Damnit, B&H, I need an update. WTF?
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It caught my attention too. Is he saying that it could, for example, correct for some of the edge of image deficiencies of UWA lenses like the 17-40L? It can't magically make images sharp edge-to-edge of course, but possibly reduce CA and other issues?
Great info! Have you used the step wedges on your 7D and 5DII, and if so, how do their measured DR compare to their calculated DR?
I have. Both are less than the calculated DR, in my step wedge tests coming in at about 9 stops at ISO 100 (no difference between them), and (as expected) decreasing with increasing ISO.
to quote Mr. Westfall:
"A new feature called Digital Lens Optimizer processes RAW images to achieve ideal optical characteristics for all types of optical aberration or diffraction, effects of a low-pass filter in front of a CMOS sensor, etc. This function improves image quality particularly in the image periphery in addition to the image center. This function is made possible because the entire design-through-manufacture process, for camera, CMOS sensor, EF lens, and DPP, is carried out entirely at Canon. Images are processed optimally using lens information in the image files (focal length, subject distance, and aperture) and lens data specially for the Digital Lens Optimizer. (However, the size of a .CR2 file will be two to three times larger after applying the Digital Lens Optimizer.) "
V8 Beast - since you already shoot and merge multiple exposures i am interested to hear how you think that the theoretical greater DR of the D800 is going to impact your workflow (I like how you provide specific examples illustrating your arguments)
I can see where the additional MP might benefit you and more likely to a greater extent the Nikkor 14-24 will give you some serious benfits that well outweigh the D800 benefits (I assume you are going for the E version)
I can see where there will be some marginal real world difference in a single exposure with pushed shdows but in this scenario its really subjective and up to the tolerance to noise of the individual. however as soon as you are merging multiple exposures then the theoretical DR of a single exposure goes out the window as rather than struggling pushing shadows you just take the cleaner data from the relevent exposure
I will reference this tutorial again as a way to blend exposures (I am not sure of your method)
I hope! I'm actually interested to see what people do with really high native ISO settings...the shots of Earth from the ISS with the D3X were stunning. I can only imagine what might be possible now...
The approach of taking a blown out frame and a completely dark frame is valid for calculating DR, but there are inherent assumptions in that calculation (equivalent response between the frames, etc.). The calculated DR is almost always going to be greater than the 'usable DR' (i.e. what you can actually see in an image), since the bottom end of the calculated range is set by the noise floor, and regions only slightly brighter than that might not separate from the noise.
The alternate method you suggest I'd call measuring DR, as opposed to calculating it. IMO, measuring is the better way to test DR - that gives you an actual test of the usable DR.
Practically, it's pretty easy - you just need a step wedge (like the Stouffer T2115 or T4110, they cost about $10) and a bright, homogeneous backlight. For example, below is a crop from the setup I use. The T2115 is on the left, on the right is a chrome-on-glass USAF 1951-type resolution target (which I use for microscope imaging resolution testing). You set the exposure so the transparent top part of the wedge is just at the clipping point, and see how many stops you can distinguish down to the other end (each step on the scale is 0.5 stops for the T2115).
Apologies in advance if you think I should take this conversation elsewhere.
Second, we obviously don't disagree (and, btw, I was not claiming you actually don't use your gear or your software correctly.) The point I've been trying to make, which I believe you have made for me better than I could myself...is low-level differences that require poking around a raw file with open-source editors so you can see special masked off data that is only supposed to be used by code...just doesn't matter.
Certainly, I don't disagree. However, if your spending that much time tweaking every single photo one at a time, your not using modern post-processing tools effectively. Lightroom, for example, supports per-camera import profiles that can automatically apply default processing to every file you import.
Just because to change your approach to utilize the capabilities of a camera better does not mean you have to spend an extra, inordinate amount of time in post "compensating" for the "deficiencies" of your gear.
If you have DR limitations, light the scene properly, or slap on a GND
Even if they were...I'd blame the photographer, not the camera.
Exactly... everything is still up in the air and no real world samples have been provided... So many unknowns... So many assumptions and testing of unreleased photographs... The 5d2 was flamed for being soft, too much NR, low DR when it was first announced... Since then we know that the 5d2 more capable and higher quality than initially mentioned.
You can make the argument that better DR may make your life easier.
If you regularly find yourself dragging up the shadows, then you might as well jump ship and head over to Nikon where the grass is greener. Or you could ETTR, utilize the sensor DR better (Canon does seem to have a bit more highlight headroom than Nikon by about 1/2 a stop based on DPR charts), and correct exposure at the click of a button in post