To ETTR or not to ETTR...?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
OP Jeepit Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: All depends on your expected output

Pixnat2 wrote:

You shoot landscapes in difficult light and are adept of squeezing out all the DR and shadow details you can in post processing?

You can't stand a bit of noise in your shadows?

In those cases, mastering ETTR could be helpful.

But for casual shooting, I wouldn't worry about it. Our modern cameras have excellent metering system and enough DR to cope with nearly all situations.

That said, it's a nice technique to learn and use in some cases.

Thanks for your post.  What would those cases be?

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OP Jeepit Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: To ETTR or not to ETTR...?

ToxicTabasco wrote:

Jeepit wrote:

Never had to do this back in the film days; so how important is it now? Do you or don't you ETTR (expose to the right)?

Thanks...

Rick

ETTR is a good tool for some situations. But not all. In cases of extreme dynamic range like sunsets, sunrise, or where exposure is long like twilight and night photography, ETTR can work, but experience and a good eye to know what the outcome will be for editing is the key.

Not every scene or shot should use the perfect exposure. In some cases ETTR can lose a lot of color detail like at sunsets and sunrise. Exposing by eyeball works for me in that situation. Also, at night I use simple base exposure settings to get within the range I'm seeking for editing. Doing landscapes is where exposure can vary depending on the mood you want to create, and how artsy it can be. Thus, it depends on the vision or vision for the outcome.

Come to think of it, since using a mirrorless system, I've turned off the historgam

Thanks for your feedback...so no histogram what so ever?  You only rely on lv and EVF?  So I’m getting the picture (no pun intended)  you are not a big believer in ETTR.

on my cameras. The live view and EVF show what the exposure will look like.

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OP Jeepit Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Methods

Barty L wrote:

I 'ETTR'. m4/3 sensors need all the light you can give them, especially if you want shadow detail.

If you shoot RAW and post-process your images

What I currently do:

this is what I was hoping someone would explain their setup, thank you

Exposure mode: manual

Metering: spot

Method:

- I'm 'aperture-centric' so, after identifying a subject and composition, set an aperture.

- Spot-meter off the brightest surface in the composition in which you want to retain detail - this really is a matter of taste, I've deliberately blown whole backgrounds in order to achieve desired exposure on some portion of the composition that interests me.

- Adjust shutter speed until the area under your metering box is 'over' exposed by +2.7 stops.

- Recompose and make the exposure.

- The resulting image can sometimes appear too bright, so bring down the brightness in post. If this darkens the shadows too much, you can always bring them up by the 2.7 'extra' stops you dialled in prior to capture, with no 'added' noise. The overall brightness of the images is more often just about 'right' though, leading me to think that my E-M1 Mk1s employ a bit of 'negative bias' in metering - probably to protect highlights.

This method is really only suitable for static subjects. That's the bulk of my photography, but it might not be yours.

I will investigate your settings and see if it works for me. I do shoot raw.

What I used to do:

Exposure mode: aperture priority.

Metering: ESP/Matrix

Method:

- As mentioned above, I consider aperture first when deciding on control parameters, so I set an aperture.

- With highlight warnings on, increase exposure compensation until the brightest surface in the composition in which you want to retain detail just starts to blink. Remember that the highlight warnings are based on an 8-bit representation of the scene (JPEG), so if you're shooting RAW then you will still have some latitude to further increase exposure - experiment on non-important occasions.

- Make the exposure.

- The approach in post is the same as for the first method, other than that I found that the image was more often less bright than desired.

The advantage of the second method is that it's quicker. For one thing you don't need to recompose because it's all-area metering.

If you shoot JPEG and / or don't really like post-processing

- Set your viewfinder to reflect changes in exposure (WYSIWYG). Use whatever metering and exposure methods float your boat, adjusting them until you like what you see in the viewfinder.

- Make the exposure.

This is the simplest method of all. It's usable in a wider variety of circumstances that the first two methods, and often produces good results.

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OP Jeepit Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: ETTR rules
1

TN Args wrote:

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.

