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Screencasts: Sony A7R V, ETTR, Zebra Display, etc

re: videos by Lloyd

Following up on my recent ETTR studies with some screencast videos that walk through what I’ve determined with the Sony A7R V.

The following pages now have screencast videos:

In diglloyd Making Sharp Images:

What is the Correct Exposure? “Push and pull in Photoshop, capture exposure vs image brightness”

In diglloyd Mirrorless:

Sony A7R V: Configuring Zebra Display for ETTR Captures

Sony A7R V: ISO 100 vs ISO 50 Histograms and JPEGs for ETTR

Sony A7R V: Walking through ETTR: Birch Trees in Winter

Sony A7R V: Walking through ETTR: Color Card

All videos recorded in 4K.

 
Video:

Sony A1, Sony A7R V: Fix Picture Profile Problem for Still Images with "Different Set Still/Mv"

re: please fix this Sony
re: Picture Profile

re: Sony A7R V: Video 'Picture Profile' a Bad Idea for Still Images

Well, it always helps to RTFM for solutions. Me bad. But maybe I am not alone in having trouble witih the complexity of today’s cameras.

I had noticed the Different Set for Still/Mv thing in passing and should have started there.

OTOH, it’s worth understanding how Picture Profile can whack your still images.

Recommendation: check both Picture Profile and ISO. That way, your RAW files will not be altered by the video settings.

     
Sony A7R V: Setup => Operation Customize => Different Set for Still/Mv
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Sony A1, Sony A7R V, Sony Mirrorless: Video 'Picture Profile' a Bad Idea for Still Images

re: please fix this Sony
re: Picture Profile

A friend who usually uses the Sony A1 for videography called me in a panic: he had just done a shoot (still images) and while the images looked fine on the camera, they were all nearly black on the computer... help!

Other people online have been baffled by the same issue, with dozens or hundreds of inane comments in forums, some on-topic and most off-topic wild geese, and all missing the mark.

Picture Profile is a bad idea for still images.

What’s going on, and is it a bug? See also recommended fix.

Sony A7R V: Video 'Picture Profile' a Bad Idea for Still Images

Includes detailed analysis including JPG and RAW images, RawDigger histograms and info, etc.

RAW, Base ISO: Picture Profile = Off vs Picture Profile = PP9
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Sony A7R V: Perfect ETTR at ISO 50/100 using Zebra Display

re: post processing and Adobe Camera Raw
re: ETTR
re: please fix this Sony

I wanted a reliable approach that I could rely on in the field for an ideal ETTR exposure, and one with few or no compromises.

Based on the findings in Birch Trees In Winter and Color Card, I experimented with ISO 50 and ISO 100 and Zebra display to nail down a working system. This page should take all the guesswork out of it.

  • ISO 50 vs 100: which ISO is best for ETTR, and why.
  • Aligning ISO 50 results exactly to ISO 100 results.
  • Settings for Zebra display at ISO 50 and 100.
  • Approach for the user who changes ISO.

The principles detailed here apply to other cameras if they have a similar Zebra display*.

Learn how you can get get perfect ETTR exposure every time without blowing it:

Sony A7R V: Configuring Zebra Display

Sony A7R V: Perfect ETTR at ISO 50/100 using Zebra Display

* For example, the Nikon Z8 has a Zebra mode, but it works only in Video mode.

zzz

Glenn K writes:

Does choosing ISO 50 (or any other ISO below the base) have any other effects than simply changing exposure? Any squirrely changes in RAW files?

DIGLLOYD: using Adobe Camera Raw, I have yet to see any difference between Base ISO 100 and ISO Lo 50 on the Sony A7R V, or the Nikon Z8 (ISO 64/32). I will be testing the Fujifilm GFX100S but I don’t suspect any difference there either.

But due to hardware processing which could vary with some cameras, this should never be assumed for any particular camera. RAW converter is also a variable—I stick with ACR but it’s possible that Capture One Pro or other converters could behave badly.

The test is trivial: using a nicely varying-in-color subject, set the camera to manual exposure, shoot two frames one at Base ISO and one at ISO Lo at identical exposure, and then process to the same brightness (push/pull as needed).

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ETTR, Camera Histograms vs RAW Histograms, ISO 100 vs ISO "Lo"

re: post processing and Adobe Camera Raw
re: ETTR
re: please fix this Sony

Camera histograms at ISO 50 and ISO 100 vs RawDigger histogram

Referring to the following studies:

Sony A7R V: Metering, Dynamic Range, ETTR/ESTR, Camera Histograms (Color Card)
Sony A7R V: Metering, Dynamic Range, ETTR/ESTR, Camera Histograms (Birch Trees in Winter)

The whole idea of ETTR is confusing to most photographers.

I am grappling with how to explain it and all its foibles in some kind of how-to guide, but it’s not an easy thing, either conceptually, or in addressing how different cameras can behave differently (though the differences are generally minor).

What issue does ETTR address?

ETTR addresses underexposure, which means lower quality images. The idea is to increase exposure, often substantially.

Capture exposure should not be coupled to output brightness!

In all cameras today, JPEG output is coupled to capture brightness. That was unavoidable for film, a chemical medium that undergoes physical change when photons strike silver halide crystals.

The capture/output coupling is a ridiculous idea for digital. Most of the time, in results in discarding much of the potential of the sensor, leading to higher sensor noise and diminished dynamic range.

How does ETTR help?

The idea behind ETTR exposure is giving more exposure, then “pulling” the image during raw conversion. This is the decoupling of capture exposure from final-image brightness.

With more exposure, the resulting image is lower in noise and higher in real sharpness and dynamic range. It is analagous to the quality differences seen at ISO 400 vs ISO 100. Actually, it it is often literally that quality difference—see Birch Trees In Winter.

Does it always matter?

Cameras today are so good that you will almost always get very fine images just letting the camera do its thing. But you actually have a tool that if used optimally can do notably better, and that matters for professionals and those serious about making very high quality images.

In another sense it always matters: even the JPEG-only shooter suffers frequent exposure errors. That is, the camera often get image brightness wrong, if only by 1/3 or 2/3 stop. Any time you dial in positive exposure compensation, you are in effect using ETTR (negative exposure compensation is generally anti-ETTR, a forced error of dealing with the capture/output brightness coupling problem).

Poor tools for ETTR

There is no true RAW histogram in any camera today. Essentially, it would show what RawDigger shows, but in the camera. RawDigger is terrific, but it’s of no use away from the computer.

No camera vendor includes a RAW histogram.

But it gets stupider: some cameras are so stupidly engineered that they have no RGB histogram at all. Others are stupidly engineered by offering onlly sRGB color space.

Workaround for lack of true RAW histogram

RawDigger shows a true RAW histogram, but that’s on the computer, after the shot is taken and downloaded.

But what do you do in the field when taking images? This is one approach that might work for you. You face two key issues in applying more exposure:

  • The image shown when played is a JPEG, baking in everything. It will be much too bright, scary bright as in unusable. This is not so, but it sure looks that way.
  • The camera RGB histogram is really a camera JPEG histogram, based either on an embedded JPEG in the RAW or a sidecar JPEG generated along with the RAW. It is also scary-looking, since it is a histogram of that whacked-out JPEG.

ISO "Lo" eg ISO 50 instead of ISO 100

Sony A7R V: Perfect ETTR at ISO 50/100 using Zebra Display

Reader Comment: ETTR Technique Results in Too-Bright Images for Review

The exposures below are identical, both at 0.5 sec @ f/5.6. Camera at ISO 100 for one and ISO 50 for the other.

