I can see a clear interference pattern by “eyeball”. But my iPhone cannot deal with the dynamic range - yeah I know our vision system is cool. But what kind of camera mimics our vision system?

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    All cameras do and do not mimic our vision system to some extent, depending on what aspects you consider more or less important. – xiota Jan 17 at 4:07
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    I do not understand how your phone fails to take the picture. If there is too much dynamic range, you should still be able to capture the pattern. Just the dark and the bright areas would be saturated. Maybe it would help to describe what is your setup / how do you create the interference pattern? What is the result when you take an image with your phone? – bogl Jan 17 at 10:11
  • I can place a double slit glass slide very close to my eye and view a white Light interference pattern. If I do the same with my iPhone the picture is saturated (way too bright). I am new to photography, so may there is a way to edit out the saturation? And, would a better camera be able to reproduce what I see? – William Kelleher Jan 17 at 11:49
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    @jdv I disagree this is an XY question. This is about how to take a picture of the interference pattern that is demonstrated by holding 2 fingers very close together. I saw it mentioned in a Vsauce video, and I admit, I tried to take a picture of it with my mobile phone but couldn't. So the question isn't about generically taking a picture of a 2-point interference pattern. It's about taking a picture of something you can see with your eyes, but can't easily capture with your mobile phone. – scottbb Jan 18 at 20:19
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    @WilliamKelleher Does this Quora question describe a similar phenomenon you're trying to photograph? quora.com/… – scottbb Jan 19 at 22:00

This is a problem with (auto-) exposure, not with dynamic range.

If the image from your camera is all saturated white, then exposure is wrong. Try to change exposure settings. I believe the current iphone camera app is able to do that. Otherwise try a different app with more options.

The fixed aperture cannot be changed. Select a shorter exposure time, and the minimum sensitivity (ISO number). If the image is still too bright you have to dim the lamp.

You should be able to take an image that is medium gray in average.

If I understand your setup correctly, you should be able to observe the interference pattern with the camera in the same way you do with your bare eye. A minimum resolution is required, but your iPhone should be ok unless it is very old.

For the other part of your question, the human eye and a typical photo camera are similar in having a lens that projects an image onto a light sensitive area. There are very many differences, including but not limited to:

  • the lens in the human eye can contract and relax to change focus. Photo lens elements are solid, focus is changed by moving lenses.
  • the retina in the eye is curved. Photo film and sensors are flat.
  • the cavity in the eye is filled with liquid.
  • The distribution of light sensitive elements is homogeneous in photo film and sensors. The eye has different type and density of receptors in the center and towards the periphery.
  • The light sensitivity of films and sensors may be changed, but is homogeneous over the area. The retina in the eye adapts sensitivity locally.
  • We can inspect the image on the film and the raw data from digital sensors. The image on the retina gets processed while it is transmitted to the brain. We never see the image as it is captured by our receptors.

There are specialized cameras that mimic one or several of the features of the human eye, certainly for scientific purposes.

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    I got up to speed on the “mindseye” vs. a physical camera. Meanwhile I decided to put a pinhole over the led light and I got a few good ( still not as good as what I see) interferrogram pictures. Thanks all - very much! – William Kelleher Jan 19 at 7:08

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