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  1. Ansel Adams devised a 11 Zone system. Can this be equated to 11 exposure zones ? Current film or Digital sensors are rated as 15 stops of dynamic range. Does that mean 15 Zones or 15 Stops fit into 11 Zone system (like 1.36 stop per zone) ? HDR output is like 20 stops of dynamic range. Does it mean 20 stops fit into 11 zones ? And what is exposure latitude in relation to these ? Can some one please explain this ?! some times it is confusing.
  2. Hopefully someone here can help me understand this better. A given camera will state that it has X amount of dynamic range. For example, my Canon 5D Mark III has 10 stops of dynamic range. An Arri Alexa has 14 stops of dynamic range. Film (e.g., Kodak Vision 3 500T) is said to have about 14 stops of dynamic range as well. However, there’s no way I can actually capture anywhere near 14+ stops of dynamic range in any given image. Even HDR (stills or video) only gives me a few extra stops up or down (and if abused, saccharine images!). For my still photography, I mostly use the Zone system and spot metering, especially for a high contrast scene. For example, if I know that I want a window to not blow out (and to be able to see what’s there), I can’t go over 2-3 stops from 0EV/correct exposure if I want to recover any highlights, so I meter on a highlight, adjust shutter/ISO/f-stop to set it be two stops over, then shoot (assuming my subject isn’t too dark, obviously). On the other end, I know anything below 2-3 stops from EV0 will be crushed. Referring back to the Zone system, after I determine Zone V (middle gray, 18%), I know that anything below Zone II will be crushed, and highlights above Zone’s VII or VIII will be blown out. So, the best I can tell, I can only get about 6-7 stops of actual dynamic range in an image; certainly not the 14+ stops talked about. Also, I already know they measure the DR of a camera using a grayscale chart from black to white, with each lighter color representing a stop of exposure. That’s all well and good, but that doesn’t really carry over to the real world… does it? So, what gives? What am I missing? Thanks all!
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