D200 vs D70 Dynamic Range graph

Started Jan 30, 2006 | Discussions
davexl Senior Member • Posts: 1,058
D200 vs D70 Dynamic Range graph

Here is my dynamic range test of the D200.

It turns out the D200 has pretty much the same total dynamic range as the D70, but has a very much lighter midtone and shadow curve - making more use of shadow detail. The midtone on the D200 is almost exactly mid-grey. This shows why the +0.3 EV custom curves often used with the D100/D70 are not needed with the D200.

This is also why you have to learn to expose differently with the D200 - it does shoot lighter.

Daylight (sunlight), 50mm lens focus infinity WB Pre - Aperture priority mode.

Forgive my charting skills - my D70 data was done a few years ago in 1/2 stops and my D200 was done in 1/3 stops - here are the originals:

D200 original files: http://www.pbase.com/davexl/d200range

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Regards,

David F.
Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.pbase.com/davexl/folio

 davexl's gear list:davexl's gear list
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dishio Regular Member • Posts: 284
nice work

Thank you

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mumbler Regular Member • Posts: 215
very interesting, thanks (nt)
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mumbler

Stone Regular Member • Posts: 157
David, transform this to a curve for the D70?

David,

Can you use this to make a "perfect" custom curve for the D70?

regards
Stone

davexl wrote:

Here is my dynamic range test of the D200.

It turns out the D200 has pretty much the same total dynamic range
as the D70, but has a very much lighter midtone and shadow curve -
making more use of shadow detail. The midtone on the D200 is almost
exactly mid-grey. This shows why the +0.3 EV custom curves often
used with the D100/D70 are not needed with the D200.

This is also why you have to learn to expose differently with the
D200 - it does shoot lighter.

Daylight (sunlight), 50mm lens focus infinity WB Pre - Aperture
priority mode.

Forgive my charting skills - my D70 data was done a few years ago
in 1/2 stops and my D200 was done in 1/3 stops - here are the
originals:

D200 original files: http://www.pbase.com/davexl/d200range

-- hide signature --

Stone

Richard Higgs Senior Member • Posts: 1,099
Confirms my thoughts and findings

davexl wrote:

Here is my dynamic range test of the D200.
It turns out the D200 has pretty much the same total dynamic range
as the D70, but has a very much lighter midtone and shadow curve -
making more use of shadow detail. The midtone on the D200 is almost
exactly mid-grey. This shows why the +0.3 EV custom curves often
used with the D100/D70 are not needed with the D200.
This is also why you have to learn to expose differently with the
D200 - it does shoot lighter.

Thanks for posting this info and for the hard work davexl !

Comparing shots taken with my D70s and D200 under the same conditions is exactly what you have shown.

Kind Regards
Richard Higgs
http://www.pbase.com/rhiggs1

See my Profile for Camera & Equipment listing

“Don’t feel you have to take photos of impressive subjects….
Rather, try to take impressive photos of any subject”.

Photography is 50% photographer, 40% light and 10% equipment.

 Richard Higgs's gear list:Richard Higgs's gear list
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OP davexl Senior Member • Posts: 1,058
Re: David, transform this to a curve for the D70?

Stone wrote:

David,

Can you use this to make a "perfect" custom curve for the D70?

Yes you could, and all of the various custom curves floating around do similar things- boost midtones while retaining highlight detail. Fotogenetic has done most of the hard yards really tuning his.

This is not news - the number of similar D70 custom curves available shows what we were all feeling - that the default D70 tonal curve was too dark in the midtones and shadows.

So the good news is that the D200 looks much better out of the box.

But there is no "perfect" curve - the ideal is what you find good looking in most situations.

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Regards,

David F.
Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.pbase.com/davexl/folio

 davexl's gear list:davexl's gear list
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OP davexl Senior Member • Posts: 1,058
Re: Confirms my thoughts and findings

Richard Higgs wrote:

Thanks for posting this info and for the hard work davexl !

