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Dymanic range

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Bazarchie, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Reviews and online comments on the new Canon 6D mark ii have in the main slated it for many reasons, mainly the lack of progress on the dymanic range compared with other brands.

    I appreciate I am no expert, but when I have visited photography exhibitions I cannot tell if a photo was taken on a Canon or a Nikon or whatever.

    Is there really such a difference?
  2. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member


    And yes.

    The more 'extreme' the lighting situation, the more dynamic range can help. For most people in most situations there's no impact.

    If you could buy two cameras, and everything was entirely identical including the price except one had a better dynamic range at the base ISO than the other, you'd buy the one with the better dynamic range, so help with in those situations, but as one factor in a long, long list of factors, it's not high up my list.

    There are some things the 6D2 has which let it down significantly more than the dynamic range (for example, the area covered by the auto-focus points is very small).
    PhotoEcosse likes this.
  3. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I wouldn't. You end up with worse colours and a look like overblown HDR. Excessive dynamic range is a very bad thing in my book.
  4. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Interesting view Nick, please expand.
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Love the spelling - suits the topic. The stated benefit of higher dynamic range is the ability to bring up the shadows and so produce a lower dynamic range result.
  6. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Thanks Pete. Spelling was never my strong point. Out of interest, do you notice any difference in DR with your 5DS/5DSR?
  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I don't think so. The only time I am aware of DR limitations is the very few times I push the ISO because dynamic range falls as the ISO setting goes up. My 5Ds is cleaner than my 5D (original) was at ISO 3200 and my 1Div too when correctly exposed but fixing under exposure in post at those settings gets a bit noisy. I rarely use ISO above 400 and then mostly with my 1D to keep exposure times down.

    The main DR comparison example I've seen was a comparison on the onlandscape web site when they were, if I remember right, pushing deep shadow detail by 6 stops on an otherwise well exposed landscape shot at base ISO. Then pixel peeping showed the sony chip (whether on an alpha or a nikon I can't remember) was cleaner. But that's pretty academic. In practical terms the only occasion I can think of wanting that is burning-in of a church entrance, where there was a deep porch, in a shot of a whole church with toplighting - so nothing you'd notice unless pixel peeping.
    Bazarchie and EightBitTony like this.
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    No reproduction medium has more than 12 stops of dynamic range. Any more than that has to be compressed in exactly the same way as HDR to allow reproduction. That basically means that the whole of the picture suffers to a greater or lesser extent, including depth of colour.
    And that's without considering the aesthetic importance of shadows; photography is, after all, all about the interplay of light and shade. Personally, I think it's far better to suffer these losses only when you genuinely do need shadow detail, rather than with every shot.
    Bazarchie likes this.
  9. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree with you. when we recover highlights and shadow detail we do so by reducing the over all contrast of the scene.
    With film the toe and shoulder of the characteristic curve flattened out quite naturally, and if those parts of the curve were used in the final print, it reduced contrast in those areas but not the overall contrast, nor did it necessarily lose all detail in those areas. also when using multigrade papers, the contrast could be adjusted area by area as necessary.
    With digital, the equivalent Curve is a straight line. When people try to recover detail, they have to compromise by changing the shape of that curve. this is difficult to do without losing contrast in the important mid tones. the result is often a general dullness.

    We have become desperately.afraid of deep shadows and any sign of blown highlights. even though they are far closer to what we see in reality.
    However It is still possible to alter the resulting local contrast in the image, by selectively dodging and burning an area, using highlight and shadow brushes to bring back a little contrast in the highlights and shadows.
    Benchista likes this.
  10. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    No we haven't/don't.

    When viewing a scene with a high dynamic range, our eyes accommodate almost instantly to the amount of light being received from each area - so we do, indeed, see detail in the very bright areas and also in the very dark areas to a much greater degree than can be recorded by any current dSLR sensor.

    The purpose of better DR in sensors (or using HDR techniques in post-exposure processing) is to allow a photograph to be produced which does look more like what our brain told us our eyes were seeing. As Benchista has stated above, no current reproduction/display technique can reproduce the full DR as we saw it - so some compression is necessary if we are looking for "realism" (whatever that is).

