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Thread: More Dynamic Range Please. More!

  1. #1
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    More Dynamic Range Please. More!

    The d800 is an impressive beast in this regard, but I'm butting heads with its limits. I'm working in a lot raw and abandoned industrial spaces, lit mostly by daylight coming in the windows or holes in the roof. My old dslr could only handle these situations with HDR processing. The d800 lets me forgo HDR much of the time. If I expose for the highlights and bring up the shadows, there's usually enough detail and tonality down there.

    But I start hitting the noise limits, and in some cases the noise starts looking like it would be obtrusive even in modest size prints.

    I'm experimenting again with HDR, but find the results extremely unreliable. Photoshop's HDR Pro 2 typically emphasizes edge artifacts. Also the controls and previews are limited and the workflow with lightroom is tedious. I'm demoing Nik HDR efex 2, which has a much better interface.

    Both these programs, for reasons I don't understand, tend to throw out much of the highlight detail I'm trying to keep. My darkest exposure will have plenty of detail there, and the HDR image will show very little of it. It's possible I'm doing something wrong, but this has been a frequent issue with my d800 files.

    I'm open to any recommendations, including less intuitive ways to get results from these packages, or different software to try. I'm not interested in HDR as an "effect" ... only as a way to increase my range by a few stops while controlling noise.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: More Dynamic Range Please. More!

    Try SNS-HDR, very very good and more control than any other program I've used. Most of all, it doesn't look HDR! Cheap too.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: More Dynamic Range Please. More!

    Forgot to add: need a Mac package.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: More Dynamic Range Please. More!

    Try processing with CaptureOne -- I find mostly more usable DR than I want. For example take this image I've shared in the D800 images thread. I had only one channel clipped in this capture and had to add black to get a pure shadow:



    PS: We can't say much about it, but stay tuned for some impressive news as regards recovering highlights and shadows
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: More Dynamic Range Please. More!

    Hey keep it down on that stuff. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: More Dynamic Range Please. More!

    Paul, sounds like you are shooting static scenes. If you have the time you couild always shoot multiples and average. Effect is to reduce noise by 1/sq rt of frame# so shadows get smoother. I do that sometimes, but never tried it with the D800.

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    Re: More Dynamic Range Please. More!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    PS: We can't say much about it, but stay tuned for some impressive news as regards recovering highlights and shadows
    Tuninnnnnnnnng!

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    Re: More Dynamic Range Please. More!

    I've been playing a bit with Lightroom Enfuse ... it's a donationware front end for an open source exposure blending app. It works directly from lightroom. It does not produce a 32 bit hdr file ... it simply blends exposures according to an algorithm. It's easy to get natural looking results, and not possible to get HDR flourescent cheese.

    It's not a panacea. On one my problem image it produced the same issues as the hdr programs. It does a less reliable job of eliminating shadow noise than hdr. It doesn't have any ghost removal feature ... one of my images had some fabric swaying in the breeze, and the blended image was unuseable.

    But overall the results are excellent.

    I also played a bit with the Photomatix plugin that Magnus linked. It looks promising too, but it mysteriously stopped working. I have an email into their tech support.

    The cool thing is that with my old camera these kinds of shenanigans were necessary, but on the d800 they just offer an optional improvement in some situations.

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