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06-01-2007, 06:58 AM   #1
Ed in GA


How many here use bracketing? I'm finding that I'm "bracketing" more frequently than I used to.

If you do bracket. Why? And, if you don't bracket. Why?

I have some comments as to why I bracket but I want to wait and see some other opinions before I offer mine.


06-01-2007, 07:36 AM   #2
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When I first got my DS, I bracketed almost everything that was a scenic or "Art" shot. At the time, I was trying to learn how the feature behaved.

Nowadays, I bracket when I acquire a new lens to see how far off the default exposure it is. I also bracket +1/-1 when I'm doing HDR shots.
06-01-2007, 07:50 AM   #3
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Hi Eddy
I usually don't bracket. It's only when it's a difficult exposure (high dynamic range, backlit, etc) or a very important shot (once in a lifetime opportunity, stunning landscape while traveling, important family portrait etc) then I'll bracket. But otherwise for my normal florals, landscapes, snaps etc, I don't bother. However eric's suggestion above about new lenses is a good one. I think I'll bracket new lenses from now on.

NaCl(you can learn something new here every day)H2O
06-01-2007, 08:00 AM   #4

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I bracket when the lighting is difficult - lots of specular highlights with deep dark shadows. I rarely do this, but when I do the flexibility of both the Ds and especially the K10D is really nice.
I really like the interface on the K10D with the thumb wheels controlling the number of shots to bracket and the ev correction - sweet.
My father always told me - "When in doubt --- bracket" and that is one of the rules I follow.

06-01-2007, 08:04 AM   #5
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I used to bracket a bit on shots with difficult lighting but since I got my Cokin Grad ND filter I never do. If the lighting is tricky I just snap on the filter. Like Eric I do bracket when getting to know a new lens though as each lens meters a bit differently.
06-01-2007, 12:13 PM   #6
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I have found that I am bracketing more now that in the past, not even including HDR. It's kinda funny with the ability to make adjustments with raw images you'd think we would need this feature less. I guess when shooting film I was just too cheap to bracket like I should have, and it probably would have taught me more and garnered me more good shots. I sure appreciate the K10D's interface, but I can't really complain about the DS either for all that it is.
06-01-2007, 12:17 PM   #7
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With film I bracketed a lot, with digital I almost never do. Too easy to take a quick test shot, check the histogram, make an adjustment, and shoot the rest of the series based on the test shot.

I have only tried HDR once and I don't think I got it right because it wasn't very good. I should give it another go.
06-03-2007, 01:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by EddyinGA Quote
...If you do bracket. Why? And, if you don't bracket. Why?

I do use bracket to deliver a set of PEF files for processing as HDR in PS2 / PS3. This is only used for a scene that exceeds the brightness range of the K10D in RAW mode. The result is a 32bit image that Photoshop can remap as 16 or 8 bit. The result is awe-inspiring (once you have mastered the learning curve!) and can deliver spectaacular results of scenes you would have considered out of range.
I use a 2 stop difference and shoot 3 shots for the average scene and 5 for the extreme high contrast scene. i can shoot with the K10D hand-held in multi multi drive mode and obtain excellent registration. If you use a tripod the conversion is MUCH faster as you can disable the "try to match images" check box.
BTW do you Pentaxists out there find it necessary to disable anti-shake when tripod mounted. I generally forget and yet I have no problems shooting on my tripod.

Ron McDermott
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06-03-2007, 04:18 AM   #9
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I don't bracket that often either. Actually very rarely.

Reason :
As Dave said. It's easy to take a testshot, review the image and the histogram and get it right. It only takes about 10 sec.
The other reason :
With only one 2 gig card and shooting in raw I only have room for 121 pictures.
Bracketing wastes space for me, so I check the histogram and retake the shot if necessary. I also end up with less sorting when I get home.

06-03-2007, 04:27 AM   #10
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I test my exposure the same way davemdsn does - check the histogram the first time and adjust - maybe adjust a second time I didn't get the adjustment right.

But I do "bracket" my shots - I always end up with 2-4 of the same picture - but generally I'm not bracketing the exposure, but rather changing the f/ stop, to have two shots with different DOF, or I alter the focus point (as in macros) to see if it looks better with the focus on another part of the composition.

And since it's digital I'm not really wasting money if I experiment and end up with a bunch of "throwaways" - whereas I'd be broke if I were still doing slides at the rate I'm going...
06-07-2007, 06:18 AM   #11
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Not had my K10D very long so I'm still learning about its capabilities. I have taken it on a couple of holidays and found that exposure was good in even light situations, but photos were often underexposed in scenes where there was high contrast with some areas brightly lit and other areas in deep shadow. Sometimes when I'm out with other members of the family I don't have a lot of time to adjust controls. I also wanted to experiment with exposure compensation to see what results I got in different conditions. At the moment I have set compensation to +3 and with bracketing I am then getting exposures of 0, +3 and +7. I find that the +3 exposure is often giving me a more pleasing result, though this will certainly vary according to lighting etc. I don't always find the histogram approach that useful. It doesn't always produce the most pleasing result, though as with everything else this is a matter of personal taste/opinion. I have put the above settings into USER so I can access them quickly when I need to. At other times I am tending to use Av mode as depth of field control is important to me for many of the photos I take.

I may not bother as much with bracketing when I get more used to the camera, though I guess it is always going to be useful when pressed for time or for covering my options for that one chance shot.
06-10-2007, 05:17 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by channeler Quote
...At the moment I have set compensation to +3 and with bracketing I am then getting exposures of 0, +3 and +7. I find that the +3 exposure is often giving me a more pleasing result ...
Hi Channeler
I am wondering exactly what you set in your bracket. What are the "3" and "7"? I dont imagine that they are F - stops as as far as I know the most you can select for auto-bracket is 2 stops. For HDR this works v. well. I set drive mode to continuous and hold the shutter button down and DONT LOSE COUNT!
CS2 and CS3 process this well as long as there is no movement in the subject. For high contrast subjects HDR casn work wonders. However, the devil is as they say in the details. Make the right choices all is well. If you make bad choices you have the delete key!
Give HDR a try. PEF or DNG works fine.
06-10-2007, 11:22 AM   #13
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Early on with my camera, one day I bracketed all my shots to determine if the meter was accurate. It was. So now, between shooting RAW, the ability to review an image and histogram to make an adjustment, I do not bracket at all.
06-18-2007, 02:29 AM   #14
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Hi Photog,

Guess I missed the decimal points out. Should have been +0.3 and +0.7. I've now changed to +0.5 and +1.0 for exposure compensation used in conjunction with bracketing. Generally finding that with my camera many scenes need that extra 0.5. Will have to try HDR. Never used it yet. Will have to do some reading up in the manual first!

06-26-2007, 09:04 PM   #15
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Lets go back to photography school here. On a bright sunny day, the contrast is between 2000 and 5000 to one. No camera or film ever made will capture that dynamic range. If you want your picture to look like what your eye saw, you're going to have to bracket. That is also true of sunsets.

I use about a 2 stop range, 2 under 2 over. And occasionally I have combined all three images, but usually 2 is enough. A buddy of mine claims that by using all the information in a Raw image, you can avoid bracketing, by producing two different jpegs, one in the low range and one in the high range, so you have control over the conversion from 12bits to 8 bits. But until there is a camera that can actually record the full dynamic range of a high contrast scene, bracketing will be necessary, if you want everything that was in the scene to be in the picture. Now if you're going for those artsy shots where half the image is in impenetrable shadow or blasted into high light oblivion, then don't bracket. it's all a matter of taste.

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