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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 03 Oct 2006 (Tuesday) 00:00
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Shooting underexposed raws indoors?

 
DaDeuce
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Oct 03, 2006 00:00 |  #1

How many of you guys shoot your raw's underexposed when indoors to be able to boost the shutter speed? I know that photoshop can adjust the raw file for exposure, I was just curious how this compared to shooting at the correct exposure?

P.S. If this is the wrong forum once again, feel free to move it.


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Oct 03, 2006 00:15 |  #2

I intentionally underexpose on rare occasions. It has come in handy.... BUT....

Even in RAW, when you underexpose, you are losing detail in the shadows. So when you adjust in processing, some information is lost, and you are unable to recover it. (unable to recover it well. )

If you have to radically adjust, the quality of the pic suffers.


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liza
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Oct 03, 2006 00:53 |  #3
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I don't underexpose as it introduces noise. Even if you shoot in RAW format, it's best to try to nail the exposure, as it will minimize digital noise in the final product.



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Dellboy
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Oct 03, 2006 00:56 |  #4

The only times I'd recomend underexposing is:

1, If you're at ISO 1600 and need more speed to prevent camera shake. Though you may choose ISO 3200 if your camera allows
2, If you deliberately want to underexpose the photo.
3, If the lighting is extreme and you want to prevent the highlights from burn out.




  
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carsanbballs
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Oct 03, 2006 09:54 |  #5

Underexpose with film and overexpose with digital is what I think I read somewhere? I'm with liza and try to "nail the exposure" when shooting
RAW and btw I only shoot RAW.




  
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GyRob
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Oct 03, 2006 10:05 |  #6

when you try to bring the detail back in the shadow's the noise starts to show so not recomended.
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PacAce
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Oct 03, 2006 10:06 |  #7

Dellboy wrote in post #2069599 (external link)
The only times I'd recomend underexposing is:

1, If you're at ISO 1600 and need more speed to prevent camera shake. Though you may choose ISO 3200 if your camera allows
2, If you deliberately want to underexpose the photo.
3, If the lighting is extreme and you want to prevent the highlights from burn out.

ditto all of the above except that I would reword #2 as "if you deliberately want an underexposed photo, i.e. you are not going to compensate for it later in PP".


...Leo

  
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Curtis ­ N
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Oct 03, 2006 10:35 |  #8

DaDeuce wrote in post #2069480 (external link)
I know that photoshop can adjust the raw file for exposure,

I haven't done direct comparisons myself, but others have compared boosting exposure via RAW converter vs. boosting exposure with a higher ISO setting. Concensus seems to be that the higher ISO setting creates less digital noise than boosting the RAW image and results in better image qualtiy.


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Croasdail
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Oct 03, 2006 22:11 |  #9

.... and of course I am the one who runs contrarian to that. I will underexpose by up to a stop before dropping to ISO 3200. I don't like the softness of 3200 - period, forget the noise. I would much rather have sharp with some noise then soft and then de-noised. Just my preference.

And you can adjust JPEGs just about as much as you can RAW.... the only exception is you have a little more lattitude if you are on the boarder of having crushed shadows or blown highlights with RAW - but not as much as many would have you beleive. Fine JPEG has a lot of detail. The Gamut is just a tad smaller. But on output your going to be going to a smaller gamut anyway so on final output it really doesnt make a difference. 1 stop really shouldn't be a big deal with either. After a stop.... you start needing to be really carefull to avoid too much color shift. It's workable, but makes workflow much more complex.


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PacAce
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Oct 04, 2006 07:45 |  #10

Croasdail wrote in post #2073945 (external link)
.... and of course I am the one who runs contrarian to that. I will underexpose by up to a stop before dropping to ISO 3200. I don't like the softness of 3200 - period, forget the noise. I would much rather have sharp with some noise then soft and then de-noised. Just my preference.

And you can adjust JPEGs just about as much as you can RAW.... the only exception is you have a little more lattitude if you are on the boarder of having crushed shadows or blown highlights with RAW - but not as much as many would have you beleive. Fine JPEG has a lot of detail. The Gamut is just a tad smaller. But on output your going to be going to a smaller gamut anyway so on final output it really doesnt make a difference. 1 stop really shouldn't be a big deal with either. After a stop.... you start needing to be really carefull to avoid too much color shift. It's workable, but makes workflow much more complex.

Can you explain how softness comes into play here? I didn't know that setting ISO had anything to do with softness.


