Can we have too much Dynamic Range?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
jeffcpix
Senior MemberPosts: 1,020
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Re: Can we have too much Dynamic Range?
In reply to Rob, 3 months ago

I'm shooting the inside of a dim cathedral with beautiful stained glass -- I'd love to be able to give the shadows the exposure they need to get plenty of separation and detail. Unfortunately, when I do, the windows burn out. If extended DR gave me a RAW file that held the detail in the glass without 'glowing' at the margins, I'd be able to merge two adjusted layers (as I do now using two separate exposures) from a single exposure. Judging from the responses, it appears that many people don't understand the impact of compression on shadows and highlights in terms of contrast, noise and color.

Similarly, when shooting late in the day, I'd love to be able to expose for the shadow side of the street and not have the sky burn out. The idea that most captures 'fit' the DR of the final display medium doesn't ring true for me. And I find it hard to believe that anyone who seeks the best IQ would settle for an 'out of the camera' jpg when a RAW file is available.

Would an extended DR minimize the purple fringing so common where hard dark edges meet blown highlights?

As for burning and dodging, thankfully we've come a long way -- what used to be called contrast masking in wet darkrooms is now considerably easier -- but masking 'fuzzy edges' is still a challenge (even with 'Refine Edge').

What many call HDR to me is exposing for the highlights and adding 'digital fill light' -- works pretty well but isn't the same as being able to get the dim areas up onto the straight-line portion of the tonal curve by increasing exposure i.e. adding supplementary light to the scene (reflector/fill flash).

Perhaps some of you remember Kodak Tech Pan? Or 'Development to Completion'? Or 'self masking' glass film carriers? Or N-2? Pre-flashing anyone?

http://www.marginalsoftware.com/Scanner/density_range.htm

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