The actual RAW file as shown by RawDigger shows us that this was in fact the optimal exposure: nothing blown-out, with the green channel probing the maximum value. Perfect.

Meanwhile, the ISO 100 camera information tells us that we have created a useless blown-out image (false).

Whereas the ISO 50 camera information shows us something very close to the truth.

* Assuming no oddball hardware peculiarities and that is the case on the Sony A7R V.

Don’t miss the super useful tip on using a sub-base-ISO with ETTR.

Camera histograms at ISO 50 and ISO 100 vs RawDigger histogram
Camera histograms at ISO 50 and ISO 100 vs RawDigger info window

Case Study: Sony A7R V: Metering, Dynamic Range, ETTR/ESTR, Camera Histograms, ETTR (Color Card)

re: post processing and Adobe Camera Raw
re: ETTR
re: please fix this Sony

This page builds on and confirms the findings in Birch Trees In Winter.

This page uses the Sony A7R V, but applies broadly to all mirrorless cameras, because all mirrorless cameras behave essentially the same way in terms of metering and use of the sensor dynamic range. Particular cameras and settings alter specific details slightly, but the algorithmic behaviors are all the same regardless of brand and model.

Eleven (11) frames were shot in 1/3 stop increments, from +0 (as metered) to +10/3 stops, an exposure range of 3.33 stops. Images were pushed and pulled to match in brightness.

  • Camera metering vs perceptual brightness vs sensor potential.
  • Optimal exposure failure: how much more exposure could the sensor accept without showing any difference in the converted RAW file?
  • Histograms of camera vs RawDigger: just how far off is the camera?
  • RawDigger blowout indicators vs usable captures in Adobe Camera Raw.
  • What you can do to get the best possible results.

In diglloyd Mirrorless:

Sony A7R V: Metering, Dynamic Range, ETTR/ESTR, Camera Histograms (Color Card)

This stuff is what you need to know for ETTR captures.

Don’t miss the super useful tip on using a sub-base-ISO with ETTR.

Sony A7R V capture vs histograms and info

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Reader Comment: ETTR Technique Results in Too-Bright Images for Review

re: Case Study: Sony A7R V: Metering, Dynamic Range, ETTR/ESTR, Camera Histograms, ETTR
re: Nikon Z8: Color Shift when Using Optimal ETTR

UPDATE: see Sony A7R V: Perfect ETTR at ISO 50/100 using Zebra Display

Camera’s lousy idea of correct exposure...
too dark and 2 stops dynamic range wasted

Dominik W writes:

I have been following your coverage of the ETTR and ACR baseline exposure issue with great interest. I have come back with some files from my last winter outing that were 2 stops underexposed by the camera.
[DIGLLOYD: snow guarantees a ~2 stop underexposure, the camera wants to make a middle gray tone from bright white snow!]

I have a few questions regarding the process.

I have followed the article here https://www.rawdigger.com/howtouse/deriving-hidden-ble-compensation in terms of zeroing out the values of the image.

1) Is there a way to apply this setting in a way where the -1.35 exposure (and other settings) are the new 0 on the sliders? This would be especially useful for the curve which is baked with a bunch of points after the process version conversion.

2) When shooting with nearly 2 stops of over exposure through an EVF, a lot of stuff is blown out, making compositional judgements in certain scenes difficult. Same for reviewing the JPG images on the camera before returning home from the field. Do you have any suggestions in terms of improving this workflow?

DIGLLOYD: first, I think the baseline exposure thing is not worth exploring much because it won’t really help you on a practical anything. If you are willing to do the linear workflow and all that, it’s still a huge problem actually shooting the stuff.

For a partial solution to these issues, see:

ETTR, Camera Histograms vs RAW Histograms, ISO 100 vs ISO "Lo"

Root cause

The core issue is the foolishness of all camera vendors of conflating and coupling capture exposure with output image brightness. There is not one camera on the market today embraces raw capture and what it implies—everything is a raging JPEG dumpster fire of configuration complexity, poor metering vs sensor capabilities, etc. Even JPEG-only shooters get screwed because the exposure is sub-optimal for JPEGs also.

In the digital realm, this is a fundamentally flawed algorithmicallly-broken dumpster fire, because it discards much of the sensor capability. A failure t≠o rethink this broken model underlies the firmware of all of today’s cameras.

Dealing with the brightness issue

Optimal exposure...
= problematic image brightness in camera!

The optimal ETTR exposure is often +1 or even +2 stops more than the camera thinks is right. That leads to washed-out previews when reviewing things on the camera, as seen at right. Ditto for any JPEGs the camera produces.

There is no good way to deal with this, there are only partial mitigations. After all, the JPEG you are reviewing (even shooting RAW it’s the embedded JPEG) has all the settings baked-in.

The only approach that can help there is choosing settings that reduce the effect.

There are several tips that help at the end of the Sony A7R V analysis, one particiular tip a major help.

One suggestion I have for ETTR exposures is that half a loaf is better than none. Meaning that +1 stop vs +0 stops is a big win, even if +2 stops would be better. Either:

  1. Expose somewhat more eg ESTR and/or
  2. Bracket, evaluate the darker exposure(s) to assess what you need to assess but also shoot the lighter ones. This dovetails with simultaneously providing a margin of safety for not rblowing-out all the captures.

Of course #2 is not viable under lots of circumstances including handheld or focus stacking; you have to get it right since bracketing is not possible. In that case, think in terms of ESTR and be happy with half a loaf.

Abe H writes:

This is no solace for stills shooters, but on many Sony video cameras including some mirrorless photo cameras, they have a Cine EI exposure system where you record the image at native ISO but rate the sensor and preview the image at a different ISO, say, 2 stops lower. I don't personally use this system as a matter of preference, but it mitigates some of the issues you're discussing.

DIGLLOYD: that sounds like it’s along the right lines.


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Nikon Z8: Color Shift when Using Optimal ETTR — UPDATED with RawDigger Info Windows + Reader Comment

If there is additional interest, I could shoot a color card with the Z8 for another look at this. Such projects take a whole day to present well however.

In Nikon Z8: Color Shift when Using Optimal ETTR (Birch Trees in Winter) I showed premature color shift behavior with the Nikon Z8 when approaching optimal exposure for ETTR.

I’ve now updated that page with a bit more commentary and info, namely the RawDigger info window for each exposure. As well as the Adobe Camera Raw processing settings.

Nikon Z8: Color Shift when Using Optimal ETTR (Birch Trees in Winter)

Note well that the Sony A7R V shows no such behavior. Thus it seems camera specific and therefore it seems wise for the astute photographer to check out their own camera behavior, and not make assumptions about ETTR exposure.

Five exposures in RAW/NEF, pulled to match final brightness
f5.6 @ 1/4 sec, ISO 64; 2024-02-17 12:11:26
Nikon Z8 + Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro

[low-res image for bot]

Mark J writes:

I am pretty disturbed by your findings for the Z8 on the color shift. I can (grudgingly) work around most of the foibles and shenanigans in Nikon’s metering and Adobe’s software, but the color shifts are a real roadblock in HDR work. It would be a mess to have the camera introducing color shifts simply due to over exposure.

If I understand correctly, it appears that a minor overexposure in the raw data for the Green channel is feeding back and causing a major color shift in the mid-tones and light tones of the blue.

