Exposure Latitude

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Matthew, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    Hi all,

    I don't have a digital camera, but I was thinking on a higher end
    model like the 1Ds,10D,D100, etc, would the sensor have a broad
    exposure latitude? My guess it wouldn't be that narrow as a trans. So
    you wouldn't have to compromise on a high constrast scene.

    That is really be fantastic.

    Thanks
    Matt
     
    Matthew, Jan 30, 2004
    #1
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  2. "Matthew" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I don't have a digital camera, but I was thinking on a higher end
    > model like the 1Ds,10D,D100, etc, would the sensor have a broad
    > exposure latitude? My guess it wouldn't be that narrow as a trans. So
    > you wouldn't have to compromise on a high constrast scene.
    >
    > That is really be fantastic.
    >
    > Thanks
    > Matt


    Usually, the exposure lattitude is _worse_ than film because, unlike film,
    there is a sharp cut-off at both ends of the exposure range. However, you
    can check at the time of taking, and be sure of capturing the optimum
    range, and there is a technique for combining both "under-exposed" and
    "over-exposed" digital images to produce a greater overall dynaimc range.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jan 30, 2004
    #2
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  3. Matthew

    Chris Brown Guest

    In article <>,
    Matthew <> wrote:
    >Hi all,
    >
    >I don't have a digital camera, but I was thinking on a higher end
    >model like the 1Ds,10D,D100, etc, would the sensor have a broad
    >exposure latitude? My guess it wouldn't be that narrow as a trans.


    The consensus seems to be that it's better than slide film, but not as good
    as print film.

    Oh, and shoot RAW.
     
    Chris Brown, Jan 30, 2004
    #3
  4. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    It's true that we can take several photos each emphasising different
    degrees of highlights and shadows, and use PS to combine them
    together.

    I just thought that maybe with a camera like the 1DS, this
    "limitation" of film might have been eradicated. I guess with
    technology advancing at such a rapid pace, we'll soon see that in all
    the sensors ;-)

    Matt






    "David J Taylor" <-this-bit> wrote in message news:<d0oSb.1343$>...
    > "Matthew" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > Hi all,
    > >
    > > I don't have a digital camera, but I was thinking on a higher end
    > > model like the 1Ds,10D,D100, etc, would the sensor have a broad
    > > exposure latitude? My guess it wouldn't be that narrow as a trans. So
    > > you wouldn't have to compromise on a high constrast scene.
    > >
    > > That is really be fantastic.
    > >
    > > Thanks
    > > Matt

    >
    > Usually, the exposure lattitude is _worse_ than film because, unlike film,
    > there is a sharp cut-off at both ends of the exposure range. However, you
    > can check at the time of taking, and be sure of capturing the optimum
    > range, and there is a technique for combining both "under-exposed" and
    > "over-exposed" digital images to produce a greater overall dynaimc range.
    >
    > Cheers,
    > David
     
    Matthew, Jan 30, 2004
    #4
  5. Matthew wrote:

    > It's true that we can take several photos each emphasising different
    > degrees of highlights and shadows, and use PS to combine them
    > together.
    >
    > I just thought that maybe with a camera like the 1DS, this
    > "limitation" of film might have been eradicated. I guess with
    > technology advancing at such a rapid pace, we'll soon see that in all
    > the sensors ;-)


    The new Oly E1 is supposed to have a greater exposure latitude than the
    rest. Check it out.

    Gary Eickmeier
     
    Gary Eickmeier, Jan 30, 2004
    #5
  6. Matthew

    Dave Brown Guest

    I think that in the next 5 years between the innovations of Foveon and
    Fuji, that this problem will be resolved. I think in camera
    bracketing and then best shot selection, coupled with multiple
    photosensors with different "sensitivity", that good contrast and
    tonal qualities will be common in digital.

    db


    (Matthew) wrote in message news:<>...
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I don't have a digital camera, but I was thinking on a higher end
    > model like the 1Ds,10D,D100, etc, would the sensor have a broad
    > exposure latitude? My guess it wouldn't be that narrow as a trans. So
    > you wouldn't have to compromise on a high constrast scene.
    >
    > That is really be fantastic.
    >
    > Thanks
    > Matt
     
    Dave Brown, Jan 30, 2004
    #6
  7. Matthew

    KBob Guest

    On Fri, 30 Jan 2004 09:24:40 +0000, Chris Brown
    <_uce_please.com> wrote:

    >In article <>,
    >Matthew <> wrote:
    >>Hi all,
    >>
    >>I don't have a digital camera, but I was thinking on a higher end
    >>model like the 1Ds,10D,D100, etc, would the sensor have a broad
    >>exposure latitude? My guess it wouldn't be that narrow as a trans.

    >
    >The consensus seems to be that it's better than slide film, but not as good
    >as print film.
    >
    >Oh, and shoot RAW.


    I'll second that--in the beginning I had the notion that RAW had
    mostly to do with image quality and the almost nonexistent differences
    between this and the highest quality JPEG settings. Now I realize the
    main reason for choosing RAW is latitude.

