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06-11-2014, 02:39 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by ROBEFFY Quote
Having said that, the histogram is a valuable tool, like a light meter. Do you need it? No. Can you use it to improve yourself? Yes. Those who don't use it are mostly the ones who simply don't understand what it does.
And then there are some who understand a great deal about what it does, and more importantly what it does not do.
But one has to decide for themselves if the information it gives is useful to them or not.

There is no sense in trying to make it out to be an argument of right or wrong.

06-13-2014, 07:56 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
And then there are some who understand a great deal about what it does, and more importantly what it does not do.
But one has to decide for themselves if the information it gives is useful to them or not.

There is no sense in trying to make it out to be an argument of right or wrong.
I like that. Sounds like a good place to end this thread.
06-14-2014, 10:30 AM   #18
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Good discussion. You have to find what is most comfortable for you with your camera. Once you get to know how your histogram behaves, you might get more use of it. Learning about its operation, you might want to try the RGB setting to indicate how each color is exposing. For me, that would be information overload, but it is a good learning tool to get a better understanding of what the reading is telling you.

The particular camera you are using can influence decisions. For instance, my older 6 mp camera benefitted from ETTR because you really needed relief from invasive shadow noise. If I applied the same principle with my more modern equipment, I'd run into blown highlights far more frequently - and the shadow noise issue is much less of a concern in the first place. Also, try out a variety of settings for maximizing your dynamic range. In my experience, highlight compensation is essential in contrasty outdoors situations, and I leave my HC on auto - kicking in only when absolutely necessary. While some view it as a crutch, my take after trying it both ways is that its a refined tool when coupled with a quality RAW converter.
06-14-2014, 10:59 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
The particular camera you are using can influence decisions. For instance, my older 6 mp camera benefitted from ETTR because you really needed relief from invasive shadow noise. If I applied the same principle with my more modern equipment, I'd run into blown highlights far more frequently - and the shadow noise issue is much less of a concern in the first place. Also, try out a variety of settings for maximizing your dynamic range. In my experience, highlight compensation is essential in contrasty outdoors situations, and I leave my HC on auto - kicking in only when absolutely necessary. While some view it as a crutch, my take after trying it both ways is that its a refined tool when coupled with a quality RAW converter.
Good advice and exactly my experience when switching for a DL to a K5.
However, so far as I know, HC is inoperative when shooting RAW.

06-14-2014, 11:23 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I use the histogram with highlight/shadow warnings and adjust my shooting to get the best compromise between the two extreme ends of the histogram. Sometimes it's not possible to capture everything like during bright sunny says with strong shadows. At that point you have to decide what you're willing to give up and which is more important. I usually use spot metering to get my subject properly exposed and then post process the highlights/shadows as best as I can to balance the image.
I'm like this guy.... I see both the histogram , and the Highlight and Shadow warnings tell me where the hot and cold areas are.
06-14-2014, 11:23 AM   #21
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Did quite a bit of testing on this. I shoot RAW+. Shadow compensation is inoperative in RAW. Some converters do not recognize HC, so you end up with one stop underexposure - requiring manual curve adjustments. However, the Pentax converter and other better converters (LR, Capture One) all pick up the tag and apply a very nice roll off curve at the top. The great thing about HC auto is it will only implement when absolutely needed - otherwise you have access to ISO 100 even in relatively contrasty situations.

While I don't have a K5, the HC auto implementation on the K20D and K30D appear to be identical (my extensive testing was done on the K20D - as I was far more concerned about shadow noise with that body). Obviously, the K5 is between my two cameras on the timeline. You might want to test it out on a sunny day.
06-15-2014, 03:22 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
While I don't have a K5, the HC auto implementation on the K20D and K30D appear to be identical (my extensive testing was done on the K20D - as I was far more concerned about shadow noise with that body). Obviously, the K5 is between my two cameras on the timeline. You might want to test it out on a sunny day.
Did a quick and dirty test shot against the shade on my table lamp with HC both on and off.
Tentatively it looks like HC does work in RAW. There was less burn with it on. It wasn't dramatic but noticeable.
I was using Photoshop CS6 (ACR).