    That's not to say that we should not use, should we so wish, blown highlights or blocked shadows for artistic purposes (despite what the magazine writers might say).
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
  11. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I tend to disagree with you on this.....
    Our first impression of a scene... what attracts us to it ... is the the over all effect of light shade and general tonality. when we start looking at individual parts our eyes adjust to see points of interest. However the periphery of our vision is seeing both overly bright and dark parts as they are. We never lose that overall impression even when looking at detail.
    Photographers of my generation were trained to see, much as film would record the scene, exposure was constantly in the back of our minds, as was brightness range and how we might accommodate it to our advantage. Printing paper has a predetermined brightness range that we can do nothing about. Most people are unaware of this when looking at photographs, Just as they are when looking at screens. I for one do not see in HDR, which looks unnatural to me.
  12. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    I am afraid that, if that is the case, your generation (and mine - but I was never trained) were trained in a way that was at odds with fundamental biophysics.

    Mind you, much of what has been written about the correspondence between the human eye and the functioning of a camera is incorrect. The prime (no pun intended) example is the oft-quoted nonsense that a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera gives a field of view similar to that of the human eye.

    It may, indeed, be the case that a photo taken with that 50mm lens covers a field of view roughly similar to that fuzzily seen by the eye if the eye is not moved but, in fact, the field of sharp focus of the human eye is very much narrower than that - normally less than 10% of that in each dimension. What our brain tells our eye to do is scan and rescan the scene with the eye constantly accommodating, both in terms of focus and light reception, as we scan from side to side and up and down. In fact, often our brain will tell our neck muscles to move the head slightly at the same time to take in an even wider view than that mythical 50mm equivalent spread.

    The composite "picture" that our brain records - which is what we will recall when we think of the scene later - may be a combination of 12 - 15 "snapshots" taken over, say, a 5 second "view". Those figures can vary considerably depending upon the nature of our experience - quite different, perhaps, in a tranquil pastoral scene than at a motor racing track.

    So, I am afraid that your "training" may have been fundamentally flawed. But, hey - you know what? That doesn't matter a halfpenny fart if, for the past 70 years or more, you have been taking great photographs. I think that you will agree that successful photography results much more from an individual's innate or intuitive ability, his artistic vision and his common sense than from any "training", scientific knowledge, reading books and magazines or attending club and society lectures. Training courses are often worth the money - but I suspect that they ultimately only add a little at the edges of a participant's photographic ability. I am not a Philistine in this respect - I have gained a HUGE amount of insight and information from attending clubs and societies, from reading books and magazines and, most of all, from talking to other photographers. But the sum total of that HUGE amount comprises maybe only 10% of my total understanding of the subject. The other 90% is what I have done with the 10%.
  13. cliveva

    cliveva Well-Known Member

    photoEcosse as you correctly state, when we view a scene, it is a composite that our brain builds, from two sources, that we "see", so the term, field of view can be a misnomer,(though it works if you close one eye) I would suggest that it should in fact be termed magnification, a 45mm lens being near to zero(the focal length seems to vary according to source) , as you go wider, things get small, etc.

    As to dynamic range, I bought my camera because of it, being that I do a lot of landscape photography, take long walks and do not want to use filters in the field,(massive extra weight of kit, as I only carry one camera and lens), but I can use filtters and/or fill in the "dark room"!
  14. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    That's a bit similar, Clive, to the error that is often made when people suggest that perspective alters according to the focal length of a lens. It doesn't. It only varies according to camera-to-subject distance.
  15. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    What are your filters, to say nothing of the rest of your kit, made of - lead??

  16. cliveva

    cliveva Well-Known Member

    After five or six hours of hill walking, a D800 +pro lens, feels like they are made of lead! :rolleyes:
  17. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    A ND grad and holder won't make any noticeable difference! Your wallet will be a lot lighter if you buy Lee.
  18. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    With the dynamic range of modern cameras of any marque dynamic range should not be a problem. Forget grads in the field, use virtual grads post process.
    There are two filters that must be used in the field, if at all. The polariser and the extreme ND. I expect everyone here to know why, even if they don't agree with me.
  19. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    ..and how much does the kit actually weigh?

  20. cliveva

    cliveva Well-Known Member

    about 3kg, with a f4 zoom or 24mm f1.4,+polariser not to mention waterproofs, water and food. Oh an the binoculars & electronic map, adding a tripod , more than the filter set would be the problem for me, it is the look the wife gives me if I look at it, when I'm preparing the kit for a walk; she is a tad impatient waiting, whilst I take a photograph.
    Handholding with a grad, I feel would be far too much of a challenge to pull off.

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