- Am I understanding that correctly? It’s the feedback to the mid-tones that’s most disturbing.
- Do you think this is really cause by the 0.2 EV baseline exposure offset introduced by Adobe? The raw histogram blue channel appears to have at least that much exposure latitude remaining. (Although if you used the logarithm or sqrt scale for the histogram count we might see a few pixels already pushing the limit)
- I assume these are processed using your standard Adobe workflow. Correct?
- I’m curious - which color profile do you use as your standard for the Z8? Is the color shift profile dependent?
- Have you tried to diagnose the problem by processing the push/pull using the NX Studio software? It may help sort out whether the color shift is due to Nikon hardware or Adobe software (albeit, not definitive, because NX Studio could conceivably compensate for the shift).
- Another idea (a lot more work) would be to put a MacBeth color chart (or grey card) in the scene and reshoot the sequence. In that way you can accurately track color shift with exposure in the raw data to see the color shift happening in the background and measure the shift in the reference chart.

In looking at the +4/3 raw histogram, the blue channel does seem to have a subtle change in shape in the brightest tones for the transition from +3/3 to +4/3 exposure, which may indicate that this is in the camera and not the post-processing. (Look at the width and shape of the first peak at around 8000 for the +3/3 then in comparison at +4/3. The red channel seems more consistent during the same transition.

Please forgive the list of questions above, but it’s some questions that occur to me in trying to understand the context and what else you may have done understand the situation.

Thanks for the great work (even though it’s a PITA sometimes!)

DIGLLOYD: with HDR as a goal, ETTR is essential, so these concerns are of serious import.

Correct that it does not seem like the small spike in the green channel should have anything to do with the color shift, since the blowout is only in the bright white areas. It doesn’t make sense, but there it is, so there must be another factor, like non-linear sensor behavior and/or the baseline exposure value.

RawDigger info window

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Latest Adobe Lightroom Update Breaks NEFX File Handling — Zooms out to 50% in Develop Mode

Reader Greg M writes:

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic, version

Today Adobe released an update to Lightroom. It's so f'ed up, I can't believe they did that.... You can now open the NEFX file without problems... there are still problems.

If you open it in the Library and zoom in to 100% you can see it at 100% of the resolution the file is at (I'm talking about only the NEFX pixel shift files at 180MP).

But, when you click on the Develop tab the file will be zoomed out automatically to a 45 MP resolution, not 180MP. LOL At least that's how it works for me. Can you confirm that? Do you experience this same shit?

DIGLLOYD: it was working fine before the update.

Then I updated, and I see exactly the same problem in version 13.2 of Lightroom Classic—you’re zoomed out to 50%, and cmd-option-0 to go to 100% does not work, just beeps.

You can zoom back in with cmd-+, but that kinda sucks.

Rear LCD on my Sony A7R V Does not Display any Live View Image — SOLVED

Sony A7R V

The rear LCD on the Sony A7R V will not display a Live View image.

But it displays menus just fine, so the screen itself is operational.

Camera is supposed to switch between EVF and rear LCD automatically via:

Thinking that a sensor could be involved, I programmed a button for Finder/Monitor Sel. When I toggle that, the EVF goes blank/black, but nothing appears on the rear LCD panel—neither display has any Live View image. I can then toggle it again and the EVF comes back.

This might have started after the 2.01 firmware update, but not sure.

Powering on/off and/or pulling battery changes nothing.

Defective camera, firmware bug?

Contact me if you think you have an idea.

Solved!

Sony A7R V: Monitor Off hidden

Hidden without scrolling down is the Monitor Off setting, with no indication it exists. It is one of the various displays that can be toggled-to, with off meaning black screen, nothing display. For night shooting or some such.

Uncheck it so that you cannot toggle into it.

Or use the DISP button to toggle to another screen.

What got me is that I had no idea that I had somehow toggled DISP to off.

Below, there it is at the end. It can be seen ONLY if you scroll down; then it will appear. Uncheck the box to remove it as one of the displays.

Sony A7R V: Setup => Operation Customize => DISP (Screen Disp) Set => Monitor Off

Dr S writes:

FYI.... I am very well aware of the black screen and have it as a choice with my Sony's. Why? There may be times I want to be completely stealth in evening situations. With a black screen and the cam set up just right, I can take images in darker places and not disturb anyone around me.

DIGLLOYD: or be noticed. RTFM on me.

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Case Study: Sony A7R V: Metering, Dynamic Range, ETTR/ESTR, Camera Histograms, ETTR (Birch Trees)

re: post processing and Adobe Camera Raw
re: ETTR
re: please fix this Sony

UPDATE: I’ve added discussion of ISO 50 and one thing it can do to improve RGB histogram. Very practical/useful.

This page uses the Sony A7R V, but applies to all mirrorless cameras, because all mirrorless cameras behave essentially the same way in terms of metering and use of the sensor dynamic range. Particular cameras and settings alter specific details slightly, but the algorithmic behaviors are all the same regardless of brand and model.

Twelve (12) frames were shot in 1/3 stop increments, from +0 (as metered) to +11/3 stops, an exposure range of 3.66 stops. Images were pushed and pulled to match in brightness. We look at the following:

  • Camera metering vs perceptual brightness vs sensor potential.
  • Optimal exposure failure: how much more exposure could the sensor accept without showing any difference in the converted RA file?
  • Histograms of camera vs RawDigger: just how far off is the camera?
  • RawDigger blowout indicators vs usable captures in Adobe Camera Raw.
  • What you can do to get the best possible results.

In diglloyd Mirrorless:

Sony A7R V: Metering, Dynamic Range, ETTR/ESTR, Camera Histograms

Since the findings here apply to all mirrorless cameras, I will be posting this also (later) in Making Sharp Images.

Sony A7R V capture vs histograms and info

Connect and charge all of your devices through a single Thunderbolt or USB-C port.

Sony Please Fix: Metering Throws Away as Much as 2.33 Stops of Dynamic Range

re: post processing and Adobe Camera Raw
re: ETTR

ETTR = Expose To The Right: increasing exposure for RAW capture so as to minimize sensor noise, maximize dynamic range. The term refers to a histogram pushed right.

ESTR = Expose Somewhat To Right: increase exposure but don’t get greedy!

Sony A7R V

All forms of metering in all of today’s digital cameras are spectacularly bad. Meaning they grossly underutilize the sensor capability most of the time.

Metering is designed to produce a “middle gray” with the goal of producing a JPG. It is not designed to use the sensor to its potential. T

Here in 2024 in the age of AI, cameras are still operating on 'stone age' digital exposure algorithms. Detuning the camera potential to a level far below its potential. A digital race car with the engine intentionally detuned from 500 HP to 100 HP.

This is digital. Fully programmable, not bound to what film could do. Camera designers are in a mental prison, locked into thinking that no longer applies.

Below, compare these two camera histograms. The +0 one is as metered by the Sony A7R V. It is obviously underexposed, even by a perceptual standard.

As it turns out, the sensor can accept up to 2.33 stops more exposure with no visible difference, no clipping, no blow-out. A full exposé on that coming soon. No, not with camera JPEGs of course. But from the RAW certainly.

That’s like shooting at ISO 500 vs ISO 100. That’s what these 'stone age' metering systems are doing for you: delivering grossly inferior capture cquality in order to target a “middle gray” for final-image JPG production. Conflating capture exposure with output brightness. It’s just stupid.

This is 2024 and the age of the AI and that is the shit sandwich we are gagging down.

Sony please fix: there should be an “expose for maximum quality in RAW” metering and exposure mode. The camera knows exactly how much exposure the sensor can accept; it is seeing the data at least 60 times a second while generating Live View. But it’s not just Sony, it’s every camera company. To call out 1/6 stop or at most 1/3 stop improvement in sensor technology while literally throwing away 2.33 stops of dynamic range makes a mockery of judgment and common sense.

Toggle to compare.

