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I prefer to get it right in camera


Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
14 May 2013 2:10PM
Sure film had a better exposure latitude but most processing machines were pre set, if your exposures were out your exposers were out and it would show.

Many of us used exposure meters as well, especially if using flash, many now assume meters are no longer needed, there more important now, digital is less forgiving.

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Sooty_1 e2
4 1.3k 203 United Kingdom
14 May 2013 8:33PM
I used slide most of the time, so it didn't bother me. Most of my shots were dross, but at least they were right in- camera!

Nick
19 May 2013 10:40PM
Greetings.
This is just a personal view, but I feel that in order to use the expression really convincingly, ideally you need to have most of the following qualifications-
a) be quite elderly, and under no circumstances be of the female persuasion
b) use a TLR, preferably an old Rollei, with a yellow filter permanently attached
c) use only FP4 film, or maybe occasionally HP5 ( but not HP5+ )
d) only ever use a hand-held meter, and definitely not one of those newfangled spotmeters
e) smell of pipe tobacco
f) be a Grandee in your local camera club. Sorry- 'photographic society.'
g)be a ****.

Or, more simply, you could just be a Luddite.
19 May 2013 11:28PM

Quote:'Getting it right in the camera' means getting the result that the camera's PC programmer prefers as the best option for those who cannot process it further.


No, it doesn't mean that. To get that result all you need to do is point'n'shoot, obviously.

It really, I think, only applies to the bygone days of film. "Correct" exposure. As much detail as possible in highlights and shadows without burning out or blocking up. Appropriate DOF. Accurate focus. For some, the "purists," it would also mean composing in the full frame without the need to crop, though the real photographers would probably always have had a good laugh at that one.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
20 May 2013 3:15AM

Quote:It really, I think, only applies to the bygone days of film


It applies just as much now, film had a far greater exposer latitude than the modern sensor.

Then there is your custom white balancing and getting the colours just right.

You calibrate your monitor and user printer paper profiles, so why skimp on not getting it right in camera.

This chap has a lot to say.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V39n1J8IgpA
Nick_w e2
7 4.1k 99 England
20 May 2013 8:15AM

Quote:It applies just as much now, film had a far greater exposer latitude than the modern sensor.

Then there is your custom white balancing and getting the colours just right.



That was true a couple of years ago Paul, but I'm not sure it is now with the most recent dSLRs - You can retreive 3-4 stops under exposure and a at least 1 stop over exposure - this wasn't possible 3-4 years ago. The dynamic range now is incredible - recently I took a bracketed series for HDR - when I got home I only needed the -2ev one as I could extract all the info when I checked its because my current camera has over 4 stops more dynamic range than my first dSLR (when I did a lot of hdr). I don't think we're too far from the point where graduated filters will be a thing of the past.

White balance, why restrict yourself ?- if you shoot RAW, again it's an arbitrary value set by the camera manufacturer. If you use RAW it has no effect on quality (other than in some rare occasions if you set it too warm in camera, you can lose some highlight details - so for this reason I use AWB then change in post if needed).

I would argue that far from getting it right in camera, if you select jpeg, you are throwing away the ability of getting the maximum data "in camera" you restrict yourself to the 8bit jpeg that the camera manufacturer has imposed on you. In contrasty conditions, you will either blow the highlights, have blocked out shadows, or use excessive filtration which impacts on image quality. Just by switching to RAW you negate all these problems and it could be argued that that is"getting it right in camera" knowing the capabilities (and limitations) of your equipment. Then when you get home, if you don't want to tinker with the image, import into the raw converter, apply your favoured preset on import - at least then you have an optimum "negative" available if you want to optimise.
20 May 2013 8:41AM

Quote:It really, I think, only applies to the bygone days of film

It applies just as much now, film had a far greater exposer latitude than the modern sensor.

Then there is your custom white balancing and getting the colours just right.

You calibrate your monitor and user printer paper profiles, so why skimp on not getting it right in camera.