Cheers

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.

most appreciative I will study these two articles, thanks

cheers

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Chris Noble
Chris Noble Veteran Member • Posts: 3,169
Only if you're shooting Raw
4

Jeepit wrote:

Never had to do this back in the film days; so how important is it now? Do you or don't you ETTR (expose to the right)?

Thanks...

Rick

If you're shooting JPEG, expose to match what you want the final output to look like as much as possible; all JPEG PP is destructive (pushing and pulling, since JPEG is a non-linear coding). PP on an out-of-the camera JPEG is like taking a picture of a picture.

If you're shooting Raw (which is a linear coding), it gives you the widest DR to work with in PP.

How important? That depends entirely on why you shoot.

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OP Jeepit Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Yes, IF you have limited dynamic range AND shutter speed isn't an issue.

DLGW wrote:

You want to make absolutely sure you aren't blowing out any highlights.

If you can use a slow shutter speed and not worry about camera shake or blur from moving objects in your scene and you are comfortable post processing your shots - then yes ETTR will give you a small boost in image quality - especially if you a lot of 'dark' parts in your image. You will retain a lot better shadow detail you don't have highlights you need to preserve.

In practice I hardly ever do this

so are you saying ETTR is not really needed for mFT cameras?  Is that small boost in image quality really worth the end results, if a photographer has to change his/ her way of shooting and start wondering about if every shot should be ETTR?

- once in a while I do and in the right circumstance it does make a difference.

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OP Jeepit Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: ETTR rules

knickerhawk wrote:

Adielle wrote:

TN Args wrote:

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.

Cheers

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.

cheers

No, I understand it perfectly, it has everything to do with personal bias. The bias has nothing to do with objective decisions. From that tutorial, "opportunity of biasing the exposure toward the brighter tones" - like I said, this is all about attempting to get as far as possible with biasing exposure "to the right". Obviously, people usually want to do that without clipping things too much, and it's always a matter of trying to get a good balance, but when people say that rather than trying to get a good balance in general, they're "exposing to the right" it means to me that they're obsessed with trying to maximize the exposure and they risk clipping or degrading the quality of highlights more than someone who simply practices sensible exposure based on the conditions and requirements of the shot.

When ETTR'ing you are "biasing" toward improving image SNR (and hence reducing noise and improving tonal detail) at the potential expense of pushing desirable highlight detail to the point of non-recovery in raw conversion and postprocessing. When using conventional metering you are "biasing" toward minimizing the need to adjust image midtones in conversion and postprocessing at the potential expense of reducing image SNR (and hence introducing more image noise and lowered tonal detail). Both strategies are forms of "bias" so trying to frame the issue as only one approach is biased (in a pejorative sense) is misleading.

If the scene presents lower DR than what your camera is capable of capturing

Thank you for your response.  How do you now when the DR is low and secondly how do I know what my EM 1 mark II is capable of in regard to DR?

and you are not otherwise constrained by shutter/aperture limits and you are willing to shoot raw and make appropriate adjustments in conversion/post-processing, there is no reason NOT to ETTR, especially with many mFT cameras that are already generally among the most "biased" toward protecting highlights

please explain your last sentence, thanks

. (Indeed, the Oly EM1ii is the most conservatively tuned camera that Bill Claff has measured to date.) If, however, the scene presents higher or potentially higher DR than what your camera is capable of capturing, then determination of whether to ETTR or not is a more complicated one that, in addition to any potential shutter/aperture constraints, depends on the relative importance to the photographer of protecting some or all of the highlights vs. enhancing the shadows and midtones. Any categorical pronouncement about what's right or optimal in such a use case - one way or the other - exposes a lack of sophistication and experience with how to properly mitigate the risks of optimized raw exposure or a more basic misunderstanding of the issue and the very real, very visible impact on improving one's photography possible with optimized raw exposure done right, especially with respect to many if not most current mFT cameras.

