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Archive 2011 · Image contrast: What can be done when shooting and in PP
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Image contrast: What can be done when shooting and in PP

Thanks a lot for all the help with my previous post. I have got another newbie question today. I apologize if it sounds silly, but it seemed like a valid and difficult one to me. Once again thanks for your time.

Many of my images from Canon 70-300 USM IS (non-L) came out with very low contrast. The histogram is centered and is in a very very narrow region. Since the histogram is centered I would say its properly exposed (correct??). If there was enough contrast the detail will be much greater isn't it? Some images are so low in contrast, even when is bump the contrast slider in lightroom to 100% the histogram doesn't fill even half the dynamic range.

One thing I felt is contrast is very important, as much as or even more than sharpness. You are not using the full dynamic range if you are not having proper contrast, right? It is almost like which gives you more detail proper exposure or sharp lens? My common sense says proper exposure first and sharpness next. So similarly shouldn't it be contrast first and sharpness next?

When I read reviews on 70-300 lens here on FM, i see most people say this lens as has as good contrast as good as some L's. Can any of you guys comment on how this lens compares to 100-400L or 400 5.6L. I am considering one of them in near future but before I do that I want to properly understand what are its limitations. Is it me or the lens.. The point is if i learn how to do good with this one, i can do better with the L's. But if i start with an L i may not learn the lessons at all...

And also can you guys comment on what can be done to get best possible contrast when shooting? and then in PP?

Dec 08, 2011 at 05:55 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Image contrast: What can be done when shooting and in PP

We all have our priorities which make up our individual styles. If it should be contrast first and then sharpness, then that is correct for you.

Personally, I usually go for sharpness. Contrast is a function of the particular shot.

If I had upped the contrast, it would not have looked very good and I was probably using less that 1/3 of my camera's dynamic range.

One usually shoots so that the histogram is to the right. Exceptions are frequent.

Dec 08, 2011 at 06:37 PM
Duane N
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Image contrast: What can be done when shooting and in PP

The only thing I ever worry about is sharpness (proper dof helps with this), shooting in early morning or late afternoon light, keeping the histogram a little to the right and shooting in RAW format. If your camera body offers a highlight warning use it...I rely on the histogram for proper exposure but also like seeing some "blinkies" (but not too many) using the highlight warning my camera body has.

I try not to think too much about everything else....I stick to my basic rules and practice a lot and learn from my mistakes.

Dec 08, 2011 at 09:28 PM

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