Sony A7R V histograms

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Sony A7R V: Strictly Avoid The Lossless Comp (M) and Lossless Comp (S) Formats

re: post processing and Adobe Camera Raw
re: ETTR

ETTR = Expose To The Right: increasing exposure for RAW capture so as to minimize sensor noise, maximize dynamic range. The term refers to a histogram pushed right.

ESTR = Expose Somewhat To Right: increase exposure but don’t get greedy!

re: Color Shift when Using Optimal ETTR (Birch Trees in Winter)
ETTR Too Much of a Good Thing? HARD to Get it Right
“Baseline Exposure” Boost in RAW Converters can Whack Color

Sony A7R V

Evaluating ETTR, I was fooled by Sony’s Lossless Comp (M) format, having inadvertantly set the camera to that (not sure when how).

Not only do the Sony Lossless Comp (M) and (S) formats downsample from 60MP to lower-res, the overall behavior is radically different from full-res RAW files, flattening colors and squashing things in general well before overexposure. Or, the best way to turn your world-class camera/sensor into a 3rd-rate dumpster fire.

Terms and words matter: to call highly processed data "RAW" is ridiculous and misleading at best.

As pointed out by Alex Tutubalin of LibRaw:

Sony Small/Medium RAWs are not RAW but compressed YCC format. 

Compression is lossless, while RAW to YCC conversion is definitely not (white balance applied, out-of range values clipped, etc). In addition, color channels are subsampled.

Generally, it is JPEG on steroids: no lossy DCT-based transform, higher bit range, but closer to JPEG, not RAW).

The good news

ETTR behavior with full-res 60MP Lossles Comp (or Uncompressed) is radically better, indeed spectacularly good.

But matrix metering is spectacularly bad.

Sony A7R V Metering Throws Away as Much as 2.33 Stops of Dynamic Range.

Toggle to compare.

Sony A7R V histograms

Sigma FE 15mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Fisheye for Sony FE, Leica L-Mount

Sigma FE 15mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Fisheye

re: astrophotography

I’ve wanted a fisheye lens for Sony mirrorless for a long time now, though I didn’t want the huge bulk and weight of this new lens from Sigma. I was thinking more along the lines of the compact f/2.8 fisheyes of yore.

It even has its own lens heater. Retainer. Whatever it is.You know you want a lens with that!

About $1999 Sigma FE 15mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Fisheye for Sony
About $1999 Sigma 15mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Fisheye for Leica L-Mount

Do I want one? Totally. It’s a unique offering that no one else has. That 180° field of view is radically different from even the 130° of the Laowa 10mm f/2.8.

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Specifications

Major optical efforts were made. Assuming a well-assembled sample, it ought to be spectacularly good, by far the best fisheye lens ever made.

  • Full-Frame
  • f/1.4 to f/16
  • Bright, Fast Diagonal Fisheye Lens
  • Optimized for Astrophotography
  • High-Response Linear Actuator AF System
  • FLD, SLD & Aspherical Elements
  • Rounded 11-Blade Diaphragm
  • Removable, Rotating Tripod Foot
  • Dust- and Splash-Resistant Construction

It looks to rock in terms of performance.

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Description

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Sigma 15mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Overview

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The lens is capable of handling starscape photography, which demands particularly high-quality performance, even when wide-open.

Unlike conventional fisheyes, the SIGMA 15mm F1.4 DG DN DIAGONAL FISHEYE | Art is exceptionally sharp across its entire 180° angle-of-view and offers an ultra-fast F1.4 aperture, making it perfect for a wide range of applications including astrophotography, landscapes and architecture. The expressive power of this all-new full-frame mirrorless lens opens a wealth of creative possibilities in wide-angle photography.

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Clarity, Creative Distortion & Epic Sweep

Boasting an expansive 180° angle of view and an ultra-fast f/1.4 maximum aperture, the Sony E-mount Sigma 15mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Lens is a diagonal fisheye that brings epic scope and sweeping clarity to astrophotography, architecture, and landscape photography. With a minimum focusing distance of 15.2" and high-speed autofocus, the lens also yields dramatic yet intimate images when used in action and sports applications.

Body & Optical Design

With 21 lens elements in total arranged in 15 groups, including four FLD elements, three SLD elements, and two aspherical elements, the lens construction optimizes the reproduction of bright points of light. It also means the lens is sharp across the entirety of its viewing angle. The two rear sheet filter slots and the included Arca-Swiss compatible tripod collar benefit the long exposures necessary for astrophotography. The lens is also designed to handle all conditions of incident light, including high backlight resistance, to consistently promote clarity, sharpness, and overall image quality. Additionally, its dust- and splash-proof body and the water- and oil-repellent lens coating mean the lens can withstand exposure to the elements.

HLA Autofocus System

The HLA (High-response Linear Actuator) focusing motor introduces unprecedented speed, precision, and silence into the Sigma autofocus system. For videographers, focus breathing is minimized through the optical design. The HLA also offers improved focus following performance for sports photography and other subjects in motion such as cars, planes, or birds in flight, ensuring that the decisive moment is not missed.

Additional Benefits

  • Specially designed front lens cap with locking mechanism
  • Tripod socket to distribute weight evenly
  • Custom buttons and switches: manual focus lock switch, lens heater retainer, rear filter holders

In the Box

Sigma 15mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Lens (Sony E)
Case
LC1040-01 Front Lens Cap
Sigma LCR II Rear Lens Cap for Sony E
Sigma TS-141 Tripod Socket
PT-51 Protective Cover
Sigma GP-21 Guide Plate
Limited 4-Year Manufacturer Warranty

Sigma FE 15mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Fisheye

 

OWC ROVER PRO wheels for Mac Pro

No tools or hassle… just place your Mac Pro’s factory feet into the Rover Pro’s polished stainless-steel housings and secure with a few hand twists.

When you’re done moving your Mac Pro around, the Rover Pro makes it just as quick and easy to convert back to the factory feet for stationary use.

Adobe Camera Raw Enhance Details no longer working with Sony A7R V — OOPS it’s the file format

Something has broken Adobe Camera Raw Enhance Details + AI Denoise such that Sony A7R V files cannot be operated on.

Sony A7R V firmware: 2.01
Camera RAW: 16.1.1.1733
Photoshop CC 2024: 25.4.0

Recent changes include a Photoshop update, and a firmware update 2.01 to my Sony A7R V.

I am not aware of any file format change, and I don’t see any changed version numbers in the RAW file EXIF info. I’ve quit and restarted Photoshop.

Files I shot earlier this month work fine.

UPDATE: somehow the camera got set to Lossless Comp (M), which downsamples 60MP RAW to APS-C pixel count of 26MP, and is no longer a real RAW file. Me bad. That’s right, those stupid "RAW" files of size M and S and not real RAW.

Adobe caught this, thanks Adobe!

The image resolution from the EXIF suggests this is a reduced resolution raw file (i.e., not the full 60 MP). Do you recall configuring the camera configured this way?

Reduced-res raw files have already been demosaiced (by the camera) and are effectively linear RGB raw files. Denoise currently only works on mosaic (Bayer or X-Trans) raw files, hence the error message.

Adobe Camera Raw Enhance Details no longer working with Sony A7R V

 

OWC Envoy Pro Elektron

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Mash the Colors with ETTR or Stay True with ESTR? RawDigger Isn’t Making It Obvious

ETTR = Expose To The Right: increasing exposure for RAW capture so as to minimize sensor noise, maximize dynamic range. The term refers to a histogram pushed right.
ESTR = Expose Somewhat To Right: increase exposure but don’t get greedy!