By the way, obviously, in many situations, if you're totally obsessed with "exposing to the right", you're never gonna get the shot, because the shutter speed required for it is way too low. The writer of that tutorial (#1) seems completely oblivious to the fact that even in rather bright surroundings, in many cases "ETTR" would mean unacceptably low shutter speed. It's all a matter of balance and it is in fact all about personal biases. An auto "ETTR bias mode" may be a nice thing to add to cameras, but it's absolutely not a proper replacement for the normal auto exposure modes.

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OP Jeepit Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: ETTR rules

FingerPainter wrote:

Adielle wrote:

TN Args wrote:

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.

Cheers

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.

cheers

No, I understand it perfectly,

It doesn't seem so.

it has everything to do with personal bias.

I take it English is not your first language. The use of "bias" in these articles has nothing to do with personal bias. It has to do with tending to adjust towards a higher exposure. However since the limit of the exposure is defined in ETTR to be the highest exposure that does not blow desired highlight detail, this can actually result in using a lower exposure than metered when the scene has a high end to its dynamic range.

The bias has nothing to do with objective decisions. From that tutorial, "opportunity of biasing the exposure toward the brighter tones" - like I said, this is all about attempting to get as far as possible with biasing exposure "to the right".

From the first article:

... this means that you should bias your exposure towards the highlights, and the right side of the histogram. But, it definately [sic] doesn't mean blowing the highlights. [emphasis in original]

Since you seem to have difficulty understanding the use of "bias" in this context, let me re-phrase this for you:

You should use the highest exposure that doesn't blow desired highlight detail.

Obviously, people usually want to do that without clipping things too much, and it's always a matter of trying to get a good balance,

Not with ETTR.

Thank you for your post...so are you saying ETTR is not needed?

With ETTR it is not about balance, but rather about a limit. The limit is the highest exposure at which desired highlight detail is not blown. With ETTR the idea is to reach that limit.

Which I understand ETTR is to reach the limit.

but when people say that rather than trying to get a good balance in general, they're "exposing to the right" it means to me that they're obsessed with trying to maximize the exposure and they risk clipping or degrading the quality of highlights more than someone who simply practices sensible exposure based on the conditions and requirements of the shot.

It only means that to you because you do not properly understand what ETTR is about. It is about getting the maximum exposure that does not blow desired highlights.

how does one not ‘blow the desired highlights if one is over exposing with the EC?

By the way, obviously, in many situations, if you're totally obsessed with "exposing to the right", you're never gonna get the shot, because the shutter speed required for it is way too low.

Well that's where balancing finally does enter the picture. You have to trade off the benefits of reduced noisiness against the benefits of motion blur control and aperture effects (DoF and lens sharpness). That's not a balance within ETTR. Rather it is a balance between the benefits of ETTR and the benefits of other approaches to controlling aperture and shutter.

So a way to take that into account, while accounting for ISO setting is to say:

Use the widest aperture that gives you acceptable DoF and lens sharpness, and the slowest shutter that gives acceptable motion blur, without blowing desired highlight detail. If that combination of aperture and shutter leaves highlight headroom at base ISO, increase the ISO until the headroom is used up or the ISO reaches the setting at which the camera becomes ISO invariant.

The writer of that tutorial (#1) seems completely oblivious to the fact that even in rather bright surroundings, in many cases "ETTR" would mean unacceptably low shutter speed.

In EV 15 (@ISO 100) light and a scene with two stops of highlight headroom, with ETTR you'd use an exposure of f/8 1/125. A shutter of 1/125 is more than adequate for landscapes and outdoor portraits, which are the sorts of shot that benefits from ETTR. One typically doesn't doesn't use ETTR for sports or wildlife shots because that sort of shooting doesn't usually afford one the opportunity to meter each shot carefully for the highlights.

It's all a matter of balance and it is in fact all about personal biases.

Balancing may be, but balancing is not part of ETTR itself.

An auto "ETTR bias mode" may be a nice thing to add to cameras, but it's absolutely not a proper replacement for the normal auto exposure modes.

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OP Jeepit Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Better ETTL

Lacko wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

Using the Olympus blinkies set to 255,0

According to some tutorial I have set Highlights warning to 245.

steps on how to do this with an EM1 markII plz

Works for me.

