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View Poll Results: K2-D users - Do you use D-Range?
I never/rarely use D-Range 9462.25%
I sometimes use D-Range 3019.87%
I always/mostly use D-Range 2717.88%
Voters: 151. You may not vote on this poll

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01-16-2010, 07:48 AM   #16
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I use D-Range if I have a lot of bright sky in the photo and don't have a CPL with me.

01-16-2010, 08:57 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fl_Gulfer Quote
Whats dynamic range
Ditto (as a rhetorical question--I'm not really interested in learning more.)
01-16-2010, 01:58 PM   #18
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Haven't got round to playing with it yet. (Only had the camera 13 months now.)
01-18-2010, 05:22 PM   #19
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It is a shame that Pentax has done so little to fully explain a very useful feature that does indeed have a real impact on RAW as well as jpeg. I only shoot RAW, and I only process with Capture One.

The D-Range should be used in situations just as Pentax recommends - that is when you have extreme light to dark range. While it is true that you compromise shadows due to noise - it is a slam dunk to trade a very minor deepest shadow issue (easily eliminated in any number of ways) in order to hold onto sky (or wedding dress) highlights that can never be captured once lost. Those who claim that simply underexposing by one stop gives you the same thing as D-range don't understand what is happening with the sensor signal (and they have very fancy technical explanations that are misleading at best).

The roll off in highlights provided by D-range is very natural - and is much easier to have with the exposure than trying to recreate just right in processing (again both RAW and jpeg).

That said, it would be wrong to leave D-range on in typical mid-dynamic range situations. In standard mode, tone is more accurate and contrast is slightly higher. My shooting is probably 40 percent of the time in D-range.


Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 01-18-2010 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Added sentence for clarification
01-19-2010, 10:04 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
It is a shame that Pentax has done so little to fully explain a very useful feature that does indeed have a real impact on RAW as well as jpeg. I only shoot RAW, and I only process with Capture One.

The D-Range should be used in situations just as Pentax recommends - that is when you have extreme light to dark range. While it is true that you compromise shadows due to noise - it is a slam dunk to trade a very minor deepest shadow issue (easily eliminated in any number of ways) in order to hold onto sky (or wedding dress) highlights that can never be captured once lost. Those who claim that simply underexposing by one stop gives you the same thing as D-range don't understand what is happening with the sensor signal (and they have very fancy technical explanations that are misleading at best).

The roll off in highlights provided by D-range is very natural - and is much easier to have with the exposure than trying to recreate just right in processing (again both RAW and jpeg).

That said, it would be wrong to leave D-range on in typical mid-dynamic range situations. In standard mode, tone is more accurate and contrast is slightly higher. My shooting is probably 40 percent of the time in D-range.
Are you saying that D-range effects RAW images?
01-19-2010, 09:57 PM   #21
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Absolutely, yes - works in RAW. It is very unfortunate that there has been so much speculation on a topic - and so few who have thoroughly tested it. Those who have tested it in RAW have posted results here and there. DAZ took some RAW shots and posted in an earlier thread. I haven't posted, but confirmed it with some very informal tests.

It is easy to verify on just about any sunny landscape shot. Works very well at low ISO, not advisable for higher ISO due to shadow noise issues gaining prominence.
01-22-2010, 12:27 PM   #22
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Intriguing. When I tried the D-Range on my K200D when I first got it, it gave the shadows a yellow tinge in broad daylight. Never really used it after that. When it comes to the K20 I really don't see the need for it. In fact, to me anyway, it takes a bit more to blow out highlights on it than the K200.

I might use D-Range for once in a lifetime, high-contrast shots when I'm overseas but not as a default.
01-27-2010, 11:06 PM   #23
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Having come from the Canon 5D, I definitely noticed a much sharper roll off from the K20D without D-range, but a pretty close match with it on (again using it only in the more extreme conditions).

My first DSLR was the *istD - and that probably had the best overall roll off in the highlights. Perhaps it is just easier to design a more-natural S-curve when you are dealing with larger pixel size gathering light. This isn't to say that the *istD has great dynamic range - it doesn't, but the contrast and roll off seems good and quite natural without a lot of RAW converter work.

01-28-2010, 12:59 AM   #24
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I never use it because
a) I always forget about it and
b) I could use the RAW to recover any highlights.

I only very rarely have the need to recover any highlights though. I have normally the converse problem that the camera is metering to much on the highlights and the rest is getting too dark.
01-28-2010, 04:43 AM   #25
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Cannot stand the high shadow noise, and I shoot high ISO too much to make it useful for me.
01-28-2010, 11:39 AM   #26
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For high ISO, it is a pretty bad idea to use D-Range due to noise and dynamic range limitations. On the other hand, for typical landscape situations in decent light where you are staying at 400 ISO or below, the shadow situation is not much of a problem - and easily cleaned up. At least with Capture One (that's 95% of what I use), it would be a lot more work to create a good highlight roll off curve for every image that works as well what D-range gives you automatically.

For all the reviews indicating that Pentax's implementation of highlight recovery on the K20D is superior to what other brands have done, it is amazing to me that so many Pentaxians are so averse to giving it a real chance in appropriate situations.

While I identify with the purist impulses we tend to value here, this doesn't really apply when you talk about how the electronic signals coming from the sensor are manipulated. Taken to the purist extreme, we should only shoot at native ISO and manage our images in the RAW converter from there. (Although we don't really know what the native ISO is.)
01-28-2010, 11:58 AM   #27
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I haven't used it so far because I typically try to avoid extreme-contrast positions/compositions. I don't shy away from contrasty situations in general, but in those situations I didn't feel compelled to use D-Range.
01-28-2010, 07:46 PM   #28
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Some of those extreme contrast situations can give you a stunning situation for great photography. Sure, I wish I was shooting print film in those situations, or hope to have a tripod for multi-exposure. It just seems to me that the D-range is a tool that allows you to get closer to the mind's eye in these situations.

The idea of under-exposing for the sake of not blowing highlights does not make near as much sense as relying on D-range and then exposing to the right without as much concern for losing those highlight details. Bottom line, I tend to get far better exposure accuracy using D-range in high contrast situations than experimenting with underexposure in normal mode. So, RAW shooters who haven't run tests to better understand how these differences work are putting themselves at a real disadvantage.
01-29-2010, 05:14 AM   #29
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D range

Lifes hard enough as it is,dont need any more complications
Never use D-range on D-camera
01-29-2010, 07:52 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
Some of those extreme contrast situations can give you a stunning situation for great photography. Sure, I wish I was shooting print film in those situations, or hope to have a tripod for multi-exposure. It just seems to me that the D-range is a tool that allows you to get closer to the mind's eye in these situations.

The idea of under-exposing for the sake of not blowing highlights does not make near as much sense as relying on D-range and then exposing to the right without as much concern for losing those highlight details. Bottom line, I tend to get far better exposure accuracy using D-range in high contrast situations than experimenting with underexposure in normal mode. So, RAW shooters who haven't run tests to better understand how these differences work are putting themselves at a real disadvantage.
Thanks for those explanations. Here is yet another thread that makes participating in this forum worthwhile. I knew nothing more about this feature than that it kept me from using ISO 100. I shoot raw, and I can bring shadows up or color them or take the noise out but there is nothing I can do with a blown highlight from a white shirt or dress. I will have to try this feature more.
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