    The apparent additional latitude of film is only because of
    distortions at the toe and shoulder regions of the characteristic
    (H&D) curve that tend to compress these exposure regions. Recovery of
    these regions in the finished print requires considerable skill to
    maintain a semblance of proper overall density. Ideally all
    photographs would utilize only the linear portion of the H&D curve,
    and this is exactly what digital cameras do. Useful density values
    for a typical film tend to be in the range of 0.1 to 2.3, and that
    includes a substantial "toe" region--overall, about 8 stops.

    As an example, I believe the 14n is claimed to have a 12-stop latitude
    when shooting in RAW mode, since 2 additional stops are available at
    both ends of the exposure histogram for adjustment. With at least 10
    stops available in RAW mode for prosumer digicams it seems to me
    unlikely that a balanced exposure of most scenes would require more
    latitude than this. Unfortunately latitude itself doesn't tell the
    whole story, since the effects of digital noise often take revenge on
    shadow areas, and color artifacting creates problems in highlight
    areas that are nearly impossible to correct in postprocessing-sort of
    analogous to grain and solarization in film. In spite of this, what
    I'm seeing from my own experience (especially in B&W) is that prints
    can be created from digital images that have very much a "large format
    look," and I attribute this not only to sharpness, but to the fine
    level of gradation possible (with proper postprocessing adjustment).
     
    KBob, Jan 30, 2004
    #7
  8. Matthew

    Guest

    In message <d0oSb.1343$>,
    "David J Taylor" <-this-bit> wrote:

    >Usually, the exposure lattitude is _worse_ than film because, unlike film,
    >there is a sharp cut-off at both ends of the exposure range. However, you
    >can check at the time of taking, and be sure of capturing the optimum
    >range, and there is a technique for combining both "under-exposed" and
    >"over-exposed" digital images to produce a greater overall dynaimc range.


    You can't judge the dynamic range of a DSLR by the JPEGs it outputs;
    many have far more dynamic range in RAW mode, especially at the lowest
    ISO available.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
     
    , Jan 30, 2004
    #8
  9. <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In message <d0oSb.1343$>,
    > "David J Taylor" <-this-bit> wrote:
    >
    > >Usually, the exposure lattitude is _worse_ than film because, unlike

    film,
    > >there is a sharp cut-off at both ends of the exposure range. However,

    you
    > >can check at the time of taking, and be sure of capturing the optimum
    > >range, and there is a technique for combining both "under-exposed" and
    > >"over-exposed" digital images to produce a greater overall dynaimc

    range.
    >
    > You can't judge the dynamic range of a DSLR by the JPEGs it outputs;
    > many have far more dynamic range in RAW mode, especially at the lowest
    > ISO available.
    > --


    I said nothing about JPEG.
    I was commenting on the hard limiting in digital versus the soft limiting
    in film.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jan 31, 2004
    #9
  10. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    Yes, Fujifilm's Super CCD thingy looks to be very promising indeed.
    Give it a year or two, and we'll probably see good innovation from
    them. After all, they brought us gems like Provia 100F and Velvia.

    From the responses, RAW looks to be one reason to get myself a DSLR.
    Just that Minolta stubborness means that my current kit has to be
    retired for a C or N.

    Thanks
    Matthew

    (Dave Brown) wrote in message news:<>...
    > I think that in the next 5 years between the innovations of Foveon and
    > Fuji, that this problem will be resolved. I think in camera
    > bracketing and then best shot selection, coupled with multiple
    > photosensors with different "sensitivity", that good contrast and
    > tonal qualities will be common in digital.
    >
    > db
     
    Matthew, Jan 31, 2004
    #10
  11. Matthew

    KBob Guest

    On Fri, 30 Jan 2004 07:49:29 GMT, "David J Taylor"
    <-this-bit> wrote:

    >"Matthew" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> Hi all,
    >>
    >> I don't have a digital camera, but I was thinking on a higher end
    >> model like the 1Ds,10D,D100, etc, would the sensor have a broad
    >> exposure latitude? My guess it wouldn't be that narrow as a trans. So
    >> you wouldn't have to compromise on a high constrast scene.
    >>
    >> That is really be fantastic.
    >>
    >> Thanks
    >> Matt

    >
    >Usually, the exposure lattitude is _worse_ than film because, unlike film,
    >there is a sharp cut-off at both ends of the exposure range. However, you
    >can check at the time of taking, and be sure of capturing the optimum
    >range, and there is a technique for combining both "under-exposed" and
    >"over-exposed" digital images to produce a greater overall dynaimc range.
    >
    >Cheers,
    >David
    >

    The exposure latitude of film is actually quite inferior to digital,
    except for the pronounced distortion of the H-D curve of film at the
    toe and shoulder that compresses image content at the extremes. An
    ideal film would not create an "S" curve, but would be linear in the
    same manner that CCDs are. If you capture an image in RAW format with
    12 bits, you have about 10 stops of exposure latitude available. My
    understanding is that the Kodak 14n has an overall dynamic range of 69
    dB which is about 11+ stops, and the pro backs such as Leaf, Volare
    etc. are good for 12 stops, even though they might by today's
    standards be considered "old technology." So when you compare these
    values with film, where most negative films are limited to about 7
    stops, and slide films to 5 or 6, it should be clear enough that
    digital is far superior in terms of latitude. What gives digital a
    bad rap is what happens when latitude is exceeded, especially at the
    light end, where anything can happen when the exposure limit is
    exceeded.
     
