Why Exposing to the Right (ETTR) is BAD!

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
apaflo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,854
Re: (ETTR) is BAD! But saying so is going to get you a lot of flack

Sovern wrote:

apaflo wrote:

Sovern wrote:

Doug J wrote:

Sovern wrote:

I agree, I gave ETTR a try but honestly beginners are better off nailing the exposure in their camer as much as possible and learning how the histogram should look in camera for a specific scene vs worrying about keeping everything on the right.

This also keeps you safer from over exposing your photos which is the main thing that I mention that is a con from ETTR (You're more prone to losing your highlights).

Very true, but ETTR should not result in overexposure, I see this as the basic issue you raise. Some scenes will have a DR that exceeds the camera's DR abilities, but then this is a decision by the photog on what to expose for, and this is outside of the ETTR discussion.

Without any special effort at all ETTR is easily done within 1/2 an fstop, and more likely at less that 1/3 of an fstop.  With a little effort the 1/3 fstop is virtually guaranteed.

With some significant effort it can be within 1/10th of an fstop.

The only other way to achieve that kind of accuracy is bracketing every shot.

1/3rd of a stop is cutting it close though don't you agree? Especially at an important event like a wedding if you're shooting important photos and constantly on the go, right?

It's well within reason.   (Are you aware that most older lenses only had click stops at half an fstop?)

But the point was that most other methods for setting exposure do not get as close as 1/3rd of a stop in practice on a regular basis.  Unless you have calibrated your lens for t-stops and use a good spot meter and take the time to do it right, you aren't very likely to get within 1/3rd of a stop more than occasionally.

What if you enter a room that is slightly brighter and don't compensate enough for that exposure and end up blowing the highlights on an otherwise beautiful candid?

Shooting not using ETTR you would have obtained the shot without blowing focus.

Eh???  Why would ETTR not be just as accurate in that circumstance as it is in any other, and what has that got to do with focus?

You are continuing to indict the system because you are unable to understand how to use it effectively.  That is not an inherent problem with ETTR, it is an operator error.

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The photographer makes the gear, not the other way around.

How many great photographers routinely use crappy equipment?  In fact, having good equipment won't make just anyone a good photographer, but it is almost universally true that good photographers all use good equipment.  It's also true that nobody is likely to become a really good photographer until the obtain and learn to use good equipment.

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