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Moderating and Enhancing Contrast with Adobe Camera Raw

See also Faux HDR as well as a Nikon D800E Mt Dana example.

This page shows how to make use of a wide dynamic range during raw conversion for a real-world image. Shooting in raw format (not JPEG) is of course mandatory.

Digital cameras store raw files with 12 to 14 bits of precision* (and/or 8 bits with similar range as per Sony’s delta compression), though all cameras have a noise floor even at base ISO that reduces the usable range to several stops less than the numbers would suggest; some are better than others (e.g., Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III, or Sony RX1R).

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Diglloyd Making Sharp Images articulates years of best practices and how-to, painstakingly learned over a decade of camera and lens evaluation.

Save yourself those years of trial and error by jump-starting your photographic technical execution when making the image. The best lens or camera is handicapped if the photographer fails to master perfect shot discipline. High-resolution digital cameras are unforgiving of errors, at least if one wants the best possible results.

  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

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