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Subject: Re: Exposure to the right and tone placement



Bill,

As Jeff stated, the highlight tone mapping is much less useful with compressed NEF such as found in the D70. Too aggressive and you will lose details.

If you compiled the DCRaw program, you may be able to put a debugger on it. Stepping through the program, you can see it extract the lookup table and then index against it for each of the pixel values. You probably could also extract the values from the lookup table.

A while back in one of the forums (DPReview or Rob Galbraith) there was a discussion on NEF mossy vs. lossless and someone provided a link that had the values. Since the count matched what I had independently observed running DCRaw in debug mode, I made the dangerous leap of faith that the values were accurate. The same discussion also referenced the D100 as only having 500+, which I had also seen.

As a D70 owner, I will still expose to the right just not as aggressively. To hold detail in white on white highlights I will spot expose +2. Otherwise, I will look for a well distributed histogram that favors the highlights. I recently compared a shot pushed too far to the right to ones where I was not as aggressive. I believe that I saw minor banding that obscured details in the highlights. It could have been other factors but…

As a serious amateur, I enjoy the D70. I do however look forward to sometime in the future where I will have the full set of bits from my capture device and can try some of the more advanced tone mapping techniques.

Steve

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