UPDATE: after finding this on Nikon at full-res, I went to reproduce it on the Sony A7R V. But I made a mistake in using Lossless Compressed (M) which is not real RAW and which downsamples to 26MP. I now have to see if I find the same thing with full-res 60MP RAW. Doh!

...

Below, image _DGL1074 is blown; some of the colors have been mashed into dull and lifeless yuck. I’m not showing the image itself here but will be in an example soon (you need to see the whole range of exposures, in crops).

All of my experience tells me that this is an ideal ETTR exposure. It ain’t. But how could you know?

  • RawDigger shows a poster-child-perfect histogram.
  • RawDigger info window shows 0.0% overexposure.
  • There are no red warning highlights on the image.

And yet it is grossly inferior to the same image with 1/3 less stop exposure. I’m not sure why, but there are reasons.

At this point, I don’t know how to tell an ideal exposure from a bad one in RawDigger. Not from the histogram, and not from the Info window.

I’ll be showing the effects in a piece on the Sony A7R V soon.

On the positive side, I was able to dial in 5/3 (1 2/3) stops more exposure than metered (+0). That's like shooting at ISO 100 vs ISO 320. That’s well worth it, given the very high level of noise in blue skies I’ve seen at +0. The trick is figuring out just how much, but the monkey wrench is in not being able to tell from teh RawDigger histogram and info.

I’m corresponding with the LibRaw folks—there is at least one thing they can do to help, and that’s adding a cutoff line showing the value at which the baseline exposure boost occurs. But baseline exposure boost alone won’t account for what I’m observing. In particular, I am seeing values up to about 25000 in the red channel, and that’s a full stop past where the colors are maintained properly. Somewhere around 12000-14000, things get wonky on the Sony A7R V.

The Sony A7R V has 15-bit files. Maximum recordable value varies by color channel, but is roughly 25000 (red), 18500 (green), 25400 (blue). However, values beyond 13000 or so produce mashed lifeless colors. Something else is involve besides just maximum recordable value, including baseline exposure boost and perhaps sensor non-linearity.

Ideal ETTR exposure or blown image
Sony A7R V with 15-bit files
Ideal ETTR exposure or blown image
Sony A7R V with 15-bit files

 


Best Deals, Updated Weekly

Venus Optics Laowa 10mm f/2.8 for Sony FE and Nikon Z, Canon RF, L-Mount

When I tested the Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8, I was impressed with the low optical distortion. Not so much the sharpness in outer zones.

A 10mm focal length is seriously wide with a 130° field of view—I enjoy 12mm with the Sony FE 12-24mmf/2.8 GM (122°) but 10mm really stretches it significantly.

I’ll test the 10mm f/2.8 and see if it can yield good sharpness over the frame. Laowa has been careful to show only low-res sample images and no distortion chart (why?). MTF chart for the 10/2.8 looks promising, better than the 12mm f/2.8, but I dont’t trust such charts vs real lenses.

Just announced today and shipping soon.

Venus Optics Laowa 10mm f/2.8

About $799 Venus Optics Laowa 10mm f/2.8

CLICK TO VIEW: Ultrawides

Specifications

Venus Optics Laowa 10mm f/28 at VenusLens.net

  • Full-Frame
  • f/2.8 to f/22
  • Lightweight Wide-Angle Prime
  • Manual Focus Design
  • Three Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
  • Two Aspherical Elements
  • 77mm Filter Thread
  • Available with either 5-blade or 14-blade aperture

Description

Distinguished by its rectilinear manual focus design, the Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D FF Manual Focus Lens from Venus Optics pairs an impressively wide perspective with a bright aperture, making it apt for capturing landscapes, architecture, and nature.

Is 130° angle of view allows you unique perspectives and enables you to fit everything you need in your frame. Low image distortion is made possible by Laowa's signature Zero-D feature which helps ensure straighter lines, even in the corners of your images. With its 5-bladed aperture, this lens produces a unique 10-point sunstar effect, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your images.

Zero-D Optical Correction

Laowa's Zero-D feature allows you to capture scenes without dramatic distortion and curvature. Not only does this save you time in post-production, but it gives you a preview of your images without distortion in real time.

Lens Construction

Weighing less than 1 lb, this lens won't slow you down while shooting and is perfect for traveling with. Two aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion elements contribute to sharpening image quality and ensuring reduced optical aberrations. The manual focus design permits working with subjects as close as 4.7" away.

Built-In Filter Thread

Unlike many ultra-wide-angle lenses, the Laowa 10mm f/2.8 features a built-in 77mm filter thread for attaching various lens filters.

Venus Optics Laowa 10mm f/2.8

 

Fujifilm X100VI — 40 megapixels in Compact Form Factor

Does the 23.5 X 15.7mm 40-megapixel sensor suggest that a 93 megapixel full frame sensor is now feasible? That would be what you’d have at the same pixel pitch.

Just announced today and shipping soon.

Fujifilm X100VI

About $1599 Fujifilm X100VI in black or silver

40 megapixels, 6K video, built-in flash, IBIs, etc make this a standout carry.

  • 40.2MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS 5 HR Sensor
  • X-Processor 5 Image Processor
  • Fujinon 23mm f/2 Lens
  • 35mm Full-Frame Equivalent
  • 6-Stop In-Body Image Stabilization
  • 425-Point Intelligent Hybrid AF System
  • Hybrid 0.66x OVF with 3.69m-Dot OLED EVF
  • 3.0" 1.62m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen
  • Built-in flash
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • 20 Film Simulation Modes with REALA ACE
  • 1.1 pounds

I think it looks better in silver than black, but you decide.

Fujifilm X100VI

 

How do you get an ideal exposure for RAW capture? ETTR

re: post processing and Adobe Camera Raw
re: ETTR

Perfect ETTR histogram? maybe not

ETTR = Expose To The Right: increasing exposure for RAW capture so as to minimize sensor noise, maximize dynamic range. The term refers to a histogram pushed right.

ESTR = Expose Somewhat To Right: increase exposure but don’t get greedy!

How do you get an ideal exposure for RAW capture?

I’m not entirely sure. Please see these previous posts.

Color Shift when Using Optimal ETTR (Birch Trees in Winter)

ETTR Too Much of a Good Thing? HARD to Get it Right

“Baseline Exposure” Boost in RAW Converters can Whack Color

Just add more exposure? yes, but carefully

UPDATE: I was fooled by Sony’s Lossless Comp (M) format, having inadvertantly set the camera to that (not sure how). Its behavior is radically better with full-res RAW files. Behavior with full-res Lossles Comp (or Uncompressed) is radically better. Thus what follows still applies to some cameras and some formats, but does NOT apply to the Sony A7R V full-res RAW/ARW.

....

Today’s digital cameras regularly deliver very poor metering, often metering up to two stops below what appears to be ideal, with a full stop lost on a regular basis

It’s the same ’ol film-era “middle gray” idea which works very poorly for some subjects. Think metering a black cat vs white cat—it’s not going to end well, with two gray cats.

For example, Birch Trees in Winter meters around 1.5 stops less than it ought, leaving maximum values for pure white areas around 4000—grayish not white—when they should be in the 12000 range or at least 8000. Something like ISO 160 instead of ISO 64. Robbing you of full quality. And yet, there are risks to adding too much exposure; see the posts linked above.

Capture methodology

In a nutshell: ETTR (Expose To The Right) ===> ESTR (Expose Somewhat To Right).

My working assumptions are as follows:

  • Base ISO (64/80/100) on today’s cameras is outstanding.
  • I am unwilling to embark upon a new workflow involving linear raw processing.
  • Pushing aggressively for the very best exposure is not an acceptable trade vs the risk of whacking colors.
  • The camera histogram tool sucks, but it’s useful enough to rely upon.

