Noise and ETTR

Started 5 months ago | Questions thread
Anders W
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Re: Noise and ETTR
In reply to smithling, 5 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.

No doubt. So what?

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.

What I meant by learning is learning it sufficiently well that it doesn't take any extra time to do it.

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.

No they are not. The SNR will be measurably better if you ETTR than if you don't in the scenario you describe in the post to which I replied.

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

When I evaluate people's claims, I try to do it, as far as possible, based on how they can back it up rather on who they are. Ctein makes three elementary mistakes here.

First, he argues that the ETTR criterion is generally difficult to apply. How difficult it is depends on what tools you have available. With the "live-view blinkies" (highlight/shadow warnings) available on the particular camera we are talking about in this thread (and other Oly MFT bodies), it's usually very easy to get it right.

Second, to illustrate his claim that ETTR is a bad criterion, he uses a sample image that is exposed beyond the right rather than some distance away from the right (as he argues is the right choice).

Third, what he illustrates is that shadow pushing can be useful (who has claimed that it isn't) rather than that ETTR is a poor criterion.

In short, all this article demonstrates is that Ctein doesn't know how to ETTR correctly, and therefore finds it dangerous. It's not the first time I see him show that he doesn't know what he is talking about.

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

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