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Hightlight Tone & Shadow Tone

Discussion in 'General Photography Discussion' started by Martini1, Dec 6, 2017 at 9:07 PM.

  1. Martini1

    Martini1 New Member

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    Both my XE-2 and X100F have the capability to adjust Highlight tone and Shadow tone. I have not had the opportunity to use either of these controls; however I would guess that these controls are somewhat analogous to push processing and pull processing in conventional B&W film photography both of which I have performed quite successfully. Has anyone on the forum any experience using these tools? Also, I'm a little baffled by the ability to control Dynamic Range; both manuals indicate that by using Dynamic Range one can control contrast; I'm trying to understand how using Dynamic Range is different from using Highlight tone and/or Shadow tone. I shoot in monochrome and print the same. What has been the experience of Forum members with these controls? Thanks for inputs.
     
  2. fzdp

    fzdp Premium Member

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    Highlights tone and shadows tone is for modification of the S curve when JPG is developed. It doesn't change exposure. Raw file is untouched. DR is for dynamic range. It underexposes a bit to save highlights from clipping and opens shadows a bit. As a result you may have a bit more noise in the shadows.
     
  3. leoda1945

    leoda1945 Premium Member

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    The best way to see the effects of highlight and shadow tone control is....

    Set camera to shoot RAW only
    Take a picture.
    View the picture.
    When viewing the picture, click "RAW Conversion" then the "->" symbol to open the RAW conversion menu.
    Scroll down to (let's start with) "Shadow tone" and select "Hard"
    Click to make the JPG (I think you click "Q" but my cameras are upstairs at the moment).
    Save the JPG by clicking "OK"
    Repeat, except make shadow tone "Soft"
    Compare the 2 JPG's

    Rerun this for any other parameters you are curious about.

    I can't answer your DR questions.
     
    dem likes this.
  4. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    The Highlight tone and Shadow tone adjustments apply only to the JPEG files the cameras generate and have no effect of any kind on camera raw files.
    They are not analogous to push and pull processing of film. A better analogy would be changing paper grades and/or contrast filters when printing but with the twist that you can target either end independently. Raising ISO is a good digital analogy to push processing and there really is no good digital analogy for pull processing.

    Use the H-tone and S-tone adjustments to fine-tune the camera JPEG output to your liking -- lower contrast response in either or both shadows and highlights.

    The DR function is also designed to improve JPEG quality but unlike most of the JPEG adjustment controls the Fuji DR function will effect the camera raw files. Fuji engineers designed the DR function with some assumptions and requirements. The function is for high contrast and very high contrast lighting. Fuji's engineers assume that in such a lighting condition (eg. backlight) a good exposure would result in some highlight clipping. So to use the DR200/400 function they force you to raise the ISO. You can't use that function with the camera at base ISO. Raising the ISO is read by the camera metering system and a reduced exposure is calculated. So for example an ISO increase from 200 to 400 may result in the camera meter recalculating a shutter speed of 1/60 sec. to 1/125 th sec. Normally when we take photos with the ISO increased the camera processing software brightens the image by the equivalent amount and this is reflected in the raw file. With the DR200/400 function active the standard image brightening is withheld by the same amount as the DR function ISO increase, eg. DR200 would result in 1 stop of normal image brightening to be withheld. The design assumption is that this is preventing highlight clipping that would have otherwise occurred. The JPEG is then processed with a special tone curve to deal with the assumed high contrast lighting and you get a better JPEG.

    In testing Fuji DR function my experience is that the raw files are underexposed more than necessary, but if you're a JPEG shooter who doesn't use raw files it's another tool in the arsenal that will give you some options for very high contrast lighting. If you do save and use raw files you may want to look at the cost for what is arguably excess underexposure.
     
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  5. Madhav Bodas

    Madhav Bodas Premium Member

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    My understanding of DR is that it does not change exposure which is dependent on f stop and shutter speed. What it does is that while storing RAW file, it will apply one or two stops of lower analog gain to the image. Meaning, if a shot were taken at ISO 1600, then at DR 400, the RAW file stored will be that of ISO 400 (Two stops lower). This will help the in-camera JPEG processor to apply the suitable tone curve as per DR, while in PP, one can use this file to apply gain as required.
    So while in low light condition, one may want to increase ISO to freeze motion, one can still get a RAW of lower ISO shot to work with.
     
