There is no shortage of Nikon-specific tips and tricks out there, but one of the most useful tools you’ll find on your Nikon DSLR is its Active D-Lighting feature.
Our sister publication, the Nikon magazine N-Photo, recently put together this simple guide on how to use Active D-Lighting to capture more detail in the shadows and highlights of your scenes.
There are many lighting conditions when it’s nigh-impossible to keep detail in the highlights and shadows. To help you get better results when shooting high-contrast subjects, many Nikon DSLRs have a feature called Active D-lighting.
Active D-lighting adjusts the contrast in the image to increase the shadow and highlight detail. There are different strength settings available. These range from a low setting, which applies a small amount of contrast adjustment, to a high (or even extra high), which should only be used in extremely high-contrast lighting.
Like any effect, Active D-lighting is not something that you want to leave on all of the time. In lower-contrast conditions the processing can reduce the contrast too much, giving a flat, dull image.
How to use Nikon’s Active D-Lighting feature
01 Set Active D-lighting
There are two ways of accessing the Active D-lighting settings, depending on which model of Nikon you use. All models capable of Active D-Lighting will give you access via the Shooting menu, and you can access it from the rear information screen on many recent models.
02 Menu setting
If your camera has Active D-lighting it can be accessed from the Shooting menu screen, under Active D-lighting. With this setting highlighted you can press OK, or the right section of the multi-controller, to access the different strength settings available.
03 Information screen setting
If you own a newer Nikon, you can access Active D-lighting from the information screen. Press the I or info button to activate the settings icons, then use the multi-controller to navigate to the icon. Press OK, and choose from the different strength settings.
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