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Thread: whats the dynamic range?

  1. #1

    whats the dynamic range?

    Hi All,
    I know I read it somewhere but I just can't remember where (old age in dogs). What is the dynamic range in F stops that the human eye can detect vs film vs digital? And is there an article to go along with it?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Chandigarh, India
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    Sahil Jain

    Re: whats the dynamic range?

    Hi mikeci,

    Welcome to the Forum
    Give this article a read and let us know if it helps. If not, someone will shortly answer your query. (Not me, because I feel I won't be too good at it).

  3. #3

    Re: whats the dynamic range?

    hi Sahil,

  4. #4
    Steaphany's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Somewhere in Texas
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    Re: whats the dynamic range?

    According to the page Dynamic range From Wikipedia, human vision has a dynamic range in excess of 90 db which I calculate to approximately 20 /f stops. Note that the eye has two means of adjusting sensitivity, the iris allows for rapid changes of aperture and the retina can actually alter it's sensitivity over time, ISO. ( Ever walk from a dark theater into bright sun light and experience several minutes as your retina compensates ? )

    As for the functional dynamic range, how many /f stops the eye can perceive at any one time will take a bit more digging.

    For the other half of the question, is there any web sites that tabulate that actual photographic dynamic ranges, not the manufacturer's marketing hype, of various currently available films and digital imagers ? ( I'm sure that other factors compromise the absolute dynamic range that the bit depth of the ADC would indicate. )
    Last edited by Steaphany; 24th November 2010 at 12:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Windsor, Berks, UK
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    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: whats the dynamic range?

    Is it not also true that there are some local effects going on?
    A bit like Active D-lighting (in Nikon speak).

    This changes the sensitivity of one part of the retina looking at something bright vs another part looking at something darker.

    If you hold a gaze at something with a high contrast distinct pattern for a few seconds, then look away at something with no patterns, preferably not focusing on it, you 'see' the inverse colour image of what you were looking at. In fact if you can do it just by shutting your eyes.


  6. #6
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Glenfarg, Scotland
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: whats the dynamic range?

    Just wait a few houirs for New Zealand to wake up. This sort of question is right up Colin's street.

  7. #7
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
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    Re: whats the dynamic range?

    Hi Mikeci,

    From my reading I understand the human eye can see around 14 – 16 stops of light. Colin has written many times at digital cameras can capture around 10 – 12 stops, your screen can display around 6 and printing is limited to around 4.

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