This chap has a lot to say.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V39n1J8IgpA



You're right, I know.Smile In my first post I was referring in particular to the kind of old-fashioned camera snob for whom this phrase has always been a mantra. Fortunately a dying breed.
Regarding my second post- It was important because it meant you had a good quality negative to work with in the darkroom. You and I don't really differ on this point- yes it's important today- the only difference is that the darkroom is digital instead of chemical. And yes, a sensor has much less latitude than even colour positive film did, particularly in the highlights. But I'm still not sure it's quite as important as it used to be, given what's possible with modern software, and depending on the particular genre of photography that interests you, it simply isn't always possible to get it spot on in the camera. Sometimes you need to be quick off the mark. Even with "landscape" things can change very quickly, and there can often be an opportunity you hadn't planned for.
Perhaps I was guilty of over-generalizing/over-simplifying. It isn't black and white (... no pun intended. ) Smile
20 May 2013 8:54AM

Quote: if you select jpeg, you are throwing away the ability of getting the maximum data "in camera" you restrict yourself to the 8bit jpeg that the camera manufacturer has imposed on you. In contrasty conditions, you will either blow the highlights, have blocked out shadows, or use excessive filtration which impacts on image quality. Just by switching to RAW you negate all these problems and it could be argued that that is"getting it right in camera" knowing the capabilities (and limitations) of your equipment.


I've noticed in reviews of some of the most recent new camera models that the tester has confessed to finding it impossible, using RAW, to surpass the IQ of the in-camera jpegs. And quite difficult even to match them. Possibly the latest Fujis, I'm not too sure. Food for thought, given what you so rightly said at the beginning of your post. And it's probably changed again while I've been typing this.Smile
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
20 May 2013 9:07AM

Quote: a sensor has much less latitude than even colour positive film did, particularly in the highlights

Do you mean latitude or dynamic range? I always thought slide film was low on dynamic range and murderous on latitude. Or are you talking about a preference on how film handles the extremes?
20 May 2013 10:08AM

Quote:a sensor has much less latitude than even colour positive film did, particularly in the highlights
Do you mean latitude or dynamic range? I always thought slide film was low on dynamic range and murderous on latitude. Or are you talking about a preference on how film handles the extremes?



Dynamic range, though as Nick_w points out, things are changing. Blown highlights on slide film tended to turn a sllghtly bilious yellow. Awful. At least that was the case with Fuji Velvia, which in addition had so little exposure latitude compared to some other films that you may have been forgiven for thinking the Japanese were taking revenge for WW2. More than about 2/3rds of a stop out and your image was effectively buggered. In my experience with digital, exposure latitude is rarely, if ever, an issue. I think the problem here is one of semantics.
20 May 2013 11:04AM

Quote:... digital is less forgiving.


I tend to agree with this. When taking image on film we had a negative as an intermediate result. After that there was one more exposure onto the paper, and one more development process. This already added a lot to already very good dynamic range and latitude of film (esp B&W one). A lot of tricks were available to fix the wrongs ( dodge and burn, special papers and developers, etc.). Even desperate beginners had some chance with film. I still remember bakelite Brownie type cameras with fixed aperture and (often) single shutter speed Smile

In digital the ultimate product is JPG file shown on the screen or printed to paper. And printing process is very rigid - not much ( if anything at all) can be fixed there. And if, for example, sky highlights were blown ( happens more often than not) restoring them is basically hopeless - easier just to paint it blue and forget about fine cloud detail. Doing it right in the camera is what JPG is about, and what makes perceptible difference between camera brands.

RAW however is a different beast - the range and diapason of adjustments are simply unseen in film era. But difficulty creeps in from the dark corner of the image. Lightening the darks often increases noise so much that it is not worth the extra detail pulled out. So, some precision in exposure and smart choice of ISO is called for. Paradoxically, higher ISO images may come out cleaner than lower ISO ones - cause a lot can be saved in highlights with shadows properly exposed. But anyway right exposure for RAW cannot be called "doing right in the camera" simply because there won't be final image without extra development - just like with a negative film.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
20 May 2013 3:00PM

Quote:White balance, why restrict yourself ?- if you shoot RAW, again it's an arbitrary value set by the camera manufacturer


You only restricting yourself if shooting Jpeg, sure it can be changed post production, its even easier to change shooting Raw, it just makes life easier, and cuts down on post work.

I`m not a working pro so I have all the time in the world to fiddle with settings Smile

I still use a light meter as well for balancing flash and ambient or in the studio, sure you can simply chimp and it might take halve a dozen shots before you start seeing something that works.

I started a thread here about the free Adobe DNG Profile Editor if anyone is interested.

http://www.ephotozine.com/forums/topic/adobe-dng-profile-editor-103411

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