    KBob, Feb 7, 2004
    #11
  12. > The exposure latitude of film is actually quite inferior to digital,
    > except for the pronounced distortion of the H-D curve of film at the
    > toe and shoulder that compresses image content at the extremes. An
    > ideal film would not create an "S" curve, but would be linear in the
    > same manner that CCDs are.


    I think the ideal film and the ideal CCD should have a log response, not a
    linear one...

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Feb 7, 2004
    #12
  13. Matthew

    KBob Guest

    On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 17:29:29 GMT, "David J Taylor"
    <-this-bit> wrote:

    >> The exposure latitude of film is actually quite inferior to digital,
    >> except for the pronounced distortion of the H-D curve of film at the
    >> toe and shoulder that compresses image content at the extremes. An
    >> ideal film would not create an "S" curve, but would be linear in the
    >> same manner that CCDs are.

    >
    >I think the ideal film and the ideal CCD should have a log response, not a
    >linear one...
    >
    >David
    >

    The response curve is actually a linear one; it is plotted log vs. log
    (log density vs. log exposure).
     
    KBob, Feb 7, 2004
    #13
  14. > >I think the ideal film and the ideal CCD should have a log response,
    not a
    > >linear one...
    > >
    > >David
    > >

    > The response curve is actually a linear one; it is plotted log vs. log
    > (log density vs. log exposure).


    Touche!

    I was meaning a response where the increase in the linear sensor output
    with a change light input from 1 to 10 units, was the same as the sensor
    output change when the illumination increased from 10 units to 100 units.
    I.e. a linear change of output for a log increase of input. IYSWIM!

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Feb 7, 2004
    #14
  15. Matthew

    Guest

    In message <>,
    KBob <> wrote:

    >My
    >understanding is that the Kodak 14n has an overall dynamic range of 69
    >dB which is about 11+ stops,"


    If that's true, then the ISOs of the camera are intentionally boosted
    and the images under-exposed, and most of the range is being unused with
    "proper exposure", because the camera is known as a poor performer in
    low light. You can't have a large dynamic range and perform noisily at
    medium ISOs unless you are not utilizing the upper part of the range
    with normal exposure.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
     
    , Feb 8, 2004
    #15
  16. Matthew

    KBob Guest

    On Sun, 08 Feb 2004 14:56:44 GMT, wrote:

    >In message <>,
    >KBob <> wrote:
    >
    >>My
    >>understanding is that the Kodak 14n has an overall dynamic range of 69
    >>dB which is about 11+ stops,"

    >
    >If that's true, then the ISOs of the camera are intentionally boosted
    >and the images under-exposed, and most of the range is being unused with
    >"proper exposure", because the camera is known as a poor performer in
    >low light. You can't have a large dynamic range and perform noisily at
    >medium ISOs unless you are not utilizing the upper part of the range
    >with normal exposure.


    To tell you the truth, I'm not sure where the "11+ stops" comes from,
    and I do own a 14n. Practically speaking it's probably more like 10
    stops (using RAW). The maximum useful latitude of the camera is
    probably realized by knocking off a couple stops (overexposing), but
    to some degree this may be true of others as well.
     
    KBob, Feb 8, 2004
    #16
  17. Matthew

    Guest

    In message <>,
    KBob <> wrote:

    >On Sun, 08 Feb 2004 14:56:44 GMT, wrote:
    >
    >>In message <>,
    >>KBob <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>My
    >>>understanding is that the Kodak 14n has an overall dynamic range of 69
    >>>dB which is about 11+ stops,"

    >>
    >>If that's true, then the ISOs of the camera are intentionally boosted
    >>and the images under-exposed, and most of the range is being unused with
    >>"proper exposure", because the camera is known as a poor performer in
    >>low light. You can't have a large dynamic range and perform noisily at
    >>medium ISOs unless you are not utilizing the upper part of the range
    >>with normal exposure.

    >
    >To tell you the truth, I'm not sure where the "11+ stops" comes from,
    >and I do own a 14n. Practically speaking it's probably more like 10
    >stops (using RAW). The maximum useful latitude of the camera is
    >probably realized by knocking off a couple stops (overexposing), but
    >to some degree this may be true of others as well.


    It varies with camera. The 10D, for example, goes about 1.6 stops
    further in the RAW file for red than it does in JPEG with sunlight
    white-balalnce and normal contrast, and 1.0 stops for green, and 0.9
    stops for blue. This gives it much higher dynamic range under warm
    lighting in RAW mode than it does in daylight with JPEG and normal
    contrast.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
     
    , Feb 8, 2004
    #17
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