Getting Best Histogram without UniWB
As we know, the histogram displayed by our D800s or in Lightroom is really that of the rendered JPG even though we are shooting in raw. One complicated way to get an accurate histogram is to use UniWB, a pain IMO. I wanted to see what the effect of identically exposed images would produce in the way of a histogram when the picture control only is varied. So I set up my camera on a tripod, set the exposure mode to manual, used the nominal exposure that the meter recommended (when set in standard, and left that way), and shot a JPG (large, high) image with each of the supplied renderings, as well as one of my own that has low contrast and low saturation. As expected, the histograms varied considerably.
Here is my question: can anyone suggest a picture control setting, packaged or custom, that might be the best approximation to the raw data? (I'm primarily concerned with blowing out the highs, although it might be possible to find a setting that would reasonably accurately render both ends of the histogram.) Is anyone aware of any reason why Nikon could not present a histogram based on the raw data? Is anyone aware of a way to actually look at the raw data so that some kind of calibration of the picture control to the raw data could be attempted?
Thanks for you input.
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#1. "RE: Getting Best Histogram without UniWB" | In response to Reply # 0JonK Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004Sun 19-Aug-12 08:56 PM
Raw data is, well, raw. It must be processed — demosaiced — into an image and that would have a histogram. In camera, the raw data is processed (into a JPG that is then embedded in the RAW file) using the various in-camera settings, notably the Picture Control.
Use a Picture Control setting of Neutral or Standard. These are the two tame settings that will tend to not blow shadows or highlights. The other settings tend to boost contrast, etc., and thereby stretch out the histogram.
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