Backing off to “somewhat”, give up 1/2 to 2/3 stop vs what I otherwise thing may be ideaL:

  • Expose to avoiding significant “blinkies” in most situations, as this tends to be conservative on most cameras.
  • Get the camera histogram to the right, but not aggressively.
  • Bracket exposure if the time and image justify it.

Example

See my note.


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ETTR Too Much of a Good Thing? HARD to Get it Right

re: post processing and Adobe Camera Raw
re: ETTR

Perfect ETTR histogram? maybe not

ETTR = Expose To The Right: increasing exposure for RAW capture so as to minimize sensor noise, maximize dynamic range. The term refers to a histogram pushed right.

How do you get an ideal exposure for RAW capture? It’s really hard. I’ve used ETTR and written about it for 13 years or so, and now I find that at least with some cameras, unexpected behaviors upend my assumptions, forcing me to reassess my capture approach.

I’m not the only one; I talked to Rich Seilig today (a professional printer and also a practitioner of ETTR), and what follows was news to him too. Few of us really had it right I would bet.

Accordingly I am taking a fresh look at my capture methodology, revising ETTR to ESTR (Expose Somewhat To Right). Why? See Nikon Z8: Color Shift when Using Optimal ETTR (Birch Trees in Winter). Same or worse on Sony A7R V!

What looks like an optimal ETTR exposure in RawDigger may in fact already be damaging the image.

Example below. The 2nd from right is already shifting color and the rightmost is shifted in a major way, even though the blues are well below maximum raw value—not blown seemingly, but a major color shift. Similar shifts are seen with Sony and also in reds and yellows—stomped/flattened.

Continues below.

Five exposures in RAW/NEF, pulled to match final brightness
f5.6 @ 1/4 sec, ISO 64; 2024-02-17 12:11:26
Nikon Z8 + Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro

[low-res image for bot]

What is causing the shift?

At least two considerations are involved:

  • The baseline exposure boost that Adobe Camera Raw (and other converters) can silently apply push highlight areas beyond their limit, shifting color and damaging detail. This “midpoint boost” just doesn’t work out well for bright areas.
  • Sensors themselves may capture up to some maximum value X (which can differ for R/G/B channels), but those limits may have long since gone non-linear. For example, the Sony A7R V sees values as high as ~25000, but color shifts are already happening at values around ~14000!

Yesterday, I spent hours testing the Sony A7R V. Its ETTR behavior is at least as problematic as the Nikon Z8. I could easily generate flattened reds and yellows at exposures that, like the Nikon Z8, look absolutely ideal in RawDigger.

Capture challenges

It is difficult to expose properly for ETTR because the camera provides no reliable tools to do so. The camera RGB histogram itself is seriously compromised vs what’s in the RAW file—it is based on a JPEG with all parameters including WB and color space baked-in. The Zebra indicators may be your best bet, together with ISO 50 RGB histogram.

Raw conversion challenges

To fully exploit the sensor range, you must engage in a more complicated workflow which involves linear processing of RAW files. This throws your past experience into disarray since everything changes. I am not going to get into that here, or do it myself—too much hassle, too many cameras.

Expert take

Alex Tutubalin of LibRaw eg RawDigger writes

I hit Alex up with a bunch of questions. Some are answered here. See also his comments in the prior post.

I'm not able to answer all in full detail. Also, I'll reply in a single message to avoid discussion split over multiple partial threads. It is very likely I've missed something to reply because of lot of messages come this night.

1st: Camera Vendors are not limited by any standard on RAW exposure. ISO 12232 standard explicitly forbids ISO measurements for RAW, only rendered (JPEG) images are subject of ISO measurements/standards.

So, Camera Vendors may do anything in RAW and correct for ISO standard on JPEG generation.
RAW Processing SW authors try to achieve same overall look as camera JPEG (to avoid support overload).

Things become even worse with today cameras 'Dynamic range extension' modes. In fact, these modes are simply underexposure by 1...2-stops and correcting this on postprocessing.

2nd: Linear (dull, non-contrast) RAW image needs to (at least) S-shaped-curve contrast increase to get 'good looking, happy, vivid image'.

Such correction is usually performed by S-shaped tone curve, complex 3-D-LUT color profiles, etc, etc.
This does not work well if source RAW is 'overexposed' in terms of standard postprocessing (midpoint lift-up, etc).

So, yes, if one want to use ETTR (with higher exposure and so better S/N ratio) the first thing he need to implement is LINEAR PROCESSING with accurate rendering of full camera range (see article I've send you in one of previous reply).

Also, one need to study how exposure metering/ISO combo works in his specific camera (for example, LOW ISO in many cameras are usually lowest 'NORMAL' ISO sensor settings plus fooled exposure meter to provide +1 or so exposure correction. Same things may happen with HIGH iso, intermediate ISO values, etc, so one need to study equipment used).

Here are starting points for that:
https://www.rawdigger.com/howtouse/calibrate-exposure-meter-to-improve-dynamic-range
https://www.rawdigger.com/howtouse/lightmeter-calibration

Alternatively, one may trust Camera Vendor and Adobe and do not use ETTR (in today low-noise cameras at low ISO the ETTR quality gain is not that big as 20 years ago).

If unknown non-linear transformations hiddenly applied by a RAW converter are in use: ETTR will produce unpredictable results (like tone shifts in highlights: 3D-lut non-linear color profile/conversion used is not suited well for lifted midtones).

Of course, after linear (dull, not-contast) processing one will need to increase contrast/saturation of resulting image. This is extra work compared to applying predefined 'happy-vidid colors' profile built-in RAW converter.

Short one-line reply to your specific proposals

1) Yes, display of OE/UE limits on a histogram looks like a good idea, probably we'll implement it in some future RawDigger upgrade.

Baseline exposure display looks not applicable here.

With default settings, RawDigger uses metadata-provided 'Linearity limit' for Overexposure limit. This may bee too strict in many cases (e.g. some Canon cameras sets it to about ~10000 while data limit is ~14-16000, so half to 2/3 stop lower then data maximum). That's why we always suggest to study your camera based on your specific limits/processing specifcs/etc and use own (manual) Overexposure limits....

2) When determining BaselineExposure applied by Adobe: please use DNG converted from your RAW using (latest) Adobe converter. Fujifilm own files does not contain BaselineExposure tag, but uses own RawExposureBias/DynamicRange tags.

How do you get an ideal exposure for RAW capture?

How can I consistently obtain a max-quality exposure using the lousy tools the camera offers?

The big problem I see is the camera consistently metering badly; it’s the same ’ol film-era “middle gray” idea which works very poorly for some subjects. A conflation of amount of exposure vs subject brightness (think metering a black cat vs white cat, same exposure for film, but radically off for digital).

More recently, Birch Trees in Winter meters around 1.5 stops less than it ought, leaving maximum values for pure white areas around 4000—way too dark—when they should be in the 12000 range or at least 8000. Something like ISO 160 instead of ISO 64. Robbing you of full quality.

You have two choices, the The simplest approach is to back off exposure a little, giving up a little on the ETTR front.

  1. Expose less optimally for RAW, losing a little dynamic range. And having to know for each camera what its baseline exposure value is.
  2. Engage in a convoluted process to defeat the RAW converter shenanigans.
  3. Shoot at "LO" ISO? Since the baseline exposure value is negative, maybe this will avoid the highlight clipping? Update: no, it won't.

The “fix” seems to be relearning just what to do to get the desired look. Yuck. I just want my raw converter to do something smarter, not this JPEG-oriented dreck.