  6. runswithsizzers

    runswithsizzers Premium Member

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    I generally shot RAW, only, and I often shoot with the Exposure Compensation dial of my XE2 set one or two notches to the plus side. On a recent trip I converted some selected RAWs to JPGs for uploading from my phone. While processing the RAWs in camera, I thought some of the highlights looked a little too hot and I changed the highlight tone from Standard to M-Soft or even Soft. When I got back home to my computer screen I thought those JPGs looked too dull and flat compared to the way I process in Lightroom.
     
  7. MontyBigglesworth

    MontyBigglesworth Premium Member

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    So the DR200 and DR400 modes essentially increases the headroom available to stop excessive light clipping the sensor but it doesn't adjust the gain to increase the light hitting the sensor?
    So..
    If am using ISO 800 and select DR200 this would result in the camera reducing the ISO to 400 but keeping the shutter/aperture the same.
    .. which would be the same as me setting the ISO to 400 and the exposure compensation dial to -1?
    The downside of this I can see is you will loose 1 bit of resolution over most of the image and with DR400 you would loose 2 bits.
    Is that assumption correct?
    The DR functions are something I haven't really messed about with as I wasn't entirely sure how they worked!
    Thanks in advance!
     
  8. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    The DR200/400 function does not change exposure once the ISO has been raised -- that's correct -- ISO is not a direct exposure determinant. It does however force raising the ISO above base which results in the calculation of a reduced exposure assuming as Fuji does that the on-board meter will be used. To use the DR200/400 function the camera ISO must be set at least to 400/800. The engineering assumption then is that the exposure selected will be appropriate for that higher ISO.

    In your proffered example with the ISO set to 1600 and DR400 engaged you are correct that the camera software will apply two stops less analog gain during ADC. However the raw file stored will not be that of ISO 400 but rather it will be that of ISO 400 exposed for ISO 1600. In PP digital scaling can be applied to the raw file in lieu of the analog gain but the result is not necessarily equivalent. Fuji's X-Trans II sensor was very close to ISO invariant but the X-Trans III is not. With my X-T2, if the raw file were my priority, I would chose to the have the full ISO 1600 analog gain as the best option over any improvement in a camera generated JPEG.
     
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  9. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    Yep, it just gets real tricky finding accurate language to describe what's happening. You're scenario is correct as long as you switch back to DR100 for the 2nd shot. Assume that at ISO 800 the meter calculates an exposure of 1/100 sec at f/8. That's the exposure and ISO gain applied during ADC can't change that. With DR200 engaged the camera will apply 1 stop less analog gain and you get the level of gain that would be applied if the ISO were 400. Now set DR to DR100 and the ISO to 400. The meter will recalculate the exposure and add 1 stop, 1/50 sec at f/8. But you set the EC to -1 changing the exposure back to 1/100 sec at f/8 and with the ISO at 400 and DR at DR100 you get gain applied for ISO 400. You'd get the exact same raw file in both cases except that the metadata will indicate the DR200 application in the first case and some raw converters will process that while others won't.
     
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  10. Madhav Bodas

    Madhav Bodas Premium Member

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    It is gradually getting very technical indeed. I suggest review of the link article that appeared on this very topic in DPR:

    Please login or register to view links
     
  11. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    That's an accurate description of the process. My reaction and one complaint is that he treats analog gain and digital scaling as basically equivalent. After a paragraph defining the two processes he writes; "It is important to point out that the ISO setting in the camera specifies the total amount of amplification applied to the captured signal, the sum of analog and digital amplification." Well and good except that an image that relies entirely on analog gain may appear substantially different than an image that relies on a mix of both analog gain and digital scaling and still again different than an image that relies entirely on digital scaling. The extent of these differences changes with both camera make and model as well as with raw conversion software. The DR200/400 function shifts the weight toward digital scaling. That works if your sensor is ISO invariant and if your raw conversion software doesn't trade precision for speed. To the extent your sensor is not ISO invariant and/or your raw conversion software is cutting floating point precision to hurry things up, shifting the weight back toward analog gain is going to produce a better end result (less noise). All of which of course assumes you want the raw file. For JPEG only shooters the DR200/400 function is an added advantage.
     
  12. fzdp

    fzdp Premium Member

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    Interesting, thanks for sharing.
     