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OP Jeepit Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Yo PanOly - make this easy!

TomFid wrote:

Jeepit wrote:

Never had to do this back in the film days; so how important is it now? Do you or don't you ETTR (expose to the right)?

Thanks...

Rick

It seems bizarre to me that we have AI that can recognize airplanes and our kids' faces, so many stops of stabilization that the earth's rotation matters, and metering has hardly advanced at all. We're still guessing at ETTR manually from a jpeg histogram and blinkies - which really means that we're often too busy to manage this, and wind up with gray snow.

What I'd like to have is the ability to set a desired clipping threshold (which might normally be 0, but sometimes .01% or something if there are specular highlights), and let the camera do the rest

My sentiments as well... I want the best pic possible but I don’t want to keep changing the settings and lose the shot!

- after all it has better scene info than the EVF conveys.

This might sometimes result in weird-looking brightness, but it would be easy to store an offset in the RAW file so the scene could be rendered more like you'd expect for 18% gray scene average (or just let the display software work that out after the fact).

What about jpeg, you say? Well, yes, if you're throwing away bits, I guess a few irreversible decisions have to be made. But storage is cheap, so how about finally getting serious about something better than jpeg. That way decisions about how best to render the image to look nice can be separated from decisions about how best to capture the data.

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OP Jeepit Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: To ETTR or not to ETTR...?

jimkahnw wrote:

ETR was the conventional wisdom in the Stone Age of digital cameras, maybe 10 years ago. Back in the good ole days, cameras had a very limited dynamic range-- I'm guessing about 5 stops, while even transparency film had more (but I could have my numbers wrong). Some photographers thought it was better to open the shadows with ETTR to avoid significant noise. But, camera makers quickly produced cameras with better dynamic range and were able to allow highlight recovery, while controlling noise in the shadows.

I'm continually amazed how well my Oly cameras can reach into the shadows for details and produce details from what looks like blown highlights. Also, RAW is preferred; jpgs lose at least one or two stops. And, those who hate Adobe won't like this, but I have not found a RAW processing application that can equal what Photoshop or Lightroom can do with recovery--shadows and highlights. Adobe will give you at least a half to full stop advantage.

So, just expose for a proper exposure--a nice balance between highlights and shadows and the mid tones will fall where they belong. With MFT, most cameras can display a live histogram. There's no excuse for blowing an exposure.

Thanks for your response... with that being said is it safe to assume your in the, “ I don’t need to ETTR as long as you get the exposure correct b/c mFT cameras will be able to capture the dark areas and be able to be recovered in PP camp.”

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Barty L
Barty L Senior Member • Posts: 1,450
Re: To ETTR or not to ETTR...?

Photo Pete wrote:

Exposing to the right causes all sorts of problems when the brightest part of the scene happens to be on the left.

or have I misunderstood something?

If you meter from the brightest part of the scene and adjust exposure until that part is at the far right of the histogram, then the resultant image will appear 'too bright'. If you shoot JPEG only, or don't like post-processing, then that is something to avoid.

If you shoot RAW and are happy to post-process, you can always reduce the brightness in post back to how you remember the scene.

Why bother? By increasing exposure you have captured more light. More light means less visible noise. If you decrease the brightness in post, then you further decrease visible noise. So your dimly-lit scene will be perceptually noise-free.

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 32,316
Re: Better ETTL

Jeepit wrote:

Lacko wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

Using the Olympus blinkies set to 255,0

According to some tutorial I have set Highlights warning to 245.

steps on how to do this with an EM1 markII plz

On my E-P5 I find the settings in custom menu D under the Histogram Settings item. I guess there's the same thing somewhere in the E-M1 Mk2 custom menus.

On my E-P5 page I have the accompanying note:

Set the upper and lower boundaries shown on the histogram, also has an effect on the blinkies = Highlight & Shadow feature. I keep them at 255,0 and use with the blinkies (Highlight & Shadow). Usually any Blinkies that appear in live view are less in the review image, and in the raw file there is often no saturated channel. Blinkies only blink on review, they don't blink in live view but are steady display.

