20 stop dynamic range - what digital system can match?

Started Oct 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
DSPographer Senior Member • Posts: 2,464
Re: Histograms are absolute, like trolls (nt)

Mikael Risedal wrote:

Victor Engel wrote:

But the very premise of your question is what is being questioned. I wonder if your lens can even capture 20 stops no matter the film or sensor in a single exposure. I think reflections even from multi coated lens elements would prevent this.

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Victor Engel
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yes it does

Theoretically, you can get 20 stops of DR on the image plane. The key points are that the level of veiling flare depends on the highlight spot size; and that the noise floor from flare is determined by the standard deviation of the flare illumination- which is equal to the square root of the veiling exposure in photons. So, with a simple lens with sophisticated coatings, and a single tiny highlight, it is possible to get 20 stops of DR at the image sensor. Measuring DR also depends on how you define the clipping point and the noise floor. With negative film the shadows are very grainy, so claiming a large DR for film depends on a very low resolution low quality threshold for the minimum level black point. There is a similar problem in defining the highlight point. For instance, do you require all channels or just one channel to saturate with a color digital sensor when setting the highlight limit.

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