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My response to "Why do Nikons use H 0.3, 0.7, 1.0 and 2.0 instead of ISO 12,500, 16,000 etc." were always answered with, "Because the ISO (International Standards Organization) does not recognize any film or digital speed higher that 10,000. So to avoid getting into trouble, Nikon uses the H designations."
Well, my theory worked until I got my D600. And instead of finding ISOs of 50, 64 and 80 (familiar ASA numbers from my film days), I find L 0.3, 0.6 and 1.0.
Obviously, ISO speeds of 50, 64 and 80 exist and are perfectly acceptable by the ISO. So why...Show more →
Nikon's have been using the "L" label for a long time. My D90 has those settings.
When you use those settings, you lose dynamic range at the highlight end. Basically, you're trading highlight DR for less noise.
This works fine if there are no bright highlights in your image...in which case you didn't need all that highlight DR to begin with. This is actually the basis of ETTR, and I refer to the "L" settings as having ETTR built into my camera.