BTW on the k5 there is no auto HC only on or off.
06-15-2014, 09:15 AM   #23
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Good catch on the Auto setting. Now I see the K20D is the same way. You will just have to judge when the scene is high contrast, and adjust accordingly. My own sense is that you are best off using it only in bright conditions - as the image sacrifice from ISO 80 or 100 to the next stop is pretty minimal. Of course, ACR is the same color engine as LR.

06-16-2014, 03:33 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
My own sense is that you are best off using it only in bright conditions
Also it might depend a lot on what kind of shooting you are doing.
If you are doing quick and dirty street photography where you don't have time to respond to changing light from frame to frame go with HC.

Otherwise expose for highlights and normalize the low end in PP.
Shooting this way probably gives the maximum DR without burning.
I'm assuming, of course, RAW and good software.

Thus:

Last edited by wildman; 07-02-2014 at 03:47 AM.
06-16-2014, 06:11 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Also it might depend a lot on what kind of shooting you are doing.
If you are doing quick and dirty street photography where you don't have time to respond to changing light from frame to frame go with HC.

Otherwise expose for highlights and normalize the low end in PP.
Shooting this way probably gives the maximum DR without burning.
I'm assuming, of course, RAW and good software.

Thus:
That is a really dramatic way to show your point.
Thanks, will try it!
06-16-2014, 07:59 AM   #26
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It does depend on the type of shooting. Keep in mind that use of HC will gain a full stop on the high end, and lose less than one-third of a stop on the low end. That makes it more inviting than trying to manipulate settings without it, especially when the Auto setting works so well. My shooting generally calls for TAv, Av, or Tv. I'm rarely in a constant light situation where I find full manual preferable. The more recent bodies have improved metering to such an extent that I rarely find myself wanting to shoot manual.
06-16-2014, 02:41 PM   #27
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For me the Hgram tells me how efficiently I'm exposing for the sensor. Conventional wisdom says a correct ETTR exposure is the most efficient use of the sensor. In theory I agree.
In practice however often to get it to the far right you end up using such a high ISO that ETTR is just not practical.

This is an extreme case of that. In this case to push the Hgram to the right would have required an ISO 12000 so I just spot metered on the window at a Ev of 0 and let the shadows fall where they may later to be recovered as much as possible in ACR and Photoshop. Just a quick snapshot taken in TAv mode.

Bottom line for me - for very difficult lighting nothing gives me more info on what the camera is seeing than the Hgram but for more normal situations I can take it or leave it.
The best book I have found for this sort of thing is Real World Camera RAW with Adobe photoshop by Jeff Schewe. It can be rather heavy going and technical but the man knows his stuff.

BTW it's just a quick snapshot of my beloved Happy doing what he's been doing for the last 20 years - welcoming the first sun of the day.

Last edited by wildman; 07-02-2014 at 03:47 AM.
06-17-2014, 12:19 PM - 1 Like   #28
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There's lots of books but the internet is full of quick, free information. A Google search on "histogram" will give a lifetimes worth of reading material. I found this article helpful for my needs.
Understanding Histograms
06-22-2014, 07:53 AM   #29
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Timely, this just came up on my fb feed:

06-22-2014, 10:26 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by applejax Quote
Timely, this just came up on my fb feed:

Your Camera's Histogram Explained
Very nice, a video is worth 2 thousand words... but with my Pentax I also have my blown highlights and dark shadows warning, so I can not only see if something is blown out or under exposed, I can also see where it's blown out or under-exposed. The reflection of the sun is a chrome bumper on an old car or something like that, it's going to be blown out, no need to darken the rest of your picture trying t bring it into the centre of the histogram.
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