I am not going to do that for multiple reasons. First I publish for others, and that would make my work deviate from what most people do. Second, I shoot many cameras, and it becomes an overhead and a burden. Third, full maxed-out ETTR benefits are marginal vs a “mostly there” approach.

“Baseline Exposure” Boost in RAW Converters can Whack Color

re: baseline exposure

Perfect histogram  — but overexposed!

Baseline exposure value = how much to adjust brightness of a RAW file in order to generate an image the same brightness as a JPEG that camera would have produced.

Is baseline exposure boost yet another example of making things worse and adding complexity in order to mimic a JPEG?

Adobe Camera Raw and other raw converters silently apply this boost when raw converting. This can affect color and highlight detail.

Below, the color shifts subtly at 2nd-to-right, and then in a big way at right. Which means my perfect ETTR exposure is not perfect, but blown. Which cannot be told from the histogram.

This might not be the only issue: sensor non-linearity as the capture gets brighter can also shift color.

With Sony A7R V, I am seeing capture values up to 25000 in the 15-bit files. And yet capture values in the 14000+ range are causing color shifts.

It turns out that ETTR exposure is far more complicated than I had belleved.

ETTR: Too Much of a Good Thing? HARD to Get it Right

Baseline exposure values for Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm

Here is what I obtained for baseline exposure, converted various NEF/RAF/ARW/etc files to DNG first, as explained below by Alex Tutubalin further below.

(!) These figures can change when certain camera settings are in force eg Dynamic Range expansion. If you are shooting RAW, turn off most/all such features to avoid inconsistent expectations, or check all combinations.

exiftool -make -model -iso -baselineexposure -r -ext dng *.dng

Camera                ISO    Baseline Exposure
Fujifilm GFX100 II     80     -0.01
Fujifilm GFX100S      100     -0.01
Fujifilm GFX100S       50     -1.01
NIKON Z8 Lo1 32 -0.8 NIKON Z8 Lo0.7 40 -0.46 NIKON Z8 Lo0.3 50 -0.13 NIKON Z8 64+ 0.2 NIKON Zf 100+ 0.2
Sony A7R V 50 -0.65 Sony A7R V 64 -0.65 Sony A7R V 80 -0.65 Sony A7R V 100+ 0.35

Can using a sub-ISO value like pseudo-ISO 50 on Sony A7R V avoid the issue, since the baseline exposure is negative? Nope— I tried it—it makes no difference, so I don’t know what Adobe Camera Raw is doing with it. Or maybe something else is going on such as sensor nonlinearity—I don’t know.

Continues below...

Five exposures in RAW/NEF, pulled to match final brightness
f5.6 @ 1/4 sec, ISO 64; 2024-02-17 12:11:26
Nikon Z8 + Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro

[low-res image for bot]

Alex Tutubalin of LibRAW writes:

1) Adobe tools (silently) applies exposure correction to RAWs: https://photographylife.com/adobes-silent-exposure-compensation

The idea behind it is simple:

- RAW middle point is not specified by any standard (the ISO-standard on ISO-sensitivity for digital cameras: operates with out-of-camera JPEGs only and explicitly denies RAW ISO-sensitivity determination).
- So camera vendors may 'underexposure' for RAW and correct this via in-camera processing (lifting midpoint).
- So, to match Adobe tools' rendering with in-camera JPEG, RAW processing should do the same: lift the midpoint.

This is called 'baseline exposure' in DNG specs; In most cases this is positive correction.

So, ETTR-exposed RAW image will be silently 'exposure corrected' (also: non-linear curves applied; see below) in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom.

Here are several our articles/howtos on this topic:

a) How to derive hidden exposure applied by converter:
https://www.rawdigger.com/howtouse/deriving-hidden-ble-compensation

a-2) FastRawViewer also displays 'Baseline exposure' in EXIF panel if enabled via EXIF display preferences.

b) How to force no adjusted processing:
https://www.rawdigger.com/howtouse/overriding-raw-converter-default-adjustments-settings

c) How to force FastRawViewer to not apply Adobe's correction (applied by default to match Adobe tools): https://www.fastrawviewer.com/blog/fastrawviewer1-7-new-view-mode

2) Also, we've implemented 'Forced Adobe noncorrected mode' in FastRawViewer, see corresponding section in the manual:
https://updates.fastrawviewer.com/data/FastRawViewer2-Manual-ENG.pdf#page=125

Finally: although ETTR looks a way to deliver better signal/noise, the entire workflow is very hard due to decisions made by Camera Vendors (let's underexpose and correct in JPEG) and Software vendors (our 'default' rendered image should match OOC-JPEG)

DIGLLOYD: once again the anachronistic film-era demon strikes: degrading the potential of RAW files and their processing so that the casual user can have JPEGs. Gah!

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock
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Nikon Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 S VR Macro Aperture Series: Birch Trees in Winter (Z8)

re: pixel shift
re: Nikon Z 105/2.8S

This aperture series from f/3 to f/8 was shot using Nikon Z8 4-shot pixel shift*. It shows precisely what the Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S can deliver when shot optimally on a planar target at close range.

In diglloyd Mirrorless:

Nikon Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 S VR Macro Aperture Series: Birch Trees in Winter

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/3 to f/8, plus crops.

f4 @ 0.4 sec pixel shift 4, ISO 64; 2024-02-17 15:28:23
Nikon Z8 + Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro
RAW: Camera Standard, vignetting corrected, WB 6100°K tint 25, pull 0.33 stops, +10 Whites, +10 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]

Connect and charge all of your devices through a single Thunderbolt or USB-C port.

Nikon Z8: Color Shift when Using Optimal ETTR (Birch Trees in Winter)

re: post processing and Adobe Camera Raw

UPDATE Feb 19: I’ve added an explanation further below.

UPDATE 2, Feb 19: Sony A7R V has even more problematic behavior. It is devilishly difficult to expose properly (ETTR) as I”m finding—as you get close to the max, the baseline exposure value thing is blowing out colors. This is very easy to see when comparing to less bright exposures. And yet you’d think you were still almost a stop under optimal. This throws a serious monkey wrench into doing ETTR correctly! It means that while the RAW may be perfect, Adobe Camera Raw will deliver an image with mashed flattened colors. It is obvious with the right image content.

...

An optimal ETTR exposure minimizes noise and maximizes dynamic range. Since most cameras routinely cheat the sensor of at least a stop of headroom, it makes sense to pay close attention to achieving the optimal exposure.

But a mystery (to me at least) has popped-up: a color shift at the optimal ETTR exposure, even when the highlights are proven intact with no blowout.

This behavior makes me question my ETTR approach, at least with the Nikon Z8. In particular, it appears that actual sensor/camera behavior when approaching full-well capture values might be problematic, in spite of what the RawDigger histogram otherwise suggests.

Nikon Z8: Color Shift when Using Optimal ETTR (Birch Trees in Winter)

Includes images and RawDigger histograms, discussion and analysis.

Five exposures in RAW/NEF, pulled to match final brightness
f5.6 @ 1/4 sec, ISO 64; 2024-02-17 12:11:26
Nikon Z8 + Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro

[low-res image for bot]

Explanation —  Baseline ExposureValue

There is an explanation (see below). It’s not to my liking, being a huge PITA to deal with across different cameras, and not dealing with it still means dealing with it by avoiding too much exposure, which is now even more complicated.

It’s called baseline exposure value. Crudely speaking, it means how much to adjust brightness to generate an image with the same brightness as a JPEG that camera might have emitted.

The film-era mind virus strikes: degrading the potential of RAW files and their processing based on trying to mimic a JPEG. Gah!

