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03-25-2014, 06:29 AM   #1
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ETTR - recommended settings?

Hello Pentax users,

I am new to this forum (just registered few minutes ago). I had been shooting K5 for more than 2 years now and have been loving it to bits. I just had one or two things I wanted to check with the members here.

When I shoot landscapes with wide dynamic range (or on whatever other situations that will allow me), I would bias my light meter to +3 stops and take meter reading from the highlights.
The WB is set to Auto and the colour setting is set to Natural. Having this settings, at +2 EV, the histogram would be pushed all the way to the right. But I set it to +3EV because I find there is still one stop leeway when the RAW files are opened in Lightroom. So, at +3EV, the Lightroom histogram would be perfectly to the right with no burned out highlight details. That is how I had been shooting lately to capture best possible data.

However, I recently discovered one post on the forum and he seems to have overexposure issues with his camera. Can anyone enlighten me if this issue is worth considering and please share how you get your exposures in landscape shoots.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/115-pentax-k-5/166195-expose-right-k-5-a.html

And another question is, even though K5 had been performing very well with landscape and portrait shoots, I just started shooting weddings and events as a second shooter and I find focus speed on this camera to be very limiting . I am a hobbyist and this is my first and only camera so far but I am considering to buy K3 if I will shoot more weddings and events.

If there is event shooters here using K3, can you give me a general idea on what's the focus speed and P-TTL like on this new camera? Many reviews say this two areas had been vastly improved but I would like to hear a few words from real world shooters. Do you find it sufficient to get the job done and worth an upgrade from K5? Or is it still not yet sufficient? I am not demanding for Nikon grade TTL system or Canon grade focus speeds but just whether if it is now good enough to get the job done without much frustration.

Any suggestions or new ideas will be greatly appreciated.

03-25-2014, 07:40 AM   #2
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This is a two year old post... I always underexpose -1Ev and then post-prod using the contrast curve, so I never get (normally) burned highlights.

For the K-3 question, you should ask that in the K-3 forum...
03-25-2014, 08:08 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by fs999 Quote
This is a two year old post... I always underexpose -1Ev and then post-prod using the contrast curve, so I never get (normally) burned highlights.

For the K-3 question, you should ask that in the K-3 forum...
Thank you for your reply. I will re-post my question about K3 on K3 forum.
And regarding the exposure, I didn't understand about this -1EV setting because if you spot meter on highlights and bias the exposure until it's pushed to the right on histogram, you won't have any overexposure issues. And I have discovered that +3EV is the sweet spot on my K5. The in-camera JPG will be very bright with red blinkies, but the RAW files never showed any clippings when I load the files on LR.
But perhaps it may not be applicable if you are using other metering methods. For me it works best because my shooting style and conditions allows me to use spot metering and using manual exposure.
03-25-2014, 08:09 AM   #4
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The intent of ETTR is that you expose to the right as much as possible WITHOUT BLOWING HIGHLIGHTS. The signal to noise ratio is better to the right size of the histogram so you want as many pixels over there as possible.
Then afterwards in post processing you shift your pixels to the left to add contrast.

Be careful reading a lot of posts on here, because people misinterperet the intent of exposing to the right. They may argue "it depends on the subject, if I want to capture something moody, I want a darker image with maybe more contrast, so I underexpose an image". That's all fine and good, but you still expose to the right to minimize noise and then play around with the tone curve afterwards to get the mood you are looking for.

To do this correctly, you need a uniWB white balance, and not rely on auto white balance.
An explanation can be found here:
Malcolm Hoar Photography

03-25-2014, 08:18 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shyam Quote
And I have discovered that +3EV is the sweet spot on my K5. The in-camera JPG will be very bright with red blinkies, but the RAW files never showed any clippings when I load the files on LR.
The exact settings for ETTR will vary with each camera, lens, meter mode and scene. And whether you are shooting RAW or jpeg. On the K-5 I commonly used +1.7 EV and checked the image on the screen. What I wanted to see was a few tiny blinkies in all white areas. Not a lot of blinkies, just a few dots here and there. That indicated to me that I was as far right as I could get without over exposure. That is shooting RAW. But different lenses also produced different results so a couple of test shots were always needed to get things correct for each combination.

