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Thread: Expose to the right or not with M8/M8.2?

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    Expose to the right or not with M8/M8.2?

    When the M8 first came out, one of the silly reasons that I used to stop myself from buying one was the lossy DNG compression. I have a M8.2 and couldn't be happier.

    Anyhow, I want to know if exposing to the right to maximize tonal information captured applies to the M8.2 or not?

    I remember there were a lot of discussions on this topic when the M8 first came out. I don't seem to be able to find them now. Anyone remembers the conclusion and the reasons behind it?

    Thanks.

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    Re: Expose to the right or not with M8/M8.2?

    you can look at it two ways;

    either you are making pictures or you are making data to make pictures. If you are making pictures then you expose how you feel to make the picture you feel at the time. It might be too dark by some standards, and have no room left for playing around in post. But it would not matter. You do not intend to alter what you have made.

    the other way to look at it is that you are making a negative that you will interpret later. Then ettr makes more sense. What you see at the time of exposure is not going to reflect what you intend, it will be too light or too soft.

    that being said, the M8 has a lot of elasticity on the lower end compared to many other digitals of the same generation. so it tends to benefit less from ettr than other cameras. My experience is that the upper end is more compromised, I tend to protect hightlights more, iow, ettLeft you could say. there is about 1-1/3rd stop of headroom, no more.

    as a comparison, the new mkIII and 5DII have more highlight headroom than these older generations, (and lower noise) effectively giving them a larger dynamic range. Ettr and benefit from lower noise on the shadow end.

    In my opinion, the M8 is best shot to protect highlights, and at lower ISO's, leaving a dark preview, but you can dig it out in post (push). the detail is there because of the compression scheme they are using. Assuming you want to fiddle later.

    Last opinion is that I think we should all previsualize what we want and shoot it that way, dark or light. it is hard to make everything contingent upon what you "might" want to do later.

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    Re: Expose to the right or not with M8/M8.2?

    I would rather throw away information when at the screen then when shooting, so I try to expose to the right but refrain from blowing highlights where I might want detail.
    This has held true for all the digital I have shot, in any camera, with any compression technology. If you don't do this, you are deciding at the time of exposure to throw away information capturing capabilities built-in to your camera.
    An in-camera gain curve would be great, but the manufacturers seem to be working their way around that by simply designing cameras with more dynamic range so that it is possible to post-map the captured image to the rest of the imaging chain.
    -bob

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    Re: Expose to the right or not with M8/M8.2?

    Well, basically the M8 has that in-camera gain curve; the compression is logarithmic, as opposed to all other digitals. Exposing to the right will result in noisy high-ISO shots. At higher ISO from 640 on it is best to expose for the shadows.
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    Re: Expose to the right or not with M8/M8.2?

    I find the highlight capabilities of the M8 to be unforgiving. However, as has already been mentioned, you can pull a lot from the darker areas without much damage so exposing for the highlights isn't always a bad thing. I do remember that when I switched from my Nikon to the M8 I stopped doing ETTR.

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    Re: Expose to the right or not with M8/M8.2?

    I expose it like slide film -- that is I don't freaking mess up! Seriously though, expose it closest to the way you want it to look like Robert suggested at first. Blocked highlights look worse than blocked shadows (to me anyway), so I try to get a nice quality to the midtones, letting the shadows go a bit black if necessary. Just like with slide film...
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    Re: Expose to the right or not with M8/M8.2?

    and further, the key to ISO 1250 and 2500 is to bring up the black clipping or the contrast in post to mask the noise. The result is a nice punchy file, an image that looks more natural in the short dynamic range of these higher ISO's.

    ISO 2500 in capture one, processed "crunched" you could call it, is really quite nice. If there is any banking nik's dfine cleans it up. You can decide how much grain you want to leave.

    Of course it only took two years to figure this out...

    The M8, because of the tone curve and compression, looks very different from other digitals, which tend to have a very open midtone. (flat). Other cameras tend to render the scene unnaturally bright, flat. Some of the romance is lost. You have to S-curve it back in.

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    Re: Expose to the right or not with M8/M8.2?

    I agree. I really like the way the M8 renders (and the DMR before it)...I find the color much nicer than the D3 I use, but of course, each have their own advantages.
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    Re: Expose to the right or not with M8/M8.2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    I agree. I really like the way the M8 renders (and the DMR before it)...I find the color much nicer than the D3 I use, but of course, each have their own advantages.
    is it me, or do all Nikon yellows render like the nikon logo yellow, I ask half serious....

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