To ETTR or not to ETTR...?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
TN Args
TN Args Veteran Member • Posts: 8,254
Re: ETTR rules

Adielle wrote:

XRF wrote:

Adielle wrote:

TN Args wrote:

Adielle wrote:

Clipping / squeezing highlights is the worst thing to do in MFT as far as I've seen. True for GX8, E-M1 and G6, so I'd expect it to be similar in other models. Far better to be careful and slightly underexpose than to overexpose.

ETTR is the art of NOT clipping or squeezing desired highlights. Once you understand it, that's obvious.

Level 1 ETTR: JPEG histogram.

Level 2 ETTR: raw histogram. Once you learn to do this, best IQ in terms of noise and colour is attained.


When people say "expose to the right" I understand it as having a bias towards possibility of overexposing than towards underexposing, and I believe that's what is actually meant. I don't support this bias at all, and I'm saying that it's far better to have a bias towards underexposing, because any obvious loss of quality is much less likely in that situation.

ETTR is maximizing the exposure without clipping any highlights, and setting brightness in post. Technically, reducing exposure to avoid clipping can be considered ETTR if you intend to bring brightness back up in post.

Any mirrorless camera (I don't know about all DSLRs) already aims to do exactly that, by default, when the exposure knob is centered: maximize the exposure without clipping highlights. That's obviously not always the desired setting, because sometimes some highlights lower the average exposure too much, and sometimes you actually want to lower the average exposure and retain highlights better, and sometimes it's actually not enough exposure for whatever reason, so the exposure compensation option is provided (as well as various auto exposure settings). I don't see "ETTR" as having anything to do with "maximizing exposure without clipping" but as having a personal bias towards maximizing the average amount of highlights (getting a histogram with lots of highlight content) in any situation (manually).

You evidently don't understand it. That's why I explained it for you. It has nothing to do with personal bias.

A couple of useful tutorials, 1,  2.


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