust removal function, it gets tricky. You cannot use the dust reference photo taken before sensor cleaning to retouch the photos taken after sensor cleaning. Nikon recommends you to take the dust reference photo after each sensor cleaning. If you have setup the camera to clean the sensor automatically at each startup/shutdown, you may not realize that the dust reference photo is rendered invalid each time you switch off/on the camera. This is clearly documented in the instruction manual of your camera but how many of you actually read the manual throughly?

Posted in: Tips and Techniques on September 22nd, 2009. Trackback URI
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