Dynamic Range, Zones and things

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mikemeister_admin
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Postby mikemeister_admin » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:57 am

Hi,

I've done a few experiments that may interest you and maybe you should try some of them with your camera.

However, I did not get the sort of help I was expecting from having done them.  My brain sort of failed part way through!  If you can comment on my confusion I would be grateful.

So if you have a spare few minutes have a look at http://www.broadhurst-family.co.uk/lefteye/MainPages/StopsZones.htm

Zog

ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:35 pm

Chris,
Interesting stuff...

Are you shooting all three cameras or looking to see if one is better than the others?  If you are trying to get your head around the D700 your current camera then this whole experience is a good thing...but I think the older cameras are making this harder for you than sticking with your current primary camera. 

As with film your are trying to measure the response of the "medium" to the actual scene.  Allowing the camera to make a JPEG might be making this harder as well.  I would take the D700 and do the same experiments with the RAW files using a neutral conversion out of ACR and repeat the entire set with the JPEG.  They are after all 2 different animals. 

Your results would then be usable for whatever type of image you are creating.  If you shoot JPEG you will know how the camera respondes if RAW you have a different set of responses.

Ignoring the older cameras would be smart for now and just get your head around the D700.

Greg

ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:06 am

Another ting to look at is the response of the camera over ISO. 
For instance does ISO 25 give the same response to your post process as the ISO 400?

Are there any color shifts or density differences for the same scene?  do the shadows change color? 
These are the questions I would ask myself doing the testing you are doing.
Greg

leeharper_admin
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Postby leeharper_admin » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:33 am

Hi Chris,

I used Sekonic's Exposure Profile Target (http://www.sekonic.com/Products/All/Accessories/Sekonic-Exposure-Target-II.aspx) to evaluate the dynamic range of my cameras, last year.

In my tests, I found that the dynamic range of the cameras was very close to the values reported on the popular testing websites. One interesting finding though was that the Color Space that you use in the raw conversion has an effect on dynamic range. It is popular in certain circles to extol the virtues of ProPhoto RGB; my own tests indicated that Adobe RGB gave me 1.4 EV more dynamic range than ProPhoto (sRGB was also better than ProPhoto in terms of dynamic range - though not as good as Adobe RGB).

Finally, shadows add depth and reveal shape. In looking at your article, the image that you said best represented what you could see through your window looks very flat. It is worth thinking about the pros and cons of trying to replicate human vision. Certainly photographs look different than what our eyes see; whether they look worse, I'm not so sure...

Cheers,
Lee.

mikemeister_admin
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Postby mikemeister_admin » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:42 pm

Thank you both for your comments - the experiment was really just to see if I should change my approach to taking photos.

What I found fascinating, is my inability to write/describe/explain things so that others see what I mean - looking back I think I've had this problem most of my life.  I say one thing and others hear something completely (well slight exaggeration) different.  Maybe this flows into my manipulation of image tones and colour - all interesting thoughts.

Still basically confused...
Chris

ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:43 pm

Chris,
I think that this "data" falls into the nice to know area of your process.  The real question I have is would you make any changes based on the findings that would not be covered by your shooting methods?  In the past you have described your shooting as kind of volume based and then you construct a layered image from the bracketed exposures you have shot. 

I would think that regardless of the cameras EV range you could still shoot an image +/- 3 stops and have an effective range that exceeds the default sensor data.  That being said Do you use a spot meter in these high contrast situations?  If you do and you calculate the range of the image "using the zone system" you should be able to shoot less images and cover the same range. 

Here is an article by Ctein that covers some of the extreme exposure limits.  It might help...
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2011/10/expose-to-the-right-is-a-bunch-of-bull.html

I admire your trying to get your mind around this stuff and it is certainly very different from the old days of film and process controls.
Greg


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