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Archive 2015 · Easy ETTR technique using the Zebra pattern

  
 
racetratr
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p.9 #1 · p.9 #1 · Easy ETTR technique using the Zebra pattern


Fred Miranda wrote:
I have not played with this on the A7R IV yet but I think that using Zebra is still more accurate. As soon as you see any 'blinking' is fine adding +2EV but when using Highlight Metering sometimes +2 is too much. With the latter, I would go +1.3EV when shooting a high contrast scenes to be safe. Will update the thread when I test this further.


I agree: small highlight areas can (rarely) blow out using Highlight plus 2 in contrasty light. But the advantage of this method is that it's automatic. So it's useful for rapidly changing light, moving subjects, different custom modes, etc. It can also be used with Live View setting effect Off, which I prefer.

So I might be willing to risk giving up a little of the optimum ETTR (using plus 1.3 or 1.7) to get that automation, at least some of the time. In flatter light, I can use plus 2.



Dec 25, 2019 at 03:56 PM
KonstantineM
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p.9 #2 · p.9 #2 · Easy ETTR technique using the Zebra pattern


Itís better to do it Fred Mirandaís way so you can change things in real time while shooting without having to go back into the camera. Certain situations are different and maybe you donít want to over expose by two stops and maybe only 1 1/3 for example. It would be much easier to do this from the dial then having to go back into menu

cgarcia wrote:
Actually you don't need to add exposure compensation. Just set a custom level "lower limit" 107+ or 108+ (instead of 100+) and the zebras will exactly follow the RAW exposure. This if using the default camera settings, if you use picture profiles the required limit changes. Note that zebras only show the green channel.




Dec 25, 2019 at 05:54 PM
cgarcia
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p.9 #3 · p.9 #3 · Easy ETTR technique using the Zebra pattern


The problem with highlight metering is that it's not ETTR. It exposes for 18% gray just as the other modes. And in low contrast scenes the camera loses at least a full stop with its usual headroom. This can be demonstrated by shooting a uniformly lit white wall with Highlight Priority: it won't be overexposed at the raw level until the EC is raised above +3.5 (dialing only +2 EC would be short by a whole 1.5 EV of true ETTR). The only difference is that this metering mode may underexpose even further the overall image to save the highlights (much below the 18% gray when needed)... yes, this is in fact ETTR (and very, very strict) but only under high contrast scenes and only if no additional EC is dialed at all. So for conservative exposure in action shooting in contrasty lighting, Hightlight Priority could be very useful... but provided that 0 EC is used.

For those shots not in a hurry (e.g. a landscape) I don't think that there is any better method than using the zebras with the proper lower limit set (at least in the A7R3, +107 or +108 if no picture profile is enabled). That has been demonstrated to follow the RAW, and in the whole frame if a stopped down lens is metering (e.g. not just a Canon with the MC-11 which I used in that test) because that even takes the vignetting out of the equation. It is a pity that Sony didn't configured by default the zebras, for stills, to follow the RAW exposure when shooting RAW. If properly set they are not intrusive (unless the image is very overexposed) and you can accurately select which image areas you are willing to sacrifice, when needed.

Note that most RAW converters (Lightroom, C1, etc) don't show the true RAW exposure, so they can't be used to know how much additional exposure one could have added. Rawtherapee has a buttom to show the actual RAW histogram, and some other specialized apps (rawdigger) and tools also can.



Dec 25, 2019 at 08:31 PM
hanay78
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p.9 #4 · p.9 #4 · Easy ETTR technique using the Zebra pattern


I am using grad filters and stacking, but I find this a very interesting technique!!!!! This is still actual or was further refined?

Is there any thumb-rule when the additional bracketing (+6, +4, +2 EV) is necessary?