Regards..... Guy

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FingerPainter Veteran Member • Posts: 7,883
Re: ETTR rules
1

Jeepit wrote:

FingerPainter wrote:

From the first article:

... this means that you should bias your exposure towards the highlights, and the right side of the histogram. But, it definately [sic] doesn't mean blowing the highlights. [emphasis in original]

Since you seem to have difficulty understanding the use of "bias" in this context, let me re-phrase this for you:

You should use the highest exposure that doesn't blow desired highlight detail.

Obviously, people usually want to do that without clipping things too much, and it's always a matter of trying to get a good balance,

Not with ETTR.

Thank you for your post...so are you saying ETTR is not needed?

That's not what I am saying. ETTR is the method to minimize noisiness in an image.  Because using ETTR involves adjusting aperture and shutter, these adjustments can have other effects on the image. Sometimes these other effects are of little consequence or may even be beneficial. In those cases, use ETTR. Sometimes the other effects are unacceptable. In those cases, avoid ETTR.  And then there are cases between both extremes.

Widening the aperture decreases DoF and if you widen it wider than the sweet spot, will reduce lens sharpness, though widening it only up to the sweet spot increases lens sharpness. Slowing the shutter increases motion blur.

For landscapes, it is rare that using ETTR will slow your shutter so much that motion blur becomes visible. This is due to the common use of relatively short focal lengths (and tripods) leading to little risk of camera motion blur, and the static nature of the scene avoiding subject motion blur. So ETTR is often advisable for landscapes.

With ETTR it is not about balance, but rather about a limit. The limit is the highest exposure at which desired highlight detail is not blown. With ETTR the idea is to reach that limit.

Which I understand ETTR is to reach the limit.

Yes, though you are still better off from a noise point of view if you adjust exposure only part of the way to that limit as opposed to not adjusting it at all.

but when people say that rather than trying to get a good balance in general, they're "exposing to the right" it means to me that they're obsessed with trying to maximize the exposure and they risk clipping or degrading the quality of highlights more than someone who simply practices sensible exposure based on the conditions and requirements of the shot.

It only means that to you because you do not properly understand what ETTR is about. It is about getting the maximum exposure that does not blow desired highlights.

how does one not ‘blow the desired highlights if one is over exposing with the EC?

I don't think you use "over exposing" the same way I do. I'll guess that you mean making an image lighter than the lightness targeted by the camera's autoexposure system. Whereas I'd mean using an exposure high enough to blow desired detail.

Depends on the tonal range of the scene. It is quite possible to blow highlights without using any positive EC at all, if there are light details in good light. And it is also possible to find scenes at have multiple stops of headroom above the lightest detail in the scene.

Unless your camera is metering only for highlights, you should not assume that the highest tonal value in the image at the lightness the camera chooses is jus below blowing. It could be above or below that point.

Imagine you are photographing samples of slate on an 15% grey background. If you spot meter on the background you will get an image lightness that matches the scene, but  you may have 3+ stops of highlight headroom because nothing in the scene is lighter than middle grey. IF yo take that shot as metered, Your slate will be noisier than it needs to be. I don't call that correctly exposed. I call it underexposed.

Chris Noble
Chris Noble Veteran Member • Posts: 3,169
Posting to the Right

FingerPainter wrote:

Jeepit wrote:

FingerPainter wrote:

From the first article:

... this means that you should bias your exposure towards the highlights, and the right side of the histogram. But, it definately [sic] doesn't mean blowing the highlights. [emphasis in original]

Since you seem to have difficulty understanding the use of "bias" in this context, let me re-phrase this for you:

You should use the highest exposure that doesn't blow desired highlight detail.

Obviously, people usually want to do that without clipping things too much, and it's always a matter of trying to get a good balance,

If you want to give your opinion more exposure, put it in bold-faced italics. Add underlining and all caps as well: LIKE THIS. Then the reader can pull it back.

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ToxicTabasco
ToxicTabasco Senior Member • Posts: 2,440
Re: To ETTR or not to ETTR...?