Thing is, that baseline exposure boost can blow highlights if you have an ideal ETTR exposure in RAW. You have two choices, the The simplest approch is to back off exposure a little, giving up a little on the ETTR front.

  1. Expose less optimally for RAW, losing a little dynamic range. And having to know for each camera what its baseline exposure value is.
  2. Engage in a convoluted process to defeat the RAW converter shenanigans.
  3. Shoot at "LO" ISO? Since the baseline exposure value is negative, maybe this will avoid the highlight clipping?

The “fix” seems to be relearning just what to do to get the desired look. Yuck. I just want my raw converter to do something smarter, not this JPEG-oriented shit.

Baseline exposure values

Here is what I see for baseline exposure, as explained below by Alex Tutubalin.

exiftool -make -model -iso -baselineexposure -r -ext dng *.dng

Camera                ISO    Baseline Exposure
Fujifilm GFX100 II     80     -0.01
Fujifilm GFX100S      100     -0.01
NIKON Z8 Lo1 32 -0.8 NIKON Z8 Lo0.7 40 -0.46 NIKON Z8 Lo0.3 50 -0.13 NIKON Z8 64+ 0.2 NIKON Zf 100+ 0.2
Sony A7R V 50 -0.65 Sony A7R V 64 -0.65 Sony A7R V 80 -0.65 Sony A7R V 100+ 0.35

Can using a sub-ISO value like pseudo-ISO 50 on Sony A7R V avoid the issue, since the baseline exposure is negative? I tried it—it makes no difference, so perhaps something else is going on involving sensor linearity.

Alex Tutubalin of LibRAW writes:

1) Adobe tools (silently) applies exposure correction to RAWs: https://photographylife.com/adobes-silent-exposure-compensation

The idea behind it is simple:

- RAW middle point is not specified by any standard (the ISO-standard on ISO-sensitivity for digital cameras: operates with out-of-camera JPEGs only and explicitly denies RAW ISO-sensitivity determination).
- So camera vendors may 'underexposure' for RAW and correct this via in-camera processing (lifting midpoint).
- So, to match Adobe tools' rendering with in-camera JPEG, RAW processing should do the same: lift the midpoint.

This is called 'baseline exposure' in DNG specs; In most cases this is positive correction.

So, ETTR-exposed RAW image will be silently 'exposure corrected' (also: non-linear curves applied; see below) in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom.

Here are several our articles/howtos on this topic:

a) How to derive hidden exposure applied by converter:
https://www.rawdigger.com/howtouse/deriving-hidden-ble-compensation

a-2) FastRawViewer also displays 'Baseline exposure' in EXIF panel if enabled via EXIF display preferences.

b) How to force no adjusted processing:
https://www.rawdigger.com/howtouse/overriding-raw-converter-default-adjustments-settings

c) How to force FastRawViewer to not apply Adobe's correction (applied by default to match Adobe tools): https://www.fastrawviewer.com/blog/fastrawviewer1-7-new-view-mode

2) Also, we've implemented 'Forced Adobe noncorrected mode' in FastRawViewer, see corresponding section in the manual:
https://updates.fastrawviewer.com/data/FastRawViewer2-Manual-ENG.pdf#page=125

Finally: although ETTR looks a way to deliver better signal/noise, the entire workflow is very hard due to decisions made by Camera Vendors (let's underexpose and correct in JPEG) and Software vendors (our 'default' rendered image should match OOC-JPEG)

DIGLLOYD: once again the anachronistic film-era demon strikes: degrading the potential of RAW files and their processing so that the casual user can have JPEGs. Gah!


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Terrific Deals on Used and New Macs at OWC, Apple Studio Display, Accessories

See also OWC Winter Deals.

MacBook Pro
MacBook Pro

See also Deals: New Factory-Sealed Apple Studio Display;

MacBook Pro

More laptop deals...

Why buy a steep price for the same functionality? Skip the Apple hype and get a beautiful dissplay and ample processing power for most every use, all at a big discount.

A 16" MacBook Pro 16GB/512GB for $699 is a pretty awesome deal, and a great choice for any student or casual user.

iMac 5K

You can’t go wrong with a gorgeous 5K display with a free built-in Mac.

The 2020 iMac 5K (see review) is the last and fasted iMac 5K Apple produced, and Apple has seemingly discounted the possibility of making an iMac 5K ever again.

For a little more or quite a bit less less than the price of a 5K display alone, you can get a full Apple warranty Apple iMac 5K:

Perfect for anyone for home use—student or parent. Upgrade the memory at any time all the way to 128GB.

IMO, the iMac 5K is the best all-around machine Apple ever made! Grab one cheap while you can.

Mac Studio

More laptop deals...

Why buy new? A 16" MacBook Pro 16GB/512GB for $699 is a pretty awesome deal, and a great choice for any student or casual user.



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Nikon Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 S VR Macro Aperture Series: Focus Breathing

re: focus breathing

Many lenses have focus breathing, a change in focal length as the focus distance changes. This is a bad thing for video usage, far from ideal for focus stacking, and is the way to "cheat" on macro photography for a faster aperture—a 100mm might be a 60mm by the time it is at 1:1 magnification.

Nikon Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 S VR Macro Aperture Series: Focus Breathing

Includes a 9-frame series showing the changing in field of view.

f8 @ 3.0 sec, ISO 64; 2024-02-16 17:48:46
Nikon Z8 + Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro RAW: Enhance Details, AI Denoise 10

[low-res image for bot]

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Nikon Z8: Camera Profile Renditions in Adobe Camera Raw

re: post processing and Adobe Camera Raw

Over the years, I keep getting comments along the lines of “the color of Camera X is Better than Camera Y”.

Since most of today’s cameras use nearly identical sensor technology, that makes little sense: even camera electronics are not altering color (for RAW) but just translating analog signals into digital bits, doing it a little clear/better or not.

But all (or nearly all) of the look-and-feel happens during raw conversion.

Nikon Z8: Camera Profile Renditions in Adobe Camera Raw

Some, as seen below, are a little 'hot'.

See also: Fujifilm GFX100S: Camera Profiles in Adobe Camera Raw. Related screencasts:
diglloyd Making Sharp Images: Adobe Camera Raw: Changing Image Look & Feel Using Camera Profile
diglloyd Patreon.com: Adobe Camera Raw: Changing Image Look & Feel Using Camera Profile

f4 @ 1/6 sec, ISO 64; 2024-02-16 17:34:42
Nikon Z8 + Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro
RAW: Camera Pop, Enhance Details, WB 5600°K tint 14, push 0.33 stops, +30 Shadows, +10 Whites, +10 Clarity, AI Denoise 10

[low-res image for bot]

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Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S: Bokeh Example with Crops

re: Nikon Z 105/2.8S

Nikon calls out the bokeh aspect of the Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S as a key feature:

...virtually eliminates chromatic aberrations for clearer, sharper images with no color fringing
...Wide open at f/2.8, it creates a beautifully artistic background blur, or bokeh effect—gentle, soft and round without discernible edges and no “onion rings” or spirals.

Beautiful, beautiful bokeh

The NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S isn’t only about the technical; it’s focused on aesthetics and style, too. Wide open at f/2.8, it creates a beautifully artistic background blur, or bokeh effect—gentle, soft and round without discernible edges and no “onion rings” or spirals.

How does it look?

Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S: Bokeh

Image up to full camera resolution, plus crops and commentary.

f4 @ 1/6 sec, ISO 64; 2024-02-16 17:34:42
Nikon Z8 + Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro
RAW: Enhance Details, WB 5600°K tint 14, push 0.33 stops, +10 Whites, +10 Clarity, AI Denoise 10

[low-res image for bot]

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