To ETTR or not to ETTR...?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
TomFid Veteran Member • Posts: 3,115
Re: example

jimkahnw wrote:

The example also demonstrates what a fool's errand we are all on. There's little difference between the 0EV and the +3EV, at least in the mid- and 3/4-tones. I know with a little more processing, there would be none.

I think the difference here is fairly small, but this is basically a snapshot. If this were a trickier shot, and you wanted to bring up shadows or otherwise increase contrast, the 0EV shot's noise would become more apparent, not less. You could use noise reduction to make the 0EV shot acceptable, but it'll never be as good.

However, what about the highlights? That's the whole thing about ETTR; increase exposure without clipping--recover in post. In this example, what does the sky look like for the +3EV exposure? I would bet that the highlights are unrecoverable.

Not so. There is no clipping in the +3 image. As I pointed out, that might not be true on a day that's less hazy, but then +3 would be a bad choice.

I still think ETTR is a misconception that leads to overexposure and clipped highlights.

If you're clipping highlights you care about, you're doing it wrong.

Our 4/3 sensors are fantastic at preserving highlights and shadows. We can get great images without fretting over the shadows to preserve highlight details. I'm continually amazed how much 3/4- and full-tone values can be lifted in an image exposed for the highlights.

True. But if Oly announced that the EM5iii was going to have 3 stops better noise performance, people would FREAK OUT. There would be a riot at B&H. And yet, here it is, available for the price of a small amount of thinking. If PanOly were willing to step away from the meter-the-grey-card mentality, it could be made automatic and riskless.

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