I have been reading up on maximizing dynamic range of digital sensors in order to get a rich image and soft roll-offs. One thing that I cannot wrap my head around are the following concepts and the combination of them:
- Digital sensors tend to push multiple steps of dynamic range below 18% grey when the ISO is decreased. To maximize dynamic range in both shadows and highlights and get softer roll-off it seems right to shoot at higher ISO.
- Simultaneously, there seems to be a pretty wide consensus that exposing to the right (ETTR) yields best results in terms of dynamic range for digital sensors. This indirectly implies lowering the ISO to keep highlight from clipping. Or must ETTR be combined with ND filters som these purposes?
- Multiple sources suggest that shooting above native sensor ISO could yield further movement of dynamic range steps above 18% grey – could this really be true?
- The chart shown in the image suggests that dynamic range in highlights/shadows is relative to 18% grey. Is that most often true?
- This site and many others imply that overall dynamic range is lost at higher ISO: https://photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm.
The only conclusion I can positively draw is that light scenes should be shot at slightly higher ISO to maximize highlights dynamic range while dark scenes should be shot at low ISO to maximize shadow dynamic range. But I can’t figure out how to apply ETTR technique to this line of reasoning.
I am aware of the confusing nature of the question, but I cannot boil it down more due to my lack of further understanding in the topic. Any input is much appreciated.
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