Remember the camera is trying to take images with safe settings, no chance of overexposure. When you start using ETTR you are pushing the camera out of it's comfort zone and the results are on you.

I have noticed that the k-3 does not usually need as much +EV, I usually us +.3 or +.7 with that camera.
03-25-2014, 09:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
The intent of ETTR is that you expose to the right as much as possible WITHOUT BLOWING HIGHLIGHTS. The signal to noise ratio is better to the right size of the histogram so you want as many pixels over there as possible.
Then afterwards in post processing you shift your pixels to the left to add contrast.

Be careful reading a lot of posts on here, because people misinterperet the intent of exposing to the right. They may argue "it depends on the subject, if I want to capture something moody, I want a darker image with maybe more contrast, so I underexpose an image". That's all fine and good, but you still expose to the right to minimize noise and then play around with the tone curve afterwards to get the mood you are looking for.

To do this correctly, you need a uniWB white balance, and not rely on auto white balance.
An explanation can be found here:
Malcolm Hoar Photography
Thank you for your reply. Is uniWB available for Pentax cameras? Or it would also be great if I could just tweak the in camera colour settings so the JPG display will get closer to actual RAW capture.

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
The exact settings for ETTR will vary with each camera, lens, meter mode and scene.
I wasn't aware of it before; thank you for enlightening. I will do a test next days with all my 5 lenses and check if it is always reliable. So far, I use it on Tamron 17-50 lens and had been getting consistent result with every scene. But each lens render the tones differently and there is a good chance the results may differ. Thank you again for the advise.
03-25-2014, 09:24 AM   #7
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My recomendations:

WB: Take a photo in daylight where all the cannels are clipped (long exposure, blurred focus, lens aperture closed to f/11 to protect sensor). Set white balance using that picture. That is a 99% accurate UniWB solution.
Metering: Set it to spot metering and make readings of the brightest parts of the scene for your selected aperture value (and of course, base ISO as it doesn´t make much sense to use higher ISO for ETTR). To set the shutter speed, as the brightest zone will be probably white, you can overexpose it 2 EV stops for the first shot.
Histogram: Review the histogram for the first shutter speed and adjust as necessary.
03-25-2014, 09:31 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
My recomendations:

WB: Take a photo in daylight where all the cannels are clipped (long exposure, blurred focus, lens aperture closed to f/11 to protect sensor). Set white balance using that picture. That is a 99% accurate UniWB solution.
+1, I wasnt able to find a pre-existing one, so that is the procedure I used in creating it.

03-25-2014, 09:34 AM   #9
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Talk of ETTL vs ETTR "controversy" baffles me because I think they both yield similar results after processing. ETTR theoretically gives a brighter image for better signal-to-noise, but to get that extra brightness you need a slower shutter or higher ISO, which tends to increase noise. ETTL gives a dimmer image that gets pushed during processing, boosting noise, but the original RAW was taken with a lower ISO or faster shutter with less noise.