...Leo

  
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Croasdail
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Oct 04, 2006 19:31 |  #11

Upping the ISO makes the sensors more sensitive causing them get light bleed from one to another. The colors are less accurate and your gamut decreases. These all lead to a softer looking images. It's simular to the what you got with film as you pushed it, the grain expanded and gave less definition. At least that is what I have seen has been explained to me. Perhaps brighter minds will prevail here.


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fivefish
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Oct 04, 2006 19:56 |  #12

From my experience, a high 1600 ISO with flash that's correctly exposed gives pictures that are great.

An ISO 100 , 200 or 400 that's underexposed will show MORE noise than the 1600 ISO that's correctly exposed.

Again, that's just my experience.


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DocFrankenstein
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Oct 04, 2006 20:07 |  #13

fivefish wrote in post #2077947 (external link)
From my experience, a high 1600 ISO with flash that's correctly exposed gives pictures that are great.

An ISO 100 , 200 or 400 that's underexposed will show MORE noise than the 1600 ISO that's correctly exposed.

Again, that's just my experience.

That's the right answer from the physics point of view.


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PacAce
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Oct 04, 2006 22:30 |  #14

fivefish wrote in post #2077947 (external link)
From my experience, a high 1600 ISO with flash that's correctly exposed gives pictures that are great.

An ISO 100 , 200 or 400 that's underexposed will show MORE noise than the 1600 ISO that's correctly exposed.

Again, that's just my experience.

DocFrankenstein wrote in post #2077992 (external link)
That's the right answer from the physics point of view.

From tests I did a year or so ago, I didn't really see any difference between a properly exposed image shot at ISO 1600 and one that was underexposed at ISO 800. And that makes sense when you consider that in both cases, you are using the same image senosr and both are underexposing the image in the same way.

However, what I wasn't sure about was how the image would look at ISO 3200. After all, you have to go out of your way to use it so I thought maybe there was a reason for that. Maybe the image doesn't come out as well at that ISO compared to the other ISO settings? I don't know. So, I did a test to see if there really are a differences in images shot at ISO 3200, ISO 1600 and underexposed by 1 stop and ISO 800 and underexposed by 2 stops.

See for yourself. The test photos were shot in RAW and converted in DPP all using the same parameters except that the exposure of the image shot at ISO 1600 and underexposed by 1 stop was correct by +1 stop to compensate, and likewise, the image shot at ISO 1600 was corrected by +2 stops.

Also, other than changes to the ISO setting, all images were shot in Manula mode @ 1/25, f/5.6 and custom WB with camera on a tripod and cable release.

Resized full images:

1) Shot at ISO 3200

IMAGE: http://tanseikai.com/others/Pic-1.jpg

2) Shot at ISO 1600

IMAGE: http://tanseikai.com/others/Pic-2.jpg

3) Shot at ISO 800

IMAGE: http://tanseikai.com/others/Pic-3.jpg


100% crop of focused area:

1A) Shot at ISO 3200

IMAGE: http://tanseikai.com/others/Pic-1_A.jpg

2A) Shot at ISO 1600

IMAGE: http://tanseikai.com/others/Pic-2_A.jpg

3A) Shot at ISO 800

IMAGE: http://tanseikai.com/others/Pic-3_A.jpg

...Leo

  
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PacAce
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Oct 04, 2006 22:31 |  #15

And here are more crops from other parts of the photos.


1B) Shot at ISO 3200

IMAGE: http://tanseikai.com/others/Pic-1_B.jpg

2B) Shot at ISO 1600

IMAGE: http://tanseikai.com/others/Pic-2_B.jpg

3B) Shot at ISO 800

IMAGE: http://tanseikai.com/others/Pic-3_B.jpg


1C) Shot at ISO 3200

IMAGE: http://tanseikai.com/others/Pic-1_C.jpg

2C) Shot at ISO 1600

IMAGE: http://tanseikai.com/others/Pic-2_C.jpg

3C) Shot at ISO 800

IMAGE: http://tanseikai.com/others/Pic-3_C.jpg

Croasdail wrote:
Upping the ISO makes the sensors more sensitive causing them get light bleed from one to another. The colors are less accurate and your gamut decreases. These all lead to a softer looking images. It's simular to the what you got with film as you pushed it, the grain expanded and gave less definition. At least that is what I have seen has been explained to me. Perhaps brighter minds will prevail here.

I don't know about you, Croasdail, but looks to me that your concern about image softness are unfounded. :)


BTW, other than the initial raw conversion followed by resizing or cropping, the images are as they came out of DPP. No noise reduction was used as is probably obvious by looking at the images and no sharpening was applied in PP.


...Leo

  
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Shooting underexposed raws indoors?
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