Jun 22, 2020 at 01:44 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.9 #5 · p.9 #5 · Easy ETTR technique using the Zebra pattern


cgarcia wrote:
The problem with highlight metering is that it's not ETTR. It exposes for 18% gray just as the other modes. And in low contrast scenes the camera loses at least a full stop with its usual headroom. This can be demonstrated by shooting a uniformly lit white wall with Highlight Priority: it won't be overexposed at the raw level until the EC is raised above +3.5 (dialing only +2 EC would be short by a whole 1.5 EV of true ETTR). The only difference is that this metering mode may underexpose even further the overall image to save the highlights
...Show more

Makes perfect sense Ciriaco.
I've encountered issues with Highlight metering and do not use it anymore. I much prefer using Zebras + multiple exposures.

In high contrast scenes, I usually ETTR even if it means underexposing the overall image in order to save the highlights. In post I combine all exposures in a "mean" stack and the result is clean shadows when recovered.



Sep 01, 2020 at 06:10 PM
StephenLowell
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p.9 #6 · p.9 #6 · Easy ETTR technique using the Zebra pattern


Fred Miranda wrote:
Makes perfect sense Ciriaco.
I've encountered issues with Highlight metering and do not use it anymore. I much prefer using Zebras + multiple exposures.

In high contrast scenes, I usually ETTR even if it means underexposing the overall image in order to save the highlights. In post I combine all exposures in a "mean" stack and the result is clean shadows when recovered.


Fred, are you bracketing your multiples and if so, by how much?

S.



Sep 01, 2020 at 07:32 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.9 #7 · p.9 #7 · Easy ETTR technique using the Zebra pattern


StephenLowell wrote:
Fred, are you bracketing your multiples and if so, by how much?

S.


I prefer multiple exposures instead of bracketing whenever possible. With ETTR, I can have a 2-3 stop underexpose scene (saving the highlights) showing super clean recovered shadows when capturing 16-32 images. Once the images are "mean" stacked in post, there will be a ND effect and a huge noise improvement allowing me to dodge the shadow areas with great detail and very low noise. It's rare, but If I need more dynamic range this this, I'd use bracketing.



Sep 02, 2020 at 03:30 PM
cgarcia
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p.9 #8 · p.9 #8 · Easy ETTR technique using the Zebra pattern


I'm fated to be a fan of zebras to optimize my single exposures, since I dislike tripods (plus a negligible amount of shake may help with aliasing ;-). And I love them to the point that any camera missing accurate zebras configurable to follow the RAW is a no-go for me. I haven't the slightest incentive to even look at another brand novelties while this function is not yet available there (so Canon or Nikon, if you happen to read this, take note ;-)

Plus the camera metering is not solid science: in the A7R3, if we change the picture profile from one using stills (or none) to another using HLG2 gamma, the camera exposes by -0.5 EV the same scene. Oh wait... shouldn't be the metering independent of any setting not related to exposure?. I think this could be a firmware bug, but still persists in the latest version. During the times I used HLG2, that in fact made safer any positive exposure compensation dialed.

BTW, nowadays I have abandoned the HLG2 gamma I adamantly recommended in the past, in part because the color in the EVF is a bit dull, but mainly because out of camera JPEGs are not usable (and I sometimes use them for whatsapp). Yes, it may be a bit more accurate in the zebras, but that doesn't matters because I usually leave about 1/3 EV of headroom in the highlights. HLG2 disables the "unwanted" ISO 50-80 levels in the control wheel, but also had negative tradeofs (disables bracketing, is not compatible with silent shooting nor the bright monitoring function, etc).



Sep 02, 2020 at 05:57 PM
BlueBomberTurbo
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p.9 #9 · p.9 #9 · Easy ETTR technique using the Zebra pattern


Fred Miranda wrote:
I prefer multiple exposures instead of bracketing whenever possible. With ETTR, I can have a 2-3 stop underexpose scene (saving the highlights) showing super clean recovered shadows when capturing 16-32 images. Once the images are "mean" stacked in post, there will be a ND effect and a huge noise improvement allowing me to dodge the shadow areas with great detail and low noise. It's rare, but If I need more dynamic range this this, I'd use bracketing.


Check out Kandao Raw+. It stacks RAWs, eliminates any ghosting, and outputs a RAW file. I believe the limit is 16 photos per stack, and you can choose the image you want to base.everything off of if there's movement going on.



Sep 02, 2020 at 06:14 PM
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