T'was but 30 mins! The hard part was finding the 2 year old D70 spreadsheet

Comparing shots taken with my D70s and D200 under the same
conditions is exactly what you have shown.

Awfully nice when the data matches what you are seeing visually, isn't it?

Life is rarely that neat...

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Regards,

David F.
Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.pbase.com/davexl/folio

 davexl's gear list:davexl's gear list
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Richard Higgs Senior Member • Posts: 1,099
Agree with you 100% on this (NT)
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Kind Regards
Richard Higgs
http://www.pbase.com/rhiggs1

See my Profile for Camera & Equipment listing

“Don’t feel you have to take photos of impressive subjects….
Rather, try to take impressive photos of any subject”.

Photography is 50% photographer, 40% light and 10% equipment.

 Richard Higgs's gear list:Richard Higgs's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +29 more
SergioRZ Contributing Member • Posts: 505
Re: Confirms my thoughts and findings

There are so many users reporting how much better Dynamic Range on the D200 than on the D70 or the Fuji S3... Some with pretty good tests it seems...

Internet is just like that

OP davexl Senior Member • Posts: 1,058
Re: Confirms my thoughts and findings

It DOES have more useful dynamic range.

The total is about the same, but a D200 shot will look brighter in the midtones/shadows. The very deepest shadows are about the same, but that is less noticable compared to the gains across most of the tonal range.

Don't take this as a mythbusting finding - it proves what people have been seeing - you will see more shadow detail with a D200 than a D70.

SergioRZ wrote:

There are so many users reporting how much better Dynamic Range on
the D200 than on the D70 or the Fuji S3... Some with pretty good
tests it seems...

Internet is just like that

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Regards,

David F.
Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.pbase.com/davexl/folio

 davexl's gear list:davexl's gear list
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Asaf Tzadok Regular Member • Posts: 134
Can you supply the raw value (0-4095) ?

davexl,

Many thanks for sharing your valuable test.

I would like to ask you if you can supply the raw RGB values which should be in the values range of 0 to 4095.
A raw converter does not say the whole story.
What we should see is that every stop will double the raw value (linear sensor).

Dynamic range of 8 EV seems very narrow.

Regards,
Asaf.

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Bill Janes Senior Member • Posts: 1,848
Re: Nice work, but...

it does not take into account the rendering of high contrast scenes by the in camera or NEF converter software. In the process of rendering the image, the camera applies a gamma correction and a tone curve as we all know.

It can also remap out of gamut colors into the shooting space (aRGB, etc) and apply highlight and shadow compression so that a high contrast scene can be displayed or printed. When one photographs a gray card (low contrast) at various exposures, the full effect of the rendering process is not tested. To do this, you would have to photograph a step-wedge such as the Stouffer T4110 and examine the results manually with the Photoshop eyedropper or a program such as Norman Koren's Imitest:

http://www.imatest.com/docs/tour_q13.html

For example, look at his results for the Canon EOS10D by scrolling down several screens in the above link. Has anyone done such a test with the D200?
--
Bill Janes

Cresence Regular Member • Posts: 251
Cause for thought

This is a unique and very instructive addition to the forum. Thank you.

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Ross Burke
cresence@aol.com

OP davexl Senior Member • Posts: 1,058
Re: Can you supply the raw value (0-4095) ?

Asaf Tzadok wrote:

Many thanks for sharing your valuable test.
I would like to ask you if you can supply the raw RGB values which
should be in the values range of 0 to 4095.

Using what software to read it? Everything I have normalises to 256 values...

A raw converter does not say the whole story.
What we should see is that every stop will double the raw value
(linear sensor).

Sure. See above = I need something that will read the RAW data...

Dynamic range of 8 EV seems very narrow.

Compared to what? 8 stops is plenty, more than the 5 stop range of transparency film, and about what colour negative film is.

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Regards,

David F.
Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.pbase.com/davexl/folio

 davexl's gear list:davexl's gear list
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MMuddler Veteran Member • Posts: 4,527
Give and take... with "same dynamic range"

Well, perhaps you need to explain that the higher or lighter curve does give more differentiation in Zone 3 and 4 tones while presenting a lighter midrange tone but it does so at the expense (?) of compression in Zones 6 and 7. Real question is whether people needed/wanted that part of the response curve to be that steep.