  13. Madhav Bodas

    Madhav Bodas Premium Member

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    I visited the same site again today to check whether my usage of DR earlier was really useful. Keeping exposure constant (f/5 & speed 1/15s) and focal length at 70mm, I used three different ISOs, i.e., 200, 1600 & 6400. Then processed them using LR6. In case of ISO 200, I had to increase exposure by 5 stops and then bring down the Highlight. In case of 1600, I had to increase exposure by 2 stops and bring down highlight slider. In case of 6400, I had to bring down the highlight slider only. I did use sharpening & noise reduction, which was almost same for all.
    Well, the results are almost the same unless one really pixel peeps to find 200 being perhaps better. Attaching the results, which are in increasing ISO sequence.

    DSCF0001-1.jpg

    DSCF0003-1.jpg

    DSCF0004-1.jpg
     
  14. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    What does this have to do with the DR expansion function in Fuji cameras?
     
  15. AdrianG

    AdrianG Premium Member

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    Nothing. H-Tone, S-Tone, and DR are responsible for JPEG contrast and tones and have nothing to do with RAFs and LR processing, they are tools for JPEG shooters and to make use of them one doesn't need to understand or even think about any of the mentioned theories in any of the above posts. It's quite simple, really. Sort of.

    Nope. Selecting any other ISO than 200 on your camera is push/pull.

    Compared to conventional B/W film photography:
    -S-Tone/H-Tone adjustments compares to combinations of exposure and VC underlens filters of your enlarger.
    -DR settings compare to shooting your film at box speed (DR100%), half box speed (DR200%) or quarter box speed (DR400%), but because digital sucks it has to do it by under- instead of overexposure.
    However, you could also think of H-Tone/S-Tone/DR as a way to adjust the character of your film to your tastes, i.e. you can create your own digital emulsion (or approximate an existing one) using the presets.

    Practical experience (I can't be bothered to make up a theory behind this) shows H-Tone and S-Tone don't behave in a comparable way. H-Tone has no influence on the cliping point of the lights. A negative H-Tone value results in a soft, gradual transition from the mids to clipping, a positive value in a more abrupt one, but if you have a blown area it will be the same size regardless. H-Tone settings do not expand/shrink DR, if you need to expand DR at the light side of things you need to use DR200% or DR 400%. I never shoot positive H-Tone because hard clipping lights look digital and inappropriate, particularly in B/W photography. A negative S-Tone value will also flatten contrast between the mids and clipping, but at least to some extent by pushing the clipping point to the right, while a positive value does the opposite. A black area at a positive S-Tone value will thus show some detail at a negative S-Tone value. I.e. setting a negative S-Tone value expands DR, a positive one shrinks it.
     
  16. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    The Dr function does directly effect RAF files; the H & S tone functions have no effect on RAF files. Using DR200/400 results in analog gain being withheld during ADC when the RAF file is created.
     
  17. Madhav Bodas

    Madhav Bodas Premium Member

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    Just a learning that use of DR in case you are maxed out on exposure is not going to add any value. You might as well shoot at that specific ISO. In the first specific case, I had shot at 6400 and used DR 400. I might as well have shot at 1600, which is what the RAW file I got using DR.
     
  18. AdrianG

    AdrianG Premium Member

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    Maybe, but who cares? If you shoot RAW those settings are not for you and if you shoot JPEG you shoot different exposures most of the time anyway and thus get different RAFs by definition plus you don't care what happens to your RAFs, you may not even have RAFs if you don't choose to safe them for the purpose of paranoia control.
     
  19. AdrianG

    AdrianG Premium Member

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    The use of DR100/200/400 is to fit the contrast of your scenery into the DR of your OOC JPEG. If you shoot RAW you should set DR to 100 and leave it there. Instead you should choose exposure to match your requirements for DOF and motion blur etc. and ISO to just keep the lights from blowing and then take care of everything else in your RAW converter. Shooting JPEG and shooting RAW are two separate and different things calling for different approaches. Both are equally valid and yield equally good results (though not the same results), but mixing the two leads to less than ideal results either way. Discussing the effects of JPEG settings on RAW files is pointless because the point of JPEG settings is to get a JPEG not a RAW file. What does or doesn't happen to your RAF is irrelevant.
     
  20. AdrianG

    AdrianG Premium Member

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    I forgot to mention that you MUST NOT UNDEREXPOSE TO PROTECT THE LIGHTS if you use DR200/400 because that's exactly what DR200/400 does for you. If you add your own underexposure you'll have to push exposure using the push feature of the in-camera converter if you have a RAF file or push your JPEG in post (something you definitely want to avoid) if you don't. If you don't want your lights to blow and feel DR400 won't do, shoot RAW instead!
     
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