When using the K-5 on Av, TAv, Tv mode I often ETTL for a slight underexposure because it's easier to brighten shadows than correct blown highlights later. If I'm on a tripod and shooting more deliberately in M, though, I try to get a "perfect" exposure.
03-25-2014, 10:03 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Talk of ETTL vs ETTR "controversy" baffles me because I think they both yield similar results after processing. ETTR theoretically gives a brighter image for better signal-to-noise, but to get that extra brightness you need a slower shutter or higher ISO, which tends to increase noise
It's true, shooting at higher ISO does increase noise. That's why, in my opinion, it is most beneficial (only beneficial?) when shooting at as low of an ISO as possible. This may necessitate the use of a tripod to get the maximum benefit.
And also to get any benefit, you'll want to cancel out the cameras white balance as well. Otherwise your histogram may show blown highlights when in fact, they are not.
03-25-2014, 11:08 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shyam Quote
When I shoot landscapes with wide dynamic range (or on whatever other situations that will allow me), I would bias my light meter to +3 stops and take meter reading from the highlights.
This is the correct way to use a spot meter - you 'place' your highlights right at the top of the (film term) 'tone curve'.
03-25-2014, 02:44 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
It's true, shooting at higher ISO does increase noise. That's why, in my opinion, it is most beneficial (only beneficial?) when shooting at as low of an ISO as possible. This may necessitate the use of a tripod to get the maximum benefit.
I don't know whether my theory above about ETTL, ETTR, and properly exposed changes much based on the ISO. All 3 exposure methodologies can work as long as you keep the histogram away from the extremes. Let's say you're on a tripod and "exposed in the middle" (that sounds NSFW) at ISO 100 and shutter 1/100 sec. Noise at ISO 100 still exists but is mostly invisible.

ETTR +2 stops and your shutter speed changes to 1/25. The slower shutter will allow more total noise to creep in but you'll also have more signal. Then you dial exposure down 2 stops during processing and everything, signal+noise, returns closer to the level as if you perfectly exposed.

ETTL -2 stops and your shutter speeds up to 1/400. Less noise in the underexposed image, but then you brighten the image 2 stops later and the noise increases a bit.

Am I oversimplifying the analysis? I realize noise is a non-linear function of ISO and time. In practice I've had excellent results with ETTL in mixed lighting, especially with ultrawide lenses.
03-26-2014, 12:55 AM   #13
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@shyam uni white balance info here for you it a lot of reading with the set up at the end

"Shoot at some brilliant source of light for a couple of seconds, so that all three channels get blown in all pixels
Use the resulting RAW file that will be in the memory of the camera to set custom white balance
The precision of the UniWB achieved can be checked by shooting at anything with the new white balance, and looking at the multipliers displayed by DCRAW when developing the resulting RAW with the camera white balance: dcraw -v -w"

GUILLERMO LUIJK >> TUTORIALS >> UNIWB. MAKE CAMERA DISPLAY RELIABLE
03-26-2014, 05:26 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
My recomendations:

WB: Take a photo in daylight where all the cannels are clipped (long exposure, blurred focus, lens aperture closed to f/11 to protect sensor). Set white balance using that picture. That is a 99% accurate UniWB solution.
Metering: Set it to spot metering and make readings of the brightest parts of the scene for your selected aperture value (and of course, base ISO as it doesn´t make much sense to use higher ISO for ETTR). To set the shutter speed, as the brightest zone will be probably white, you can overexpose it 2 EV stops for the first shot.
Histogram: Review the histogram for the first shutter speed and adjust as necessary.
QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
@shyam uni white balance info here for you it a lot of reading with the set up at the end

"Shoot at some brilliant source of light for a couple of seconds, so that all three channels get blown in all pixels
Use the resulting RAW file that will be in the memory of the camera to set custom white balance
The precision of the UniWB achieved can be checked by shooting at anything with the new white balance, and looking at the multipliers displayed by DCRAW when developing the resulting RAW with the camera white balance: dcraw -v -w"

GUILLERMO LUIJK >> TUTORIALS >> UNIWB. MAKE CAMERA DISPLAY RELIABLE
Wow! Thank you so much guys!!! I will definitely try it out. It is 8.30 PM now in SIngapore. Can I just use the fluorescent light tube to fill in the frame and shoot or is it better to wait until weekend to shoot the bright sky. I suppose if I clipped all 3 channels on every pixel, the light source shouldn't matter right?
03-26-2014, 05:39 AM - 1 Like   #15
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I have tried it with daylight white tube and it worked OK,

be aware that your lcd will however show a very strange looking green image but the histogram or blikies will however correspond more to the raw than before.
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