Jeepit wrote:

ToxicTabasco wrote:

Jeepit wrote:

Never had to do this back in the film days; so how important is it now? Do you or don't you ETTR (expose to the right)?

Thanks...

Rick

ETTR is a good tool for some situations. But not all. In cases of extreme dynamic range like sunsets, sunrise, or where exposure is long like twilight and night photography, ETTR can work, but experience and a good eye to know what the outcome will be for editing is the key.

Not every scene or shot should use the perfect exposure. In some cases ETTR can lose a lot of color detail like at sunsets and sunrise. Exposing by eyeball works for me in that situation. Also, at night I use simple base exposure settings to get within the range I'm seeking for editing. Doing landscapes is where exposure can vary depending on the mood you want to create, and how artsy it can be. Thus, it depends on the vision or vision for the outcome.

Come to think of it, since using a mirrorless system, I've turned off the historgam

Thanks for your feedback...so no histogram what so ever? You only rely on lv and EVF? So I’m getting the picture (no pun intended) you are not a big believer in ETTR.

on my cameras. The live view and EVF show what the exposure will look like.

Yes, most of the time I don't use the histogram.  However, when reviewing pics on the camera, I sometimes switch the histogram on for long exposures in the night to check where the cluster of light is.  For Milky Way, I try to keep the cluster of light on the histogram at 1/3 to the left.  It will look overexposed, but it's needed to add contrast to enhance the colors of the milky way.  Other than that, I don't use histogram or the zebra strip highlight feature.

Nevertheless, I'm a believer of the ETTR, but I don't use it regularly to check exposure.

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TN Args
TN Args Veteran Member • Posts: 8,347
Re: Why Not Bracket?

knickerhawk wrote:

stevewmn wrote:

When it's possible wouldn't it be better to auto-bracket and create an HDR image? It's pretty quick to set-up and HDR image processing is getting very good.

Exposure bracketing is a VERY useful strategy for ensuring optimal raw exposure even if your ultimate goal isn't necessarily to combine the bracketed images into an HDR image (or circumstances make it impractical or undesirable to combine them). By exposure bracketing, you're able to choose the single best image for balancing the tradeoff between blowing desirable highlights and improving shadow/midtone SNR.

Indeed. Which is another way of saying that bracketing is a very good way to achieve ETTR.

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TN Args
TN Args Veteran Member • Posts: 8,347
Re: Yo PanOly - make this easy!
4

Jeepit wrote:

TomFid wrote:

Jeepit wrote:

Never had to do this back in the film days; so how important is it now? Do you or don't you ETTR (expose to the right)?

Thanks...

Rick

It seems bizarre to me that we have AI that can recognize airplanes and our kids' faces, so many stops of stabilization that the earth's rotation matters, and metering has hardly advanced at all. We're still guessing at ETTR manually from a jpeg histogram and blinkies - which really means that we're often too busy to manage this, and wind up with gray snow.

What I'd like to have is the ability to set a desired clipping threshold (which might normally be 0, but sometimes .01% or something if there are specular highlights), and let the camera do the rest

My sentiments as well... I want the best pic possible but I don’t want to keep changing the settings and lose the shot!

IMO it is in the nature of photography that you have to keep changing the settings!

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Lacko Regular Member • Posts: 406
Re: Better ETTL

Jeepit wrote:

steps on how to do this with an EM1 markII plz

On EM10 and EM it is under Menu > Gear D > Histogram Settings. There you can set Highlights warning from 255 to 245 and Shadow warning from 0 to 10.

And in Menu > Gear D > Info Settings > LV Info you can enable Highlight/Shadow for any Custom screen.

After that you can see red overexposed and blue underexposed parts of image - according to your settings - when you select that Custom screen.

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Lacko Regular Member • Posts: 406
Re: Better ETTL

Guy Parsons wrote:

I saw the 245 setting as being too cautious, more likely to end up with more shadow noise as the ISO got higher.

Thanks for your information, Guy. Maybe I should change it to 250? Sure it is worth some experimenting, because I want to have some headroom, but not too much of it.

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