Noise and ETTR

Started 8 months ago | Questions thread
LincolnB
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Re: Noise and ETTR
In reply to smithling, 8 months ago

smithling wrote:

Anders W wrote:

smithling wrote:

Don't bother with ETTR unless you have an extremely tricky scene to contend with.

Other people have provided you good responses about what ETTR is, and what the benefits are. But ETTR was established when the dynamic range of digital camera sensors were terrible. It's still a valid technique, but today, the noise amount between pushing shadows in post, and ETTR and then pulling them down, is negligible. The sensors today are really good. Professionals don't bother, and most photographers (artists) I know don't bother either because the difference is simply not noticeable in prints.

IMHO, in general, it is a waste of time. Try it out, and then ask yourself honestly if the trouble is worth the time and mental effort.

Once you have figured out how to do it, it doesn't take any extra time or mental effort at all. And I would think there are many experienced and technically skilled photographers here

Where? At the dpreview.com forums? No problem. There's a vast, vast photographic world outside of this forum.

that would disagree with your assessment (as I certainly do) of whether it is worth learning how to do it.

Never did I say that it was a waste of time to learn ETTR. Please note that I said, "try it out." Sorry for the miscommunication.

Sensors have become better than they were, yes, but if you learn how to use them right, the results will be better still. Why wouldn't you want to take advantage of that fact?

With respect Anders, "use them right" and "better results" are merely subjective. Here's an opinion from another real professional that disagrees with you.

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2011/10/expose-to-the-right-is-a-bunch-of-bull.html

Based on my prints and output, ETTR is simply way overrated.

That photographer is using ETTR, regardless of whether he likes to admit it or not. The procedure for ETTR is to expose as far the right as possible without blowing the highlights. What he's discovered is that for night shots it's not possible to push the exposure very far to the right, that's all. It's still pushed as far to the right as possible, which is not very far when you're photographing light sources.
ETTR + HDR:

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