Questions tagged [theory]

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luminance range for camera

According to this article, luminance is proportional to pixel measurements via the following: Where: N_d is pixel value f_s is fstop t is exposure time S is ISO K_c is a camera constant If we shoot ...
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5 votes
6 answers
424 views

Would there be a noticeable difference between long exposure and brighter light?

If I take one photo with long exposure and dimmer lights (e.g. constant lighting) and then another photo with short exposure but lights brighter to the level enough to compensate for the shorter ...
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1 vote
4 answers
556 views

Longer or shorter focal length for good IQ for low light portrait photography?

I have a theoretical question. Consider two lenses with same f-ratio but one has a larger focal length than the other (say 200 mm vs 50mm). Which lens would give better image quality when shooting ...
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62 votes
15 answers
25k views

Aren't all digital images ultimately just pixel values between 0 - 255?

I have a few incredibly basic (stupid?) questions about images; specifically, image formats and pixel values. Forgive me, I'm not a photographer. I'm just someone that works with images, and to me, ...
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2 votes
2 answers
266 views

How close are we to the theoretic limits of sensor low-light performance?

Consider a low-light, high-ISO, short-exposure shot. We all know the image will be noisy. I understand that the image noise is dominated by the photon counting noise (shot noise) that is caused by ...
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4 answers
2k views

When do straight lines become curved when talking about projection?

This in not a question directly pertaining to photography, but the theory of projection in general. Imagine that I'm drawing my surroundings, say, in a city with straight lines everywhere. I start ...
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2 votes
2 answers
457 views

Where can I learn the theory behind photography and camera engineering?

While I do have a basic understanding of the concepts of photography, it would be great to also understand the theoretical background behind the optics and the engineering of modern cameras. E.g. to ...
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1 answer
217 views

Capturing and stitching images without distortion/perspective correction given perfect control

I'm working with a virtual scene and camera. Unfortunately, the program locks the render resolution at 1920x1080 with no direct workarounds. This is significantly lower than I'd like. Given the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
369 views

Why are specular highlights sharp when focusing on close object?

I am trying to understand how specular highlights work. As I understand specular highlights are created by reflecting light-sources in a mirror-like fashion. Because faraway reflected objects are out ...
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1 vote
2 answers
3k views

Large Sensor vs Large Aperture [closed]

Both increasing the sensor size and increasing the aperture size (in terms of f-stop) increases low light performance and decreases depth of field. Given, say, an equivalent of a full frame and f/1.8 ...
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2 votes
3 answers
335 views

From a user perspective, is a stopped down variable aperture zoom lens equivalent to a constant aperture zoom lens?

Let's say that I have a 24-70 F3.5-4.8 variable aperture zoom lens. If I were to stop down that lens to 4.8, would it then be equivalent to a 24-70 F4.8 constant aperture zoom lens from a user ...
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  • 131
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

What processing is done on RAW files in the camera?

Recently I came across a debate about whether it's fair to call RAW 'unprocessed' or 'unaltered' sensor data of a DSLR. As far as I know, the analog sensor data is processed into a digital RAW file ...
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6 votes
2 answers
552 views

Why are rangefinders not directly above the lens?

It seems the biggest gripe about rangefinders (vs SLRs) is that your shots are not quite what you see, there is a parallax error due to not seeing through the lens. Which makes me think, if you put ...
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2 votes
2 answers
318 views

Why "plane of focus"? [duplicate]

The spatial locus on which a lens/camera focuses (and so appears sharpest in the resulting image) is always referred to as the "plane of focus". My question is why does it have to be a plane? As I ...
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1 vote
1 answer
527 views

How do wavefronts/wavelets propogate in three dimensions, and why is this important for photography?

The photography book I have talks about waveforms, but it doesn't do a good job of explaining them. So, here's my understanding from the book and google searches (it could be unbelievably wrong.) In ...
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4 votes
1 answer
359 views

Are Ansel Adams's theory books relevant today?

With the decline of film photography, it seems that there is no use for "The Negative" anymore. But what about "The Print" and other books where Adams teaches about light, technique and, well... ...
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12 votes
3 answers
15k views

Is vector photography possible?

Of course any bitmap image can be vectorized, but might we ever reach a point where a camera can make an outline image that looks exactly like a photograph? Could the resulting image even be ...
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3 votes
1 answer
802 views

An intro to "conceptual" fine-art photography?

In many photo clubs and professional fine art photography, is very common to show "conceptual" photo essays or photo series. That is, there is a unifying idea behind a compilation of images, and ...
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5 votes
8 answers
4k views

Rule of thirds -- is there any scientific proof behind it?

I learned about rule of thirds only recently, and it excited me a lot, and it seems to apply to a lot of situations. But my question is why does it make pictures look more appealing? Does it have ...
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  • 159
7 votes
6 answers
7k views

Do full frame sensors gather more light than crop sensors?

Lots of people say that full frame sensors receive more light than cropped sensors. I have never found a proof of this claim so I tried to do the computation by myself, and proved the contrary! Could ...
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  • 398
17 votes
4 answers
2k views

How can a high resolution camera matter when the output is low resolution?

The question is inspired by this question showing these pictures. The accepted answer suggests that these pictures were taken by a 8x10 view camera, and the use of a 8x10 camera was confirmed in the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
418 views

Is there such a thing as a filter for circularly polarized light for photographic use, and what would be the effect of using one?

I was under the assumption that a circular polarizing filter would filter circularly polarized light. I now understand that what is commonly called a circular polarizing filter only filters based on ...
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