Thread: waveform vs. histogram

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  1. #11  
    Senior Member Von Thomas's Avatar
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    As a still photographer and a RED DP, and DIT, I go by the histogram. Over the years (13 in fact shooting on Phase One, Leaf and Hasselbald digital backs and Canon pro camera's (5D excluded)) I've learned how to look at the histogram and see what elements in the frame are placed in the histogram. As I began to learn RED, which IMO is a digital still camera that shoots motion, I use the same approach, and to date, it's lead to beautifully exposed images, and as a DIT, it helps evaluate exposure to help DP's bring the shot in as they see it. Old school vs. new school.

    In REDucation they teach not to base you exposure off false color, but the exposure meter (Color), as it (false color) does not get you as accurate a value on the light striking the sensor.

    Histogram all the way.
    Last edited by Von Thomas; 09-22-2011 at 10:34 PM.
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    Senior Member danbrazda's Avatar
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    I have had a MUCH higher success rate nailing exposure in the field via waveform not histogram. That goes for post workflow as well. I recently purchased a Small HD DP6 monitor because it was one of the few that could see all of the menu functions from the camera- thought I was really missing something crucial. After 6 months of using it, I ditched the HDMI path (full menu support) and only use HD-SDI and zebras. Too many distractions in the histograms & stoplights & yada yada....
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  3. #13  
    Senior Member Mark Toia's Avatar
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    I dont use any of them... ever ? to scary.

    I like to look at the shot and say.. mmmm.. that looks a bit dark... or mmm that looks a bit hot. Then my brain and eyes talk to my fingers and say adjust the aperture fingers until this picture looks good. :))

    Served me well since the day I hung up my light meter and started shooting digitally.

    But hey... we are all different. :))))
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  4. #14  
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    If I had only one i would use a good waveform monitor such as the WFM-5000 from Tektronix, I find it much faster to read exposures via a waveform monitor , That said I alway checkout the Histogram on the viewfinder.
    The WFM-5000 gives both luminance waveform, RGB parade, and Luminance with RGB parade which I like to reference, it also gives you some great digital audio meters which I much prefer to use when setting levels.
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    A histogram is a different tool than a (luminesence) waveform monitor. If you know how to read both, they show you different information. Picking one over the other doesn't make anyone 'right'. Or 'better'.

    If you're asking what is the best tool to judge exposure, then you're going to get a lot of 'right' answers, and a number of them won't have anything to do with either a waveform or a histogram. Trying to argue with someone that they should use a histogram over a waveform is pretty much like arguing that your favorite color is better than their favorite color. We all like something different.
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  6. #16  
    Senior Member Paul Nordin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Toia View Post
    I dont use any of them... ever ? to scary.

    I like to look at the shot and say.. mmmm.. that looks a bit dark... or mmm that looks a bit hot. Then my brain and eyes talk to my fingers and say adjust the aperture fingers until this picture looks good. :))
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  7. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Britton View Post
    A histogram is a different tool than a (luminesence) waveform monitor. If you know how to read both, they show you different information. Picking one over the other doesn't make anyone 'right'. Or 'better'.

    If you're asking what is the best tool to judge exposure, then you're going to get a lot of 'right' answers, and a number of them won't have anything to do with either a waveform or a histogram. Trying to argue with someone that they should use a histogram over a waveform is pretty much like arguing that your favorite color is better than their favorite color. We all like something different.
    Ha!

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  8. #18  
    Senior Member Bob Minervini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Thomas View Post
    I'm working with a DP that likes to use the waveform over the histogram for exposure, is that a good thing, if not please tell me why, so I can explain it to him. I've tried, but I think he needs to hear from someone else, like Jim for instance.

    Von
    a matter of personal taste, I'd say.
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  9. #19  
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    Hi Gents.

    New poster here. I was wondering if there is any decent literature available online with regards to waveform monitors and histograms? Been trying to track down material through Google to no avail. I've shot a bit with the Red One and have yet to really utilize either. Been 'eyeballing' it and would like a bit more precision with exposure readings. Thanks in advance.
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  10. #20  
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    Waveform all day every day.....If shooting video. On R1 or EPIC the included signal analysis tools are more than enough.
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