One "explanation" often given for the dark "0" ev center point for the D70 used to be that it moved the whole distribution of captured tones away from the abyss of burnt highlights as a safety measure. The D200 apparently does the job by compressing Zones 6 and 7.
--
Marabou Muddler

OP davexl Senior Member • Posts: 1,058
Re: Nice work, but...

Bill Janes wrote:

it does not take into account the rendering of high contrast scenes
by the in camera or NEF converter software. In the process of
rendering the image, the camera applies a gamma correction and a
tone curve as we all know.

I should have said - this is with tone compensation set to normal, not Automatic or adaptive (I forget what Nikon calls it) - so nothing will change in processing. The gamma/tone curve is static.

It can also remap out of gamut colors into the shooting space
(aRGB, etc) and apply highlight and shadow compression so that a
high contrast scene can be displayed or printed. When one
photographs a gray card (low contrast) at various exposures, the
full effect of the rendering process is not tested.

With tone set to normal - what exactly would change?

AFAIK this is a perfectly valid rough test of DR. It certainly gives you enough to visualise a scene in the zone system, spot meter, and get bang on perfect results.

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Regards,

David F.
Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.pbase.com/davexl/folio

 davexl's gear list:davexl's gear list
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Bill Janes Senior Member • Posts: 1,848
Re: Can you supply the raw value (0-4095) ?

To get the raw values, one must use a raw converter that does not apply any gamma correction or rendering compression. One way to do this is to use DCRaw (do a Google search) with the -n -m -3 switches. Here is a Kodak Q14 step wedge converted with these parameters with the D70:

The patches are in 0.1 density units, so every three patches is one f/stop. One can then take the 0..255 values and convert to 0..4095 by dividing the 0..255 value by 256 and then multiplying by 4096. To evaluate a greater dynamic range one could use a transmissive stepwedge or use Dave's method of multiple exposures.
--
Bill Janes

Michael McCarthy Senior Member • Posts: 1,561
D70 firmware v2.0?

How does your graph for the D70 compare with the latest firmware v2.0 for the D70? I noticed a midtone improvement when I loaded the new firmware last May 2004. Does your D70 graph use the latest D70 firmware?

OP davexl Senior Member • Posts: 1,058
Re: Can you supply the raw value (0-4095) ?

Righto - thanks for that, I had a feeling it was going to get a little esoteric.

I don't mind making 100MB of raw files available to folks who are more gung ho about this that I am, but I am afraid my testing is pretty basic and limited to what will be of practical use to me shooting.
--
Regards,

David F.
Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.pbase.com/davexl/folio

 davexl's gear list:davexl's gear list
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OP davexl Senior Member • Posts: 1,058
Re: Give and take... with "same dynamic range"

MMuddler wrote:

Well, perhaps you need to explain that the higher or lighter curve
does give more differentiation in Zone 3 and 4 tones while
presenting a lighter midrange tone but it does so at the expense
(?) of compression in Zones 6 and 7. Real question is whether
people needed/wanted that part of the response curve to be that
steep.

Based on my preference for "fixing" the D70, and leaving the D200 pretty much alone, I like the way they are doing things now. Some will disagree.

One "explanation" often given for the dark "0" ev center point for
the D70 used to be that it moved the whole distribution of captured
tones away from the abyss of burnt highlights as a safety measure.
The D200 apparently does the job by compressing Zones 6 and 7.

True, but what I also suspect is that the improved noise performance of the D200 means they can lighten those tones without showing objectionable noise. Noise really is the limiter on DR.

And yes it easier to pop a highlight with the D200. (not knocking the D200 - it was more of a case that the D70 was so damn conservative you really had to work to do it)

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Regards,

David F.
Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.pbase.com/davexl/folio

 davexl's gear list:davexl's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +3 more
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